$300,000 Space Battle Online


By Thomas Scott

Massive MMORPG Battle results in large costs and lag time

There is a war going on all over cyberspace, in a massive multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG known as Eve Online.

The game was released in 2003 and has since garnered an estimated 500,000 users. The game hosts over 7,500 solar systems in which players can operate. It was developed by CCP Games of Reykjavik, Iceland. From 2012 to 2013, the number of game subscribers jumped by over 100,000.

It wasn’t the death of an archduke that sparked this virtual conflict.  Instead, someone forgot to pay his bill. Allegedly, the bill was supposed to be paid automatically by a member of the N3 coalition, but something went wrong.

When the automated police force that patrolled the star system known as B-R5RB was not around, the adversaries of N3 took advantage of the situation.

Two groups known as the Russians and the CFC alliance invaded B-R5RB in order to wrestle it from control of N3.

The system is of vital importance to N3, which uses it as a assembly point for its own forces.

This mishap may end up costing an estimated $330,000 according to Forbes.

The value of the ingame curency, ISK, is valued against the dollar because players can buy a PLEX (Pilot License Extension), which allows them to play for 30 days, for $20; the PLEX can then be sold ingame for 600 million ISK. This particular record-setting battle has been estimated to cost players over 11 trillion ISK.

Part of Eve’s appeal is the malleability of the game universe, which has its own economy. CCP keeps five economists on its staff in order to monitor the in-game economy, according to IGN.

Most of the losses that have been incurred thus far have been from the destruction of massive vessels called Titans, which are worth up to $3,500 in real world currency.

Moreover, these virtual vessels take months to construct. These immense ships resemble the Executor from the Star Wars trilogy in size.

It is estimated that more than $10 trillion ISK has been lost. According to a blogger named Jester, it would take a user “over 11 years of continuous Eve play” to recoup the losses that have been incurred from the battle.

So far, more than 75 Titans have been destroyed by the various warring factions within the game. The vessels that were destroyed will take months to rebuild.

This means that many of the participating coalitions will not be at full strength for quite some time.

An estimated 4,000 users have taken part in the online battle so far. Hundreds of other ships have been destroyed as well.

This isn’t the first time a large scale battle has been waged in Eve.

Back in May, IGN reported a skirmish which involved the destruction of 222 ships and 3,161 players. According to IGN, about 470 billion ISK were dispensed in that confrontation. That amounts to $14,910.78 in real currency.

In order to deal with the intense traffic, CCP had to introduce a concept called “time dialation” in order to prevent a crash. The company slowed down the in-game time to 10 percent of its usual speed.

In the wake of the intense destruction that has taken place in the game, a monument has been erected on the site of the battle. The monument is built out of the materials of the ships that were destroyed during the battle.

Large battles are not the only type of intrigue that has occurred in the Eve universe.

There have also been past allegations of corruption on the part of developers.

In 2007, a developer at CCP was accused of using the resources at his disposal to acquire six blueprints that gave him and his compatriots an unfair advantage against rival corporations.

The user who revealed the developer’s actions, as well as his real name, was banned from the game. The developer remained with the company until 2008.

CCP now maintains an internal affairs division to deal with such issues.


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