On Sunday, possibly one of the largest online space battles to occur in the history of video games took place in Eve Online, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, resulting in the virtual demise of thousands of players aboard their high-tech spaceships.
The epic battle, called 6VDT-H (as it played out in that star system), was the conclusion to months of escalating tension between rival factions CFC and the Test Alliance.
CFC declared war on resource-rich regions held by Test after parent company CCP Games changed resource distribution in Eve. The final confrontation came about at Test's home region of 6VDT-H.
The numbers associated with the battle would astonish any gamer -- precisely 4,070 players duked it out at its peak, with more than 5,763 participating over a 5- to 8-hour period.
Participating spaceships shot countless lasers, bombs, railguns, and other weapons at one another, causing parent company CCP Games to slow game time down to a sluggish 10 percent that of real time to avoid any server implosions.
According to a CCP Games representative, early estimates put the number of kills (spaceships) destroyed at nearly 2,600. But the representative did note that the company wouldn't be surprised if the 2,900 kill estimate (or higher) being thrown around in the media today ends up being true.
CFC members essentially won the battle by having a considerably stronger array of ships and by launching a surprise attack with an enormous fleet of large vessels 2 hours into the battle, causing many Test Alliance participants to flee.
If you're interested in the nitty-gritty details about the legendary confrontation at 6VDT-H, check out this report from a CFC fleet commander -- it's a fascinating look at the sheer scale of preparation and dedication necessary for a virtual fight of this magnitude.