Game journalist and EVE Online player Jim Rossignol has been coming to grips with the idea of conflict in EVE, in a series of articles written for Eurogamer. Rossignol began by looking at "the basic principles of killing people" and progressing to the large scale conflicts between alliances.
This week, Rossignol goes a step further by looking at the politics at the heart of much of the large-scale conflict in EVE Online, and how despite all the freedom the developers give players, it was inevitable that power blocs of players would be at each other's throats. "Players plus resources, plus more players, equals conflict. That's the basic mathematics that powers EVE Online. And it's been working for over five years now," Rossignol says.
Rossignol goes on to examine the ties that bind corporations and alliances together, namely linguistic and national bonds, and likens the growing power of an alliance to an advanced feudal system. Rossignol says, "Over the years alliances have risen and fallen, but as time has progressed it's become clear that all roads in EVE lead to something like the Roman Empire."
While not all players are part of the endless land grabs and drama that characterize alliance warfare, it is very much a part of the game. Even if you're not entrenched in it, you're probably well aware of its existence. RvR in MMOs has become a big deal in 2008. But what EVE has is freeform, player-driven, full-on territorial conflict that's been a part of the game experience since the very beginning, over five years ago. Have a look at Jim Rossignol's "EVE Online: The Politics" for his take on how intrigue and alliance struggles make the game unique among MMOs.