EVE Online Rogue’s Gallery: Helicity Boson – The Industrial Terrorist

The one thing we can always rely on is for pirates to turn on each other. The one thing we forget is that they only do that if there's nothing better to do.

Pirates, being the rebellious, anti-social law-breakers they are, tend not to play well with others. Holding together anything more than a small group requires rules, and pirates don’t like following rules by definition.

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Helicity Boson is a pirate. But he broke the rule about rules and managed to unite everyone with the vaguest modicum of anti-establishment rebellion under a single banner.

That banner was Hulkageddon.

The Scourge of the Botters

In October 2009, Helicity proposed an event based around the concept of ‘suicide ganking,’ during which the aggressors would aim to shatter the perception of safety afforded to the occupants of EVE’s CONCORD-protected high-sec space by delivering enough immediate “alpha” damage to the unsuspecting target to destroy it before the law enforcement could intervene.

It was a cruel, but not uncommon practice employed on occasion by the less scrupulous–often against high-value mining vessels like Hulks (hence the event name), whose poor defences meant the attacking combat ships lost to CONCORD could be a fraction of the value of the target.

But what Helicity had in mind was on a much, much larger scale, with open invites to all like-minded piratical individuals and groups. The primary targets would supposedly be “botters” – EULA-breaking automated harvesters used to support illegal ISK-sellers. But in truth, any mining vessel which didn’t move quick enough would be fair game.

The Massacre of Innocents

The first Hulkageddon was a modest success, with a weekend-long reign of terror by Helicity and friends resulting and the following tally of destruction:

Hulkageddon Death Toll: 66 Exhumers, 22 Mining Barges, 27 capsules.

The real motivation for the most dastardly of pirates has always been the tears of their victims, and the forums erupted with fountains of them. This made Helicity and co. thirsty for more, and word spread to the wider pirating community. They wanted in on the action.

Obligingly, Helicity organised a second Hulkageddon a few months later in January 2010, this time lasting for a week. The pirate community heard the call. 

Hulkageddon II Death Toll: 1220 Exhumers, 322 Barges, 12 Orcas, 240 capsules.

The tears flowed and the momentum continued to build. Helicity delivered a 9-day Hulkageddon III: Summer of Gank in July 2010.

Hulkageddon III: Summer of Gank Death Toll: 1719 Exhumers, 717 Barges, 29 Orcas and 1 Rorqual.

The fourth Hulkageddon took place due to (un)popular demand in February 2011, and although successful, saw a decline in successful ganks, perhaps in part due to a Griefer-geddon movement–which sprang up to counter the anti-miner aggressions. Still, the numbers were respectable.

Hulkageddon IV: 843 Exhumers, 574 Barges, 6 Orcas and 1 Rorqual

Over a year passed, and industrialists everywhere began to relax. But then Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union was announced. Helicity Boson had come to an arrangement with The Mittani and Goonswarm, leading to a declaration that would send a cold sliver of blue ice into the hearts of miners everywhere; Hulkageddon V would never end with Goonswarm paying significant bounties for all kills (100m ISK for every 10 killing blows).

From 29th May 2012 onwards, the carnage began. The Hulkageddon V killboard now seems to be down, whether this signifies a technical problem or that the event eventually ground to a halt is uncertain, but the last time I checked, it was showing:

Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union Death Toll: 12,204 kills totalling 2.34trillion ISK in destroyed mining ships.

The Hulkageddon phenomenon had united an army of bastards into a cacophony of organised griefing the likes of which gaming had never seen. And you know what? People had fun. Well… some of them.

Fearlessly Dying in Fires

Helicity Boson’s other lasting legacy was lighting the fuse of the player riots in 2011, by publicising a leaked document (an internal CCP newsletter called Fearless, which discussed microtransactions in a feature provocatively entitled “Greed is Good”) which infuriated many and added to growing player dissent.

Words were exchanged, bans were handed out and it was all a terribly messy affair which we don’t like to talk about any more. No one really died in any fires, but sadly CCP did lay off 20% of their staff as a result of mass loss of player subscriptions. That wasn’t Helicity’s fault–there were much greater forces in play.

Helicity is no longer banned and is still a presence within the EVE community. No word on Hulkageddon VI yet though, despite an interest.

 

EVE Player Celebrities: Rogue’s Gallery

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Author
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.