First, I have to compliment CCP on at long last reviving the Sleeper storyline in the lore. I think the hype and fervor that has risen in the player base in the last month shows that it was a shrewd marketing and retention move. I have not seen so much interest in the lore since 2010 during Arek’Jaalan. This is awesome and I am thrilled to have not just the opportunity to talk a bit more about what has been my personal little corner of interest for the last four years, but to have people actually interested in hearing about it.
The storyline is compelling simply because of the fact that people love mysteries and love conspiracy theories, and the Sleeper storyline is absolutely packed with both.
The Jovians are bad enough, falling squarely into the “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” arena. As the race who gave us the capsule and sent an Amarrian conquest fleet fleeing like whipped dogs, it’s pretty near impossible to disprove that a mystery is the fault of the Jovians. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that there is a weird voice in Amarrian Empress Jamyl Sarum’s head (“The Other”) that seems to want to destroy the entirety of New Eden and we’ve now seemed to step fully and completely into dark magic and fantasy. In fact, they can pretty much be used to explain anything … like “aliens”.
Then drop hints in a grand total of two places (Theodicy and Templar One) of a shadowy subgroup of anti-Jovian Jovians called The Enheduanni and everything goes right off the rails into Illuminati land. It is for this reason that a lot of the seasoned roleplay community (I consider myself a lore nerd, not a roleplay nerd) dislikes the Sleeper thread – it’s too fantastical and conspiratorial, not to mention unstable, and causes much eyerolling. They’d rather roleplay “real people“.
But CCP doesn’t stop there this time; they throw in everything but the kitchen sink (so far Earth isn’t involved yet) – not only the typical Sleeper players above but also Hilen Tukoss, the Prophecy of Macaper, Sansha Kuvakei, the Sanctuary, the Society of Conscious Thought, the known coming of Thera and the Shattered wormholes, the mysterious story of Zakari Kovalis and the Katydid) and the new Bright (“Caroline’s”) Star and the hype train gets rolling so fast that it becomes difficult to keep up with all the threads, much less tie them together.
Finally, with that hype train at full bore, it is at last fashionable for people to begin trolling the lore, adding fake threads and leads (I consider this “Anoikis Entity” to be one), etc. Of course in character the capsuleer population is entirely ignorant of all of this but players rapidly becoming aware of it and of course wanting to contribute without knowing the conventions (out of character speculation is to be done in EVE Fiction Forum, Intergalactic Summit is restricted to in character knowledge (which at this point is limited to only “Hey, the Sansha are on the move,” and “Look at that star,” and “What’s up with Hilen Tukoss?”)), a mix almost guaranteed to have an instant way to completely shit up all the lore and roleplay discussions everywhere.
In this environment, it becomes a lot more difficult than before to be a clever conspiracy theorist without coming off as out-and-out whacko, even in an out-of-character sense. It’s almost impossible to carefully walk the line between known things and reasonable stretch conclusions.
Now, that might all sound like a complaint. It’s not.
But I will ask you all to bear with me, because it’s going to get even weirder than usual in my next few posts, and in the Rhea release. There’s already enough info for me to know that we’re headed into uncharted territory (the discovery of the lost Thukker caravan in Thera should be impossible – it was last seen during the Seyllin event in SL-YBS in Great Wildlands) and what used to sound like stretch theories are going to start sounding a bit more like made up ramblings.
Some time between now and Sunday evening US, I’ll be posting my first (and maybe only) entry for the Pod & Planet YC 116 contest, based on part of my research around all this craziness. And Sunday night, join me on Twitch, along with Mark726 of EVE Travel and Morwen Lagann of the Backstage Lore/Roleplay Forums as guests of the Hydrostatic Podcast crew.
Hang on tight. Because :Jovians:. And this time it’s for real.