You’re an alpha clone, and EVE is yours to explore. EVE’s universe is widely called the most expansive science fiction still being written, and you are now a part of it. Maybe you are very new to the game, maybe you tried it before but it did not stick. If you are in the first group, we wish you a warm welcome. Consider this your sweeping introduction to the game and its world. If you are returning to EVE and seek advice on mechanics, look here.
Alpha clones describe those who are not subscribed to EVE Online. In the backstory of EVE Online, players are ‘capsuleers’, humans made immortal by overcoming the mind’s residency in one body alone and being able to interface directly with the ships. Originally capsuleers were created by the four empires to be useful tools in their wars against one another, but they soon became a force to be reckoned with in their own right. To enforce good behaviour of those immortals in their space, the empires utilised the help of CONCORD, a sort of United Nations made seemingly all-powerful by using technology gifted by the Jove, the reclusive technophiles of EVE’s universe. Alpha clones became possible, after the Sisters of Eve, an independent organisation pursuing cutting-edge research, made a cheaper cloning technology available to the empires of the galactic core. What was once reserved for an elite portion of the population now became available for larger groups, and thus the Empires created you, the alpha clone, to once again benefit their war effort. As a result, you are limited to training the skills that make you useful in your chosen empires ships up to cruiser-level – those which are used in the regulated faction wars between the empires.
Faction warfare is what you might end up in once you have finished the tutorials. Empire space is made up of high-security and low-security systems. In high-security systems, empire police and CONCORD hold capsuleers in check, while giving them mostly free reign in low-security space. While aggressive behaviour in low-security space will lead to possible repercussions in high-security space (via the mechanic of security status), capsuleers are free to attack each other – and most will do so. Lowsec is also the backdrop to the regulated wars of the empires, those faction wars that alpha clones were ostensibly created for. In 171 systems capsuleers fight against each other over complexes that determine the ownership of a system and are rewarded for it by the empires with loyalty points that capsuleers can use to buy equipment for themselves or others. In factional warfare, the democracies of the Gallente and Minmatar ally against the onslaught of hypercapitalist Caldari and theocratic Amarr. Participating in the faction wars will preclude access to your enemies high-security systems, among them Jita, the centre of commerce in New Eden. – While many capsuleers fight against the Caldari, few do so without storing a clone in the safety of the Jita trading station.
Beyond the relative safety of empire space lie the 3500 systems of null security space. There, the absence of the empires is felt by the lack of regulation on weapons systems, and it is here that capsuleers battle for control of space to establish their own empires. It is here, that most of the stories that are used to attract you, the new player, to EVE Online are created. Out in nullsec, corporations, the guilds of EVE Online, are often the only way to get started since you will need their logistics network to get ships from empire space. Where players come together to form corporations, corporations band together to form alliances. And these, in turn, form coalitions, the power blocs that reign sovereign over large parts of nullsec. Goonswarm Federation is the alliance at the heart of The Imperium, and built on the belief that nullsec is what brings life to EVE Online. In this alliance, Karmafleet has dedicated itself to wrenching new players from the cold hands of NPC empires and bringing them into the fold of a caring empire run by real humans.
Are you interested yet? EVE Online, as a game, had to overcome a lot of accessibility issues. It is just not a very easy game to get into. The new player experience, those voiced missions at the start, are a solid change. But even then, without a community of people around you, you will feel lonely – luckily, the EVE community is full of amazing people and is a lot easier to get into than the game mechanics themselves. We recommend that you join our Discord server and join a corporation. If you took particular interest in the lore, there are no better places to start than Ashterothi’s Lore Primer and Mark726’s Lore Survival Guide, followed by the EVE Online book Empyrean Age. Outside of the Imperium’s own wiki, the EVE University’s wiki showers you in a wealth of information – just be mindful of the dates of the lecture recordings, since most are fairly old and not all mechanics might be the same anymore. And if you ever doubt that EVE can tell amazing stories out in nullsec, put some hours aside and dedicate them to the unrivalled Clarion Call series.