For Fans, EVE Online is Serious Business
EVE Online is a game that I've always looked at from afar, wanting to join in, but knowing I had neither the time nor money to put towards it. To say that EVE fans are passionate is a bit of an understatement. The type of passion EVE's 500,000+ players show does not happen every day.
That Ship is Worth How Much?
Interstellar Kredits (ISK) have always been one of the more unique aspects of EVE. While in most MMOs you pay money for a subscription, in EVE you can actually pay for your subscription with ISK, EVE's in-game currency. Of course, as in most MMOs, you can buy this currency with real money through any of the major gold farming sites. Currently, two billion ISK will run about $40-$50, enough to buy a fairly advanced ship. Some of the biggest ships in the game cost a few thousand dollars in real money. The sheer dedication required to make that much money in-game is staggering and a true testament to the passion that EVE players have.
EVE is probably most known for its large corporations (like guilds in other MMOs). The amazing thing about these corporations is the level of organization they have. Some real world businesses probably wish they were half as efficient as some of the largest EVE organizations. Big corporations number in the hundreds, with the largest breaking into the thousands. It's actually rather inspiring to see so many people working together online.
Battles between alliances of organizations are some of the most incredible events in EVE. Just recently (July 28, 2013 to be exact) the largest battle in the history of EVE took place.
More than four thousand players took part in the battle between two of the largest alliances of corporations in the game. Approximately 2,900 ships were destroyed in the battle, likely costing tens of thousands of dollars in real money. Similar battles have taken place throughout the history of EVE Online, but I'm always amazed by how much time and money EVE players are willing to have destroyed to emerge victorious in a battle. The word passion just doesn't seem to do them justice.
The Volunteer Program
Never let it be said that EVE players care only about the money aspect of EVE. CCP (EVE's developers) created the Interstellar Services Department (ISD), a group staffed entirely by volunteers for the sole purpose of helping the players of EVE. Using their own free time, members of the ISD answer questions from players, resolve issues, train new players, and act as good-will ambassadors. I have never seen another MMO with a fanbase so dedicated that players would spend their time doing nothing but helping and enriching other player's experiences. That is something the EVE community should be incredibly proud of.
Fanfest is an annual meetup of EVE players from all around the world in Iceland. It is a time for players to come together, regardless of their in-game alliances, to share a drink and celebrate the game that they love so much. It's times like these that you see the true passion of the EVE community.
The willingness to put their time and money into their game is what truly marks the EVE fanbase as one of the most passionate around.