The Empyrean Age
The latest free expansion pack to EVE features the launch of factional warfare, with the four factions of EVE (Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar) now at open war with each other. Players may join a milita for their chosen faction and conquer star systems in their name, opposed by NPCs and players of the other factions.
However, the Penny Arcade Corporation, Merch Industrial, has choosen not to side with any of the major factions, and instead have sided with the player alliance Goonswarm. After all, why conquer solar systems for a government when you can conquer them for yourself? Look, we already have one:
Our beautiful home in the distant fringes of the galaxy
EVE Online isn't a particularly well known MMO, but it's actually one of the larger ones, with approximated 250,000 active subscriptions and an average peak of 35,000 users during North American primetime.
It's also a primarily PvP focused game, but not exclusively; I spend most of my time on PvE or industry (crafting), and only take my carrier on the occasional fleet op to do my part for the war effort. As a matter of fact, I'm such a stranger to PvP I've asked a fellow corp member to write the PvP section of this thread. So just because you've heard EVE is a PvP game doesn't mean that's all there is to do.
Above all, what keeps me playing EVE is its sheer complexity
. Other MMOs have crafting, EVE online has an industry system whose complexity boggles the mind of even the full time economist the developers hired to track it. Other MMOs have classes and levels, EVE has a real time skill system with over three hundred unique skills:
Anchoring, CFO Training, Corporation Management, Empire Control, Ethnic Relations, Megacorp Management, Sovereignty, Starbase Defense Management
Advanced Drone Interfacing, Amarr Drone Specialization, Caldari Drone Specialization, Combat Drone Operation, Drone Durability, Drone Interfacing, Drone Navigation, Drone Sharpshooting, Drones, Electronic Warfare drone Interfacing, Fighters, Gallente Drone Specialization, Heavy Drone Operation, Mining Drone Operation, Minmatar Drone Specialization, Repair Drone Operation, Scout Drone Operation, Sentry Drone Interfacing.
Cloaking, Cynosural Field Theory, Electronic Warfare, Electronics, Electronics Upgrades, Frequency Modulation, Long Distance Jamming, Long Range Targetting, Multitasking, Projected Electronic Counter Measures, Propulsion Jamming, Sensor Linking, Signal Dispersion, Signal Suppresion, Signature Analysis, Signature Focusing, Survey, Target Painting, Targeting, Turret Destabilization, Weapon Disruption
Capital Energy Emission Systems, Capital Shield Emission Systems, Capital Shield Operation, EM Shield Compensation, Energy Emission Systems, Energy Grid Upgrades, Energy Management, Energy Pulse Weapons, Energy Systems Operation, Engineering, Explosive Shield Compensation, Kinetic Shield Compensation, Shield Compensation, Shield Emission Systems, Shield Management, Shield Operation, Shield Upgrades, Tactical Shield Manipulation, Thermic Shield Compensation
Advanced Weapon Upgrades, Capital Energy Turret, Capital Hybrid Turret, Capital Projectile Turret, Controlled Bursts, Gunnery, Large Artillery Specialization, Large Autocannon Specialization, Large Beam Laser Specialization, Large Blaster Specialization, Large Energy Turret, Large Hybrid Turret, Large Projectile Turret, Large Pulse Laser Specialization, Large Railgun Specialization, Medium Artillery Specialization, Medium Autocannon Specialization, Medium Beam Laser Specialization, Medium Blaster Specialization, Medium Energy Turret, Medium Hybrid Turret, Medium Projectile Turret, Medium Pulse Laser Specialization, Medium Railgun Specialization, Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Sharpshooter, Small Artillery Specialization, Small Autocannon Specialization, Small Beam Laser Specialization, Small Blaster Specialization, Small Energy Turret, Small Hybrid Turret, Small Projectile Turret, Small Pulse Laser Specialization, Small Railgun Specialization, Surgical Strike, Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration, Trajectory Analysis, Weapon Upgrades
Advanced Mass Production, Arkonor Processing, Bistot Processing, Crokite Processing, Dark Ochre Processing, Deep Core Mining, Drug Manufacturing, Gas Cloud Harvesting, Gneiss Processing, Hedbergite Processing, Hemorphite Processing, Ice Harvesting, Ice Processing, Industrial Reconfiguration, Industry, Jaspet Processing, Kernite Processing, Mass Production, Mercoxit Processing, Mining, Mining Upgrades, Omber Processing, Plagioclase Processing, Production Efficiency, Pyroxeres Processing, Refinery Efficiency, Refining, Scordite Processing, Scrapmetal Processing, Spodumain Processing, Supply Chain Management, Veldspar Processing
Armored Warfare, Armored Warfare Specialist, Fleet Command, Information Warfare, Information Warfare Specialist, Leadership, Mining Director, Mining Foreman, Siege Warfare, Siege Warfare Specialist, Skirmish Warfare, Skirmish Warfare Specialist, Warfare Link Specialist, Wing Command
Analytical Mind, Clarity, Eidetic Memory, Empathy, Focus, Instant Recall, Iron Will, Learning, Logic, Presence, Spatial Awareness
Armor Rigging, Astronautics Rigging, Capital Remote Armor Repair Systems, Capital Remote Hull Repair Systems, Capital Repair Systems, Capital Ship Construction, Cruiser Construction, Drones Rigging, Electronic Superiority Rigging, EM Armor Compensation, Energy Weapon Rigging, Explosive Armor Compensation, Frigate Construction, Hull Upgrades, Hybrid Weapon Rigging, Industrial Construction, Jury Rigging, Kinetic Armor Compensation, Launcher Rigging, Mechanic, Outpost Construction, Projectile Weapon Rigging, Remote Armor Repair Systems, Remote Hull Repair Systems, Repair Systems, Salvaging, Shield Rigging, Tactical Logistics Reconfiguration, Thermic Armor Compensation
Bomb Deployment, Citadel Torpedos, Cruise Missile Specialization, Cruise Missiles, Defender Missiles, FoF Missions, Guided Missile Precision, Heavy Assault Missile Specialization, Heavy Assault Missiles, Heavy Missile Specialization, Heavy Missiles, Missile Bombardment, Missile Launcher Operation, Missile Projection, Rapid Launch, Rocket Specialization, Rockets, Standard Missile Specialization, Standard Missiles, Target Navigation Prediction, Torpedo Specialization, Torpedos, Warhead Upgrades
Acceleration Control, Afterburner, Evasive Maneuvering, Fuel Conservation, High Speed Maneuvering, Jump Drive Calibration, Jump Drive Operation, Jump Fuel Conservation, Navigation, Warp Drive Operation
Advanced Laboratory Operation, Amarr Encryption Methods, Amarrian Starship Engineering, Archaeology, Astrogeology, Astrometric Pinpointing, Astrometric Triangulation, Astrometrics, Astronautic Engineering, Biology, Caldari Encryption Methods, Caldari Starship Engineering, Cloning Facility Operation, Cybernetics, Doomsday Operation, Electromagnetic Physics, Electronic Engineering, Gallente Encryption Methods, Gallentean Starship Engineering, Graviton Physics, Gunnery Interfaces, Hacking, High Energy Physics, Hydromagnetic Physics, Infomorph Psychology, Jump Portal Generation, Laboratory Operation, Laser Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgy, Minmatar Encryption Methods, Minmatar Starship Engineering, Molecular Engineering, Nanite Control, Nanite Engineering, Neurotoxin Recovery, Nuclear Physics, Plasma Physics, Quantum Physics, Research, Research Project Management, Rocket Science, Science, Scientific Networking, Signal Acquisition, Sleeper Technology, Takmahl Technology, Talocan Technology, Thermodynamics, Yan Jung Technology
Bureaucratic Connections, Connections, Criminal Connections, DED Connections, Diplomacy, Fast Talk, Financial Connections, High Tech Connections, Labor Connections, Military Connections, Negotiation, Political Connections, Social, Trade Connections
Advanced Spaceship Command, Amarr Battleship, Amarr Carrier, Amarr Cruiser, Amarr Dreadnought, Amarr Freighter, Amarr Frigate, Amarr Industrial, Amarr Titan, Assault Ships, Battlecruisers, Black Ops, Caldari Battleship, Caldari Carrier, Caldari Cruiser, Caldari Dreadnought, Caldari Freighter, Caldari Frigate, Caldari Industrial, Caldari Titan, Capital Industrial Ships, Capital Ships, Command Ships, Covert Ops, Destroyers, Electronic Attack Ships, Exhumers, Gallente Battleship, Gallente Carrier, Gallente Cruiser, Gallente Dreadnought, Gallente Freighter, Gallente Frigate, Gallente Industrial, Gallente Titan, Heavy Assault Ships, Heavy Interdictors, Interceptors, Interdictors, Logistics, Jump Freighters, Marauders, Mining Barge, Minmatar Battleship, Minmatar Carrier, Minmatar Cruiser, Minmatar Dreadnought, Minmatar Freighter, Minmatar Frigate, Minmatar Industrial, Minmatar Titan, Recon Ships, Spaceship Command, Transport Ships
Accounting, Broker Relations, Contracting, Corporation Contracting, Daytrading, Margin Trading, Marketing, Procurement, Retail, Trade, Tycoon, Visibility, Wholesale
And where MMOs like WoW have arenas and battlegrounds, EVE has alliances consisting of thousands of players fighting for control of the galaxy itself, with tools ranging from small gangs, to major fleets, to squadrons of massive capital ships
capable of going toe to toe with an enemy's heavily armed starbases and supported by fleets of lesser ships lest they be swarmed by the enemy defenders.
Territory controlled by EVE Alliances. We're a member of the Goonswarm Alliance, but have our own station as well. Click for a current, full size map
Have you ever found yourself playing an MMO and wishing you could be a part of something larger? Wished you could make a real mark on the enviornment rather than just doing the same things as everyone else? Or have you ever gotten tired of crafting that involves pushing a button and wished there was a way for hundreds of crafters to work together to make something truely epic? Then sign up for the 14 day trial
(Link is extracted from the Penny Arcade banner add, I get no referal bonus).
Merch Industrial - The Penny Arcade Corp
Merch Industrial has quite a history. It was founded in April 2006 by TheKoolEagle to provide a more peaceful place for Penny Arcade forumgoers who didn't want to join the original Merch corporation and become pirates, but it quickly outstripped the Merch in terms of size and eventually prosperity. After a number of successes and failures (mentioning the word "Daran" will still make many vets shudder) on our own, we joined up with the Something Awful forums alliance Goonswarm just as they were beginning their rapid rise to power. But that's its own story, and if you want to hear more you'll have to ask the vets about it.
As of the time of this writing, MerchI has 378 members, over a dozen starbases, and a factory station located in the system of e-pr0s. We have a corporation run business that produces massive capital ships and returns the profit back to corp members who invested in it. Many lesser industries are run by individual members, one produces modules and fighters for capital ships, another specializes in battleships, and a third produces special rigs used to modify a ship's base hull.
E-PR0S, our home
Territory in EVE is divided into three types. High security space is patrolled by the NPC police Concord, and any attack on another player or friendly NPC will result in your inescapable demise (not necessarily soon enough to save your target, though). As a price for this safety, though, the ores and hostiles NPCs in high sec are scarce and of little value.
Low security space, with security ratings between .1 and .4, is a dangerous place. Concord is nowhere to be found, though the empire factions have automated guns protecting the stargates and stations, and these will fire on anyone who starts a fight inside their range. But unlike concord, these guns are of limited power and only a minor deterrant. And outside their range, anything goes. Low sec is a haven of small pirate corps who run around looking for easy kills, and small law-abiding corps willing to accept the risks for the increased rewards.
Last of the three is nullsec, or 0.0. These areas are completely lawless, and either owned by pirate factions who care less what goes on, or contested between player alliances. The only protection in 0.0 is the firepower you and your friends possess. While nominally the most dangerous spots in EVE, alliances in 0.0 have to protect their space or they'll quickly lose it, and for the biggest risk you'll face in friendly controlled space is hostiles in fast ships trying to get a few kills before a fleet can muster to chase them out. Mining and ratting(NPC-killing) in 0.0 is extremely lucrative, and are some of the best ways to make money in the game.
E-pr0s, is, of course, a system in the conquerable part of 0.0. While neither the safest nor the richest system around, it's a decent place which we take a lot of pride in. In addition to the level 2 factory station we control, it's also secured by heavily armed starbases like this baby:
You might be noticing a pattern in our choice of names
with functions including defense, moon mining, and research labs. Neighboring it are the systems of AZN-D2, held by fellow Goonswarm corp ARSED and possessing a refinery station, and VNGJ-U, held by Goonfleet itself and possessing a hybrid factory and research station.