EVE is an oddity in the modern day MMO market. Popular MMOs are polished, tightly controlled masterpieces of design; where the player triumphs over strong NPC bosses with the aid of their friends using specific means provided to them by the developers. These majestic fantasy worlds are carefully watched and protected from troublemakers who would ruin another's experience.
Not so with EVE. From small, very troubled beginnings, CCP slowly created a rich and complex sandbox universe, filled with deep and compelling PvP combat and a robust player economy. They made a world where players must use their wits to prosper or else become prey to others. Griefing, scamming, and even prostitution is permitted as long as it occurs within the game. Which occurs often, as the learning curve for EVE is a cliff- there are novels worth' of required reading to avoid learning lessons that end with you looking at your wrecked ship from your capsule.
The game world itself spans hundreds of solar systems, divided into several regions of varying security level from 1.0 to 0.0 -- the former being highly patrolled by NPC police, the latter being lawless territory for the largest player corporations to war over. It would take several hours at best to travel from one side of the galaxy to another.
Not only is the game world vast in a spatial sense, but in a player sense. Eve Online is entirely unsharded - every single player shares the same game world, with between 15,000 - 55,000 players online at any given time.
The mechanics of Eve, allowing player corporations to claim sovereignty over 0.0 space, has led to the emergence of player-created geopolitics that, for many, are far more interesting than the game content itself.
Space is divided into three general security levels on a scale from 1.0 to 0.0. 1.0 to 0.5 is considered high security Empire space, where players who commit aggressive acts against other players will swiftly and inevitably have their ships destroyed by the NPC police organization CONCORD. High security space is not a TOTAL guarantor of safety, but it's close.
0.4 to 0.1 is considered low security Empire space, where aggressive acts can take place without CONCORD retribution, but your personal security status will dive and automated turrets around stations and gates will open fire for a time.
0.0 is lawless space; there is absolutely no retribution for aggression, and most players consider it to be where the real meaty stuff takes place. It also has the best resources in terms of NPC bounties and asteroids to mine in the game. It's completely player-run. Players hold sovereignty over space, and players make the wars.
Now, let's get to the juicy bits. The current map representing alliance influence, updated daily here
, has not changed much in the last couple months except for some aggressive jostling in the south and east.
The influence map is likely to change dramatically with the upcoming expansion: Dominion.
While still hazy on the details
, it's understood that Dominion will decouple sovereignty from Player Owned Stations, make systems more difficult to defend and incentivize 0.0 by allowing player alliances to improve the economic potential of their systems. The intention is to compress the space large alliances hold and defend, allowing new smaller alliances into the 0.0 game.
Along with these sovereignty/0.0 changes comes the removal of Area of Effect doomsday weapons that titans currently enjoy abusing, turning them into focused shot capital destroyers.
For more information about Titans and capital ships changes read the blog
Talk about EVE stuff here- possible mechanics / patch changes, war and politics, griefing and empire jihad, inane tidbits about what you did in Eve today, discussion of how awesome exotic dancers are, they're all fine here.
Newbies or non-players who like chatting about the game's politics or general news should feel free to hop in, but please keep newbie questions related to joining Merch Industrial to the thread linked at the top.