May The Best Ship Win


It’s been over ten years since the massively multiplayer EVE Online was first released to PC gamers. Like other massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, EVE allows thousands of players to interact over the internet in a constantly evolving universe. What sets EVE Online apart from its peers is its massive real economy, tales of espionage, pyramid schemes, and campaigns to control the virtual outer space which have been known to take months of planning and a year to implement.

The game has neither a storyline nor an end goal for players to reach, but rather functions as an interactive world between users.

So what happens when someone misses a virtual online bill payment in EVE’s universe? A battle of epic proportions, of course.

What is being called the ‘Bloodbath of B-R5RB’ consisted of a battle with over 7,000 participants and ended after 21 straight hours of battle in what is now being called the largest player versus player (PVP) event in online gaming history.

In EVE, players and coalitions can own sections of star space that contain valuable resources, which players can mine, trade, and build large starships with. The part of cyberspace known as B-R5RB consists of 9 planets, 66 moons and 12 asteroid belts. To put things in perspective, that solar system is only one of 7,500 in the game.

When B-R5RB’s new owners by the name of ‘H A V O C’ forgot to make their monthly payment, the system became free for anyone to grab. Suddenly a mad-dash for the unclaimed territory and a battle of biblical proportions ignited as players rushed to see which corporation would lay claim to the shiny solar system.

As the conflict escalated, so did the body (i.e. ship) count. In total, 775 “doomsday devices” were fired, resulting in the destruction of 75 Titan ships—the largest and most expensive ship in EVE—along with a host of supercarriers, dreadnaughts, carriers, innumerable drones, and lesser ships.

The action only ended when the game servers went down for maintenance the following day.

If temporarily shutting down servers is what it takes to extinguish such a battle, imagine what would have happened if the site hadn’t undergone maintenance (you are entitled to think expensive thoughts).

When the virtual dust settled, it was estimated that over 11 trillion ISK—EVE Online’s currency—or somewhere between $300,000-$330,000 dollars were lost in damages.

Due to the size and scope of the battle, players asked to commemorate the fallen ships along with the blood, sweat, and tears its players had put into their spacecrafts with a monument. Luckily, the game’s developers were happy to oblige and now anyone who owns the game can find the monument ‘Titanomachy’ floating in cyberspace around B-R5RB’s seventh planet.

You can find more about the battle along with full HD-videos, pictures, spreadsheets, and diagrams of the ships over at the game’s official forums.

Matt Nowatzke
Matt Nowatzke is a small-town farm boy who one day decided to use his book learning skills to leave the Midwest and see the world. After spending all his money in Europe, he cut his trip short and moved to Boston where he now writes for lunch money and teaches. In his spare time he enjoys reading, watching movies and cartoons, hiking, fishing, and attempting to make his own video games. You can find more about him on his blog or via Twitter.
Matt Nowatzke
Matt Nowatzke

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