Epic online space battle sees redditors prevail—this time

Nathan Grayson reports on an epic battle fought between factions inside Eve Online, in which thousands of players participated. See that pic up there? Would you just look at that mess?

The battle, which saw a Something Awful-affiliated faction overwhelmed by Reddit-affiliated players and an impromptu group of allies, resulted in the destruction of ships worth tens of thousands of real-world dollars.

A Titan pilot of the ClusterFuck Coalition (a splinter of SomethingAwful’s notorious GoonSwarm) was attempting a “bridge” – which essentially allows other ships to warp to one ship’s point – but instead warped himself. Right into extremely hostile Pandemic Legion (a splinter of HoneyBadger/Test, aka, Reddit) territory. And when ships as valuable as Titans are involved, well, the stakes tend to get quite high. Naturally, everyone panicked. Reinforcements were hastily phoned-in, and then those reinforcements cried for reinforcements.



  1. Even the good video doesn’t do EVE’s visuals justice.  I have always like the description of it as a “Massive Multiplayer Online Screensaver”

    1. There’s a good analogy in the article: 

      “These two superpowers have been somewhat friends for three years, but relationships are getting strained. They’ve been arguing with each other for a few days now, and the guy controlling Paris (a single EVE ship, but one of the most powerful ones) last night hit the wrong button. He teleported the city of Paris into Canada (Pandemic in my example) but forgot to teleport all the suburbs (ships) around the city, stranding it. Canada ganged up on Paris instantly and called in the US to help. So basically the US and Canada obliterated Paris. Europe sent in reinforcements but without a good strategy against an already prepared North America they were also crushed.”
      “Europe is now without three major cities and ten or so minor ones. They still have plenty of resources left, but it was a great first strike. Especially since North America pretty much lost nothing.”

      If it still seems like a lot of fuss over a game, put it in the context that there’s some real money trading going on, to the tune of thousands of dollars, lost because someone made a simple mistake.

      1. Technically, those vids are sped up.  Apparently, when a server node is overloaded, it goes into a time dilation, which slows down the simulation so the server can handle it.  On the second vid from RPS, when the chatter stops & the music starts, the video is sped up.  Granted, I don’t know too many machines that could handle 2800+ ships worth of traffic any other way, so props to them for doing what they could.

        In addition to being a screensaver and more fun to read about than to play, EVE truly is the most beautiful spreadsheet ever created.

      2. CCP actually has a standing request that corps planning major actions notify CCP admin beforehand. Resources are allocated accordingly, which makes the experience better for all involved. Without that… Let’s just say that major trading hubs like Jita can be painfully slow during peak load periods, and those are *known* to be high-activity spots.

  2. I have never played EVE Online although, like the person who wrote this up, the game has always fascinated me.  I often wonder if we ever truly make it out to space if this game might be held up as a model of what works and does not – kind of like a modern reading of The Art of War. 

  3. As a person who has played EVE Online to some degree, my take on the “GAME MORE FUN TO READ ABOUT THAN TO PLAY” is that it is due to the level of difficulty of getting from zero to what you see in the above YouTube videos, particularly if you don’t already have a social network within the EVE Online community.  

    I spent a few months setting up my character’s revenue stream, so that I could have the money I needed to get the higher level ships and equipment I wanted without having to use up every weekend to get there.  While it was certainly an interesting exercise, I wouldn’t classify this work under what society or even the BoingBoing community traditionally refers to as “fun”.

    So if you don’t think mastery of revenue streams and market opportunism as fun, then don’t bother playing EVE.  That is, unless you have friends that can just give you the things you need to have fun in EVE, or you want to dish out real cash to purchase things in-game via PLEX.


  4. biggest online direct battle i played in was maybe 120 players ( a shooter) . its crazy to think thousands were involved.

  5. Yeah, I used to think it was a big deal when we’d get 50 or so players together in City of Heroes to take down Hamidon. But then, in City, the character concept and execution was way more important than number crunching, even though there was plenty of that going on, too.

    *sigh* I miss City of Heroes.

  6. DaBigRedBoat (commonly known as DBRB) never fails to disappoint.  This whole event was really a long series of increasingly expensive mistakes, culminating in one of the largest and more expensive engagements in EVE-O recently.  

    Time Dilation (TiDi) helped make it much more playable than it would have been a couple years ago, but also helped make it worse:  since time was operating at a mere 10% of normal time inside the system, it gave hours of time for everyone else and their brother to travel from the far ends of the universe to be a part of it.

    http://themittani.com/news/asakai-aftermath-all-over-cobalt-moon explains it pretty well.

    As for the learning curve of EVE, this image is old but still quite apt.  If you can make it to the top, you can finally “win @ EVE” by not logging in.  http://cdn.overclock.net/1/12/127a2824_eve-online-learning-curve.jpeg  

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