For those of us who dare not enter the world of EVE Online but love to watch from the sidelines, the 2014 battle at B-R5RB is widely considered one of the biggest and most consequential in-game skirmishes of all time. The 20 hour battle, triggered by a missed bill payment, had more than 10,000 participants. From the ashes of that battle, The Imperium (formerly CFC) emerged as victors and have lorded it over the universe ever since, apparently with little resistance.
Things are heating up, though, and The Imperium's unquestionable dominance over the universe is starting to erode. Interestingly, real world events have heavily influenced this crisis in EVE's meta: you may recall the leader of The Imperium, The Mittani, tried to release a book about the B-R5RB battle via a failed Kickstarter campaign. According to Reddit user TheRealMartini in his very helpful explainer of the current situation, this lead to some friction within the ranks.
"This was met a with huge backlash from the rest of the EVE community, esp, /r/Eve, who felt he was trying to monetize his alliance members," he wrote. "After this Imperium members were encouraged not to use /r/Eve thus closing themselves off."
There are other in-game factors at play, too. CCP's new sovereignty system allows for more "guerilla-like" tactics, meaning brute force (ie, whoever has the biggest ships) won't necessarily hold the latter in good stead. Meanwhile, Imperium authority figures are defecting, and there's even a website dedicated to raising funds in order to topple them.
The anti-Imperium allies, known as Moneybadgers, waged their first war against the Imperium last week, and won. As a result, it's looking increasingly likely that another ridiculously massive war will explode in the space MMO, which is good for the rest of us because it makes great spectator sport. For the full rundown of events, it's well worth checking out the relevant Reddit thread. Grab your popcorn, guys.