Eve Online's biggest ever battle was the game's 'Battle of the Alamo'

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Over 4,000 pilots were involved a one-tenth speed space battle for precious - virtual - resources

If you’re a gamer, then Eve Online probably holds a special place in your heart, regardless of whether you’ve actually played it or not. When the persistent-world space simulator played host to the largest virtual space battle of all time last weekend, the geekier parts of the internet demonstrated the sort of sincere awe and praise usually reserved for Olympic victories.

There’s something about the massive scale of Eve and the sense of something other than virtual death being at stake that makes it seem larger than its own considerably-sizeable game world.

For those not familiar with the game Eve Online is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying space simulator, where characters build their own spaceships and explore a galaxy of more than 7,500 star systems. There are hundreds of alliances and coalitions; some are years old, upholding charters of honour and loyalty -others are founded only on mutual-interest, with undercurrents of distrust and potential betrayal.

These sorts of stories are enough to spark any gamer’s imagination and the recent battle (known as the Battle for 6VDT-H) was no exception. Taking place between two of the largest groups in the game (the coalition CFC and the Test Alliance Please Ignore - otherwise known as TEST) the battle was a last-stand everything-in attempt to maintain control of the Fountain region of the galaxy.

  The system map for 6VDT-H looks pretty quiet now.

By the end of the five-hour battle 2,591 ships had been destroyed with losses (which can only be roughly converted into real currencies) somewhere in excess of £15,000. Battles such as this are so intense that Eve’s servers have slow game time to just 10 per cent of normal speed just to cope.

Eve’s own dev blogs are offering a full explanation of the day’s events for those who are savvy with talk of shield reinforcement timers, Megathron fleets and gatecamps, but on behalf of the impressed-but-uninformed masses I spoke to Ned Coker (CCP Manifest), a spokesperson for EVE Online and a long-time Pilgrim cruiser pilot.

The CFC fleet waits around the station in 6VDT-H

Hey Ned, can you explain the significance of the battle for us?

Recent changes we made to the distribution of resources around the EVE universe meaning that one of the largest alliances in game (thousands of players) decided to declare war against one of their previous allies in order to take their space which had become the new area of abundant resources—ostensibly in order to maintain the aggressor coalition’s ‘quality of life.’

The war has been raging all summer and the aggressor [CFC] gained enough ground to push back to the ‘ancestral home’ of the defending alliance—both sides went all in on this symbolic battle. It’s eerily similar to the Battle of the Alamo in some respects.

And how often do these sort of all-out, everything-in fights occur?

It’s totally up to the players. Year round there are many many smaller conflicts, anywhere from a few players up to several thousand participating. 6VDT-H was the biggest we’ve ever had because of the size of the Alliances involved and the politics behind it.

Like almost any conflict it’ll have a ripple effect for other players—whether direct in terms of ship loss or Alliance gain, through supporting a huge chain of industrial production or through political and social pressures as corporations expand and contract.

A view from the middle of the battle.

What’s it like to take part in such a battle?

One this large, it totally depends on your role, although because of Time Dilation (in order to handle the size), everyone is slowed down considerably and so it’s a bit more like a chess match once it starts going than typical EVE gameplay—so preparation is key.

For instance, there are some who are along as sort of “archers”. For them it is just enough to follow orders, aim and fire at the right time. For others, they are involved in scouting and much quicker maneuvering. Others, the fleet commanders, are busy calling targets and handling the tactical parts of the battle.

It’s pretty neat to see how many different types of players can all contribute during something like this. And of course, once it’s over, the “propagandists” go to work. As a matter of fact, their job I guess just continues from the months leading up to it.

The battle got a hell of a lot of coverage from various news outlets; what do you think it is that attracts players to Eve?

Whatever our players decide to do ends up creating the gameplay itself. It’s often said that in EVE you get to determine your own game: anything you can imagine doing as a sci-fi spaceship pilot. But then it’s also equally said that you get to determine the other guy’s game, should you choose.

Content in all video games gets old after a while I think, but when your game AI is essentially replaced by real human AI (another player) with their own aspirations and background, well then it can be a really compelling experience.

[With battles like 6VDT-H] and when you go to war in general - the bond with your corpmates becomes stronger, the encounters more memorable, and the mistakes you make unforgettable. Therefore, EVE has a true history about it, a shared one of a half a million people.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

    £100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

    C# Developer

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: My client is lo...

    SAP FICO CONSULTANT - LONDON

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SENIOR SAP FICO...

    SAP BI/BO CONSULTANT

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BI CONSULTA...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn