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Sci-Fi Games

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

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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  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gr4nf ( 1348501 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:16PM (#46095101)
    While it's obvious that no actual money was lost (just transferred into EVE Online corporate pockets), I can't help but wonder whether or not wealth, in the economic sense, was destroyed. There was time put in to the construction of these ships and mining of the requisite minerals and such (real human capital). Of course, it's not a very concrete representation of that work since it is under the control of the sysadmins, but as long as they're consistent with the laws of their little universe, how different is it from the real destruction of real, valuable things?
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:34PM (#46095299) Homepage Journal

    Someone call the NFL and tell them they are soon to be history, when this is the sort of thing people get excited about, you know a bunch of sweaty, overpaid mugs ain't got a chance.

    I have to admit, I'd much rather spend 10 minutes watching an epic, simulated space battle, than waste 6 hours watching a bunch of juiced, over-paid prima donnas chase a weird-looking ball around.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @06:36PM (#46095315)

    Everything in that story just about is wrong. Firstly, "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." ... They aren't actually worth that. Because the game offers the ability to exchange realworld money for a "plex" -- this valuation is almost twice what you'd pay for game time if you bought it straight up. In other words, it's the highest valuation possible. Realistically, it'd be worth less than half that.

    Secondly, the guy responsible, a 29 year old banker who was literally asleep when it all went down, insists that the virtual money was in the account and it was set to autopay. People close to this suggest the word for this is "bullshit", but it has been "petitioned" -- a claim by a player that the server screwed up. This isn't without precident, as the game is currently limping about with it standings system broken. Standings is basically Eve's IFF system. Right now, nobody in the game can tell friend from foe. Needless to say, it's a massive issue. So it's possible they farked up, but unlikely.

    There are allegations as well that CCP intentionally did this to drive up the price of PLEX (and in fact, just about every resource in the game)... which has happened. And CCP has colluded with players before to give valuable assets out -- and admitted to this.

    In short, while the cover story smells of stupidity, greed could also be in play.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seanvaandering ( 604658 ) <(sean.vaandering) (at) (> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:19PM (#46095699)
    Currently, as I am a miner, i've been watching this with interest - mineral prices are spiking in anticipation of the amount of minerals required to rebuild those ships. As of this writing, Tritanium is already worth 25% more in Jita IV (one of the major ports) from yesterdays ask prices.
  • Re: Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @08:05PM (#46095967)

    I don't follow (though I'm not in any way well-informed regarding economics). If all the wine-bottle-owners of the world drank all the world's wine overnight, would that harm the economy? The wine-bottles had value, and are now gone, but the demand for them will surely increase.

  • Re: Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @07:49AM (#46098697)

    Yes, the wine was made specifically for the purpose of being drunk, while the windows were not made to be broken. The relevance of the parable gets murky when you talk about warships. Are warships built to be destroyed? They are most definitely built to destroy other warships, but the loss of a warship, even in a game, has an opportunity cost. You now cannot (or it is difficult) to maintain regular economic ventures (mining) when you have lost a lot of your defensive fleet.

    I think that comparing the loss of units in a game is not the same as the loss experienced by consuming a bottle of wine. If the wine was destroyed by pouring it down the drain, then we are closer to the same comparison, an object designed for entertainment was not consumed in the proper manner, so it is a real loss.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.