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EVE Online has a lot of history. So much has happened in the 16-year-old MMORPG that some of the game’s history has been lost over time to the ever-changing landscape of the internet. Old forums dedicated to the game have gone offline and groups who once chronicled their own struggles and accomplishments have disbanded.
But we’ve not forgotten. Even as EVE Online has evolved, from its big bang in 2003 to its latest adventures into the Abyssal Deadspace, both this universe and its tight-knit community continue to thrive. And we’re celebrating that history and community by looking back at all of the things that make the EVE Online universe great 15 years later.
While some stories might be lost to the passage of time, what isn’t lost are the tales of the greatest battles ever fought in EVE’s simulated galaxy. Preserved in personal blogs, posts by the game’s developers, or passed on through oral tradition, stories of EVE’s epic conflicts, struggles, betrayals, and very expensive explosions have lived on.
For those of you wondering just how intense a session of EVE Online can get, take a look at the game’s 15 very best battles:
15) Battle of C9N-CC: Destruction of Steve
December 11, 2006 – Band of Brothers vs. Ascendant Frontiers
Acquiring a titan, the largest ship class in EVE Online’s fleet, is no easy task. The resources, money, and time needed to build one of these 10+ kilometer long vessels require an entire alliance — hundreds or even thousands of players working together toward a common goal. These massive ships are so powerful that they completely changed the dynamic of the game when they were first introduced.
In fact, EVE developer CCP didn’t know it was physically possible to build a ship as massive as a titan when the first one was completed in 2006. The code to complete a titan’s construction and create it in the game world didn’t exist, meaning players couldn’t actually complete the build, so the developers at CCP had to step in, verify the build was correct, and manually render the first one. Built by an alliance called Ascendant Frontiers, that titan was named Steve.
Unfortunately, Steve was not long for this galaxy. Ascendant Frontiers’ new superweapon sparked an arms race with the most powerful alliance in the game at the time, Band of Brothers. During an engagement in the C9N-CC system, Steve met its fate.
During the battle, Steve’s pilot, CYVOK, fired the titan’s Doomsday weapon in an attempt to vaporize the Band of Brothers fleet, but he missed and was forced to flee. After warping to a secluded part of space he thought was safe, CYVOK logged out of the game.
Unfortunately, he did so before the 15-minute combat timer (the amount of time it takes for your ship to log out of the game after engaging another player) had depleted. This meant that Steve was left in space, alone and vulnerable, with no one at the helm. The Band of Brothers fleet tracked Steve down, bringing all of the firepower they had to bear on it. 77 days after its construction, EVE Online’s first Titan was destroyed.
Two days later, CYVOK, the leader of Ascendant Frontiers who’d doomed his own creation to a fiery death in the cold of space, quit the game. His alliance shut its doors in the weeks that followed.
14) Battle of 9-4RP2: “The Million Dollar Battle”
Jan 23, 2018 – Imperium vs. Pandemic Horde, Pandemic Legion, Northern Coalition
The battle over a valuable Keepstar-class space station in the 9-4RP2 system involved so many players that it even caught the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records. An incredible 6,142 players gathered in a single star system to fight over the station’s fate.
These numbers caused a wave across the games community, too. ProGodLegend, one of EVE’s most well-known fleet commanders, was even invited to talk about the event on CBC News Network’s “On the Money” program in Canada.
The battle was billed as the first fight in EVE’s history with the potential to cause the equivalent of $1 million in damages. (Players can use real-world money to buy PLEX, the game’s premium currency, that can be sold for ISK, EVE’s in-game currency players use to buy ships and upgrades. Think of PLEX to ISK as gold to dollars. This is how the ISK amount in damages can indirectly be measured in real-world money.)
Disappointingly, this particular battle didn’t quite work out the way everyone hoped. The defending forces were able to hold off their attackers, and the assaulting faction was unable to gain a foothold. Both sides took minor losses — only about $10,000 in damages — before the attackers were forced to pull back.
While the battle didn’t quite live up to expectations, it remains a testament to the ambition of the EVE Online player base.
13) Siege of C-J6MT: Russia’s Last Stand
May 25, 2006 – Red Alliance vs. The Coalition of the South
Red Alliance was one of the early powerhouses in EVE Online, a primarily Russian language group that laid claim to five separate regions of space, which comprised of hundreds of star systems. But every great empire comes to an end. By the time of the siege of C-J6MT, it was basically the only system Red Alliance had left to defend.
Hubris and overextension plagued Red Alliance in the days before the siege. Their fleet commanders were unable to rally troops to defend their territory, and once The Coalition of the South began its invasion of Red Alliance space, 180 star systems fell in short order, relatively unopposed.
Eventually, the Coalition’s merciless attacks inspired the pilots of the Red Alliance to finally rally and an insurgency was organized. Fleets of 20 to 30 Red Alliance ships, staging from their stronghold in C-J6MT, began hunting down any Coalition forces they could.
In May 2006, The Coalition decided enough was enough and launched a fleet of over 400 ships to invade the Red Alliance’s last bastion. Meanwhile, all that remained of Red Alliance were 70 tired, but battle-hardened and determined pilots. Utilizing small packs of well-organized pilots, Red Alliance was able to inflict heavy losses on the larger, overconfident, and less organized enemy.
The Siege continued like this for days, Red Alliance pilots surgically striking at the ships and morale of the larger group. The Coalition of the South’s numbers began to dwindle until the two sides were evenly matched. The Russians pressed this advantage and drove the larger force out of their home, securing it once again as their own.
12) Battle of M-OEE8
March 28, 2016 – MoneyBadger Coalition vs. The Imperium
The battle over the Infrastructure Hub, a key strategic point for managing ownership of an EVE Online star system, in the M-OEE8 system was a watershed moment in one of the game’s most controversial wars. Known by one side as “World War Bee” and by the other as “The Casino War,” the conflict was touted as one of extermination. The MoneyBadger Coalition wanted nothing more than the complete destruction of The Imperium.
To this end, the MoneyBadger forces assembled over 2,000 pilots from across the galaxy to bring the fight to M-OEE8, home of the Circle-of-Two alliance, a member of The Imperium. The defenders were able to gather around 1,200 pilots themselves and, given their defensive advantage and desperate need for a win, were prepared to fight until the last man.
After hours of fighting and massive losses on both sides, the MoneyBadger Coalition destroyed the Infrastructure Hub, securing victory and eventually trapping the Imperium fleets inside of a space station in the system, slowly destroying any player who undocked. In the wake of this defeat, Circle-of-Two announced that they were withdrawing immediately from The Imperium Coalition and joining the MoneyBadgers in their crusade against them.
11) Siege of M-OEE8: Tribute War Edition
Dec 10, 2016 – Pandemic Legion and their allies vs. Circle-of-Two and TEST Alliance
After the conclusion of World War Bee/The Casino War, the MoneyBadger Coalition began to disband into smaller factions. Circle-of-Two remained in their home region from before the war, safe after turning coats to the winning side, and began to skirmish with other former members of the MoneyBadger Coalition.
These skirmishes convinced former MoneyBadger ally Pandemic Legion and their allies to evict Circle-of-Two from their space and replace them with a more manageable group. Over the course of this conflict, Circle-of-Two were slowly stripped of their holdings until their capital system containing their Keepstar-class battle station was completely isolated.
While the Circle-of-Two managed to fire their Keepstar’s doomsday weapon, it was not enough to repel the Pandemic Legion, and the first fully armed and operational Keepstar was destroyed. The loss of this citadel drove the Circle-of-Two alliance to the southern reaches of the galaxy, where they would eventually suffer one of the largest betrayals in EVE’s history when one of their leaders, known as The Judge, flipped sides and sold all of the alliance’s assets (ships, money, etc) to their enemies. In EVE Online, not all bloodbaths take place on the battlefield…
10) Battle of 6VDT-H: The Fountain War Ends in Style
July 28, 2013 – CFC vs. TEST Alliance and allies
The siege of the 6VDT-H station, the final battle of the Fountain War, was planned days in advance. The Fountain War was a massive conflict fueled by a change in the way the game’s resource systems worked, which made Fountain a very rich area of space. The fighting was a brutal and bitter tug-of-war between two former allies that resulted in vast wealth and power for the winners. It also determined alliances that would last for years to come.
CFC forces beat the enemy TEST alliance to the 6VDT-H system and began to fire on the station with over 1500 Megathron battleships. As TEST’s response fleets began arriving in the system, the player count started to rapidly rise. Once it was all said and done, over 4,000 people had joined the fight in 6VDT-H for the future of the system, making it the largest battle in EVE’s history up to this point.
Eventually, the CFC forces felt confident enough to call in their massive capital fleet to “Drop the Hammer” on the faltering TEST forces. In response to the arrival of CFC capital ships, and because of their massive casualties, TEST forces called for a retreat. After five hours of prolonged combat, over 2,900 ships were destroyed and the Fountain War had come to a spectacular end.
9) Mittanigrad: The Attempted Headshot of VFK-IV
July 15-21, 2011 – CFC vs. Pandemic Legion, Ev0ke, NCdot, and Raiden
The attempted headshot of VFK-IV, also known as Mittanigrad, is one of the legends told among the older pilots of the Goonswarm Federation. A coalition of the group’s enemies came together in secret to organize a blitzkrieg-style assault against Goonswarm, seeking to effectively decapitate them by taking away their main staging system.
Invading forces managed to disable system-wide jammers that were preventing hostile supercapital ships from entering VFK in a lightning assault. These invading capital ships began wreaking widespread havoc, disrupting and destroying everything in their path.
The attack prompted an emergency call to arms by the Goonswarm leader, The Mittani, who ordered all of the group’s players to log in and fight tooth and nail to drive the invaders out of their home. Over the course of the next several days, Goonswarm forces, heavily assisted by their allies, managed to push the invaders out. This action solidified the bonds between Goonswarm and their friends, and reinforced the necessity of maintaining the alliance, which lives on to this day, rebranded as The Imperium.
8) HED-GP: Halloween War Edition
Jan 18, 2014 – N3 and Pandemic Legion vs. CFC and Russian Alliances
Space in New Eden, the galaxy that EVE calls its home, is divided into regions made up of multiple connected star systems. Connections between separate regions of space are very limited, and these routes can mean very long journeys, often spanning great distances.
But the HED-GP system is a special case when it comes to traveling between regions. It is located in the “Catch” region of New Eden and serves as an access point to the majority of the southern reaches of space. This makes a HED-GP a natural choke point and a very valuable system to control. Proper control of HED-GP can cause trouble for enemy logistics and supply lines as well as provide safety for your own.
The fight for control of HED-GP during what’s known as “The Halloween War” was, up to that point, one of the largest capital fleet engagements in the game’s history. The Pandemic and N3 alliances used their “wrecking ball” formation, comprised of over 700 capital ships (including 70 titans), to slam into Russian and CFC forces, laying waste to their assembled fleet of dreadnoughts, carriers, and sub-capital ships.
The fight went so poorly for the CFC and their Russian allies that another 200 dreadnoughts that had been staged nearby as reinforcements simply turned around and went home. N3 and Pandemic’s victory was considered a decisive one. Little did they know, a twist of fate would force them into an all-out brawl again less than 10 days later. More on that in a bit…
7) Fall of the UALX-3 Keepstar
July 19, 2018 – Imperial Legacy Coalition vs. Pandemic Legion, Winter Coalition, and the Holy Rental Empire
The summer of 2018 saw the player base of EVE Online split almost perfectly down the middle. In the North, the combined forces of Pandemic Legion, Winter Coalition, the Holy Rental Empire, and other groups were planning to push south into space held by TEST Alliance and their Legacy coalition. In the southern end of the galaxy, The Imperium wanted to wage war on the galactic northwest, pushing into territory they’d lost during World War Bee/The Casino War.
This North vs. South showdown led to the formation of The Imperial Legacy coalition, formed to ensure mutual defense in the south, while still allowing resources for the assault into the northern territories. As Pandemic Legion and their allies assaulted the southeast, striking into Legacy’s homelands, The Imperium pushed into the northwest, encroaching on territory held by the Guardians of the Galaxy. This divisive conflict became a sort of game of chicken to see which side would abandon their invasion first and go on the defensive.
TEST Alliance deployed a Keepstar-class battle station in the UALX-3 system, with the intent of using it as a forward staging post for their fleet of supercarriers and titans. A massive battle broke out around the station as it was entering its final stage before coming online. Thousands of ships from each side fought around the vulnerable station.
In the opposite corner of the galaxy, the Imperium’s titan force was recalled in a race to join the siege of UALX-3 and overwhelm the Pandemic Legion’s titans. Northern Coalition did the same, calling in their titans from their northern staging post to reinforce their Pandemic Legion allies.
In the end, the Imperium’s titan force made it there first. Unfortunately for them, their arrival in the system destabilized the game server. The game crashed and logged everyone out…
Pandemic Legion, choosing to take the safer approach and leave their ships safely logged out in space rather than risk an unstable server, closed their games for the night after fighting for several hours. This gave Imperial Legacy the chance to set up traps for the enemy fleet, leaving them locked in place for several days and giving The Imperium a chance to renew their northern assault without Pandemic Legion’s titans being able to respond.
6) 46DP-O: Shrike, aka Sir Molle, Loses the First Titan in Combat
June 22, 2007 – RedSwarm Federation vs. Band of Brothers
Band of Brothers will always have the honor of having killed the first titan in EVE Online. They also hold the record for losing the first titan in actual combat.
SirMolle, the leader of Band of Brothers, flew his personal titan, “Darwin’s Contraption,” with an alternate character by the name of Shrike in order to ambush a RedSwarm support fleet with a blast from the titan’s doomsday weapon, annihilating a portion of the fleet in an instant. After firing its doomsday weapon, Shrike attempted to use the titan’s cloaking device to hide from the portions of the fleet that weren’t vaporized by the massive blast.
Unfortunately for Shrike, a RedSwarm interceptor pilot was able to approach the last known coordinates of the vessel and disrupt the titan’s cloaking device. Within minutes, RedSwarm Federation interdictor vessels, which only days before had been given the ability to prevent titan and supercarrier vessels from warping away, surrounded the titan and locked its engines down with their warp disruption equipment.
RedSwarm dreadnoughts were quickly brought into the fight and began to chew through the titan’s massive pool of armor and hit points. Watching footage of the assault, you can feel the exaltation of the RedSwarm pilots as they destroy the titan, the first to die, not to a trick or a mishap by the pilot, but in actual combat.
5) Battle of NOL-M9: Band of Brothers Holds the Line
Feb. 2008 – Band of Brothers vs. RedSwarm Federation
RedSwarm Federation, a group composed of the nascent GoonSwarm Federation and the remainders of Red Alliance, was forged out of necessity. Both GoonSwarm and Red Alliance were almost universally hated by the rest of EVE, putting both alliances directly in the sights of the other factions. Fortunately, the experience and tenacity of the Russian pilots mixed well with the voracious appetites of the relatively newer pilots in GoonSwarm. RedSwarm quickly became a powerhouse.
After some success in the campaign against Band of Brothers, RedSwarm decided to strike at the heart of their foes and plunged into Delve, the fortress region that Band of Brothers called home. Band of Brothers had been greatly reduced in power after years of constant war against what was effectively a loose coalition of everyone else that played EVE and Delve was all they had left. Sound familiar?
Hundreds of RedSwarm ships flooded into NOL-M9, but Band of Brothers held the line for over a week. This battle isn’t as well documented as more modern EVE conflicts, but from what we gather, the battle was fought with a mix of sly tactics, backhanded maneuvers, and precisely executed strategies.
Players would log in when they got home from work, fight until the wee hours of the morning, and log off to sleep as players from other time zones replaced them. For more than a week, the lowest reported number of people fighting in the system was 400. In the end, Band of Brothers was able to defend their territory, securing a titan kill in the process, and the invaders were repelled.
4) Fake out at F-TE1T
March 29, 2007 – Band of Brothers vs. RedSwarm Federation
The easiest time to destroy an enemy’s titan or supercarrier is before it’s completely operational. Players in EVE often seek intelligence on when and where titans are being produced so that the structures that are being used to assemble the massive ships can be destroyed before the ship is complete.
During the war between RedSwarm Federation and Band of Brothers, RedSwarm spies thought that they had done just that. They had acquired intel that deep in the heart of Band of Brother space, a titan was being produced in a shipyard in the star system F-TE1T. In a brazen assault, RedSwarm pilots invaded Delve, seeking to destroy the ship before it could become fully operational. They would have to sacrifice a large portion of the fleet they brought, but killing a titan would make it all worthwhile. Nearly 200 dreadnoughts were deployed against the structure, and 42 were destroyed in the operation, but the capital hangar array building the titan was destroyed. Or so they thought.
On April 1, 2007, Band of Brothers’ SirMolle, wrote a congratulatory post on the EVE Online forums, applauding RedSwarm for their work and confirming that his alliance’s titan had been destroyed. But it was, of course, April Fools’ Day. A few days later, SirMolle updated the post, explaining that the titan was perfectly safe and that RedSwarm had attacked the wrong structure.
The RedSwarm spy knew that a titan was being built, and in what system, and when it would be most vulnerable. What he didn’t know was which structure was building it. Band of Brothers played a risky gambit to defend an empty structure, hoping to draw the RedSwarm siege fleet off course, and it worked. What was meant to be the first domino in Band of Brothers’ downfall ended up being a huge embarrassment for RedSwarm Federation.
3) The Battle of Asakai
Jan. 27, 2013 – CFC vs. HoneyBadger Coalition
Titans are the apex predators of EVE Online. They do obscene amounts of damage, carry devastating “doomsday” weapons capable of vaporizing enemies in a single blast, and they can use their massive jump drives to catapult entire fleets light years across space.
But they also have a notoriously complex user interface. The button to “bridge” or teleport a friendly fleet across the vastness of space, often directly into combat, is right next to the “jump” button. If you click the jump button, instead of your fleet being transported across the cosmos, your own ship is hurtled into the abyss, instantly showing up at the intended destination.
It was because of this quirk of the UI that CFC pilot DaBigRedBoat found himself alone surrounded by the hostile HoneyBadger-affiliated Pandemic Legion forces. Pandemic engaged the lone titan immediately, forcing DaBigRedBoat to call for aid. Titans, even when alone are a tough nut to crack though, so the Pandemic Legion fleet called in their own reinforcements, too.
By the end of the battle, the HoneyBadgers had killed nearly 90 CFC-owned capital vessels, including three additional titans, a terrible defeat for the CFC — all as the result of a simple misclick.
2) The Siege of X47L-Q
Aug. 2, 2018 – Imperial Legacy Coalition vs. Northern Alliances
In another fight over a Keepstar-class space station, the second of three successive fights needed to destroy the massive battle station located in the system of X47L-Q will go down in history as one of the most expensive fights ever seen in EVE Online.
This massive brawl lasted over nine hours in real time but was fought under time-dilation, an effect where the game’s simulation engine is slowed down, causing each in-game second that passes to be ten real-world seconds. This is done intentionally to help prevent lag from interfering with the battle and to make sure that commands occur in the order that players enter them, even in fights involving over 6,000 players.
By the end of the fight, 58 titans had been reduced to smoldering wreckages, along with 23 supercarriers and over 700 other assorted capital vessels. Estimates of the cost of this battle were close to 10 trillion ISK in destroyed assets.
1.) The Bloodbath of B-R5RB
Jan. 27-28, 2014 – CFC and Russian Alliances vs. N3 and Pandemic Legion
Remember the Battle of HED-GP? Well, that’s nothing when compared to the Bloodbath of B-R5RB, the king of all other EVE Online battles. The ramifications of the battle would shake the galaxy of New Eden for years to come. Once the dust settled, the financial toll of the battle made headlines all over the internet: the equivalent of over $300,000 worth of spaceships had been obliterated in a matter of hours!
75 Titan-class vessels were destroyed, along with scores of smaller ships. 59 of those ships belonged to the losing side, N3 and Pandemic Legion, leaving their fleets scrambling to recover over the next few months. The fight also marked the beginning of the end of the Halloween War and created a path to absolute victory for the CFC and the Russian Alliances.
The reason for this mind-blowing bloodbath? B-R5RB was a key staging area for the N3/Pandemic Legion alliance and was held by the in-game corporation “HAVOC.” But when HAVOC failed to pay its Sovereignty bill for the system (yes, even EVE corporations have to pay rent!), the corporation lost B-R5RB, leaving it ripe for the conquering. Once CFC scouts got word of the unclaimed system, all sides converged on B-R5RB to secure the system and turn the tide of the war. The rest is history.
Lee Yancy is a freelance contributor.