One Accidental Jump Later: One Of EVE’s Biggest Battles

By Nathan Grayson on January 29th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

My relationship with EVE is like that of a cowardly romantic, too many cats on their tongue and butterflies in their stomach to approach the object of their affections. So instead, I gaze upon it from afar, hungrily lapping up whatever tales of its exploits happen to fall my way by total and complete happenstance – for instance, when I’m rooting through its garbage. So it is with the Battle of Asakai, which took place over the weekend. Nearly 3,000 players converged in the Asakai VI region of the Kurala constellation and proceeded to blast each other into glorious storms of space confetti for hours. And the cause? One silly, completely unplanned accident. Witness the madness in video form after the break.

Now, it should be noted that EVE battles can get quite a bit larger than this in terms of sheer numbers, but generally, smaller ships and – more importantly – some degree of planning are involved. This one, however, came out of nowhere – literally. In short, a Titan pilot of the ClusterFuck Coalition (a splinter of SomethingAwful’s notorious GoonSwarm) was attempting a “bridge” – which essentially allows other ships to warp to one ship’s point – but instead warped himself. Right into extremely hostile Pandemic Legion (a splinter of HoneyBadger/Test, aka, Reddit) territory. And when ships as valuable as Titans are involved, well, the stakes tend to get quite high.

Naturally, everyone panicked. Reinforcements were hastily phoned-in, and then those reinforcements cried for reinforcements. One especially apt Reddit post put it this way, comparing Reddit’s alliance to North America and Something Awful to Europe:

“These two superpowers have been somewhat friends for three years, but relationships are getting strained. They’ve been arguing with each other for a few days now, and the guy controlling Paris (a single EVE ship, but one of the most powerful ones) last night hit the wrong button. He teleported the city of Paris into Canada (Pandemic in my example) but forgot to teleport all the suburbs (ships) around the city, stranding it. Canada ganged up on Paris instantly and called in the US to help. So basically the US and Canada obliterated Paris. Europe sent in reinforcements but without a good strategy against an already prepared North America they were also crushed.”

“Europe is now without three major cities and ten or so minor ones. They still have plenty of resources left, but it was a great first strike. Especially since North America pretty much lost nothing.”

So basically, GoonSwarm/Something Awful ended up having a very, very bad day. Many of the ships they lost can – between amassing capital and actual construction – take months to build. Plus, some are valued at more than a thousand dollars in real world money. The killcount for both sides, meanwhile, topped off at 222 ships, for a total estimated cost that lands somewhere between 400 and 700 billion ISK in worth.

It’s quite a complicated situation, but I think the lesson here is actually quite simple. In short, friends and countrymen, look before you leap.

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95 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    olololol JUMPFAIL. For what I understood the two buttons are just one by the other so it’s a mistake that happens every several months, except this time it was worse. The pilot got demoted instead of fired by the way, because apparently he’s awesome with noncapital ships.

    I have been following the story on reddit from the first threat by Mittani. Good drama there, and will continue for the next months :D

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Nah, they redid the menu orders a year or two back. They’re a ways away from each other now: http://content.eveonline.com/www/newssystem/media/64151/1/avatar-plus-joke.png

      The jumpfail wasn’t even the biggest fuckup here, it was boat’s (the FC) decision to escalate rather than retreat in good order. Allow me to quote Jester on this:

      Gallente Militia had reinforced a small Caldari Militia POS orbiting a Cobalt moon. The Goon FC, Dabigredboat (DBRB), apparently decided to use a sub-cap fleet to hot-drop the GalFed fleet and kill what they could, then pull back. The Goon fleet gathered around the Titan belonging to one of DBRB’s alts. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, DBRB hit the “jump” option in the right-click menu instead of the “bridge” option and the GalFed fleet was presented with a Leviathan in their midst! GalFed had suspected that a Goon hot-drop may be in the offing, though, so they had many dual-point hictors at the ready. These immediately pounced on the Lev. DBRB immediately called on the prepared Goon fleet to assist and a temporary Titan bridge network was set up to accomplish that.

      By that time, GalFed had called in Pandemic Legion to assist in killing the tackled Titan, having warned them in advance that the Goons might be coming after them. DBRB, seeing this — he was in the tackled Titan, after all — changed the nature of the op from “rescue me” to “kill PL super-cap fleet!” This aggressive move brought in what was probably a good size fraction of the CFC’s capital fleet of supers, dreads, and carriers. For a while, CFC had local superiority, including enough DPS to both down the PL Nyx and reportedly for DBRB’s Lev to jump out, get repairs, and jump back in with some of the CFC reinforcements. That might be misinformation, but I heard it from a lot of people: DBRB’s Lev got out, then came back in.

      Relatedly, the EVE dev blog has a post up detailing the sheer volume of matériel lost in this clusterfuck, here.

    • Jazzy Josh says:

      Not anymore, AFAIK, they are spaced pretty far apart.

      Which makes this even more embarrassing for Boat :)

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Hope it’s kept as fun. This is why I don’t play “serious” anymore. If a game cannot have a redo, takeback or “ah guys, can we just quite this game, monopoly takes forever and I got work/school/real life to do” then I don’t play. :/

  2. caddyB says:

    Heh, just wait till Asia crushes all of them.

    • Aardvark_Man says:

      Never start a space war against Asia?

    • yurusei says:

      The next time Beijing warps right on top of Canada, it’ll be accompanied by mass-produced missles and cruisers piloted by child labourers.

  3. Alexrd says:

    Was the hyperdrive leaking?

  4. jellydonut says:

    Bummed out I managed to miss this. My jabber was broken so I didn’t get any pings about the fight. Herp derp.

    • RedViv says:

      Such language.

      • JFS says:

        In space, no one can hear you talk properly.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          This comment totally spang-lorked my thrizz pumper

          • fjgyjzec says:

            The second Video is much more exciting and interesting than the first. Almost like watching footage of real life battles from current and past wars.

            http://youtu.be/09vVF-Hvykg

          • Ironclad says:

            Damned. Spam in the above comment.

            they’re learning

            edit: actually, they aren’t. It just copied a comment further down the page and pasted its spamlink under it.

  5. MrLebanon says:

    I love myself some good Eve stories

  6. OpT1mUs says:

    What the hell happened. When I was in Test, 2 years or so ago, Goons were our BFFs, I haven’t been up to date with Eve for quite some time, but what the hell…

    • jellydonut says:

      TEST decided to strike out on their own and create their own coalition. All fine and dandy. They then attempted to kill off one of our CFC allies (Fatal Ascension) whilst still expecting goons to support them over FA, their nominal ally, vs TEST, now the leader of a different coalition. That, of course, didn’t happen, as TEST ought to know. The Mittani might be a dick to the rest of the universe, but he’ll never give up an ally over drama. An ally being shit and not contributing? Sure.

      Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  7. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Eve has always done space war amazingly well and amazingly badly at the same time.

  8. Soulstrider says:

    “My relationship with EVE is like that of a cowardly romantic, too many cats on their tongue and butterflies in their stomach to approach the object of their affections. So instead, I gaze upon it from afar, hungrily lapping up whatever tales of its exploits happen to fall my way by total and complete happenstance – for instance, when I’m rooting through its garbage”

    We all know that feeling too well

    • TimMc says:

      Thats how I was for 2 years, then jumped into Eve Online and found myself unable to escape for the next 4 years.

      Its an incredible game, but far too addictive. I had to quit and cut all connections to escape.

  9. Nixitur says:

    I wonder if Pandemic are gonna grasp their chance to decimate Clusterfuck. That would be interesting.

    • jellydonut says:

      They already tried. Didn’t work out too well.

      • jitenakansa says:

        iPhone 5/4S / 4 / 3GS Repair Parts! The iPhone is the most popular cell phone on the market and as Apple continues to provide more features and functionality this drop down in these devices, http://microurl.ru/d6w

  10. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    That comparison of websites / alliances to places is really strange, especially when there must be more apt comparisons to real world military stuff.

    It is also strange how Goonswarm feel so unrelated to the Something Awful forums these days. A few years back they were quite prominent group but the last time it really filtered through was when one of its’ leaders forgot to pay his space taxes and everyone was mocking them because of it.

    Oh and I suppose when Vilerat died but I posted in and read the forum he moderated quite a bit and the first I learnt of his Eve activities was after he died.

    • kazriko says:

      It’s not so odd really. When you’re on a forum and a handful of the influential people start playing a game, it tends to drag others in. Once you’re there, it’s more fun to play with friends than complete strangers. Some fans of SchlockMercenary.com joined a web game called TDZK once, and the majority of us created an alliance called Tagon’s Toughs. It really did feel like its own country at times, and we were making alliances with other groups that were collected from all over the world. Eve is even more complex, and there’s plenty of oppourtunity to create historic level battles that could rival warring nations.

  11. Trithne says:

    Lost interest in that second clip when he decided to play music over everything – the mic chatter at that point would’ve been amazing.

    • tumbleworld says:

      Totally. Real shame.

    • kyrieee says:

      It’s because it’s hours of footage that’s sped up. When the server load gets too high a system called time dilation kicks in, slowing the game down in order to keep the game logic working and the server from crashing. Fights this big normally happen on dedicated nodes, but since this came out of the blue it was just a regular node shared with several other systems. That meant that the time dilation got pretty bad, down to 10%, so the fight took a while.

      • gladius2metal says:

        yeah, but the music is still totally annoying. Especially since a commentary would be great. I guess I am spoiled by too many high-quality vids the ShackTac (Arma2).

      • Berzee says:

        There needs to be a way to match the voice chat (which I assume is 3rd-party) to the time dilation in EVE, so that whenever the game slows down everyone is all like “Noooooooooooo, Iiiii’m iiiiin spaaaaaaaaaaace”.

    • gladius2metal says:

      +1

    • Lemming says:

      I agree, it would’ve been better to hear the mics, but bare in mind these guys probably take this quite seriously and don’t really want their tactics and chatter known to rivals.

  12. terry says:

    I have no idea what is going on here, but it looks splendid.

  13. Screamer says:

    Looks like one big cluster fuck. Where is the strategy? Looks like everyone just sent all there units to one place, or is that the only option in EVE?

    • Jorum says:

      It was a big clusterfuck and there was no strategy. That is what the article is saying.

      Usually there would be lots of planning and strategy laid down for a major battle, with maybe feints and blockades and shit.

      But in this case no one was planning a fight at all until basically someone made a balls-up, ended up in the wrong place and then all hell broke loose.

    • Lanfranc says:

      It seems to be the “Oh shit, one of our units is in trouble, let’s panic and send in even more units in an uncoordinated attempt to save it” strategy.

      It’s never really worked well.

  14. Beef says:

    Correction:
    The CFC (ClusterFuck Coalition)
    “Formed in Summer 2010, these are Goonswarm’s closest allies, and have fought every major war with us as a unified military force since goons moved to Deklein.”

    TEST used to be a part of the CFC, before splintering and forming the HBC (HoneyBadger Coalition) with Pandemic Legion and some other entities.

    And some further nitpicking:
    The titan did not jump straight into HBC space, but into low-sec: a no-man’s land as far as alliances are concerned. However, this no-man’s land was close enough to HBC space, which meant the region was in range of their capital ships jump drives.

    ~The more you know~

  15. GameCat says:

    Why-EVE-Online-Is-The-Best-MMO-Ever-And-Why-Others-Games-In-This-Genre-Sucks Reason #23242

    All upcoming MMOs should copy EVE, not WOW.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Absolutely, this.

      Eve Online was the first multiplayer game I ever played. After more than a year, I had a big schedule shift and had to give up my post in the corporation, and I never was able to get back there.

      When I later tried other MMOs, I would think, “Why aren’t these nearly as good as Eve?”

      I see a potential for Planetside 2 to become more Eve-like, but it would take the developers being very courageous and swimming against the current. One thing I always thought about Eve is how great it would be if I could get out of the ship and actually get involved in some combat. If Planetside 2 can become more persistent, with true base-building, I could see myself playing a whole lot and being willing to pump hundreds of dollars into it.

    • DK says:

      Except for the fact that EVE does everything but the political side (and even there EVEs contribution restricts itself to “do whatever the fuck you want) terribly.

      Most of all it’s Combat. EVE combat is atrocious.

      • jellydonut says:

        The combat in other MMOs is just as atrocious. At least in Eve it makes sense to have targeting systems and delays, and volleys with guns. Not so much when you’re an elf.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I thought there was one that copied EVE? With mechs?

  16. ukpanik says:

    Ahh its the annual “something finally happened in EVE” post.
    Followed by “I don’t play but love to read about EVE” comments.

  17. Jabberslops says:

    The second Video is much more exciting and interesting than the first. Almost like watching footage of real life battles from current and past wars.

    Every story about EVE Online that involves these massive battles makes me wish EVE Online had the same type of space ship combat as the Freespace and Freelancer series. I can’t wait for that to be possible and have up to 5000 ships in one battle without much lag.

    • Bostec says:

      Yep its true, everyone wants a single, lonely story to tell in the massive battles. A bit like ” I was a frigate but I managed to down a cruiser while taking income from a battlecruiser and his mum’ tale. Need more games like this. The lowly man always wins.

      • Splynter says:

        What were you doing, taxing them?

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          This comment is wounding but also very funny indeed. The reaction was sort of OOOOOOHHH har har har har. Like when a man walks into a pole and gets hurt but you laugh.

          Sorry. I sound like I am on drugs.

  18. sonofsanta says:

    When they said they were going to make low-sec more exciting I didn’t think they were going to go this far.

    • TCM says:

      I have never played EVE, but I feel really, really sorry for any poor unaffiliated fool just trying to make a living around there when BAM EPIC SCALE WARFARE.

      • Sleepymatt says:

        I was so sure you typed “EPIC SCALE WARFACE” there….. been reading too much RPS :O

      • langlo94 says:

        Just chilling out and mining when a Tita suddenly enters the system, wait what! Oh fuck, oh fuck who did i piss off to deserve this. Wait some other people are coming, they’re attacking the Titan. Woah an even bigger flett arrived and more are coming, I’ve got to get out of here.

  19. Batolemaeus says:

    Ah yes, one of the biggest battles, and only 5 (?) supers actually bite the dust.

    I’m not impressed to be honest. A massacre of support, but the big ships weren’t touched at all. In such a clusterfuck, dozens should die, not just a handful.

  20. Ergates_Antius says:

    Real world cost of the battle: about $25,000.

    Oops!

  21. Didden says:

    I used to base my corp one jump out from this system. Not normally quite so busy :)

  22. Totally heterosexual says:

    Gotta blame the 1%

    The whole space battle is a deep meta commentary on consumerism.

  23. electricmonk says:

    These people really need to get out more.

    • TCM says:

      You’re spending your time reading about these people and commenting on their hobbies.

      I am just saying.

  24. mariejanet657 says:

    my classmate’s mother makes $88 hourly on the internet. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her pay check was $17766 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site http://www.bit90.com

  25. Prime says:

    Wow. EVE can make even mega space battles look dull. Five minutes of several thousand motionless ships just firing….firing….firing….yeah, truly an epic happenstance. I’d expected at least a huge explosion from the station going down. That might have been worth the wait but the model just disappeared like someone deleting a cell of data in Excel.

    Yawn.

    • Emeraude says:

      EVE can make even mega space battles look dull.

      In all fairness, that’s in all probability what actual space battles would look. Dull.

      Dull and deadly.

    • spedcor666 says:

      I doubt those taking part would have called it dull.

    • Lemming says:

      It’s probably more fun to be involved in it. I do think they’d benefit from more Millennium Falcon-sized ships zipping across the hulls of the larger ones though. And I’m not even sure you can dodge incoming fire in EVE can you? It just looks like target and fire beam weapons and hope your hull is stronger than theirs.

      • kyrieee says:

        There kind of are, they’re too small to be seen in those pictures though. The mushroom looking ship is 15km long, frigates are maybe 30m long.

      • jellydonut says:

        Not accurate. There is a tracking formula that determines how well guns can track you as a target. Thus, sitting still is pretty dumb unless you’re a capital ship (then you’re too big for movement to matter), but as a fast frigate or cruiser, you can easily avoid most of the incoming damage by maintaining a high transversal speed to your target. It’s commonly called ‘speed tanking’ in Eve.

      • jellydonut says:

        There’s actually a ton of smaller ships involved in this, most importantly the heavy interdictor. The HIC is the only ship that can tackle supercapitals in low-security space. That is to say, apply electronic warfare that prevents the supercapitals from warping away to a planet, or jumping out to a beacon in a different system.

        As the other commenter said, they’re simply too small compared to titans to actually notice in the confusion.

        Due to recent graphics updates to the subcapital ships, including skins and shaders, they are also darker than capital and supercapital ships, making matters worse for the time being until CCP updates capitals to the ‘V3′ shaders as well.

    • Text_Fish says:

      Yeh, I wanted a big splosion too. That was very anticlimactic.

    • P.Funk says:

      Nothing dull about 3000 people staking countless thousands of hours of combined effort’s worth of ships in a single moment of conflict.

      Most war is dull, and if what you’re risking is properly valuable to you more than just a 15 second timer til you get it back to try again… changes how you perceive “exciting” I’m sure.

  26. kstress71 says:

    What is with that ship design? It looks like a huge cork mushroom.

    • RakeShark says:

      It’s an Eve ship, so think baser than usual. It’s a shield with a penis behind it.

  27. RakeShark says:

    I wonder if collision detection will ever work in Eve. You’d think the one way to cut down on balls of panic would be enabling friendly fire. Then again, that would probably make big fights like this even more unlikely.

  28. frenz0rz says:

    Its stories like this that make me desperately want to play EVE.

    …then I start playing again, and spend two weeks grinding missions, mining asteroids and generally boring myself to tears before giving up and going back to less tedious games.

    As someone (I can’t quite recall who) once said, EVE is the best game I’ve ever read.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Ayn Rands Space Combat Spreadsheet Simulator, I believe I half heard someone maybe call it once.

  29. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Oh my god this is fucking awesome.

    However I will still never, ever play Eve. My flatmate plays it – gets in at 6pm, shuts the door behind him and plays on it til 2am every morning. I know my company sucks but anything that can hook a person so utterly and for such sleep-destroyingly long amounts of time can keep the fuck away from my mental health.

    • Lone Gunman says:

      You have your own free will you know :p

      That is like not playing any games because you hear stories of people being addicted to them. Also you could sponge of your plex rich flatmate :D

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        No, thats not LIKE “not playing games because you hear people get addicted to them”. It actually IS “not playing games because you hear people get addicted to them”. Just a minor grammatical point my good man.

    • uh20 says:

      your right!
      i would much rather spend hours on minecraft instead, where your day-long creations are target to griefing at any time.

  30. pigchicken says:

    I know nothing of EVE mechanics, but I’m assuming from how this turned out that a simple jump out of the system, or message saying it was a mistake could not have avoided this?

    • P.Funk says:

      Since when has any MMO ever allowed you to escape mid PvP to perfect safety?

      Not much point in havnig PvP if you can just leave before you lose anything.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I just asked my Eve obsessed flatmate about this. Apparently the Titan has to charge up its ability to ‘jump’, and depending on upgrades fitted this can take between a few minutes to a few seconds. However, opponents have the ability to ‘trap’ you and prevent you escaping, which apparently happened here.

        Once being attacked, there are rapid communications in clans so that meant the masses online reponded fast. He said the lost ship would be worth about £3500 in real money.

        He also said the mistake is basically a UI issue – the buttons to perform the actions that got confused here are next to each other. Apparently its quite commonly done, just not usually quite so expensive as this.

        • P.Funk says:

          Yea, so basically MMOs don’t let you leave PvP for free. The only difference here is that it takes player intervention rather than some auto-cooldown timer thats usually used in open world PvP MMOs.

          My question is, how do you come to a real world money value for a ship?

          • Batolemaeus says:

            Ebay.

          • lordcooper says:

            You can buy Eve money for real money. Use a simple conversion rate.

          • Jae Armstrong says:

            You can buy Eve money for real money. Use a simple conversion rate.

            Ah, well, not quite. You can buy gametime with real money, and then sell that to other players for in-game currency. The distinction is important, because the former implies an isk fountain, but the latter is just circulation.

            @P.Funk: actually, by default, escaping PVP in EVE is trivially easy; you can just warp off. The responsibility is on the aggressor to keep their target on the field, either by using a Warp Disruptor (point), Scrambler (scram), or (as in this case) Interdiction Sphere (bubble).

            In practice though, no, you’re not going to escape a fight against any reasonably competent combatant without some fancy flying.

  31. yfrdtyid says:

    until I looked at the bank draft of $5577, I have faith that my brother woz truley receiving money in there spare time at there labtop.. there best friend has done this less than 15 months and just now paid for the dept on there mini mansion and got BMW. this is where I went, http://www.Cloud65.com

  32. Uberman says:

    I can only hope he shouted ‘Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeroy Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeenkinnnnnnnns !’ before he warped.

  33. PearlChoco says:

    “Compared to the annual ‘nothing ever happened in any other MMO ever so we don’t post about them unless they go F2P.”

    Fixed.