Eve Aether Wars is a 10,000-player deathmatch hosted by the devs of Eve Online

Eve: Aether Wars is an upcoming stress test by Eve Online developers CCP Games and Hadean Games, and it’s promising some pretty big battles. It won’t have 100 players or 1,000 players—this game is aiming to have a massive 10,000 player deathmatch battle, all for the purposes of stress-testing their brand new Aether engine. That’s nearly twice as big as the largest battle ever seen in Eve Online, and the fine folks at CCP Games think they can make it happen without all of that pesky lag.

The Aether Engine is described as a “pioneering cloud-based simulation engine”. It’s designed in such a way that it can spread the load of one massive game world across multiple servers in a way that Eve Online just isn’t capable of doing right now. Theoretically, the sky’s the limit when it comes to scalability and CCP Games will be taking their first shot at testing it out with 10,000 players in the first stress test for Eve: Aether Wars.

This whole project is a partnership between Hadean Games (who are providing the engine) and CCP Games (who are providing assets from Eve Online and Eve: Valkyrie). The results of this stress test will hopefully give Hadean Games critical data on how their engine is running. In the long term, the Aether Engine may be used to substantially upgrade (or outright replace) the internal workings of Eve Online and ultimately allow for space battles later than ever before. According to CCP Games, the highest player count ever achieved in a single battle for Eve Online was 6,142 players.

Eve: Aether Wars may just be a one-off experience, but this is the kind of thing that space combat and sci-fi fans alike shouldn’t miss. You can sign up to participate in the battle at the Aether Engine’s website, although you probably should act fast. After all, there may only be 10,000 spots available! The Eve: Aether Wars tech demo stress test will take place during GDC 2019 which will be running from March 18–March 22, 2019.