UPDATE: Dev blogs are up about the event so please do scroll down and read below!

While reading about the battle that was fought I thought: Finally!  I always wanted to write something in or near layman’s terms so please bear with me, also this event is such a nice opportunity so I wanted to write a post about both. I know I am so yesterday.

But being ‘late‘ to write about things has its merits too: the dust settled; the smoke cleared; the killboards finally managed to take a deep breath and people have come down from the state of mind I call ‘bloodrage’. No, no WoW connection there for you, you opportunist little… 🙂

Speaking of opportunist, Riverini already has a T-shirt that goes with this:

Riverini's take on these matters, you opportunist little F... :-)

War is good for business I suppose.

The prelude for this battle was the long building tension between the two most powerful alliances in the game: Goonswarm and Test Alliance Please Ignore. Each holding up to and above 10.000 characters and that is not counting affiliates / allies. These two are the powerhouses of EVE right now. To understand how this came to be involves diving into the politics of 0.0 which are pretty similar to this:

Yep, that is about as accurate as it can get. 🙂

Joking aside, the Goonswarm Federation was born not in EVE but outside of it: somethingawful.com. I believe most of my readers know this site, they are among the older alliance in the game right now. With their old arch-enemy the BoB/IT flushed down the toilet (sorry), and a seemingly limitless potential of new recruits pouring into the game from the site they slowly came to be an entity that now holds more than a 100 systems and has influence through and through the game (look at picture, remember cinema, look back). Somewhere along the line TEST came to be in similar fashion but from a totally different site: reddit.com.

As luck would have it, these two entities became friends although the original sites hold some animosities against each other. By the end of 2012, together and with the help of Pandemic Legion they became the most influential groups, commanding somewhere around 25.000+ troops and still not counting allies. They began to manipulate the markets, bullied, bribed, stole and spied and did pretty much everything you don’t get banned right away. In the process the pissed off a lot of people.

Then came the OTEC and stagnation. With the majority of the most valuable moons firmly under their control they began to amass wealth unheard of (this pissed off even more people, mind you). While forcing every other alliance into submission by the numbers game known as The Blob. The Blob was dropped onto pretty much everything float (flew) and one by one territories and entities once hold like fortresses of old succumbed to this juggernaut.

And for a time it was good – for Goons actually. But money came into the picture. Eventually TEST wanted a bigger piece of the pie (hmm where have I seen that before?) and wanted more. Goons would not want them too and so tensions rose almost to the breaking point. In the last minute, the clash was averted, but the guns were only put below the table  not away.

So basically the table was set for something like this to come:

A still from the show:

More videos related:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=eve+online+asakai&oq=eve+online+asakai&gs_l=youtube.3…3953.20436.0.20644.27.21.5.1.1.0.402.3028.5j14j1j0j1.21.0…0.0…1ac.1.gc3vNIATGZ0

As the dust settled, and the smoke cleared, some things crossed my mind:

  • The scale – and therefore the still slumbering potential – of EVE is massive. No, really it is MASSIVE!
    Just think about it: most games tap themselves on the shoulder if they can get a 64vs64 battle together. In Eve Online 64vs64 is a SMALL engagement, not really newsworthy even. Even though I play this game for years it still amazes me.
  • War IS good for business, with stagnation and ‘blue-ball’ rampant in null-sec, this was a welcome refreshment for all parties involved.
  • EVE-Online’s back-end and staff are finally up to the task. Usually, fights like this happen on a reinforced node that has to be requested 24h prior to the engagement. And while this was just a regular node CCP’s employees jumped on to pull all the stops they could – and the node prevailed.
  • The amount (and the quality/price) of assets in player hands is staggering, which brings me to this picture:

  • Given current prices, my guesstimate is that about 487B ISK worth of assets were lost in this ONE fight. To make that clear to a (any) non-eve human: 487B ISK can easily buy you about 903 (and a half) PLEXes. A PLEX is 30 days of game time which has a direct relation to real money. Namely 2 PLEX is worth 35$ (34,9$ to be precise) So therefore:

This fight tallies at ~15.750$

Plus change.

  • This fight happened by a freak accident. While there are some reports of preparations on both sides, none of this would have made it to the front pages unless the recipe for the perfect storm was not ready. And it was ready:
  1. The titan fail-bridged – this stuff can happen as the label ‘jump’ and ‘bridge’ are right below each other, I’m told. This video demonstrates this fairly accurately (at 01:30) the sudden and unexpected turn this can have on battles. Sh*t happens, apparently.
  2. Some reinforcements were ‘on the ready’. While their firepower was not enough to pop the enemy fast (and allow both sides to call it a day, writing off losses) it was enough that given enough time this Titan would have died.  Therefore reinforcements were called in on both sides: one side to kill, the other to save the titan.
  3. Dabigredboat changed the mission to ‘rescue me!’ to ‘kill sh*t’ right in the middle of battle – balls of steel, eh? (Kudos on him for doing this, actually)
  4. With most of 0.0 in a strange state of stagnation (relatively speaking), ships and assets have been at the ready and plenty, with most major powerblock-players bored by the small skirmishes and having itchy fingers for something more, they were actually praying for something like this to happen.
  5. With the almost neutered tension between the two largest alliances in game that almost brought a virtual civil war – and many were hoping for that it did –  people were eager to settle old grudges.
  6. While the system was not in null, but in low security space it was in the perfect position. It is an easy to reach destination with only 9 jumps away for Jita, THE trade hub of EVE-Online.
  7. The activity low combined with both side’s grudges and allies standing by (and also eager for some blood) enabled that everyone  could throw in whatever they wanted.  And they did… 🙂

The rest is well documented history. Go browse through some of the links I’ve added below if you want to get a blurred picture of the clear view. 🙂

After everything is done and done for, one question remains:
Where is EVE heading?

With Goons an TEST quite nearly crashing into something pretty much similar to a civil war and EVE itself nearing a state (it is more a feeling than anything else I could point to) of pre-World War I, I only wonder where this will head. The current state of 0.0 with the dominance of CFC is only good for a few and while they get richer the barrier of entry of other entities to enter null rises with it. I hate to say it, but it this virtual world where stagnation is death  WAR. IS. GOOD. FOR BUSINESS.

I do hope some good will come out of this all

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UPDATE: official post about the undertaking: http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=74227

UPDATE #2: another official post about http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=74226

To read / References / Pictures taken from:

Reinforcement Request Forum post:
http://community.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=940053

DOTLAN’s Asakai map stats of the fight:
http://evemaps.dotlan.net/system/Asakai/stats/2013-01-26:2013-01-28

Players blogging about the war that did not happened:
http://mabricksmumblings.blogspot.hu/2013/01/what-hell-happened-to-goonswarm.html
http://poeticstanziel.blogspot.ca/2013/01/test-alliance-vs-goonswarm-taming-of.html

The fight:
http://evenews24.com/2013/01/28/battle-report-video-super-sunday-kicks-off-a-week-earlier-as-the-biggest-eve-fight-in-years-explodes-in-asakai/
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/01/eve-online-2800-spaceships-clash-costing-over-thousands-of-dollars
http://jestertrek.blogspot.hu/2013/01/kill-of-week-overly-aggressive.html
http://mabricksmumblings.blogspot.hu/2013/01/my-question-is-answered.html

The fight in somewhat layman’s terms:
http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/17d2lv/massive_2800_player_battle_in_eve_online_took/c84hbfo

Fly safe!