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Blog Banter #48 – You Want the Lore? You Can’t Handle the Lore! August 8, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Humor.
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Mrs Caldari Citizen 561237412,

We deeply regret to inform you that your son, Caldari Citizen 564752873, was killed in action on July 28th. His ship, the Dongs Dongs Butttes Dongs, self-destructed for unknown reasons.

A Board of Inquiry was formed to address these issues. Captian xWeedLordXxXGoku420x was found to have acted properly on all counts when the court learned that he was 27 jumps from home and his ship was a stock-issue Slasher. He has been provided a new crew and Slasher.

In deepest sympathy,
The Mittani
CEO Goonwaffe
(signed on his behalf)

In partial fullfilment of Blog Banter #48, which asks, “How important is the lore in EVE Online?”

Not very important at all.

There, am I done yet?

No?

Okay, some of the lore does get impressed upon us at.  The tutorial explains the EVE Gate and how humanity ended up in New Eden, though it never quite gets to why I feel the need to write “EVE” in all capital letters.  It isn’t an acronym.  It is just the way that CCP styles it.  But back to lore.  I bet some of you can even tell me which system in EVE Online the  EVE Gate resides in.

The lore also explains the four main factions of EVE Online, their background and political system.  And while I am sure players tend to skim over that sort of thing, I bet most can match up the faction with its political system.  Go ahead, print this out and drawn a line between the faction and the description of it’s primary political philosophy.

Amarr          Shareholder Rights
Caldari        Rounded Edges
Gallente       Worship of the Rust God
Minmatar       Aging Skinhead Rulers

And the lore of EVE Online does touch us nearly every day, influencing our decisions, shaping our goals.

There is the Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command, better known as CONCORD. (As with the Amalgamation of Regional Militia (ARM), it sounds like the acronym came first, then some words were forced into place.)  CONCORD is part of the lore and it heavily influences how PvP happens in large parts of space.  Who you can shoot, what gates you can go near, how you fit your ship for a gank, and whether or not you are safe to fly in high sec space at all is influenced by CONCORD.

Likewise, the somewhat insane lore that dictates that you can insure ships influences behavior in game.  The reimbursement policy of many an alliance assumes that you will buy the Platinum Insurance Package for your ship before you fly off into battle.  I would love to see the balance sheet for the insurance system of New Eden.  It is probably so out of balance that we should consider magic money to be part of the lore as well.

And then there are ships and ship design philosophies, which is probably where lore comes closest to touching every single player in EVE Online.  Some of it is so ingrained that people might not even think of it as lore.  That the Amarr like phallic shapes, that the Caldari think asymmetry makes them edgy and modern, that the Gallente think green doesn’t make them look fat, and that the Minmatar have figured out how to make metal rust in a vacuum… plus the various armament and tanking philosophies… influence our ship choices.

But it emphasizes my front still, right?

Some (or all) of those philosophies end up becoming part of the game framework of any long term player.  And it is driven by lore.

So the lore is important to the degree that it does shape our play style choices.  But the lore doesn’t stop there.  No, it just keeps on rolling.

There are ongoing updates from CCP about the political struggles amongst the four major NPC factions, like that time… when that guy… crashed his ship into that station… and the Caldari and the Gallente went to war or some such… and the dead station was there in space for all of us to ignore as we went about our very important space business.  And then Factional Warfare was introduced, left to stagnate for a while, and was eventually spruced up and incentivized so people would play it.  And manipulate it.  Because this is EVE Online.  That was all part of one plan.  I think.

There are the back stories to all of those infinitely staffed and supplied rebel/pirate organizations, like Sansha’s Nation and The Guristas.  I am not sure how deeply involved with that back story anybody really gets when running missions or clearing anomalies, so long as there are more to shoot.

And then there are the lore details that most people don’t even get to.  Like the fact that, according to the lore, ships have crews.  That is canon right there bub, you do not fly alone.   Somebody has to tend the fedos.

People discover, dig up, or remember the crew thing every so often.  Jester wrote about it back in March, mostly to muse aloud about whether crews that live long enough ought to bestow benefits upon ship performance.  He also put up this nice little chart that I can never find when I look for it, so I am going to steal it right from him.

Ship Staffing Parameters

Ship Staffing Parameters

Somebody in the Something Awful forums stumbled upon the ship’s crew aspect EVE Online, and the game discussion thread devolved into an exploration of that bit of lore for several pages.  The quote at the top of this post is from one of the responses to the crew question, an example of the thousands of letters of condolence that one might imagine has to be sent out after battles like the one at 6VDT.  Boodabooda’s signature might have been stamped on as many as 25,000 such notes just for Prophecy crews alone after that battle, assuming a crew of 100 and a 30% survival rate.

And the discussion went on to wonder where all these crew members come from.  How do you recruit the thousands of warm bodies needed to work the internal systems of the ships in your fleet.  At 6VDT we had more than 900 Megathrons in the system, which could represent more than 270,000 crew members.  Who signed them up?  How did they get out to 4-EP?  Who feeds them?  What motivated them to join one side or another?  Are citizens of the various empires press ganged into serving?  Are conditions down on the planets of New Eden so terrible that a likely death in the vacuum of space seems like a reasonable choice and where most of your life is spent in a station in the middle of contested space?  And to whom do these crews hold allegiance?

Sometimes it might not be in your best interest to look too closely at the game lore.

But I will change my opening statement and grant that the lore is important, at least as a framework for our lives in New Eden.  It just is not that important in terms of the story of our own experiences in EVE Online, the tales we tell and the memories we create through playing the game.  In the end, player made lore behind a list like this:

2009-02-04
16:04 Alliance Band of Brothers has been disbanded
16:04 Corporation Keiretsu has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Relentless Construction has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Tin Foil has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Black Eclipse Corp has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Reikoku has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Destructive Influence has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation TAOSP has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Black Nova Corp has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation gettingaDeathSquad has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Justice. has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Evolution has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation FinFleet has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Oh Canada has left alliance Band of Brothers
16:04 Corporation Umbrage Inc. has left alliance Band of Brothers

is far more important than where the Guristas came from (and why they keep coming back) or what happens to your crew when your ship gets blown up… again.

Other, more serious entrants in the Blog Banter:

Comments»

1. BB #48–Eve Lore | Morphisat's Blog - August 8, 2013

[…] Participants: How To Be Terrible At Eve: A Guide – Blog Banter #48 – Lore Sand, Cider and Spaceships – BB48 – In The Future, In a Star Cluster Far, Far Away….. Warp Drive Active – Blog Banter #48 The Importance of Lore Eveoganda – BB#48: Lore is our Soul Astral’s Eve Trial By Fire – Blog Banter 48 Emergent Patroller – Blog Banter 48 – Our fictional cultural heritage Mabrick’s Mumblings – BB48: Pile of Bricks Faction Fit Pod – BB#48 – Life of Lore Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Lore. What is it Good For? Sered’s Lives – Blog Banter 48: Suspension of Disbelief Space Business, Serious Business – To fluff or not to fluff Low Sec Lifestyle – Blog Banter #48 Jester’s Trek – My story is the same as yours just one chapter ahead Roc’s Ramblings – Blog Banter 48 – Lore Life on the Bubble – Art of War Alliance – BB47: You Just Don’t know Fiddler’s Edge – Eve Lore: Blog Banter 48 The Ancient Gaming Noob – Blog Banter #48 – You Want the Lore? You Can’t Handle the Lore! […]

2. gladhwen - August 10, 2013

After seeing all the awesome screenshots you posted, I finally decided to give EVE a try. I was quiet happy at how the back story is presented to new players. Details such as how each faction’s unique history influences its technology and ship design, and why capsuleers are immortal are important to people who enjoy hard SF :D

EVE is perhaps the first game where I started thinking about the story of my character before creating it. Although I don’t do any role play, having the story certainly attach me more to my character.

3. Can Players Create Lore? | Harbinger Zero - August 13, 2013

[…] good thing!).   Wilhelm seems to, consciously or not, echo the sentiment when he pokes fun at the oft forgotten idea of crews in EVE […]


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