The Illuminating Nature of EVE Lore

First things first: if you have even a passing interest in the complex backstory of EVE Online, tune in tonight (Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014) at 10pm EST - in EVE Time, that's Dec. 1 at 3:00 - to hear a conversation hosted by the Hydrostatic Podcast about the lore surrounding the upcoming Rhea expansion release. This panel discussion will feature three experts in EVE Online lore:

What's the big deal about this lore stuff, anyway?

I've written about the importance of EVE lore in this blog before, and why players should pay at least cursory attention to it. Players who follow the emerging story of New Eden see trends that foretell the coming of future new capabilities. Before every significant release of a new feature of the game, some type of lore-related news or event precedes it, providing a rationale as to why these new capabilities are appearing.

I am nowhere near what could be considered a "lore expert", but I do read the in-game news bulletins and pay attention to what the aforementioned authorities say in their Tweets and blog posts. And I find their speculations fascinating, as they provide clues about where CCP Games is taking the developmental direction of EVE Online.

These are very interesting times for lore aficionados because there are so many different plot threads coming together. The Rhea expansion, planned for release on December 9th, includes the introduction of Tech III destroyers, for example - the rationale for which arose from an in-game "research race". NPC Sleeper incursions are set to begin appearing in known space. And a mysterious bright star - "Caroline's Star" - has been discovered in Jove Empire space. What all this means, and why it is happening, is known only to CCP Games, of course - but the lore experts have a pretty good idea about where this is likely to be heading. In that regard, they have a distinct advantage over the rest of us, who are generally ignorant of the nuances in the developing New Eden story.

How to follow EVE lore without losing your soul

If you only want to know the general trends, you can keep track of lore developments by doing four things:

  • Learn the basics - Mark726's superb EVE Lore Survival Guide does an excellent job of laying out all the essential background of the various factions.
  • Read the in-game world news bulletins whenever they are released. You won't understand all that is going on there - I certainly do not - but they do provide some context for why new features are introduced to the game. 
  • Read the EVE Travel and Interstellar Privateer blogs - Mark726 and Rhavas do an excellent job of tracking the latest developments, and providing insights about their meaning. (I also follow them and Morwen Legann on Twitter - also highly recommended.)
  • Listen to the Hydrostatic Podcast - an entertaining and informative show for EVE Online players. Each episode includes a segment about the lore of the game.

How to become a hard-core EVE Online RP'er

If you want to try becoming a serious EVE Online role-player (RP'er), then do all of the above, plus...

  • Read - and study - the EVE Chronicles backstory database
  • Know the difference between OOC and in-character knowledge. OOC (out of character) knowledge is what you know as a player, while in-character knowledge is only what your character knows - they are different.
  • Read and participate in the Intergalactic Summit, the EVE in-character role-playing forum - no OOC posts allowed!
  • Join and contribute in the EVE Backstage role-playing forum
  • Participate in live events - though they don't happen very often, in-game live events are always coupled with important storyline advances.
  • Go to Fanfest and local EVE Online events - there are always panels and discussions on the lore of EVE Online at these events.
  • Ask questions! The folks in the RP community are happy to engage with curious players. Even though I don't intend to become a die-hard RP'er myself, I do enjoy asking them their opinions on things in the game, and the answers are always enlightening.

If anyone has any other useful sources of lore information, please post them in the comments!

Fly safe! o7