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EVE Online

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EVE Online
Eve logo
Developer(s) CCP Games
Publisher(s) CCP Games
Release date May 6, 2003 (UK)

May 23, 2003 (EU)

June 12, 2006 (CHN)

February 22, 2006 (SEA)

Mode(s) online
Age rating(s)
Platform(s) PC
Media CD, direct download
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Eve Online (officially capitalized EVE Online) is a player-driven persistent-world massively multiplayer online game set in a science fiction space setting. Players pilot customizable ships through a universe comprising over five thousand star systems.[1] Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of jump gates. The star systems can contain several entities including but not limited to: moons, planets, stations, asteroid belts and complexes.

Players of Eve Online are able to participate in any number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, manufacturing, trade and combat (both player versus environment and player versus player). The range of activities available to the player is facilitated by a character advancement system based upon training skills in real time, even while not logged in to the game.[2]

It is developed and maintained by the Icelandic company CCP Games. First released in North America and Europe in May 2003, it was published from May to December 2003 by Simon & Schuster Interactive,[3] after which CCP purchased the rights back and began to self-publish via a digital distribution scheme.[4] On January 22, 2008 it was announced that Eve will be distributed via Steam.[5] The current version of Eve Online is dubbed Quantum Rise. The next expansion, Apocrypha, is expected on March 10, 2009.[6] At that time, the game will also be available in boxed form from stores, released by Atari.[7]



Taking place 21,000 years in the future, the fictional background story of Eve Online explains that long ago humankind, having used up most of Earth's resources, began colonizing the rest of the Milky Way.[8][9] Eventually, humans expanded to most of the galaxy. Resources became contested and war broke out. When a natural wormhole was discovered, dozens of colonies were seeded at its other end, in an unexplored galaxy dubbed 'New Eden'. An artificial wormhole generator was built to support the collapsing wormhole. When the natural wormhole collapsed, however, it destroyed the generator with it. Cut off from Earth and its much-needed supplies, New Eden's colonists starved in the millions. Five known colonies managed to return to prominence, eventually rebuilding society together. These colonies make up the five major empires in Eve: the Amarr Empire, the Gallente Federation, the Minmatar Republic, the Caldari State and the Jove Empire. All but the Jove Empire are playable; CCP said that they intend to use the race within the Eve storyline.[10]


The Amarr were the first of the playable races to rediscover interstellar and faster-than-light travel.[9][11] Armed with this new technology, the Amarr expanded their empire and enslaved several races in the process, focusing on the primitive Minmatar race who had only just invented space flight for themselves.[12][13] While the Minmatar have rebelled against their oppressors and broken off to form their own faction in the Eve universe, much of their populace are still enslaved.

The Gallente and the Caldari homeworlds were situated in the same star system.[14][15] The Gallente homeworld was originally settled by French colonists while the planet that would later become Caldari Prime was purchased by a mega-corporation which began to terraform it.[16][17] However, the process was incomplete at the time of the gate collapse and Caldari Prime remained environmentally inhospitable for millennia. The Gallente restored a working civilization some hundred years before the Caldari, building the first democratic republic of the new era. Animosity between the two races drove the Caldari to found their own empire, a decision that led to a 93-year war that was eventually settled when neither party could win over the other.[16][17] One result of this war was that the original Caldari homeworld was conquered and occupied by the Gallente and only recently reclaimed by an invasion.

The Jovians were colonists, too. Unlike the other races, after the collapse of the gate they were able to revive their civilization almost immediately.[18] They expanded outward and eventually turned to genetic engineering in order to mold themselves into a people more suited for deep-space life and long-range interstellar exploration. Through their history there have been two previous Jove Empires. After genetic experiments resulted in the deadly "Jovian Disease", the Jove set off to find a new home. They now inhabit a region of space supposedly inaccessible to outsiders.[19]

In addition to different backgrounds and histories, each of the races have characteristic ships. The Minmatar have the fastest ships in the game and use projectile turrets; Amarr ships are well-rounded and use lasers, Gallente ships can use the most drones and use railguns, and Caldari ships use missiles or railguns and have the largest amount of shields (they are also the slowest). Not all ships fit under these generalizations: there are several ships that mix the race characteristics, and some completely unique ships.[citation needed]


Players start the game by either selecting a previously-created character or by creating a new one. Each Eve Online account allows for up to three characters to be made.[20] When players create a new character they start by choosing one of the four playable races of Amarr, Gallente, Minmatar and Caldari. Each race is further divided into three bloodlines that give characters different pre-defined abilities. After further refining the character's starting skills by selecting features such as ancestry and career the new character is ready to begin its life in the Eve Online universe.


The playing environment in Eve Online consists of over five thousand interconnected star systems.[1] Systems are classified by their Security Status where higher-ranking systems have a higher presence of CONCORD (Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command) NPC law enforcement units.[21] Star systems contain different types of celestial objects, making them more or less suitable for different kinds of operations. Typically, players find asteroid fields, planets, stations and moons in a system.


Contrary to other massively multiplayer online games player characters in Eve advance continuously over time by training skills, a passive process that occurs in real world time so that the learning process continues even if the player is not logged in.[22] Skills vary in their Rank, an indicator of how many skillpoints players have to acquire in order to train the skill. For example a Rank 2 skill takes twice as long to train as a Rank 1 skill.


The in-game economy in Eve Online is largely player-driven. While non-player character merchants supply some items, players can gain the ability to manufacture them for personal use or for sale. The economy in Eve is known as an open economy in that there is no fixed amount of money or materials in the universe. The current open economy is automatically balanced by introducing extra materials in underpopulated areas to encourage an even spread of players.[23]


Ships in Eve Online are organized into classes, varying from frigates to titans. Ships fill different roles and vary in characteristics such as size, speed, hull strength and their potential firepower. Roles and characteristics aside, the concept of ships in Eve Online is different from other massively multiplayer online games in that ships represent players in-game. While Eve Online introduces the players to the idea of avatars, a player's avatar remains a two-dimensional portrait. Players move in-game within their ships and as such are represented by the ship type they choose. CCP is currently developing a feature that will allow players to move freely outside of their ships in space stations, represented by three-dimensional avatars. See the Planned future developments section.

Players and communities

Players have several options when playing Eve in regards to how they interact with the community. Every activity is possible for solo players but larger and more complicated tasks become more feasible for groups, for example pirate clans or corporations.

Corporations and alliances

Players can organize themselves into corporations (similar to guilds or clans in other MMOs). Corporations are run by one chief executive officer (CEO) who controls the corporation's assets. The CEO assigns roles to corporation members such as director, accountant and personnel manager. Corporations may also band together to form alliances. Corporations and alliances come in different shapes and sizes. Some player groups write press releases about new business openings and send out IPO information to potential in-game venture capital investors. Alliances can control enough star systems that their territory can be plotted on the Eve game map.[24] Alliances based in lawless space often form unofficial political power blocks with other alliances. These power blocks are typically referred to as "coalitions".

Corporations take up numerous business models such as mining, manufacturing or "ratting" (hunting NPC pirates for their bounties and loot). Normally members contribute a portion of all business proceeds to a pool and receive help in the form of cash and equipment. This is by no means the only model though many operate in this fashion as it helps to build loyalty amongst corporation members.

Players also form corporations for the exclusive task of pirating other players. Pirates may camp stargates waiting for other players to arrive, attack players operating in asteroid belts or hunt for players carrying out an NPC agent-assigned mission. Because these activities are considered to be "illegal" within the game mechanics, pirate players often will have low security status and may even be branded as outlaws by CONCORD.

While attacking another player in secure space will result in a loss of security standing and the attacker losing his ship to CONCORD, there are ways to conduct PvP in high security space. For example, a corporation or alliance can declare war on another corporation/alliance at the cost of a weekly fee, thus allowing for combat in all regions of space without the fear of standing loss or the intervention of CONCORD.[25] However, if the target of a corporate war elects to make the war mutual, there are no fees involved for either party.


As of October 2006 the average age of an Eve Player was 27 of which 95% male, and 5% female. The average weekly playtime is 17 hours, or just under 2.5 hours per day.[23]

On January 18, 2009, Eve Online achieved a new record for the maximum number of simultaneous pilots online with 48,065 concurrent accounts logged on to the same server.[26]

As of March 31, 2008, Eve Online has 236,000 active subscriptions and 45,000 active trial accounts.[27][28][29][30]

Beginning in March 2006, CCP and its partner Optic Communications started working to bring Eve Online to the Chinese gaming audience. Closed alpha testing was held on a small cluster for some time, with about 3,000 players chosen from an initial pool of 50,000.[31] The Chinese open beta test began on June 13, 2006, and proved to be very popular, gaining numbers comparable to Eve Online's main server cluster.[32]

The code base between Serenity (China) and Tranquility (Iceland) is strictly in sync, so that software development is distributed to both server clusters, but the game worlds are not connected. Eve Online fully supports Unicode and has a back-end system to enable localization of each and every aspect of the game's content and UI.[33]

Player tournaments

During two weekends in July 2006, a live streaming video production called Eve TV[34][35] covered the events of the 2nd Caldari Alliance Tournament. The tournament pitted five-man teams from the top alliances against each other. Eve TV provided live in-game footage of the battles along with expert commentary. Analysis of the teams and strategies, interviews with CCP staff and behind-the-scenes specials were also aired between battles. Eve TV was produced and hosted primarily by DJs[34] from Eve-Radio (a player-run streaming radio station) with resources provided by CCP. A total of 95 matches were scheduled, with the Band of Brothers[36] alliance emerging the winner on the final day.[37]

The first two weekends in December 2006 saw the 3rd Alliance tournament. This was once again broadcast via live streaming video by Eve TV[35] The tournament saw 40 Alliances[38] pitting five-man teams against each other. Once again, the Band of Brothers[36] alliance emerged as the winner. Of particular note in this tournament, was the fielding of an Imperial Apocalypse by the Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate. The ship was destroyed in the semi-finals of the tournament.

The fourth Alliance tournament in September 2007 brought several exciting upsets, with Star Fraction defeating Band of Brothers in the second round, using only tech 1 cruisers, and a relative unknown, Hun Reloaded, sweeping both the semifinals and finals to win.[39]

The two weekends starting February 29, 2008 and March 7, 2008 saw the fifth Alliance Tournament.[40] EveTV provided coverage via live streaming video.[41] During the six days a total of 40 teams competed in 95 matches. The last tournament's winner, HUN Reloaded, made its way into the quarter-finals where it lost to Ev0ke alliance who later became tournament champion after having won all of its eight matches.[40]

The sixth Alliance Tournament is currently underway, with 64 teams taking part in the qualifying rounds on opening weekend. This is the first tournament in which the newly formed Factional Militias are able to take part alongside traditional alliance teams.[42]


Template:VG Requirements According to the developers Eve Online evolved from the classic computer game Elite, combined with the multi player chat and player versus player aspects of Ultima Online.[43] Elite had four single player aspects of missions,[44] mining, trade routes and combat with random hostile NPC's[45] all of which are aspects of the first incarnations of Eve Online.[46]

One of the original developers of Elite, David Braben, believes Eve Online is a reimplementation of the 1980s game, not its true successor.[47]

Both the server and the client software for Eve Online are developed in Stackless Python, a variant of the Python programming language. Stackless Python allows a relatively large number of players to perform tasks without the overhead of using the call stack used in the standard Python distribution. This frees the game developers from performing some routine work and allows them to apply changes to the game universe without resetting the server.[48]


On March 14, 2006, the Eve Online development team announced that they would be upgrading the graphics engine of Eve Online to a DirectX 10 / Windows Vista graphics platform.[49] Revelations patch 1.4 had patch notes quoted as saying that the current Eve client should work in Vista "as well as it does in XP."[50]

On September 10, 2007 CCP Games announced that the new 'Trinity 2' graphics engine will be using DirectX 9.0.[51] This was released on December 5, 2007.[52]

Official support for Linux and Mac platforms, using Transgaming Technologies Cedega and Cider for Linux and Mac compatibility respectively, was introduced with the Revelations 2.3 patch released on November 6, 2007.[53][54] At Fanfest 2008 Transgaming announced and demonstrated that the Premium graphics client is now running on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and will be released after further testing.

Third-party applications and the Eve API Project

Third-party applications supplement players' Eve Online experience. Some of these, such as automated applications designed to claim publicly-available contracts accidentally put up without an associated cost, will result in a ban if discovered, while others are endorsed, tacitly or explicitly, by CCP. EVEMon - a .NET application that monitors and forecasts skill training times—is one example of an explicitly authorized external application.[55][56]

In May, 2005, CCP announced the Eve API Project; third-party utilities such as EveMon now interface with character data, market, and other data through an API.[57]

Major content patches

From the release of Eve Online until today CCP has added ten expansions to the game. The tenth expansion, Quantum Rise, was released on November 11, 2008 and introduced features such as further graphics updates as started in the Trinity expansion; the ability for players to group their vessels' weapons for easier interaction;[58] changes to autopilot routes and avoidance of player-defined star systems.[59] CCP provides expansions free of charge to its subscribers.[60] Over time expansions have added features such as conquerable stations, ship classes like Freighter and Dreadnought capital ships and advanced missions for players to master.

Planned future developments

CCP has recently begun work on implementing a game feature that will allow players to exit pods and interact with other player avatars in the communal setting of the interior of a station.[61] CCP have not yet formally speculated on a release date for this feature. In March 2007 released in-development game footage of this feature, videotaped at Game Developers Conference 2007 with the approval of CCP's chief marketing officer Magnus Bergsson.[62] At the 2008 Fanfest players were able to play a restricted version of the Walking in Stations functionality, including walking through the Captain's cabin to the promenade and then into a Minmatar bar. Other shops will also be available, with 16 slots available for players or corps to rent in each station. Bars will also have skill-based gaming tables with strategy games.

The ability to enter a planet's atmosphere (planetary flight) and to interact with the surface is also mentioned as one of the future development plans. At Eve Fanfest 2005, a working prototype was demonstrated in which a Caldari Crow-class interceptor could be seen flying around over a planet surface. However CCP stated that full-scale integration of such features to the game requires an enormous effort and is only planned for post-Revelations production phases.[63] Subsequently it has been stated that until a proven in-game reason is found for planetary access further work on this will not have a high priority.

Another new ability that will come with the Apocrypha expansion (Mid-Late March 2009) is the Tech 3 ship system that will allow subscribers to use a modular system to "glue" their ship together. This system has been said to yield numerous possibilities and will be the biggest add-on to ship customization to date in the game. These assemblies have their own special functions and attributes, which will affect the overall function the ship will perform. Note that this is still an experimental feature and is not finalized, as well as the features listed above that will come with the Apocrypha expansion.

Public perception

Virtual crime

Piracy (in the ship-to-ship sense) is part of the game, as is protection racketeering and theft. One example is the corporate heist perpetrated by the in-game assassin's guild Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC). GHSC infiltrated a target corporation over the course of nearly a year before performing a virtual assassination on the target's CEO and stealing or destroying billions of ISK worth of property with which the CEO had entrusted them.[64] Events of this nature are debated both inside the game world and in the media.[65]

Such dangers are an inherent part of Eve Online's virtual economy and thus are purposely not dealt with by the developers.[66] Players are expected to make financial decisions based (among other factors) on the possibility of other players' financial malpractice, much like in real-life economics.

Developer misconduct

Since the release of Eve Online, there have been instances of developer misconduct, leading to debates and controversy within the Eve community. On February 9, 2007, a player known as Kugutsumen revealed that an Eve Online developer nicknamed 't20' had provided his alliance, Band of Brothers, with ten valuable blueprints, giving them an advantage over competing alliances.[67] Some within the Eve Online community asked for t20's dismissal. While an apology letter was left for the community in the form of a dev blog, he remains an Eve Online developer. Kugutsumen was permanently banned from the Eve universe for violating the game's Terms of Service and End-user License Agreement.[67]

In response to public concerns, CCP decided to set up an Internal Affairs division headed by Ari Eldon, better known in-game as Arkanon, whose responsibility is to monitor the activities of both privileged and player accounts operated by CCP staff in-game. Some[who?] have questioned the impartiality of the division.[68][69]

Council of Stellar Management

In part due to the matters above, CCP invited users to stand for the first Council of Stellar Management (CSM) in March 2008, resulting in 66 candidates seeking election to nine positions.[70][71][72] It was a requirement that candidates released their full 'real' names in addition to stating their in-game details.[73] In May, after a two-week voting period, the first Council was elected, comprising seven men and two women; three each from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, two from the USA and one from Denmark, their ages ranging from 17 to 52.[72]

The remit of the Council has been changed since it was first proposed and is now seen by CCP primarily as a route for players to make requests for changes and improvements to the game mechanics, presentation, and game content of Eve Online. Each Council will serve for six months after which a new one will be elected.[71] Each individual may only serve twice. Each CSM will get the authority to put requests to CCP three times during their term of office which CCP have stated must be answered; once in person in Iceland and twice by e-mail, with most of the costs of their visit to Iceland being borne by CCP.[71]

The first meeting of the CSM with CCP took place in Reykjavik between June 19 and 23, 2008 and included not only the nine CSM members but a number of developers, designers, game masters and producers from CCP and members of print and video media.[74] Matters discussed by players on the Eve forums were reviewed in detail and whilst some were rejected for technical reasons many were accepted by CCP as useful improvements to the game which would be introduced either in an early so-called point release or added to the development plans for a future major update.

Nominations for the second CSM opened on September 26, 2008 with voting commencing on November 9. The following third Council of Stellar Management will see a modified age restriction in effect: candidates under the age of 21 are then no longer eligible as CSM members.[75]

Accounts and subscriptions

Users start playing Eve Online either by creating a trial account or by being invited to the game as a "buddy" via the game's Buddy Program.[76][77] Trial accounts are freely available through both the Eve Online website and the Steam content delivery system. They differ in the length of the trial period with the Eve Online website offering 14-day trial accounts and Steam offering 21-day accounts.[78][79] The Buddy Program, on the other hand, is a means for full-subscription players to distribute 21-day free trial accounts to their friends. If the buddy account is converted to a full account the referrer is rewarded with 30 free days added to their subscription.

Both buddy accounts and regular trial accounts are free and allow players to access most of the Eve Online game, with exceptions. Players cannot train skills for some advanced ship types, for example industrial ships. Players also cannot create contracts and cannot directly transfer ISK to other players. Once the trial period ends the trial account is locked and must be converted to a full account before its characters can be accessed again.

Eve Online trial accounts can be upgraded to paid accounts in two ways. The first way is through activating an account subscription on the Eve Online website, resulting in immediate activation and 30 days of game time.[80] This subscription method requires a credit card. The alternative way is to subscribe using a Game time card, officially called Eve Time Code (ETC). These can be purchased in digital form online. ETCs upgrade a trial account to a full account and activate the account for the specified game time.

It is also possible to pay for a subscription through the purchase of Eve Time Codes using ISK.[81][82] The latter method allows relatively advanced players to play the game without paying real money. A player may buy an ETC for real money and sell it to another player in-game for ISK. The system is officially and securely supported by CCP and is monitored through the Timecode Bazaar forum.[83] CCP has since put in place a system whereby owners of Eve Time Codes may convert them into in-game items that can be bought and sold like any other item in the game.[84]

As of June 2008, ETCs are available exclusively in 60-day increments. Until then, they were also offered in 30-, 50-, 90- and 100-day increments. Discontinued cards remain valid. Players using ETCs are treated like normal subscribers in every way. Eve Time Codes are available through CCP's online store as well as via online resellers.[85] Cards purchased through resellers are usually delivered through email for immediate use while codes issued through the Eve Online store are issued via postal mail. There are no distinguishing differences in functionality between digital and hard-copy codes, both provide the exact amount of specified game time, are entered into the same account section and can be exchanged for ISK through the secure exchange system.

From March 10, 2009, a boxed edition will be available in shops. The distribution is being managed by Atari.[7]


See also


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