Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Singularity Needs Lore

"The technological singularity is the theoretical emergence of superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the technological singularity is seen as an occurrence beyond which events cannot be predicted."

Singularity.  EVE players know it as the test server.  That's right, CCP doesn't give its live testing environment a name like "Public Test Realm."  Our test server gets its own name.  But shouldn't Singularity have its own lore that ties our test universe into the live one?  Having a copy of New Eden floating around disconnected to events seems wrong.

As CCP's marketing department keeps reminding us, EVE is real.  Singularity is already a place where players do theoretical work.  Whether that work is testing new features or training for the next alliance tournament, important work occurs on Singularity.  Why not tie that world more closely into the New Eden universe?  If people thought of Singularity as a part of New Eden instead of a separate shard that one has to follow special procedures to log onto, perhaps participation in mass tests would increase.

Here is a brief description of how I would tie the test and live servers together...

Singularity.  Naming the most powerful computer in the known universe after the Jovian concept of the emergence of superintelligence through technological means is fitting.  But unlike the rogue drones, Singularity is under the complete control of CONCORD, which uses the supercomputer to simulate events and the consequences of possible changes in the universe.  In fact, the creation of Singularity is one of the factors that allowed CONCORD to emerge into the power it is today.  Capable of accurately simulating activity from everything from planetary economies down to the actions of a Gallente Navy frigate pilot, demand for access to the simulator is fierce among the industrialists looking to test changes to their products.

But while Singularity is powerful, the simulation of the universe is only as good as the input provided.  CONCORD is able to produce an amazing amount of data, but not even CONCORD knows everything.  The biggest limiting factor in the simulation today is the capsuleer.  The accuracy of Singularity's simulation has decreased with the ascent of the Empyreans.  As of this date CONCORD is not able to accurately predict how capsuleers will behave, particularly to change.

In order to maintain their increasing position of independence from the empires, CONCORD has waived the fees it charges corporations like Ishukone and CreoDron for access to Singularity and allows capsuleers access as part of their regular pilot's license.  Some say that giving capsuleers this access is making a bargain with the devil, but the corporations approve of the move as they like their products tested by the members of their target market.  But whatever the wisdom of the decision, the data collected by CONCORD allows the organization greater power as it is able to increase its capabilites to deal with the capsuleers vis a vis the empires.  As New Eden has witnessed over the past two years in the organized attacks on the great trade center of Jita, the empires are almost totally helpless against the great capsuleer empires based in lawless space, with only CONCORD serving as the only effective means of fighting the empyreans.  But even in that area, CONCORD is seeing its effectiveness slip away.

Just one final thought.  Logging onto Singularity is not hard, once you find the instructions.  But how cool would it be if you could go to a special room in your Captain's Quarters, see an animation where your pilot plugs in some sensors or enters a special pod, and wind up on Singularity?


  1. I love this. Love. This.

    Whisper this in CCP Seagull's ear, please?

  2. I like the concept. I had been thinking along the similar lines, but I had treated it only as special training programs made available to capsuleers to prepare them for upcoming mandated changes. A Matrix-like supercomputer like you envision actually makes more sense.

  3. Singularity actually does have a lore tie-in; it's just not explicitly named as such. The chronicle "Particle Tracks" establishes that capsuleers have access to simulators that occasionally allow for the testing of soon-to-be-released technologies.

    The chronicle features the Naga, Oracle, Talos and Tornado prior to their release on Tranquility, and even references some of the design changes that they went through on the test server (like the Naga originally having been a torpedo platform).

    1. However, the chronicle does talk about multiple combat information tanks, and one character shows surprise about having access at all. So these tanks could be taken as representative of the internal private test servers CCP is using before stuff even hits Singularity.