Above all things, EVE is a community. Eve players are all in the same boat, held together by a common space and a common interest; while they fight and they bicker, and tensions can run high at points, they’re still part of the same universe, and when a tragedy rocks that universe, they all respond. Yesterday, Sean Smith, AKA Vile Rat, in the real world an IT consultant working out of the US embassy in Libya, in the Eve world, a senior member of Goonswarm and part of Eve’s Council of Stellar Management, was killed in Libya. Overnight, EVE paid tribute to him.
There have been eulogies from major members of the EVE space, both from The Mittani, who worked with Smith within the Goonswarm, and from other members of the CSM, of which Smith was a member. Even -A-, the alliance so recently squashed by Goonswarm’s CFC in Delve, have changed the banner on their website, and made an official statement extending their condolences about Smith’s death.
EVE’s remembrance goes deeper than that. Jita, so recently the target of the ‘Burn Jita’ campaign, and still one of the busiest trade hubs in the entire galaxy, has been littered with cargo containers, slowly spinning in the vacuum. Each one is named in a memorial of Smith, most just stating simply ‘R.I.P Vile Rat’, where others go into more detail.
Warp Bubbles, deployable spheres used to catch people out of warp and destroy/extort them, were used to create a massive dedication to Smith, with a similar message to the cargo containers, only spread over the course of kilometres in space. Titans were dwarfed by the massive construction, and it was visible even when speeding through the region in warp.
Cynos are beacons players can use to help giant capital and super capital class ships move from area to area, as they don’t fit through warp gates. They’re essentially sci-fi torches, pinging an area for these ships to then lock onto and move through the galaxy with. Switch your map to see these cynos, and right now the entire galaxy is blinded by one massive beacon, a cynolight vigil, held in X-VN63, the Tribute region of the game.
Then there’s the outposts, player owned stations used in faction and PvP warfare, and most of the time well at odds with one another, renamed almost to a station, in reflection of the tragedy in Libya. Messages from players who remember him, and even those that have only seen the effects of Smith second hand have made sure that his death is known throughout the galaxy.
The EVE Reddit has been awash with such stories, but has its own dedication, changing the banner image at the top of the page to a picture of Smith’s EVE character, a stern looking bald man. That same message, ‘R.I.P Vile Rat’, comes up when you hover your cursor over it.
EVE has been hit by a tragedy. But despite the game’s reputation for backstabbing and war, it’s been shown to bea ferociously loyal and tightly knit community.
EVE will always remember one of their own.