Roleplaying in EVE? Never heard of it.
EVE Online is not only full of douchebags, who just wait for you to make a mistake and then exploit it by destroying your precious internet spacecraft. Its roleplaying side exists, but is not so obvious (unless you count playing that douchebag from the first sentence as roleplaying).
Roleplayers do more than just have fun speaking for their characters and acting in game as some science fiction characters would. They also do a favour to CCP by enhancing the vibrant, living world of New Eden by the stories of their own. And I’m not only talking about fan-fic arcs, which some bloggers write now and then (myself included).
This also includes CCP sponsored live events. The volunteers from ISD used to have a team called “Aurora“, which was “focused on the plot and back-story of the EVE universe and were lead by volunteer actors roleplaying the important people with backing from the fiction team of CCP”. Team Aurora has been disbanded by the CCP in 2008, and their responsibilites have been transferred to a new departament: ISD Mercury. You would probably never noticed their existence until Sansha’s Nation started to raid Temperate planets across New Eden.
Sansha’s Nation live events
Sansha began their incursions about a year before CCP deployed the Incursion expansion, and much more players noticed that there is such a thing as live events (if you were not playing EVE back then, you can read about these live “pre” incursions here). Some roleplayers quickly rallied to find a way to combat the Sansha. Direct fight was not the best option, because rallying other capsuleers takes time, and these live events were completely unpredictable and never lasted for long. Some roleplayers suggested to use science instead of guns, and find a way to close the violent wormholes, which Sansha used to stage their incursions. “Operation Bad Moon” has been created. The idea was to use Gravimetric ECM to destabilize Sansha wormholes. I have suggested we should use HIC’s as a source of graviton particles instead, because they are much more powerful than regular ECM. Other players suggested to find a way to break Sansha communication.
Arek’Jaalan: Site One
Hint: the in-character part is in italics.
CCP recognized roleplayers efforts, and together with the volunteers has built a complex in the system of Eram in Metropolis region, where it is now possible to see what roleplayers are involved with at the moment or who contributed the most in creating the complex. The place is called Arek’Jaalan: Site One.
I will be your guide on this trip, so make sure your seatbelts are securely fastened and please have a look through the nearest viewport.
Here we can see “Site One” from some distance. The tallest structure in the middle is called Administrative Outpost, and it is of the very same design as the one capsuleers use in deep space.
The structure on the far left is a typical acceleration gate. This one is inactive, but if we approached it, we would get a notification, that “Construction of additional areas is currently underway. The acceleration gate is closed for public access.”.
Let’s approach the minmatar control tower called “Arek’Jaalan Visitors Center”.
A calm male voice started his monologue:
Welcome to Arek’Jaalan Visitors Center. An information package is being uploaded to your cargo hold now.
For site acknowledgements, or more information about the research underway here, please consult the documents you’ve just been provided.
Thank you for your interest in our research.
As the tour was watching the structures outside, the voice continued:
“The Arek’Jaalan Project was founded to act as a cross-organizational research body and common ground for capsuleers to share information about the Sleeper civilization and related matters. The goals of the project are, relative to similar bodies, both simple to understand and quite humble. Put simply, our aim is to research, document and educate.
Research: We aim to posit and debate theories, study known facts and uncover new ones, and use every other method available to deepen our understanding of the Sleepers and related subjects.
Document: Through extensive use of open networks, and with the help of key staff, we aim to document all of the information shared between project members, from everyday communication to large-scale research projects.
Educate: Using our body of contributors and their documented research as a foundation, we aim to educate other capsuleers about our work, and to encourage wider capsuleer interest in scientific matters by presenting information openly and accessibly.
In its initial phase, the project aims to build a “foundational” body of documented research, at which point a larger focus will begin to be placed on the goal of education.
It should be emphasized that Arek’Jaalan does not aim to produce new technologies, and in particular that we take an active stance against any further weaponization of Sleeper or other technologies. We aim for something more benign and progressive.
It should be similarly noted that much of our work lies in centralizing and documenting scattered, yet publicly available, information. In the absence of these hard facts, we turn to educated theory. Although there is always the risk of information being used for immoral ends, it should be remembered what the majority of our work at the Arek’Jaalan project actually amounts to, and that our own stance is to be firmly against such actions.
Overwhelmingly, the current focus of interest in capsuleer research is applied science, particularly weaponization. The work we do is intended to help humanity, and science as a whole, not just the capsuleer military-industrial cycle. Arek’Jaalan stands apart from the destructive mainstream; as an alternative way for capsuleers to use their unique capabilities. “
I can add to what’s just been said, that the other document we have received is a listing of corporations and individual capsuleers who contributed in building this site.
Let’s head to the whole bunch of structures on the right side of the complex. First off, there is a Minmatar Outpost; we will pay it a visit in just a minute. Secondly, there is an array of archives carefully lined up in front of that outpost. Each of the archives bears the name of a specific project.
By navigating from archive to archive one can complete a whole list of projects that Arek’Jalaan was involved in so far:
Research Abstract: Project Algintal
Research Abstract: Project Astrosurvey
Research Abstract: Project Blueprint
Research Abstract: Project Catapult
Research Abstract: Project Common Ground
Research Abstract: Project Compass
Research Abstract: Project Enigma
Research Abstract: Project Huntress Green (1 of 3)
Research Abstract: Project Huntress Green (2 of 3)
Research Abstract: Project Huntress Green (3 of 3)
Research Abstract: Project Infernal Spade
Research Abstract: Project Omega
Research Abstract: Project Omicron
Research Abstract: Project Rho
Research Abstract: Project Slipstream
Research Abstract: Project Tesseract
Research Abstract: Project Theseus
Research Abstract: Project Theta
Research Abstract: Project Trinity
If any of you is interested in these projects, it’s enough to approach any of the archives with a spacefaring vessel, and the details will be automatically uploaded to the ship right away. The outpost behind archives, that I mentioned earlier is an Eifyr & Co. Research Office installation, but it is unfortunately off limits to visitors, so our little tour ends here. Do you have any questions?
The whole complex as well as all the projects are very well documented on the galnet page of EVE Wiki.
Kills don’t leave traces in the game; they are merely records in a killmail database. What these roleplayers did here was actually leaving something in the game for others to find and explore (and possibly join the effort). If you are interested in the roleplaying side of EVE, make sure to read the Mark726’s EVE Lore Guide hosted at Freebooted, it is great material to find out how broad New Eden’s lore actually is.
PS. I actually found this place by digging in the SQL Data Dump. Once I found the first “Research Abstract” item in the invTypes table, I have immediately set off for Eram to acquire these items and find out more about the project itself.