We interrupt our regularly scheduled content to bring you a post of supreme importance. Yes, it's Code Day. You didn't forget, did you? It seems like Code Day comes by more and more quickly each year. For those who are--for whatever reason--unfamiliar with this particular EVE tradition, each June 24th we celebrate the original declaration of the New Halaima Code of Conduct, which took place on June 24, 2012. Six years ago today.
And once everyone's here, we can get started...
Ah. There it is.
Before we attend to the glorious task at hand, I just want to ask you something, dear reader. Don't worry, it's just a harmless little pop quiz. Do you recall, say, the date that the Goons formed their original corporation? The founding day of Pandemic Legion? Or the date when BR- or other famous battles took place? The launch date of EveNews24 or the opening of the EVE subreddit? The founding of the Imperium coalition? How about the date that EVE itself officially began?
Now then, dear reader... Do you know when the Code was first proclaimed?
Interesting. Very interesting.
There might be something to be gleaned from that--something about a little thing called relevance. But let us move on. It's Code Day.
In Code Days past, we took some time to reflect upon how far we've come and how much EVE has changed since the Code was first proclaimed. But that's a lot harder to do now. It's quite difficult, in fact, to think about what life in highsec used to be like. More than that, it's difficult to even think about EVE without the New Order and its Agents and the Code they enforce.
It's difficult to separate EVE from the Code. Why?
It's not merely the passage of time. Six years is a long time, but there are a number of entities that have been around longer than the Code. Even so, it's easy to think of EVE without a lot of those other groups--to mentally flick them from the game and into the dustbin. Or to forget they existed at all.
By contrast, the one thing even our most stubborn, dishonest enemies can't say is that we're not memorable. Nobody who signs up to play EVE and encounters the mighty CODE. alliance is able to forget us. And virtually nobody plays EVE without encountering us sooner or later--sooner being the far more likely case (though we don't engage in newbie harassment).
And while CODE. is the most relevant alliance in EVE and has been for quite some time, what I'm talking about goes beyond mere relevance. The Code is on another level. The Code is, in every way, fundamentally integrated into the EVE experience. Everyone has to deal with the Code in one way or another. It's a shared reference point for every EVE player, no matter where in the galaxy they eventually claim their primary residence. It's built into the core of the game's culture, its DNA.
Two powerful facts about the Code highlight this point: First, even if all of the CCP devs went mad as hatters and tried to remove the Code from EVE, they wouldn't succeed. It can't be done. Second, after CCP closes up shop and the EVE servers go dark, the one thing that people will remember about EVE will be the Code. Our way of life, our way of thinking, has already spread beyond EVE and will take root in whatever game allows emergent content to flourish. For all time, EVE will be remembered as the place where it all started. We are, in a word, the game's legacy.
Thus, we can tie it all together by saying that the New Halaima Code of Conduct is EVE's Legacy Code. No pun intended.
Now, some people would tell you that legacy code is a bad thing. It's the thing that developers wish they could get rid of so they could update the program with wonderful new features. But in this case, the Legacy Code--the New Order, its Agents, all of it--is the only thing worth keeping. We're the indispensable element of EVE. We keep the game firmly planted in its roots, and thank goodness.
In years past, so much time was spent and so many words were spoken about how to give EVE over to the theme parkers. CSM members, CCP devs, obnoxious forum posters--all of them wanted to find a way to remove risk from highsec and draw in the bot-aspirants of other, more financially successful games. Today, they don't bother. Sure, you see carebears beg for nerfs after they lose a freighter. But there's no serious discussion about changing EVE's direction. There's no point. We are EVE.
Is this a good thing? Yeah, it is.
EVE benefits so much from the inseparable link between us. At no time in EVE's history has that been more true and more obvious than today. We produce. Last year, I wrote about the state of nullsec. A year ago, nullsec had already been stagnant for a long time. People used to tease EVE by saying that reading about nullsec's wars and politics was more fun than actually playing the game. They don't say that anymore, because there's been so little to read about. In the past year, the only time that all of nullsec's cylinders got fired up was for a "Million Dollar Fight" that never happened. The big event didn't happen because of game mechanics, or because of the players' attitudes, or because of the players in relation to the game mechanics, or whatever. Who cares? If CCP isn't going to change the sov system by replacing FozzieSov with something that works, what difference does it make?
Meanwhile, the Code dominated EVE. We produced the content in-game and wrote the content worth reading about. A hundred thousand nullsec dwellers were too busy grinding isk to bother. I guess they didn't do anything important with all of that money, or else we would've heard something. The New Order, on the other hand: We stole the show, we ran the show--we were the show.
And so the story continues, because it is our story, and our legacy.
When a carebear tells you that he doesn't want to follow the Code, what he's really saying is that he doesn't want to play EVE. The two are one and the same, forever.
Happy Code Day!