Editor's Note: This piece comes to us by way of Elise Randolph of Pandemic Legion. Thanks, Elise!
To celebrate Eve's tenth anniversary in March, the Community Team at CCP announced a surprise event: whichever alliance inflicted the most damage in low-sec would be rewarded with their very own flag flown above CCP offices. There were a few other events the same day, including one rather large player-run event hosted by Marlona Sky called Flight of a Thousand Rifters. In this event Marlona sacrificed his Nyx in lowsec and encouraging as many people as possible to come out in small ships to win billions of ISK in prizes. The final event was a CCP "Dev Caravan" where CCP Devs would fly around in pimped-out ships and make the rounds through popular low-sec systems - goading as much interaction as possible.
On the day of the event, Pandemic Legion decided to crash the player event Flight of a Thousand Rifters. Since the object of the event was to kill the Nyx, PL of course made it their objective to save the Nyx and kill anyone and everyone trying to destroy it. With nearly two thousand people crammed into system, PL and their 120 man fleet managed to both save the Nyx and kill just over one thousand combatants in the process. Since the Flight of the Thousand Rifters prize pool was predicated on a dead Nyx, Marlona Sky self-destructed his ship after about four hours of fighting and ended the event.
While this four-hour slugfest was going on, a low-sec group known as Snuff Box was looking for ways to win this novel flag event. Instead of joining in the actual fight, they instead began shadowing the ~20 person CCP Dev fleet, knowing that these CCP fleets historically have some questionably expensive fits. The Snuff Box stalking yielded results: they killed the devs and smugged while shooting implant-laden pods. Snuff Box began to boast and celebrate what they believed to be a sure victory, both internally and on the Eve-Online forums.
When the results were slated to be released, Snuff Box enthusiastically F5’d awaiting their victory announcement. Much to their chagrin, however, CCP announced that Pandemic Legion had won the event and would have their flag flown above the CCP offices. Snuff Box had not even finished second; they had in fact finished 5th. To add insult to injury, the majority of PL weren’t even aware of the event; they even went so far as to protect the Nyx that would have secured the top spot. This combination of factors led to Snuff Box having an embarrassingly public collective meltdown on the Eve-Online forums – eventually turning a tiny event into a 40 page threadnought. Now that tears were involved, PL became instantly aware of the competition and enjoyed watching the Snuff Box collapse and provoking some particularly rage-filled reactions.
The Eve-Online forums were bad enough, but the Snuff Box internal forums painted an even more hilarious picture. Their own thread is, if you can imagine, larger than the Eve-O thread, and filled with anger, conspiracy theories (complete with messages to CCP’s Internal Affairs department), and posturing on the state of their “brand”. Some select quotes are included at the end of this article.
The roller coaster of emotion continues, however, as CCP announce that after all of the rage they will raise both the PL and the Snuff Box flags as a kind of mea culpa for not including more precise rules. PL, meanwhile, were feasting on the ever-growing Snuff Box internal forums, laughing at the puerile posts. One post, however, piqued the interests of one PL member. During the stage that Snuff Box were convinced they had lost, a few members came up with a ~plan~ to deface the PL flag. Bemoaning that none of their members lived in Iceland, a few jokingly suggested making a trip out to the volcanic rock. And like that, a plan was made. Hlynurth, a PL member who lives near the CCP offices, decided it would be hilarious to inflict the throes of yet another emotional rollercoaster onto Snuff Bux by stealing their very idea and capturing their flag. And so he did, while filming the heist and posting about it on the Eve-Online forums for maximum exposure.
As expected, Snuff Box completely lost their shit once again. Another 20 page thread was born, taking the total number of rageposts beyond 100 pages (the two e-o threads, and their own internal one – probably more on FHC but who knows). Snuff Box’s first reaction was, of course, to call the “Icelandic Police” to report the “crime”, followed quickly by some very odd scatological revenge schemes. Hlynurth later returned the flag to CCP offices, but not before posing with the flag to further enrage the Snuff Box.
The story of The Little Flag That Could does not end here, though. Nearly two months after the incident, Grarr Dexx, believing he finally had the last laugh, posted a picture of the flag flying proudly above his bed with the caption “Come and fucking get it now faggots”. The PL response was simple.