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Published January 28, 2014

On the one-year anniversary of the Battle of Asakai, New Eden again exploded in spaceship violence.

The battle in B-R has already surpassed all records set before, with over 70 titans killed and trillions of ISK in damages. As with most big fights in EVE, it wasn't planned-- but it's been brewing for a while.

This fight is the latest battle in a war that's been going since approximately Halloween. Between all the alliances, coalitions, and coalitions of coalitions, this war has dragged in almost everyone who lives in null security space, and it's been grinding on for the past several months with a few back-and-forth engagements, minor sov trades, and failed staging system headshots. With the last major engagement dampened by server woes, all parties were spoiling for a fight.

Ostensibly, this fight was for control of a single system. To maintain one's sovereignty over a system requires that one pay certain maintenance fees, and Pandemic Legion (PL) messed this up. The system affected? Their staging system for the current war, B-R5RB in Immensea.

Whoever's Territorial Claim Unit could survive the eight-hour online time would have control of the system. If CFC/RUS succeeded, they would be able to prevent N3PL from accessing a great deal of their strategic assets and war material deployed to this particular part of the galaxy. 

Once the TCU onlining was decided, the fight just became about carnage: who could kill the most the fastest. The fleets committed by both sides represent a staggering amount of time, effort, and ISK. Each titan costs about 100 billion ISK (up to 160 or even 220b for particularly expensive fits), which can be purchased for about $3,000 USD by buying game time and selling it to other players for ISK. More than that, though, to build a titan requires several weeks and a nice quiet undisturbed area of space, something harder to find in the current climate. Supercarriers are similarly challenging. Dreadnaughts and carriers, while not as difficult to build, still represent a significant investment of effort on the part of an industrialist somewhere.

For this reason, all of the alliances involved have stored up money, items, and ships, to be used in the event of something going horribly wrong. Once the system control was established, the fight became about bleeding those stocks dry. The kills made here decide not only this war, but the next, and the next after that. Those are the stakes with both sides committing fully.

The battle itself started with the sov bill screw-up. A scout went to check out what had happened, and discovered Nulli Secunda (S2N) quietly re-onlining their Territorial Control Unit, hoping to maintain control of the system. With an hour left to go on the online time, the Russian alliances dropped a capital fleet on the station, capturing it and preventing N3PL from accessing it anymore. They began onlining their own TCU to secure system control while going to destroy the S2N one.

N3PL countered by going all-in and dropping their carrier and supercarrier fleet on top of the Russian fleet, hoping to drive them off and maintain system control. In response, the Russians escalated, bringing in more ships and their CFC allies. Both sides were now fully committed, with warp disruption bubbles ensuring extraction would be difficult.

Time dilation kicked in, with 10 seconds of real time passing for every one second in game. Both sides began trading titan kills every hour, when their titans' doomsday weapons were ready to fire again. The CFC/RUS fleet had a slight edge in numbers and in in titan kills, but it was a close fight. Eventually, their TCU onlined, but if N3PL were able to rout them, they would be able to retake the system without issue.

The turning point was in whose US timezone reinforcements were able to dominate. PL didn't see the additional numbers they were hoping for, and the CFC locked down potential systems for reinforcements, making N3PL backup challenging. Eventually, the trades stopped being quite so even, until finally N3PL found themselves unable to kill titans at all. They gave the order to attempt to disengage.

At this point, the battle became less of a fight, more of a slaughter. The CFC continues to work their way through titan kills, and plans to do so until downtime, moving on to supercarriers if they run out. Both sides have lost an incredible number of dreadnaughts, and the price of Tritanium has been creeping upwards, anticipating the flurry of industrial production to come.

While the final kill numbers aren't in yet, this fight has already blown past every single record for damage done in EVE. Uemon, the previous recordholder, only saw 12 titans killed and 1T of ISK value lost.

Ali Aras
CSM8 Vice-Secretary, @ali_of_space, TMC editor. I play EVE, LoL, and miscellaneous other games.

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