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Sci-Fi Games

Largest-Yet EVE Online Battle Destroys $200,000 Worth of Starships 463

Posted by Soulskill
from the most-interesting-game-you-don't-want-to-play dept.
Space MMO EVE Online has been providing stories of corporate espionage and massive space battles for years. A battle began yesterday that's the biggest one in the game's 10-year history. The main battle itself involved over 2,200 players in a single star system (screenshot, animated picture). The groups on each side of the fight tried to restrict the numbers somewhat in order to maintain server stability, so the battle ended up sprawling across multiple other systems as well. Now, EVE allows players to buy a month of subscription time as an in-game item, which players can then use or trade. This allows a direct conversion from in-game currency to real money, and provides a benchmark for estimating the real-world value of in-game losses. Over 70 of the game's biggest and most expensive ships, the Titans, were destroyed. Individual Titans can be worth upwards of 200 billion ISK, which is worth around $5,000. Losses for the Titans alone for this massive battle are estimated at $200,000 - $300,000. Hundreds upon hundreds of other ships were destroyed as well. How did the battle start? Somebody didn't pay rent and lost control of their system.
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Largest-Yet EVE Online Battle Destroys $200,000 Worth of Starships

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  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:07PM (#46095023)

    The economy just deflated 300k.

    EVE online has slightly re-valued the dollar.

    Do it more!

  • by Wulfrunner (1213776) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:14PM (#46095083)

    To manage the number of users involved in that battle, the system went into "Time Dilation". What that means in practice is that you queue an action, go make coffee, drink the coffee, then queue another action. Very cool in concept, but when a 30 "minutes" take 6 hours of real time to process, it looses its novelty fairly quickly.

    Let's say you own a Capital Ship and want to play EVE, so you commit to the fight. An hour later you have to go get groceries / make dinner for the family / go to the toilet. You are unlikely to be able to disengage, and so you can just log off and your ship gets destroyed instead. Not much fun.

    To me, the battle doesn't even look cool. The ships are all mashed on top of one another, pointing in random directions, and it's almost impossible for an observer to see what's actually going on. If I wanted to interest someone in EVE, I wouldn't show them a video of this battle, nor The Battle of Asakai. I would show them the Alliance Tournament XI (if anything).

  • Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:16PM (#46095099)
    News about nerds.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned@ g m ail.com> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:18PM (#46095127)

    how different is it from the real destruction of real, valuable things?

    I'd argue it isn't, but I'd also point out that people destroy real, valuable things all the time for entertainment value. And participation in these EVE battles is pretty much that -- it's at least largely voluntary participation for entertainment value.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:19PM (#46095135)

    how different is it from the real destruction of real, valuable things?

    Why are things valuable? Because humans value them. So if things were destroyed that humans value, wealth was destroyed.

    If humans didn't exist would anything have value?

  • EVE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BobSwi (607571) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:20PM (#46095141)
    Always more fun to read about EVE than it was to play it.
  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:20PM (#46095143) Homepage
    I've never played Eve Online and have no intention of doing so. But I'm continually fascinated by how cool the space battles look. Essentially we have a computer game today where the unchoreographed battles look better than the space battles made using special effects from the late 1980s. That's an amazing testament to how far the technology has come.
  • by gr4nf (1348501) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:21PM (#46095165)

    To me, the battle doesn't even look cool. The ships are all mashed on top of one another, pointing in random directions, and it's almost impossible for an observer to see what's actually going on.

    As beings raised in a mostly 2 dimensional plane, it's natural for a truly 3-dimensional no-gravity-bias large-scale interaction to bewilder us. I think this might be one of the things EVE got right.

  • Nope... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by just_a_monkey (1004343) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:24PM (#46095201)

    But you've got to admit that this is at least a) news and b) for nerds.

  • by Reapman (740286) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:25PM (#46095205)

    I dunno, for me if the stock market involved space battles I'd be a lot more interested.

  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:25PM (#46095215)

    Food, shelter, safety, and better mating rights have value to all living things. Humans have simply developed a system that doesn't require violence or a zero-sum predator-prey relationship to operate.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:26PM (#46095233) Homepage

    Anything that people assign value to has value (e.g. it can be traded). The question is whether any actual wealth was destroyed or merely transferred.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:30PM (#46095263) Homepage Journal

    This just in, vitually NOTHING was lost.

    yet another virtual FAIT currency, just like the dollar was lost. Nothing of real value was lost. News just in.

    People's time to build this fleets up was expended. I don't think of that as nothing, particularly after I took a long hard look at how much of my life I spent glued to MMO play, which only gave me a lot of stress and very little to hold onto (nothing, actually, aside some memories) when I left the game.

  • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7&cornell,edu> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:36PM (#46095321) Homepage

    "Largest-Yet EVE Online Battle Destroys $200,000 in game time Worth of Starships"

    You can't purchase real life money for ISK. You can only purchase game time cards for ISK (or other ingame items).

    When someone buys PLEX for real life money and sells it for ISK ingame, they forget that intermediary step where CCP got the money, not the person who gave you the ISK.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexander_686 (957440) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @05:43PM (#46095387)

    Mod parent up.

    It is no more destructive to the economy then drinking a good bottle of wine. While things are destroyed, they are not economically productive assets. EVE is about consumer consumption of entertainment. People pay to play – it just that the recognition of payment is delayed until the destruction of your ship.

    Now, if they were an inflated asset that underpinned the credit market – that would be something different.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:01PM (#46095549)

    One of the draws of EVE is that it is an artificial economy, and perhaps the most developed one in existence.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:05PM (#46095601) Homepage Journal

    " can provide more energy to its target than it takes to activate?"
    There is no problem with that.
    It takes me 12 pounds of pressure exert for about 10 seconds to activate a control valve on a dam that will produce many megawatts of electricity.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:45PM (#46095867) Homepage

    The destruction of ships is one of the major drivers of demand in the Eve economy.

    Wow. Someplace where the Glazier's Fallacy [wikipedia.org] isn't a fallacy. It figures it would be in the economy of an MMO.

    No, it's still a fallacy. However, the fallacy isn't in the idea that destruction drives demand for replacements. That's generally true. The fallacy is in the idea that the economic activity which results from the destruction will leave you better off than you were before. In fact, after all that activity you've only managed to get back what you lost, and in the process you've consumed resources which could have been used to better your position if you hadn't been forced to start over instead.

    In this case the $200,000 worth of virtual ships weren't destroyed in hope if improving the in-game economy, so the fallacy doesn't apply. They were consumed in the course of providing hours of entertainment for some 2,200 players. That's a bit pricey at $90 or more per player—and that's assuming every player was involved for the duration of the entire battle—but it's certainly not the most expensive way you could choose to entertain yourself for an entire day. Some people pay that much just to sit in a stadium and watch others play professional sports for a fraction of the time.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thaylin (555395) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:46PM (#46095871)
    The fallacy still exists. They could have used the money/time in game for other things, or to expand their holdings instead of rebuilding, they could have been larger. The only person who has a net benefit in this is the company that owns eve. In terms of the games economy there is a loss.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @08:51PM (#46096633)

    You can hide from, but you can't out maneuver a laser.

    When you are 30 light-seconds out, the laser will always be aimed at where you were 30 seconds ago. Move one shiplength every 30 seconds, and they'll never hit you, if they are shooting at your current position. What range are you presuming these space battles take place?

  • Re: Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @08:56PM (#46096669)

    I pay to go to the movies. The money wanders into the theatre owners pocket. I get entertainment and a purely virtual (=imaginary) representation (memory) of the movie. No matter if I forget the memory or not, the real economy is not damaged.

    I pay to play EVE Online. The money wanders into CCP's pocket. I get entertainment and a purely virtual (=imaginary) asset (spaceship) to toy around with. No matter if I destroy the ship or not, the real economy is not damaged.

    The virtual assets in EVE do not have a real world value. You can buy subscription time by sending money to CCP, but you have simply bought entertainment. If you trade the virtual in-game subscription item for somethink else, the money still stays with CCP, and you will never be able to get $ out of it (except by external arrangements, which is against the game rules).

    captcha: corrode

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:05PM (#46096713)

    The time spent by those thousands of people in playing a game could have been better spent

    FUCK YOU. How dare you presume to have the right to decide what is "better" for other people to do with their time? Doing nothing at all has real value to any economy - it's called rest. Entertainment which you see as a total unproductive waste of time has real value to any economy - the entertained emerge as more satisfied individuals, better willing and able to cope with other tasks. Life is about balance, not production. And you sir are way, way out of balance.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @09:15PM (#46096761)

    And since the government just printed stacks and stacks of money to bail out the whole mess and put a splint on the economy, it's all pretty much the same virtual game.

    There's a small difference: When you fuck up in a game, nobody trusts you anymore. This guy has a lot to answer for, and chances are good he won't be in a leadership position much longer. Those losses are just gone, and only the people who followed him pay for it, nobody else.

    In real life, you can fuck up a lot and everyone else but you pays for it. Nobody's gonna pay this guy billions as a bonus for screwing up.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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