Saturday, February 02, 2013

EVE Online - The Battle of Askai

Written by Dave Bowen

Last weekend was hectic for EVE Online players. The game is known for large scale space battles but the latest, called Battle of Asakai, was one of the biggest to go down in EVE’s history and it all happened over a simple mis-click. This abrupt conflict involved nearly 3,000 players and it cost both sides 470,000,000,000 ISK (the in-game currency which would convert to $17,000). So how did such a knock-out-drag-down fight begin? What were the stakes and what’s the aftermath?

The Cluster F*** Coalition (CFC) and HoneyBadger Coalition (HBC) are the two largest coalitions in EVE. CFC is led by the corporation, GoonSwarm Federation Alliance and HBC is led by Test Alliance.

GoonSwarm has had shaky relations with Test Alliance ever since their enemy, Pandemic Legion, joined Test and helped form the HBC. The two coalitions created the “No Infrastructure Pact” - an agreement that the two sides could attack each other but not their structures since mining and trading resources keep corporations thriving. A war between the two collations nearly began when HBC targeted lesser corporations in CFC and almost broke the pact. Diplomats had to intervene and brought the escalating situation down from Defcon 2.

Last week, GoonSwarm was planning to attack a moon that was held by a small pirate alliance. They caught wind of the threat and informed Pandemic Legion; ambushes were set in case anything happened. A GoonSwarm member, Dabigredboat, was piloting a Titan, the biggest of all ship classes and the most expensive. Boat had one job to do: create a bridge for his fleet to jump to their destination, Asakai VI. However, he mis-cliked and sent his ship alone to the location. There, he met a fleet from Pandemic Legion and Test Alliance and following the “No Infrastructure Pact” they attacked Boat. Boat called in for support and super carriers arrived. However, they were still getting hammered and instead of letting things end there, Boat called for the CFC to bring every ship they had at their disposal. After all that Hell broke loose, reinforcements poured in from both coalitions. All ships of all classes arrived and the battle lasted for hours as both sides fought it out. In addition to the high traffic, another large scale but prearranged battle, was happening at the same time. The game lagged heavily however, the server never crashed. 

As mentioned earlier, the total cost of all of the ships destroyed was approximately $17,000. The HBC lost 1 Supercarrier, 6 Dreadnoughts and 11 Carriers. CFC lost 3 Titans, 5 Supercarriers, 44 Dreadnoughts and 29 Carriers. The CFC suffered a substantial defeat.

Now that the dust has settled and everything has calmed down, the diplomatic settings haven’t changed for either side. CFC actually admitted that the fight spiraled out of control and that they are looking into preventing this in the future with stricter rules over the use of capital ships.