The largest PvP war in gaming history has begun in EVE Online

Sci-fi MMO EVE Online has had no shortage of huge battles in its lifetime, from the world-record-breaking 3,110 player battle in 2010 to the Battle of Asakai in 2013 and the now-famous Bloodbath of B-R5RB in 2014, in which the equivalent of $310,000 USD of ships went up in smoke. There’s something about the stories of colossal battles, political dealings, underhanded scams and record-breaking heists in EVE Online that manages to grab the attention of the gaming world. People look on with a mixture of awe and schadenfreude as players in the world’s biggest sandbox MMO roll the dice and someone loses big-time.

New Eden has actually been pretty quiet for the past two years, but things began heating up recently when the largest military coalition (known as CFC or The Imperium) decided to invade low-security space. The CFC has largely been considered undefeatable due to the sheer number of ships it can bring to a fight, so when the group decided to capture valuable moons held by lowsec alliances, everyone expected only one outcome. What actually happened was a series of escalating events like something out of a really great sci-fi novel, and it’s led to the largest PvP war in gaming history, with over 60,000 players around the world choosing sides.

Read on for a brief overview of how the war started and a video update on how gaming’s largest war has gone so far.

war1What triggered this massive war?

There are a lot of conflicting reports out there on exactly what led to this war between The Imperium and the Moneybadger Coalition (because EVE players are the best at naming things!). The Imperium has collected a lot of enemies over the years, but being the largest military organisation seemed to have made it all but invulnerable to defeat. The invasion of lowsec was the ultimate trigger point for this war, and it had an outcome that no-one could have expected — The Imperium lost big-time.

Lowsec alliances frequently fight amongst themselves over moons that produce a lot of ISK each month through the mining of valuable tech 2 minerals, but an enemy like The Imperium descending into their midst was too great a threat to continue their normal squabbles. The lowsec alliances put aside their differences to repel the invaders, forming a group they called Lowsec Voltron, and it turns out they were a force to be reckoned with. Lowsec Voltron decimated the Imperium forces and kicked them out of their space, but it didn’t end there.

war2Revenge is a dish best served with frickin’ laser beams

It turns out that EVE gambling website IWantISK has some beef with Imperium member SpaceMonkey’s Alliance, and the incredibly wealthy gambling consortium has reportedly now decided to personally bankroll an ongoing war against The Imperium. The result was a group calling itself The Allies or the Moneybadger Coalition that now contains members of Lowsec Voltron and other Imperium enemies spurred on by seeing them getting absolutely destroyed by lowsec corps.

The war has had an interesting first few days, with a major battle taking place in the M-OEE8 system in the Tribute region — the home and staging system for Circle of Two, one of the largest alliances in The Imperium. An invading fleet of over 3,000 pilots poured into the M-OEE8 area and The Imperium reportedly sent only 1,300 to defend, additionally refusing to commit its valuable supercapital fleet. The attackers managed to win the battle and destroy the system’s infrastructure hub, and Circle of Two officially left The Imperium and took its 3,095 members with it. Reports suggest that CO2 announced its intention to leave the coalition toward the end of the five hour long battle, releasing a long prepared statement including the following:

“Over the past few months it has become increasingly clear that we have served (only) as a meatshield. Circle-Of-Two is NOT a meatshield. We will not stand as the wall that defends Deklein from the angry hordes for the benefit of Goons. We will no longer subject our pilots to the indecency of watching their hard work burn while Goons sit in their ivory tower. We will no longer stand as an unequal partner in The Imperium.”

This brings us to where we are today, with the Imperium losing a key member and the Moneybadger Coalition and allies winning a decisive early victory. The war is just getting started though, and there will be fights over other systems in the coming days and weeks. The propaganda mills are already in full swing, with each side spinning the narrative of the battle in M-OEE8 differently to its own troops and claiming the battle to be a partial victory. The Imperium also believes that the attack may have been a trap for its supercapital fleet, and that losing this battle has avoided an even more significant loss.

EVE‘s history is filled with examples of wars with surprise twists and unexpected outcomes, and the only thing we can be assured of is that this is going to be incredible to watch from the sidelines. Some of the alliances involved are even hiring newbies and returning players who want to get in on the action. Stay tuned to Massively Overpowered this Sunday when I’ll have a more in-depth look into the history of this war, the motivations of those involved, and more in the next edition of the bi-weekly EVE Evolved column.

Complete coverage of EVE Online’s World War Bee

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mysecretid
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mysecretid

alexjwillis 
Well, at least most of the posters try to be humorous about it, rather than genuinely caustic

I mean, some guy on the pro-EVE side was slinging around the term “carebear” again yesterday, and that word was coined to be nothing but a dismissive, derisive insult.
The posters who are dismissing EVE players as “sociopaths”, I think they’re the ones you need to worry about. 
Besides, when have you ever known regular Massively posters not to scramble all over one another striving to get any available punchline about anything out first? :-)

Chances are, if they’re joking, they’re also paying attention. Right now,  EVE Online is the Superbowl of online gaming.

Which reminds me, are you planning to put in an appearance during this shindig? I think you posted that you wanted to, but feared that you would be too busy to get your internet spaceship into the fray.

I think you should put in an appearance. Don’t you want to be able to impress your grandkids with stories of how you served during World War Bee?

If you do go in, post a screenshot or two. Thanks.

Cheers,

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

CistaCista 
Sun Tsu may “Sun Sue” you for that one … :-)

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

That’s a helluva title screenshot, Brendan. Very ominous, and cinematic in its impact. Good choice!

JoseAlmera
Guest
JoseAlmera

walle42 U’r godamn right! EVE is the one and only game that although i’ve never played it, I still read so much about it.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

alexjwillis It was also an opportunity for the same people to share the same glib lines about why everyone who doesn’t play it sucks. I deleted the worst of them.

Kayweg
Guest
Kayweg

Zennie Ahh, the joy of politics going haywire, with you, your ship and the rest of your assets suddenly trapped in a hostile station in the depths of 0.0, while the scavengers are waiting outside for you to undock.
Nothing to do but putting it all on the market for pennies and face the inevitable….yep, sounds familiar.;)

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

schmidtcapela Damonvile Zennie You sound like a real people person.

schmidtcapela
Guest
schmidtcapela

alexjwillis 
In my case, partially out of frustration. I like the game universe, the pleasant learning curve (well, for someone that read the whole ISK before creating my account), and actually enjoy the spreadsheets in space aspect of the game; I just can’t stand the PvP, which is why I don’t play.

schmidtcapela
Guest
schmidtcapela

Damonvile 
For me, two reasons.
First is that I’m absolutely not willing to allow others to order me around in a game. When asked for help I might, or might not, help, according to what is being asked, how much time and resources I will waste helping out, and my mood; but if ordered around, I will put the person on ignore, leave the guild if the one that attempted to order me around is a guild officer, and otherwise sever all ties to that person. I of course make this crystal clear to any guild I join.

Second, I won’t allow others to rely on me. Because if others get to rely on me in-game I tend to feel obliged to help, which makes the game stop being fun and start feeling more like work, and also prevents me from leaving when I detect early signs of burnout (which means when I do finally leave I will likely leave for good).

 

Zennie
Ironically bad example for me. I haven’t touched alcohol in the last three decades, plan to never again let alcohol touch my lips, and can’t stand being in the presence of anyone drunk.
Also, in the context of “being part of something bigger”, it’s not merely as if someone invited you to the pub. It’s more like being the drummer of the band and being told the band got a gig at the pub. You can skip it, no one is pointing a gun at your temple and forcing you to play, but doing so will have negative consequences to other people you know and supposedly care about.

kalex716
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kalex716

Estranged This is something that EVE has always understood, but some games do not.

Nothing of value can be gained, if value can’t equally be lost.

kalex716
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kalex716

ReesRacer I always figured EVE like the African Sahara.. So many niches. You can be the meanest, biggest Lion, but if you go into the den of Hyena’s, they will take you down.

walle42
Guest
walle42

This is my favorite aspect of the game. Its always more fun to read about then play.

kalex716
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kalex716

Koshelkin It would be a mistake to disregard the strategic layer. Each one of those ants is a human, and the fleet compositions, coordination, mobility efforts, and everything else that goes into these things is an expression of a lot of real strategy.

While it is true, that if you break it down on some level, it eventually becomes about merely locking up the target you are asked to, and pressing the shoot key… But the same could be said for real warfare too…

kalex716
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kalex716

Zennie Thanks for sharing!

dorn2
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dorn2

Kayweg BriarGrey 
Getting satisfaction from being part of something bigger is horrible.  No game should encourage that.  It’s nothing more than being a useless sheeple.

Lateris
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Lateris

alexjwillis Most of those people would be surprised how actually in depth the game is. The other half are just dics.

Oleg Chebeneev
Guest
Oleg Chebeneev

Is this warp disruption bubble at 1:25 in video? Holy crap its massive

Zennie
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Zennie

schmidtcapela Kayweg BriarGrey How would you react if your friend says: “hey, come with us to the pub, it’s gonna be fun!”

It’s this kind of orders.

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

EVE Articles on MOP: always an opportunity for the same people to share the same glib lines about why they don’t play it.

jonny_sage
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jonny_sage

The coolest part here is that it wouldnt happen without people actually building every ship, mod and ammo. And people mining the resources to enable the builders. Thats what really makes EVE great. Everyone, down to the noob miner contributed in some way.

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

It really depends whos giving the orders…unless you just cant handle that type of social interaction.
A raging moron isn’t fun to be around. Someone that’s good at leading people without shouting or belittling them can be a lot of fun. Orders don’t have to be the tv military, in your face shouting type of experience. No one should sit through that for a game.

Zennie
Guest
Zennie

Here is the story of one of the bad bois from The Imperium.

We were rushing into the battle to help to save the system. I knew that poo hit the fun as soon as I’ve seen that the best Imperium FCs are taking the roles of sub-commanders. This is not something that happens often. And then we went straight into the system… our small fleet of Hurricane ships, avoiding enemy fleets, trying to kill enemy system-flippers and protect our friendly system-flippers from Circle of Two… which were suspiciously slow to get back their system. Then we found the last node that was about to decide the fate of the system being captured by the leader of the most powerful enemy fleet. We landed on the node, all weapons locking the enemy, and few seconds after that he disappear in a puff of smoke… but unfortunately node too. The objective was lost.

We docked to the friendly station that belonged to Circle of Two and discussed our options. Suddenly everyone started to cuss – we just learned that Circle of Two switched sides and betrayed us. We were trapped in a station – the moment we would undock we couldn’t dock back, and there were enemies in front of the station.

And then our fleet commander decided “screw it, BURN IN A BLAZE OF GLORY”. We undocked – into the hell. Our 50 medium-sized ships versus hundreds of enemies waiting to murder us. We chose one of the most expensive ships – and despite of tens of “healers” on it we managed to kill it down! And then another ship and another, as we slowly fought our way from the deadly trap.

Most of the fleet managed to get out – sadly not me, for some reason I always die first :) It was one of the most exciting moments I’ve witnessed in the game, and the betrayal of Circle of Two made it spicy the way that is possible only in EVE.

When attackers won M-O, they quickly progressed through the region. Yesterday we lost our alliance’s capital and today we expect the largest battle in EVE history – Battle of VFK. VFK system used to be the capital of The Imperium and while now empty, it still holds incredible moral/propaganda value. Our chances are slim, but there is still a hope.

I was never happier to be an EVE player.

stiqy
Guest
stiqy

Koshelkin It absolutely allows for all those things. ships have speed, acceleration, and maneuverability rating, armor, shields; weapons have ranges, ammo-types adjust ranges and damage types and effectiveness, electronic counter-measures work against various types of offensive measures and each have their own ranges, range extenders, dampeners. capacitors can be boosted, leeched, neutralized; you have tacklers, fighters, drones, bombers, interdiction spheres,  and you have captial ships, sub-caps, etc etc etc…  you really have no clue about even 5% of what is happening on screen.

BriarGrey
Guest
BriarGrey

Kayweg BriarGrey When I say butt-kicking superstar, I essentially mean a competent and valuable member of a team that is contributing.  So a boring way. LOL.  I don’t mind taking orders in a game and being part of something bigger at all – I just never feel ‘on top of it’ enough to do it, so I run back to my comfort zone <g>

stiqy
Guest
stiqy

Koshelkin stiqy you are clueless.

arktourosx
Guest
arktourosx

Shienne Yea I get the itch about every year, but a few years ago I really got into it and honestly I realized I just don’t like actually playing the game.  I love, I mean absolutely adore, how meaningful everything is in that game.  Even if you’re some humble high-sec miner mining something super basic like Tritanium you’re literally supplying the war efforts elsewhere and part of it.  That’s amazing…
…but it’s all so eye bleedingly boring.  Whether you’re rotating asteroids and mining or sitting in a 25% time dilated mega war pressing F1 when you’re told to it is about as exciting as watching paint dry.  And everytime I start to get that itch, I go watch an actual video from actual conflict and realize…yep…that’s why we just read these excellent articles from Brendan and don’t play :)

Zennie
Guest
Zennie

disUserNameTake Yes, bombing runs are a thing in EVE and specifically in this conflict, but they are not as effective as you probably think (still, it helps)

schmidtcapela
Guest
schmidtcapela

Kayweg BriarGrey 
Part of why I (and, I believe, many other players) don’t care much about playing EVE. Not really willing to take orders from others in a game.

Gibs
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Gibs

VanillaBri yea everyone did, hmmm

p_mersault
Guest
p_mersault

RagnarTheDrunk My thought process when reading this article :D

VanillaBri
Guest
VanillaBri

Even CCP is getting in on the fun. I had a reactivation offer extended an extra week with the tagline “No one likes to miss a good war”.

p_mersault
Guest
p_mersault

ShadowVasTerra Hm. That’s what i always wanted to become when i played EVE. Never managed to stick with it. Got a 10 day offer in my mailbox…quite tempting.

Kayweg
Guest
Kayweg

BriarGrey The thing is, you’re not a butt kicking sci-fi superstar, you’re just one of many nameless soldiers led and highly organized by a few very talented people.
The satisfaction comes from “being part of something bigger” (as cliche as that sounds), without your name ever being mentioned.
That’s not to say you couldn’t be one of those few very talented people, but you know what i mean.;)

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

EVE is kind of like a fireworks warehouse that been set on fire.  Fun to watch…from a distance.

heliaxb
Guest
heliaxb

Shienne EVE is the best game that you don’t want to play.

Koshelkin
Guest
Koshelkin

Armsbend Koshelkin stiqy That’s entirely down to the inadquacy of the presentation.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

Thoemse yeah Eve is one game where it is almost impossible to balance life + the game.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

Koshelkin stiqy Keeping the tacklers on point and the dps focusing down the primary targets is a lot harder than you would realize in a sea of numbers and targets.

BriarGrey
Guest
BriarGrey

Estranged Gaming took a dive when consequences became niggling.  I think that’s part of why I do love reading about EVE – the consequences are very real and very there.  You have to be careful! Or accept what may happen may be permanent…I love that.

BriarGrey
Guest
BriarGrey

Every time I read about things like this, I wish I had the time, money, and inclination to really figure Eve out….to be all sci-fi superstar and kick som butt…but that’s really the fantasy me.  Real me would be a shaking insecure mess in two seconds flat and run back to WoW.

Koshelkin
Guest
Koshelkin

Styopa Koshelkin I’m not talking about the realities of space combat(which we don’t know because we don’t fight battles in space, hence everything here is a pure theoretical), I’m talking about what is happening in the video.

Koshelkin
Guest
Koshelkin

stiqy Koshelkin This doesn’t really sound deep, beg your pardon. In the end you just throw material each other, without complex maneuvers, offensives and counteroffensives or layered firing lines. The game doesn’t even allow tactical behaviour on that scale. The battlefield is too small for a fleet that big and the game’s combat mechanics are too simple.

stiqy
Guest
stiqy

PurpleCopper It’s not like there are no fights to be had between the news-making battles. There are scores of fleet fights every single day. Just not this scale. 

Expecting this weekly is like saying “could you imagine a war the scale of WW2 going on every week for 200 years? …. wars of that scale can’t be constant… they are too resource intensive. 

One of the key factors of this huge war is that it is consuming about 2 years of accumulated surplus resources in the form of ships and ISK. That two years of resource hording is going to create glorious balls of fire for a few months as they burn.

stiqy
Guest
stiqy

Koshelkin The strategic layer is much deeper. It starts with fleet doctrines how ships are fit. Then the combinations of ships and fittings in the right numbers. Then the roles those ships play against other fleet doctrines you anticipate encountering (which yes, eventually becomes the target choices – at some point you have to pick targets), — all those strategic choices are duplicated.. first on the offense portion of the fleet, then again on the defense (logisitics) portion of the fleet. – And then tactically speaking you have to factor in fleet command skill and pilot skill. Some doctrines and strategies are far easier to “call” and fly. Others require much more sophistication…

Strategy is far more than just “bring a ship and “kill X first” … the order of targets may be the key operational commands heard on the main fleet channel during a fight but there are dozens of other things going on. 

Thinking that you can just bring a bunch of ships to a fight and call targets is exactly why The Imperium’s getting pwnd by Moneybadger Coalition.

Styopa
Guest
Styopa

Koshelkin “they would kill each other by collisions anyway”
Well, if we’re talking about the realities of space combat, https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/essay-on-realistic-space-combat-i-wrote.131056/ (I didn’t write it, but it covers most of the ground).
As someone we all miss once said, “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space”.

No, ships wouldn’t be dying to collision.  They’d be dying nearly instantly the moment they’re detected (like subs, basically) as the energy needed to fight at the ranges required is so enormous that the physical defenses of the ship are a trivial decimal point in the calculation.

Elven_Seraph
Guest
Elven_Seraph

And while this was going on I was doing lvl 4s….I really need to get a character out there and join the fun.

Silvercat18
Guest
Silvercat18

Grr Goons! Yay Moneybadger.

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

breetoplay Oyjord I don’t paint all EVE players with the same brush, but from my own personal experience, your husband falls well utside of the “norm” for EVE players as a whole.

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

Oyjord ArcheAge and other mostly unmoderated griefing sims, like ARK, also do the same thing. ARK turned into ARK: Deliverance Evolved with the addition of handcuffs. Basically, if you give a person free reign to be a jerk and empower them to do so, the ugly side of human nature rears it’s ugly head and its NOT pretty.

LordSolarMacharius
Guest
LordSolarMacharius

SallyBowls1 DasBenty What? No LibreOffice???

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