EVE Online: A Game Played By Losers

In a PvP universe which doesn't pull any punches, you most certainly can't win 'em all. A look at the painful losses necessary to inject a sense of risk into EVE Online.
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EVE Online is a game of risk. The unexpected can–and often does–happen. Sooner or later, every player loses something valuable. Entire multiple-thousand-player alliances can crumble. In New Eden, the sense of crushing loss is every bit as common as the sweet taste of victory, if not more so.

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EVE Online is no stranger to an astounding or controversial headline. A brief flick through the history of the world’s most popular spaceship sandbox will show dozens of accounts of epic victories, cunning infiltrations and devious scams.

The most clear-cut examples of loss are those shown in high-value “killmails,” reports automatically generated by EVE‘s Tranquility game server showing the precise details of the destruction of a ship, including any valuable cargo and equipment which was jettisoned or destroyed in the process.

In 2010, when CCP introduced the ability for EVE pilots to ferry valuable PLEX, the ceiling for some breathtakingly poor decision-making was raised and the denizens of New Eden did not disappoint.

In 2010, when CCP introduced the ability for EVE pilots to ferry valuable PLEX (in-game items which can be redeemed for one month of game time, worth $20 or sold for a substantial amount of in-game currency), the ceiling for some breathtakingly poor decision-making was raised and the denizens of New Eden did not disappoint.

Within a few weeks, the entire EVE player base face-palmed in unison when they read of aystra, a Kestrel frigate pilot who attempted to undock from a busy trade hub station in his fragile ship filled with 74 PLEX–worth over $1,000. He didn’t get far.

Earlier this year that loss was exceeded by Chris Cottle, who made the questionable decision to fly through hazardous low-security space with a cargo of 90 PLEX.

Even though he had chosen a far more robust Loki strategic cruiser as his choice of mule, this killmail proved that the merciless ingenuity of EVE players cannot be so easily avoided.

However, in EVE, everything can be done on a grand scale. Why let a single individual suffer a crushing defeat when the tears can be generated at an exponential rate by an entire alliance…

NEXT: EVE Online: Losing on a Grand Scale


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Image of Mat Westhorpe
Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.