Mega spacejerk MMO Eve Online has received a permanent cemetery installation. The site in Molea is intended partly for roleplaying purposes, but more as a space for players to pay their respects to the people they’ve lost in real life.
The new monument replaces a player-run project in the same area that ran for over 12 years, but might be in danger of disappearing due to recent game updates. It’s simple in design and looks rather grand without overdoing it. Quite tasteful all round, really. There’s also a special “ascension of light” animation that plays every so often, a nice bonus if you happen to visit at the right time. Players will be able to anchor their containers as “graves” as before, although they can be destroyed or looted so it’s probably best to keep the contents corpsey.
I’d not actually heard of this place before today. When I found another player’s frozen corpse I used to scoop them up and return them to the player, with a commiseratory note. Even though every player character in Eve is a functionally immortal series of clones in-story, it seemed tacky and callous to just leave them floating in space. This is a much better idea though. Originally it was a space where bodies were placed in containers after other players found them floating in space after duels, ambushes, and sometimes Eve’s mega-battles. They even kept a catalogue of names and dates.
As CCP detailed, the player behind it, Azia Burgi, previously had to move the entire project from its original site in 2008, when a change in the game’s design meant that its “graves” (cargo containers) could no longer be anchored there for long periods. CCP also wrote a fun news article about it at the time, and indicated what big project it was to move the over 500 graves.
A new corporation and starbase tower was built by player Davien Kaahtt, and the work of interment continued ever since. The new site was repeatedly attacked by predictable, boring people over the years, but was rebuilt every time. It’s since become more than just a quirky body storage spot. Eve has been going since 2003, longer than some of us have been alive, and of course some of its players have passed on during that time. Their friends and relatives have sometimes taken to placing memorials at the site.
Since another update by CCP, player-owned stations like the one holding the site together have been on their way out. They now become ‘abandoned’ if left unsupported for too long, and thus vulnerable to looting and destruction. Some players made obscene profits by taking advantage of this, and rather than let the cemetery be looted or vanish entirely, CCP stepped in to make it a permanent fixture.
It might be tempting to look down on players taking a game so seriously, particularly one that isn’t exactly renowned for sentimentality. But people spend large portions of their lives playing games, and Eve can be particularly demanding of a regular player’s time. That’s inevitably time spent forging your own identity, making connections, and sharing experiences with friends. We’ve still no solution to all MMOs eventually vanishing entirely, but it’s important that players have something to remember each other by in the meantime. I’m glad CCP saw the value of this. It’s nice. Sometimes even Eve can be nice.