Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Worlds and Stations

~or “Leaving Old Eden..."

Recently I heard a rumor that a fellow Empyrean had made a trip to an alternate universe where Incarna had been rolled out with usable content… His experiences there made me wonder if I too could take such a trip… On a whim, I tried a little known hack whereby you fit the fastest Inty you can and burn towards the sun… but aim to just graze past it… if done right, this whips you into a time warp… I burned and burned… then there was a blinding light…

** discontinuity **

When I shook off the effect of whatever it was that just happened I was still burning at full speed, just heading away from the sun, no longer heading towards it… Hmm. I warped to the top station and, being in a hub system, it was busy as usual. The usual smack, scams and chat in local, ships docking and undocking, cans trashing up the spacelanes adverting corp recruitments and the usual scamcans… there were corpmates boredly shooting each other in the usual way, wardeccers camping in the usual way… I saw nothing unusual so I requested docking permission…

My ship was tractored in (still just went ‘poof’ from outside to the dock so THAT hadn’t changed…) and everything still looked normal… so I entered the CQ. The loading screen was much much faster than I remembered but otherwise again, all looked the same… as I turned and walked into the CQ and I noticed that my avatar seemed more… seamless, cleaner, more detailed and smoother… ok, nice. I entered the CQ, again all was as I remembered…

I was starting to  think my time warp trick was a bust when I saw the button on The Door… it was no longer red… it was green. I pushed… and it opened… cripes I almost jumped. After years of that thing taunting us all to have it just slide open as easy as you please was a bit of a shock to be honest…Well, it opened into a lift. I entered, the doors sighed closed and judging from the lighting effects, I believe I travelled forward and then vertically quite some distance though the trip was over quickly… The lift came to a stop and the doors slid open… I walked out into a vast open area and stood for a second, just taking it all in…

It was a large enclosed space, like an atrium, four stories high with a concourse approximately a hundred meters wide. In front of me, gently curving away on both sides, were shops and signs for Corps, Alliances, the four Empires, CONCORD, DUST, Legion and Valkyrie Offices… Even the factions had offices, Mordu’s Legion, The Angels, Blood Raiders… There were store fronts for it seemed like every manufacturer and business in New Eden… Tattoo parlors, bars, apparel, personal armor, Drop Suit shops and… firearms! Yup… gunshops by the gods!… that brought a smile to my tired old face.

I saw signs for Amarrian worship houses, Caldari restaraunts, Matarii meeting houses, Gallente bars… poker halls, gambling houses and gaming establishments of all kinds… And there were Empyreans, hundreds of them, walking by singly and in groups. Coming and going, entering and leaving the offices and shops and bars… I looked to my left and saw other Empyreans coming and going from the lifts to their CQs…

It felt very much like a large busy airport or train station concourse back home really. The air was warm and heady with the scents of hundreds of different styles of food… The ambient sounds were the murmur of a mass of people walking and talking, doors whisking open and closed, the sound of many types of music all mixed up with the faint steady thrum of machinery, the susurrus of the air systems and… in the background… there was something else…

I turned to the right and saw the windowall. The whole outer curved side of this great concourse was a wall of armored glassine… four stories tall… and it looked out over the undock. I recognized the ships I had seen outside on my way in, I was seeing what was actually happening right outside… and, to be honest, it saddened me to think that we, in our New Eden, have nothing like it.

There were chairs and sofas and tables scattered all along the windowall. I noticed several Empyrean Adjutant Lieutenants or A-Lts, usually called Alts, sitting or standing and watching the undock, some were talking, seemingly to themselves but probably via comms implants. They seemed to be reporting back on specific ship movements to their Empyrean Captains… ahhh, better than undocking an Alt to take a look around, good idea that.

I watched a freighter undock and instawarp away in a flash as one of the Alts turned and quickly headed back to his CQ… looked to me like he was going to ship up and scout the route for his Captain… Less than a minute later an Interceptor undocked and immediately warped away directly on the line the freighter had taken… bet that was the scout.

There were several groups at tables… some playing poker, some just talking together. As I walked by I noticed one group sharing a holoscreen… I saw they were browsing the Neocom forums and that someone had been trolling them all a bit… making fun of the, as he saw it, weird way they talked. He said he was from another dimension and he seemed to think ‘they’ were somewhat bizarre… They were all laughing at this forum troll then one reached up and placed a nice bounty on the trolls head… “Let’s see how bizarre he feels when his POD is popped.” he said with a smile.

I grinned and moved on… Then I remembered something … a rumor I vaguely remembered from a long time ago… I stopped and stared up that the four story tiers of the business side of the concourse and wondered “How do I…?”  Ahh… I saw, spaced around the concourse, stations that looked like data kiosks… each just within eyesight of the next. I went over to the nearest one and yes, it was a station directory, cool. It showed the floorplan of the concourse in several views, but there were possibly hundreds of offices and shops all across all four floors of the interior… so, hmm….

I typed in the name I was looking for… and its location lit up in a recognizable fashion… it was yellowboxed! LOL, and, on the floor in front of me a glowing holographic yellow line appeared with a slowly pulsing arrow saying ‘follow me’… cool. It led me down the concourse then up to a bank of glassine enclosed maglevators that glided up the side of the wall. This took me up to the third floor where I stepped out onto a smaller though still quite broad walkway, railed on the side facing the windowall with chairs, sofas and tables looking out over the concourse, with the offices and storefronts and businesses on the other side. I followed the glowing yellow line to the doorway I was seeking as the guiding line faded from view… there was a simple sign, Duvolle Laboratories. I go in…

The reception area is nice in a very white and stark way, but it is a lab company… the agent at the desk smiles and asks how she can help me, I tell her I am looking for work to which she replies, “Please fill this out sir.” and hands me a data pad… There is a tab for available work contracts of many types, and a tab for goods and services offered. I select contracts, and then… yes, there it is, Heading: Exploration, subheading: Anoikis, sub-subheading: Sleeper Stations… Then there are 2 types, Shipboard and Away Teams… Away Teams! “Duvolle Labs is interested in purchasing any and all technology recovered from the interior of abandoned Sleeper Stations.”… Oh hells yes! I accept the contract and hand the datapad back. There is no payout, no bounties, no bonus… and no time limit. You make only what Duvolle Labs will pay for whatever you bring back… when you do… if you do… That is if you live to get out with an intact cargo. Yes, it’s dangerous as all hell but, if you do return, with cargo, the rewards can be… extravagant.

I walk back to the maglevators and I stand at the railing for a while… watching the ebb and flow of my Empyrean brothers and sisters… watching the ships, undocking and heading out into the black…to fight for what they believe in, to fight for glory, to fight just for the sake of the fight and to fight for the ISK, just as I was going to do.

I was going out to scan down a wormhole… and see if I could find a Sleeper Station… then find a docking port and hack the eons old security systems to gain entry… then, in a heavy antirad suit with limited time and air, explore, and fight my way past the ancient automated defenses to seek out the very valuable Sleeper and Talocan tech to claim for my own… and I would have to be prepared to fight against other Empyreans too… I was not the only one out there in the black exploring and willing to fight for my future…

As I gazed down on this huge concourse… one of many in all the stations in all of this New Eden… what I saw was business as usual. They’re still going out there, mining and fighting and ganking and hauling… It seems the ability to dock up and roam around a bit in your ‘skin’ doesn’t change the need to undock and take a chance to make some ISK, see something new, meet someone new… and kill them.

As for going back? You know, to that other New Eden… the one where we are stuck forever inside our PODs never to see the light of day with our own eyes… never to feel the warm air on our own skin… a place where, because of short-sighted and little-minded people, we are trapped inside cold, sensory depriving sludge filled capsules… dehumanized, mechanized… stripped of our feelings. I look at this wonderful fulfilling new world around me and decide, No… not for me thanks. I breathe deeply… enjoying the fuller and more immersive life I am going to have here.

Then, before heading back down to prep my Astero, I turn to find a kiosk… If I’m gonna be inna fight with my boots on the ground, and my skin in the game, I need some equipment those poor POD addled Empyreans don’t have in Old Eden… “I’m gonna need guns… lots of guns.” I think to myself with a big grin…  =]

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Station  =/|)=


  1. I hope you are closer to the truth of it.

  2. Thanx Rixx... I do too. Can I ask you something?

    I just don't understand the extreme hate for FP gameplay in EVE... Why? What is it about getting out of our fukking ships that causes so much hate? Why it there this juvenile 'Hello Kitty' take on anything related to this type of gameplay? what if it WAS like I described? What if it ADDED to your gameplay? And why not work for MORE to DO in EVE not more of just the same old same old?

    Yes, it needs to be well done and have engaging and useful gameplay, but IF it did, if it was like I feel it could be... why NOT? Why do you and so many others assume it will be the way you described? Your reactions to FP gameplay are like your whole anti-stabs thing... you HATE Ewar, unless it helps you kill people (you do know points and webs are Ewar right?) but gods forbid it should have any defensive role...

    Yes, there will be players who will go AFK while in FP mode... shit happens... I feel it's just as weird to see a POD or a ship sitting near a gate or station for hours... doing nothing, not scouting, just AFK... it's the same thing, so why is it worse if it is an avatar instead of a POD? People do really weird shit in ships all the time in EVE... so?

    FP gameplay would open a whole new area and way to play EVE... just like Apocrypha did with wormholes only for FP play not 3rdP shipboard. I don't see it being a one or the other choice, I see it as one complimenting the other... maybe, if more of us felt this way... maybe CCP would look at it differently and actually give us something NEW to DO.


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