EVE Online takes place over 21,000 years in the future. Humanity had long since used up the resources of the Milky Way and through the discovery of a wormhole had migrated thousands of light years to the New Eden Galaxy. The collapse of the wormhole left those in New Eden stranded. Thousands of years have passed since this event, leading to the current world of New Eden. Four empires are currently embroiled in a cold war while enterprising spaceship pilots and pirates plunder the outer systems.
EVE Online features a sandbox environment with a "hands-off" approach by its developers. This system allows players to freely influence the flow of power and currency throughout New Eden, leading to larger-than-life player run banks, corporations, and alliances. Even bigger bank heists and corporate coups are a common occurrence.
Players begin by selecting race and bloodline for their starting character. When picking the faction, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various factions, but ultimately it's down to what faction seems to appeal to you the most. At this point, differences between the factions are largely aesthetic. The major races are Caldari, Minmatar, Amarr, and Gallente. A fifth, advanced race, the Jovians, are not currently playable and serve as a buffer and a as game creator presence.
The choice of your character's race will determine a small subset of skills you receive. This should not dissuade you from picking what you enjoy as it amounts to a very small amount of skill points. It will also determine what area of space you will call home. You will be free to move around after character creation, though.
Other background choices largely serve as roleplaying devices and determine the exact school system your new character will start in.
Races of New Eden
Empowered by dogmatic faith, the Amarr hold strong religious beliefs. They are a proud and privileged people and encompass the largest empire lorewise. Amarrians have a long history of slavery especially with Minmatar. Much of their culture is based around slavery and oppression.
Amarrian ships favor tend to be slow, powerful, and equipped to the teeth with lasers. Their ships will usually have paper thin shields that belie meters of thick bulwark. This power comes at the cost of speed and energy.
Caldari society is based around business and money. Corporations rule and bureaucracy is the letter of the law. Its people are intensely nationalistic and have extreme pride in their nation. The Caldari have fought fiercely with the Gallente for independence for hundreds of years.
Caldari ships tend to be nimble, versatile, and armed with precise missiles. Their ships have the strongest shields in the galaxy, yet some of the weakest armor. While missiles can hit precise weaknesses the user has to take into account flight times and speed.
Gallenteans favor a liberal democatic society. Most of New Eden's entertainment industry originates from the Gallente. The Gallenteans have taken to involving themselves in the affairs of the other nations regularly. Most recently they have become involved in freeing the Minmatar people.
Gallentean ships tend to be slow, armored, and contain a full flock of drones. Gallente ships heavily rely on drones for a variety of tasks from dealing damage to repairing.
The Minmatar are a relatively young people recently freed from Amarrian subjugation. Their government faces an uphill battle as they try to find their place in the galaxy. Due to the lack of resources, the Minmatar have focused heavily on recycling and innovation in their ships. They are known for "rusty" ships.
Matari ships tend to be the fastest, can have shields or armor, and utilize many types of weapons. Much like the people, Matari ships are very diverse. If a pilot isn't careful he or she can end up flying everything, but nothing well.
Jovians are remnants of humans from the Milky Way. Plagued by thousands of years of genetic "enhancements," the Jovians dwindle in numbers. The Amarrian empire, in its infinite pride, attempted to destroy the Jove Empire only to be decimated. Jovian technology is beyond comprehension for the people of New Eden. The Jove Empire is not currently accessible.
Many other factions populate the world of New Eden including pirates. A new pilot will do well to stick to his own empire until he learns the ropes.
Beginning Life in New Eden
The average life of a capsuleer is nasty, brutish, and short. Subterfuge and a silver tongue are the most valuable assets in this world. If you can learn to backstab your best friend, lie with a straight face, and prey on the weak, there might just be a small niche for you to carve in this vast galaxy.
The capsuleer’s primary method of interacting with the galaxy will be through piloting a starship. His or her training will dictate the effectiveness of ships. The capsuleer itself sees limited use as a portrait indicating who is communicating in chat and to navigate the limited captain’s quarters.
Space stations hold the majority of capsuleer assets in game. These indestructible space monoliths dot the galaxy and serve as the only safe zones in the game. Capsuleer safety is only guaranteed inside these colossal structures. Each station has a multitude of services to aid capsuleers and it is here a new life begins. While docked in the hangar, capsuleers can select their desired ship, fit modules and weapons, and conduct trade. The station itself will determine what services are available, meaning one station may allow you to reprocess minerals while another will allow ship manufacturing.
One of the most important services a station can provide is basic medical cloning. Capsuleers are the demigods of space, near immortal due to the benefits of cloning. Should a capsuleer meet the wrong end of a 1400mm Howitzer, a remote clone will be activated in a preset station at the moment of death. Clones will only retain a certain amount of information, dependent on the quality of the clone. Predictably clone price rises with clone quality. It is important to always remember to update clones, lest you forget how to fly your battlecruiser.
Every capsuleer from the lowest frigate pilot to the richest industry mogul is a member of a corporation. Each capsuleer begins in a basic corporation, which provides only the most basic of support. New capsuleers are encouraged to seek out aid from more established groups at their earliest convenience. Joining other corporations does present rather large risks such as war, though. A new capsuleer shouldn’t be dissuaded from joining another corporation due to aforementioned risks. In most cases, the benefit of help from a small community outweigh any potential risks.
Beyond the confines of a station, life will follow the ebb and flow of warring capsuleers. The center of the galaxy contains the four largest empires of Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar. Circling them are the lawless edges of the galaxy. Capsuleer run corporations and pirate factions own this land. Make no mistake, in even the most securely policed pockets of space if someone wants you dead, you will die. A capsuleer would do well to consider each undocked ship forfeit immediately upon leaving the hangar.
It is up to the individual to decide how to leave an indelible mark on the vastness of space.
Levels of Safety
When actually exploring the many solar systems of EVE, it's important to note the safety level of a given area. Safety is rated from 1.0 to -1.0. This is broken up into 3 regions: high-sec (1.0 -0.5), low-sec (0.4-0.1), and null-sec (0.0--1.0). High-sec is naturally the highest relative level of safety (although you can still be wiped out even here!) with Concord police actively patrolling and protecting well-behaving craft. Aggression in high-sec invariably result is Concord destroying the attacking ships. Low-sec is significantly less safe, fired upon by turrets on stargates and stations. In null-sec none of those rules apply, it is lawless(or you could say that it's up to the players controlling the area what sort of law there is). A new type of lawless space was introduced in the Apocrypha expansion. So called W-Space (wormhole space) is different from normal 0.0 systems, low-sec systems and high-sec systems (collectively called K-Space (known space)) in that a W-space system can only be entered or left through a wormhole.
Unlike other games with several servers, EVE has a single, persistent server, and the game is always PvP. There are no safe zones, even in heavily patrolled areas, and a player could easily lose everything if they're not careful, explicitly targeted for elimination, or just unlucky.
It can be argued that EVE has a strong equalizing factor in the way it handles combat. Even in large-scale wars, the simplest of characters with the lowest level of experience can still contribute to the fight. They will not necessarily be direct aggressors, but beginner-level ships can be equipped with helpful machinery that can turn the tide of battle in the favor of their allies. Newbies can function as scouts, for example, reporting enemy movement, or tacklers who prevent the escape of ships being pummeled by more experienced characters.
Combat itself is similar to combat in other MMOs, where players have sets of abilities, dictated by ship equipment and enabled by character skills. These abilities have rates of fire and strengths, which are compared with the targets' relative strengths, and their activation is dependent upon a ship's capacitors which, like real life, store power for later use.
Different ships can help in different roles, like the classic tank or healer, but because equipment is modular these roles are far less rigid. You are able to create certain builds which optimize speed, damage, armor, drones, or any number of other features, any of which may be useful to larger groups. For smaller missions it tends to be better to have foundations in the basics though, especially in low-level NPC missions.
An Open Economy
Unlike some MMOs which rigidly control their economies to prevent devaluing and inflation, EVE is considered to be a more open economy. This means that production and resource availability is largely dictated by player actions. Miners will mine raw materials, which are in turn moved by transportation ships, then production facilities will produce ships from NPC bought blueprints and fit them with industry produced gear.
Gear and materials can also be looted from wrecks, which encourages player missions against NPC or player-characters ships, as well as general piracy. This method of obtaining materials (or minerals) often provides enough for mission based players to build and replace their own ammunition, though little more can be accomplished.
The open economy extends generally to the market, where players can buy and sell using general indexes as a guide, although they can make their own deals. Since the company doesn't refund ISK based on poor purchases, this can result in player fraud, from individual purchases up to defrauding whole companies.
There is some economic manipulation to keep areas balanced, in the form of introducing new resources in under-populated areas. CCP is also keen on preventing fraud that moves outside the reality of the game, and have frequently banned players who try to break this barrier through scams involving real currency. There are also occasional problems with CCP staff being involved in corruption due to their super-user capabilities allowing them privileged, world-changing abilities, which are also dealt with to prevent player disillusionment.
In-game ISK lost through fraud or theft, though, is considered fair within the confines of the game, even if this translates into a sizable investment of time and real money on the part of the players who lost these resources.
Since its release in May of 2003, EVE Online has undergone several technical and graphical updates and expansions in order to stay current. CCP releases these expansions for free to EVE subscribers. Those expansions are:
Released: 18 December 2003
The first major content expansion, dubbed Castor, refined the original game. It added more components and ships, as well as space stations that could be conquered by players in deep space.
Released: 17 November 2004
The second expansion, Exodus, added new ships, environments and multi-level scenarios called Complexes. It was originally codenamed Shiva.
Exodus: Cold War
Released: 29 June 2005
The Cold War expansion revamped the existing tutorial and a storyline introduction. It introduced freighter and dreadnought capital ships, and improved NPC pirate AI in deep space.
Exodus: Red Moon Rising
Released: 16 December 2005
The Red Moon Rising improved performance and updated combat, research and manufacturing. This expansion also revamped many ships and introduced twenty-three new ships.
Released: 2 March 2006
This expansion included new Asian bloodlines for all races.
Achura, citizens of the Caldari State and expert scientists Jin-Mei, members of the Gallente Federation renowned for their legendary leadership traits Khanid of the Amarr Empire, the primary fighter-warriors of their culture Vherokior of the Minmatar Republic, the established manufacturers and engineers of the tribes.
Released: 29 November 2006
This expansion introduced EVE Voice, a Voice over IP tool used from within EVE (licensed from Vivox). Eight new areas were added, in addition to a contract system for players.
Released: 19 June 2007
Revelations II added a new optional tutorial, as well as refinements to the original. Existing features were expanded, such as additional content for solo exploration and a broader scope of player-owned star systems.
Released: 5 December 2007
Trinity updated the graphics engine. It also added new ships in new ship classes. Trinity came in two variants: Trinity 1.0, and Trinity 1.0 Classic. The former added the updated graphics, and the latter did not. However, they both contained the additional content.
Released: 10 June 2008
This expansion allowed players and player-run corporations to fight for NPC factions against each other for different sections of space.
Released: 11 November 2008
This expansion added further graphical improvements and streamlined communication between the server and clients. It overhauled the speed system for ships and rebalanced industrial ships. It also added a certificate system that gave verification to a player's advancement in a group of skills and medals that can be awarded by corporations.
Released: 10 March 2009
The Apocrypha expansion added a training queue for player skills and the exploration of uncharted areas through wormholes. The artificial intelligence of the NPCs was improved and a new NPC faction was added, called the Sleepers. Sleepers differ from other NPCs in that they can and do change target at will, often targeting weaker ships in fleet, similar to tactics used in EVE PvP.
Apocrypha 1.5 was released on 20 August 2009 that added four more epic mission arcs and performance improvements for Factional Warfare.
Released: 1 December 2009
Dominion updated the sovereignty mechanics, making it easier for areas to be taken and re-taken. Updated the in-game web browser to use the Chromium Toolkit.
Released: 26 May 2010
This expansion allowed players to build structures on the surfaces of the planets.
Released: 30 November 2010
Introduces live, escalating, large-scale NPC combat encounters, performance improvements, enhancements to the EVE Gate social networking platform, and an improved character generation component.
Incursion 1.1 was released on 18th of January 2011 and included the new character creator, a prelude to the Incarna exansion which will allow players to walk in stations.
Incursion 1.4 was release on 6th of April 2011 and included more character customization, new DED Conplexes and many little fixes by Team BFF. An extensive list is available on the expansion feature page.
Released: 21 June 2011
Incarna marked the arrival of the first phase of the highly anticipated "Walking in Stations," or simply WiS, feature that has been in development for the majority of Eve Online's life. It also introduced new new models and animations for all the turrets in the game, updated designs for the Amarr's Maller hull, the arrival of the NeX shop, a completely new beginner tutorial, ECM changes for NPCs, changes to the Jump Bridge mechanic, the ability to check you faction standings, and various other minor performance improvements.
Incarna 1.1 was released on 1st of September 2011 and included improvements to Eve Gate consisting of Activity Notifications, for your in-game characters, and Personalized Backgrounds. It also marked the changes to Eve's API which included Contract Information and Customizable Keys.
Four days later, on 5th of September, the new Eve Online forums were introduced with a host of brand new features while the old forums were deactivated. However, CCP has archived the old forums in a read-only format.
Incarna 1.1.2 was released soon after and marked the return the Ship Spinning feature that was removed at the release of Incarna. 1.1.2 also included various graphical fixes.
Incarna also arrived with a fair share of controversy. The WiS feature only launched with one Captain's Quarters consisting of the Minmatar race when it was supposed to launch with four, one for each race. The WiS feature was supposed to include multiplayer environments as well, as the CQ is only a single player environment, but there was no news on their progress.
The new NeX shop that arrived with the expansion was CCP's way of introducing micro transactions into the game. Howvever, due to the high prices of items in the shop, many players became unhappy with the management of the game. This issue was further escalated by leaked emails from CCP employees discussing matters such as selling ships and ammo in the NeX shop, speculation of CCP preparing to transition Eve to a free-to-play model, and many other things. Many players revolted in the forms of in-game protests and cancelled subscriptions. All of these events later became known as 'monoclegate' in reference to a monocle item sold on the NeX that, when converted to real world currency, essentially costs $65. Ironically, the monocle was the most popular item in the shop which some attribute to the fact that it was used to instigate players who were angry with CCP and the NeX shop.
The CEO of CCP, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson (CCP Hillmar), later released an official apology describing the mistakes that were made and how he takes full responsibility for everything that went wrong. Many players saw this as the first step to CCP getting back on track, but many players still left the game claiming it was too little too late.
Released: 29 November 2011
Set out to make right the problems of Incarna.
Crucible 1.0 through 1.5 adds a lot of new things and improvements:
- New Tier 3 Battlecruiser (Fast battlecruisers with thin tank and Battleship guns)
- New amazing looking nebulae
- V3 graphical upgrade to ships and buildings
- Changes to UI and Neocom
- New models for Rookie ships
- Time Dilation (Time Dilation reduces the performance impact of massive fleet engagements, allowing for less laggy and more responsive combat environment.)
- Player Owned Customs Offices
Released: 24 April 2012
Expanding upon the success of Crucible. Missile graphics were improved.
Released: 4 December 2012
Focused on rebalancing all ships below and including Cruisers. It also adds a remade Crimewatch and Bounty systems.
Retrubution also introduced 4 new destroyers to the game.
"All four ships are dedicated damage dealers with slight variations to suit different strategies in combat. The Amarr Dragoon excels at neutralizing the enemy, sporting bonuses to aid in draining the enemy’s capacitor. The Gallente Algos sports some extra boosts to allow their drones to ambush and tear up enemies at close range. The Caldari Corax and Minmatar Talwar differ primarily in the damage type that is amplified by each ship’s bonuses. The Corax is also a good long-range combat ship, while the Talwar really shines in an up close and personal brawl."
Released: June 4, 2013
Focused primarily on the exploration aspects of eve with a secondary focus on quality of life changes to the interface and ship balancing.
Released: November 19, 2013
Rubicon focused on further ship balance, adding mobile structures, and allowing players to own customs offices in high-security space.
- OS: Windows® XP Service Pack 2 / Vista / 7
- CPU: Intel Pentium® or AMD @ 1,5 Ghz or greater which supports SSE2
- RAM: XP (SP2) – 1 GB / Vista – 1.5 GB
- HD space: 20Gb Free Space
- Network: DSL connection or faster
- Video: ATI X1600 or NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT or higher graphics card with 128 MB of Video RAM* which supports Shader Model 3
- Drivers: DirectX® 9.0c (included) and latest video drivers
- DVD-ROM : 2 speed DVD reader or greater required.
*Note that older graphics cards such as the Nvidia 6000 series may work but is not officially supported
- OS: Windows® XP Service Pack 2 / Vista / 7
- CPU: Intel Pentium® or AMD dual core @ 2 Ghz or greater which supports SSE2
- RAM: 2 GB
- HD space: 20Gb Free Space
- Network: ADSL connection or faster
- Video: ATi Radeon 5750 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
- Drivers: DirectX® 9.0c (included) and latest video drivers
- DVD-ROM : 2 speed DVD reader or greater required.
- Note: CCP has listed a recomended Windows Experience Index Rating of 4.0.
The minimum screen resolution for EVE is 1024x768.
Audio hardware must support SSE and be Direct Sound compatible. For optimum performance, use latest drivers available.
Please note that Windows 95, 98, ME, NT and 2000 are not supported.
The client does not run on a PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Macintosh Machines. laptops or Mac Minis equipped with Intel graphics chipsets such as the GMA950 or X3100. Versions of the Macbooks and Mac Minis with Nvidia graphics chipsets are however supported.
Supported hardware is MacBook Pro laptops, Mac Pro machines and iMacs. All these machines have to meet the following minimum requirements below:
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo with at least 2.0 Ghz speed
- OS: OS X 10.6.7 or higher.
- Video: ATI HD2400, Nvidia 9400GT, or Intel HD 3000 or higher with at least 256 MB VRAM and supports Shader Model 3.
- RAM: 2048 MB or more
- HD space: 20 Gb
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- CPU: Intel Core i Series with at least 2.0 Ghz speed
- OS: OS X 10.6.7 or higher
- Video: ATI 4870, Nvidia 8800GT or higher with at least 512 MB VRAM
- RAM: 4 GB or higher
- HD space: 20 Gb or more
- Network: Broadband Internet connection