Age of Ascent attempts to create the largest PvP battle in history March 14

Emanuel Maiberg at

According to the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2014, on July 28, 2013, the battle of 6VDT-H in EVE Online reached a total of 4,070 pilots fighting simultaneously, making it the largest PvP battle in history. On March 14, Age of Ascent will attempt to break that record.

Age of Ascent is a “full sandbox MMO” set in space developed by Illyriad Games. The British studio is named after its first game, Illyriad, an incredibly dense MMORTS with gameplay videos consisting mostly of pages of text and graphs. Illyriad Games says that if you enjoy games like EVE Online, or are looking forward to Star Citizen, you’ll be interested in Age of Ascent, especially if you’re a fan of the kind of depth Illyriad offers.

The event will demonstrate the PvP component of the game, allowing (hopefully) thousands of players from around the world to directly pilot ships in dogfights across a single, continuous battlezone. Illyriad Games will attempt to do this without sharding or slowing down gameplay (what EVE Online calls “time dilation”).

It’s essentially trying to prove the worth of some of the technology that the developer is working with, namely WebGL and Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud technology. WebGL allows games to run natively in your browser without downloads, installs, or plugins. That’s how Age of Ascent and the March 14 record breaking attempt will work. You’ll go to the URL, be assigned to a red or blue team, and go.

Illyriad games says that the single node architecture that MMOs typically use has reached its limit, and that Age of Ascent’s technology has more in common with a Wall Street algorithmic trading company than a traditional gaming company. As CEO James Niesewand explained it in an interview with Massively, Age of Ascent will monitor ship movements in a similar way that these Wall Street trading algorithms monitor commodity price movement in multiple markets in microseconds.

“We don’t actually know how many players the system can achieve.” Illyriad Games says on it website. “Although we’ve put heavy loads on the system with real and simulated players, nothing beats massive numbers of actual players dogfighting in space. So, in short, we have no idea how many players the system can support. We’d really like to find out.”

You can find out more about how to join the grand experiment on Age of Ascent’s website.