EVE Online provides a unique sci-fi environment for players in their hundreds to combine forces and clash in momentous fleet-on-fleet space battles. Equally, smaller squads of players and solo pilots roam the space-lanes of New Eden in search of the pulse-quickening thrill of spaceship combat. Meanwhile other players of a more peaceful nature keep a watchful eye for potential aggressors as they go about their industry, trade and exploration. In many cases, the motivations for all these activities are purely in pursuit of financial gain or for the benefit of their corporation or alliance.
But for some, a greater purpose is what drives them; to fight for a cause, a flag or a nation. Fortunately, EVE Online is steeped in a history and lore which provides the perfect vehicle in its answer to realm versus realm (…versus realm versus realm versus pirate versus everyone else – EVE has never taken the simple path). Factional Warfare provides the framework for ongoing territorial disputes with an undercurrent of science fiction lore.
In order to get a grasp of how this dynamic theatre of combat works, first let us take a look at the factions themselves, why they’re trying to kill each other and why capsuleers (players) might want to get involved. Each faction has a militia which any player, corporation or alliance can enlist with, enabling them to fight for the Faction of their choice.
The Major Factions of New Eden
Set over 21,000 years into mankind’s future, the human race has migrated to a distant star cluster and lost all knowledge of its origins. After millenia of regression and struggle, four major powers rediscovered interstellar travel and and laid claim to territory throughout the New Eden cluster. Their cultures had diversified and with ever-expanding borders, human nature being what it is meant war was inevitable.
The Amarr Empire
The God-fearing Amarr Empire was the first to explore New Eden and in doing so discovered the nascent Minmatar Republic who, although capable of space travel by this time, were woefully unprepared for what the Amarr called The Reclaiming. Using their iconic “Golden Fleets” of heavily armoured ships bedecked with energy weapons, the Amarr Empire enslaved much of the Minmatar population in the name of religion and used them to further strengthen their own culture. The political and technological climate of New Eden has since seen a decline in Amarrian superiority, but they still remain a powerful force who hold true to their ideals.
Enlisting Militia: 24th Imperial Crusade
Allied to: State Protectorate (Caldari)
At war with: Tribal Liberation Force (Minmatar), Federal Defense Union (Gallente)
The Minmatar Republic
The tribal Minmatar nation is made up of seven distinct tribes. Following the Amarr incursion, the Minmatar rallied with the help of their allies, the Gallente Federation. An ongoing rebellion saw many of their enslaved brethren freed and worlds previously under the yoke of Amarr rule returned to the Republic. However the continued Amarrian possession of Minmatar slaves remains a driving force which unites the sometimes divided tribes. The less elegant technology of the Minmatar often sees their ships described as low-tech, with a preference for primitive projectile weaponry and vessels considered to be poorly constructed. Despite this, Minmatar fleets have proven time and again to be quick and devastatingly effective.
Enlisting Militia: Tribal Liberation Force
Allied to: Federal Defense Union (Gallente)
At war with: 24th Imperial Crusade (Amarr), State Protectorate (Caldari)
The Gallente Federation
In the dawn of the rediscovery of space-travel, the culture that would grow into the democratic Gallente Federation found themselves to be occupying the same star system as the Caldari and at first they became allies. However, over time cultural differences drove a wedge between them and an overbearing Gallente desire for unity was rebuffed by the hardy Caldari, who strove to expand on their own terms. This led to a downward spiral into war which saw both sides inflict atrocities upon civilian populations of their former neighbours. As territorial disputes escalated and entire planetary systems forceably changed hands, an arms race began which saw the rise of the Gallente’s favoured drone weapon technology. In more recent years, hostilities had declined until a decorated Gallente officer on a diplomatic visit inexplicably* crashed a supercarrier into a Caldari space station. This act re-ignited hostilities with both sides crying foul and calling for capsuleer pilots to join the fray.
Enlisting Militia: Federal Defence Union
Allied to: Tribal Liberation Force (Minmatar)
At war with: State Protectorate (Caldari), 24th Imperial Crusade (Amarr)
*read the EVE novel The Empyrean Age for a full explanation.
The Caldari State
Branching out from a harsh planet, the industrious Caldari were forced to be culturally disciplined and organised. This ingrained philosophy was counter to the more relaxed Gallente ethos and the Federation’s attempts to absorb Caldari communities into their own social structure was perceived as controlling. The escalating acrimony led to the Caldari attempting to preserve their megacorporation-centric culture by any means necessary and war was unavoidable. Situated deep in Gallente territory, for a long period the Caldari homeworld, Caldari Prime, was cut off from State-claimed systems. Now once again under Caldari rule and protected by the missile-heavy technology of an orbiting State fleet, the difficult arrangement surrounding Caldari Prime remains a political powder-keg for both sides.
Enlisting Militia: State Protectorate
Allied to: 24th Imperial Crusade (Amarr)
At war with: Federal Defense Union (Gallente), Tribal Liberation Force (Minmatar)