Eve Online on Steam & An Exalted MMO?

As a gamer who runs Steam (which in itself is a free service), it seems that when Eve Online comes to Steam I’m getting 21 days of Eve Online for free. That’s if I can afford the disc space on my HD, which is starting to get pretty full. (I really should have shelled out the extra cash for the 240 GB HD instead of sticking with the default 120 GB one…)

This is also interesting because CCP, the makers of Eve Online, are also the guys who recently bought White Wolf. One wonders if possibly a World of Darkness MMO on Steam isn’t too far off.

I wouldn’t necessarily play it. I’m kind of “over” the WoD now, and if I’m going to play an MMO it’ll be City of Heroes/Villains first because of the Shane Hensley connection. But an Exalted MMO would be tempting.

But speaking of an Exalted MMO, this leads me to ponder something else I’ve been meaning to write about: In the Exalted universe, there are human beings who have essentially been granted fantasy-superpowers by the gods. These mortals are called the Exalted. Now the Exalted team have stated time and again that the number of each kind of Exalted in the canonical universe is quite small: just “about” 150 Solars, for example. That number is supposed to cover every single Solar character introduced in the various adventures, novels, supplements and other spin-offs as well as the characters of any one particular group of players. In other words, there’s not nearly enough “slots” for all of the Solar characters actually being played, which means that each campaign must be a separate universe and a shared campaign like the original Greyhawk, the various RPGA campaigns, and Sean Patrick Fannon’s Shaintar could not work for Exalted.

Now I understand why this is. In Star Wars, Jedi are supposed to be rare compared to the total non-Jedi populace even in the times when there are thousands of them all over the universe. In super hero comic book settings the superhumans usually number in the hundreds. However, this means that the only viable Exalted MMO design must only allow Terrestrial Exalted as playable characters or else it’s a serious canon dichotomy. Terrestrial Exalts are the only Exalted that have a theoretically unlimited number (because they are the only ones who pass on their powers to their children), and thus are the only way to allow for a theoretically unlimited number of players. Terrestrials are also less powerful than the others, but still have quite a lot of nifty powers and would make for a good paradigm.

However, the Solars are supposed to be the stars of the show. Let’s ignore the other kinds of Exalts for now (it gets a bit complex, but basically the total number of non-Terrestrial Exalts is supposed to be less than one thousand) and just focus on the Solars vs. the Terrestrials. The Terrestrials hate the Solars because the Solars were in their previous lives a bunch of decadent megalomaniacs. So despite them each having the most potentially powerful powers and the fact that they could potentially take over the world because they already did once, the Solars are outcasts who try to avoid detection by the Terrestrials. In fact, in the main book the Terrestrials are explicitly portrayed as being the foundation of an evil empire that has been suppressing the truth about the rest of the playable super-types.

I guess it could work, but it would be odd. Like if City of Heroes/Villains started with the Villains side of town and City of Heroes was a supplement for it and not the other way around.

On the other hand, I have no idea if such a game is in the works or not. But it just seemed very strange to me the first time I read about how rare the Solars were supposed to be, that the designers would design themselves into a corner like that. WoW has a ridiculous number of heroes to normal villagers ratio, but it still works. Half Life 2 has a ridiculous number of characters who used to work at Black Mesa and somehow survived, but it still works. If you’re going to allow mortals to get powers from the gods, why limit the gods to a specific number?

Anyway, that’s just something that’s been bugging me for a while.

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