EVE Online sparks a 4,000-strong player battle

EVE Online seems to make the most waves when its community pulls off a major scam, destroys a ship worth way too much real-world money, or triggers massive wars that would be all but impossible in most other MMOs.

It looks as though another war is brewing for the space sandbox, as last week saw a “brawl of biblical proportions” at UALX-3, where around 4,000 players engaged in high-stakes combat. The fight threw Goonswarm and the Imperium against the Pandemic Legion and allies, turning this battle into a grudge match that came out of 2016’s World War Bee player event.

The battle at UALX-3 didn’t go well for Pandemic Legion, which found itself trapped and unable to retreat for a while. It took several days before players could evacuate their capital ships from the blockade that the Imperium set up.

Polygon posits that this battle is the start (or continuation) of a war that will grow even larger considering the sheer size of the organizations involved.

Source: Polygon

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Oleg Chebeneev

Good to see those things are still happening in EVE. WTB Brandan’s analysis of this conflict.

Wilhelm Arcturus

It wasn’t the Imperium that was camping Pandemic Legion’s coalition, it was TEST and the Legacy Coalition that was doing the camping. The Imperium are their allies and helped with the fight, but didn’t stay to do the camping as they were back to the other front in the war where they are even now prepping for another Keepstar fight at 23:00 UTC that may turn into yet another giant battle.

Jeffery Witman

It took several days before players could evacuate their capital ships from the blockade that the Imperium set up.

That is a bit much. Were these people stuck playing this battle for days or they lose their ship? I know some of those capital ships are worth thousands of real world dollars, so how do you decide between your game ship that costs as much as a used car and, say, any social engagement? Or maybe a job? Or school? God forbid you have kids to take care of. I can’t imagine the number and type of people doing this.

Wilhelm Arcturus

The people who were blockaded were logged off. They needed somebody to cover them so they could log on and escape. So nobody was sitting there waiting for days.

Those doing the blockading were the ones logged in. But EVE is played across all time zones, so there is always somebody who is in their prime time to play. Plus doing a camp is something you can do semi-AFK while you do other things.


So, in a nutshell, you had a bunch of players taking turns staring at empty space and another bunch of players that couldn’t log on because they would be immediately killed and lose their current ships, and this state persisted for days.

Aren’t games supposed to be fun?

Kickstarter Donor

In EVE the stakes are what make it fun (or at least suspenseful).

Of course nobody in their right mind would do something like this in a game where there’s no death penalty besides a little slap on the wrist and some miniscule repair cost. They would stay logged in, get killed, respawn, and that’s that.

I for one am glad that EVE doesn’t work like that.

Wilhelm Arcturus

Any game you care to name can be deconstructed to a point where it can objectively be declared “not fun.” WoW, chess, soccer, Civ VI, or whatever. I guarantee you I can make it sound not fun.

But it takes a special form of wet blanket to stand on the sidelines and tell people they aren’t having fun.