The News: Eve Online is something special in that when something in-game gets big enough, people talk about it even if they don’t play the game. This is one of such instance due to the scale of this war (battle). What happened isn’t super important, but if you’re interested in all the details this is a good place. (The Mittani is CEO of Goonswarm. One of the most powerful alliances in Eve.)
My Take: So you might wonder, “Ok, and?” Or see a figure that’s a third of a million dollars and think, “So? No one spent real money. No one sold a house to buy a space ship.”* Maybe not, but the way the in-game currency works in Eve is that one can turn real-world cash into Isk (Eve‘s currency). Like other MMOs these days, you can buy game time with in-game money. Many Eve players do not spent a real world cent on playing the game. Yet many, many do.
Here’s what’ll happen. Timmy wants to buy a fancy new ship. He lacks the Isk. What to do? Go to CCP’s store, buy a PLEX (pilot license extension–these grant a player another 30 days game time), and in turn sell that on the in-game market. All of which is 100% allowed. CCP came up with this to combat Isk sellers. A legitimate way to turn your time spent flipping burgers, making video games, or plastering your face on YouTube into Isk.
This is where the $330,000 comes from. The total Isk lost in ships destroyed is looked at that (something like 1,320,000,00,00,000–no joke). Then that Isk total is then divided by the going rate of PLEX (bit over 600,000,000). That gives you a number (which is around 22,000). Then you multiply that by what a PLEX costs (something like $15). There you go.
What I haven’t seen talked about is how it feels to lose a ship in Eve, because unless you’ve been there and lost one, it’s hard to put into words. I’ve sunk a good bit of time into this game (I’m no longer active). There’s no other game that’s given me the same level of butt-puckering terror as this one has. Playing Diablo III on hardcore came close at times, but it wasn’t the same. That was simply time I had invested, and not that much. A dozen or so hours on a character. In Eve you’ll spend weeks learning a single skill needed to fly a ship (one skill of many). Then you finally buy that ship, and you end up someplace you think is safe, next thing you know you’re webbed (jump drives jammed) and you’re being shot at. Your heart sinks and you watch as time and money turns to sparkling space dust. Maybe that ship was only worth $5 or $30, but it doesn’t matter. It was your baby. I can’t even fathom what it would be like watching a titan worth thousands pop.
*This fellow, Goshee, was something else.