EVE Online is a massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) set in a science-fiction based, persistent world. Players take the role of spaceship pilots, known as capsuleers, in a sometimes hostile galaxy.
The world of EVE Online centers on a dense cluster of star systems connected to one another by a vast network of stargates. These gates allow for near instantaneous travel between linked star systems, of which there are over 5,000 in the network. The core of this cluster, called New Eden by its inhabitants, is controlled by four major empires that constantly vie with one another.
These core powers are the Amarr Empire, Caldari State, Gallente Federation and Minmatar Republic. Beyond the interior of the cluster lie the outer regions, lawless zones where the independent space captains of EVE, the capsuleers, contend with one another for supremacy. Outside even these perilous regions exist the Jove Empire, an enigmatic power that rarely shows itself, and the mysterious realms of wormhole space. The capsuleers constantly seek means to exploit the planets, systems and regions of New Eden, and their power is on the rise.
EVE Online is set in part of the universe that is currently unknown. The game world currently consists of 5,431 solar systems divided into 1,907 systems of the four main empires as well as the 3,525 systems of zero security space. When EVE was released in May 2003, about half of the current systems were available for exploration. The large number of systems enabled players to establish centralized locations for trade, commerce and combat based on their activities. As the player population of EVE Online grew, more systems were made available to avoid overcrowding.
EVE Online has a rich history and unique storyline created specifically for the game. This history, or "prime fiction," details the discovery of a natural wormhole that lead into an uncharted area of the universe. Gates were created to enable explorers to pass back and forth between the old and new worlds until the portal closed suddenly and violently, leaving the settlers cut off from the civilization of Earth’s galaxy.
Of the settlers that survived the hardship of this harsh environment, four empires rose to power, each taking on its own unique appearance, political and religious views, strengths and weaknesses. These four empires the Amarr Empire, Caldari State, Gallente Federation, and Minmatar Republic dictate the balance of power in Empire space.
After generations of war and strife, players enter EVE Online during a time when the general political situation is one of peace, albeit a strained and sometimes fragile one, between the empires.