Over the past two years, EVE Online’s major story beats have all revolved around the mysterious Triglavian faction. Players first encountered this strange branch of humanity by raiding an extradimensional abyss. These incursions did not go unanswered for long, and soon the Triglavians began making their own invasions into EVE’s star systems. Now that Invasion seems to be coming to a crescendo, with the Triglavians preparing to launch massive assaults on NPC Empire-controlled space.
Chapter 3 of the Triglavian invasion of EVE Online is beginning. This content update will provide a conclusion to the two-year-long Triglavian epic story arc and provide players with unprecedented control over EVE’s destiny. A video published by the in-universe news organisation that CCP uses to deliver in-universe news reports, “The Scope,” shows a large gathering of Triglavian World Arks, massive support ships larger than anything available to players, staging in previously unseen numbers, surrounded by support fleets, alongside new structures being anchored in space to stage their invasion from. The video also details a new NPC faction, EDENCOM, which is organising against the invasion. EDENCOM promise they are preparing new technologies, ships, and weapons that will be made available to players who side with them against the invading alien force.
The battle against the invading Triglavians will not be easy, as the invading force has many times in the past asked that player pilots side with them against the NPC Empire and help them to establish a permanent presence in the universe. As part of the upcoming updates it seems like players will be able to actually make this choice, and side with the invaders.
“Triglavians have been pushing the boundaries of claiming space, and strengthen[ing] their foothold since the Invasion expansion,” Bergur Finnbogason, EVE’s creator director, told Kotaku during a press session about the invasion. According to a CCP press release, an open conflict between EDENCOM and the Triglavians is imminent, and players will ultimately be the deciding factor on the outcome of that conflict. According to Finnbogason, “Players will have to make their choice carefully – will they side with the new invaders, or will they resist?” Players will have the chance to fight against roaming NPC fleets from both the Triglavians and EDENCOM, as well as be able to strike against fortifications and strongholds to stop the Triglavians or defend them. This will very likely put players into direct opposition with each other depending on the side they choose.
“At the core of EVE Online is a universe where actions have consequences, and this year the consequences of the Invasion storyline will have deep and lasting effects on players,” Finnbogason told Kotaku. Player data mining efforts have found database strings introduced to a test version of the EVE servers which suggest that the Triglavian faction may actually be able to conquer star systems belonging to the NPC Empires. They could potentially alter the way players are able to interact with those systems, including allowing for players to gain standings with the Triglavians and actively cooperate with them.
Players have also been working to uncover the reasons behind the invasion and the overall objective of the Triglavians. The Arataka research consortium is made up of players dedicated to the ongoing development of EVE’s lore and have been studying the location of previous Triglavian assaults. As presented by CCP during the press briefing, Arataka discovered an unannounced pattern to the invasion strategy: At the heart of every accessible star system in EVE is, obviously, a star. These stars are all varied in their colour, age, and overall makeup. Apparently the Triglavian invasion forces have overwhelmingly preferred systems with blue stars, specifically those that are “younger” stars.
“The story of New Eden is just much better told by the players,” Sæmundur Hermannsson, Brand Director for EVE Online, told Kotaku. “One of the ways EVE is different than most traditional MMORPGs is that the storylines are not always presented in an open and clear way, it often depends on players picking up on what is happening in the background, and making it known themselves.”
“That’s how we develop EVE in many ways, it is so driven by player stories, players write their own stories, and they’re also writing the story of the universe,” Finnbogason said. “At any given moment we might have many seeds going, and it’s up to players to find them and investigate into them.”
The final chapter of the Triglavian invasion is coming at a very opportune time for EVE Online. Online player counts and overall game health is in one of the best places it has been in the last few years. New player influx has been steadily rising due to CCP’s concentrated efforts to improve the new player experience, and the fact that the many people around the world are stuck at home due to the global pandemic is certainly not hurting things. The incoming invasion is going to provide a chance for every player to permanently change the landscape of the game going forward, from day one newbies to veterans of the game.