On March 28th in the constellation 1P-VL2 in the Tribute Region of EVE Online, the solar systems of M-OEE8 and J-GAMP and surrounding saw a truly massive sub-capital battle between the Imperium Coalition and the newly formed coalition of a huge amount of other Alliances in New Eden, the Moneybadger Coalition.
In fact, with a participation of 5,806 pilots over the course of the multi-hour fight, it is the second largest in EVE Online ever. The most costly of course still belongs to the supercapital Bloodbath of B-R5RB. You can read about that battle here.
The best part is this is just one of the first few battles of a new “great war” in EVE, with months of conflict ahead and likely bloodier fighting to come. There are many names floating about for the conflict which began taking root many months ago, but since the relatively new escalation the player community has yet to reach full consensus on whether it’s the Easter War, Northern War, World War Bee, Mercenary Wars, or something else. Interestingly, it seems to depend on the players point of view of the hostilities as to what they have called it thus far. History is still being written.
Reports from all Alliances involved show both an influx of new players and corp applications and old friends returning to fight in what is the largest conflict in EVE in years.
What a time to be alive in New Eden! Tens of thousands of pilots fighting tens of thousands of pilots in a real time war with strategic battles, advances, retreats, propaganda (check Reddit!), “betrayals” and diplomatic maneuvering, with opportunities for non-aligned players to make lots of money off supplying the war itself. And all one single shard (game server) which has hosted a unified, uninterrupted, amazing player-made emergent history of empires and shenanigans since it launched in 2003.
What did the battle look like?
Images courtesy of Lord Maldoror and Vizition
Famous EVE videomakers Rooks and Kings provide a dramatic video of the war
Here’s an edited video from a member of Triumvirate showing parts of the battle
And one from Suddenly Spaceships
And Snuffed Out
The war thus far
Rather than recap it ourselves, we’ll let the players do so, as this conflict is entirely player-driven. This great writeup was posted on Reddit by ShadowPhynix. Skip to the TL-DR for the quickest overview.
WTF is going on? The Answer.
So I've been seeing a bunch of wtf is going on posts from travelers or people not fully aware of the war going on in Eve, and I got a few messages to post my writeup on the reddit rather than as a comment. So, without further ado:
The political structure of Eve before the war was CFC, a super-coalition of 40,000 members+ having total dominance in the north of the map, in an area called null sec (or 0.0 space, it's lawless and can be player owned). The hallmark of CFC is enormous numbers of people in generally cheap doctrines (doctrine being a set of ships and tactics) to outnumber an enemy. They were considered to be totally unassailable, possessing manpower and resources far beyond even the most powerful of entities in Eve.
Low Sec (0.1 - 0.4 space) is another area of space, and has some laws (not many though). The LowSec entities (known collectively as LSV) are constantly fighting over "moons" (a way of passively generating income for a player group), and their hallmark is obscenely expensive and skill intensive doctrines, to make up for comparatively very small numbers of players.
CFC, the big group up north, have been stagnating because no one wants to fight them (they're known for making fights not fun, by intentionally lagging servers, avoiding fights and when they do fight, bringing so many people they can't possibly lose). To counter-act this, they declared war on LSV to take their moons (the passive income thingys) and force them to fight.
This didn't work. Instead of steamrolling the LSV groups with minimal preparation and effort, they got crushed in pretty much every engagement. By this I mean they'd lose full fleets and kill only one or two ships in return. Gradually they got a little better, but they almost never did "well," almost always losing, and continued to be demolished by fleets that at times were a quarter their size or less.
To counter-act this, they prepared better and got more numbers. In response, the LSV entities put aside their constant squabbling and war mongering to band together into what is affectionately known as "Forming Voltron." (thus the name, Low Sec Voltron – LSV). LowSec Alliances might constantly fight and war with their rivals, but they all hate one thing above all others, and that’s outsiders. The same thing happened again, with CFC losing fights, but on a much larger scale with fights involving thousands of pilots.
After not only defending all their own moons, the LowSec entities proceeded to wipe CFC out of LowSec, taking all their valuable moons in the process. While this was happening, one of the larger Alliances in the CFC (who are a coalition of alliances) pissed of a group called I Want Isk (IWI), and enormously rich and powerful gambling organisation. Something about theft and betrayal, but regardless, they decided to pay these low sec groups to get revenge against the CFC for them (and is likely a major catalyst in them forming together so quickly).
Having successfully expelled CFC from Low Sec, LSV looked for future targets, and with likely direction from the IWI (gambler guys) and Tishu's BLOPs (battleships with a very long range jump drive to attack farming ships) campaign in Fade, set their sights on the north. With the assistance of virtually every major entity in Eve, who answered the call to arms from either being paid by IWI or the glory of the next major war, the new Coalition (who have yet to decide on an official name, although Money Badger Coalition (MBC) seems to be a front-runner) have begun an invasion.
Spread across numerous regions and hundreds of systems, MBC have begun to systematically drive out CFC from their homes. Currently most of the alliance sin the CFC are in full retreat, after having lost several regions that were previously thought to be impregnable. As it currently stands, a large portion of the CFC have been ordered to withdraw to the far north, the home of Goonswarm, the leaders and core of the CFC. A recent address by the leader of goonswarm indicates they intend to use the north as a base to harass the allies as they grind the regions in order to control them totally. As the allies begin to grind out the regions which are increasingly being left undefended, the last few pockets of resistance such as the Co2 Alliance are gradually being worn down.
It is assumed that at some point the allies will move further north, once their latest conquests are secure, to take the fight to Goons. If this happens, you can be almost certain that we will see another battle such as that of B-R5RB several years ago (you can look that up, CFC won that one), which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of assets being lost.
In other words, it’s the war of a century in Eve, with pretty much the entirety of the PvP groups in the game all allied against a single super-coalition. Regardless of who wins, it's going to be a really cool time to be in the game.
As of a few hours ago, the allies / money badgers / whatever won a major strategic victory, successfully taking control of Co2's (a member of the cfc) primary staging system. This is significant because it was defended by the full CFC, lacking only their capital fleet due to their suspicions of a trap (which was actually them reading more into Co2 evaccing than anything).
This was the first major test, and the timer was won whilst inflicting enormous losses from the CFC's subcapital forces, with several fleets being wiped out to a man.
Importantly, M-O is traditionally the bottleneck for accessing the space of the Northern Empires of the past, as it allows access for the allies into the northern regions (where the core of CFC live).
Following the victory, Co2 have declared they will no longer support goons, and it is assumed they will now be supporting the Allies in the hopes of having their space returned to them.
So the leader of the CFC, The Mittani, released their version of events from the M-O fight in a soundcloud recording which you can find HERE.
The gist of it is they felt it was at least a partial victory for them, as they were falsely lead to believe that the whole point of the iHub fight was to trap and kill their super capital fleet (neither side fielded their extensive super capital fleets in this conflict). Note the iHub is a structure which grants control of the system (ownership if you will) and allows upgrades of the system, and thus is essential to controlling the system. Edit for clarity: The iHub doesnt give specific control, but is one of many structures that does this in differing ways. Taking the iHub in this situation however gave the Allies enormous leverage over Co2, and takes away all upgrades previously in the system.
Supercap fleets contain the most powerful ships in Eve, Titans and Super Carriers, neither of which can be docked and must generally always be piloted (thus tying up that pilot whilst the individual owns the ship), resulting in added cost on top of their already enormous build costs (for titans, this number is in the thousands of dollars range).
It is worth noting that the iHub timer is considered important because it allows the Allies to control M-O, which is an important stepping stone to the northern regions, where the CFC has retreated to. Whether they remain ignorant of the system's importance, or merely do not consider it to be important is unclear.
Thus you have the two sides of the conflict spinning this massive fight two different ways, with both claiming victory of different objectives.
The largest coalition in the game decided to take a poke at the numerically inferior Low Sec alliances. Instead of crumbling as expected to the superpower, they banded together and pushed them back out of their area of space, taking all of the big coalition's income in the area as they did.
Once people saw it was possible to beat this super-coalition, most of the player groups in the game decided to band together, with encouragement from the enormously rich I Want Isk (IWI) gambling organisation who have grievances with the super-coalitions's component alliances.
Today marked a major victory in taking the strategically important staging system of one of the super-coalition's player groups which caused that group to flip sides to the attackers.
- Big War.
- Big group attack little group.
- Little group win.
- Little group attack big group.
- Everyone attack big group now.
- Big group losing. Badly.
Edit: For clarity, CFC = The Imperium, they rebranded to Imperium to increase cross-platform marketability (so to other games).
Edit 2: Holy hell, my first gold is for an Eve post, thank you kind stranger!!!!
Here’s another great video recap by Hendrick Tallardar:
And another video from Northern Coalition. with players reacting to the Circle of Two leaving the Imperium. Each one of those colored icons is a player in a spaceship involved in the battle, and the fight is shown from a tactical view of the videocapturer fighting in the battle.
Even the in-game SCOPE news agency has since reacted to conflict and highlighted them in this new report.
For a wider, comprehensive look at the politics and history behind the conflict, this article by TheMittani.com explains things in great detail.
Propaganda for the war is hitting hurricane levels, particularly on the /r/EVE subreddit.
Here’s an amazing player-made piece by Pandemic Legion.
The battle broke the record for the most Nullsec PVP kills in one day—the previous record was from November 30, 2014.
Peak in one system was 3436 in J-GAMP (6th highest of all time) and the peak population in the constellation was 4659, with a total of 5806 unique characters active in the constellation over the course of the battle (measured by gate jumps by unique characters in the constellation between 20:00 and 00:00). All of this was hosted on EVE’s new Tranquility Tech III servers.
This makes it the second largest battle in EVE Online (and gaming) history, especially juicy when considering all the active parties involved on both sides bringing in the heavy hitters.
With more war to come in the next months, and the Imperium consolidating closer to their tactical reinforcements, it is entirely possible larger battles involving super capital ships (as in the Bloodbath of B-R5RB) will happen over chokepoints and staging systems and perhaps even headquarter systems.
Twitch streamers, war correspondents, podcasters, bloggers, propagandists and more are at the ready to capture the action. With EVE Fanfest on April 21-23 and the next major expansion EVE Online: Citadel coming April 27th, it will be extremely interesting to see how the conflict morphs to adjust to an entire supercapital rebalance, the introduction of new Force Auxiliary Capital ships and doomsday weapons, and of course, the strategic warfare capabilities of new, and massive citadels.
New to EVE?
Consensus amongst players discussing the war is that right now is the best time in recent memory to start playing EVE. Not only do both sides have corps actively recruiting and set up to help new players, but the entire community is energized and helpful to those who are taking their first steps in the universe. Free trials are always available at www.eveonline.com.
We just recently (and thankfully) released an Updated Rookie Resources Dev Blog with tons of information on how to dive right into EVE.
That’s it…for now.
o7 in anticipation of the next thing EVE pilots will do in this great conflict and on behalf of what Kill Screen calls “the game science fiction warned us about.*”
The EVE Online development team
A note about Time Dilation (TiDI)
If a 5,806 player battle without instancing sounds like a lot of work for a server to handle, that’s because you have a good sense for how much load that would require.
In EVE, we know that fights like this are a major deciding factor in large-scale warfare, so in order to support them the best we can we introduced a system called Time Dilation. Its job is to give the server the means to control the amount of load an insane-scale fight like this causes.
The mechanism behind Time Dilation is reasonably simple – if the server cannot keep up with the load of simulation, it slows down time in the solar systems it’s managing. For example, if there’s twice as much going on than the server can normally handle, it’s got the ability to run that heavy simulation at half speed, bring the rate of load back to something manageable. Due to how we set up our universe, the effect of this slowdown is localized, often applying to just the problematic system and allowing the vast majority of other online players to continue on as happy as can be blowing up ships, mining, trading, exploring etc as long as they didn’t come near these massive fights.
With the length and intensity of this fight however, this slowdown was not enough to completely cover it, so it hit our limit of running the simulation at 10% of normal time. It is designed to give players a fairer, more predictable experience (albeit slower) than would take place otherwise.
In anticipation of big fights players can use a Fleet Fight Notification form to request node reinforcement.