Clash of Titans
Eve Online, the massive multiplayer online space sim developed by CCP Games, has grown into a behemoth in its 17 years since launch. Now enjoyed by an estimated 300,000 players per month, the in game universe gives gamers the chance to define their destiny by taking on a number of roles from mining to piracy, or perhaps engaging in the current war for dominance between two massive factions.
“World War Bee 2” is the conflict currently raging on Eve Online’s server, between the established dominant force Goonswarm, and the upstart alliance PAPI determined to end Goonswarm’s 10-year reign. The Eve community is know for being incredibly social, with player’s reputations being an important in-game currency. The two factions are led by gamers determined to cement their legacy, Goonswarm’s infamous leader Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco seeks to maintain control, while PAPI commander Vily seeks the total destruction of the Goonswarm faction.
The numbers involved in this conflict are mind-boggling. While players can have multiple accounts, the current estimate has Goonswarm’s 50,000 characters outnumbered by PAPI enormous force 150,000 strong. PAPI has been striking at Goonswarm forces for over 2 months, but on October 4th a massive incursion into Goonswarm’s home territory marked an escalation in the war. PAPI attempted to forge a foothold by establishing “Keepstars” in enemy territory – these 160km tall monoliths would allow PAPI to stage further incursions from within enemy territory. For Goonswarm, the stakes could not have been higher.
Over the weekend, 2,250 of the Goonswarm faithful logged on to defend their homeland against over 5,000 PAPI invaders. Against the odds, Goonswarm Fleet Commander Asher had to devise a strategy to prevent PAPI from installing their Keepstars. Asher had to mobilise nearly 500 bombers to take out the 2nd Keepstar, and they had to contend with PAPI innovative defence using “Jackdaw” ships to shoot the bombs out of space. The battle had all the high drama of Star Wars’ iconic trench run, however it took place over multiple hours – requiring real dedication from players.
Goonswarm were ultimately able to repel the tide of invaders. It took 14 hours, with a peak of 6,577 players involved at once, and a casualty report of some 3,765 ships destroyed. Considering the intricate real world economy of Eve Online, this battle carries a great deal of significance for the balance of power within the server and player community. PAPI are not going to take defeat lying down however, another assault is likely on the cards – perhaps with even greater numbers!
If you were to join in the war, which side would you choose? Let us know in the comments below!