Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Life imitating art or art imitating life?

OK, first, go read this post about how a massive, 2,800+ spaceship battle erupted in the EVE sci fi massive multiplayer online game.  Or, if you don't feel like clicking, note that the game requires hundreds of hours of time to obtain the in-game resources to build starships.  The bigger the ship, the more time it takes to acquire.  Translate that into dollars, and the vessels get expensive--thousands of bucks.  So players have a huge personal investment in their ships.  
Image from tor.com
Recently, one guild planned an attack against a certain territory.  But a misplaced mouse click meant that a single capital ship jumped in without backup.  The defenders pounced, and the interloper called for help.  Instead of retreating, the attackers doubled down, slowly sending reinforcements, and the defenders called more and more allies into the fight.  In the end, there were dozens of ships, worth thousands of dollars in real-world money, that were destroyed.

Look, my little summary can't do this story justice.  You need to read it for yourself to revel in the coolness of this incident--an epic space battle that started because of a big mistake.

But I got a kick out of something else I noticed in another article on the epic EVE space battle.  Notice this little snippet about the battle:
So, in the initial stages, the CFC had local superiority and was able to down one PL Nyx while three others warped out in low armor and even one at eighty seven percent structure.
I read the last part of that sentence (emphasis mine) and immediately translated it into Star Navy terms:  Three ships took a lot of damage to their hulls and fled.  In other words, they received enough damage to lower their Rep, causing them to break off the fight.  The last ship, though, had 87% structure.  He must have just got hit by one gun, and then passed 0d6 on the Received Damage test.  Or did he not pass the Friend Destroyed or Higher Class Friend Breaks Off test.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that the reactions of online players with a great deal invested in their in-game starships mirrored the rules of 5150: Star Navy.  Or is that the other way around?

4 comments:

TamsinP said...

That was quite interesting reading. $150k of ships damaged/destroyed? That's got to hurt.

Not as impressive as "Burning Jita", but impressive nonetheless.

I can't help wondering what would have happened if "Boat" hadn't mis-clicked and the rest of the ships had bridged in with the Titan?

(not an EVE player but I do occasionally look in at what's happening there)

Bill said...

I used to play Eve. If he was down to 87% structure, then he had no armor and no shields. He was dead meat if he didn't leave. Been there, done that. :)

Desert Scribe said...

Thanks for the clarification, Bill. I've never played EVE, so I appreciate your insight as a former player.

Collin Schrader said...

Fantastic story! Thanks for sharing.