Random lore questions from a noob

Posted this elsewhere but never got an answer I liked so figured I’d try the official forums. The lore of Eve is pretty interesting but I have some questions about some of it. I know a lot of this is simply because Eve is a game and as a game it works better the way things are but I’m wondering if there are some in-universe reasons for some of these.

Warping Between star system
In game we can only travel between star systems using stargates and jump drives even though we’re equipped with warp drives. Using some napkin math it seems most ships have a speed of about 1 light year for every few hours at warp. Again for a video game it would be horrible to have to sit around for a day or so doing nothing just to travel a few light years between star systems (and making a ‘safe spot’ bookmark in deep space an hour or two away from an inhabited system could be pretty cheesy) but is there an in-universe reason besides the ‘it’s too far away’ that this doesn’t happen? If I remember my lore right the Gallente used to use warp travel between star systems exclusively before they learned about stargates so it should be possible.

Who builds and maintains the stargates?
As I understand Eve lore most of the ancient stargates were destroyed when the EVE gate collapsed and the current empires built new ones after rediscovering the technology by reverse engineering the ancient ones. It seems that in-universe a stargate is a pretty massive project, capsuleers can’t build them, so who paid to have them built and who pays to maintain them? I would guess the ones located in empire space were built and are maintained by the empires themselves but then why do they let us use them for free? You would think unless using them for ‘official business’ that there would be some sort of toll to pay for their upkeep. What about the stargates in low/nullsec? It’s outside of imperial space so the empires would have no reason to build or maintain them. Some of the megacorps, like ORE for example, might build and maintain their own stargates in nullsec but what about the rest of the universe that is “owned” by capsuleers who don’t build, or again, maintain the stargates in those system?

Why are pirates allowed through high-sec stargates?
Again I know the real reason is “it’s a game and would be lame if people with ‘criminal’ flags were locked out of high-sec and there were no NPC pirates to shoot at” however again in-universe you would think the empires would bar entry to their stargates if a suspected criminal came by and attempted to use it. Especially if the criminal has a low enough ranking to warrant the “you’re not welcome here” warning.

How does PEND insurance make any money?
Seriously, with the high turnover rate of capsuleer ships they pay out more in insurance then we pay them in policies. They pay us even if we don’t take out a policy though it’s nowhere near as much if we do. If EVE had NPC sellers of starships I would think PEND is subsidized by them since it would encourage us to lose (and therefore buy) more starships, however since there are no NPC sellers of starships, and capsuleers pay nothing to PEND to when making a starship that can’t be the case.

Free starter ships
Related to the previous question, if you ever fly into an NPC station with your capsule and have no other ships docked you are immediately granted a free corvette that matches your race. Again this makes sense as a game because if you lose everything the starter ship gives you chance to start rebuilding back up again. But who makes these ships and why do are they randomly given away to any capsuleer who happens to fly by without even asking for it? Yes you get an Email telling us that it’s due to an agreement between Pend and SCC but why would these organizations have such an agreement? It would be as if in the real world an insurance company and the police hand you a moped any time you walked into a parking garage.

The sanctity of the clone vats
Sure we spend enough ISK creating/using jump clones for it to be a profitable business giving away free medical clones. However you would think it would be tempting for some clone vat employee somewhere to accept a bribe (and with the amount of ISK some capsuleers have that could be a massive bribe) to secretly destroy/damage an enemy capsuleers medical clone so that when the enemy capsuleer eventually got podded they would die for real instead of being downloaded to a new clone. Yes as capsuleers are virtual demi-gods in the Eve universe any person foolish enough to do so would have unholy hell rained down on them but you’d think there would be at least a few people greedy/stupid enough to do it occasionally.


I can answer the stargate question and the clone vats question:

Stargates: The first stargates were left behind by the Terrans very, very long time ago. This tech was reverse-engineered, first by the Amarr Empire, and eventually everyone else. Once they figured out the tech, they started building more of these stargates.

As for how the stargates are constructed, this chronicle will answer that question:

Long story short, constructor ships travel to target systems at relativistic speed (in the chronicle linked, the fastest was 30% speed of light), with crew in cryogenic stasis, only to be awakened and put to work constructing the stargates after reaching destination system. Chronicle details an incident where it went wrong.

The current network of stargates is the result of many hundreds of years of effort.

For clone vats, yes, there is that ever-present risk. Some capsuleers realise that and it makes them very antsy, as evidenced in the monologue in the below chronicle:

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Most of what I’m going to tell you is educated guesses with smatterings of lore, not 100% official lore, because many times the official lore doesn’t exist or is very sparse and/or hidden away in some obscure chronicle that is 10+ years old.

I’d hazard a guess is possible, but very slow without specifically built warp engines. Assuming in-game effects reflect on how warp drives work, a certain chunk of energy is fed to the warp systems before a warp, and one of the longer standard jumps in the game in high-sec is something like 160AU - just this takes a huge chunk of capacitor and indeed without certain capacitor and navigation skills on smaller ships you might have to drop out of warp to jump again. 1 LY is approximately 63240 AU and assuming 1AU/s the trip would take 17 hours. Unless the reactors can feed a charge constantly to the system, a ship would have to stop to recharge the capacitors a whole lot on the way, lenghtening the trip signifigantly. So, possible, but likely not recommended.
The Old Man Star -chronicle says that in the olden days the gate construction ships managed at best 30% of speed of light, so a 10 LY journey would take them almost 33 years, until refitted with jump drives which made the trip take mere minutes.

Empires build them, mainly. Some missions have privately owned stargates as well.
I’d wager the biggest cost is in building them in the first place, so maintenance is probably not a huge issue, likely funded by taxes levied on capsuleer trade happening in the systems.
As far as I know, yes, even the gates in null are built by the Empires during their exploration heyday. Maintenance of them is probably financed by CONCORD, again through taxing capsuleers.

Because it’s a game and it would be lame if people with criminal flags would be locked out of high-sec.

Probably they have other businesses as well. And again possibly backed by CONCORD.

Capsuleers are in fact in a pretty tight leash with CONCORD, despite the claims of independence. CONCORD is watching you. Also every capsuleer in-game comes from government institutes and technically you are considered to be part of them too. Mostly it’s game-mechanics again.

Pretty well covered by Elmund, I’ll add my 2c: Because the cloning corporation likely takes great pains to appear professional and extremely reliable to capsuleers, they probably pay a LOT for their employees. At least judging by the now-defunct clone costs, many clone-scientists probably earn almost as well as starting capsuleers. Thus, to be able to bribe sabotage in cloning lines can only be done by the super-wealthy capsuleers.
And there is the fact that if capsuleers could wantonly bribe other capsuleers dead, well, it’d be chaos. KInd of a balance of terror kind of thing - you don’t murder me in my sleep and I won’t murder you in your sleep.


Warping Between Star Systems


The warp drives of ships in New Eden cannot be operated without a specified destination waypoint, and this destination requires a gravitational field of some sort to be usable (bookmarks allow for some deviation in end point, but you still have to be conducting your warp within or to an area where there is significant gravitational presence). In addition, standard ships do not have navigational computers powerful enough to accurately lock on to gravitational points beyond a relatively close range (your present system), nor capacitors strong enough to provide the necessary energy to warp there at any reasonable rate.

It takes specially-designed exploration ships with long distance navi-computers/warp drives to accurately lock on to gravitational signatures at such massive interstellar ranges as another solar system. Or jump drives, but those require a scout ship/automated drone traveling the slow way to the destination in order to create a cynosural beacon that the drive can lock on to (specially-designed exploration ships might be able to just jump to far-off gravity points without needing a cyno, but players don’t have access to those).

Who builds and maintains the stargates?

The empires, CONCORD, pirate nations, and nullsec capsuleer organizations. Stargates are mostly automated though do have some small crews. For nullsec, many of the stargates were originally built by the Immensea society, or smugglers, and these were later commandeered by CONCORD/capsuleers for nullsec travel. Keep in mind that most of the non-empire territories occupied by capsuleers are pirate sovereignty, and nullsec is still under CONCORD jurisdiction (just heavily outside of its ability to enforce… but nullsec capsuleers are still paying taxes, rent, and getting bounty payouts for anti-pirate work).

Essentially, even nullsec is civilized to a point. Whether it’s the pirates, CONCORD, or capsuleer organizations themselves, whoever lives in that region maintains the stargate.

Why are pirates allowed through high-sec stargates?

All player capsuleers are considered sovereign political entities by CONCORD. The act of becoming a capsuleer makes you a nation-state unto yourself, which means you essentially have diplomatic immunity in space. And standing treaties governing capsuleer independence dictate free borders for capsuleers throughout New Eden. This was most clearly seen with the recent shut-down of Gallente-Caldari borders, which only affected baseliner traffic.

Essentially, CONCORD largely has a hands-off approach to capsuleer activity. It only intervenes when it absolutely has to.

How does PEND insurance make any money?

Probably a mix of people who buy insurance that expires before they use it (even the default insurance does that after 3 months), a share of taxes from blueprint/market sales, and pilot’s license taxing (more below).

The chairman of Pend also might be a capsuleer himself (he makes regular use of jump clones).

Free starter ships

Capsuleers pay a significant amount of money to CONCORD/the empires/the schools/Pend for the training, equipment, and liberties they get. Your subscription is an in-character mechanic; you have a contract with CONCORD et al. That’s why Pilot’s License Extensions are an IC item (more obvious with the old ones which actually had an IC description, but still truth today). Every 30 months you are paying a huge amount of taxes (either from the taxes spent on the market from buying PLEX there, or some large amount of baseliner money you are paying directly from planetside finances when buying sub time from the EVE website). Taxes paid when using the market, when buying blueprints, when renting space, and any number of other activities, also go towards financing CONCORD and the empires.

In other words… you are making a lot of people a lot of money. The starter ship is just one of many benefits (and one of the smallest of them, next to that whole sovereign political entity thing) that you receive as a standard part of your capsuleer contract.

The sanctity of the clone vats

Highly secure, especially within the game itself, but by lore there is definitely the chance of underhanded activity. If you need an example of this affecting actual in-game activities, consider account theft to be an example of someone hijacking your clones.

The previously-mentioned chairman of Pend was actually the victim of a clone hijacking in one chronicle.

Hope that helped!


Was about to ask, since the Old Man Star chronicle does say that jump drives can be used these days, but then again that chronicle is from 2002 or 2003.


Yeah, it’s unclear. Player jump drives at least absolutely need a cyno, and require continual FTL communication between the cyno ship and the jump portal generator. But the empires have access to a lot of tech that we don’t get so who knows.