Since July of this year, World War Bee 2 has been raging across the southern half of New Eden. These battles have broken world records and shattered expectations for a nearly 20 year-old video game with thousands of players clashing together all at once. Earlier this fall, we saw the first real supercapital escalation of the war in YZ9, where Titans clashed and fell in battle for the first time. Since then, we’ve seen a spattering of supercapitals, including Titans, fall to mishaps and traps but on the night of 30th December, we finally got to see what happens when the two largest supercapital fleets in EVE Online meet.
It was a massacre.
The objective in this battle was the second reinforcement (armor) timer of an Imperium Keepstar in M2-XFE. The aggressors, the PAPI coalition (made up of Legacy, PanFam, WinterCo, and assorted other entities) held the system’s Infrastructure Hub and had cynosural field jammers installed. After their jammers were disabled by the defending forces (the Imperium, made up of Goonswarm Federation, the Initiative, among others), the anchoring of a new jammer was contested and stopped. This left the door wide open for the Imperium’s supercapital fleet to position themselves between the towers of the Keepstar.
Just before 00:00 EVE, the first doomsday volleys filled the sky on Titanic Death. Next, more Titans belonging to PAPI, specifically Northern Coalition, began to melt away. Time dilation immediately spiked to 10% of normal speed and doomsdays continued to be green for the next 12 hours, until downtime. In the fighting, some notable members of the EVE community lost their Titans, and one faction Titan was destroyed, a Vanquisher belonging to Grencia Mars.
Throughout the night, the advantage slipped from side to side as waves of volleys came through and killmails populated. At some points, PAPI was volleying 6 Titans per cycle while the Imperium was volleying only 2 or 3. As the fight continued, this margin was lessened more and more until, eventually, each side was destroying an equal number of Titans on each volley. CaseyLP, from Federation Uprising, created a graph of the margin somewhere around the halfway point of the fight that showed the volley numbers and a prediction of where the fight would end up.
The green line represents the total number of Titans lost while the red and blue lines represent the Imperium and PAPI sides respectively. This data was surprisingly accurate and predicted that the Imperium would match the kills by around 10:00 EVE. They did so and managed to pull the fight into their favor (in terms of Titans killed) by downtime, destroying 128 PAPI Titans while losing only 123 of their own. In spite of the advantage in Titan kills, the Imperium lost a fraction more than PAPI in the ISK war with a margin of only 220 billion. The objective was accomplished (in this system at least) by PAPI which is typically one of the most important victory conditions. However, when you have two greats duking it out (like the most recent Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr fight) it’s hard to declare a clear winner.
We would declare this fight, at best, a draw.
As downtime finished this morning, the Imperium supercapital force was instructed to login immediately while the PAPI supercapital force was instructed to stay logged off and not log in until the final timer of the Keepstar later this week. Currently, the Imperium is camping the spot where the PAPI supercapitals logged off at downtime and we are broadcasting #CampWatch2020 on our Twitch channel.
The most expensive battle ever to take place in EVE Online was the Bloodbath of B-R5RB in January of 2014. This battle cost the players in it over 11 trillion ISK and contributed to the deaths of 75 Titans. Today, however, a new king of destruction has been crowned with the Massacre of M-2XFE. According to battle reports, over 23 trillion ISK was destroyed, including 251 Titans, roughly 1/6th of the amount of Titans fielded.
It will likely take hours (perhaps even a full day) before we can see a fully accurate view of the damage inflicted as killboard and battle report services populated thousands of killmails. Based on a battle report generated just after downtime, the butcher’s bill is staggering. A side-by-side comparison of the Bloodbath of B-R5RB and the Massacre of M-2XFE is below.
The Bloodbath of B-R5RB
- Maximum Players in System: 2,670
- Total ISK Destroyed: 11,000,000,000,000
- Real-world value: $330,000
- Titans Involved: 215
- Supercarriers Involved: 445
- Dreadnoughts Involved: 1,172
- Carriers Involved: 647
- Titans Lost: 75
The Massacre of M-2XFE
- Maximum Players in System: ~5,600
- Total ISK Destroyed: 23,600,000,000,000
- Real-world value: $347,000
- Titans Involved: 1,200
- Supercarriers Involved: 400
- Dreadnoughts Involved: 445
- Carriers Involved: 250
- Titans Lost: 251
This marks the third time a record has been broken in EVE Online over the course of World War Bee 2 and likely will not be the last time we see record-breaking action take place. The first two records were broken at the Fury of FWST-8 for the largest multiplayer game battle and most concurrent participants in a multiplayer battle. This battle now goes down as the most costly battle in EVE Online’s history, eclipsing the Bloodbath of B-R5RB by more than double the ISK amount destroyed.
As fighting continues in World War Bee 2, we expect that we may see more of these fights, as promised, when the war initially began. PAPI’s strategy continues to be controlling the flow of supercapitals jumping into the system, restricting the ability for the enemy to get reinforcements at will and the Imperium’s strategy continues to be doing whatever they can to prevent it.
The final timer for the Keepstar in M2-XFE is set to start at around 0100 EVE time on Sunday, January 3rd (Saturday, January 2nd for us western hemisphere type folks) and both sides are posturing to make it another battle for the ages. We will be broadcasting any fights that take place on this timer on our Twitch channel. As always, we will continue to keep you up-to-date on the happenings in this great war.