There aren’t a lot of online games where, if you and a good chunk of the playable universe band together, you can alter the course of the game irreparably. I can’t take 300 players on a WoW server and go burn down a forest to drive out all the evil hiding in it into the light. Over the weekend there was a major shakeup in the online world of Eve Online that has got a lot of people peeking in and wondering what the hell just happened.
An organization in the game known as The Imperium decided to enact their yearly bombardment ritual known as “Burn Jita.” For those who haven’t played Eve, there are three areas of the game: High Security, Low Security, and Null. Null is where most of the horror stories you read about online come from as there’s no NPC Police force, Low is where the majority of gameplay seems to be housed as essentially neutral territory with some outlaws and some security, and High (also known as Hisec) is where you can’t do anything bad without getting nixed by security (CONCORD) and possibly banned from the game.
Most everything in the game is constructed by the players themselves, and with no way to transport goods and services, several market hubs have been established so you can buy and sell everything. Jita is the largest of these hubs, with a lot going for it as far as location, price, and services. It’s visited by thousands of players daily and has become one of the cornerstone locations in the game. Freighters going to and from Jita are major targets and usually deal with space pirates and other people looking to cause havoc, like the Ministers, who are a group that believes Freighters must be destroyed and use cheap ships with heavy firepower to do as much damage as possible before getting caught.
This year the Ministers, along with a hoard of rogue players enacted the Burn Jita weekend, and with over 500 players at their disposal, decimated nearly 200 different types of freighters, costing players over $13k USD dollars worth of damage in lost ships that were built using parts in the game. Just let that sink in for a second… All that money spent, all those credits earned, all the manpower to build those ships and everything needed to accomplish it just to trade with other people… gone. That’s a hell of a message. The Ministers lost their own ships in the battle, there’s no hard dollar figure on them, but credit wise it totals up to around six billion ISK.
Kotaku had a chance to speak with one of the raiders responsible for this year’s attack. You can read the full detailed account there, along with some impressive videos of the event taking place like the one you see below.
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