I am my ship?

It’s great EVE Online has lore since I come from many MMOs where lore was about as important as the game itself. I get it some of you are not into that and that’s okay but I find lore interesting.

I’ve been watching a lot of EVE videos to learn more about that lore and one video I stumbled across that I’m really digging is the idea of the capsuleer being a union of flesh and machine. The capsuleer thinks about running and the ship jumps into warp or throwing a punch to fire weapons.

EVE Online - Birth Of The Capsuleer - YouTube

Now what I’m wondering about and have asked in Rookie Help about is whether that capsuleer is alone in the ship, because he is in fact THE ship, or does he have engineers and scientists aboard to support his actions? I’d like to think he’s alone and serves as the brain of the ship.

Most of the lore says that the ships have crews. That seems to be the consensus among the guardians of the lore here on the forums. However, you are correct that everything makes a lot more sense if the capsuleer is alone in the ship.


I pasted something from the EVE universe website in rookie chat for you, that yes there are engineers etc on the ship.


Yep ships have crews. I can’t remember exactly where I saw it, but there was a great lore storyline about how some people have a general distrust/dislike for “eggers” (since capsules look a bit like eggs) since they just go out and cause all kinds of death and destruction without any regard to the non-capsuleer crews.


The best background, history and source of nightmares is probably the original chronicle on the Capsule pilot: The Jovian Wet Grave
This is also on the Eve Reader podcast if you prefer to just listen.

Basically, the Capsule enable a significant reduction in crew numbers since the pilot has direct neural connection to the sensors and controls. For small ships that’s down to just the Capsule pilot. For larger ships crews are still needed as there are a larger number of systems and functions to maintain. But the crew reduction is substantial.
Most ship designs are crewed vessels retrofitted for capsule operations. I suspect (without evidence) that a large number of ships are still conventionally commanded since Capsuleer training and augmentation is a lengthy process with a high failure rate.

The Capsuleer strictly is the melding of Clone technology, mind print transfer and Capsule control. You can have non-clone pilots, again I suspect that may be reasonably common in, for example, Navies - though cloning the pilot does help with costs of replacing them after a ship loss.

Am I my ship?
You put your ship on like wearing a coat, it moves with you, it is part of you and looks alive because you are in it.
Is your ship you?

There’s a large RP community in Eve you may be interested in.


There are different types of ships in Eve:

  • Capsule ships with crew. The article link provided by Geo Eclipse gives good information to support this. It is also referred to in other lore articles. For example there is one story where a regular crew member sympathizes with the target his capsule-captain is attacking. He then sabotages the ship he is on, resulting in the destruction of the ship and death of most of the normal crew.

  • Capsule-only ships. There is a graphical book that CCP published with 3d-cutaway drawings of some Eve ships. Small ships, for example the Republic Firetail, is shown with a capsule only, and no crew. (There is also a Gallente ship with a capsule and no crew… but it has dancers and a dancing pole… heh)

  • Capuleer with AI assistant. Aura assists capsuleer pilots, and according to CCP she is is a ‘weak AI’ not capable of learning. However, she can do a few tasks on her own including warp, get docking permission etc. AI assist can be found on ships with regular crew, and also without crew. So it kinda fits in both of the 2 above categories. (https://universe.eveonline.com/lore/aura#technology)

  • Non-capsule ships with regular captains and crew. There are references to this in various ingame places. For example: In the Sisters of Eve epic arc you have to destroy a frigate ship piloted by Mizara - she is a regular person and not a capsuleer. At the end of the one branch in the Amarr epic arc there is a battleship is piloted by Harkan, who is not a capsuleer. He even makes a few snide remarks about capsuleers. (In contrast in the same arc there is Rahsa, which is a NPC and a capsuleer.) Tom’s shuttle is another example of a ship piloted by a non-capsuleer. He died long ago, but his ship keeps floating through space and pops up in random places.

  • Automated AI ships with no human pilot. The Orphyx, Rogue drones, and Sleeper ships are examples.

A short description about the function of crew on capsuleer ships can be found in this article from CCP:

Capsuleers control some aspects of ship operations, and can even push their vessels into overdrive when necessity calls.

Beyond that, though, operation of space vessels is a complex and tricky endeavor that requires the combined efforts of often large groups of experienced people.

So ships have crews, and some concessions need to be made to their comfort and well-being onboard their respective vessels. Those crews are thankfully not lost when the ships are - well, not all of them, at least - and thus can build up the experience needed to run the various internal systems that are either unreachable by or beyond the interest of capsuleers to focus on.

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I must have missed that link. Text scrolls really fast in Rookie Chat.

Thanks for that BTW.

Yes I would be and thanks for explaining how shipboard crews work. Yeah, I can see why the crews wouldn’t trust Capsuleers, especially with the way I drive.

EM00], thanks for the explanation. I can see based on what you mentioned why crews are needed to keep larger ships up and running.

Universe Eve looks like a great read.


A few places to hook into:

More usefully: Elsebeth Rhiannon’s guide. She’s a good starting point and a good person to make contact with - very much Minmatar aligned, which may be more your cup of tea than my Amarrian view of the Universe.


Hey Terak, thanks for the references. Discord is something I use a lot and not just for online games.

This character is Amarr and in a RP environment would be a proud one. I have two slots left though to make a Minmatar character though.


Ships do indeed have crew, even frigates.

It gets a bit weird, of course, factoring int things like Frigates of EVE which was an Artbook first, and Lorebook second, so its focus point was a bit… finnicky, is a good wat to put it.

But indeed you do become the ship, and, in smaller vessels its reasonable to presumee that, if you’re doing short jaunts or hops or diving right into the fight from undock, you can be entirely alone. But if you’re doing anything for extended periods in space, a crew of some description becomes more and more necessary.

Its really easy to forget that most Frigates, which we kinda fly around almost like space fighters(but are not fighters, which are a different thing)) are in fact the size of a Boeing 747 or AC-130 gunship. and it only goes up from there.


My apologies - I was confusing myself (and hadn’t looked you up in game).
You may want to reach out to Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque. They are probably the lead in the largest group of Amarrian Loyalists - the wider group, LUMEN, undertakes a wide range of activities.


I’ve never heard or encountered this one before. That’s pretty cool, I’ll have to check it out if someone comes across it on our Pathfinder.

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