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The 5 greatest moments in EVE Online history

EVE Online
(Image credit: CCP Games)

In the 18 years that EVE Online has been around, its players have created hundreds of incredible stories. EVE Online history is a tapestry red with blood from thousands of battles, unseen betrayals, and hilarious gags. For the past few years, I've been documenting many of these shenanigans with in-depth reports ranging on EVE Online's most famous scammers to its hardened Titan killers. If you want to read some epic space drama, you can find all of PC Gamer's EVE Online stories here.

But many of EVE Online's most legendary tales happened long ago, like the record-setting battles and a neverending gatecamp that disrupted the economy of New Eden for a few weeks. These are the greatest moments in EVE Online history.

The Bloodbath of B-R5RB 

Until recently, EVE Online's community had been living in the shadow of a battle so colossal developer CCP Games created an in-game memorial to it. Over the course of 21 hours, 7,500 players fought an all-out war for control of the B-R5RB star system. Nearly 11 trillion ISK worth of ships was destroyed, including an unprecedented 75 Titans—the biggest, baddest ships in EVE Online. For a long time, it was EVE Online's most iconic battle, and it all started because of an overdue rent payment.

Everything happened on January 27, 2014 when a player living in a lawless region of territory owned by an alliance called Pandemic Legion forgot to set up automatic withdrawal on the in-game tax players have to pay in order to maintain sovereignty over a star system. With the bill unpaid, Pandemic Legion suddenly lost control of B-R5RB, which was bad news since the system was also a key staging point in a months-long war between Pandemic Legion (PL) and its allies and the Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC).

Players from all over the world dropped everything they were doing to login and fight for their side.

Seeing the opportunity to establish a permanent foothold right in PL's backyard, CFC and its Russian allies rallied every single player they could to swarm the system and quickly take it for their own. In response, Pandemic Legion phoned in every favor it had and amassed a colossal defense fleet to retain control of the system. Both armadas crashed into one another in B-R5RB, but hundreds of smaller battles broke out in the surrounding star systems. Even though it happened by chance, players from all over the world dropped everything they were doing to login and fight for their side. 

As the hours slipped by, it was clear CFC was gaining the lead due to the sheer size of its forces. In the end, CFC only lost 16 Titans while PL and its allies lost a whopping 59, and as the battle ended, CFC finally managed to capture B-R5RB.

That gave PL and its allies no choice but to retreat from the theatre of war entirely, abandoning dozens of star systems to their enemies. Though PL would eventually reclaim what was lost, this battle was also a pivotal step in CFC transforming into the unstoppable powerhouse that is the Imperium, a coalition that dominated the game for years after.

The Massacre at M2-XFE 

For a long time it seemed like no battle could ever eclipse the Bloodbath of B-R5RB, but in the early morning hours of December 31, 2020 another battle created shockwaves that are still being felt in the game to this day. In the years since B-R5RB, CFC turned into The Imperium and had much of the virtual galaxy of EVE in a chokehold. But after two huge wars, the tables were turning. A coalition of alliances called PAPI had The Imperium up against a wall and were ready to risk everything to capture a star system right in the heart of Imperium space.

At first, the battle wasn't particularly exciting or notable—just another routine skirmish. But then a newbie Imperium pilot managed to damage PAPI's warp jammer, creating a window for the Imperium to call in reinforcements. It didn't just call in the cavalry, but a whole army of Titan supercapital ships. Unwilling to give up the objective, PAPI called in its own reinforcements and in the 12 hours that followed both sides took turns obliterating thousands of player ships, including a record-setting 257 Titans—over three times as many that died in B-R5RB. It was also EVE's most expensive battle to date, racking up $378,012 in damages (by converting ISK to game subscription time).

The Massacre at M2-XFE would've led to an even bigger battle a few days later as both sides prepared to wage everything in the final fight to save the M2-XFE starbase. But server issues crippled PAPI's offensive, leaving hundreds of its Titan pilots stranded behind enemy lines without hope of rescue. They stayed trapped for 30 days, until PAPI managed to stage one of the greatest jailbreaks of all time. 

(Image credit: CCP Games)

The Guiding Hand Social Club assassination 

At the time, it was a heist of unprecedented scale—30 billion ISK worth of ships and items.

EVE Online's reputation for skullduggery and betrayal was first cemented back in 2005 after a group of assassins staged one of the most elaborate and brutal heists of all time. Contracted by an anonymous employer, the Guiding Hand Social Club spent 10 months slowly infiltrating a player-run corporation called Ubiqua Seraph. Its mission? Kill Ubiqua Seraph CEO Mirial and steal everything that wasn't bolted to the floor.

To pull this off, Guiding Hand spent months carefully infiltrating the corporation at every level with multiple spies. It even infiltrated Ubiqua Seraph's senior leadership, with primary spy Arenis Xemdal becoming Mirial's right-hand man. When Guiding Hand at last had enough spies in place, it orchestrated a brutal assassination: Arenis convinced Mirial to follow him on a tour of nearby star systems in her (then) ridiculously expensive and rare Navy Apocalypse battleship.

The moment Mirial was cut off from help, Guiding Hand pilots warped in and destroyed her ship and even her escape pod, claiming her corpse as tribute to their mysterious employer. Meanwhile, dozens of Guiding Hand pilots stationed in Ubiqua Seraph stations pillaged everything stored in shared hangars and storage. At the time, it was a heist of unprecedented scale—30 billion ISK worth of ships and items. Mirial was ruined, Ubiqua Seraph destitute, and Guiding Hand Social Club became EVE Online legends.

You can read our full story on the Guiding Hand Social Club assassination here. 

(Image credit: CCP Games)

The Mittani sends his regards 

In the early years of EVE Online one alliance stood much taller than the rest: Band of Brothers. An elite PvP alliance, BoB quickly carved out an enormous chunk of space and turned it into an impenetrable fortress that no one could possibly hope to conquer. BoB was locked in a forever war against an alliance called Goonswarm, but neither could gain much ground. But then a BoB director named Haargoth Agamar made a decision that changed EVE Online forever.

At some point during the war, Agamar had used a second character to infiltrate Goonswarm, but instead of uncovering useful secrets he just ended up having a really fun time flying with them. Tired of BoB's condescending and elite attitude, he decided to defect and was put in contact with Goonswarm spymaster The Mittani to plan an exit strategy.

In February of 2009, Agamar made his explosive exit from BoB. He stole everything from the corporation he belonged to and kicked all of the member corporations out of the BoB alliance and disbanded the alliance altogether. In an instant, the vast territory that BoB controlled became uncontested and Goonswarm immediately began a massive offensive to invade BoB's territory. The corporations that made up the BoB alliance were unable to regroup, and over the course of months Goonswarm routed each of them until they had nowhere else to flee but the regions of space that can't be controlled directly by players. Though it reformed under different names later, BoB was all but erased from the game in one fell swoop.

But the icing on the cake was that in every station that Agamar picked clean, he left a note for his victims: "The Mittani sends his regards."

EVE Online

(Image credit: CCP Games)

The Mara gatecamp 

m0o's 24-hour gatecamp began choking EVE Online's economy to death.

EVE Online players have a long history of sticking it to developer CCP Games, but the Mara gatecamp is probably the first time a group of players ever went to battle against CCP developers directly. Back in 2003, when EVE Online was only months old, it was a very different game. Players hadn't organized into massive corporations and alliances, and most were still learning how to fly and weren't all that interested in screwing over other players. But then a corporation called m0o changed everything.

A small group of elite PvPers, m0o decided to camp the jumpgates located in the Mara system. These structures are what stitch the star systems of EVE together, and at the time Mara was a major shipping route for most players. Armed with top tier ships, m0o obliterated anyone who came through the Mara jumpgates, effectively locking down the system. At first players waited, hoping the pirates would get bored and move on, but as hours stretched into days and weeks, m0o's 24-hour gatecamp began choking EVE Online's economy to death. Players tried to rally to drive off m0o but most were quickly killed by the hardcore pirate gang.

As EVE's forums swelled with angry complaints, CCP Games decided to take action. It mustered a fleet of battleships and drove m0o away, hoping to restore peace. But as soon as CCP left the system, m0o pilots reformed their gatecamp and began destroying more ships. At one point, CCP Games allegedly used hacks to teleport m0o pilots to different corners of the galaxy, hoping to scatter them far enough that they couldn't regroup quickly. But before long, m0o was back at the jumpgate blowing up traveling players.

In the end, we don't really know how it all resolved. Rumor has it that one day m0o did eventually get bored and decide to vacate the Mara system for good. Sometime later, CCP Games made sweeping changes to how jumpgates work and fitted them with powerful guns that would drive off campers. It's not every day you troll EVE Online so hard it changes the game.

Steven enjoys nothing more than a long grind, which is precisely why his specialty is on investigative feature reporting on China's PC games scene, weird stories that upset his parents, and MMOs. He's Canadian but can't ice skate. Embarrassing.