Sarum Prime system, Domain region. On the 27th of June, at 16:00 EVE Standard Time, a capsuleer rally to show support for the Amarrian empress Jamyl Sarum turned into a battleground as Drifter forces attacked the assembled ships.

The event organized by Imperial Dreams, a member corporation Curatores Veritatis Alliance [CVA], was meant to serve both as a celebration of the 12th anniversary of its foundation and a show of support for the recent edict issued by the Amarr empress. Many alliances and corporations from the Providence region, the 24th Imperial Crusade and the State Protectorate answered the call and assembled in the Mekhios Graveyard in Sarum Prime, a symbolic site where the Minmatar Eldar fleet was defeated by the Empress herself.

The participants were listening to a speech given by JedsZero, Executor of Apocalypse Now. [APOC], one of the Providence Bloc holders, when Drifter battleships descended upon them. The Drifter fleet was estimated at nearly 100 battleships and opened fire on all those present as soon as they arrived. Since the attendees were scattered across the site, along with a civilian Providence class freighter which was used as the conference hall, panic ensued. An attempt to continue the speech was abandoned, with the Amarr loyalist fleet quickly re-grouping at the sun – warping off the battlefield and back again in order to engage the Drifter menace.

Footage of the Assembly as the Drifters Attack

A quick battle erupted, with the capsuleer forces losing many ships but returning fire and destroying the Drifter battleships. After a bloody struggle the capsuleer forces managed to destroy all the Drifter battleships, claiming victory. The loyalist fleet then retreated to a tower in the system, having lost a large portion of its fighting force, in order to finish the proceedings.

Footage of the Allied Fleet Defeating the Drifters, Courtesy of Mangraa Dementia

The battle raises many questions about the Drifters and their abilities. The Drifters had shown aggression towards the four Empires of New Eden, especially the Amarr, and have attacked capsuleers who attempted to use Entosis Links or ventured into their domain. However, the Drifters usually keep a passive stance towards the greater capsuleer community. This attack on an organized rally, and in record numbers, is a point of concern, especially considering the size of the Drifter armada seen in Dr. Hilen Tukoss’ last transmission.

An unsubstantiated report from the battlefield spoke of a strange light flashing after the loyalist fleet warped out to re-group. Capsuleers later said that after the light shimmered, Drifter battleships seemed weakened and were easier to kill. However, there is no recording of the light.

Logs of the official conference can be viewed here.

Salivan Harddin writes for The EVE Scribe, Providence Bloc’s News Portal. When he isn’t busy writing articles, he usually zips across the star lanes of New Eden, not knowing why.

29 Comments

  1. Was this AI or CCP directed?

    As someone not involved with role-playing, I think the biggest point of interest that everyone is missing is the possibility that this attack was unknown to the players. Many have said they did not know about it, and I have no reason to doubt them.

    This is important because this attack had to be sanctioned by CCP which means I believe this is the first open surprise attack by NPCs on players in the game. It may not seem like a big deal, but outside of incursions, NPC activity has not really affected the day to day lives of players unless the players chose to be involved.

    I think more people need to be questioning CCP as to whether this new activity is programmed or has to be authorized by them directly. What this proves is the CCP could literally play god and pick a player and tell NPCs to go kill them. Should the player be prepared? Maybe, but if this is not something by the AI, it has all sorts of potential to be abused.

    For those of you who do not think CCP cannot abuse things, look back at when CCP employees played in Null. Bad things happened that were not right. I am not saying the Devs who currently work at CCP will do that. I am saying that the possibility exists and is thus a problem.

    Granted, this all assumes the players were not in fact aware this was going to happen or was not a pre-programmed attack.

    Personally, I support random drifter attacks in everywhere. I just believe that if such a drastic change is made, players need to be told before it happens and given a brief understanding of what happens. This is a game after all.

    June 28, 2015 at 19:11 Reply
    1. Vaximillian

      Are you seriously having a problem with CCP being involved in this?! From what I read initially I thought 100 drifter battleships these guys are going to just get raped but then a mysterious red light flashes to make them weaker and players kill all 100 of the drifter battleships and you are bitching about this? This looks like an attempt by CCP to be more involved with the community. It looks like it was a fun event and the fact that the CVA guys were able to kill 100 drifter battleships looks more like a gift from CCP than some kind of devious plan by the devs. Lighten up Francis.

      June 28, 2015 at 19:44 Reply
      1. psycho

        Don’t call me Francis.

        June 28, 2015 at 20:00 Reply
        1. guest

          Sorry Francis, I won’t call you Francis again Francis…. Francis

          June 28, 2015 at 21:05 Reply
        2. Vaximillian

          WOooT!!! Someone got the Stripes reference!!!! Get me your ingame toon name I’m sending you 10 million ISK.

          June 29, 2015 at 01:26 Reply
      2. Was this AI or CCP directed?

        First off, I was not bitching about it. I actually encourage it SO LONG AS the players are told that this will start happening. I was simply stating that this situation is not something that should become the normal. By normal I mean random attacks anywhere because someone at CCP (not the AI or programing) decided today would be a good day for an attack.

        Eve is designed to be controlled by the players within the rules CCP puts forth. If CCP was to introduce this whole new system where they could on a whim force an event to happen that would impact players, that is not EVE.

        Ask yourself this. If you were not in CVA and were just there because you were curious, and you lose you ship. Not because of a known game feature or anything else you did. You lose it because you existed and the decision was made by someone else (who is not a player in the game) to call down lightning on you.

        I also did not say this was a devious plan by the devs. However, I did state that this had the ability to be abused. Players are always screaming about CCP being in Goons pocket or siding with N3 or PL over some issue. I do not think this is the case, but do you really thing that having an arbitrary system where random attacks are assigned is a good thing? Everytime one of these attacks happens people will say “oh but you did not attack this group”.

        Eve works because the players and CCP have an understanding of how the mechanics work. CCP tells us what they are (the general rules) and then WE THE PLAYERS try to break them. CCP should not have a regular say in events that could affect the population as a whole.

        I suggest next time you read my arguement and understand what I am saying. yes it was a long post, but if it is to much to read and understand, don’t comment.

        June 28, 2015 at 21:17 Reply
        1. Mangraa

          Important note: The Drifters initially opened fire on two Imperial Navy Commanders, NPC characters. The choice to engage them was a conscious one made by players after being commanded to do so by the Commanders (RP, remember?). At least in my real-time footage, I only saw initial aggression on the Commanders, not on any players.

          June 28, 2015 at 22:23 Reply
          1. jacobflowers

            That is correct.

            June 29, 2015 at 16:47
        2. niko

          So you as an EVE player being told 100 times a day don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose, were minding your own business at some random landmark where 100 players were doing an event and somehow you got in the crossfire of some party breakers and no one told you in advance it is going to happen… Waw, the unjustice man…
          Maybe next time when CCP wants to add some lore to a lore heavy event they will need to make sure everyone in the game understands and signs off the script before happening or they are playing God NOW!!!!. God forbid the dull part of the game becomes dynamic and fun and has some background story. It is not made by players it is not eve! CCP should stick with nerfing $hit and random sov mechanics….

          Get out of the basement please.

          June 29, 2015 at 00:37 Reply
          1. Was this AI or CCP directed?

            I do not have a problem with this being a one time thing or happening many times. I have no problems with lossing ships. What I have a problem with is a system that says it is built by the players having someone outside of the player base pushing buttons at will to make things happen. If you want to make this part of the new AI great. That way everyone understands and is aware that a change has happened.

            If you are at the momument as you state, and I get ganked fine. That is Eve.

            If the AI/game is programs to spawn these attacks, I don’t have a problem with that. Again that is a part of Eve and the game as it is a change to how the AI/game works.

            If someone at CCP is sitting in their chair and decides let’s spawn 100 rats here and tell them to kill people, that I have a problem with. Yes this was a scripted event, so great, but the thought that CCP could just start randomly spawning on players and not telling us that this could happen is not good.

            If CCP said that they will start spawning these, my only (repeat ONLY) concern with it is that where and when will be left up to a person/Dev. It either needs to be random (or something like incursion spawns) or dictated in some way by the players.

            If it was purely up to CCP to decide where these hit and there was no other reasoning besides them saying “we felt like this area should get hit today. Maybe we will hit somewhere else tomorrow.”, people will cry foul.

            According to your reasoning, CCP should never tell the players about the changes in their game and just throw it on us.

            We tell players not to lose what they can’t afford to lose, but you are forgetting one part of that thought process. You have to know what the heck can happen to you to make that decision. If I am in high, I can get ganked, low sec, I can get killed, Null sec, I will be killed.

            The incusion mechanc is perfect for this. CCP does not decide where one will spawn (based on my reading of the mechanics) other than the sec status. As a player, I know the rats in those areas are not easy, so I don’t take a normal mission ship to kill them.

            However, if an incursion rats appeared out of no where because oh today is the day I guess, that is a problem.

            June 29, 2015 at 01:08
          2. jadzYa

            So let me see if I get this clear. CCP mentioned drifters many times, added stories to it, etc. Then players started fighting them and discovered they were damn tough. Then CCP shows you “pictures” of a HUGE armada of these aliens doing .. stuff. Then CCP comes and tells you these guys are doing stuff and we don’t know what it is but they are becoming more and more aggressive. Then a lore heavy event happens and these guys show up (AI or HI is absolutely irrelevant, for some cool reason they spawned there) and you are bothered by … what? CCP did not tell you it will happen there and then, because they definitely told you more than enough times that it will happen (if you aren’t just ignorant that is)? Maybe they did not even know, till the event was organized (by players).

            At least you were honest and admitted this is not about Amarr this is about the most risk adverse attitude ever (and if I’m not a carebear, don’t know who is) of ok once was fine, but don’t make it a habbit or I can no longer control my environment and no longer can estimate my loses, so I can play it safe like I like to. You are making noise and are willing to sacrifice lore and the unexpected, the adventure just to be safe-ish. We want THE sandbox, but god forsake you get shot in a good neighborhood. What.. these people did not know that can only happen in gethos. If I knew I would have worn my good panties…..

            June 30, 2015 at 00:38
        3. jacobflowers

          Disagree wholeheartedly. The element of surprise was what made the experience memorable. Knowing ahead of time… there would have been no gasps of “holy shit” on comms.

          Our hearts literally caught in our throats. Mayhem. Pandemonia. Closest we could have gotten to feeling like we were IN THE MOMENT.

          It wasn’t random however. CCP planned this to engage with player driven content. But none of us knew.

          And they have done lore-driven story lines and changes to the game in the past, it was one of the things that makes the game so unique. There is a balance between player-driven content, and lore-driven backstory which contributes to the “toys” we can play with in the sandbox. I came to EVE in 2008, and after reading about it, had wish so sorely I knew about the game earlier, so I could have been part of the Succession Trials for the last Emperor.

          What CCP is doing is ace. They are not straying at all. It was fun, and most people, even Non-RP’ers who were apart of, have been blowing up coalition forums saying that it was the most fun they’ve had in EVE in a long time.

          If you were there and experienced it first hand, then I think you’d have a better understanding of it, and would likely call for more. Certainly everyone who was there is.

          Those who weren’t there seem to be the only one’s naysaying. Hmm.

          June 30, 2015 at 10:29 Reply
      3. Kahar Dex

        I was the person who organized the event, even and up to speaking with CCP-actors prior to the event.

        The way it was handled was… masterful. With carefully worded evemails which gave “hope” that CCP might attend, but with the very real possibility that they are too busy, programming and dealing with business.

        I had an “inkling” that maybe, PERHAPS, a CCP-actor would join in, and say a few nice words for an organization celebrating 12 YEARS of activity in a game. Just that in and of itself, would have made all of us ecstatic and happy.

        The event was planned down to the SMALLEST detail, including time allotted if CCP did show up. What was NOT planned, not even ANTICIPATED was 100 drifter ballteship dropping on top of us, and with CCP-actors getting destroyed and asking for help.

        This… is what made EVE GREAT in the beginning. Sure, there were abuses… but hardly anything that would lead to the games destruction (even that past intrigue is… well… it’s INTERESTING).

        EVE is an emergent, unscripted, player-driven experience, formed by the foundation of canon lore and a rich backstory.

        The moment those drifter battleships jumped on top of us… it was the moment that CCP is not just a “great developer”…. it was the moment that they confirmed that they go ABOVE and BEYOND what we’d expect… and despite seeing things darkly as in a mirror… it was painfully apparent that it was just the players who were having a good time, they were too.

        This is legit gameplay, and being “part” of a game universe, rather than running on a spinning wheel like wow players do (run dungeon, hope for lewt, get disappointed, rinse/repeat).

        We are truly fortunate.

        And… it was a fucking blast.

        June 29, 2015 at 16:46 Reply
    2. JohannLandier

      Your way off base. I would agree if CCP warped in with a Concord fleet that the capsuleers had no chance at beating. In this case the CVA FC regrouped and was able to counter and wipe out the drifters. And I also disagree that there should have been a warning that this could happen. I want our NPCs , or if they are randomly controlled by CCP, to be just that … random. I kind of hope this stuff happens alot more and if there is a bunch of DEVS flying the drifter ships then that is great in my book. This is the kind of game events we should be having.

      June 29, 2015 at 01:21 Reply
      1. guess

        Devs have controlled NPCs directly in the past, point of fact when incursions first came out 1 or 2 players were given temporary control of the sansha mother ships, so likely CCP devs were playing as drifters for fun for a short time and given the past you can bet your ass CCP seagull among others are keeping a very close eye on things

        June 29, 2015 at 02:18 Reply
    3. Yes

      Of course CCP sent them there. It is very likly that even people leading the eveny knew it was coming.

      June 29, 2015 at 01:49 Reply
    4. no

      This is called an event. Put away the tinfoil hat, what the fuck.

      June 29, 2015 at 06:25 Reply
    5. dino

      When CCP tells us about NPCs event, it becomes a 10% TIDI event where big collations control the outcome.

      It’s far better that way, as long as there’s nothing of importance to gains.

      June 29, 2015 at 12:58 Reply
  2. Dick Hauser

    The Drifters were obviously hired by Goons.

    June 28, 2015 at 19:53 Reply
    1. Random CFC Grunt

      The Drifters don’t exist.

      June 28, 2015 at 21:16 Reply
  3. Cherri

    I can confirm that the drifter attack came as a total surprise. Even the FC was unaware until they appeared, hence the initial confusion, warping off and warping back.

    June 28, 2015 at 22:02 Reply
  4. Triage

    I think this was just an attempt by CCP to join in the festivities they were having. CVA has been a big part of Eve for many many years now. I am sure move there had tons of fun with all of this.

    June 28, 2015 at 23:20 Reply
  5. test

    This…IS AWESOME!!! Wish I was there.

    June 28, 2015 at 23:51 Reply
  6. Pinky

    Is it TOO MUCH to ask for CCP, that you send a mail or a warning message /like you do fo masstest on testserver in calendar/ or like the Downtime countdouwn????

    So we know actualy that something is happening somewhere????

    Cause this is a FAIL PR tbh!

    June 29, 2015 at 08:33 Reply
    1. Salt

      no because then it will be a massive shitfest like the battle for caldari prime with 10% tidi. shut down gates and more suicide ganks than actually brawls.

      I like it this way. Its more random. less planned. more interactive.

      July 1, 2015 at 07:51 Reply
  7. krunkman4

    What did the ships drop??

    June 29, 2015 at 18:08 Reply
  8. Casual Observer

    Awesome! CCP has done a great job introducing this! If it was directly controlled by them – nice interaction! All the pilots who were there can proudly claim to be the first targets of an organized larger-scale Drifter attack, and on top of that, to have defeated the assault. I, too, wish I had been there, even if I had lost a command-ship in the process.

    I would like to point out that it may have been not directly controlled – it may well be that the Drifters are now starting to attack large gatherings of pilots, thus more or less randomly spawning where there are larger numbers on one grid. Since the Amarr empress called for capsuleer support, the Drifters could very well start to try to disrupt organized capsuleer activity preemptively – adding another NPC challenge to the game. I like this possibilty, too!

    June 30, 2015 at 08:28 Reply
  9. Cristian

    This is awesome and exactly what i have been missing from other games, a “world” that interact with its player base based of an AI with no dev interaction (which i hope this is not).

    The only thing i wish for is that the drifters are bound by the rules as capsulers.
    That they cannot “spawn” at a gathering but need to warp their through gates / WH’s to get their.

    That they need ressources for ship building, either get it by mining (which can be attacked) or by salvaging destroyed ships and than need to haul it “home”.

    I would love if we had the choice (capsulers) to decide if this should turn out to a player vs AI thing or we still want to fight eachother AND the drifters. And that the drifters had SOV of some size, and if we the capsulers destroy that they either die off entirely and we mark it as a history chapter in EVE. Of they dissapear to BH’s and one day (dun dun dddduuuuunnnnnn) return.

    Kind regards from Provi

    July 1, 2015 at 10:16 Reply
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