The Great War

By Jim Rossignol on September 9th, 2008 at 11:10 am.


At the beginning of 2008 I wrote this feature about an ongoing war within Eve Online for PC Gamer UK – and I want to thank them here for being progressive enough to commission such an unusual virtual chronicle. This conflict had been called “The Great War” of Eve Online, and involved two huge power-blocs: Band Of Brothers and their allies, vesus the RedSwarm Federation and their associated alliances. Things have changed radically since then, with Red Alliance all but disbanding, and Band Of Brothers returning to fight a ferocious campaign against RedSwarm allies. This feature, however, charts a tract of Eve history, between around the middle of 2006 through to early 2008, which remains one of the most startling illustrations of the enormous scale of Eve Online’s PvP ambitions.

There’s a war going on. It’s one of the most bitterly contested conflicts imaginable, fought over many months by an international cast of veteran warriors. An entire galaxy is at stake. You probably even know someone who is caught up in it, fighting for his life and those of his comrades. As many as twenty thousand people have fought in its battles. This war is the Great War of Eve Online; the largest virtual conflict ever waged.


Unlike the twenty minute conflicts that characterise other multiplayer games, this is a deathmatch that has taken place between fleets of hundreds in a continuous process that has lasted years. It is the greatest imaginary conflict yet conducted, and in what follows I’ll be tracing its glories and mapping its horrors. The Great War is the war between the mighty Band Of Brothers and the grand coalition of Red Alliance and GoonSwarm, aka The RedSwarm Federation.

Something Russian

Our tale began three years ago, when the Something Awful forumites began to appear in Eve space under the moniker of “GoonSwarm”. The Goons were rapidly drawn into a major war with the old and then superior Band Of Brothers (henceforth BoB), a conflict which set the mood for much of the animosity that was to follow. The Goons suffered heavily in this initial encounter, and both sides were set to be at odds for the years that followed. When BoB moved on to find other targets, the Something Awful armies regrouped and looked around for a suitable ally for their future exploits. It’s the consequences of this conflict that we are still seeing play out in the battles of Eve to this day. That, and the masterful play by a group of talented Russian players.

In the early part of 2006 BoB had been engaged in a long territorial war against the largest military-industrial bloc in the game, Ascendant Frontier. The thousands of players who made up that bloc were no match for two thousand hardened BoB pilots, and the bulky empire rapidly began to crumble once BoB’s pilots begun their assault. It’s not hard to see why BoB would want to attack the biggest alliance in the game: the riches were there for the taking, and the alliance leader, one Cyvvok, piloted the first (and then only) Titan class ship in the game. It was a giant behemoth that has been valued in real world cash at around £4000. BoB seized the first Titan kill in controversial circumstances, and sealed the fate of Ascendent Frontier.

With the highest-profile kill of all time under their belts, BoB were riding high. With Ascendant Frontier defeated BoB were able to begin setting themselves up as Roman-styled imperialists. With a nod to the classic tactics of history, vassal alliances were installed in the conquered territories. Right across the map smaller alliances sided with BoB, or paid rent to be able to exploit the resources of the BoB station systems. By this time the military masterminds had dominion over eight regions, which was the largest single empire since the opening months of the game. The money poured in and BoB cemented a reputation for being the most effective fighting force in the Eve universe.

While the vassals made money and the industrial corps produced capital ships, the drilled, trained BoB military began to look for another target. This slight delay in identifying and attacking this other target was possibly where BoB’s momentum stalled. Their defeat of Ascendant Frontier had been gloriously profitable, but while they consolidated their conquests RedSwarm was rapidly growing in power and support. BoB, failing to capitalise on the alliance that was already arrayed against the RedSwarm fleets, would end up facing their old enemies on their own.

At this early stage of the war, in the summer of 2006, much of the rest of the game had aligned against the Russians, and Red Alliance had been pushed back to a single station. In August an alliance consisting of perhaps ten thousand pilots fielded a 500-man fleet to take the system. I was part of that fleet, and seeing several hundred people in the same teamspeak channel, as well dozens of capital ships heading out from a single station gave me some perspective on what the Reds have achieved by beating them back. After a weekend of constant fighting at “the Siege of C-J6,” the allies withdrew. The game mechanics, they argued, made their losses too great to continue. Lag and disconnects took too much of a toll on the immense gangs for the battle to come out in their favour.

From that point on the Russians would gain unstoppable military inertia. The coalition designed to drive Red Alliance the game had failed, and the hard-working Russians made sure to capitalise on that fact. After some extensive talks, initiated by Russian commanders, they were joined by their GoonSwarm partners. Both alliances would expand rapidly, while also signing up formidable allies such as the feared southern alliance, Against All Authorities. The alliances – most notably Veritas Immortalis and Lokta Volterra – that had previously been aligned against RedSwarm would begin to fall. By Christmas 2006 RedSwarm had found their stride and valuable station systems were being captured weekly. Station by station the allies faltered and then fell. Perhaps if BoB had intervened at this point and joined the fight then RedSwarm might have been beaten back. But it was not to be. Once great alliances such as were stripped of their territories and forced to retreat.

Eventually the RedSwarm began to encroach on the territories BoB had taken from Ascendant Frontier and BoB high command decided it was time to fully engage. The masters of Eve launched a massive assault on the RedSwarm systems and the war, that is still ongoing [as of early 2008], was underway.

Empire Building

The conflict that was to follow pulled in a dozen other alliances, and would see a vast coalition arrayed against the previously unbeatable BoB empire. Where once it had been Red Alliance that faced a ten-thousand man force, soon it would be Band Of Brothers. The alliance, supremely assured in its talents, had come to be seen as arrogant and worth fighting simply because they were in a position of power. At the height of the war more than half of Eve’s PvP players were allied in the war against Band Of Brothers. Not that the great PvPers were cowed, for a while it looked as if the war could go either way. The northern alliances, led by the powerful “D2” were to open up a war against BoB on a second flank during spring 2007 – a tactic that ultimately proved costly for them, as BoB killed their titan and knocked them back. It wasn’t until the most recent months of the Great War that the northern powers returned and began to take territory from the exhausted Band Of Brothers. RedSwarm pressed on, and stations began to fall. The BoB blue was disappearing from the map.

Tristan Day, one of BoB’s most experienced commanders, observed that there had been something of a political goldrush in all the major players aligning against his alliance. “The most interesting thing has been watching groups of people taking the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” mantra a bit too far,” he said. “There are people aligned against us that are [allied] to each other that really do not like each other at all. It’s quite amusing.” This is perhaps understandable in the light of the third front of the war: Eve’s forums. The propaganda, arguments, trolling, and general lunacy has seen gamers put about as much effort into BoB-war threads on the forum as they have into the game itself. Eve’s players have become obsessed with the machinations of their PvP elite, and each announcement or battle-cry is seized up by enemies and allies alike.

So let’s take a moment to illustrate why gamers become so enthralled by all this. To best understand the scale of this sweeping war, take a look at the maps across the pages of this feature [Don't have these to put online, sorry! Best I can do is recommend a player-made set of maps here]. The annotations detail who did what, and when, and provide an idea of the flow and ebb of the war over the past year. On the final map, for example, you can see that Band Of Brothers now face a position that as astonishingly like the one faced by Red Alliance eighteen months ago.

It’s been fascinating to watch not only Eve’s history repeating itself, but events in the war shadowing the kinds of events we’ve seen from war in the real world. As I mentioned previously, BoB we quick to install vassals or “renters” in their unused regions. They might have held sovereignty but their attention, and their fleets, were elsewhere. It’s a classic empire-build strategy, that has been in use for centuries. RedSwarm have employed similar tactics, albeit in creating space for allied forces. Help out the Federation and you’ll be rewarded in territory, as well as military support.

Most recently, however, there has been another outbreak of parallel histories: the internal civil war, and alliance with outside powers. This has happened dozens of times during wars across history (from the wars of the Greek States to the French Revolution) where once-allied powers have suddenly turned on their fellows under the shadow of a much larger conflict. Just after Christmas 2007 BoB lost their strongest ally, when the huge consortium of pilots for hire known as Mercenary Coalition declared BoB’s second home region of Period Basis (the other being Delve) to be their own. Tortuga, as the rebel empire was to call itself, tore a hole in what was left of BoB’s central powerbase. The end, it seemed, was at hand. As I write this BoB are being forced back into a single region, having lost most of their territory to the swarm Northern and Goon forces. The fighting, as intense as ever, could see BoB lose it all.

What Endgame?

What is perhaps been most fascinating about the continuing war is the stream war stories – the tales of commitment and tenacity from both sides, over the months. Whoever you talk to, they’ll have a story of how their fleet mounted a 48-hour continuous defence of a single system, or how they set alarm clocks at 4am so they could be up to finish of an enemy installation when the time came about, or how they tricked the enemy into losing some priceless piece of hardware.

Lessons were learned, week after week. BoB commander Tristan Day told me that much of what his alliance learned was focused on how to manage large groups of people and keep morale high, rather than simply mastering the game itself: “Primarily that you to keep participation up, which is critical for space holding and conquest. You need to keep Eve fun. It doesn’t have to be fun in Eve itself, but when you’re all on teamspeak you must make sure people are enjoying themselves.”

It can be tough to feel like you’re having fun when you spend hours waiting for something to happen, or when your assets get blown up because your fleet just had to go to bed.

Day, like many other commanders in the game, is well aware that his team has to strike balance between military efficiency and simply having a good time. “Whilst we run a very militaristic chain of command in BoB we make sure that we remember that Eve is, after all, “just” a game. The best game I’ve ever had the honor of playing, but a game nonetheless. If anything you must learn not to get attached to your virtual assets, you can’t take them out of EvE, after all.”

Nevertheless people do take the game very seriously, and those arguments held on the Eve forums are penned with attitudes ranging from mere playfulness to terrifying, hysterical bitterness. The “BoB thread” became legend on the Eve forums, because they would almost always attract absurd egos, unlikely insults, and frenzied propaganda from both parties. The exchange of words left many people feeling unhappy. The nature of insulting “smack-talk” by players both in and out of the game has left a mark on the game, and on the recollections of the players. But there have been deeper problems too, such as allegations of corruption on the part of CCP itself, the developers of the game. It was these meta-game conflicts, all of which arose from the war, that led the CCP to set up a player Ombudsman and oversight committee – unprecedented in gaming – to make sure that developers could not abuse their power in the future.

In asking Day how he now feels about the war today, there was sense of residual displeasure at the actions of the Goons, and the CCP developer who scandalised his own alliance: “There are two parts to my answer, one which involves the initial war against Goons alone. It’s fuelled by their incredibly distasteful laughing at the real life death of a fellow Eve gamer. Something that I still find quite distasteful, especially as the man’s father plays Eve. The second part, and indeed the main driving force outside of our own in-game belligerence and aggression over the last four years, was the “t20 Dev BPO” scandal.” This, just to explain, was the allegations by Goon that BoB had been helped out by developers, allegations that turned out to be true, at least in part. Day continues: “I think I can safely say that all of us are pretty disgusted that t20, who was and remains a good friend, would do such a thing and, even more so, that a professional company like CCP would even allow him to publicise it. RedSwarm Federation used this as a big factor to draw in probably 80% of the military 0.0 residents against us to push us back to Delve.”

Strategic Mistakes

While BoB’s own previous chest-beating probably had something to do with the Goons being able to rally support against the previous heavyweight champions, it’s fair to say that the scandal did nothing to help BoB’s reputation as tough, meta-gaming alliance that would stop at nothing to achieve their victories. The Goon commander Isaiah Houston is fairly forthright in his opinions about this: “BoB’s sense of arrogance and superiority ended up killing their more worthwhile and useful allies,” says Houston. “At the same time we were able to unite with Northern friends and work for a common goal.”

Houston is well pleased with the way his once-wild horde of Something Awful forumites has handled itself in the war: “There have been some minor strategic mistakes along the way, but nothing absolutely critical. I really feel as though we’ve done an exemplary job throughout this war. You have to understand, at the beginning things were very much not in our favor; BoB was the oldest, richest, and had the most experience at this sort of thing.” Now, of course, Goon hold a vast tract of space and are arriving at the gates of BoB’s home systems.

Nevertheless, despite their current dire straits after a year of war, Day is philosophical about BoB’s position: “At the end of the day the end result is the same: we’re getting a lot of combat without having to do any travel. As much as it annoys me that CCP allowed all of our achievements prior to that date to be rubbished by one persons actions, we’re having more fun now than at any time ever before… so we’re not complaining.” [In fact soon after the piece was written BoB killed a Red Alliance titan and threw their enemies back, restaking their claim on the regions of Delve and Querious and ushering in several months of relative stability.]

So, taking the long view that we started with: was the war simply about Goon getting revenge for those initial, lost conflicts in the early days of Eve? Perhaps, but Houston says the Goon motivation was more about carrying out their general mandate as the gaming world’s most excellent griefers, than simply revenge: “It was about griefing the oldest and most established players in the game, making them eat their own words just happened to be the best way of doing that. We’ve had some scores to settle along the way, it’s true, but really the impetus has just been us staying true to our roots as Goons.”

And would our BoB commander do it all again, given the chance? “In a heartbeat,” says Day. “Only better.”

[Band Of Brothers are currently conducting a new campaign "MAX" which is doing serious damage to the northern powerbloc that had previously aligned itself to RedSwarm. The Goons and their allies have not yet made a significant response.]

Thanks to Roburky for the screenshots.

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99 Comments »

  1. AFan says:

    I think the developers are behind all of this. Damn smart to think of these stuff to keep all you mmoers still paying.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    They are behind all of it in the sense that they created a game in which is was (just about) possible.

  3. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Interesting read. How do they find the time?

  4. AFan says:

    No, I think they planned the whole thing. Just give a nudge here and there when the time comes along. And there you have 250,000+ people playing for several years.

  5. lukasz says:

    Afan. I really doubt they planned it. They just gave the tools to achieve that.

    eh. Not enough time. I so want to play this game.

  6. phanteh says:

    Good article Jim.

    You know, you and your articles over the years are almost solely responsible for my current eve addiction. I put it off for as long as I could and now it’s too late D:

  7. Mr Pink says:

    I’m not an Eve player (don’t have the time), but I really enjoyed this when it appeared in PCG. I’d like to see more pieces describing stories from games, like Tom Francis’ Gal Civ diaries and this, it seems to be a fairly untapped area.

  8. Mike says:

    Wondrous. I think the closing sentiments were great too – people play it for kicks, at the end of the day. And I can’t think of a bigger gaming kick than two years of epic, all-day warfaring.

  9. teo says:

    I love EVE but I also hate it
    Playing it takes up an unjustifiable amount of time and the way you’re incentivized to keep subscribing even when you’re not playing pisses me off

  10. cullnean says:

    good read

  11. Acosta says:

    AFan, you obviously don’t understand how Eve works, at all. Developers had no control about it, as Jim says, they just made a game where such thing is possible.

    Aside of that. One of my favorite pieces of videogame writing ever, loved the original piece for the writing itself and because I felt it showed true passion for the game. Shows the huge, still untapped, potential of MMO as a playfield for drama, conflict and fascinating human behavior and makes me wonder what type of stories we will live in the MMOS of 10 years ahead.

  12. Willem says:

    I’d love to play this, but so many things are holding me back. Still, a great read.

    Might want to include the maps that are mentioned, though.

  13. Jonas says:

    I’m with Kieron on this one: Most fascinating MMOG that I will never play :(

    I read the article when it was in Gamer, and the excellent maps made it even greater. It’s a really good read.

  14. Jim Rossignol says:

    I can’t put the Gamer maps online, unfortunately, as only the text belongs to me. A couple of Eve players mapped the conflict, including this one.

  15. James G says:

    I loved the article, and it gave me a strong fondness for a game I know that I’d personally hate. Eve is what MMOs should be, not a single player game which forces you to put up with mindless fools who will more often be an annoyance than a help. (Or perhaps that’s just my anti-social side speaking)

    I’d love to see more MMOs where a player can truly make a difference in the world.

  16. Nallen says:

    For the conflicts in EVE to reach any higher level higher than those described will require a total technical overhaul. The war mechanics CCP put in place are one of EVE’s greatest strengths and its greatest weakness. On a technical level it really is touch and go when things get that big.

    That’s why I like the fact CCP are trying to steer the game on a different and in my eyes more rewarding direction – back to it’s roots you could say – and encouraging smaller scale PvP. As it stands right now you wont take a lot of space in a small gang, but you also wont spend 8 hours camping a gate or 20 minutes waiting for your ship to appear when you enter a conflict system. You will however get to actually fight and PvP is the beating heart of EVE (as a certain fast talking pundit recently completely failed to notice.)

  17. AFan says:

    If the developers didn’t plan it, then they are certainly enjoying it. And why won’t you when you got millions of $$$ of monthly subscription rolling in for something you didn’t plan will happen (since you all say the developers have nothing to do with it, then its likely they didn’t plan it at all). At the end of the day, normal people will feel guilty for spending so much time on it, and the developers are too busy counting their cash to care.

  18. Jonas says:

    Jim: Aye I know, just wanted to let people who didn’t read the original article know that it was meant to come with awesome maps. It’s still a fine article.

    And man… that is one pretty extensive picture chronicle, innit?

  19. James G says:

    @AFan

    I’m not sure I get your point. You seem to begrudge the developers for making money because people enjoy their game.

  20. Acosta says:

    @James G, AFan is crearly on the “MMOs are a waste of time and their developers are demons who design devilish tools to make sure people keep enslaved to them” stand. There are lots like him (which is always amusing to see in a videogames discussion).

  21. Jim Rossignol says:

    It is a major issue though – we get lots of people on here, gamers too, posting about how they’ve seen people’s lives ruined by obsessions with MMOs. They do have negative consequences and – like everything else – need to be enjoyed in moderation. I’m sure that there were plenty of people wrapped up in the Great War who just spent too long playing Eve. Not that they didn’t get a kick out of it – I love spending an entire day hunting enemies in Eve, and will do so at any opportunity – often to the detriment of my domestic life!

  22. Blake says:

    EVE is a fascinating game, but it quickly became boring to me because of some design flaws. The downtime while participating in fleet ops is in the multiple hour range; it’s entirely possible to be in a war zone for twelve hours straight with absolutely nothing happening. On the other hand, because different alliances come from different time zones (RA, I’m looking at you), they could gain military advantage simply by being online at awkward times and killing player-owned structures while the owner is asleep or at work. You could log on to find that you’d lost a ton of things while most of your alliance was offline.

    Mining was also terrible.

  23. Jonas says:

    Blake: In fact it’s quite likely that RA – like Russia – spans at least 9 time zones all on its own ;)

    But yeah that’s interesting. The story about the titan that was destroyed while its owner was offline is just… a bit sad, really – in the original sense of the word, not the synonym for “pathetic” that it’s somehow become.

  24. Jim Rossignol says:

    Blake, you are right. It’s also a superb (often frustrating) skirmishing game, however. I’ve pretty much retired from alliance stuff and run my corp (recruiting!) as a small band of PvPing skirmishers.

  25. Jonas says:

    Are you open for newbies, Jim? I think a friend of mine still owes me a trial invite.

  26. AFan says:

    I have to agree with Jim’s previous comment on the problem of MMOs. He could have written a similar article on heroin 10 years ago and it will look exactly like this. Let’s compare EVE with the mentioned drug.

    -You get kicks from it.
    -Things happens that is not real (more specifically, virtual war).
    -Costly
    -Have the potential to destroy lives.

    Only difference is one is illegal in most countries, the other not yet. So if Acosta cannot see the problem there, then I’m not the evil one, he is, by pushing more people into an addictive, life destroying contraption.

    Its a great article of course, just not with the best intentions. MMO should not be encouraged.

  27. cullnean says:

    i just arange time with the wife, she knows that she will be ignorned on a wedensday unless its an emergency, also eve alows advancement with out the grind, ecespically in a good corp where ships and the like arnt much of an issue.

    also saying just mmo’s are addictive is wrong i know people who play ms filght sim at every concivable oportunity and has spent a fortune on equipment for it, more than i have spent in 5 years of mmo playing.

  28. StarkulfR says:

    What a cracking article, I never got to see the original, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to see it.

  29. Okami says:

    @AFan. You’ve obviously never taken Heroin nor do you know people who take it. Yeah, there are all these jokes about Evercrack and World of Warcrack, but there are serious differences between smack and an MMO – physical addiction beeing one of them.

    It’s now evident that you’re an avid opponent of MMOs and are on some kind of personal internet crusade against them. Which is perfectly fine with me, since the only thing that I even remotely enjoy about MMOs is reading Mr. Roosignol’s Eve stories.

    But you might want to consider, if this is really the right place for you. What you’re doing here is the same as going to the bathroom in a techno club and telling everybody that drugs are bad and that it’s pathetic and dangerous to take them. Sure, you might be right, but you’re neither making yourself very popular, nor are you making any difference at all.

  30. AFan says:

    I don’t see MMO as my opponent. Its too unworthy. And I’m not the only one who see the problem. Scroll up a bit and you’ll see the author agreeing with what I’ve said.

  31. NeoTheo says:

    Nice article, enjoyed the read, i have to admit though i am a little dissapointed that bob’s ultimate victory was not chronicled here. (suppose its a matter of opinion)

    meaning, after the loss of PB to MC/KIA/Etc, the stand bob took in delve that ultimatly saw them driving the goonies back and then the followup attack on the direct betrayers was a thing of utter awsomesauce ;)

    i used to hate BoB, but i grew to become a huge fan boy.

    mainly due to the fact that whilst staring down the barrel of defeat they remained good humored on the forums and eventually drove back all the people attacking them.

    not only that then they wiped MC off the map and consigned them to eve history.

    still nice story Jim, thanks.

  32. Cope says:

    @Jim Rossignol, this is why I quit EVE. I played from beta through to early 2007 in Stain Alliance (and later just MASS corp.), but it was getting out of control. PVP is especially time consuming, most of your time is spent leading up to a big battle. We’re easily talking 3 or 4 hours before anything at all happens, and after spending 3 hours flying deep into enemy territory to attack an installation, the last thing you want to do is log off. Not only do you miss the action, but tomorrow your ship is stuck 30 jumps inside enemy space, making a lone trip back in anything larger than a cruiser a very possible suicide run.

    There was also the marked changed in PVP over the course of release to 2007. The first Great War of EVE was the most fun, Stain Alliance vs Curse Alliance. This was back before all this POS, capital ship nonsense. Just good honest 40 vs 40 cruiser fights, with battleships slowly entering the scene. Every day you could log on, gather a group of 20 pilots and be all but guaranteed a fight within 20 jumps. Now it’s a LOT of waiting, and a LOT of lag. The game simply can’t handle capital fleets and POS’s. 95% of a major PVP operation is spent sitting near a gate, waiting for something to happen. The other 5% is a relatively short battle with lag so bad, you may as well just make a sandwich while you wait for your ship to respond to a command.

    It’s a bit like Planetside. EVE is a great game, with great potential, but a few dumb design decisions along the way have dragged the whole thing down. And it’s just way too time consuming for me.

  33. NeoTheo says:

    @cope, stop getting involved in big wars, lowsec and pirating is awsome fun still, i rarely have large blob fights these days, its just the 0,0 carebears that suffer this rubbish.

  34. Bursar says:

    I’ve not played for a few years. Does anyone know what happened to the Curse and Xetic alliances?

  35. CheneysGun says:

    I was in the Lokta Volterra alliance fighting the RedSwarm. I was not in the chain of command, just one of the guys. But if you asked me, BoB wasn’t late to the party. The problem was they threw there forces at RedSwarm within Lokta Volterra or -LV- space. That in turn allowed RedSwarm to concentrate forces and hasten the end of -LV-. They should have opened another front splitting the Reds.

    When -LV- fell apart some of the corps pulled together and joined the MC campaign in the North crushing D2. It gave me a chance to rise up in the chain of command only to learn it is full of greed for things that don’t even exist. Not impressed with how good people can be changed in that manor, I headed back to empire. Carebearing since. Maybe someday I will head back into the wilds but for now I am content with my hermit ways.

  36. Cope says:

    @NeoTheo, there are still PVP things you can do that avoid all this blob war stuff, that’s true. Lets just say the design decisions that make blob warfare a requirement to own any territory in 0.0 has left a bad taste in my mouth. And I just don’t have the time anymore :(

    @Bursar, Curse Alliance dissolved after an internal squabble. Can’t remember the names of those involved, but basically there was a power struggle within the leadership that led to the alliance breaking up. Xetic was overrun by (former) Stain Alliance entities. Someone else could probably fill you in on what happened there.

  37. RichSC says:

    I introduced Sesfan/Isaiah to this game.
    He now spends most of his time telling me how he “is very important on the internet”.

  38. Bursar says:

    My Eve Story… (in which I was never more than the sidekick)

    We were in Xetic Alliance at the time and getting our arses handed to us during the Curse war.

    I had a friend at work who played in game as Nepereta. He twinked up an Armageddon with T2 Beams and the crystals that boost their range and stability and lock on time so that he could hit frigate size ships at 200km as soon as they came appeared.

    He then took an interceptor and spent an entire weekend painstakingly bookmarking multiple jump spots around Curse warpgates. He spent hours doing this. Bookmarks were laid out in an intricate grid pattern… planned on graph paper!

    Then he set up in his Geddon 200km from the jumpgates and started to blow up anyone coming through. If anyone tried to close the range he’d jump to another point 200km on the other side of the warpgate and continue. No matter what angle people approached him from he always had a point he could jump to to reallign and keep shooting.

    Hi kept this up for 2 weeks and scored plenty of kills. Interceptors, Haulers, Cruisers and Battleships. We’d sometimes help him out by having haulers at safespots and jumping in to loot the cans from the destroyed ships.

    Small fleets were trying to get him for a while but could never pin him down. He could take them down as they approached, and if there were too many to kill he could jump to an alternate position and shoot the rest of them. The smack talk in system often got a bit heated.

    Eventually he got a bit cocky and stayed in one place for too long and a Curse cloaked ship managed to get near enough to act as a jump point for a fleet to scramble him and take him down.

    I was always quite impressed with how many people worked to take him down. He managed to tie up a fair few people who got obsessed with killing him.

    On the whole Xetic Alliance wasn’t that great at combat but our little harrassment team was great fun :)

  39. Bursar says:

    I just used ‘The Curse War’ in a forum post. That’s quite worrying….

    More worrying I guess will be how many people know what I was talking about.

    Edit: Cheers Cope.

    The history of the Eve Alliances is oddly fascinating. It’s like a weird microcosm of world history.

  40. CheneysGun says:

    @RichSC
    My son (17 yrsold) plays the game. The way he tells it, he is THE best killer in EVE. :)

    To ward of the “eve is heroin” peeps… Eve is a thinking game, just go to the eve forums and look for a eve math thread for better understanding of this. It isn’t Halo or anything like that….. You need to learn alot in this game. My son spends some good hours on it but just as easily spends hours on his bike. This is a game I want my son to play. He has gone from just trying to shoot things, FPS like to balanceing earning isk with the shooty. He has better focus on the details in and out of game for a 17 year old thanks to Eve. He has not tried to pod me. That is the best part. If he tried, I would seriousy gank his social life. :)

    Further more, for $11-$14 a month, seriously cheap entertainment in todays standards.

  41. zergl says:

    Jim, the CRII map is totally outdated.

    Try the verite one:
    http://go-dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/Verite/influence.png

    edit: doesn’t have the shiny powerblocks summary, though.

  42. Stella says:

    With all EVE has going for it, it would probably be the most popular MMO on the market if it was any fun at all. I would venture to say that it’s probably the #1 MMO amongst people that have never played it, and that’s largely due to stories like this one.

    It’s almost cruel to mislead people into thinking that the game plays anything like it sounds like it might. There’s all this mention of humongous fleet batlles that change the tide of history and so forth, but the fact that fleet battles are largely broken because of lag is brushed over. That’s right, one of the main attractions of this game is broken and has been since I played for the first time (about 5 years ago).

    Not trying to knock the story. It’s well-written and interesting and you’re obviously passionate about the game. I just thi9nk it’s false advertising to an extent.

  43. Willem says:

    The thing that’s luring me towards EVE is the politics and the wars. These aren’t just ordinary MMO wars, where you have a set number of factions who are always at war with the other factions. In EVE, the factions, the wars, the intruige, it’s all player-made. You’re not just following the designer’s path. If you’re at war with someone, you have a reason to be at war with that alliance, as opposed to other MMO’s.

    Alas, as has been said before, this is a fascinating MMOG that I will never play.

  44. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I’m not an EVE player; which is to say, I will never be an MMO player. But these diaries have been incredibly interesting in detailing game – and gamer – stories. Excellent through and through, Mr. Jim-O :)

  45. cullnean says:

    @stella

    so becaues you dont like it no one else will?

    and basing an argument about an mmo from 5 year’s ago is streching it a little

  46. Stella says:

    @cullnean

    No I played it off an on up until about six months ago.

    And it’s not that I think no one will like the game, obviously they do. It’s just that I see a lot of EVE-worship on gaming forums and websites, and people that have never played it sing it’s praises everywhere. I feel a somewhat irrational urge to tell people it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

    Tbh the game ended for me when they added Warp to Zero, making gate camping the be-all-and-end-all of EVE combat. But that’s a different story.

  47. cullnean says:

    @stella

    my apoligies it wasnt quite clear from your post how long you had been playing, also could be worse we could react like warhammer players!

  48. Acosta says:

    Jim, I’m not denying MMO addiction is an issue. But I think many people want to give MMOs some properties they don’t have to justify their “addiction” and others are simply misinformed to the point of making flippant comparisons with real drugs (as seen here).

    It’s a very important issue, but I think it would need some serious academic work from different fields to start answering questions. I am not refusing a psychological effect coming from playing MMO (or any other competitive multiplayer game), but there are social, and even philosophical aspects to take on count: things like being part of a close community, the feeling of achievement, or the hard fact of preferring a virtual world over the real world… maybe this studio could even lead to some nasty conclusions about the lows of our reality and day by day.

    It deserves a respectful and deep studio, but I am convinced this are side effects of designs that embraces cooperation, immersion and long term objectives, not something that a game studio would purposely “add” to the game as they were drug laboratories.

  49. Half Broken Glass says:

    Real cRPGs are about freedom and choices&consequences. There are three I can name. Three real representants of a genre which boasts hundreds of thousands of titles.

    Similiarily, if you’d want to look for a real MMORPG, you’d look for possibilities. And there are only two MMORPGs I can name which really give you possibilites. One of them is Eve.

  50. Bobsy says:

    I was hooked to WoW for a good long while. While I can’t say it ever began to dominate my life, it certainly dominated my gaming time. Quite literally, it was the only game I played. Since detaching myself from it, I’ve been playing more games, and enjoying gaming a lot more.