Two of EVE Online’s biggest factions have been engaged in open war for the last six months, fighting for their continued existence on the server. Tensions are high, and players on both sides of the conflict are starting to show signs of wear and tear. What better way to provide those players a small breather than to reenact the 1914 Christmas ceasefire from the first World War? EVE leaders from both sides have begun laying out plans to stage a strategic ceasefire around the holiday, to let everyone involved focus on family and rest instead of constant in-game warfare.
Six months is a long time to focus on anything in a video game, especially on something as all-encompassing as waging war in EVE. Over the course of this war, the players involved have set two Guinness world records for the largest PvP battles in video game history. The war was started by the TEST Alliance and their allies, with the goal of completely eliminating the Goonswarm Federation and their allies from the game. Goonswarm and their allies in The Imperium have given a lot of ground, with The Imperium territories shrinking to just a few stronghold systems deep in their home territory.
Fights in EVE Online often rage for hours at a time, requiring near constant attention to keep your spaceship from suffering catastrophic damage or being lost forever. With the stakes so high, and the conflict raging at full intensity for so long, there has barely been time for those involved to have a break from the game. Considering the global pandemic, this is perhaps not the worst distraction to have, but it’s still a lot of time and stress.
With that in mind, fleet commands and leaders of corporations (EVE’s version of guilds) have begun instructing their people not to take any action that would cause the need for fights to happen on Dec 24th or 25th. The Goonswarm Federation and TEST Alliance have already issued their orders: No offensive timers are to be set on the 22nd or 23rd of December, so that on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, no one is “forced” to log into the game and fight. Other groups on both sides of the war have echoed the sentiment — messages from coalition leaders and high ranking fleet commanders have begun to go out to various large organisations involved in the current conflict, with specific instructions to hold off on launching any offensive attacks that would cause the need for follow up battles around the coming holidays.
Players can plan for the future this way due to the nature of territory-based conflicts in EVE. When players try to wrest control of space from other groups or destroy the massive space stations these groups use to secure their space, the battles play out over the course of a few days. Initial attacks cause timers to be set for 24-48 hours in the future, to give defending players a chance to plan and rally around the upcoming battle.
Of course, EVE is a game of deception and meta-game play as much as it is a game about spaceships, so the potential to break the upcoming truce exists. Neither side has ruled out fighting completely, stating only that all “offensive” work should cease for the Christmas holiday. Defensive fights may still be required, if all players in the conflict don’t end up abiding the quasi-official truce. Here’s hoping everyone gets a break.