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A look back at an epic year in EVE Online

James Egan

2008 was quite a year for the sci-fi massively multiplayer online game, EVE Online. It was chock full of surprises -- both good and bad -- and of course the requisite drama you get when putting as many as 45,000 players in one galactic setting.

So much has happened that columnist Michael Lastucka has written a recap of 2008 in New Eden for Massive Gamer Magazine. Longtime EVE Online players also know him as Winterblink, someone who's been playing the game since its beta days, and he shares a bit of his perspective on the major happenings in EVE over the last year -- and what a year it was:

  • Player elections and the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) began in 2008. The CSM is an elected body of representatives who work with CCP Games to -- in theory -- ensure the game is developed in ways that reflects how the subscribers choose to play EVE. The first Council's term ended, with no small amount of controversy surrounding it, and a second CSM has since been elected and is already active.
  • On the 0.0 alliance warfare front, having survived a major offensive to wipe them from EVE's star map, Band of Brothers announced a radical shift in their approach to controlling New Eden, launching the MAX campaign -- essentially an initiative to use their military strength to lay waste to the holdings of their numerous enemies, unfettered by concerns over holding territory.

Lastucka goes into more depth on these events in his "Year in Review". While this all seems like a lot, and it is, these are really only some of the highlights of the events within and surrounding EVE Online in 2008. It's the single-world approach to the game that makes much of this possible -- note that most of these events in-world don't focus on raids or PvE or quests -- it's mostly what players do in the sandbox that really makes the game interesting.

Lastucka also notes how different EVE is compared to other MMOs on the market -- "Perhaps the most astonishing thing to take away from a look back at 2008 like this is how different it looks from other games out there. What do you see here? Just a brief chat about a single expansion? No. What made EVE in 2008 wasn't just the changes CCP made, but what the players did."

Not bad for a niche title, and here's hoping 2009 is just as interesting.

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