Big Trouble In EVE China

By Rich Stanton on May 16th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

One of EVE Online‘s most important features is that everything takes place on a single UK-based server called Tranquility. Cool story bro, but the only problem is that’s not quite true. The Chinese version of EVE Online has its own server, Serenity, operated by the publisher Tiancity – and it has just as much, if not more, capacity for the enormous player-driven events EVE is known for. Barely two months after all those headlines about B-R5 being ‘the biggest / most expensive videogame battle ever,’ a 23-hour war in EVE China made that look like a dry run. It was given a simple name: the slaughterhouse.

A brief history lesson about Serenity; EVE Online was launched in China in 2006 and initially operated by the publisher Optic Communication. After a hugely successful opening few months, which saw over a million accounts registered and a simultaneous login peak of just under 39,000 pilots, the game began to tank. Over 2007-2009 Serenity was in relatively dark times, never seeing more than 6,000 players logged in at one time.

When the licensing agreement expired in 2011, CCP decided to go with a new partner; Tiancity. At Fanfest one of the game’s producers, Duo Ye, ran through Tiancity’s strategy – they started trying to reduce the time between Tranquility’s expanions and the launch in China, naming the first in June 2012 ‘A New Era.’ They immediately started to pull the audience back in, setting a new simultaneous user high of 42,000 players, and by the second expansion ‘Inferno’ saw paying subscriptions double.

But player numbers are one thing. What’s really interesting is that Tiancity, at this stage in Serenity’s life, thought that things were too quiet. ““It was too calm and we wondered if we’d made an error in judgement,” says Ye. “So this was designed to get people fighting. There were too many ships locked up.”

(All screenshots by Rooks And Kings. Click to enlarge.)

In April 2013 they released the Retribution expansion and in August the Odyssey expansion – these together did things like rebalancing the most common combat ships (frigates, cruisers and destroyers) adding more ships, allowing players to train dual characters (so they could have a ‘combat alt’), revamped scanning, and various other minor tweaks.

Soon enough it would bear fruit.

“Fights in Serenity since Retribution have got bigger and more frequent,” says Ye. “Before Retribution it was mostly skirmishes, but afterwards we saw stuff like sovereignity and more life-or-death battles.”

“Before that point there were also less people playing,” says community co-ordinator and senior gamesmaster Ray Zhou. “And basically less people means less war.”

Serenity’s great war occurred in the system 49-U6U between two enormous coalitions, and was sparked by a defection. A huge western coalition existed between PIBC, the biggest corporation on Serenity with over 25,000 players, the mercenary group Veni Vidi Vici (usually called ’3V’), and the July and Fadeklein alliances.

The PIBC coalition, which stands for Pan-Intergalactic Business Community, is not only the biggest but also the oldest alliance in EVE China. They ‘own’ most of the north, the west and a big chunk of the centre of Serenity. 3V are in essence an enormous mercenary alliance – think of a PMC. This inclination and PIBC’s enormous coffers have led to a meeting of minds. Beyond even this, Serenity’s producer Duo Ye pointed out that the leaders of PIBC and 3V both live in the city of Chengdu, and are thought to be IRL buddies.

It seems that EVE is real everywhere.

The dispute began over a region of space known as ‘Tribute’ – which is basically a chokepoint to the north of Serenity. 3V have had control of this area, under the ultimate sovereignty of PIBC, since 2009. Over Christmas 2013 both FDK and the July alliance attempted to negotiate with PIBC for the region in order to secure a route to some of their more remote territories.

PIBC refused. Not only this, but an audio recording was leaked among the Chinese player community of a PIBC higher-up explaining that Tribute was an effective blockade against these alliances expanding.

Realising they were effectively being throttled over the long-term, things turned nasty and FDK and July Alliance attacked 3V for control of Tribute. Things went well – at first. But almost immediately PIBC began to bolster 3V’s forces, and overwhelmingly crushed the two aggressors. FDK beat a rapid retreat, losing plenty of turf, but July Alliance was overwhelmed and by the end of January 2014 disbanded.

The war for Tribute was over – but FDK, the fourth-largest alliance on Serenity, was licking their wounds, hungry for revenge, and realised PIBC was now too big to face alone.

Thus was formed a fateful alliance: the second coalition involved in the slaughterhouse was formed of the RAC alliance, the City of Angels, and Fadeklein. RAC is Serenity’s second-largest alliance with around 20,000 players, and was on very good terms with PIBC before 2008. It owns most of the south of Serenity’s map, and a good chunk of the centre.

City of Angels has 10,000 players of its own and is unusual in having a female CEO, who judging by her name is also rather witty. It roughly translates as ‘Everyone Log Off Now’ – so you can imagine what happens when she gets called as a primary target during battles.

FDK, RAC, City of Angels and FOF banded together in order to, in the players’ own words, ‘battle PIBC and prevent Serenity becoming one man’s game.’ But before this was even known about, the first move had been made.

The skirmishes and fallout from the Tribute battles had dispersed PIBC’s forces, and RAC and City of Angels (henceforth RACOA) made their first big move – sweeping across the south of the map to attack the Querious region. PIBC scrambled to pull their forces back together and defend their homeland.

Then the RACOA set out their stall – jumping 400 super-capital ships into the 49-U6U system in the Querious region. 49-U6U was basically another chokepoint, one that gave access to the south of PIBC’s territory. The alliance wanted this system as a staging post for raids into PIBC’s southern turf – and constructed an outpost to make the retake as difficult as possible for PIBC. This turned a series of battles and posturing into all-out war, as PIBC’s entire southern region came under threat.

On 25 March 2014 at 7am, PIBC jumped a heavy supercapital fleet into 49-U6U using a player-created cynosural field. The RAC / COA / FDK alliance responded by bringing in their capital fleet to defend the system. By 10am there were 2500 pilots in the system, which crept up over the day to 3001. EVE Online’s trademark time-dilation system (‘tidi’) kicked in, slowing the battle down to speeds where the server could handle what was going on.

Despite this the server crashed twice – with the second crash, coming at midnight, seen by many players as the turning-point of the whole battle. The two sides had been relatively evenly-matched. But when the server went back up, City of Angels didn’t reappear.

This is when the battle of 49-U6U became the slaughterhouse. With COA representing around a quarter of the RACOA’s fighting strength, there was no turning back, and one-by-one the Titans of the RAC alliance were targeted and fell.

This was a tale of the Titans. The lower end of the board paints a misleading picture: PIBC / 3V destroyed 53 carriers and 238 dreadnaughts, while RACOA destroyed 60 carriers and 468 dreadnaughts. But then you hit the larger scale and things go lopsided. RACOA destroyed a single Supercarrier, and 15 Titans. PIBC / 3V destroyed an amazing 38 Supercarriers, and an even more astonishing 69 Titans.

This meant a total of 84 Titans destroyed, one more than in B-R5. To put this in perspective, before the battle around 30 Titans had been killed in Serenity’s history.

A fully-fitted Titan on Serenity costs approximately 250 billion ISK. The total in-game value lost in the slaughterhouse, over the 23 hours from 7am to 6am, was 28.7 trillion ISK, but this overwhelming superiority at the top end means PIBC / 3V was responsible for 17.3 trillion – more than the entire 11 trillion total of B-R5. One major caveat, which we’ll explore in more detail later; ISK on China’s Serenity server is worth less than ISK on Tranquility.

Still, impressive no? Tiancity’s developers worked out a cute non-ISK sum: if one player had one manufacturing slot, and all the resources required, it would take 8900 years to rebuild the ships lost in this engagement.

I ask Duo Ye to summarise the fight. He is blunt. “Someone tried to defect, it didn’t go well, and PIBC crushed them.” And what of the aftermath? “Everyone is wondering now whether PIBC is so big that it’s just mopping up the rest of the map and becoming the only viable alliance, but I would say not from what I see. Yes there are consequences, for example one of the losing alliances paid a heavy amount of ISK to regain friendship with PIBC.”

But they’re still on the board? “Exactly, and PIBC is already involved in another war with other alliances. I wouldn’t like to say really, but one thing I will say is that the Chinese character is to resolve things through negotiations – they don’t necessarily want to kill you if, in the long term, that will provide more economic benefits. So yeah maybe they won’t kill you,” Ye lets out a hearty laugh, “but settle for some torture or something like that.”

I can’t help but wonder about that second server outage, however, which Tiancity freely admit may have had an impact on the battle – though equally, COA not reappearing may be down to a ‘tactical retreat.’ “We run a special process on Serenity so that if players know a massive battle is going to come in a specific system they can ring us in advance and tip us off,” says Ray Zhou. “So we know to reinforce that particular node for anything that might happen. But actually the nature of how 49-U happened meant the server was not reinforced on that day, which is why the server crashed twice.”

(All graphs by CCP Games.)

“The players don’t necessarily complain about it as our fault,” says Zhou, “because there were so many ships there and all the time we are working to enable the fights to get bigger and bigger – on that occasion it was almost bound to crash. No supercluster could have held that many people in EVE. So yeah I think they may have grumbled but ultimately understood that.”

“The interesting thing was that when the server crashed a second time there was another crash on a server for one of our other games, so the rumours from that game’s player community was that Tiancity was somehow ‘borrowing’ that server to support EVE,” laughs Zhou. “I should make it clear on the record this is not true, as well as not possible. And anyway the server we have for EVE in China is the best game server that money can buy.”

One of the other reasons 49-U is interesting is that the giant total of money lost isn’t exactly equivalent to ‘western’ EVE – just as the games have different servers, so too they have distinct economies. This was one of the most interesting aspects of Dr Eyjólfur Guðmundsson’s presentation on the second decade of EVE’s economy – he pointed out that the price of a PLEX (EVE’s subscription item) on Serenity had risen to around 3.6 billion. For comparison’s sake on Tranquility they tend to hover between 720-750 million.

Dr Guðmundsson revealed here that CCP and Tiancity had decided to stage an ‘intervention’ by using the PLEX stock captured from illegal traders to temporarily flood the market and lower prices. His problem was not with the price itself – as he pointed out several times, a PLEX is worth what a player pays for it – so much as the rapid rise in price, and he implied CCP would be hesitant about repeating this action.

Dhou Ye confirms that this is a feature of Serenity, with prices in general higher across the board, and players having more money. Why? “I don’t know but maybe it’s the habits of different countries,” says Ray Zhou. “Chinese people like to make a lot of money. Maybe that’s the same in space. You also have to remember we have less players total on Serenity than on Tranquility, but the universe is the same size; which means every player on Serenity I guess has a better chance of resources. When you are exposed to such chances, players make good use of them, and perhaps that’s why ISK is accumulated in greater quantities than on Tranquility.”

At this point a cynic would highlight the oft-repeated accusations of botting and RMT traders on Serenity. Having no evidence either way, I can’t possibly comment.

There are many more differences between Serenity and Tranquility than we can go into here. China has its own Fanfest, and the Chinese audience goes nuts for merchandise even moreso than we do – things like card sets, t-shirts, memory cards, mouse pads, badges, and zippos. There are also ‘idols’, famous female players like Zhu Mimi who acts as a diplomat for a large in-game corporation and has her own sizeable following. “30% of Serenity players say they are female,” deadpans Dhou Ye. “But we know the true number is more like 2%.” Welcome to New Eden.

The presentation also highlighted a few EVE marriages held in China, between players who met in-game, but went even further in explaining the popularity of individuals like Zhu Mimi. “This topic [lack of female players] is an eternal misery among the male playerbase,” says Ye. “So those female players that do exist are treated as very precious and become almost like mascots for corporations, even recruited while rookies.”

The final point to make about Serenity is that, whatever the truth of botting and the like, the server is no mere backwater to Tranquility. In the course of this article I ended up speaking to Lord Maldoror of Rooks and Kings, a corporation that makes brilliant EVE PvP videos and provided the screenshots of 49-U you see on this page, and he went out of his way to emphasise the metagame awareness of Serenity players.

“Serenity players have adapted tactics like our ‘False Tower‘ to their own use. That took place in the aftermath of the massive battle from which the screenshots are taken.” R&K’s ‘False Tower’ video is one of the smartest pieces of PvP I’ve ever seen, and even if you’re not into EVE worth a watch:

The point is that when it was used on Serenity, it was the same tactic but to a different end – suckering in players who thought they’d be pushed away by a ‘real’ tower. “[Stuff like this] is interesting because people on TQ sometimes consider Serenity to be either a mere haven for ‘RMT botters’ or else a backwater in the tactical metagame,” says Maldoror. “However, as the above example shows, the Fleet Commanders of Serenity do more than just passively inherit doctrines and strategies from the ‘main server’ – they expand and innovate on them.”

With no better example, one might say, than in how Serenity’s slaughterhouse dwarved B-R5 a couple of months after it happened.

Serenity is another universe, one that parallels Tranquility but is developing on its own path. Following the slaughterhouse, Tiancity will be mirroring CCP in adding a monument to Serenity’s 49-U system. PIBC and Fadeklein, meanwhile, have patched up – with the cost to Fadeklein being billions of ISK in reparations and a new CEO. What began as a war to stop Serenity becoming ‘one man’s game’ has ended with… well, perhaps that would be too pat.

After all, why kill someone if keeping them alive pays better?

You can read more of Rich Stanton’s EVE Online reporting, including his look at the big game hunters who track and destory EVE’s largest ships, and his diary of EVE Fanfest 2014 in Iceland. We’ll have more next week.

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65 Comments »

  1. Lexx87 says:

    That was great :D

    What a game (that i’ll never play)

  2. Rhodokasaurus says:

    You guys should change the site name to Rock Paper Evegun. Not that I dislike all the EVE articles… I’ve actually been playing EVE for a long time and had no idea there was a China server. I’m not surprised that they’re even more hardcore than North America, it hindsight it seems like the exact type of culture that would fully embrace this kind of game.

    • Azhrarn says:

      Ahem, I assume you mean “the rest of the world”, EVE is not only played by people from North America.
      You’re 37% of the player-base, not a majority. ;)

  3. changeling101 says:

    Brilliant stuff, these articles from Rich have been some of the most interesting I’ve read in a while – always wanted to know about these monumental goings-on without any sort of encyclopedic knowledge of EVE.

  4. CookPassBabtridge says:

    EVE has TMFA

    • Richard Stanton says:

      Thermodynamics-based metabolic flux analysis?

      • Rhodokasaurus says:

        Too Many F’ing Acronyms. It’s the irony that makes TMFA so lovely.

        • DodgyG33za says:

          Methinks you mean TMFI then. Acronym does not mean what you think it does. Although given the large number of people with this misconception it is only a matter of time.

          • drinniol says:

            Can still be TMFA. TMF alphabetisms.

          • Jackablade says:

            So an acronym is an initialism that forms a pronounceable word, is that right?

          • phuzz says:

            Which is then complicated by things like SCSI which shouldn’t be a pronounceable word, but people have invented a way to pronounce it anyway (“scuzzy”).

  5. aliksy says:

    I wish there were more online games that let the players do big, interesting things like this. I am so fucking sick of grinding dungeons in static MMOs.

    • geldonyetich says:

      As for me, I wish EVE Online was as fun to play as it is to hear about its politics.

      • P.Funk says:

        The problem is that you don’t enjoy the part of Eve that is fun. The gameplay is almost secondary to the scheming. Its like saying you find the meetings of the small council dull and boring compared to a battle, when more men are killed sitting around a table talking than by any single man’s sword.

        Game of thrones analogy ftw.

  6. Shodex says:

    One day I’d like to go back in time and get into EVE from the start. EVE is like my description of a perfect MMO, but I’ll be damned if I ever actually play it.

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      EVE appreciation is like a bell curve. On the way up it’s incredible, it’s unbelievable that something so dynamic exists in a way that lets people shape a society in a virtual environment. The political and economic implications are staggering.

      From the top of the bell curve you actually start to understand the way all these multitudes of systems come together to form a working machine.

      On the down-hill you realize that you invested 500 hours in something that is actually just a bunch of nerds being dicks to each other, in a very complicated fashion. At best, it’s a sub-culture, like skaters or hipsters or Alcoholics Anonymous. If you like the people, great! If white, male, nasal sperg-lords aren’t your thing, EVE is just an annoying chat room that people have invested a lot of time into.

      • Shodex says:

        “If white, male, nasal sperg-lords aren’t your thing”
        I’ve spent too long playing video games to be able to honestly say they aren’t my thing anymore.

        • Rhodokasaurus says:

          Heh, one of the most honest and self-actualized comments I’ve ever read. :)

          • Carlos Danger says:

            So Eve China is full of white males? Wow this makes total sense, those darn white guys spoil everything huh.

            To me Eve is better read about then played.

      • morbiusnl says:

        you perfectly summed it up, and why I quitted the game also. It looks great and awesome from the outside, but when playing its just another internet community, with all its great and not so great things.

  7. mpk says:

    Rich, please stop writing so well about EVE.

    I’m clean, man. I don’t need you giving me itches that will eventually need scratching.

  8. BooleanBob says:

    I like how you eventually embraced the acronym creep and just YOLO’d for an RPS ATR.

  9. Arglebargle says:

    My impression from this account is that the fate of the entire battle hinged on the failure of the game company’s equipment. And that they had encouraged the very activities that would eventually lead to that exact failure. Is that an incorrect view?

  10. Rindan says:

    Every time I read about Eve I have to ask WHY OH WHY couldn’t they have wrapped up this game in gameplay that is actually fun. Further, why the bloody fuck won’t anyone follow in their shoes? Give me an Eve with Chivalry combat. Give me an Eve Plantside combat. Give me any fucking flavor of Eve that isn’t “traditional” MMO combat. BUT NO! I hear you say, Eve different and complex! Shut up I say. It is click the fire button and stuff happens combat. Yes, I know YOUR MMO’s version is special and magical in your own head, but it isn’t.

    • Trithne says:

      Well sure, except it’s not. And Eve’s combat model is appropriate for what Eve is: A spaceship game. And Chivalry is “Click the mouse button and stuff happens” combat. You have just as much agency over your actions, and easily more variety, in “hotkey” games as you do ones where you have to do the running around and frantic swinging directly.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        EVE’s pretty much the only space sim that uses this sort of control scheme. Everything else is real-time, twitchy. I’m not saying it’s better (though I much prefer it to EVE’s dice rolls, that’s subjective appreciation), but I fully understand the sentiment.

        Worth bearing in mind that a real-time game would never be able to have this many players in a battle though.

        • Hahaha says:

          How would you easily (without lists) lock on to multiple other ships and fire the weapons needed at the correct target when they are flying all around you?

          Most of the time your focus firing but those webs can be spread among targets.

      • Rindan says:

        Sure, Eve’s combat model is appropriate. I didn’t say it wasn’t appropriate. I said it was fucking boring and it turns me off from the game. What I want is a game that takes Eve’s ideas and applies fun gameplay. Like I said, I would murder other humans to have Chivalry combat in an Eve universe (uh, probably with more castles and cities and fewer space stations and planets), or a Planetside combat with Eve’s vision. Imagine a Fallout style world with FPS combat, but an Eve like fight over scarce resources and a whole lot of not fighting. Imagine the clans, resource trading, and politics of Eve, but with, you know, fun game play.

        As for Eve itself, the combat is boring, even for what it is. I’m not saying that it needs twitch combat, but just something to give it some joy. Off the top of my head, it could have shield facings, limited weapon arcs, more interesting damage and damage control, objects in space could actually mean something (grapple some raiders on an asteroid to hide and ambush), more interesting power management, etc. Eve’s combat isn’t boring because it isn’t twitch (though I DO want an Eve like MMORPG FPS), it is boring because it is boring, and it has been since the day it came out. Its only redeeming value is that the game that surrounds it gives it a little extra meaning in PvP.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I get the sentiment. I find it very difficult playing space games like EVE having grown up with games like the Wing Commander and XWing series with seat of the pants joystick based combat. Even Freelancer which was an excellent space game in almost every way turned me off because it’s combat was designed around mouse controls, so clicking around a UI and worrying about transversal velocity just doesn’t cut it for me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, there is a reason why the idea of Star Citizen has had people jizzing their pants for a while now.

      • Azhrarn says:

        There’s also another, oft forgotten, difference between EVE and the games you mention.
        The scale of the ships involved.

        The space combat games you mention allows for seat-of-the-pants flying, because that’s how combat in fighters works, the smallest ships in EVE (frigates) are at least 80 meters long, making them bigger than most player pilot-able ships in any other game, the average cruiser is 200-300 meters long, for the super-caps mentioned above you’re looking at 5-10 kilometres, a Titan is around 15 kilometres long.

        You’re not flying something that huge by the seat of your pants, you’re sending commands to sections of the ship to perform the actions you want to happen, even if it’s hooked almost directly into your brain through your pod. That’s why EVE’s combat is like it is. Control is effectively indirect, because you’re captaining a ship of the line, not piloting a tiny fighter through crowded combat.

        Once EVE Valkyrie comes out, you can have the flight-sim within the EVE universe you crave, I have no idea how long it’ll take CCP to integrate Valkyrie into the actual game, but the initial game release is a starting point to expose people to this other entrance to the EVE universe. That may well become the side of EVE that you want, but the space game it is now, is not.

    • Faxanadu says:

      Am I reading this completely wrong or is what you’re asking basically MMO’s that give power to the player?

      Because anyway, there aren’t any. Outside EVE. And Ironfell. Ironfell was funny.

  11. Verite Rendition says:

    For anyone wondering what the current political situation is on Serenity, there is a daily sovereignty map.

    http://dl.eve-files.com/media/corp/VeriteChina/Cinfluence.png

  12. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    Yeah tbh that whole thing hinging on a server crash and connection issues just makes the game a joke to me. Any credibility for this is lost because the “winner” didn’t really win, they were just lucky. Why would I bother putting all that effort into something that could be taken away merely because of a server crash.
    As much as I love the idea of EVE I still find it quite sad how seriously some people take it.

  13. Moraven says:

    Sucks about the 2nd server crash and seems like CoA did not communicate they would stay offline.

  14. Gap Gen says:

    The comment that female players are valued over male players, and that a large number of people claim to be female, is interesting.

    • Pixieking says:

      Yeah, I was just about to comment on this. I wonder if Eve is unusual in this regard, or whether it’s common practice. It would be interesting to read an academic-style paper comparing treatment and awareness of female players in Eastern gaming communities, with their counterparts in the West.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, I guess it depends; clearly there are still gender issues in Asia (such as a large number of people having girls aborted in certain countries, or continuing ideas that women should be mothers and housewives rather than have careers – and it’s not clear what the subtleties of a demand for women in EVE are, if there are any, of course), but it’s encouraging that women are actively welcomed in communities as opposed to actively attacked or creeped on (on a related note, the conclusion of this is rather depressing: http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/220826/i-joined-tinder-as-a-dog/)

      • frightlever says:

        I guess it’s relative. I suspect most women wouldn’t want to be regarded as a “mascot”.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yeah, it seems opposite to what appears to happen in the west (WOMENZ IN GAMEZ? NEWA!!!).

      I started wondering about India, though. The Chinese seem to be ahead of us in this regard. That said, I’m not a part of any Indian gaming community so don’t have a proper virtual-world insight, just going off real-world observations.

  15. Ketchua says:

    Serenity’s great war occurred in the system 49-U6U between two enormous coalitions, and was sparked by a defecation.

    Thanks, brain.

  16. Gesadt says:

    “eve is a game that bla bla bla, but ill never play it because bla bla bla”. is the most common post in eve article, its getting old.

    • Harlander says:

      First something gets said a lot.

      Then people complain about it becoming a cliche.

      What next?

      • SuicideKing says:

        People complaining about people complaining about calling something a cliche just because people are complaining about people complaining about people comlaininh abkgoa….IT’S ALL CYCLIC REDUNDANCY!

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        To be fair to him he has a point.
        I played EVE for the best part of 3 years & I’m sick of seeing comments which basically go “I haven’t played EVE ever but I feel perfectly entitled to whine about how terrible a game it is because my only experience of MMOs is walled gardens like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars where everyone is forced to be nice to everyone else under penalty of being reported to the GMs”.

        If people want to be a critical of something, go experience it first. That’s generally one of the main requirements of being a critic as in you have experience of the subject you’re critiquing. Until then feel free to fuck off.

  17. Tom De Roeck says:

    If youre looking for an affordable Eve itch to scratch, try Perpetuum Online ;D (theres an RPS corp, one of the biggest in fact)

  18. Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

    “one thing I will say is that the Chinese character is to resolve things through negotiations – they don’t necessarily want to kill you if, in the long term, that will provide more economic benefits. So yeah maybe they won’t kill you,” Ye lets out a hearty laugh, “but settle for some torture or something like that.”

    This makes me wonder whether China would be better to go to war with instead of Russia, if that might ever happen of course.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Is really necessary for the US/NATO to be at war all the time? TAKE OFF YOUR WARFACES PEOPLE

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        peaceface

      • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

        Ahhh come on! We get bored otherwise. It’s either that or the Isle of Wight gets it once every 5 years.

        • Gap Gen says:

          I like the idea of all villains coming from the Isle of Wight, and huge armies threatening Portsmouth and Southampton.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Kinda; note that without a common enemy, NATO is pretty fragmented and listless. Even now Russia is agroing the West more (I mean, 2008 in Georgia too, but no-one cared about that apparently), there’s no firm consensus from all the members. The old “no permanent friends/enemies, only permanent interests” thing.

        I dunno if national character plays a role on a state level; I suspect every country plays the same game or gets left behind. And China is being plenty aggressive over the disputed islands, since it’s in their interests to secure sea lanes out into the Pacific and Indian Ocean, plus it knows its economy is slowing down and doesn’t want people to think the government is weak.

        • tormos says:

          as someone who is studying international relations, your second paragraph is kind of right but also kind of wrong?

          “national character” does play a certain role in the process of negotiations. EG during the Cold War American diplomats were commonly frustrated because they viewed policy statements by their government as starting points to be worked from to reach consensus, whereas Soviet diplomats viewed their government’s statements as ironclad rules that could not be deviated from (likely due to the fact that they ram a real risk of getting purged/shot if they did anything else) Also, different states have different general attitudes that tend to transcend individual topics eg. the US is very skeptical of international organizations, Israel basically doesn’t believe war crimes exist, China is very prickly about sovereignty etc. This could feasibly be compared to strategies within the game of International Politics, so you are right in that they are all essentially playing the same game, but wrong in that they tend to play it in very different ways based on their “national character”/broader interests.

  19. P.Funk says:

    “After all, why kill someone if keeping them alive pays better?”

    Clearly PIBC are not the Lannisters.

  20. phuzz says:

    Normally in Eve “elite PvPers” is a phrase that’s either a hollow boast or a sarcastic diss.
    Rooks and Kings are about the only corp that nobody disputes really are elite.

  21. tkioz says:

    EVE is one of those games I can’t stand to play, I’ve tried, but I *love* to read about, it’s just so interesting, it’s endlessly fascinating, much more so that pure “war” games because the things in the game have real value and how huge the alliances get and the way they fight over territory and resources.

  22. racccoon says:

    Pure eve dribble…
    Propaganda never seems to die.

  23. mbp says:

    A few years back when EVE China was new a bunch of Western players figured out how to create accounts and formed a corporation. I remember reading about their exploits on forums back in the days. To the best of my recollection they were well received as a fun addition to the Chinese game. Anyone know what happened these Serenity tourists?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      That was a bunch of Pandemic Legion guys. From what I remember they destroyed the Chinese fleets they went up against because they were using ship fittings & tactics developed over many years on Tranquility while the locals were flying much less optimised ships.
      They pretty much bootstrapped the way PvP is done on Serenity & indirectly caused the subject of this article (the RAC Alliance took them in so they could learn from them).

  24. lessieehenson says:

    my co-worker’s mother-in-law makes $76 an hour on the laptop . She has been unemployed for 9 months but last month her pay was $13186 just working on the laptop for a few hours. why not check here

    http://www.jobsaa.com

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