If I were able to stomach its Everquest-era interface, lag, and boring game mechanics, I would still play Eve Online, the third largest massively multiplayer online roleplaying game after World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online. But I can't, so I play Warhammer instead. Still, stories about the game, in which roughly 250,000 players compete as star pilots in one online galaxy, do make for good reading.
Last week, the game topped itself. Oh, it's already produced one of the most famous internet heists ever. It's already seen the net's biggest multiplayer battles of all time. Now, it's produced a story of skullduggery and deception worthy of, well, not Shakespeare, but certainly John LeCarre, or at least a virtual internet spaceship John LeCarre.
For years, the player alliance known as Band of Brothers has lorded it over the rest of the game, fighting and winning wars of aggression and conquest, and generally behaving like weenies in a way that only the most successful and entitled internet star pilot nerds can. Imagine the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, at the head of an all-powerful space armada.
No more. After years of battling a more numerous but less experienced coalition of even greater nerds from the Something Awful forums, Band of Brothers is no more. Vanished overnight. And all it took was one act of treachery from a spy within BoB's own ranks.
Truly this is one of the most epic stabs in the back, over the most meaningless stakes (control of an online galaxy), that you'll ever read about.