Show Info is a weekly column in which I attempt to 1) educate myself and then 2) educate you regarding a particular topic. This week, I delve into the Gallente, one of four playable empires in Eve Online.
Ah, the Gallente. Space America with a bit of Revolutionary France and dystopic consumptionism mixed in, the Gallente in Eve Online are one of the five major empires (the other four being the Amarr, Caldari, Minmatar, and Jove). Their love of drones and freedom are hallmarks of Gallente society, as is their dominance on the cultural front. Eve’s official wiki states that “anything your mind or body could ever crave, the Gallente have plenty of it.” If you are American, or know of America, this should all be sounding pretty familiar to you.
Now, I’m not Mark726 or Rhavas or even a Seismic Stan – these men are giants within the Eve community when it comes to lore. While this article is not intended to be a lore guide, it still strikes me as somewhat beneficial to at least cover the highlights of the Gallente when it comes to lore, so here goes.
The empire of the Gallente is actually a federation, ruled by a President, that comprises several different ethnicities and cultures. Born out of the space-faring people of Gallente Prime, however, the Federation remains dominated by that particular group of individuals. The other cultures that were absorbed by the Gallente Federation include the Intaki, Jin-Mei, Caldari, and Mannar. In addition to these core groups, nearly a third of the human population within the Gallente Federation is now ethnic Minmatar, refugees from the terrible conflicts between that empire and the Amarr back in the day.
Founded just over 300 years prior to the events that unfold today in Eve Online, the Gallente Federation is a democracy founded upon the ideal of individual freedom. They are a distinctly anti-slavery, anti-dictatorship sort of operation (though they do make compromises here and there when it is convenient). The Federation is geographically split into 62 districts, each with its own regional parliament (not unlike the parliaments that sprung up during the French revolution). There is a federal, unicameral Senate that governs the Federation as a whole (at least when it comes to trade, foreign policy, etc) made up of 881 members elected every five years.
Executive leadership comes in the form of a President, currently Jacques Roden (of the eponymous Roden Shipyards). Presidents of the past were restricted to just a single 5 year term, but Roden’s predecessor in the hot seat (a guy named Foiritan and good luck pronouncing that) successfully challenged that restriction, leaving the door open for re-elections to occur. On the judicial side of things, there is a Supreme Court consisting of 13 members, elected for life by the Senate.
The Federation’s roots extend much further back than its founding in 23121 AD, however. In 22463 AD, the Gallente came into contact with the Caldari, and for a time the Caldari were a part of the Gallente sphere of influence just as the Intaki, Jin-Mei, and Mannar are today. However, by 23155 AD the cultural differences between the Gallente and Caldari became too much to bear, and a vicious war broke out between the two. The war only ended when CONCORD was established during the Youil Convention (which we covered a bit last week).
Hostilities erupted once more in recent years, leading to one of the two major faction warfare conflicts that capsuleers can participate in today – Caldari v. Gallente.
In the game client itself, the Gallente are represented by characters of either Jin-Mei, Intaki, or ethnic Gallente descent (the Mannar, for whatever reason, are not playable). 45 ‘corporations’ make up the Gallente NPC presence in New Eden, though some of these organizations aren’t so much corporations as institutions (the Supreme Court is counted as a corporation, for example, with a ticker and owned stations and everything!). The Gallente hold sovereignty in the regions of Essence, Everyshore, Placid, Sinq Laison, Solitude, and Verge Vendor.
Gallente combat ships tend to favor drones or hybrid weapon systems (railguns and blasters) for their DPS output. On the electronic warfare side of things, Gallente ships get bonuses towards the use of Sensor Dampeners. Notable entries into the Gallente lineup include the: Federation Navy Comet; Ishkur; Taranis; Catalyst; Ishtar; Myrmidon; Megathron; and Proteus. Their capitals have been among the most consistent in terms of value, with the Thanatos (carrier), Moros (dreadnought), Nyx (supercarrier), and Erebus (titan) being common sights whenever that class of ship is deployed in space.
In faction warfare, the Gallente militia has twice secured total control of the warzone – once in January 2013 and once in August 2014. However, due to the fact that control is not permanent even in total victory, the Gallente now only control about half of the warzone. Nennamaila is currently the unofficial capital of Gallente faction warfare in lowsec, with both Fliet and Heydieles having been hubs of activity in the past.
Speaking of, Gallente lowsec has been home to some of the most storied pirates in all of New Eden. The Tuskers still base themselves out of Hevrice; Shadow Cartel exists nearby in Aeschee; and Old Man Star was a hub of PVP activity in lowsec long before faction warfare took off in terms of popularity. For a period of time, Stay Frosty was based in Gallente lowsec as well, as have numerous other pirate organizations.
Gallente ships tend to be up-close-and-personal in combat, though railguns in recent years have become viable alternatives as well. The Taranis, Brutix, and Megathron are great examples of close range brawlers – however, that playstyle in and of itself has declined in the age of kitey shield ships. Still, you can’t get past the fact that Gallente ships are incredibly fun to fly: if you don’t end up in hull, it wasn’t a fun fight.