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Each race is further divided into three bloodlines that give characters different pre-defined appearances, which can be finely tuned by the player.
Unlike many other MMOs, where there are numerous copies of the game universe intended to run at once (i.e., servers), Eve Online is functionally a single-universe game.
Armed with this new technology and the strength of their faith in their god, the Amarr expanded their empire by conquering and enslaving several races, including the Minmatar race, who had only just begun colonizing other planets.
Generations later, after the intense culture shock of encountering the Gallente Federation, and in the wake of a disastrous attempted invasion of Jovian space, many Minmatar took the opportunity to rebel and successfully overthrew their enslavers, forming their own government.
The Gallente and the Caldari homeworlds are situated in the same star system.
The Gallente homeworld was originally settled by descendants of the French colonists of Tau Ceti; Caldari Prime on the other hand was purchased by a multinational megacorporation that began to terraform it.
The planet Caldari Prime was initially retained by the Gallente Federation during the war, and did not become part of the new Caldari State.
Much more recently, however, a Caldari offensive managed to recapture their lost homeworld, a fact which is viewed with abhorrence by the Gallente, who see the presence of a significant Caldari fleet about the planet as a mass hostage taking.
The free Minmatar Republic, taking as inspiration the ideals and practices of the Gallente Federation, is presently a strong military and economic power actively seeking the emancipation of their brethren and all other slaves.
Genetic experimentation, however, eventually led to the deadly "Jovian Disease", an inheritable psychological disorder which, despite their best efforts to reverse it, crippled their civilization.
They now inhabit a region of space inaccessible to outsiders.
Five major distinct societies rose to prominence from the colonies, each growing into interstellar spaceflight-capable civilizations.
The states based around these colonies make up the five major factions in Eve Online: the Amarr Empire, the Caldari State, the Gallente Federation, the Minmatar Republic and the Jove Directorate.