And I missed it.
I was eating dinner when the op got called, but my pal Gaff was along for the ride and gave me some updates as the evening progressed.
A snapsnot (broken out by alliances) showed as many as 2,667 players in the low sec system of Asakai, which sits in the Black Rise region of Caldari space. Gaff linked me this picture of the operation, which seemed to be going around. (More battle images here.)
Of course, so many players in a single system was a bit of a change. The system stats from DOTLAN show a big spike in everything but NPC kills.
This is another example of both the strength and weakness in EVE Online.
The game let more than 2,500 players converge on a single system and engage in battle.
The game was also bogged down with that unexpected load to the point that the time dilation feature, which slows everything down on the impacted node so the servers can keep up with the action , was itself not enough to keep things going slowly but smoothly. Extra lag, disconnects, and problems loading the grid were reported. And this affected people not in the system but in systems on the same node, which probably covers the whole of Black Rise.
As is often the case, news of such a big even spread quickly, and both The Mittani and EVE News 24 had live reporting about the battle in progress, while a thread about the battle made it to the top of posts on Reddit. (Though TEST is from Reddit, so go figure.) Included in the reporting was a count of over 3,000 ships in system at the very peak of the battle.
Of course, this all comes immediately after a week of escalating tensions between TEST and Goonswarm over a long simmering conflict between TEST and Goonswarm ally and CFC member Fatal Ascension. While a devastating sovereignty war was averted, there was a mutual reset between the two sides and shooting has been encouraged. TEST appears to have put the FA angle into their post battle propaganda.
The Mittani himself was a little more subdued about the battle results.
And now the post-battle analysis is under way, and no doubt will include everything from portents of doom for the Goons, to calls of fakery, to simple jibes at Goon FC Dabigredboat, to awe at the simple fact that such a huge battle even took place, to the ongoing discussion about whether or not null sec is dead.
Because, of course, this is EVE Online, where just because the shooting is over doesn’t mean the battle is done.
Addendum: And because it is EVE, it makes the mainstream media. Gotta love this game.
Addendum 2: Now CCP has a Dev Blog about the battle.
Addendum 3: Okay, two Dev Blogs about the battle. This one has the numbers.