EVE Online Rogue’s Gallery: Lord Zap – The Serial Killer

EVE's first pirate legend cast a very long, dark and fearsome shadow over the early days of New Eden.

Forged in the hellish fires of EVE beta in ancient times, the feared figurehead of m0o corporation, Lord Zap, began his reign of terror the moment the Tranquility server opened its connections to the public in May 2003.

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As hundreds of players – lured by the concept of a vast, open sci-fi universe – logged on for the first time and set about exploring the stars, Lord Zap and his band of merciless killers waited in the darkness.

It was a slaughter.

In a virgin universe, where wide-eyed new players grappled with the myriad ship choices, endless equipment fitting options, and unfamiliar game mechanics, they could not compete with these seasoned, well-drilled and well-equipped hunters.

There were only a few of them: The Reverend (their CEO), j0rt, Ywev, Mikhail and others were like the horsemen of the apocalypse; where there was one, there was bound to be more and their appearance was a guarantee that things were about to go horribly wrong.

But it was Lord Zap whose name held the most power and spread throughout the cluster, injecting fear into the hearts of many. He was EVE Online‘s Keyser Söze

A Personal Trauma

I have personal experience of this era; it was Lord Zap who was responsible for the most emotional moment of my gaming life (and my first ever ship loss in EVE, mid-June 2003).

The Vexor cruiser I had mined for weeks to purchase was destroyed, still unfitted, so tragically eager was I to fly the thing. It was the Vexor’s maiden voyage when the sudden appearance of Lord Zap’s battleship (I can’t recall what type – at the time I’d never seen one before) and the almost instant explosion of my ship and capsule so infuriated me that I rage-quit for several days.

On reflection, this was probably also the incident that showed me that a game could invoke such a heightened degree of real emotion and caused me to return (probably for revenge, which I never got).

Griefing the Developers

Lord Zap and company began to draw accusations of using exploits as they continued to terrorise the young population of New Eden. Unfazed, they cheerfully continued to kill and maintained a stranglehold on vital trade routes for weeks, leaving forums littered with impotent rage. Lord Zap had a then record-breaking bounty of 20m ISK placed on his head.

M0o was so effective that they even forced CCP developers to employ various tactics to curb their reign of terror; using “devhax” to instantaneously warp the piratical scourge to distant locations, splitting them up. One occasion even saw CCP devs entering the game (under the guise of a live event) to give m0o a smackdown first-hand.

Eventually CCP were forced to address flawed game mechanics which m0o were using with such brutal effectiveness, bringing about damage modifier stacking penalties and propulsion module revisions, stargate sentry guns and a more effective CONCORD police response in hi-sec.

The m0o Legacy

The legend of Lord Zap eventually waned as he fell to inactivity, giving way to a new generation of m0o pilots. A number of resurgences occurred, some involving Lord Zap and the original members, but in any case m0o’s reputation alone was enough to spread fear through the cluster each time. M0o achieved many firsts, including the destruction of Tyrrax Thorrk‘s unique Gold Magnate, an event recently brought to the fore.

In the post-Lord Zap era of 2005, m0o corp went on the be a founding member of the legendary, but ill-fated Band of Brothers alliance.

But that’s another story. The next story, in fact…

NEXT: Haargoth Agamar – The Alliance Defector

 

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.