For even casual followers of the Eve lore, the latest chronicle regarding the Society of Conscious Thought (SoCT) and the origin of the drifters provided much food for thought. Taking the form of a conversation between two SoCT members and some flashbacks, it established a number of facts about recent events in the Eve story. In doing so it answered many questions about what has been going on behind the scenes, but at the same time raised a great many more questions about the direction of future events. Some of the information revealed, along with some background, is below,
- The Sleepers, NPCs of Wormhole space, are in fact the “survivors” of the long vanished second Jovian Empire. They retreated into a virtual construct centuries ago to escape the fatal “Jovian Disease.” The physical infrastructure they left behind is what players have been obliterating for fun and profit ever since W-Space became accessible. While it is still in use.
- W-Space, called Anokis, appears to be artificial in nature somehow, or at least heavily modified to make it easier to transit. It is the construct of a vanished group of humans with incredible engineering ability called the Talocan.
- A star in Jove space surrounded by something very much like a Talocan Dyson Swarm went supernova and much of the energy released was fired into the Jovian stargate network somehow. This obliterated the network as even inactive stargates were involved, and the only reason that the rest of New Eden did not suffer the same fate was that the Jove had physically destroyed all stargates linking their space to the rest of the stargate network.
- An earlier event with this star is what caused wormholes to Anokis to begin opening in the first place.
- The sleeper constructs were discovered by the “current” Jove Empire, the 3rd, long before capsuleers were able to reach W-Space.
- The 3rd Jove Empire can make wormholes for travel. Specific limitations on this are currently unknown, but there are some.
- Sentient artificial intelligences grew inside the sleeper construct in an apparently unintended manner, and at least one, named the Other, escaped to run amok and at partially possess the Empress of the Amarr Empire.
- This sentience appears to have deliberately sent Capsuleers and the Amarr Empire into W-Space to wreak havoc on the Sleepers and their Construct. The creation of the Dust mercenaries appears to have the same intent with explorers in W-Space opening up the heads of 2nd Empire Jove bodies like cans of baked beans to get at the profitable goodness inside.
- The Drifters are Second Empire Jove of some kind, returned to physical form for purposes unknown. In fact they may not even agree on their purpose among themselves. However they are likely not happy with what Capsuleers have been doing to their stuff, and they vaporized Empress Jamyl because she was being controlled by the rogue AI mentioned above.
- The 3rd Jove Empire is effectively dead, their numbers having dwindled down to nearly nothing as a result of their racial predisposition to fatal depression. Their infrastructure is starting to degrade as well; abandoned facilities appear to be rotting away as automated systems run amok.
- The Jove character in the chronicle refers to Capsuleers as the best hope for humanity’s survival, and then passes off the 3rd Empire’s postion with CONCORD to the Society of Conscious Thought. The goal here seems to be to continue whatever work the 3rd empire began by giving Capsule technology to the rest of humanity in the first place.
All of this is, in and of itself, merely interesting background on the next iterations of red not-crosses that players are currently shooting at. The really world-shaking portion of the Chronicle is the last line, as the SoCT representative assumes his new seat as a member of CONCORD’s ruling council. The first thing he says in the way of official business is not a statement but rather a question, “Now, what can you tell me about the Upwell Consortium?”
The final important point here is not something from the chronicle, but rather simply an observation about the in-universe lore on how Capsuleers work. Capsuleers are not truly immortal. While they are usually referred to as being beyond death, the reality of the situation is that the “immortality” of a pod pilot relies on massive infrastructure. As the pod dies the pilot’s brain scan is beamed through a “fluid router network” contained in stargates to a station (note that this is inconsistent with players resurrecting from W-Space, and there is a sensible reason for that, but going off on this tangent would make this a 3000 word article). That station has a clone bay which injects it into a clone, “resurrecting” the pilot. With all this technology required to raise the dead, a capsuleer is immortal the same way the lights always come on when you flip the switch; it is absolutely true until a tree falls on the power lines, the bulb burns out… or the power company flips the circuit breaker.
Anyone following the Citadel storyline knows that the Citadels are supposedly being produced by a conglomeration of major corporations called the Upwell Consortium. The question from the chronicle implies there is much more going on, though this is hardly a shock in the convoluted world of Eve. But though the revelation of a hidden hand is not news, the implications of specifically who that hidden hand might be could provide hints for where the game is headed in the future. Be advised, from here on in this article is nearly pure speculation; it should not be taken as anything more since if CCP is not trying to set up lore justification for coming changes to gameplay it will be utterly meaningless. Or the author could just be, as the saying goes, tripping balls when trying to read the tea-leaves.
If the Drifters are somehow involved in the creation of Citadels, and Citadels come to replace the current stations, then it would make the ability of Capsuleers to rise from the dead dependent on a faction that has every reason to hate them. This would be doubly true if Upwell eventually moved on to the production of deployable stargates, something which CCP has already said they want to do. Alternately the Other could somehow be behind Upwell, causing the Drifters to oppose the Citadel rollout.
Either option would explain why the SoCT is so interested in Upwell; the citadels may represent a very clever way for some other faction to attack the plans of the 3rd Jove Empire and interfere with “humanity’s best hope for survival.” If the Drifters, the SoCT, and the apparent loss of control by the large Empires are intended to set the stage for some new iteration on player resurrection all of the above information starts to form a coherent picture.
Of course from a business perspective there is no way that CCP is going to let the Drifters, or anyone else, start perma-killing players. However there are a number of other interesting possibilities. One is space that prevents a player from updating upon entry; all skillpoints gained while there would be lost unless the player returned to the router network and created a backup. Another option is space where, like wormholes, clones cannot resurrect as the network is shut off or jammed. This could be based on incursions or something like faction warfare instead of being an inherent property of the space; it could even be the result of player actions. Imagine the implications for warfare if there was a deployable structure that could prevent clones from resurrecting at a particular station.
Either of these would represent a new and exciting game mechanic; space that offers great riches but massive risk seems to make for one of the most popular vacation destinations in the game. Command destroyer’s ability to teleport others around grid represented the first such addition in years, so another radically new game mechanic like this no longer looks impossible. Or the chronicle could turn out to be nothing more than interesting back-story; only time will tell.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by FearlessLittleToaster.