There are more earnest lore fiends than I. Rhavas at Interstellar Privateer astonished me with his four-part series on Caroline’s Star, which starts here. But lore is important to me. It establishes a reason for everything to be as it is, from the golden majesty of Amarr ships to the entire game of factional warfare. It gives me a context in which to define myself, especially at the outset. As it stands, there are three ways to immerse oneself in EVE lore: One is to read several books, multiple blogs and innumerable chronicles. The second is to run a great many missions, and the third is to pay close attention to the large collidable objects in sites, sorting out the significant pieces from the innumerable hollow asteroids, walls and the like. Each has its own satisfactions, but none are satisfactory, especially to the new player. This is a shame, because the lore of EVE is deep and rich. And the lack of any initial exposure to it drives away every trial member who wants to be part of a story.
Yes, there are player-made stories, and yes, they are the truly enduring stories. But the way to be part of those stories is not clear. It can be a long time indeed before an opportunity to be part of a player-made story arises (the fight you won on a gate is a scene, not a story). Not all players are ready to jump in with both feet. Some players will never make the jump at all.
What is more, player-made stories are particular to the involved players. I was in game for the Fountain War which was, by all accounts, the conflict that laid the ground for the current war. I was not involved in the Fountain War, just as I am not involved in this one. I may watch from the outside, but their stories are not my stories. The system names and the character names mean very little to me. What in-game lore gives to the players is a shared story, a common story in which to define themselves, and against which to write their own. And, as CCP Ghost has said, those stories can and should be able to change the in-game lore as well. That is the ghost in his machine. It is the pivot that takes a student of the in-game lore and turns them into an author in their own right. I have read great suggestions along these lines, such as using player avatars and voices in the tutorial stories to drive home the point that this is a living universe, and–as with magnificent and powerful supercapital ships–to drive home the point that one day, this could be you.
But it is not only CCP Ghost. CCP Rattati, the man behind Project Nova, has consulted closely with the lore as well. Unlike DUST, Nova will take place in EVE ships and stations as well as planets, and CCP Rattati has said that he wants it to be not only obvious but significant that you know which faction’s ship or station you have entered. All of the concept art that CCP produced for ambulations has found a use: bunny hopping in stations! The irony is sweet, but the appeal of the focus on lore is real.
I have not been so excited to see a new feature in EVE in a very long time. I hope that this new love for the lore is catching at CCP. I would love to immerse myself in it all.