The Largest Virtual Battle Ever

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Thank you for this information. As someone who has never gotten past the Eve tutorial twice, it really helps me to understand what exactly was lost during this fight.
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Exactly the same as with Gents and Black Legion. It happens.
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excellent gif
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Really good article, this is the article to link to people that don't get what the fuck is going on.
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...after someone proof-read it again. :nomad:
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The next move will be key for N3PL. It's definitely not "over" yet but CFC will probably start sieginge them across the board aggressively. They can't afford to make any significant mistakes in their defense.
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Right, my appologies for not reading that correctly. So how exactly is Provi co-beligerent with n3? Or in the same way cfc co-beligerent with n3 towards Provi?
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i am both pleased and sad to say that this is longest thing I've contiguously read this month.
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Excellent Article. I'm sending it to my local news station. Hopefully, that'll attract a few new players.
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By an article you mean a copy & paste of everyone else's articles
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Hey, I'm only new to EVE in that I'm a long-term shameful carebear. This was really enlightening to me, so thanks. Now I just need to understand what w-space is all about and maybe I can make a decision as to how to step out of my shell.
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Edit: nevermind, I found it http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/tech...
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That is by far the best statement in military history. Too often the winning side thinks its over and finds out the hard way.
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The only reason I included that line about Provi is their attack on the HED-GP cynojammer. This was, once again, written for non-EVE players.
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Correlation doesn't imply causation. You just have a thing for joining fail-alliances, you just don't know it.
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I've gotten to the point where I've realized that any alliance poor enough to take me in is probably in trouble. I'm not the cause of the collapse, ,merely the warning sign.
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I'd disagree. The Russians in WWI thought they were out a long time before they were done. What made it worse is they started moving troops back without signing a treaty first
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Great article :)
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Edit: I realized that I was trying to add some information that would take a whole other article to write. So, instead I am going to say thank you and hope that they enjoy reading it.
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I loved this article.
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Downtime should have been cancelled :p
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I was a bit impressed with the AP one, but only because it brought a bit of the real world mix into it to help readers understand the dynamics of online gaming. It was also short enough that you knew people would finish reading it.
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Great job on the article, well written and thought out.
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This is a most excellent article. I'm a 2007 player with lots of FW pvp experience, but the details of capital manufacture are something I just have never needed to learn. Thank you for the education.One suggestion - the screens of the ships are great. But the Domi and to a lesser extent the Ragnarok have a face only a mother could love. If you are going to post pics with the intent of getting it picked up by the mainstream media, a more aesthetically pleasing ship like the Megathron might be a better example. Don't get me wrong about the Domi - I love the old girl - but she doesn't make the best first impression. ;) Anyway - excellent article.
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This has to be one of the most extensive and essential articles of the B-R event to date. Kudos, Alizabeth.I've been writing for a number of years, and I am very proud to see such well thought coverage. Granted, most news about B-R is going to be (EVE) player- and (B-R) participant-oriented; but to see an article that covers - so precisely - why the engagement was such a big deal, and dabbles in the long-term consequences, fills me with delight.I will be forwarding this to a couple of students, peers, and editors (if you don't object). It is a shining example of addressing the unknown audience, and a boon to reporting of every genre.
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Please, share it with anyone you like. I am actually astounded at the feedback that I have gotten.
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Don't be; there is a flood of articles about this battle, but few that cater to the "unknown audience," as I said before. The extent to which you both condescend to the average knowledge of EVE, and the thorough (and artfully explained) detail used to elaborate on said unknown knowledge is a breath of fresh air in the midst of a cloud of either delineating or ambiguous articles that assume the reader is extensively informed on all points EVE.In light of that, you very much deserve the congratulations you've received. Over all this has to be the most well done article of yours I've read, and undoubtedly the best covering the subject. I've been reading articles on TMC for a while now, and you seem to improve every couple of months, but this is leaps and bounds. I look forward to the next time you have the necessary time to write a short essay!Keep the modesty, though. It suits you well.
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Really good work putting context around the eve battle.
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as someone who only experienced the 14 day trial..this article was a tremendous help in understanding what went down in that battle. Great write up and Thank You.
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"So much work is involved that almost no player ever constructs a titan alone;"I didn't realize I was so rare... :P
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Not sure, but I do know that every carrier jumping into B-R had a fleet hanger full of fuel to give to the titans.
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PL already worked out an agreement to abandon the n3 in exchange for getting their crap out of the station. So yeah. PL's losses could have been higher but never forget OTEC.
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Great post, thanks. Joined and left Eve twice. Twitching now for a third visit ...

EVE Online, CCP Games’ flagship title, is a big game. In an industry where multiplayer matches are considered big at 64 players, EVE sees thousands of pilots all pile into a system to duke it in battles that can last days. In July of last year, the Battle for 6VDT-H saw 4,070 pilots in one system at once, with the total number of combatants over 5,000. For comparison, that is about the size of a US Marine infantry regiment.

The Battle of B-R5RB is not the biggest in terms of players in the same system at once, though the total players involved in the sprawling fight well surpasses 6VDT-H.  According to CCP, 7,548 unique pilots engaged in the battle.

The Battle of B-R5RB will be remembered, though, for the staggering amount of ISK lost. ISK, the abbreviation for Interstellar Kredits, EVE Online’s currency is the metric for almost anything that happens in the game. It is used to buy ships, ammo, materials, everything. Each ship hull has an associated cost of ISK. The average earning ability of a player can vary widely, but 100 million ISK can easily be made in an hour of active gameplay, more if the player is willing to risk more. The Battle of B-R5RB smashed the previous record of losses in a single battle, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre where losses were valued at  1 trillion ISK, by at least 11 times.

Null Security Space and Sovereign Actors

There are three parts to EVE Online gameplay, each distinct and different. All the big battles come from Null Security game play. Null Security is at its basic form anarchic-anyone can engage anyone else at any time, for any reason, and not be punished by game mechanics. Players naturally form groups to survive in such an environment. These groups are corporations. As corporations banded together, CCP introduced alliances. As alliances banded together, coalitions of thousands of players form.

Within Null Security, alliances are the sovereign actors in the anarchic state. They can take and claim space. They can colonize space they own with space stations. They declare and fight wars, sometimes officially, sometimes not, against other alliances. These sovereign acts cannot be performed by corporations, no matter how large, and coalitions do not actually exist in the game mechanics. However, the sovereign decision to go to war has mostly been surrendered by the alliance leaders to the coalition leaders.

There are only so many systems in Null Security for alliances to claim: 2,719. Each one is assigned a random alphanumeric designation, e.g., 6VDT-H or B-R5RB. Additionally, some regions and systems have better money-making potential than others. For years, the income of alliances was dependent on minerals harvested from moons that were needed for construction materials for advanced starships. Recently, CCP changed the game mechanics to make moons' materials much less profitable.

This gave rise to rental income. Each system can be rented out to a third party. They can then exploit the system’s resources for a set price to the owner of the system. This is not an actual game mechanic, rather something enforced by the military might of the alliance renting the system. With feudalism now an established institution in EVE Online, every system became valuable.

The Casus Belli

The current war, known as the Halloween War, was started when the ethnic Russian alliances banded together to attack a coalition known as N3PL. N3PL had previously fought a war against one of the alliances in the new RUS coalition, SOLAR, and evicted them from their space. One of the alliances in N3PL, Nulli Secunda, had fought alongside a RUS alliance, Against All Authorities, almost two years ago and had been left out to dry. Needless to say, there was bad blood all around.

Following the initial attack, the other major coalition in the game, The Clusterfuck Coalition, i.e., the CFC, announced they would be deploying to the galactic east to assist the RUS (shortened Russian) bloc as ‘neutral third parties.’ N3PL had done the same when they fought with TEST Alliance Please Ignore against the CFC earlier last summer. One of the leaders of the N3PL coaliton, Progodlegend, announced at the time the whole purpose of N3 was the defeat of the CFC. Additionally, N3PL had welcomed in bitterly hated rivals of Goonswarm Federation, an alliance in the CFC. Needless to say, there was bad blood all around.

In the middle of December, The Mittani, the leader of the CFC, announced that the CFC would fully deploy to war, which included its full capital and super capital fleet. At that point, the bulk of Null Security sovereign entities were fully committed to the war. A third group, the Providence Bloc, would become co-belligerents of N3PL, although would not explicitly ally with them. At that point, trench warfare began.

The Conduct of War in Virtual Space

The game mechanics of breaking sovereignty of a system are slow. They involve blockading the system and attacking the sovereignty structions in the system. Infrastructure Hubs, commonly shortened to I-hubs, have tens of millions of hit points. Stations, one of the most potent claims to sovereignty over a system, have hundreds of millions of hitpoints. Each will enter a reinforcement phase after a successful attack; I-Hubs reinforce for one day, stations two days. Once they come out of reinforcement, they must be successfully attacked again and enter the armor reinforcement phase. The third successful attack destroys them. The I-Hub must be destroyed to attack the Territorial Control Unit, essentially the alliance’s flag planted in the system. Once the Territorial Control Unit is destroyed the system is vulnerable and another alliance can plant their own flag. It takes 8 hours for the Territorial Control Unit to come online, which can lead to running battles in which each side attempts to destroy the Territorial Control Unit before it comes online while guarding their own.

The deployment of capital and supercapital class ships is important, as only these behemoths are able to put out the amount of damage needed to quickly and easily attack sovereignty structures. Two hundred capital ships can put out the same amount of damage in five minutes that four hundred line battleships put out in thirty minutes. It was the capital and supercapital class ships that dominated the field at B-R5RB.

To understand the distinction between capital and supercapitals and subcapitals, one must first understand the differences in production and use. The standard line battleship of the CFC for the Halloween war is the Dominix.

The production time is a set and forget value. If a player wishes to produce 10 of these ships, they simply put 10 times as many minerals as they would for one and set the blueprint to run for ten cycles. After a day and a half they come back to find 10 ships waiting to be delivered. One player can theoretically run ten production slots at one time, so if they had ten Dominix blueprints, it would take 35 hours to produce 100 of these ships

 

The preferred dreadnought of the CFC is the Naglfar.

The production of a capital ship, supercapitals as well, requires the production of a large number of subcomponents. To produce a dreadnought requires over 230 subcomponents of eleven different types. Again, as each player can run 10 production slots, the actual construction time for one player to produce a dreadnought comes to just over 14 days.

The difference in the hit points is a whole order of magnitude higher than the Dominix. The damage output is over eight times better at twice the range. Additionally, capital ships have jump drives that let them travel several light years directly to the target system. A capital fleet can cover a distance in just a few minutes that would take a subcapital a quarter hour or more.

Writer. Twitter: @AlizabethVea