Header art by Razorien
Yesterday, Dec. 30, at 22:00 UTC, all hell broke loose in M2-XFE. A large titan clash ensued between PAPI forces and the Imperium, the battle everyone had been expecting and waiting for since last July. When the dust settled, over 12 hours after the fight began, the final tally noted that the Imperium lost 11.0 trillion ISK and 1,677 ships while PAPI lost 11.1 trillion ISK and 1,622 ships.
The battle commenced over an Imperium Keepstar armor timer. We’ve seen a large number of such timers in the war so far, and perhaps no one expected this conflict to grow into one of the most historic battles in EVE Online’s long history. For most of the 6,855 participants, staying in the battle meant pulling an all-nighter, or even in some cases missing work. At least one participant joined the battle by pulling his car off on the side of the road while traveling.
Doomsday Weapons Light Up Space
For the first minutes of the fight, the two sides gathered their respective forces and stared at each other across space, with the Imperium pilots set up near the Keepstar, bubbling the structure for protection. The early question was whether a cyno jammer would come online, in order to restrict reinforcements from jumping in. But, once the doomsday (DD) weapons began to fire, they almost never stopped until server downtime.
For the 12-hour fight, a titan died (on average) every three real-time minutes, which equates to every 18 seconds in battle time, which was at 10% time dilation (tidi). By 13:00 UTC the following day, PAPI had lost 125 titans, including 61 Erebuses, 50 Ragnaroks, 13 Avatars, and one Leviathan. The Imperium had lost 123 titans, including 65 Erebuses, 42 Ragnaroks, 10 Leviathans, five Avatars, and one Vanquisher.
Early Totals of Losses
The official total will certainly grow, as Imperium’s FC Havish Montak was still working through killmails and noted, “We have found four extra, so [we] should beat that [official number] now after downtime.” Other ships lost for the Imperium included a Nyx, 86 Revelations, 115 Naglfars, 12 Moros, and 15 Phoenix. PAPI forces lost a Nyx, 30 Revelations, 33 Naglfars, and nine Phoenix. Also, one Legacy dreadbomb attempt went horribly wrong, ending in a wipe (video below).
The epic battle surpassed several previous records. In the Bloodbath of B-5RB, over 11 trillion was lost, with 75 titans destroyed, but this fight doubled that in destroyed ISK and eclipses the titan loss. At the start of the fight, over 700 titans were on grid simultaneously. The losses amount to over $400,000 USD, making this also the most costly battle ever waged in EVE.
The first titan pilot to fall was the appropriately named “Titanic Death,” an NC dot member. Other pilots fell with regularity, including popular INN streamer Brisc Rubal, who commemorated the loss by playing taps over his stream. Only downtime interrupted the incessant stream of titan deaths. After downtime, PAPI forces chose not to return to the field of battle. This ping came from Progodlegend (PGL), an FC and leader of TEST: “THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. NO CAPS OR SUPERS OF ANY KIND ARE TO LOG BACK INTO M2-X AFTER DOWNTIME. DO NOT FUCKING LOG BACK IN.”
This left a number of ships in log-in limbo, stuck in system until their pilots choose to log back in, which according to that same ping, will not take place until Saturday during the battle for the Keepstar’s hull timer. This didn’t stop Imperium forces from bubbling PAPI supers’ last known position all day Friday, waiting for log-ins from those who missed the ping.
The Leaders Weigh In
Regarding the battle, and quoting updated numbers, Imperium leader The Mittani noted, “We killed 130 titans and lost 124; the enemy fled the field of battle. Absolutely worth it, another historic victory for the Imperium. Couldn’t be prouder of everyone, a truly amazing win.”
With a final total so closely matched, each side could claim victory. PGL noted, “Yes. To get an even fight on an armor timer of a Keepstar is pretty great for us. Sets up a do-or-die situation in which the Keepstar will die mid battle on the structure timer. Can’t ask for better odds than that.”
As to why in M2, rather than the prophesied moshpit of 1DQ, Imperium line member Moomin Amatin noted, “PAPI thought that they could play a game of stare and win that way – but we went ‘fuck it – all in’ – I think this was not expected.”
But the Imperium had good intelligence of PAPI movements, due to the activities of the SIG Black Hand. Imperium’s FC Apple Pear said, “I was happy how we did. I did a lot of the background stuff and the agents of the Black Hand did an amazing job.”
Both sides now are preparing for the next clash, which will probably take place Saturday, January 2, 2021. The new year is bound to bring new battles and conflicts, but none may equal the one just completed in M2.