We've seen World of Warcraft players go bananas over being hacked or having their parents cancel their account. Not even Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory was spared from the rage that ensued after a hacking. EVE Online player James Carl and his in-game coalition wound up on the receiving end of player rage of a different sort Monday morning. A missed payment was all it took to start the costliest battle in EVE Online's history.
The dogfight all started over a missed payment from one of Carl's coalition members. That payment was allegedly set up on an auto-pay system to continue protecting an area of the in-game galaxy that has been disputed with an opposing coalition for some time. Carl had this to say:
"Supposedly, it was set up for auto-pay, just like any other bill in real life, but either that didn't happen or the money wasn't in the wallet, and then everything just escalated out of control from there ... The dust is still settling on that issue. Everyone is just focused right now on fighting to try to regain control of the system."
With damage at an estimated $500,000 USD, over one hundred Death Star-esque ships known as Titans were destroyed. Those giant ships take a long time to build. We're talking months of real life, not game time, and they're valued at roughly $3000 each. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially considering the Titan is the largest vessel in the game.
Carl was lucky enough to not have to work on Monday, but a message on his phone warned him that one of his alliance's systems was under attack by a rival faction and ruined whatever plans he may have had. Like any dedicated gamer, he spent the day fending off the attack and was joined by dozens of other players that even took the day off just to help. The battle was fought by at least 4000 players, with many more watching with great anticipation on Twitch.
CCP Games spokesman Ned Coker said he would, "be lying if I said our servers weren't sweating a bit." EVE's time dilation system probably helped alleviate some of the stress, but it made the battle that much slower for the defenders.