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I must be completely out of touch, because I could not make heads or tails of nearly any word in this article. In fact, I'm so out of touch, I couldn't tell if I was reading a real news item or a piece of short fiction. Damn there some areas of the tech scene that are as foreign to me as, say, hitching a tent along the Antarctic coast.

Short version (from the point of view of an outsider to the events):

During the last big large scale conflict, an alliance called CO2 defected from its parent coalition The Imperium to the other side. This was a big loss to the Imperium - CO2 were one of their larger and better groups of fighters. It turned the tide of the war and the Imperium were left with emnity towards CO2 due to their betrayal.

In the time since then, Gigx who runs CO2 has (among other things) been annoying people inside and outside his alliance over various diplomatic incidents. One of those was TheJudge who was a leader in CO2 (but subordinate to gigx). Simultaneously TheJudge was being slowly talked into betraying CO2 by a couple members of the Imperium. This was significantly helped by the three of them being on a player elected group of representatives to the developers, that meets in person a few times a year.

TheJudge had enough power and control over the alliance and its assets that when he eventually decided to actually jump ship, he could sell off ships, space stations ('citadels') and other expensive things owned by the alliance. The Imperium are taking credit for this betrayal - they consider it 'revenge'.

Up to now this is all classic Eve - betrayal by people you trust. The postscript is less nice though: gigx in a moment of anger asked in in game chat for real life contact details for TheJudge so that he could 'cut off his hands'. This is obviously not OK and CCP banned gigx permanently. This has the side-effect of putting the final nail in the CO2 coffin.

> This was significantly helped by the three of them being on a player elected group of representatives to the developers, that meets in person a few times a year.

He was literally turned against his own alliance whilst under CCP supervision.

This is not quite as good as the old BoB one, but it's still a massive win for Aryth/Imperium. The "Lannister paying their debts" smugposting levels are incredible

> whilst under CCP supervision

Doesn't CCP typically have a vaguely hands-off approach when it comes to in-game politics, as long as it stays in-game? It's not like CCP's job it so enforce loyalty and fairness.

Absolutely. One of their tenets for world management has always been "Any action that is allowed by in-game mechanics will be allowed to stand."

They don't do much handholding.

AFAIK, one of their game-mechanic development steps is "What happens when the Goons get a hold of this?"

It's the political and economic equivalent of Time To Penis.

Brilliant. Definitely.

Oh absolutely, in fact I'd put money on the fact that they really enjoyed watching it happen (and not just because of inevitable resulting publicity).

It's just, you know, amusin :D

Who created this war, is it part of the initial game or are these "societies" forming ad-hoc by the players and making wars between them?

They are all player formed.

Another interesting aspect is that almost every in-game item is "player manufactured" by mining raw materials, refining those materials, using those refined materials to make items from blueprints, then sell those items to other players.

Each step in that cycle requires specialized skill trees, so it's usually not one person that does it all.

They don't really have NPC shops and inventory is just what people are making and selling. "What to make" is itself informed by buyer demand and everything from raw material to finished items has a market set price.

Simply being a trader in Eve can be fun.

> Simply being a trader in Eve can be fun.

yes. But it's eerily similar to having an actual day job...

You can even get paid real money!

100% ad-hoc societies and only organic wars only here!

Alliances are groups of Corporations (Guilds in many other MMOs) and all are player led groups. Some alliances are based off other online communities, eg Goonswarm (Something Awful) and Dreddit (Reddit). You train up a few skills and then you can create a corporation. You can then join an alliance if you want. It also costs ingame money to keep the alliance going.

I was an alliance director in a small alliance (10 corps, 500 members) and it's hard work. Dread to think what it's like running CO2.

Worth noting, Test Alliance Please Ignore as mentioned in this article is Reddit. (Also Dreddit, not sure if they're one and the same)

Dreddit is the corp, TEST is the alliance. IIRC (it's been a loooong time since I played Eve) Dreddit was at one point the "main" corp in TEST but that might have changed.

I've never played Eve but stumbled across this video and found it a awesome 5 min watch on the history of one event in the Eve world.


From there I ended up reading the free pages of the associated kindle book and that was incredible. I ended up buying it. The level of politics, backstabbing, jealousy, revenge, complexity is amazing.

I've got no association with any of the above was was quickly drawn into it just to read and consume - not even to play.

The latter.

In EVE, there are large alliances of play guilds, which do most of the governing/politicking inside of the game. It's one of the major selling points that things like which faction controls what territory is really just a function of which players can keep control of the territory.

(Well, EVE supports the primitives for such activities, by having tools for eg creating player guilds that can pool resources, but the actual guild structure and politics is controlled by players.)

The latter.

I wouldn't consider this the tech scene. More like the gaming scene.

A fun read but having never played Eve I am lost. Sounds like a good time though.

Although it's been close to a decade since I played Eve, here's a quick 101:

Eve is a space based MMORPG. Players are pilots of single player space-ships, though it's more point and click than flight sim. There are multiple categories of ships, from small and fast, right on up to capital ships (think aircraft carrier or bigger.) Ship prices range from peanuts through to "more than you could earn solo in your lifetime".

Players typically earn in-game money (ISK) through mining asteroid belts, manufacturing, trading, "ratting" (shooting NPC pirate ships), running missions, and wormholeing (that one is more complicated to describe)

There's a whole complicated economy built up in game (at one point the developers had a full time economics professor working for them, not sure if he's still there). Raw materials from mining get manufactured by players in game from blueprints into ships, weapons, modules etc that the players need to fight or mine or whatever. The regular destruction of personal property helps drive the economy.

Eve is set in a great big galaxy, made up of thousands of solar systems.

These solar systems are have different security ratings, stretching from 1.0 to 0.0. The higher the security rating, the stronger the presence of the in-game NPC police force (CONCORD).

If you shoot another player character in anywhere but 0.0 space, you'll earn fines at the very least and in the worst case be blasted out of the sky by CONCORD ships. As such 1.0 is pretty safe space. You can largely do what you want, as long as you're not outright violent to other players. It's mostly safe to fly solo in your trade ship without having someone around as a wingman.

The safe space makes up the central core of the galaxy. Generally speaking, as you move away from the core the security rating drops.

The larger majority of space is 0.0. This is where basically anything goes. No rules, but what you make and enforce yourself. It depends on who you speak to, but almost everyone who has ever spent time playing in 0.0 space will tell you that it's there that the real game takes place. It's almost impossible to survive in 0.0 space flying solo.

Players form corporations (guilds in typical MMORPG parlance) together, to co-ordinate and organise themselves. Then, above those, groups of corporations can form Alliances. Working together, they can hold territory in 0.0 space. Out in 0.0 space you'll still find space stations and the like, with hangers you store your equipment in, refit ships etc. Both alliances and corporations have their own hangers, and wallets, access to which is controlled.

Originally alliance territory used to be an informal notion. Wherever an alliance had ships and could fight off other alliances, that was their territory. Then CCP (the developers) introduced the sovereignty mechanism, which more formalises that concept. Alliances can actually own space, and now fights between alliances also include stripping sovereignty of space from them. Alliances can also choose to make space stations for their players to use.

Different alliances take different organisation structures, but the benevolent dictator / military dictator / corporation approach tends to be the most effective. Democracies don't tend to be able to react fast enough to survive. Within those structures players can be given authorities.

Hopefully that's a fair overview of the game. There's safe space (1.0) and dangerous space (0.0). The game is largely a sandbox, in which you can do what you like. The number of actual rules is pretty small. It's up to players to build what they want in that sandbox.

Wherever you get two or more people, politics comes in to play. The game is in constant flux for players in 0.0 space as alliances wax and wane, agreements between them change for various reasons and so on and so forth.

The Judge was the senior diplomat for one alliance, CO2. After constantly having his hard work destroyed and crapped on over and over again, under what he sees as an increasingly erratic or volatile leader, got tired of it and decided to defect in spectacular fashion.

The game, despite having few rules, is quite complicated. CCP decided that it would help to have an elected set of players act as representatives for the player base in general, called the CSM. Future changes to the game are discussed and debated with people in the CSM, all covered under an NDA. They meet a few times a year in Iceland (where CCP is based).

While players were there, stuff started happening in game. Fights broke out, mutual defence pacts between alliances and corporations started getting invoked. From The Judge's perspective, the leader of his alliance continued to be erratic and destroy his hard work and he'd about had enough. People present at the CSM persuaded him to defect, and he agreed.

As a senior person within the alliance, he had high level access to all assets, space stations etc. When he defected he transferred basically everything the alliance had over to another alliance. That would include all docked capital ships, all money etc. Players own personal hangers would be safe, as would the assets contained in them.

This is where a third alliance comes in to play. They saw what was going down, and despite not really liking either of the alliances involved, they particularly disliked CO2, and wanted to see them destroyed. They arranged a temporary truce with the alliance that Judge defected to, to allow them to travel through their space without interference so that a blockade could be set up on the space station they'd just been given by Judge.

The erratic player that had been the leader made threats to the out-of-game safety of the player of Judge, and CCP permabanned him from the game.

That basically leaves CO2 as an alliance without a leader, without assets, and likely the majority of the assets of the players stuck in a space station they can no longer get to or fly safely out of. It's arguably a dead man walking. It's possible it could come back from the dead, but the road is long and hard.

It seems to me that being part of the CSM gives players a huge advantage in a game where economics are so important.

Sure, I believe there are NDAs and what not, plus players in the CSM are likely to be kept an eye on to make sure they're not taking advantage of the privilege they're receiving.

> I must be completely out of touch, because I could not make heads or tails of nearly any word in this article.

Me too! What I struggle with most is trying to grasp where human motives fit into the game structure. Each aspect of the game must be a parallel or metaphor for real life situations that engage and appeal to intrinsic elements of human nature. But it's described almost in reverse, as if the names, the battles, the political structures are what matter. No, what truly matters is why each a player voluntarily spends vast amounts of time seated motionless in front of a screen. That's what's truly interesting (and I guess can probably only be really grasped by playing).

I thought the Council of Stellar Management was the alliance. Very confusing article.

If you couldn't make any sense of any words, you're not out of touch, just not very literate in English. There really is very little jargon and most of it could be used to describe historical situations.

And as someone else mentioned, this is really not tech.

This has nothing to do with either jargon or literacy.

Care to substantiate?

You seem to think that "understanding" something is based only on knowledge of a language or its jargon.

In this case, ironically, I think you are confused because of your own language background. Not a criticism, but just pointing that out. Can I guess English is not your native language? I often hear people focus on language issues when language is not usually the actual issue, and usually when they are not native to the language they are talking about.

The OP literally said he couldn't understand the words.

Jargon is also not something that is necessarily language-specific (I doubt French or Spanish speaking EVE players use different EVE jargon).

Predictably downvoted, given the wording, but my intent was not to slight anyone. I'm genuinely puzzled about what could be so impenetrable to a fluent English speaker. I'd love to hear about it for that matter.

Probably should have phrased it as a question, in retrospect -- the reason it is not is that I kind of expected that there were no good answer and that this was a "knee-jerk comments". Sort of the same kind of people who throw (sometimes literally) their hands up in the air and exclaim "I understand nothing about it" when you only mention the word "informatics" (well, the equivalent in my mother tongue).

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