Technology in New Eden, and its interconnecting effects

ALT Title: How Hyperprinting Makes and Breaks The Setting In The Best and Worst Ways

The purpose of this thread was originally to act as a place to talk about underdiscussed but well represented technologies in New Eden, and well… discuss them, but then I got the brainbug to focus in specifically on a fairly common lore aspect we as players regularly interact with, and what allows a lot of the big fights to ever even happen, as well as the Empires and Pirate Factions to maintain their significant and massive fleets and other things.

If you are a fan of Belisario’s Maxim, which posits ‘Don’t Look To Closely At It’ this may not be the thread for you.

To start with, ‘Hyperprinting’ is my player description of the aggressive and robust additive manufacturing systems presented as ‘common’ in the setting, and is not expressly how it is described in lore as written

“Hyperprinting” Additive Manufacturing - A Fairly common and underdiscussed technology in-setting, tied in directly to capsuleer and baseline industrial manufacturing across the cluster, the exact methods this is accomplished are largely left vague but generally attributed to nanite and atom line printing. The ‘Hyperprinter’ Technology sets are not analogous to Replicators in other sci-fi settings such as Star Trek, but are still an exceptionally powerful, and reasonably common part of the setting as its what allows the production of kilometer long battleships in hours, multi-kilometer capital ships and stations in days, and bulk production of millions of rounds of various munitions and other items in very short order. Hyperprint technologies in setting are robust enough to allow both macro and micro-scale production in bulk, both in localized en situ, and strategic bulk production formats, and should(but does not always seem to) affect the availability of cybernetics, implants, and a great

The exact distribution of this technology is difficult to pin down, but due to its prevalence especially in spaceborne industry, its appearance in empire and non-empire stations, player deployed structures, planetary prefab colonies, and more, it is common enough that its usage, and impact should be felt more readily across the setting, particularly its affect on availability of common goods, yet we continue to see shortages and rationing of ‘luxury items’ in various places. There can be reasons for that unrelated to the actual availability of the technology and more its focus and usage at the setting’s nationstate level, but its exclusion from certain parts of the narrative background, despite at minimum being close enough to most places in an FTL economy to allow a significant throughput does raise a number of questions in regard to why

Related technologies include the newer Itenerant Forges of the Minmatar Republic, Nanohive ‘Hot Printers’ for direct munitions manufacture, SmartFab Units, Structure Autonomous Nanoassembly Device (Upwell)[STANDUP] protocol systems, Structure Deployment Nanite Scaffolds, Valkyrie and Schism shipboard fightercraft production facilities, and many more which further exacerbates potential issues of significant manufacturing capacities being higher than is usually acknowledged, or stated as being when placed in conjunction with the base Hyperprint technologies and more mundane manufacturing in an FTL economy where most places, at least in Empire space, are within an hour’s spaceflight and surface to orbit, and orbit to surface transfer systems being reasonably accessible in turn for planets even if one presumes most significant hyperprint industry is spaceborne and confined to empire industry capable stations.

The general point being raised, in regard to lore related to the above specific example of technology is not ‘New Eden should be a universe of utopian abundance’ as it obviously is not, but that its concepts of ‘scarcity’ and material shortages likely need to be viewed in different lens than it often seems to be, both by players and even I’d argue at times, the lore team over the years(acknowledgment given to the fact that the lore team until the last few years was very limited in its scope for a good while).

This thread’s existence and being put to the forums is largely inspired by @Uriel_Paradisi_Anteovnuecci 's Twitter/X post expressing discontent with how often significant amounts of information and discussions get locked away on discords and other private venues where they can’t bee searched or otherwise archived in a meaningful way.

As with most things, its complicated, and since this is a Lore DISCUSSION thread, people are also free to discuss/contend/disagree with that which is written above, as well as bring up other underutilized, or ‘there but less explained or handwaved’ technologies.

(I’d like to close for now with, CCP’s Narrative team actively puts in a lot of work to make this universe, well, work. I hope that generally this is seen for what it is by them as someone passionate about the setting wanting to see it continue to flourish. Not everything needs to be explained, but sometimes it helps to recontextualize a bit.)

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The Capsuleer’s status as an independent political entity is one of the single largest contributing factors to our wealth, proliferacy, and abundance. Following that: The ability to travel, and access to a universal currency. When we purchase a blueprint original it appears to be a self-contained digital license usable in perpetuity that is issued to, and used by, an independent political entity. This is all very simple and convenient for a Capsuleer, but it may not be for a corporation or a non-capsuleer citizen of the Empires or even the Empires themselves.

Capsuleers have so many privileges that aren’t even on our radar. We don’t need things normal people need. Healthcare? Forget it. If our clone gets a scar we don’t like we can just flush it into a grinder. On top of that our capsule probably costs more than a home but its value to us so negligible we don’t even notice it. We’re stupid rich and stupid privileged.

Manufacturing the way we do may be prohibitively expensive for anyone that isn’t insanely wealthy. I may be able to print off 100 Mjolnir Light Missiles in less 3 minutes for about 1,200 ISK but how much cheaper would it be if it was manufactured planetside by wage slaves (or actual slaves)? Industries that take military contracts don’t churn out high quality products for a premium: They make products to a minimum standard for as cheap a price as possible. Empire navies need to arm thousands of ships crewed by untold numbers of people. Faction ammunition costs significantly more money than baseline ammunition, even for us.

If an item requires any amount of creative human input its scarcity skyrockets. That applies to things as simple as a home cooked meal. You can’t print off grandma’s pancakes or a five course meal prepared by a master chef. Even if you could, how would you distribute them? I’ll bet that ferrying massive quantities of any item from orbit to the surface is expensive, with interstellar logistics even moreso.

Gods don’t worry about going hungry or how many days their family can survive on the four digit sum of space crypto they used to print off ballistic missiles. Scarcity barely exists for Capsuleers compared to everyone else. Immortal clones are a precious few among billions upon billions of mortal people.

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Keeping in mind that the discussion around hyperprint tech is that it is already widespread in the gameworld setting, and while there is likely a high associated upfront cost to setup these systems(if we just look at the material costs of POS manufacturing modules or upwell manufacturing plants as some example points), hyperprinter manufacturing locations exist across the entire cluster, and within relatively ready access of most systems via NPC stations alone(the main, publicly accessible ones at that, not counting private NPC stations and grids with hyperpring infrastructure centers)

The discussion I was trying to start wasn’t particularly gear toward Capsuleer interactions, but being frank, once hyperprint tech is as widespread as it is just at a base level, cost of actual bulk manufacturing craters significantly for most things.

addressing this specifically, well… wanted to avoid getting into the interstellar logistics problem, but its been brought up so, let’s talk infrastructure, technology, and how it relates to logistics.

A. Readily available and near-ubiquitous FTL travel - This throws a wrench into a lot of arguments about interstellar logistics being hard, as you can get from one end of the cluster to another in a handful of hours. Now, let’s build in some extra-time for customs checks, gate pattern transits, etc, you’re still looking at being able to get to most places in the cluster, assuming baseliner or baseliner adjacent corporate means of transport, in several hours to a day or so. Apply this to any kind of mass transport, especially with vessels at the scales we see owned by the empires, corporations, and independent traders, and it throws even more wrenches into it. There’s ways that it could still be hard, especially since we do know that FTL/warp and gate travel is hard on people, so build in a couple of days downtime between trips, you still have megascale transport available to most places in the cluster at a rate that makes any form of IRL mass transit blush pretty

B. Orbital Elevators and Skyhooks - These are, while not everywhere in the cluster, significantly spread enough that both show up even in low security space regularly, making gravity well traversal of mass amounts of goods fairly straightforward in many(but not all) places. The express example that we’ve seen in the gameworld itself is the Moon Elevator near Jita 4-4, which expressly per lore, shuttles materials too and from the surface of the the 4-4 moon for bulk storage of the utterly massive amount of product that runs through the main station, while at the same time bringing up refined minerals from the moon surface(this is used as an illustrative example, and a moon elevator is small fry). Point generally being that this infrastructure and its canonical extent significantly reduces cost per m3 of surface to orbit(also yes, I said cost per m3, not cost per kilogram, as volumetric displacement seems to be the real kicker in terms of the setting’s logistics, not mass.)

C. A-Grav/Repulsor Tech, Advanced Propulsion, and Rocketry - This one… oooh boy this one. A-Grav and Repulsor technologies are ubiquitous to the setting. Full stop, its common enough that sky-cars use them in planetary cities, and robust enough that kilometer long freighters and capital ships are able to enter atmosphere under A-Grav/Repulsor power alongside their main thrusters… speaking of, the actual propulsion systems of the setting range from quantum magnetic force thrusters, to full on fusion torch drives, and each on their own would have significant ramifications for surface to orbit planetary logistics and how it interfaces with interstellar logistics and economy, but taken together, they each aggressive ratchet down potential costs per m3…

Swinging around a bit, the discussion around hyperprint tech isn’t so much about artisanal goods like home cooked meals… but I can see why you brought that up, and it certainly bears consideration.

Edit: (Want to add in, that the setting’s technology is a bit of a hyperfixation of mine, and that’s a significant part of why I made the thread initially, and am happy to be able to discuss the outlooks related at all)

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I guess the point I was trying to make is that it’s widespread enough for us. Hypothetically speaking there could be an entire wall of legal, social, economic, and logistical red tape for a normal person that might want to use it. BPOs would be insanely expensive to the common person of the Caldari State that gets paid in corporate scrip.

Readily and near-ubiquitous for incredible rich demigods that own their own ship and the dozens or even hundreds of people that crew it. Shuttles are a throwaway expense for us, but I wonder how much it costs a baseliner to buy a seat on a chartered shuttle from Gallente Prime to New Caldari?

And an excellent example it is. No doubt its operation and maintenance are paid for by the tremendous amount of tax revenues and broker fees that Capsuleers pay every day. That five or so percent of your 10,000,000 ISK market order would be a venerable fortune to the laborers and specialists that live and work off-screen.

I do wonder how many vehicles, and what kind, can break orbit with that tech. Back in DUST 514 shuttles were necessary to ferry in dropships equipped with hover propulsion. I presume that means the average sky car probably can’t make it out of a gravity well.

If it seems like I’m swinging in and out of the topic I apologize. The only real way to explore the every day life of a common person in this universe is through the lens of things Capsuleers never have to worry about. That’s pretty tough and I’d be cagey about exploring the topic if I were one of the writers.

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I do see where you’re coming from on this, and in certain measure, I agree, though generally I’d argue that its less about ‘BPOs’ etc for the average person, and more what the hypercorps(they’re called megacorps in setting but let’s be a bit realistic, most are hyperscale by our understanding of them) have access to across the empires(though this lines in a bit with capsuleers propensity for ‘lol gigapallets at a time’ manufacturing), and what limited DRM copies baseliners have access to for general consumer products and goods, not the ‘by the pallet’ level. While a lot of things we have access to as players, isn’t even everything we’d have access to as capsuleers directly in-setting even. A neat little jab at this is the planetary vehicles article on the universe portal

Now we’re starting to get into the interesting stuff, and more about where I was aiming. How much would that cost? I’d honestly wager, that it depends on where you’re coming from and going to, as it does in the real world, but just at the shuttle level, they’re bigger than a doubledecker coach bus, fast, and inexpensive at the interstellar level to manufacture, I’d wager that they’re not difficult for small(relatively) interstellar businesses to acquire in some bulk, and that’s just talking about shuttles and not passenger converted haulers or other ships(which do exist in the narrative).

A lot of this is speculative but I’d wager you could reasonably buy passage from most planets with decent infrastructure on what passes for an average planetary wage to most non-military stations in the Empires, and back at the very least. Exactly how much that is, is… not something particularly reasonable to math out because of all the inherent variables. But since you did highlight a specific example of Gallente Prime to New Caldari, both are on the ‘Upscale’ ends of the cluster’s economies, so I’d say on the whole ‘fairly easy’ in that regard.

When I talk about ubiquity, generally, I’m meaning that these systems are expressly standard for all interstellar and most intrasystem craft.

Maintenance is absolutely something that needs to be considered in these sorts of things, but the same technology that allows for their mass spread(and the original posting, the print tech) and things like integrity response drones, deployable nanofactories, and nanite repair systems(all of which are ubiquitous in many facets of space industry and station maintenance), make the maintenance side, while still hefty, not quite as ‘omfg interstellar economy access only’ on pricing… high upfront cost in materials, but long term maintenance cost while not negligible, isn’t a constant fight against entropy(also add in shield projectors also being semi-ubiquitous in infrastructure, you reduce a good bit of wear and tear there)

I hope I didn’t try to make the implication that most skycars even could break orbit, at least on standard gravity worlds, that’d still take a specifically designed craft.
As for dropships in the DUST days, you’re probably thinking of dropships being deployed off of MCCs, which could very readily get from surface to orbit, though the dropships were rated for exo-atmospheric excursion as well as re-entry. Always fun when little details swing around.

I don’t exactly blame the writers for not expounding upon certain things, but it invariably makes doing worldbuilding writing more difficult in those areas if we don’t have at least a reasonable base point to work from… which considering the intersection of all of these different technologies… is difficult to ascertain from the top level in thee first place so frankly I’d be surprised if its necessarily ever crossed their plate as ‘necessary’… or they’re well aware and don’t want to deal with it at all because of exactly the issue that all these technologies exist and are extant setting wide, but they may not know how to make an interesting base point for people to play around that directly ties into all of these things(this is not a dig, its a potential issue of scale and many technologies being written into setting over time that, when it was first introduced ‘was cool’ but wider implications weren’t considered)

I appreciate you continuing to discuss these things

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Yeah the blueprint system might not be entirely accurate to the way things function in-universe. Ludonarrative dissonance is hard to work around when it comes to writing fiction or theorycrafting. If we started trying to reason our way around how interstellar copyright laws work we’d probably end up going mad.

That stands to reason. I’ll bet there’s all sorts of bureaucratic messes to wade through for smaller corporations traveling to or from various Empires as well. Travelers probably need official ID credentials to travel. Those probably cost a pretty penny.

Good point, though the space elevator technology itself may be less expensive to operate on environments like a moon with low mass, negligible atmosphere, etc. Plus Jita 4-4 definitely has enough inflow of materials to keep repairs nice and cheap.

You didn’t, I was just poking around the thought a bit. It’s important to define a base economy of scale when trying to define the cost of transit and freight. If you could just get in a space car and fly off the cost is practically negligible and hitting a diseconomy of scale will happen pretty fast. Since the scale goes all the way up to megacorp level, like InterBus, that’s probably not the case.

Taking small details like this seriously is the best point to work from, so you’ve got that covered. The game’s writers probably come into the Fiction Portal and enjoy the way fan writers approach the construction of their world without hard details. Hell, they might even incorporate the ideas you come up with into the narrative, not unlike the planetary vehicles paragraph you referenced.

Maybe the EVE novels have answers to some of our questions? With a little luck someone that’s read them, and remembers them in detail, will roll in and illuminate the topic for us.

I’m enjoying it, although I feel like I’m not helping you explore the topic very well. :pensive:

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More or less, though the blueprint system does indeed exist, and the bulk manufacture times for what we do produce are canon, it gets complicated very quickly. Generally I’d wager, without getting into the copyright law insanity, that limited production copy prints of goods are likely regularly traded around as a form of purchasable production DRM for various specialty or luxury goods(such as many advanced cybernetics and implants), while most common consumer goods(your average neocom, universal translators, etc)are likely produced enmasse further up the chain for what is functionally pennies on the dollar. ofc, its complicated and that way lies more madness than I’m willing to deal with today

wouldn’t be surprised, frankly bureaucracy makes the cluster go round.

Certainly easier on a low mass object yeah, but some other things passed around my head a bit over the last day and, well… the empires have ready access to bulk cheap hypertensile metamaterials, and the previously mentioned A-Grav tech and other gravity manipulation systems we see demonstrated taken together reduce gravity as a limiting factor significantly(though perhaps not fully eliminating it as a consideration.) Jita 4-4 likely remains an exception on just how potentially cheap its repairs would need to be over time

. >.> this the part where I bring up CCP having express examples of single or low occupant personal warp capable craft? Like fighters, as one example, which can go in and out of atmo… but there’s also the little firefly bobs we see running around and too and from stations(if you watch them long enough, you can see many warping away, or warping in), probably the case therein again where CCP at the company level while ago wanted to add some cool set dressing and didn’t think too much on the implications for the lore team to work around

Most of the eve novels… aren’t bad, but aren’t great. Some have some neat tidbits, while others completely butcher certain aspects of the lore in… less than ideal ways. Its complicated, but a lot of the RP community has a bit of a love/hate relationship with the novels. The Burning Life was a pretty solid look into baseliner level shenanigans but only really in a limited outlook set as it focused mostly on a handful of characters which weren’t exactly a representative sample of the cluster at large

A lot of the chronicles also have a lot of good bits and bobs throughout, and the Chrons are great, and I recommend most of them at some point or other, but they’re largely specific vertical slices of different areas to highlight specific things, but a lot of people take that to mean they are supposed to be the representative samples when… the cluster’s too big for even the massive amount of chrons to represent more than tiny slices. x.x moderately overnerding here

I think you’re doing a pretty good job of it, you’re working from your own basis of knowledge, and giving potential kinks and interplay that makes sense to you, some of which in different ways I may not have considered fully.

You’re contributing positively, even if we’re coming at this sort of thing from different angles

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