Last week a major battle unfolded in the massive online game EVE Online that involved about 3,000 players. It was all an accident though. Reddit user Kiresays explains what happened here and you can watch a video of the battle below.

So basically, boat is in his titan getting ready to bridge a full fleet (~250 dudes) onto this small pirate alliance. Except he makes a mistake; he clicks JUMP instead of BRIDGE. That sends his $3,500 ship right into the middle of this pirate corporation with nobody nearby to support him. And then all hell breaks loose.

The Penny Arcade Report talked with CCP (makers of EVE) and found something pretty neat. The way that they deal with server overload from too many players is to alter the speed of time!

“It’s basically a very graceful way of handling ‘lag’ produced in these situations where other games would have their servers melt,” Veritas told us. “It actually slows down time in the system to make sure the server calls and responses are both carried through and done in the correct order. In this case, as people jumped in it slowed down gradually until it hit the cap at 10%, meaning a pretty slow experience, but one that is still meaningful from a game play and ‘tactical’ perspective.”

I love it when the solution to a problem is to alter time. Instead of making it so players experince lag they use time dilation to have that lag essentially happen on the server. It must also help the game experience from a player’s perspective as a battle with 3,000 people and involving almost every alliance in the game can probably get confusing real quick.

That timey wimey stuff can get confusing.