Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Epic EVE Online Battle For Digital Land

This is 15,000 people playing at once. I'd imagine the
$500k fight is equally as grand in scope.
In the world of EVE Online, some serious sh*t went down on Monday, and it's being labeled as the most destructive, and costly battle of the game's history.

EVE Online is a multiplayer online (duh) game where you start out 20,000 years in the future as any one of four races and make your own path in space pirate land. You can trade, mine, market your fighting skills, hell you can be freekin' James Bond in space if you want to. And 500,000+ people can't be wrong as the game continues to grow over the years. Part of what makes EVE Online stand out from other games is how well the space battles have been tuned to gamers. It's not a throwaway like both of the Star Wars MMO's have made it. They've integrated them into the vital aspects of the game without compromising the gamer's need to do what they want.

So when Monday morning rolled about, one of the largest groups, Pandemic had a bit of a folly. One of their member's didn't pay their subscription fee. Whether it was lack of funds or an error on part of CCP Games, it's not sure. But that one member held border patrol over a certain section and when he didn't show up on time, all hell broke loose. Multiple forces, rivals to Pandemic, took advantage of the lapse in coverage and made a move. One that became one of the longest, drawn out fights for territorial claim and made CCP pray that their servers would hold. EVE Online utilizes a system they have dubbed "time dilation," which essentially allows the servers to slow down 10% to help alleviate additional stress on the system. Players actions are queued in order of which buttons you hit first. Much like turn-based Flash games offer, it's a similar concept and allows you to make multiple decisions at a time and go about your day as needed (if you're still logged in).

And like most MMO's have gone, people can buy things using real money. Some of the baseline ships can be worth as little as 3 grand USD. Now players can build up their in-game currency without spending any real world cash, but of course as we all know, that takes a lot longer then plopping down the money to get basic upgrades. And based on the number of ships in this battle and the amount of money on the line, it equates to roughly $500,000USD. That's...a lot of money to be concerned about. Screw gold farming in WoW. Why aren't we on EVE farming for real cash?

Pandemic's leader doesn't know which team has the upper hand right now, but the battle is still going on, and EVE's servers are still chugging. Real world implications with politics, morality, religion, anything else but money is not really on the top of people's minds. It's "holy crap, they're playing with $500 grand ships???" Even Fox News had to talk about it. Though the number in the hyperlink is still a fail.

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