EVE Online's Two Biggest Factions Had an Enormous Battle YesterdayS

What you see in that image is a Doomsday weapon, a superlaser that can only be fired from a Titan, the largest and most expensive ship in EVE Online. More than 50 of them were present yesterday for an enormous, quintessentially EVE capital ship throwdown between the two biggest coalitions in the spacefaring MMO.

It's the kind of thing which EVE uniquely delivers, although to hear it from EVE veterans, it may be vastly more thrilling in the retelling. So many ships were involved that the game had to activate "time dilation"—essentially a huge time slowdown so the EVE servers could cope with everything going on. When reinforcements jumped into the system they found themselves unable to load into the battle for more than an hour, during which they could be fired upon by hostile ships already present.

The belligerents in this—the Battle of HED-GP (the system where this was fought) were Clusterfuck Coalition (or CFC) teamed with some Russian alliances against N3 and the Pandemic legion—"the kings of supercapital combat," according to this after-action report. Pandemic's "wrecking ball" doctrine of steamrollering opposition with overwhelming force had encountered little resistance, and until now, little will to match its force with one of similar strength.

HED-GP was worth the effort to CFC and its Russian friends, however. They brought in 1,800 subcapital ships, and 500 dreadnoughts with another 200 "sitting one jump out ... the most downright punishing Dread fleet assembled in recent memory." Backing up that force were about 30 Titans and 150 supercapital ships.

Pandemic/N3's "wrecking ball" comprised "some 500 Archons, 100 Dreads, 170 Supers, and 70 pivotal Titans —a force of nature in its own right and the largest such fleet assembled by this group."

The report is filled with jargon but the outcome would appear to be a decisive victory for Pandemic and N3. CFC and the Russians lost 350 dreadnoughts and the 200 waiting to jump into the system simply went home instead. At the height of the battle "the node creaked to a halt; 25 minute module lag from the [Pandemic/N3] perspective."

Still, even losing 350 Dreadnoughts "is not coalition-breaking by any means." The two sides will continue to skirmish, but "it will be months before we see a capital fight of this scale again."

January 18, 2014 – HED-GP More Like HED-GG [Kugustumen.com via Reddit; image via and h/t to NeoGAF]