EVE Online war update: Thousands return to join the war

For the past week we’ve been closely following the events of a monumental war that has kicked off in sci-fi MMO EVE Online. The conflict that has come to be known as “World War Bee” has recently exploded into the largest PvP war in gaming history, with thousands of players taking sides and forming massive fleets. The war began with the game’s largest military power (known as CFC or The Imperium) invading low-security space to capture moons from the fractured alliances that lived there. In an unexpected move, those alliances put their differences aside and joined forces to repel the Imperium forces, then took the fight to the coalition’s home.

The war took a quick and interesting turn following this when Imperium alliance Circle of Two severed all ties with its masters and joined the attacking Moneybadger Coalition, bringing with it military secrets such as the locations of supercapital shipyards. The politics and fleet movements in World War Bee have proceeded at a rapid pace ever since, with both sides attempting to spin the narrative of the war in their favour and adapting their strategies to counter the other. Yet the most impressive news to come out of the war is undoubtedly the spike in player activity and new player signups over the past few days, as each day breaks new PvP records and thousands of players return to kick some serious space ass.

Read on for an update on the EVE Online war, from the shifting strategies of the attacking coalitions to the effect on player activity and the distinct narrative of good versus evil that’s playing out in-game.

evewarDrawing the war out as a strategy

In my latest EVE Evolved article, I delved into the history of World War Bee and gave an update on The Imperium’s position based on a stream from its leader, The Mittani. This stream laid out The Imperium’s plan to fight back against the Moneybadger Coalition — or rather, its plan not to fight back. The decision was made to allow much of the coalition’s space to be captured and then return later to recapture it, a plan based on the assumption that the member alliances of MBC have no interest in actually living in and defending the space they’re capturing. The Imperium has walled itself up inside the low security system of Saranen for now, a strategic location that can’t be captured and is close enough to its nullsec home in Deklein to stage from.

In an effort to slow down the attacking forces, The Imperium recently moved all of its system vulnerability window timers from its own prime time to an Australian peak time. This strategy may have backfired as Australian corporations that are often starved for PvP content are now gladly capturing Imperium systems with little opposition. The old sovereignty system made capturing undefended star systems a boring and time-consuming slog that required hundreds of pilots, but the new system (detailed in the video below) allows roaming gangs of just a few pilots to capture systems quickly and easily if they’re unopposed.

This strategy may still have slowed the attacker’s capture progress simply due to fewer pilots being available at those times, while freeing up the EU and US timezone players for other PvP operations. Some players have speculated that The Imperium will eventually switch its vulnerability timers back to a US prime time slot, and that the switch may have been done to buy some time for members to get their war assets ready. In the mean time, MBC has used the opportunity to strike against several other targets such as starbases containing supercapital shipyards that are currently building titans. The locations of these key strategic assets were provided by former Imperium member Circle of Two when they switched sides in the war, so MBC can be reasonably certain that the targets are very high value.

themittaniDo you join the bad guys or get revenge?

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Goonswarm (and so by extension The Imperium) members are widely seen as the “bad guys” in EVE. It’s the image that they themselves have always chosen to portray and is evident in everything from their military strategies to naming schemes. They were suicide ganking miners and industrialists under the banner of “Jihadswarm” as early as 2008, and the Goonswarm membership scam is so old and iconic that you could sell it to hipsters in a vintage boutique. They’ve even adopted the language of George Orwell’s dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four with a group called the Ministry of Love that is tasked with things like ganking highsec freighters and harassing a special list of people delightfully referred to as “unpersons.”

There are plenty of other examples out there of similar villainous behaviour and dark rhetoric, but suffice it to say that the Goons are unabashedly the self-declared bad guys of EVE Online. It’s no surprise then that so many players have jumped on the bandwagon when the monolithic Imperium finally began to bleed, and thousands of current and returning players have joined the war, perhaps to get revenge for a past mistreatment or defeat. There are also of course people signing up and returning to join The Imperium and play the role of the bad guys under siege from the rest of the galaxy that is preparing for a vicious revenge strike. Both sides of this colossal interstellar war have spun compelling narratives and motivations that have combined to hook in thousands of new and returning players.

evegraph

If you ever need proof that this war was bringing people back, check out the graphs over at EVE Offline. The concurrent player numbers hit an 11-month high of just over 40,000 this Sunday, and the number of new characters created each day has practically doubled since news of the war began hitting the media. The corporation membership graphs at Dotlan show a similar trend, with active war participants such as Goonswarm Federation, Brave Newbies and Pandemic Horde growing in size.

Ripard Teg over at Crossing Zebras has put together an interesting piece on the effect of Goonswarm’s past wars on the overall player activity levels. He notes that every time the group has won a major war and dealt a crippling blow to an alliance, EVE‘s numbers have dropped by as much as 10-25%. Conversely, every time the alliance has been dealt a significant loss in a war, EVE‘s activity levels have spiked. It’s not clear whether this is a causative effect or if there are other factors at play, but Ripard’s two part analysis of the strategies employed in the war and what it might mean for EVE‘s future makes for some very interesting reading.

Complete coverage of EVE Online’s World War Bee

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97 Comments on "EVE Online war update: Thousands return to join the war"

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Zennie
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Zennie

I remember buying some stuff on a Fanfest 2 years ago, I got a bag with the text “I gave them my ISK and they doubled it!”, it was awesome ;-)

kgptzac
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kgptzac

Biggest winner: CCP.

Kaloth
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Kaloth

Zachdidit Kaloth melissaheather Oh absolutely don’t give up on the war of sov-less bees. Kick their arses first!

Zachdidit
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Zachdidit

Kaloth Zachdidit melissaheather Maybe after the war. I’m currently in PH sticking it to the goons. I plan on either going to a Faction Wars or living in W-space after the bees are gone.

Kaloth
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Kaloth

Zachdidit melissaheather Oh. We’re doing propaganda? I’d like to throw my current corp into the ring as well. We’re a part of the Local is Primary alliance (a faction warfare alliance). We also have ships for to new players to die in. Come earn some isk and fight for glory.

Kaloth
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Kaloth

deekay_zero Nyphur Estranged Hubs are cancer. Stay away unless you’re looking to stock up on (relatively) cheaper equipment.
So many scams, spams and circlejerking.

Kaloth
Guest
Kaloth

schmidtcapela Nyphur Styopa gamingvyce It’s only feasible if that’s how you design it to be from the start. There’s no switch you can just ‘turn on’ to allow UI mods, the entire client would need to be redesigned to make it possible.
Also, then umber of MMOs that don’t support ui mods is a much larger list than the ones that do.

Kaloth
Guest
Kaloth

alexjwillis The solution? Gift your SO an Eve account + sub! Then you can at least talk to each other in the game, and any fights can be resolved with a bit of pewpew.

Kaloth
Guest
Kaloth

Serrenity A lot of folks approach Eve with the wrong mindset which is why they get frustrated and leave.
You don’t rage if when you run out of ammo in CS, or any other shooter. Don’t do the same when your ship pops in Eve. Think of your ship as ammunition. Because you will lose it (“run out of ammo”) at some point; it’s a part of the game.
All you’re doing when you’re grinding out isk with industry, pve, fw, whatever, is getting isk to buy more ‘ammo’.
Looking at a ship as an investment or something you can’t lose is how to not play Eve online. You’re an immortal spaceship pilot that gets reborn every time you die, what do you care if you lose a ship? You’re eternal. Get a another one and get out there again.
All that said, there’s some aspects of Eve that can be repugnant. The community can be toxic if you take a wrong turn, although much less so in recent years. And for some people, it’s just not the sort of game that interests them (don’t like scifi or sandboxes). 
If you want to play Eve, go have a chat to some folks over at reddit.com/r/eve and get into it. There’s even programmes that will get you a longer trial and (should be) about a billion isk to spend on the sidebar there (buddy invite programme or some such). A lot of this game is finding your niche in the sandbox. Once you’ve found where you belong, it’s a lot of fun.

Kaloth
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Kaloth

Nichpoiuy CCP will move one ship, with full hold, out of a sov null station for you if you’re a returning player with stuff stuck like the same way you have. So what you do is buy a freighter in that station and jam all your crap into it and submit a ticket.

Or, message the locals and find out what their freight costs to have stuff moved out. Most sov holders have a freight system in play for moving stuff about and may be open to moving your stuff just for the extra revenue.

Or, if it’s not totally useless shit, put it on the local market. I had a few rattlesnakes out in drone lands that were gathering dust until I needed some isk and I put them up for 40% over jita. Sold within the week (but then, that’s rattlers). That said, over a year has passed and the damn missiles I had there still haven’t sold (even with me JCing back every now and then to adjust the prices).

Lateris
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Lateris

alexjwillis korsobar I can see it now “World War Hole”.

Murmillo
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Murmillo

Kanbe Give in. EvE’s sweet touch on your fingertips, just one last time.

Murmillo
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Murmillo

Serrenity Hey… What you need to do is, first resub. Then go to the In-game channel: “Join HORDE”, you will be in fleets on that same day. The biggest mistake (and I’ve done this myself many times before EvE finally grabbed me) is thinking “I need more skill points to be useful, I just need to train this and that before i go” or “I need to find a way to make millions of isk to fund my game time and to fund my PvP” NO! YOU GO NOW! Fuck isk, you will get ships handed to you for free, along with every other newbean, and they’ll explain how it works and who to target etc. Just go, you will have a blast, I promise.

korsobar
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korsobar

deekay_zero Nyphur gamingvyce Its pretty easy now.  Everyone can launch the max number of probes.  You launch, click the first auto formation button, drag the edge of the probes to the size you want, and hit analyze.  After it resolves, you just move them to center on whichever signature you like and grab the edge of the probe radius to resize, then scan again.  Very simple.  The signatures automatically show a sphere for their possible location without any scanning so you can know where to focus.  Many tutorials are out of date and will only confuse you so just get someone to teach you in game.  Shouldn’t take more than an hour imho.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

Nyphur deekay_zero arktourosx 
Hard to say if it will last. To keep wars ongoing EVE needs a stable equilibrium (in the physics sense) where, no matter how strong a faction becomes, it all tends to revert to a number of smaller and somewhat balanced warring factions, and it needs this to happen at a reasonably fast pace. That is insanely hard to design for, since thanks to instant communications (out of game if needed) alliances scale in power very well with the number of active players.

I’m sure CCP will try their hardest to achieve it, though.

MorpayneRADIO
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MorpayneRADIO

Someone should make an Eve news show similar to TMZ. You put together tens of thousands of people and the drama doesn’t stop. Everything from guild politics to baby’s being born….

levarrishawk
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levarrishawk

Nichpoiuy Not if you found out who was the current landlord and joined them.

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

deekay_zero Denice J Cook Mittens’ outrage at the name of the war is pure popcorn. I’m indifferent to him and his role in EVE history, but he went 100% tinfoil with his assumptions behind the use of the name.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

Kanbe Go back. Iknow you feel it calling you in your bones.

korsobar
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korsobar

alexjwillis korsobar Sadly, that is the truth.

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

deekay_zero
You’re sweet to try and help, but there’s nothing there.  That screenshot was taken from inside my account, under the Game Time tab, lol; no Specials button, no nothing is there.  I haven’t played that account in literally 5 years.  However, that special may not be running any longer.  Thanks anyway.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

Denice J Cook deekay_zero ahhwell that sucks. QQ >>

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

korsobar The more WHs are ignored, the better for WH residents!

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

deekay_zero 
You’re sweet to try and help, but that screenshot was taken from *inside* my account, under the Game Time Tab, lol.  I just chopped off the account name at the top.  Even accounts I haven’t played in literally 5 years don’t have a Specials button in Game Time.  Where is this button supposed to be exactly?  Maybe it isn’t even running anymore.

korsobar
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korsobar

In that video, CCP says ~7k systems divided into hisec, lowsec and nullsec.  No love for wormholes….no love at all.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

Denice J Cook deekay_zero sorry it’s called specials. and you have to be logged in to see it.

Ket_Viliano
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Ket_Viliano

Nichpoiuy  The thing about full loot type games is that you have to learn not to walk around in your best gear. Which is the exact opposite of gear grind games, like Diablo, WoW, PoE, etc. Traditional pnp D&D should be included in this as well, that is where the ‘you are your gear’ meme started. The habit does not translate at all to full loot, or full loot lost on death games, in fact it becomes tragic.
I only ever enter Null or WH with just the ship or ships I plan to fly, usually T2 frigs, T3D, and one recon cruiser, max. The rest sits in HS.

If your best stuff gets trapped in Null, try selling it whole on contract, the whole ship, fit and all, and charge a nice 10-15% ( or more ) premium for the delivery fee. There are lots of people who can undock safely, who will jump at the chance to buy a good ship in Nullsec, without the Jita hassle. Sell off everything in you hanger as well, I would stuff it in a separate contract and advertise it as a hangar clearance sale, at a nice nullsec premium over Jita price. If there are no takers in a week, cut the price to a 10% discount, if you really want the ISK.

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

deekay_zero 
Okay, no Deals button.  I guess CCP can tell I can’t stand stupid Mittens.  :P
It would be worth a buck to see him shed a few tears.

deekay_zero
Guest
deekay_zero

Denice J Cook deekay_zero look at teh gametime purchase area of your account page, and then look at the top right hand corner for the “deals” button. it’ll all be in there.

Denice J Cook
Guest
Denice J Cook

deekay_zero 
I just logged into one of my six accounts (haven’t played any of them in years), and I don’t see any of that to be honest.

deekay_zero
Guest
deekay_zero

Nyphur arktourosx alexhurlbut honestly eve direction paradigm has been incredible since what’s her name stepped up as producer/director.

the game has done extremely well for itself with the ongoing changes she’s directed. very well done ms.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

Denice J Cook maybe that’s why they’re calling it world war bee instead of kissing mittani’s ass with his “sovless” w/e war bullshit moniker he’s posturing. ;)

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

By the sounds of it, far from kissing Mittani’s ass at every turn, CCP should instead be stepping on Goon, if they want to see their subscription numbers ever again approach what they used to be.

Hulkageddon my foot.  It just goes to show you that if you let the schoolyard bullies pick on the defenseless, the defenseless quit playing and take their money with them.  Well…good for them!   *claps*

Nichpoiuy
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Nichpoiuy

It’s the only true sandbox mmo I have ever played, but the full loot perma death of all your assets is absolutely brutal. I just can’t bring myself to return having suffered from RL clashing with the game resulting in all my assets trapped.

Nichpoiuy
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Nichpoiuy

I would love to return to EVE. I left builds of isk in north east Tenerife G-don3 back in 2012, but the thing with EVE is if I logged back in to get my two accounts, then they would be locked in an enemy station so I would only be able to undock a carrier once and even then it would most likely get insta popped and years of kit would explode into digital pixels. That’s the one problem with EVE you can’t leave your character in zero space for a few days or you end up screwed like me. Such a shame.

theeknighthood
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theeknighthood

alexjwillis Yay, welcome back fellow ship builder.

disUserNameTake
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disUserNameTake

Serrenity Meh.  The reality never matches the hype with this game.  You’re better off staying away.

Deathage
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Deathage

Armsbend SallyBowls1 alexjwillis I don’t think your hand is capable of getting jealous

Kanbe
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Kanbe

No no no. Please dont make me go back DX I want to but RL cant handle EVE. It was hard enough to walk away the first time idk if I’d be able to walk away a 2nd time @.@

arktourosx
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arktourosx

Nyphur Like the Moon Goo before this last change? :|

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

Nyphur arktourosx alexhurlbut Also…they’ve never really been a terribly “spur of the moment change” company. They have a decent track record of announcing changes well in advance, and even though some of those changes aren’t popular, they tend to workshop them and digest them and even benefit from the forum-flames that surround them.

Zachdidit
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Zachdidit

melissaheather The propaganda machine feels the same as you:

Nyphur
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Nyphur

alexjwillis Nyphur Yep, a gank Oracle is my weapon of choice just for the sustained DPS against a stationary target and ammo conservation. Got it in one!

Nyphur
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Nyphur

arktourosx alexhurlbut There isn’t really a risk of CCP frequently dropping mass changes. For one thing, this war and the spike in player activity weren’t just the product of the fact that the mechanics have changed significantly, it was the results of a broken sov system being replaced by one that works last year. CCP has also been extremely good lately at maintaining a unified development direction and sticking to the plan, so they aren’t going to just change things for the sake of change.

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

Nyphur (Sorry, not POCO — meant POS.)

Zachdidit
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Zachdidit

arktourosx alexhurlbut to be fair this change happened well before the war broke out and had little to do with the lead up to it. 
A lot of bittervets however, strongly dislike the new system.

alexjwillis
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alexjwillis

Nyphur Question about your solo POCO takedown operation though: what do you use to do the dirty deed? Assuming you work in highsec: T3 BC? (I always liked Oracles for long-duration takedowns — great DPS against stationary targets and no need to worry about ammo.)

arktourosx
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arktourosx

alexhurlbut Sorta.  I view it from the other angle, and if I were an EVE player I’d be more concerned that CCP is going to do mass changes like this in the future anytime their subs drop to encourage another war to get customers to return.
Now that sounds great in theory, but there’s A TON of work that goes into this stuff in the background.  Logistics is real, and shaking things up constantly would almost be too much work for it’s effort.  It really requires a balance and if CCP doesn’t manage that balance properly they could just as easily burn people out as bore them to death.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

SallyBowls1 alexjwillis My other half would likely rather me me cheat sexually than spend any more time on video games.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

I so wish that I could get into this game.  Many attempts and all have ended in tears

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