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Eve Online Exodus
Information about Eve Online ExodusEve 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 set in a science fiction space setting. Players pilot customizable ships through a universe comprising over 7500 star systems. Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of jump gates. 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 any number of in-game professions and activities, including mining, manufacturing, trade, 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.
It is developed and maintained by the Icelandic company CCP Games. First released in North America and Europe in May 2003 (10 years ago), it was published from May to dec. 2003 (10 years ago) by Simon & Schuster Interactive, after which CCP purchased the rights back and began to self-publish via a digital distribution scheme. On Jan. 22, 2008 (5 years ago) it was announced that Eve will be distributed via Steam. The current version of Eve Online is dubbed Apocrypha. On Mar. 10, 2009 (4 years ago) the game was made available in boxed form in stores, released by Atari.
HistoryTaking 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. 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 each rebuilding their own society. 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 Jove race within the Eve storyline.
RacesThe Amarr, a monotheistic theocratic empire, were the first of the playable races to rediscover faster-than-light travel. Armed with this new technology and the strength of their faith in their god, the Amarr expanded their empire by conquering and enslaving several races, including the primitive tribal Minmatar race, who had only just invented space flight for themselves. Generations later during the battle between the Amarr Empire and the Jove Empire, many Minmatar took the opportunity to escape and successfully rebelled against their enslavers, and formed their own government in the Eve universe. However, much of their populace remains enslaved by the Amarr.
The Gallente and the Caldari homeworlds are situated in the same star system. The Gallente homeworld was originally settled by descendants of French colonists; Caldari Prime was purchased by a mega-corporation that began to terraform it. The terraforming of Caldari Prime was incomplete at the time of the wormhole's collapse, however, and the planet 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 broke into war during which the Caldari seceded from the Gallente Federation to found their own Caldari State. The war lasted 93 years, with neither party able to overwhelm the other. The planet Caldari Prime was retained by the Gallente Federation during the war, and did not become part of the new Caldari State. Much more recently, a new Caldari offensive managed to recapture their lost homeworld. Both the Gallente and Caldari are business oriented peoples, however, the Gallente value free markets and entrepreneurship whereas the Caldari practice a form of corporatism or state capitalism.
The Jovians (currently a non-playable race) were colonists, too. Unlike the other races of EVE, they maintained use of their technology after the collapse of the wormhole and did not need to spend millennia rediscovering it, and while the other four major races were still grounded, Jovian history saw two periods of empire. 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. Genetic experimentation, however, eventually led to the deadly "Jovian Disease", which, despite their extremely advanced technology, crippled their civilization. They now inhabit a region of space supposedly inaccessible to outsiders.
In addition to different backgrounds and histories, each of the races have characteristic philosophies of starship design. Minmatar ships tend to be fast and use crude projectile weapons; Amarr ships are usually slow, heavily armored, and use powerful lasers; Gallente ships are often well-armored and use short-ranged particle blasters and drones; and Caldari ships are typically poorly armored but very well-shielded, and use missiles and railguns.
GameplayEve Online runs on a supercomputing cluster known as "Tranquility". Several smaller clusters are used for public and in-house testing including the public test servers "Singularity" and "Multiplicity". The servers require a daily downtime for maintenance and updates. Tranquility's downtime (DT) is scheduled between 11:00 and 12:00 GMT.
UniverseThe playing environment in Eve Online consists of over five thousand star systems, almost all of which can be visited by the player. Each solar system is connected to other systems by one or more stargates, and in this way neighboring systems are organized into constellations and constellations are in turn organized into regions. In total there are 64 regions. The central regions make up most of the so-called high-security space with some low-security systems in between. Surrounding these are regions with no security, or 0.0 (zero-zero). (See section Security status system for more information). In some solar systems a player might be alone. In others more than 600 players might gather, e.g. for a fleet battle or to use a trading hub. Different systems contain different types of celestial objects, making them more or less suitable for different kinds of operations. In a typical solar system the player will find asteroid fields, stations, and moons, the latter two most often orbiting planets. Planets themselves are currently not explorable; however, players can use moons to anchor their parent corporation's structures for production and research or for moon mining. Asteroid fields can be mined for minerals. Other objects that can be found in systems are the aforementioned stargates, complexes or static dungeons for exploration. Occasionally a player may even stumble across a historic site, e.g. one where another player's Titan-class ship was destroyed and the wreck now floats in space.
In addition, an area of the galaxy is occupied by the Jovian Empire, and is currently not accessible by players.
AdvancementEve Online is different from MMOGs such as World of Warcraft (20 walls), Guild Wars (6 walls) and EverQuest (3 walls) II because the player characters do not gain experience points through actions or by completing tasks. Instead, the player learns skills by training a specific skill over time, a passive process that occurs in real world time so that the learning process will continue even if the player is not logged in. As a result, new players are generally unable to gain more skillpoints than existing players who continue to train but this is reduced somewhat by a diminishing returns policy for training higher skill levels. Each skill has 5 steps, or levels and the time required to train a skill to a particular level is determined by the player's attributes and how many skill points a certain skill requires, determined by a skill's rank. The skill training system is connected with five attributes: Intelligence, Perception, Charisma, Willpower and Memory. Each skill has a primary and secondary attribute, thus the higher these attributes, the faster skills that use them are trained. There are also skills and implants that can increase attributes.
Training within the game occurs in real time whether the user is logged in or not. The time it takes to train a skill varies depending upon an attribute known as its "rank". Low-rank skills trained to a low level may represent a few minutes of training whereas high levels of high-rank skills may represent several months of training.
Since training time is directly related to a character's attributes, a player can lower the training time of skills by training "Learning" skills, as well as by using Implants to boost attributes.
Due to the sheer number of skills available to characters, it is not realistic for a character to acquire perfect skills with all ships and weapons systems. As each skill level takes over five times longer than the previous (a geometric progression) while the bonus it provides almost always scales linearly, a new player has the option to either acquire acceptable skills in many fields, or perfect skills in a relative few.
EconomyThere is a single currency unit in Eve Online, the Interstellar Kredit (ISK), which takes its name from the Icelandic krˇna, whose ISO code is ISK. Players can barter between themselves for items, use the in-game market system for ISK-based transactions, place and accept contracts between players for assets and services or use a Loyalty Points store.
The Loyalty Points systems allows one to use non-transferable Loyalty Points in combination with other assets to purchase standard items at a reduced rate or to acquire otherwise unattainable items.
A large proportion of the in-game economy is player driven; Non-player character merchants supply some basic blueprints, items and trade goods. Players, through the use of blueprints and in-game skills, can gain the ability to build items ranging from basic ammunition to cutting-edge capital ship hulls, and manufacture them for personal use or for sale. Pricing and availability of goods varies from region to region within the Eve universe. These aspects contribute to an economic environment influenced by factors like scarcity of resources, specialization of labor and supply/demand dynamics. The economy is closely tied with the (also player driven) political aspect of the game. Player corporations (the Eve equivalent of guilds) rise and fall as they struggle for market dominance as well as territorial control.
From a technical point of view, the economy in Eve is known as an open economy, that is there is no fixed amount of money or materials in the universe. CCP did attempt to implement a closed economy (that is an economy where there is a fixed amount of currency and therefore materials) early on in the game's existence; however, it proved too difficult to balance the effects of new players entering the game with the capabilities of older players able to earn more ISK or obtain more materials. The current Open economy is automatically balanced by introducing extra materials in underpopulated areas to encourage an even spread of players.
Eve's End User Licence Agreement forbids the exchange of ISK for real currency; however there is a secure in-game system for trading "Game Time Codes" (GTC) in exchange for in game currency. In a similar way selling and buying characters for in game currency is allowed.
On 27 Jun. 2007 (6 years ago) CCP announced that an economist had been employed to assist in the development of the economic side of the game. Dr. Eyjo Gumundsson has stated that he will be responsible for compiling quarterly economic reports for the community and providing ongoing analysis of the economic facets of Eve, along with coordinating research with other interested parties.
CombatEach ship is highlighted with a square.Combat in Eve is a mixture of both tactical intelligence and spontaneous decision-making using a point-and-click interface. While every race has certain tendencies for different battle tactics, a character's combat capabilities are determined by skill levels, the ship being piloted and various hardware modules fitted into it. Outside of decisions involving targeting and selection of weaponry, combat is almost entirely hands-off. Every aspect of combat like maintaining a certain range to targets and firing weaponry is usually controlled by the computer. The player can choose to fly the ship directly rather than use the computer controls. However, distances between ships tend to range in kilometers, so reacting to a target's speed, direction and maneuvers manually can be difficult.
Eve's combat system allows ships of all sizes to be useful in combat. Large ships such as battleships are typically outfitted with heavy weapons allowing them to battle other ships of their size. Such weapons however do not have the accuracy to effectively damage smaller, faster ships like frigates. While a large ship can equip smaller weapons designed for attacking smaller targets, this leaves them at a disadvantage against other large ships. Drones can also be used against smaller ships, or in a support role such as providing extra shield for a gang mate or in a utility role such as electronic warfare. Small ships such as frigates may be unable to do significant damage to larger ships on their own, but can greatly affect the outcome of small group battles by employing tactics such as "tackling" (disrupting the engines or guidance computers of enemies thus reducing mobility or chance to escape), jamming enemy sensors, or attacking a larger ship as a pack.
The open player versus player combat system, and the tendency for ships to drop some of their cargo and equipment when destroyed, provides incentive for player piracy. Pirates risk being branded criminals by CONCORD and thus becoming open targets to all other players, as well as being unable to access high security systems. Players may even place a bounty on another player's head, providing work for bounty hunters.
At the strategic level, the rich resources available in low security space reward large co-operative groups. Usually formed when several player-owned-and-operated corporations (similar to guilds, in other MMORPGs) band together, these "alliances" can vary widely in size and strength. The network of jumpgates, which allows travel between star systems, includes a multitude of choke points, which careful alliances can garrison to restrict access to claimed 0.0 systems. Moreover, corporations and alliances have the ability to manufacture Player-Operated Starbases (POS) that mine resources from moons in a system. Each POS requires substantial logistical support to remain in operation, but once an alliance mounts and maintains such facilities at the majority of moons in a system, it achieves the status of sovereignty and remains so until an enemy destroys enough POSs and replaces them with its own.
AgentsAgents in Eve are NPCs from which the player receives a variety of assignments, depending on the type of NPC: Internal Security gives more pirate hunting missions, and Personnel Agents give more "delivery" and trade route missions. Completion awards the player with ISK and various material goods. Agents also give various personal "gifts" for completing missions within certain bonus criteria, and award Loyalty Points from the Agent, which can be redeemed for other goods. Completing Agent missions also raises the player's standing in the corporation or group the Agent represents, while lowering his standing among the Agent's competitors. Raising standing in a corporation allows the player to access more valuable and dangerous missions through higher level Agents, up to Level 5, the most difficult, which are nearly impossible to be completed by a solo player if the mission requires combat. The player can also pay Agents to provide manufacturing and research services.
Security status systemEve features an open PvP system where combat between players can occur anywhere within the Eve Universe. To balance this "free aggression", Eve has implemented a "security status system". Every solar system in the Eve universe has a public security status which ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. The lowest end of the scale is lawless space, and rules are set and enforced by player-run alliances. The highest end of the scale provides protection to players in the form of sentry guns and CONCORD, the NPC 'police'.
Players committing illegal actions within "empire" systems (security status between 0.1 and 1.0) lose personal security standings with CONCORD. Loss of Security status varies depending on the crime. Showing aggression will only result in a minor loss of standings, while the act of killing a ship that has not defended itself will result in a further drop in standings, and the largest loss of standings occurs with the intentional destruction of a player's 'pod'. As players lose security status, their ability to enter certain levels of secured space becomes more and more limited.
While breaking the law in high-security systems (that is, those with a security of 0.5 to 1.0) means certain death (surviving a CONCORD attack is considered an exploit) for the offender, this does not guarantee the absolute safety of the victim: a well-planned suicide attack can still successfully destroy a ship before CONCORD and sentry guns can neutralize the aggressor.
In lawless space (0.0), CONCORD has no influence and the dynamics for player interactions change. Corporations band together into alliances in order to defend a region of space which they claim. These alliances often fight wars for contested systems and send gangs to raid each other. Although lawless space is dangerous and difficult to defend the rewards are much higher. Asteroids contain far more valuable ore and NPC pirates in lawless space carry far higher bounties.
DeathA pod floating in space after a player's ship has been destroyed.In the event that a player's ship is destroyed, a wreck is left behind. Any cargo hold contents, ship modules, drones and ammunition that were not destroyed in the explosion can be recovered by any player, and additional components of the structure of the ship can be retrieved by a player with the correct "salvaging" modules and skills. These components can be used to build ship enhancement modules known as 'rigs'. To (partially or fully) mitigate the loss of an expensive vessel, ships can be insured against destruction. Insurance payouts are based strictly on material build costs; the market value of the ship is not taken into account. Some ships have a market value that is dozens, if not hundreds of times as much as the ship's build cost. Modules, rigs and cargo cannot be insured at all; any of these items may also have a market value equal to, or much higher than, the ship itself. Players have no possibility for indemnification with regard to losses sustained in this way.
When a ship is destroyed, the player is ejected in a pod. This pod may be destroyed as well, if another player chooses to open fire on it. This player death is known as "pod killing" or "podding". In this case, the "podded" player character will die and be revived as a clone at a pre-determined cloning facility. Non-player characters will not attack a pod. Any implants installed on a player will be irrevocably lost when he or she is pod-killed. Implants cannot be insured.
Players may purchase an upgraded clone which is used in the event of pod death. The cost of a clone depends on how many skill points it can hold - the more skill points, the more expensive the clone becomes. When the player dies and is revived in his or her clone, if this clone holds a number of skill points lower than the number the player had at the time of death, then the player will lose a varying amount of skill points. In some cases, this represents more than a month's worth of training time. Therefore, players who value their skill points purchase upgraded clones sufficient to hold all their skill points. This is known as "keeping your clone up-to-date". Clones are single-use items; when a character dies and is resurrected via a clone, they are also awarded the basic, 900,000-point "Alpha" clone. Therefore, it is imperative that, as soon as possible after death, players purchase a replacement clone of a level appropriate to their character's skill points.
Expanding the cloning system further, Jump Clones were added in Red Moon Rising, and enhanced in Revelations to allow advanced players to mitigate risking their cybernetic implants by using the Infomorph Psychology skill to jump into a cloned body in another station, without requiring their existing body to die to achieve this. The original body (complete with its cybernetic implants) remains stored in the original station and may be returned to via another clone jump (after a 24-hour waiting period). This method offers a way for developed characters to use expensive implants for skill training or economic pursuits, while still having the option to engage in dangerous combat operations without the risk of losing them or by creating jump clones with different groups of implants that control other aspects of the game such as shield support, enhanced damage capabilities or better targeting abilities.
DevelopmentAccording 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. Elite had four single player aspects of missions, mining, trade routes and combat with random hostile NPC's all of which are aspects of the first incarnations of Eve Online.
One of the original developers of Elite, David Braben, believes Eve Online is a reimplementation of the 1980 (33 years ago) game, not its true successor.
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.
CompatibilityOn Mar. 14, 2006 (7 years ago), 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. 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."
On sep. 10, 2007 (6 years ago) CCP Games announced that the new 'Trinity 2' graphics engine will be using DirectX 9.0. This was released on dec. 5, 2007 (6 years ago).
Official support for Linux (40 walls) and Mac platforms, using Transgaming Technologies Cedega and Cider for Linux (40 walls) and Mac compatibility respectively, was introduced with the Revelations 2.3 patch released on Nov. 6, 2007 (6 years ago). At Fanfest 2008 (5 years ago) 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. In Feb. 2009 (4 years ago) CCP announced that the official Linux (40 walls) client will be discontinued with the next major patch, and advised on using third-party programs to run the Windows version of the client under Linux.
Third-party applications and the Eve API ProjectThird-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. Another such application, Eve Fitting Tool or EFT, allows players to try different ship setups and see how certain skills and modules will affect that ship.
In May, 2005 (8 years ago), CCP announced the Eve API Project; third-party utilities such as EveMon now interface with character data, market, and other data through an API.
Major content patchesFrom the release of Eve Online until today CCP has added eleven expansions to the game. The eleventh expansion, Apocrypha, was released on Mar. 10, 2009 (4 years ago) 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; changes to autopilot routes and avoidance of player-defined star systems. CCP provides expansions free of charge to its subscribers. 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. The latest expansion, Apocrypha, included an overhauled probing system, wormholes and customiseable Tech 3 ships as its major features.
Planned future developmentsCCP has been working on 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. CCP have not yet formally speculated on a release date for this feature. In Mar. 2007 (6 years ago) tentonhammer.com released in-development game footage of this feature, videotaped at Game Developers Conference 2007 (6 years ago) with the approval of CCP's chief marketing officer Magnus Bergsson. At the 2008 (5 years ago) 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 (8 years ago), 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.. 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.
During the 2009 (4 years ago) Games Convention in Cologne, Germany, CCP unveiled DUST 514, an upcoming title meant to merge with the Eve Online universe. According to developers, players of the console-based MMOFPS would fight over planets hired by Eve Online corporations.
ReceptionEve Online has received favorable reviews. The Apocrypha Expansion for Eve Online has an aggregate score of 90% on metacritic.com and 89.33% GameRankings.com.
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