In many stories, we all play the hero. In MMORPGs, though, that story is told to you - as well as the thousands of other players around you. It can be hard to feel as though your actions matter or truly change the outcome or course of the game world. Has there ever been one of those moments where you clearly felt your actions in the story changed the world for the future?
I play a lot of EVE Online. Aside from The Lord of the Rings Online, EVE is likely my second-most played MMO throughout the years. There has always been that moniker in EVE that your ever action has an effect on the whole game world, even if it doesn't really seem like it at first.
EVE's sandbox is full of player choice and consequences - but the vast majority of that drama is player created and player driven. However, with EVE Online's Quadrant 3 in full swing and the Triglavian invaders (NPC aliens invading the EVE universe), it has never felt more like every choice I makes matters.
At first, it was just shooting down EDENCOM rats in contested system, each one of my kills helping the Triglavians gain that Final Liminality. These systems weren't that important, but it felt nice being a part of fleets that helps turn a system red.
However, it all hit a head about two weeks ago now, when Triglavians attacked an incredibly important and strategic system between two of EVE's giant trading hubs - Niarja.
As I mentioned in my interview with the CCP team yesterday, Niarja's importance can't be overstated. It turns a 45-jump flight if you bypass the system into a 9-jump flight from Jita to Amarr if you plot through Niarja. It's essential to keep open for most of EVE's traders and industrialists.
But the Triglavians set their sights on the system and decided to make it theirs. And players, like me, helped.
It wasn't because of anything like wanting to see New Eden burn. I've been on the Trig side since day one and I kept that up, even in this incredibly important system. I never thought that New Eden's powerful and massive trade corps would let this vital system actuall fall, and for a while it seemed like it wouldn't. Imperium sent forces, as did Brave - both powerful Null Sec alliances capabale of rousing a ton of pilots to the system.
The Kybernauts, as well as other players fighting for the Triglavians pushed back - and in the end the system fell to the Triglavians, changing the landscape of New Eden forever.
It's one of those moments where a PVE event drove players to decide the outcome - permanently. This wasn't something contained to an instance or just a specific server - but the whole of EVE Online's universe is forever changed because of how players decided that battle in Niarja.
I can't think of another moment in my years of gaming where something that game changing has happened as a direct result of my own interactions. Sure, grand strategy games like Crusader Kings are incredibly dependent on how you play your character, but in an MMO - a world shared by thousands - usually if there is a huge, world-altering event, it's because the devs scripted it, such as the burning of Teldrassil in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.
Have you ever participated in - or even felt as though one of your actions directly resulted in a change to the MMO world you inhabited? What was that moment and how did you feel as it was going on and finally resolved and you could see the aftermath?