How important is “fluff” in Eve online? Would eve online be the same if it were purely numbers and mechanics, or are the fictional elements important to the enjoyment of the game? Would a pure text, no reference to sci-fi or fancy names still be an engaging game? Should CCP put more or less emphasis on immersion?
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Lore is extremely important to some people.
I even used to be one of those people. Curious about the mysteries behind the motivations of the various factions, the intrigues and machinations of empires clashing, the epic battles and nefarious deeds, the well known figures and hidden shadows.
But ultimately, you realize it is simply stage backdrops. A backlot on a Hollywood studio. Intricate facades with empty rooms. There are no secret agents moving on stations to thwart you; there are no military buildups preparing for invasion; there are no masterminds plotting to rip an empire in two with a manufactured civil war.
Instead there are AIs and subroutines and the same missions in randomly picked spots. Inactive fleets that are simply decorations. Stations you can't even walk around except for a small captain's quarters. Smoke and mirrors at best, cardboard cutouts at worst.
I love the potential backdrop of the EVE universe and I use it as setting for writing my fiction, but when I'm in game flying in my ship I don't get two craps about what the in game lore says.
I care about the in game realities.
The alliance and coalition wars that spill over regions, the machinations of spymasters and dramas on forums. Histories that go back eons in gaming terms; vendettas, grudges and revenge. Eve is so rich in player lore that the in game lore pales in comparison. Who cares about the pretend history of the Dominix when you can map the development of the fleet doctrines over time as powers rise and fall? What's more compelling, the pretend assassination of a pretend character leader of the pretend Minmatar empire, or the actual assassination of a Revenant super carrier of one of the most powerful alliances in game by a coalition of plucky underdogs? Which do you care more about: the staged attack of Sansha's Nation forces on Yulai or the real attack on 6VDT-H by the CFC which resulted in the largest battle in Eve's history, and perhaps one of the largest battles in internet history?
Lore has its place, but player made Lore is far superior.