Show Info: Time in New Eden

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 ‘YC’, New Eden’s equivalent of AD, which of course is a reference to time itself. Also included is a little bit of background on the Universal Time of New Eden, which just so happens to correspond to UTC here in the real world.

Before we get started, I wanted to mention that this wasn’t really intended to be the first Show Info column. Originally, I was going to start with the various Empires in New Eden – specifically, the Gallente. However, I soon ran into a problem – I had no idea what YC was, what it stood for, or how it relates to ‘real time’ in the EVE universe. Therefore, you get this – a brief run down of time in New Eden.

The first thing to understand is that New Eden is a galaxy that our descendants discovered via a wormhole. Therefore, one way of referring to the current year in the New Eden universe is by its AD date. Right now, the events inside EVE Online are taking place in the year 23353 AD (Happy New Year!). However, that number is huge, unwieldy, and not lore-accurate as apparently nobody knows much of anything about Earth or the ‘Terrans’, as we Earth-people are so imaginatively referred to.

Most things in modern New Eden are dated ‘YC’. YC stands for Youil Conference and refers to an event that took place in 23236 AD. The Youil Conference was a meeting of the five empires of New Eden (Gallente, Caldari, Amarr, Minmatar, and Jove) aboard the Jovian cruiser Youil during which CONCORD was founded. It represents one of the few lasting agreements between the empires, in that both CONCORD and the universal calendar are both in service ‘today’, 117 years later. In the grand scheme of things, 117 years really isn’t much, but it’s something!

During the conference, the empires also agreed that some sort of universal time should be agreed upon. Prior to the Youil Conference, each empire kept track of time differently, usually according to the rotations of their home world. Naturally, this led to a whole bunch of confusion, with the length of a second, a minute, an hour, and a day all being different depending on what part of the universe you found yourself. You think Daylight Savings Time is bad – try this system!

These days, time is unified in what is called EVE Standard Time. In-game, this is kept track of by a high precision atomic clock on board the Secure Commerce Commission’s headquarters station in Yulai. Out of game, EVE Standard Time is basically UTC. Thankfully, the empires agreed to divide each day into 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes, and each minute into 60 seconds, because otherwise we’d all be confused as hell whenever we tried to figure out what time it was in New Eden wouldn’t we?

Those old calendars and methods of defining time didn’t just disappear though – most inhabited planets of New Eden continue to reckon time by their own calendars, particularly those among the Amarr and Minmatar for religious and ritualistic reasons. While (maybe?) not in use today, one of the more prominent methods of reckoning the passage of time among the Gallente was AR, or Age of Rouvenor, which started upon the ascension of Doule dos Rouvenor III to the throne on the continent of Garoun of the Gallente homeworld in 21714 AD. You might find the occasional reference to AR in the EVElopedia or in Chronicles, but by and large none of these other things really matters to much to a modern capsuleer.

Finally, to make things real simple, I’ll provide a summary: the real world year 2015 is equal to YC 117 in game; EVE Time is the same as UTC. End of Story.