If there's one thing the EVE Online community is well known for (apart from the occasional colossal scam or game-breaking exploit), it's producing great videos. In its nine-year history, EVE has birthed some very talented video editors who have produced everything from political propaganda and instructional videos to amazing cinematic stories and machinima. The official game trailers have always turned heads, but I'd bet a significant number of current players were first introduced to EVE through player-made works of art like Kyoko Sakoda's War Has Come or Mercenary Coalition's Lacrimosa Tortuga.
It's easy to fixate on only the best EVE videos ever made, but in reality, dozens of new videos are released every month. Some are cinematic story pieces or alliance propaganda videos designed to motivate the troops, but most are just compilations of good PvP fights. While PvP videos are unlikely to grab the universal acclaim of incredible films like Clear Skies or Future Proof, they arguably show the very core of EVE at its best: good fights, solid strategy, and pretty explosions.
In this week's EVE Evolved, I look at four great new EVE Online videos produced just in the past few months.
Cinematic: Dreams of Yasur
Though most of the videos in this article are impressive PvP compilations, I can't emphasise enough just how much this cinematic masterpiece blew me away. Dreams of Yasur sets an in-character poem written by EVE roleplayer Hoshisuuvi to cinematic scenes from both official trailers and player videos. The story tells of a capsuleer's dreams as he lies on the shore near the Gallente volcano Yasur on Intaki Prime, dreams that seem to bring visions from the mountain itself.
The original poem is spectacularly well-written, it matches up well with the visuals, and the narrator has a voice that I could listen to for hours. Overall, the video has a calm, eerie quality that makes it feel like something out of Dear Esther or an ancient folk tale. Dreams of Yasur is quite simply the greatest ambient cinematic EVE video ever made, and I sincerely hope Hoshisuuvi will pen another poem or two in the future.
Starbase war: Lost Obsession vs Noir.
The PvP endgame of EVE for a lot of players is territorial warfare; fleets of dozens or hundreds of ships clash every day to decide the fates of moons, solar systems, and player-built empires. Some groups fight to claim space in nullsec, some to defend valuable moons in low-security space, and others are just in it for revenge. In the video below, a fleet of 61 pilots from Lost Obsession, Northern Strike and several other corporations engaged a Noir. corporation starbase. Noir. showed up with a fleet of over 60 pilots to defend, including a contingent of triage carriers.
Featuring footage and voice communications from both sides of the battle, the video below shows what a medium-sized starbase combat looks like. The fight starts out evenly matched, but the element of surprise worked in Northern Strike's favour, and poor coordination turned the battle against Noir. If you've ever wanted to see the inner workings of a fleet combat, Lost Obsession vs Noir. is definitely one to watch. Though the video has some volume issues, may show a biased view of the fight, and lays the trash talk on a bit thick, the instructional nature reminds me of the Clarion Call series, and showing both sides of the battle is a very nice touch.
PvP guide: Underdog
PvP videos have been a staple of the EVE community ever since the game was in beta, and the most popular videos of all are those that focus on solo kills or show players new combat strategies. Players often argue that solo PvP is a rare occurrence in EVE as participants will engage only when they have the upper hand. Players camping a gate on their own will usually have backup on the other side who will jump through as soon as you attack. Player Aldap turned this idea on its head in his recent instructional PvP video Underdog.
In Underdog, Aldap digs into the psychology of the fight and looks at ways to bait opponents into thinking they have the upper hand. The video gives strategies for dividing players using gate mechanics so you can kill one of them solo, tricking people into thinking you're not ready for battle, and making enemies burn their capacitors before you engage. The fights in underdog are made all the more impressive by the fact that Aldap uses only a tech 1 Rupture and yet takes down battlecruisers, battleships, and tech 2 cruisers. The video also shows the importance of killing enemy drones in long battles if you'll be able to tank the incoming damage once they're dead.
Solo PvP compilation: Everlasting II
If you thought that the number of ships on each side of a PvP fight was the most important factor, check out some of the crazy battles in Everlasting II. Player Kovorix compiled the video from footage of his best fights in the few weeks following the Inferno expansion's deployment. Taking advantage of new modules like the Ancillary Shield Boosters, Kovorix fought groups of players solo and won. Although some of the fights ultimately ended in Kovorix's destruction and we're obviously seeing a highlight reel from a few weeks of PvP, the video has some very close fights in it.
Proving that there's more to EVE's PvP than just clicking the orbit button and pressing F1, Kovorix focuses on active tanking setups and carefully micromanages his module usage to barely scrape through on several close calls. At one point, he drives a Dominix face-first into three Ruptures, a Hurricane, a Brutix, and a Stiletto. At the end of the video, he and a friend in a pair of Maelstroms take on a continually growing fleet of battlecruisers as their ships go into structure. I don't want to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that it's an awesome fight.
EVE has produced some incredible videos over the years, from Ian Chisholm's award-winning machinima Clear Skies to Rooks and Kings' Clarion Call series. It's easy to hold these up as the best of the best, but great new videos are released every month. Cinematic films merge storytelling and in-game scenes to create stunning works of art, while PvP videos show EVE combat at its best and give new players hints on fighting more effectively.
Video-making has always been an intrinsic part of MMO culture, but I think EVE lends itself much more to it than other games. The fact that everyone plays in one shard makes battles fought a part of the game's living history, and immortalising that history in videos helps to improve troop morale. The videos above are just four of my favourites from the past few months, but there's always something new. With DUST 514's launch approaching, perhaps we'll see footage of ground battles mixed into PvP videos or epic tales.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at Massively. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you have an idea for a column or guide, or you just want to message him, send an email to email@example.com.