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.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Latest stories from i100
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

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst - Bristol

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

    £30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick