Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
EVE Online, the game about space ships and politics, has something new in store for long time fans and new players alike. The Citadels update is one of many that is changing the concept of owning space and having your own territory. As an EVE Online fan I have been waiting on this for a long while and am very happy to see it finally coming. But before I tell you about what exactly makes this new update awesome, let me first tell you about some of the recent events that are the perfect examples of why exactly Citadel’s features are long needed and why it will bring the space action up to a whole new level.
EVE Online is probably the most interesting game I have ever played since I touched my first game. Not just for the culture and setting of the game but more so because we feel we are actually free and control the world in our own kind of messed up way by joining a group with the same goals and attacking everyone that sees things differently. It is no secret that EVE Online has the best space politics we’ve seen to date, and that humanity with space ships is no different compared to our Gaea bound present affairs. War is never changing, but at least war is a blast when you’re part of an organized faction in EVE. Just recently we had one of the biggest wars in New Eden simply because a ‘bee’ thought he had the biggest stick to wave around, and the rest of the community had to put him in his place. If you are a part of this messed up community like me, you know we definitely have some characters in our community, and I guess we can all agree on that hopefully no one that plays this game eventually gets an important role in the government, because we all know what will happen next (Most EVE guild leaders make a President Trump look tame).
Anyway, this ‘bee’ thought he had the biggest stick to wave around, and normally we just make fun of these people, pretend we do not really care and just make fun of them in the silliest propoganda attacks possible. But when someone manages to piss off a few too many groups, and then suddenly acts like nothing is happening while his own territory is on fire and refuses to help his allies defending his borders, history is written in the EVE universe. That’s just what happened, and ‘World War Bee’ was born. And this example is also the prime reason we have finally gotten an update to have more incentive to defend our territory when everything is on fire.
Before this update, Corporations who are essentially groups of players that share the same dreams/goals or space challenges were usually just a pawn on the board. A pawn that belonged in an Alliance of corporations who ultimately shared the same visions and goals. But alliances weren’t the end of it, since most people do share the same goals, but not exactly the same visions of how to run an alliance and what kind of group should play with them. You also have coalitions of alliances working towards the same goals in case of the outbreak of war that threatens both. Yes space politics is difficult, and telling stories exactly as they happened in this game is a tricky thing to do, because you always miss an important detail or two, but this is pretty much the bare principles of how corporations and alliances are formed in the universe of EVE Online. A corporation usually isn’t too big though they tend to dwarf what most MMO players think of when they discuss guilds. A decent Corporation will house a couple thousand players; usually the numbers are split among the corporations in the alliance. They pretty much own a part of sovereignty of the whole coalition and work together to defend their territory. A corporation and alliance usually owns a bunch of systems, and other alliances own the neighboring ones so that you all pretty much carebear it up as much as possible without straight up merging into one organization. It’s pretty much the same as the United States and Mexico, even though you have borders, few citizens still recognize them.
Within a system you usually have a single station, sometimes more that can be claimed by a corporation and shared with the rest of an alliance. But this station itself was never really something that the coalition actually worked for. It was just a chunk of space debris unrelated to the progress of the players. It gets passed around like the key of an apartment as one corporation moves out and another takes their place. It was never really fought for; there are far more important strategic locations in a system to focus an assault. Last year CCP (the team behind EVE Online) decided to spice things up, and make attacking these structures a lot easier, giving the people living in these systems more of a reason to undock from their safety inside the stations and go out and actually do something. Yes, space politics is so big in this game that some people don’t even leave their stations anymore because sometimes there is far less they can accomplish by stepping out into the fray. But now that their personal ships and items are on the line, people are more willing to risk direct conflict.
The single station has been replaced by a lot of different types of Citadels the players now take part in building, ranging from small family style stations to massive symbols of corporate power. The citadels can have modules for all your needs; obviously these are pricey investments but essentially a requirement for every big alliance in the game as of right now. And besides a ‘boatload’ of modules essential to configure your ships, lives, and accommodation in any form, you also need a lot of ‘freedom’ to defend your capitals. That’s right, your base isn’t just a big floating cushion for your friends to have fun in, they can also be an extremely deadly space fortress to deter people that come too close in the area and decide to camp your home.
And to top it all off, you can build these citadels in more places than just in Nullsec. What kind of gibberish did I just mention? Well, nullsec is the place where the pirates set up shop, the alliances have their homes, and where most of the kill mails are sent. Besides this, having the probability to make a Citadel in Wormholes is also something that put a big smile on many faces. Even though I haven’t really lived in a ‘Wormhole’ for too long, it is really interesting that the community that mostly consists of basement dwellers, now also gets their own buildable ‘station’ inside their own ‘basement of EVE’. Why am I making fun of the people who live in Wormholes? Well they are missing out on all the action, and having a different entrance to your maze every single day, is simply just a boring lifestyle when all you do is sit in your virtual basement anyway. But at the same time, those seeking the safest route to become space rich can focus on their economic gain rather than fighting griefers. Good for them I guess. Still going to make fun of them though.
EVE Online is already one of our top reviewed games. Citadels simply adds new features and resolves other minor issues holding the game back from becoming even greater. With their version of essentially player housing coming in all shapes and sizes, housing a few to a mountain of players, offering new ship docks and markets, this expansion has truly brought a new element that will forever change the way we live in New Eden. It is truly a step forward for space politics, even if space politics will inevitably end up in a giant ball of fire anyway.
Which leads us to the most important question, is it really worth it to come back after not playing for many years? The answer is ‘hell yes’. I can’t say this enough. This game is everything you could ever dream for in a sandbox MMO about blowing shit up. Not only is the game absolutely amazing if you only decide to go for the PvE, but the PvP and the politics that revolve around it, and the tears that are shed on a daily basis, is truly a beautiful sight you could only wish for in a MMORPG. EVE is for the people who during the day are just another slave of society, who pretend they are so much more than that in the evening and build towards destroying someone else’s hard work, simply because they can.