Monday, January 28, 2013

The Butcher's Bill

I am sure everyone has heard by now of the huge fight in Asakai. 3000+ players are involved in a huge furball between two large coalitions with losses approaching one trillion isk makes for rather spectacular news. CCP must be all smiles knowing the huge publicity that this is giving them. There is literally no other game on the market that can create such an epic event.

Despite the headline grabbing nature of the fight I think it is important for players to understand what this all means without the hyperbole. Lets look at the facts as I see them.

1. The EVE-Online server can handle a fight of over 3000 players!
In and of itself this is a huge development. While there have been other similarly sized fights in the past, they were characterized by crippling lag, client crashes and complaints of players unable to load grid resulting in losses. While lag was enormous during this fight, with time dilation likely far worse than the 10% being reported by the client, it seems that most were happy with the ability of the server to give them a viable gaming experience. Considering that this was apparently on a non-reinforced node using older hardware (low-sec gets the old stuff apparently) this was all the more satisfying. Good Job CCP! This will actually encourage more of these sorts of fights in the future.

2. Super-Capitals are very hard to hold down and kill.
Hard to say this after such huge super-capital losses, but considering that there were reportedly 27 Titans on grid at one point, and countless more super-carriers, it is surprising how few were actually lost. The whole focus of this fight was to destroy super-capitals, and both sides effectively going 'all-in', yet most of them for both sides managed to escape. It is almost impossible to keep Heavy Interdictors (HIC) alive during these fights due to the massive DPS. Since HICs are the only ships that can point a super-capital this meant that loses were actually lower for the super-capitals than for support ships.

3. Given a chance to kill a CFC super, PL will engage.
The whole instigator of this fight was Pandemic legion having a chance at killing a CFC Titan. They had the chance and they jumped at it. This was not just an opportunity presented under the current political climate, they had apparently been working on this plan for months.

4. Given a chance to kill a PL super(s), CFC will escalate.
Once PL dropped in, the CFC responded with the full force of their coalition. Whatever the diplomatic situation, a chance to kill a super is a chance to kill a super and super-cedes everything else.

5. Without the help from TEST Alliance PL would have lost.
With a massive capital fleet, and a massive sub-cap fleet, the CFC had the numbers needed to obliterate PL's super capital fleet. While PL has a lot of heavy stuff, they needed other alliances to provide sub-cap support to save them. Top of this list was of course TEST. While PL is clearly the heavyweights of the HBC coalition, without support from TEST they can not stand up to the CFC. (PL < CFC < PL + Test)

6. OTEC is still alive and kicking
None of this had anything to do with Tech moons. Although relations are being strained, the steady supply of isk coming from the tech moon printing machine is not in play. Neither PL nor the CFC have any interest in breaking OTEC. The only caveat to this is TEST. As I understand it TEST does not have nearly the Tech moon resources of either PL or the CFC. Considering TEST military strength at this point, they are going to be making requests soon and something is going to have to give. Think Germany in 1900.

tl;dr: big fight, nothing much changed.


  1. "1. The EVE-Online server can handle a fight of over 3000 players!"
    I disagree due to all the reports of nodes crashing and players themselves crashing.

    "Super-Capitals are very hard to hold down and kill."
    They are MUCH easier to kill in nullsec, but in lowsec supercarriers are king.

    1. I should add, that many supers won't be committed to lowsec again until CCP can assure everyone that their strategic assets in play won't be lost to shit like 1.) Client crashes due to load 2.) Being able to log back in after a crash and 3.) people being unable to jump into system due to the node hitting critical mass.

    2. Since I wrote this I have heard more reports of problems from people having challenges loading grid and the like so perhaps it did not handle it as well as I originally heard. Still, compared to previous large engagements, this still seems like it was a massive improvement.