EVE Online

Always remember to pay your rent. If you don't, you could very well incur further wrath from your landlord and get a late fee, or you might just cause an epic war for the ages and cause $500,000 in damage to your EVE Online fleet.

It all went down when an auto-pay transaction didn't go through to authorities, leaving a contested area of the MMORPG unprotected and free for invasion. USA Today covers the story from the point of view of James Carl, a banker who belongs to the Pandemic and N3 coalition running the zone. He was awoken from a peaceful night sleep thanks to an app that alarms in case of invasion.

"Supposedly, it was set up for auto-pay, just like any other bill in real life, but either that didn't happen or the money wasn't in the wallet, and then everything just escalated out of control from there," said Carl. "The dust is still settling on that issue. Everyone is just focused right now on fighting to try to regain control of the system."

4,000 players contributed to the battle, and when the shots settled, over 1,000 Titan vessels were lost. Unlike most MMORPGs, EVE Online links its in game currency to real world money which allows for real life transactions to affect the game. Each lost Titan vessels takes months to build and costs $3,000 to make.

GIFs of the carnage were caught and uploaded for all to enjoy.

The battle was so massive that EVE Online spokesperson Ned Coker of CCP Games was worried about game's performance keeping up with the action.

"I'd be lying if I said our servers weren't sweating a bit," he says "Allowing players free movement wherever they want in a game with over half a million players means for some pretty tricky technological requirements."

This is why I never trust auto pay. All my bills, rent, and other monthly payments go straight through me. No need to destroy the universe for the sake of convenience or just plain laziness.

EVE Online has never come close to the numbers that World of Warcraft has, but its the hardcore crowd and the occasional brilliant story like this which make me feel like it's going to be around much longer. No other game in the genre has had a more fascinating evolution to the point with such real world ramifications.

Official numbers are in from the EVE Online Community Blog. "The Bloodbath of B-R5RB," as it is called, had 7,548 participants with 2,670 at the heart of the fight. 75 titan ships were lost, including one valued at $5,500. Defending forces, N3 and Pandemic Legion, lost 59 in total where CFC Alliance and Russian-heavy coalition only lost 16. To date, only 16 Titans had ever been lost in a single battle.

In total, the destruction comes to $330,000, though it was not the largest battle in terms of participating pilots. Still, the most costly battle in the 11 years of the game's history is quite impressive.

Footage from the battle was also released. See below