EVE At War: Documenting The Pipebomb

Not pictured: anything this documentary refers to.

EVE Online would make a poor spectator sport. Reading written reports about huge battles and stalking Titans can be jolly fascinating, but they’re no fun to watch. Unless you’ve blown up loads of things in EVE yourself, you’ll probably be baffled by giant swarms of little red and blue squares swirling around inside blue bubbles. What’s happening? Where even are the spaceships?

Here, watch Clarion Call 4. It’s a one-hour documentary by EVE alliance Rooks and Kings, looking at the changing face of EVE war through battle footage, artwork, recorded voice comms, and narration.

The core of the documentary is the rise of ‘pipebombing’, a battle tactic where Rooks and Kings would maneuver enemies into specific positions then ‘fire’ a load of ships armed with area-of-effect smartbombs from the jump portal of a Titan-class ship. It also gets into the politics and intrigue one would expect from EVE, coming out a bit like a History Channel documentary.

In that style, the narrator has a monotone voice and a dramatic script, meaning I’d almost forget the documentary was about a video game and not the Great War until they said things like:

Interdiction bubbles prevented us jumping out, and so only the rapidly-shortening lifespan of the tower separated us from the jaws of the assembled horde, a situation commonly referred to as a ‘rape cage’.

Oh, video games! What are you like? Weird but fascinating, that’s what. Here, watch this:


  1. 0positivo says:

    Good old Rooks&Kings. Their production quality is just leagues above other “real feed” EvE videomakers. Every time one of their new video come out, I have to resist the urge to just sub back

    Actually, if you don’t mind, I think I still have a PLEX or two somewhere…

    • DeVadder says:

      I am right on the other side of that. ^^
      I mean i never actually do play the game, but admitting that by unsubbing? No longer beeing an Eve player? Unthinkable!

      • po says:

        There’s people who pay for cable or sattelite to watch conventional sports. They buy a season ticket, and wear their team’s kit.

        Me? I don’t even own a TV, and as far as I’m concerned, FUCK FOOTBALL.

        I sub to EVE even though I haven’t logged in the last year except to stuff my skill queue, because I’ve played a little of this game, and thanks to my limited comprehension of what’s going on, I can truthfully say, what Rooks and Kings, and many other groups in this game do, is pure entertainment.

        I’m happy to keep paying for the game so they can keep playing it.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        Unsubbing is usually referred to as “winning Eve”.

  2. Didden says:

    I do miss flying with Rooks and Kings and Lord Maldaror in particular. Some very fun engagements. Mildly tempted to at least train my characters once more. It is a slippery slope to actually playing again :)

  3. voorsk says:

    Much like some BBC documentaries, my response is “hmm.. that might be interesting.. AN HOUR??? I’m not THAT interested!”

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      If you’re even a little interested in EVE, you should check it out. It’s amazing to see how relatively small groups of players adapt their tactics to battle huge enemy fleets.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      There’s a much shorter video of just one of their pipe-bombing attacks, in this case on a CFC fleet returning after they’d won a one-sided fight against TEST. They’re all happily returning to base, and joking about how well they’d done when suddenly…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    What’s this?
    An EVE article written by someone else than Jim?
    Explain yourselves!

    • Trinnet says:

      It’s actually a very long time since Jim last wrote an Eve article – ever since he wrote that series of articles on his five years in Eve, pretty much all of the EVE coverage on RPS has been done by other writers.

      • Premium User Badge

        Earl-Grey says:

        Yes, yes, I know.
        I just like pointing out that EVE=JIM in my mind, full of shit as it is.

  5. gorgonaut says:

    I stuck with this for a while, and- having never played EVE- I find it fascinating how knowledgeable some of the players are. The sheer amount of thought going into planning this sort of thing seems enormous!

  6. Itkovian says:

    Checked ‘Rooks and Kings’ tag. No Clarion Call 3?? I enjoyed 4, but 3 is in another league.

  7. Undermind_Mike says:

    Sigh. I find the guy’s narrating voice really forced-sounding. I COULD be wrong, but I swear he’s “doing a voice.” It sounds really put-on to me, I find it quite unpleasant to listen to :\

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      I don’t think he is, he sounds pretty much the same in his radio comms. Of course, he could have rerecorded his comms just for the video, but if he’s putting it on he’s extremely consistent as it’s basically the same over this 1 hr+ video, plus the other Clarion Call vids.

  8. Sharky70 says:

    They had the EVE Alliance Tournament just a few weeks ago. They streamed the battles live on Twitch.tv. Thousands of people watched every weekend. EVE is quite the spectator game, please at least try to do some journalistic research.

    • Generico says:

      Except the alliance tournament isn’t really representative of typical EVE nullsec gameplay; which largely consists of roaming through empty space for hours, using the world’s most GPU intensive IRC client, and occasionally being involved in a large battle with like 80% time dilation where you can fire your guns then take a nap while they reload. EVE is a lot more fun to talk about than it is to actually play. Also, thousands of viewers do not a spectator game make. When you’ve got Starcraft numbers, then you’re a spectator game.

      • Atrocious says:

        You seem bitter, vet. Maybe you’ve been flying with the wrong people.

        I enjoy my daily PVP without boring roams through empty systems.

  9. gorgonaut says:

    I hope one day to see
    a spambot marked
    as a Supporter,
    just like you and me.

  10. Generico says:

    This is really a good illustration of blob fleet predictability and their total reliance on large numbers. If you just move your fleet differently, pipebombing doesn’t work. If everybody warps to a random celestial before warping to the next gate, then the fleet doesn’t all land on the same spot and the bombing is ineffective. But as you can see, even after they know this tactic is coming they don’t adapt. They just jump right into it like lemmings.

    And the sad part is that since the game’s economy is so broken, that fleet of 100 ships is not even a blip in the wallet of a large alliance, so they don’t need to adapt to it. While it looks impressive – and if you’re the victim it’s somewhat demoralizing – the effect it has on any big coalition is trivial.

    • MacroFine says:

      depends when the fleet gets struck. Even if we can replace it doesn’t mean it’s not important to some SBU timer or other objective.

      But as a ‘blobber’ from a big alliance in eve, let me say that it’s not as easy as you think to run and supply big fleets, a lot of planning goes into it. My coalition has guys who sit around on spreadsheets for hours every day keeping it all going so that I get a new ship when my last one blows up. And when I’ve been pipebombed it’s usually R+K using clever bait or trap and not just us being lemmings.

      Playing the numbers game is harder than it looks

  11. Flyinzilla says:

    its amazing how far games have gone. that could be the narration and production from a BBC nature documentary. If it wasn’t about spaceships and all….

    I wonder how much something like this cost to make. If I understand it right, what I just watched is made by the player group and not from the company making the game.

    One day I have to play Eve I just hope my wife doesn’t divorce me for it.

  12. SomeDuder says:

    Is it because the narrator said rape? I’m sorry for your loss :(

  13. presence says:

    Wrong forum, lol.

  14. heretic says:

    wah amazing stuff! didn’t think i’d watch it all but the actual comms from both sides and explanation was great :D