For those you haven't played EVE Online before there is little to compare it too as far as complete immersion and the depth of the space simulation. The amount of time consumed by even a modest game, like acquiring a battleship, is staggering.

In the past month there have been successively larger battles in EVE where hundreds of ships have been destroyed, and huge investments of time and real world money lost. Last weekend though the largest battle ever took place involving over 4,000 players and their ships. The five-hour battle claimed over 2,900 ships and virtual lives, most of them from the TEST Alliance whose been in conflict with another clan, CFC.

Much like real world wars this battle went down because of one tiny mistake. Apparently a player accidentally teleported himself into enemy territory and called for backup, resulting in a chain that sucked both clans into the fray. This was not a scheduled event nor a planned battle but players creating the changes in the game themselves. The result being, a last stand by the Alliance and their virtual annihilation.

In a post on The Mittani a CFC fleet commander gives an in-depth report of the battle and gives credit to the fallen TEST:

“As we continued to clear the battlefield, killing everything but the most difficult to track frigates, word came in of something odd. It seemed that TEST Alliance planned to make a charge – a last stand – to come back in against overwhelming force and make a statement. In EVE, this is never done; you do not fight when there is no hope. You retreat and save your ships for another day, another chance. But in they came, and while I can safely say I was surprised, I was also a little sad that so much bravery would have to be killed so quickly.”

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[Via RockPaperShotgun]