Reporting about Eve for outsiders

I like reading about games I do not play or intend to play, especially after action reports.
I think massively multiplayer online games (MMO) are under-reported to the general gaming public after the initial release. Reviews and articles about these games should deal not only with the gameplay features but also with the community of players: the added value of any game which gives it room to express itself. If two MMO with identical features were released, they would provide different experiences to their players depending on the state of their community.

Hence this article. Its purpose is to provide time-starved journalists or bloggers with a peek at the many sources of information they can rely upon when
- trying to decide if there are news about Eve Online fit to print and, if there are,
- writing the articles.

Eve Online is event-rich due to...
- its features and philosophy (sandbox approach in a single shard),
- its free expansions policy (regularly expanding its scope and depth) and
- the sheer size of its community (500,000+ accounts).

How it does concern non-Eve-playing readers:
Landscape-altering events happen every few months, be they developer-driven (introduction of new mechanics and objects, such as the wormholes), player-driven (space wars, financial news) or a mix of both (the Fanfest convention, player-versus-player tournaments). Newsworthiness is subjective but...

- the stories are exciting on their own
For example, 2009's most significant event in the world of New Eden, in my opinion, was the destruction of the Band of Brothers player alliance after one of its directors turned coat and joined their nemesis, the Goonswarm alliance. The ensuing invasion of "Fortress Delve" by a coalition of thousands of players and the end of this war made for an interesting epic to tell to outsiders, a story of conquest and revenge, loyalty and betrayal, cunning strategies and stupid moves. By 2014, Goons and their allies control half of the world and are set in a standoff with the N3 power bloc.

- science-fiction talks about us
Science-fiction as a genre allows the exploration of themes and philosophies by addressing the limits of the concepts which define our existence. When the virtual bank Ebank encountered dire straits due to the betrayal of one of its directors, a NY Times article did draw parallels with the real world's bailouts.
In his 2007 book Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun Is Changing Reality, Edward Castronova postulates that gaming design is going to affect public policy to some degree in the future. Whether this prediction comes true or not, an environment like New Eden (the game setting) can provide a basis for stimulating reflexions about the real world.

List of sources
official - First of all, when trying to report about Eve Online, begin the tour with an obvious but mandatory look at the game's homepage and/or Facebook.
A few years back, the ebbs and flows of the "null sec wars" were summarized in very readable "CORPS" reports on the official forum. These reports were redacted by CCP and aimed to be objective. Unfortunately, they were published with as much regularity (that is, not that much) as the Quarterly Economic Newsletter, also compiled by CCP and which used to reveal some economic data to the playerbase.
For more in-depth information about new features and projects, take a look at the Dev Blogs. Those are used by the developers to communicate their plans and ideas to the players. They can get quite technical for the non players though, so I suggest turning to the players' media for information.

blogs and forums - For a start, EveNews24 and The Mittani, two competing information blogs, will help you get an idea of the current vibe in the community. They publish pieces about in-game events, interviews with developers and prominent players, investigations, etc. Useful to keep track of null sec politics and battles. EveNews24 is older while The Mittani is headed by the eponymous leader of the biggest power bloc in the game, who previously authored Sins of a Solar Spymaster, a series of 88 articles written for the general gaming public about Eve. Just remember to take everything with a grain of salt. Everybody is trying to sell something.
And how do you know they are lying? Easy, they are posting. For some "forum porn" or the latest dirt - or some archive-digged jewels, direct yourself to unofficial forums: The Chatsubo (roleplayers), Failheap Challenge -formerly known as Scrapheap Challenge- (griefers and gankers) and Kugutsumen (hackers and spies). Sadly, Chatsubo (and roleplay) peeked in 2007 and is now quite desert. Kugutsumen is no longer a place about Eve but they advertise Zulu Squad 'Eve Uncensored' forum. For archives also, take a look at the Eve Tribune, which published weekly rants for quite a long time back then. Massively, a professional MMO blog, keeps covering Eve news.
In gaming communities you frequently find organiser types who give a voice and a link to  many smaller voices. For a long time, CrazyKinux's Musing blog was the "Grand Blog Central" of Eve Online. CK (CrazyKinux) maintained the Blog Roll, a list of Eve-related blogs you might find useful to understand the range of activities available to the players in the game, from pirate or industrialist to "salvage thief" or explorer. CK stopped attending his site and other players (such as Bill Dullemond for the Blog Banter and Eve Bloggers, aka the Eve Online Portal) stepped up to assume blog-aggregating activities.

other languages - If you happen to be French-speaking: les forums sont JeuxVidé (le moins intéressant), Mondes persistants, Jeux Online (les deux historiques) et Frugu (sans oublier le forum officiel en français).
If you speak other languages and would like to point me at the relevant sources, please feel free to comment.

video - The CCP Youtube channel is another place to go to. The videos they make display very little user interface and are generally short and to the point. CCP are very happy with the Butterfly Effect video they released and you can bet they will release other such videos, designed to explain the game to people who do not play it (and entice them into giving it a try).
Some player-made videos are remarkable. Take a look at Clear Skies, for example; old video but good reference.

twitter - If you want to get an instant feel of the community, try the Tweet Fleet and, of course, the tags #tweetfleet or #eveonline.

Edited 2011/02/19: Eve News24.
Edited 2011/06/23: Scrapheap Challenge is gone and replaced by Failheap Challenge
Edited 2014/10/17: general update, removed dead links (CK's, etc.) and put some new media in


  1. Very nice post. Now if I could just figure out what Kugutsumen actually is... 8)

  2. Very nice post. Don't forget! This place has all the EVE blogs RSS feeds aggregate in real time. People can read all the blogs for EVE right here!