by Joseph Leray
A two-month long war between two of "EVE Online"'s biggest factions came to a dramatic end this week, culminating in the largest space battle in the game's ten-year history. Over 4,000 players (and another 10,000 watching via stream) made "EVE" history as the Clusterf*ck Coalition absolutely routed TEST.
"EVE Online"'s most recent expansion, called "Odyssey" opened up some new territory and changed how some of the mining mechanics work, which left some previously solvent groups in a bit of a bind. Faced with the prospect of poverty, the CFC -- one of the largest coalitions in the game -- invaded the newlyresource-rich Fountain region, home of the TEST alliance.
Politics in "EVE" are made up of corporations, alliances, and coalitions: groups of players form corporations, groups of corps form alliances, and groups of alliances form coalitions. CFC is a coalition and TEST is an alliance, but they're some of the biggest groups in the game.
Here's a little backstory: earlier this summer, TEST was the biggest alliance in the Honey Badger Coalition, perhaps the only "EVE" superpower able to stand toe-to-toe with CFC. After some inter-coalition politicking, TEST eventually broke their alliance with HBC and set out on their own.
When the "Odyssey" expansion changed the economic landscape of the game, former HBC allies also began raiding TEST territory, thereby indirectly helping their former CFC rivals in the war for Fountain.
The on-going war between TEST and CFC came to a head Sunday night around a space station in 6VDT-H, a system within the mineral-rich region of Fountain. 6VDT-H was TEST's traditional home and the last line of defense for the entire region: when CFC began its incursion, TEST called all of its pilots in to defend it.
CCP created a system called Time Dilation to accommodate for massive influxes of players: time slows down in regions with large groups of players, which gives the server time to process all the information. When the battle for 6VDT-H peaked at 4,070 pilots, Tranquility had slowed time by 90% to keep up.
After the space dust settled, CFC had won a decisive victory, pushing the TEST forces back into an entirely different region. All in all, 2591 ships were destroyed on both sides over the course of the eight-hour CFC victory. To add insult to injury, it seems that some of TEST's pilots have taken advantage of the alliance's disarray to make off with valuable contracts and ship-jumping tech.
CCP's Community blog has a great recap of the events, as does the Mittani. The Mittani also has a fascinating battle report from a Goonswarm fleet commander and an official statement from TEST, who note that the battle for 6VDT-H was the largest single-alliance mustering to date.
(It's worth noting that the Mittani is run by the CEO of Goonswarm Federation, the largest alliance within the CFC. Feel free to take his version of events with a grain of salt.)
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter