A wonderful little laser battle in deep space

Update – and it’s been announced that the giant space battle will be commemorated by wrecked ships being permanently added to the game at the spot. Freak-ishly cool!

Kudos to the folks playing EVE and participating in battles of this scale. You’re doing something that takes a massive amount of time and energy, organisation, and is something that I find darn fascinating to read about. The image below is apparently what a super-laser looks like when fired from the largest ships, a Titan class.

a Titan class ship firing a super-laser

image via Kotaku, a Titan class ship firing a super-laser, probably on another Titan.

The huge EVE battle recently had a few commenters (kotatu) in a flicker about how aspects of the game are like playing in a spreadsheet. Well duh!

The game’s ui pretty much is an overlay for spreadsheets, though. Remove the pretty space graphics, and what you have is a whole bunch of objects and their relative positions to each other.

I don’t know why Eve players get so defensive, many space strategy games come down to an overlay for spreadsheets but remain good.

For pity’s sake, almost every game is a graphic overlay over a heap of numbers, probably stored in a database of one sort or another.

Another odd comment was due to the slow-down in game time due to the very large amount of participants (a “time dilation”), which slowed the game to crawling time frames. It suggested that the maximum size of the battles be artificially capped so that the game still runs in reasonable speed. But that runs against what I thought was an the ethos within EVE – that the game itself has almost no rules and the players create the game environment. If the vendor starts assigning rules of battle they will be games, lied about, and all sorts of trouble.

I like that EVE is very unfriendly to the players. It is a key factor in why it is interesting that the game has survived for so long, and has such a passionate base of fans and players. It is a niche product.

The last comment I liked was one that was initially hidden by the moderators – which indicated that EVE wasn’t the game it once was because now three mega-corps control all the secured space. Well shit, that sounds like a wonderful reflection of how most of our culture would evolve too.

It seems that with no “game laws” from the game developers the community has organically created a dystopian model of the future where all the fun is controlled by three huge meag-corps. Think about that for a few minutes.

Again, kudos EVE, you’re a darn interesting experiment.

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