Online casino bankrolls largest-ever, ruinously expensive war in Eve Online

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I hope someone makes a movie or documentary of all this stuff at some point, because it always sounds so amazingly cool and science-fictiony — that we actually have virtual universes and gigantic galactic battles today — but any time I really try to work out how it all really works, and who the hell actually play any of these games, I get lost.

I see videos like this, which look awesome, but find it hard to understand if this is what it actually feel like:


Here’s Scott Manley’s take on The Fountain War in Eve


I got lost around 4 minutes in…

Key point: " where in-game currency can be exchanged for real cash" is not true. The reverse is true, real currency can be used to buy a token called a PLEX which is good for 30 days game time, and which can be sold in the game at markets to other players for in-game currency (called isk). In-game currency cannot be sold for real-world currency, it’s against the terms of service and will result in a permanent ban on all accounts. Of course, there are people who do try to do this, it’s an ongoing cat-and-mouse thing. The article falsely makes it sound like one can simply buy some isk, gamble with it, and convert it back to real-world money, which would put CCP and EVE into a problematic legal position.


It was a big complicated war involving a lot of egos and money and ships.


I came to make the same comment. Relevant extract from EVE Online EULA, Section 6.B:

The buying, selling or auctioning (or any attempt at doing so) of characters, character attributes, items, currency, or objects, whether through online auctions, newsgroups, postings on message boards or any other means is prohibited by the EULA and a violation of CCP’s proprietary rights in the Game.

EDIT: An example of banning when cash has been extracted from EVE Online (along with nice click-baity headline “Billions stolen in online robbery”):


So “New Cap City” from the failed series Caprica is practically a real thing. Only with less dead people’s spirits inhabiting it.


And less orgies.


That doesn’t sound very fun :disappointed:


I know what you mean. Even if it were covered in real time (or in weekly summary, at least) I’d pay some money to watch sports style coverage of this stuff as if it were tennis or soccer.

Hell, throw in coverage of various robotic competitions, the solar race across Australia, drone wars, and high tech disaster relief, you could build an entire cable channel around thus kind of stuff!


Oh that’s the guy that helped rescue those Kerbals for Giant Bomb?


If you mean the sections of the video that show a bunch of UI elements - that is exactly what the game is like. The bits with a bunch of spacecraft flying around is not. I mean, there are a bunch of spacecraft flying around (behind a bunch of UI elements), but it’s more of a distraction when you’re doing anything, especially big fights when there are so many craft in the area that it’s impossible to render them all in real-time. I.e., the gameplay is interaction with data rather than a sci-fi movie dogfight.


Really? I was thinking the opposite. It sounds awesome. It reminds me of The Expanse series: Intrigue, powerful players, money changing hands, plots, wars, battles, something real at stake.

Where do I sign up?

Yeah, Scott’s a bit of a celebrity in his own right. If you’d like to learn how to play Kerbal, and see a guy make the most complicated multi-phase missions look just so easy, then Scott Manley is your guy.


The less orgies part is a bit of a bummer.


Isn’t that what BoingBoing is for?


I think someone wrote a book.

While the actual gameplay isn’t nearly as cinematic or dramatic as most videos make it look it does leave some indelible memories. I haven’t played for many years and I’ve mostly forgotten all the tedious aspects of the game but I have great memories of many of the high points. I was lucky to have been part of the precursor to Goonswarm (Goonfleet) while it was still pretty young and vulnerable until it turned into Goonswarm and took on the previous biggest alliance in the game. Around that point I lost interest and I can’t imagine ever playing again. Too much time needed.

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Cheap self-promo time! If you really want to check EVE out you can start a 14-day trial at any time via the EVE site, or you could use my buddy link to do so. You’ll get 21 days that way and I’ll get one PLEX or 30 days game time if you convert from trial to paid after using that link.

If you are totally new I would suggest doing the first tutorials and then joining a new player corporation such as EVE University (neutral), Pandemic Horde (attacking), Karmafleet (defending), or Brave Newbies (attacking). Otherwise you’ll be overwhelmed.

Also, the video is misleading. Big fleet flights are lagfests involving huge swarms of colored boxes on the screen; most people turn down their graphics settings to ensure playability in those situations. Also, most groups are pretty irreverent and some groups’ cultures are outright shitty (i.e. it’s not a game for the thin-skinned).

Vis-a-vis Cory’s coverage: aside from the fact that one cannot directly buy in-game currency:

  • The CFC/Imperium was not “formerly Goonswarm”. Goonswarm is an alliance that leads the CFC/Imperium, which is a coalition of alliances.
  • The thing which makes EVE stand out isn’t that one can use real-world cash to indirectly make in-game money. There are a few things in concert: persistent world, rare setpiece battles involving several thousand people, permanent loss of destroyed/stolen goods (unless exploits were involved), and the robustness of the economy. On that last point: a war like this has my industry friends abuzz because they’re making a killing making/selling/hauling the types of modules, ammo and ships which are popular in the current meta.
  • The ancient Persian tithing and “waxed fat and arrogant” lines are truthful from my perspective but sound like a propaganda coup for the Good Guys Coalition (the ad-hoc motley crue doing the attacking). I support the folks attacking Imperium, but thats still pretty loaded language. Also: agitprop is a big part of major EVE wars and there is more in this one than I’ve ever seen before, especially on the EVE reddit, which is largely trafficked by people attacking the Imperium. Most of it is utterly (and often deliberately) terrible, but it’s still fun to follow.

Every time I read anything about EVE Online, it makes me think of this…