EVE Online’s Largest Battle To Be Marked By Ship Graveyard

Now this is a videogame.

Earlier this week, EVE Online’s largest ever ship battle took place between two of the game’s player-run factions. Around $300,000 worth of internet spaceships was destroyed. An EVE Online dev blog tells the story of the battle, breaks down the stats, and announces that the Bloodbath of B-R5RB will be commemorated in-game by a field of derelict ships.

The battle began when someone forgot to check the auto-renew box on their sovereignty payment, causing a region of space to slip out from one faction’s control and another to try to claim it. By the end of the battle some 12 hours later, 75 Titans had been destroyed, and goods worth around 11 million ISK turned into spacedust. It’s that latter figure which can be converted into roughly $300,000, via EVE Online’s PLEX system.

Of those 75 Titans, 59 of them were lost by the N3/PL faction. That makes CFC/DTF the clear winners of the battle. This graph sums it up pretty well.

A graph.

The memorial CCP are building to commemorate the battle will be a kind of graveyard, with destroyed, derelict ships floating in space for all to visit. It’s a fitting way to mark the battle, and in keeping with EVE Online’s efforts to give player’s actions real significance. The graveyard should be added during scheduled maintenance on January 31st.

There are a bunch more screenshots, graphs and links to reports through at the EVE devblog. Or just watch this astonishing footage from a neutral observer during the fight.


  1. Hawkseraph says:

    As a result of this battle, Pandemic Legion have withdrawn from the war (by an agreement with the CFC which allowed them to get all their stuff back that was trapped in the station).
    So it looks like N3 is gonig to lose their systems, they have already started retreating deeper into their homelands.
    PL, meanwhile, is goiing home and licking their wounds.

    • Orija says:

      So, why did PL’s faction lose so badly to the CFC/DTF?

      • zeekthegeek says:

        A lot of it was simply that they did not believe the CFC would drop Supers – in fact they’ve been hesitant to for most of this war. OF course it didn’t help that they accidentally didn’t pay the rent setting them up for a battle they were not prepared for (even if it was in their Staging system).

        Eventually the fleet commanders of PL/N3 ceded the field and left their fleets as a write-off, leaving every remaining ship to die.

      • Arachnyd says:

        PL/N3 was outnumbered pretty badly. Many PL pilots lost multiple ships – they died in a dreadnaught or carrier and rejoined the fight in a replacement to make sure the numerical disadvantage didn’t get worse.

      • brgillespie says:

        The commonly-cited hinge point of the battle was the decision to focus fire a particular CFC player’s Titan. This player was able to tank the damage five times longer than expected (CFC assisted the player with a repair fleet). In that span of time, CFC destroyed a number of N3/PL’s Titans. Although N3/PL eventually toppled their chosen target, the damage was done. CFC’s collective firepower snowballed, popping Titan after Titan. Eventually, N3/PL came to a point where they couldn’t kill any more Titans: not enough firepower. That’s when the order to retreat was given.

        Although B-R5RB was the central battle, there were numerous other conflicts in surrounding systems as both sides attempted to blockade reinforcements from entering B-R5RB.

  2. NylePudding says:

    Does anyone know how many players were involved in the battle?

  3. Big Murray says:

    While I would never find the time in my life to play this, it makes me happy it exists.

  4. Thurgret says:

    11 billion, surely? 11 million is small change, by EVE standards.

    Edit: yep, 11 trillion, actually, as was noted below (plus it’s even in the graph and now I feel silly). That’s really quite a lot.

    • Hawkseraph says:

      It’s trillion, actually.

      • Thurgret says:

        Oh, yeah. I kind of forgot that a billion in EVE isn’t an awful lot. $300,000 runs to, what, 15,000 PLEXes worth? Those things were worth roughly 500,000,000ISK each when I was playing, but I gather they’re 300,000,000ISK now. So that would run to 4,500,000,000,000ISK. And since the 11 trillion thing is apparently correct, that might be a wee bit more than $300,000 worth, or have rates changed?

        • Hawkseraph says:

          They’re at about 650m right now, but CCP are having a PLEX sale, so that number might down a few mil for the next few days

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yep, 11 trillion ISK worth. Pro reporting from RPS there. PC Gamer managed to get that fact right btw, but I guess RPS is too bothered looking for its next “sexism in gaming” social justice piece instead of getting their facts right about things that are actually about video games.

    • Dave says:


  5. kyrieee says:

    Here’s a more dramatic video of the battle (you should embed it up there!):

    The red / white flashes are the Supercapitals from both sides jumping into the fight. The large laser beams are doomsdays going off, you can see N3/PL targeting dreadnoughts and CFC focus firing on Titans which proved to be the right call. In the top right is the station they were fighting over.

    At 3:00 you can see a Battleship fleet come out of warp, slightly left of the middle of the screen, to put neuts on the Avatar (Titan) that’s drifting away.

    • happydan says:

      If there’s one thing the Homeworld taught me is that clustering and poor formation is a recipe for losing a battle.

      • Hendrick Tallardar says:

        Actually those formations are pretty much standard. N3/PL use a formation of their Titans, Super Carriers, Carriers, and Sub capitals called “Wrecking Ball” which I believe they used here. Until recently the CFC/RUS just could not crack it using the ships they had routinely been using up to that point, that is until they decided to use Capitals and Titans against the “Wrecking Ball”

        And yes Wrecking Ball was named after the Miley Cyrus song.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          It’s what always disappoints me about those EVE videos. The battles feel so artificial and convoluted, a result of dice rolls and optimal range computations rather than feeling like space battles. The ships barely move, it all looks like two giant blobs with the occasional flash.

          The doomsday weapons are quite pretty though. It just doesn’t match what the trailers try to sell at all.

          • P.Funk says:

            I suspect that if ever there will be battles in space its more likely going to look like this than its ever going to look like something from Star Wars.

          • Marblecake says:

            Have to agree with P.Funk here. Space battles, should they ever come to pass, will much more resemble a game of EVE than anything we’ve seen in Star Wars or Wing Commander. They will be about calculating trajectories and velocities.

          • SomeDuder says:

            You should read the books written by Alastair Reynolds – though its not about space battles, there are some key scenes, and it details very well how I imagine a battle in a gigantic void would actually play out (None of this, “GIVE THEM A BROADSIDE, CHAPS” nonsense of videogames, more of a “Let’s see if we can hit that thing that’s moving near the speed of light with a projectile the size of a car from a few AU” afair)

      • Cinek says:

        That’s EVE. An MMO. It’s a numbers game, not an RTS. Strategies that apply in Homeworld got NOTHING to deal with EVE.

  6. Scabmastah says:

    Now imagine that battle in this engine link to youtube.com , now that would truly be epic. :P

  7. stoopiduk says:

    There is a sadder monument to be built today, although it may fall outside of the bounds of RPS.

    Today EA released Dungeon Keeper on carry-screen type devices. I can’t put an ISK value on nostalgia and the credibility of that which I hold sacred, but someone did.

    They then ran the appropriate time/USD/ISK calculations and reserved their place in an eternity of imp-slaps at the hands of the original Keepers.

  8. Mr Eyl says:

    An epic battle indeed, consisting of thousands of ships….. sitting motionless, taking potshots at one another.

    I can just imagine the furiously exciting hammering of number keys and waiting for cooldowns right now.

    • kyrieee says:

      Haha, there’s a lot more than that going on, you just don’t see it in a video.

      • Mr Eyl says:

        I know, but smaller ship combat always appealed to me more. Watching super-capitals fight always makes me think of what it’d be like to see hundreds of Hutts in quicksand plinking away at each other with blasters. :)

        • Dave says:


          • sad.Clown says:

            He means that watching super-capitals fight is like watching 100s of Hutts (Jabba The, Teemo The, Gorga The, etc.) squirming around the deserts of Tatooine, trying their best to shoot each other with their stubby fat arms holding blasters.

    • crinkles esq. says:

      Yes, that’s true. I don’t really know the combat system well in Eve, but as a spectator it’s pretty dull. Does Eve have ships which are controlled by multiple players? That might allow for more dynamic combat. Then again, I played a Star Trek MOO (text-based, player-programmable, online multiplayer game) in the mid-90s that featured a full ship combat system, and ships were constantly moving because you had to rotate your ship to have your shields absorb damage lest one side of your shielding go down. I got to the point where I could instantly translate new ship headings in my head. Life skills! Eve’s combat by comparison seems a bit anemic to the outside observer.

      Having said that, I’ve always secretly wanted to try this game. The amount of player agency this game provides is something to be lauded, and sadly (the non-Korean) fantasy MMOs still haven’t latched onto this kind of “alive” gameworld.

      • Cinek says:

        No, they don’t . EVE cap ship battles are more like… you get in system, select target, and click all the buttons to fire. ;)

  9. araczynski says:

    seems wasteful. all that time and effort and to throw it all away because some stupid guildmaster wants to go to war because someone was too stupid to pay a bill… yeah, sign me right up. that’s why i don’t waste time with guilds, you always end up being a pawn in someone else’s stupid ego trip.

    • elilupe says:

      The parallels between this comment and people’s thoughts about government are awesome.

      • Bugamn says:

        DayZ has ho guilds. Is it anarchism?

        • BooleanBob says:

          “DayZ has ho guilds. Is it anarchism?”

          Sounds more like bordellocracy to me.

      • Lone Gunman says:

        Don’t forget unaccountable corporations. Oh wait, I forgot, giving them all the power is the price of freedom.

    • Distec says:

      Something tells me you haven’t been in a lot of “guilds” in any game.

    • Cinek says:

      It’s all what there is in EVE. Few people with huge egos and thousands of meaningless minions.
      If CCP would want to make a meeting of EVE community they could equally well just invite ~20 people, and that would be all. These are the guys that make battles like that one or actually affect game universe. Everyone else are just ants.

  10. Fiyenyaa says:

    Blimey. I played this game from 2006-2009; I remember when the first Titan was built and there was only one anywhere in existance in the entire galaxy. Now 75 get lost in one battle? Whoooooo boy.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Supposedly that’s a 10% dip in total number of Titans in the game.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        obligatory capitals ruined Eve comment.

        • citrusninja says:

          I had to read that comment several times before realizing “obligatory capitals ruined Eve comment” should not be read as a newspaper headline. I literally thought you were referring to some problem you had with people capitalizing the word Titan!

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            My bad, should’ve added some quotation marks & made it a bit more obvious but I was posting at the end the day before I left the office e.g.

            obligatory “capital ships ruined Eve” comment.

  11. rockidr4 says:

    Is anyone else reminded of the Tionisla Graveyard from the Elite Manual?

  12. Hendrick Tallardar says:

    This is another Titan that went down today.

    link to zkillboard.com

  13. Tei says:

    I wonder how you survive to that :D

  14. P.Funk says:

    Seemed like the obvious thing to do.

    link to youtubemultiplier.com

    I don’t think these battles need to be more dramatic, they just need music to match the plodding hopelessness of it all.

    • johnxfire says:

      Oh wow, you’re the first person I’ve ever seen post something regarding Eno’s ambient work.

      • P.Funk says:

        Not sure if biting sarcasm or honest statement.

        To me this song is the cliche of ambient songs. Its nice though, and in a pinch it worked well. I looked at alot of the vids of this and other EVE battles and it just astonishes me that the time dlation combat so often is paired with metal or something with a tempo that doesn’t fit the hopeless emptiness but immense grandeur of EVE.

        I briefly considered using “I Drive” from the Drive soundtrack but its not long enough and its not circular like this is, which also fits because this is so endless, repetitive, and the throbbing of the camera in this vid matches the pace of the Eno song.

        I’ve come to the conclusion that people may know how to play EVE but they have no idea how to soundtrack for a space video.

  15. Janichsan says:

    As fascinating as I find the dynamic EVE sometimes develops, I really can’t help but wonder if there aren’t a couple of thousands people that just have too much time on their hands.

    Does a game that takes up such a considerable amount of its players’ time really still qualify as a “game” or has it become a second job you actually have to pay for to work in it?

    • Cinek says:

      Yep. It looks so. Imagine these people actually spend time working for money instead of working for space ships – we could easily avoid economic crisis of 2008 ;)

      • Bastimoo says:

        Or instead of playing hours of civ/paradox games/league of legends/watch TV/do sports… if you would always work instead of having fun, you could avoid any crysis. Or you would create one, since there is no more consumption of produced goods for fun anymore? Whoops.

      • El_Emmental says:

        The financial crisis of 2008 was NOT created by any form of “lazyness” and couldn’t have been avoided by working more hours per day. Anyone actually pretending that, is either joking or yet another ignorant populist exploiting the vilification of the poor and workers.

        The financial crisis of 2008 was solely the result of the financial market lack of any regulation. A complete lack of control that led to these financial structures and securities/packages no longer being traceable, identifiable and usable by the other agents of the economy. The virtual value became 100%-fake value.

        To get rid of these toxic assets without actually losing relative-wealth (in comparison with the rest of the economy/agents), the higher tier of banks simultaneously set up a financial crisis, forcing the government around the world to “bail them out” until they magically decided to do some business again, until the states (countries structures) were weak enough to be forced into high interest loans over 30+ years (see: USA, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, etc) and forced to massively accelerate their privatization (see; USA & Europe).

        The banks forced the real-estate sector to “overboost” its growth on purpose, perfectly knowing it was going to burst the bubble. Same with the govs around the world offering gigantic tax break for the real estate sector through corruption, leading to people without any money getting manipulated into signing up for mortgages after mortgages – using these population like a financial meat-shield.

        Who actually lost all their wealth ? The “meat-shield” low-income population.
        Who got bailed out by the taxpayers’ money ? The same banks who set up that perverted system.
        Who’s now buying out all the real estate properties at a much cheaper price since people can no longer fund their mortgage with the speculation bubble and sell at a discount price ? The same banks.
        Who’s now forcing states around the world to sign up for high interest loans to simply pay their own public service for the current year ? The same banks.
        Who’s gonna work hard to create value (wealth) to rebuild the banking system and pay the debts ? The citizens.

        Never forget that the crisis of 2008 was made by the banks and for the banks, and that the final cost of that entire cycle will be entirely supported by the hard-working citizens. Lehman Brothers was only eliminated (“surprisingly” not bailed out) because it defied the other, larger group of superbanks who managed to put their own people at the Fed & co.

        Very similar “crises” happened in EvE before (and are currently being organized), with large corporations exploiting the lack of any space-wide regulations/controls to rig the economy – from anti-competitive practices, monopolies, blockade, to actual economic wars.

        With all these people “playing” EvE, we have an excellent experiment in economy and sociology allowing us to better understand the real-world economy, the concept of virtual money/value and its relations with real-world money (how to convert PLEX USD/Euro), and what would happened with a complete deregulation (in some sectors, like in EvE)

    • fish99 says:

      No different to any other MMO though, they all turn people into zombies. Thankfully I’ve always found the gameplay in every MMO too shit to get me hooked.

    • P.Funk says:

      It depends. What if they get out of it a joy and a fulfillment that only musicians or artists get? We’ve come to accept, or at least many people do, that some creative types are only fulfilled by certain endeavors. Perhaps we can view these kinds of “players” as being much like this.

      We should also note that most people who create anything int his world are usually fucked up, or at least anti-social or are just plain assholes consumed by their craft or their own ambition.

      Eve is a product of human will, but so is any real economy, or work of art, or cultural movement. The makers are rarely very similar to those who experience the product from afar or in a diminished role.

      • El_Emmental says:

        “We should also note that most people who create anything int his world are usually fucked up, or at least anti-social or are just plain assholes consumed by their craft or their own ambition”

        You’re missing the entire point of EvE. But that’s ok, we heard the same arguments back in the 80s, and the 90s, from old people talking about computers, video games and later the Internet. We already know that all these ignorant words will be lost in time, like tears in rain…

        If you’re anti-social, you’re not going to get into the higher/meta level of EvE. If you’re a plain asshole, you’ll be betrayed pretty frequently and you’re gonna have a much harder time forming alliances and deals.

        EvE is about offering the opportunity for all these people to participate in higher ‘story’ arcs, to build and destroy empires, to go beyond the mere ‘entertainment’ experience provided by the AAA industry – mostly made of more and more passive experiences – in EvE, you can be as active as you want.

        In 2014, any game in a heroic fantasy setting and/or with a handful of stats/XP points/levels is called a Role Playing Game. Where is the actual role playing in these experiences ? What could you build and/or destroy in these games ? What are the limits ? … in EvE, there’s no wizards or dragons, but everyone is playing a role.

        (nb: I am not currently playing EvE, but I lurked enough about it to recognize its value)