Show Info is a column in which I attempt to 1) educate myself and then 2) educate you regarding a particular topic. This week, I examine the Caldari, one of four playable empires in Eve Online.
Characterized by faceless megacorporations and featuring some of New Eden’s most iconic ships, the Caldari are in many ways the poster children of Eve Online. ISK makes the world go ’round and no other major empire cares quite so much about things like share valuation or profit margins as the Caldari do. However, there is a violent side to the Caldari, outside of the boardroom, out on the battlefield. Their most recent leader is a man named Tibus Heth who, it is rumored, was for over half a decade a member of what many view as a terrorist organization. Fiercely loyal to their respective megacorporations, the Caldari bend the knee to no one else.
As covered awhile back in Show Info: The Gallente, the Caldari were once members of the Gallente Federation. One of the first additions to the Federation, the Caldari would not long remain a part of the great Gallentean experiment in democracy. Nearly two centuries prior to the modern day in New Eden, the Caldari seceded from the Federation and fought a hundred-year-long war against the Gallente for independence. However, this was not due to the tyranny of the Gallente. Though not perfect, the Gallente actually wanted everyone to have the same democratic values they had evolved over time. Unfortunately, the Caldari had not grown up with those same values and the cultural differences became a gap too wide to bridge. The Gallente-Caldari War lasted from 23155 AD to 23248 AD (YC 12) and sowed the seeds of constant conflict between the two great nations for centuries yet to come.
During the Gallente-Caldari War, after the Jove had made themselves known to all four other major empires (and, it is rumored, having aided the Minmatar in their rebellion against the Amarr), they decided to lend a hand to the other underdog of the galaxy, the Caldari. It was to the Caldari that capsuleer technology was first given by the Jove, leading to the cessation of hostilies just two decades later. The peace was more of a truce in the end, though. In YC 110, during an economic summit being held by the Caldari Ishukone Corporation, with many Gallente delegates in attendance, a Federation Navy Nyx supercarrier intentionally crashed into the Ishukone station. This event, known as the Malkalen Catastrophe after the system in which the summit was being held, would eventually lead to the Caldari-Gallente portion of the Empyrean Wars (faction warfare).
The Caldari in-game are one of four playable factions in the game and for a period of time they were one of the more populous in terms of capsuleer numbers. This was due to the domination of Caldari ships in PVE. The Drake, a shield-tanking missile battlecruiser, was one of the most steadfast (some might say boring) ships in the game for ages, capable of an astounding tank – very important in PVE circles (or so I’m told). The Drake’s big brother, the Raven, is a definite upgrade in the visuals department (as the Drake is essentially a flying waffle iron) and also boasted a substantial tank. The Drake, Raven, and (when Tech 3 cruisers arrived in New Eden) the Tengu made the Caldari line of ships the easy choice for anyone running missions.
The Drake was also for a long time a formidable foe in PVP combat. The famous ‘Podla Drake’ fit sported a very sizeable tank, nice damage application at long ranges that didn’t suffer up close, and speed. Second probably only to the Hurricane, the Drake was a beast on the battlefield, both in solo/small gang settings as well as on the huge scale of sovereignty warfare. Sadly, it was too good and ended up getting hit relatively hard in the rebalance passes CCP began a few years back.
Today, the Caldari line is known for missiles and shield tanks, though there are notable exceptions: the Harpy, Moa, and Cormorant are all excellent blaster-based ships, though they do come second in the Hybrid Weapon Arms Race to Gallente ships as a general rule. The area in which Caldari still reign supreme, though, is ECM – otherwise known as The Devil’s Weapon System. Each faction has some form of electronic warfare specialty – the Gallente focus on Dampeners (which reduce your locking range), the Minmatar on Target Painters, etc. The Caldari have specialized in the ability to cause inordinate amounts of rage in PVP by completely prohibiting opponents’ ability to lock targets through the use of ECM modules. The Keres, Rook, and Falcon all receive bonuses to ECM use, and as such should be fled from at the earliest opportunity on the field.
Next time, we’ll take a look at the last of the four playable factions in EVE Online – the Minmatar.