Wow. This is one for the record books. Seriously. I’ve heard of some crazy junk going down in multiplayer games, but this one really takes the epic griefing cake. Basically, last night, a virtual mega-corporation was taken over, and it all happened inside of EVE Online.
For those of you who are unaware about EVE, it is essentially a spaceship-fighting MMO. It’s a lot bigger than that, but that’s the simplified version. Basically, in this game, there are guilds, factions, corporations and the like, the biggest of which was known as the Band of Brothers, which owned most of the territory in the game for quite some time… up until last night. When spies attacked. What follows is the greatest gaming teabag of all time.
To build ships in EVE Online, you need to own territory, and these guys had all of it. There have been many attempts to overthrow or take down the Band of Brothers through violent force, but all were futile. This even included what players have come to call “The Great War”, in which many of the largest guilds all banded together to attack the Band of Brothers and push them back out of their territory.
The empire held on to most of their territory, and the last to quit was the Goonswarm, finally conceding victory to the mega-corporation. However, while the battle was lost, Goonswarm continued to plot. For a while, they built up a vast network of spies, and set out on an espionage mission. Eventually, they were able to infiltrate the ranks of the Band of Brothers.
Last night, the league of spies coerced one of the leaders of Band of Brothers to defect, essentially handing over the keys to the castle. He handed over ownership of the corporation, accounts, funds, ships, player lists, even passwords to the forums. From there, all hell broke loose. The Band of Brothers was disbanded, their in-game accounts emptied of all of their money (billions of in-game currency) and their territory was released back into the wild. It has resulted in one of the biggest territory grabs in EVE history.
To me, this is one of those things that is just nigh-on incredible. In a world with thousands of players, this entire game is player-based and player-run. They have created their own factions, corporations, and guilds, and ended up creating their own epic and grandiose story within the confines of the system. These guys took down an empire through coercion. I remember years ago sitting around with my friends (Nick among them) and talking about the future of MMOs being player-progressed stories, and these guys just did it.
I know it’s incredibly dorky, but seriously, this makes me want to play this game. I’ve left out quite a few of the details, but if you’re interested in reading more, check it out here.