Over 6,000 EVE Online players came together to do battle over a Keepstar-class Citadel in the Cloud Ring system of 9-4RP2 on January 23rd, 2018. This was the largest single system battle in EVE Online history.
Watch as two huge coalitions of players fight tooth and nail, with The Imperium looking to destroy Pandemic Horde’s Keepstar citadel. Despite the siege lasting hours, and the largest deployment of forces ever seen, the Keepstar survived. The battle continues, though, as the Keepstar will be vulnerable to attack once more on Monday 29 January.
You may be wondering how a battle this massive ended up going in the favor of the defenders, even with 250+ Imperium Titan super-capitals on the field. Well, the game basically broke under all the strain of the calculations for 6,000+ player ships. You see, EVE Online uses a feature called Time Dilation (TiDi) to slow the actions of player ships being processed and rendered down. At full load, like during the battle last night, the server node processes actions at 10% of normal speed.
This might sound great because it helps prevent random disconnects and other issues that have plagued these kinds of battle in the past, in theory. In practice, nothing works as intended. Player ships can take hours to move from one system to another, and their modules don’t often work at all.
That’s the problem the attacking Imperium forces ran into last night. Their strategy relied on sending waves of hundreds of fighter-bombers against the Citadel in a bid to destroy it. Fighters work like ammunition for Carriers in EVE. You can send one wave, and then you reload another wave into your launch tubes. As the initial waves were targeted and destroyed by the defenders, the Imperium couldn’t get their fighter tubes to reload. Add into this mess that hundreds of players kept disconnecting from the server, and couldn’t return, and you have the outcome we got. A disappointment to say the least.
Another massive battle on this scale isn’t expected anytime soon, although we may be surprised what players of the worlds largest single-shard MMO can do.
Check out our full report on the development and outcome of the battle in 9-4RP2. Or if you’re interested in reading a bit more background on the conflict, check out this Reddit post from CSM member progodlegend.
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