Some Originality? When launched 5 years ago, CCP's EVE Online broke the mould of what gamers expected from massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs). Avoiding the swords and sorcery cliche, CCP launched into space, with a massive single shared universe, and a trading and combat simulation inspired by the classic BBC Micro game Elite.
About the creation : The founders of CCP were originally graphics artists, and their background shone through with the breathtaking scenery and attention to detail within the game.
From the start, CCP were aiming for a player driven experience. Although there is a rich and deep back-story to EVE, the economy is modelled on real life economic systems and is driven by player production and demand. Indeed, CCP were the first game company in the world to hire an economist, expressly to make sure their economic model could grow and evolve.
Corporations replace the usual Guilds, with players able to buy and sell shares and gain dividends. Beyond that, player owned structures (POS) allow corporations and alliances to build their own space stations, laying claim to vast tracks of space.
Politics form a core part of the game experience. With 4 major Empires constantly scheming and jostling for supremacy, player Alliances can also join in, with long running wars and fragile treaties making space a dangerous - and exciting - place to be. An expansion coming this summer will allow player corporations and alliances to directly take part in the struggles of the existing Empires, adding even more depth and intrigue to an already complex game.
Apart from the shared universe, EVE's approach to gaining 'experience' and 'levels' for your character resulted in the game's unique skills.
Concept : Eve Online (officially capitalized EVE Online) is a video game by CCP Games. It is a player-driven persistent-world massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in a science fiction space setting. Players pilot customizable ships through a universe comprising over 7,500 star systems. Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates. The star systems can contain several phenomena including, but not limited to: moons, planets, stations, wormholes, asteroid belts and complexes.
Players of Eve Online are able to participate in a number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, piracy, manufacturing, trading, exploration 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 into the game.
The story : Set more than 21,000 years in the future, the background story of Eve Online explains that humanity, having used up most of Earth's resources, began colonizing the rest of the Milky Way. This expansion led to competition and fighting over available resources. Everything changed with the discovery of a natural wormhole leading to an unexplored galaxy dubbed 'New Eden'. Dozens of colonies were founded and a structure was built to stabilise the wormhole, a giant gateway bearing the name "EVE". However, when the natural wormhole collapsed it destroyed the gate. Cut off from Earth and its much-needed supplies, the colonists of New Eden starved. Five colonies managed to return to prominence, each eventually rebuilding their own society. The states based around these colonies make up the five major empires in Eve Online: the Amarr Empire, the Caldari State, the Gallente Federation, the Minmatar Republic and the Jove Directorate.
The place : EVE takes place in a cluster of stars far from mankind’s original habitat, planet Earth. How far away, and whether or not that cradle of civilization still exists, is a mystery. Humans arrived through a natural wormhole and, gazing up upon an alien sky they had never seen, were completely unable to determine where this new world was located. From the New Eden solar system, where the gate of EVE once led to the old world, humans expanded in all directions at a furious pace, exploring and colonizing rapidly.
"The EVE" : Then, unexpectedly and seemingly unprovoked, the EVE gate collapsed in an apocalyptic catastrophe of a scale never before witnessed by the human race, ruining the New Eden system in the process. Thousands of small colonies were left in complete isolation to fend for themselves, cut off from the old world. For millennia they endured, clinging to the brink of extinction, and only a handful managed to survive.
Empire : Of those that lasted, five were to rise up and become the major empires that, between them, hold the balance of power in the world of EVE. Today, they are known as the Amarr Empire, the Gallente Federation, the Caldari State, the Minmatar Republic, and the Jovian Empire. Additionally, the world is full of several small, independent factions and states.
Relationship :For more than a century, the five empires have lived together in relative peace. They’ve continually strived to maintain this peace, as each faction realizes only too well the grave consequences of a massive inter-stellar war. Recent technological breakthroughs in FTL travel, and the ensuing increase in space travelers, have shaken, but not broken, the fragile peace... at least not yet.
Gameplay : 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. 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 appearances, which can be finely tuned by the player.
Unlike many other MMOs, where there are numerous copies of the game universe (called "shards" or "realms")intended to run at once, Eve Online is functionally a single-universe game. There are technically three copies of the universe running—the main server "Tranquility", the Chinese-based "Serenity", and the test server "Singularity" which is subject to periodic wipes when new content is being tested, but rather than starting a new "realm" when in-game population increases, CCP simply adds new features to the existing game environment, sometimes going so far as to close an entire system when necessary.