EVE Online, the popular spacefaring MMO, just witnessed its biggest and most costly battle in the game’s history, setting a Guinness World Record in the process. “The Massacre at M2-XFE” cost two of EVE Online’s biggest factions an estimated total of $378,012. The battle was part of an ongoing universe-spanning war that’s cost $700,000 in total.
On December 31, 2020, 5,000 players EVE’s PAPI and Imperium factions collided in the game’s M2-XFE region near a “Keepstar” (a sort of extra large space station) when PAPI forces began firing upon docked Imperium ships. Earlier in the day, a lone Imperium pilot managed to disable a “cyno jammer,” allowing the Imperium to bring in additional reinforcements.
The ensuing battle lasted approximately 14 hours, with both factions losing supercapital ships (the largest kind in-game, roughly the size of seven Empire State buildings) at a relatively equal rate. Fighting only ceased when EVE was scheduled to go offline for downtime maintenance.
Of the 1,304 Titan ships that participated in the battle, a whopping 257 of them were destroyed. PAPI forces lost a combined 130 Titans while the Imperium lost 122. Among all classes of ships, PAPI lost a total of 1,810 ships while the Imperium lost 1,596.
“This battle is a bit like a poker game where both players stockpiled weapons for several years and then went all-in,” said PAPI member Gobbins. “One side started escalating the fight to the absolute maximum of their resources, and the other matched in full; not just in terms of manpower but also in the value of assets committed. It is rare in EVE to see so much at stake in a single fight as the losses can undo years of effort from thousands of participating players. However, in this rare instance it did indeed happen, causing the biggest fight we have ever seen, both for the numbers of players involved and the amount of assets destroyed. Really remarkable.”
To commemorate the event (and the associated damage), an official monument bearing the names of all players involved in the battle is being constructed by developer CCP.
The estimated total of damages in $USD is based on how much in-game currency (called PLEX) it would cost to replace each ship. Much of the ships however are the result of thousands of man-hours grinding for resources. The most expensive ship destroyed during the battle, Grencia Mars’ Vanquisher cost an estimated $5,500 equivalent in $USD.
Despite the digital bloodshed, the Massacre at M2-XFE is just one battle amidst EVE Online’s ongoing “World War Bee 2,” the game’s third universe-spanning war. Upwards of 130,000 players are still duking it out for in-game territory.
Funny enough, while M2-XFE is certainly the most costly battle in EVE history, this is technically only the third-largest battle in terms of player count. EVE’s Battle of FWST-8 clocked in at 6,557 players. The previous record for most costly battle in USD was held by the Battle of B-R5RB, which cost players an estimated $302,000.
You can check out a recording of the fight from YouTuber 1adog1.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/support class ship for IGN.