CZ Minutes: Lore

It was a different climate last time we spoke about lore on the CZ Minutes. Since then, with the approach of Rhea and all the stories and events that have been leading up to it, lore has exploded onto the scene in a big way. The community is alive with lore discussions, ranging from historic to wildly speculative, on forums, blogs, podcasts and yes, even here on Crossing Zebras. Following Tarek Raimo’s piece on the Jove he was invited to Hydrostatic Podcast’s Lore Panel, while Georgik Sojik’s The Bright Star received critical acclaim amongst lore experts and curious players alike. Overall, this latest rise in the popularity of lore is more intertwined with the community than ever before, and we’re seeing players that have never paid it any mind develop an interest. What does lore mean to you and has your stance towards it been affected by recent developments? Why do you think lore has taken such a commanding role in community media of late? Going forward, do you see lore remaining a key component of EVE Online? Dunk Dinkle: Tibus Heth was framed. Jamyl Sarum is an usurper and a coward for avoiding Shathol’Syn. Georgik: Lore in EVE is a bit of a hit-or-miss event.  Live Events always have the small faction of people who want to see the story-line completed, while the vast majority either show up with the express intent to make the role-players fail, or more likely, just stumble upon the large fleets and begin shooting whatever.  EVE Lore has even less effect on the game and the outcomes.  The major problem is perception.  Anything CCP does as a reward will be seen as favoritism, which is a shame because having incredibly rare ships in EVE has always been a thing.  Events that saw the cloaking device come into existence was both amazing, and also left a small number of people with access to the new technology.  Balance-wise, it appears to be very difficult for CCP to do anything with lore that can have any real effect on the game, without causing these issues. The lore that is quickly sweeping EVE isn’t new, but seems to be a new approach by CCP’s marketing.  It used to be that the lore lagged behind the updates.  Occasionally foreshadowing, but almost always coming about as an after thought.  With the “titan expansions,” the 6 week release times, CCP’s lore people were able to not only keep up, but also get a little bit ahead of what was coming.  EVE lore was now a small spark of what was likely to come about in the next weeks or so.  For example, with Rhea about two weeks away, EVE’s lore started to hint at sleepers in known space, Thera and the effects it’s had, and lastly the Bright star that shows something is happening in Jove Space.  All of this gives just enough information to leave people interested in what comes next. That’s my kind of lore. Tarek: To be fair, I am pretty much a newbie on the lore aspect of the game. I read some chronicles way back when I started playing, and then did not pay attention to much of it for years apart from reading a friend’s fan-fiction. When I joined Gallente Militia, I began reading a bit more about the Gallente – Caldari war, and that lead to reading about Amarr and Minmatar which in turn brought me to the story of Jamyl Sarum’s seeming insanity and with that the floodgates were opened. Having a job that involves reading a lot and correlating information has prepared me quite well for the undertaking of exploring EVE lore. Of course I have nothing on people like Rhavas or Mark726 who have studied and followed lore-related events for a long time, but I was able to assemble enough information for a concise piece that I very much enjoyed writing. Does the EVE lore mean anything directly for me when I am in a fleet shooting war-targets? Not really in any effective way, but it does subtly influence my gameplay. Many people will wave away game lore as unnecessary because they have their own player narratives, but for others it does serve as an element of immersion. The added depth of background is like an underlying theme, a stage on which our player conflicts play out. To know why Old Man Star carries that name, why Sansha Kuvakei is sending fleets into battle, how the Drone Regions became what they are or why one encounters Clone Soldiers in lowsec just makes otherwise unconnected scenery that much more interesting. EVE is a game that captivates people in many ways which are not directly connected to flying spaceships. There are social aspects, political schemes, player gatherings and indeed a rich lore background. The more different avenues for immersion CCP supports, the better. wBSSCsV Niden: Let’s not beat around the bush here, “lore” does sound pretty fucking nerdy, doesn’t it? I mean, listen to the word: Lore. It’s got that clammy, fantasy sound to it. It really doesn’t do what we have going on for EVE justice. I am overjoyed for the small revolution we’re seeing in lore these days. Like Georgik said, CCP seem to be able to stay ahead with the lore this time and it’s all coming together really well. One of the things I really enjoy is that even if you take a snapshot of the lore that’s making the headlines now, you can trace back red lines to EVE history, sometimes way back. And it doesn’t feel tacked-on and cheap (mostly), I really like how it all weaves together. There are so many interesting storylines going into what’s going on today, and there’s plenty of room to theorise and nerd out, I love that. No, lore is a bad word. It’s a story, an interactive form of storytelling which we as players can be a part of to an extent. We can interact with the events of the stories, like Mark726 for instance who goes out and finds these sites and places where historic events played out. Be it purely lore or things like Titanomachy, it all weaves together into a tapestry, almost a mythology. I’m really glad that new players whose imagination is stimulated by a living mythology can arrive and find it alive and thriving in EVE. I used to be into the lore, even started writing a sort of chronicle of my own, born purely out of the inspiration I got from the stories I’d been reading. That kind of died off, but my interest was recently rekindled by Hydrostatic Podcast’s lore segment. Then Rhea showed up on the horizon and just amplified it all. I find myself wondering about the Sleepers, the Empress, Sansha, the Other, and so on. It’s a good time to be a nerd about this sort of thing and I really don’t see why lore shouldn’t continue to have a role moving forward. It’s part of CCPs product, done well and with people enjoying it I don’t see why it shouldn’t remain a part of EVE Online. Xander: So I am not an RPer and never will be. The lore has never been a reason for me to be excited about Eve but I love that it is there and it does motivate some people to enjoy New Enden. What has been fascinating to me has been the recent upwelling in interest in the lore of Eve. I’m not sure exactly what the catalyst is – maybe the likes of Mark726 or Rhavas’ amazing work on the subject, our own articles here on CZ or the likes of Eve Source? I think watching the recent events in New Eden is fascinating though and while I will never be that lore dude, I’d fight to the bitter end to ensure it was a part of the game.  
Tags: cz minutes, lore, rhea

About the author


12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.