Band of Brothers post on EVE Online forums.
For those of you that may not understand the significance of that post I will attempt to explain. Player alliances in EVE relate to each other via a "standings" system. -10 (hostile) all the way to +10 (friendly). 0 is neutral. In 0.0 (low security & player owned) space alliances have "not blue shoot it" policies. That means anyone without a positive standing will be shot down if they cross into any Band of Brothers (BoB) space and BoB just set everyone to 0. Follow this link(defunct link) to view the current alliance owned space regions (BoB is on the bottom left in blue). I'm part of the Huzzah Federation (middle bottom in pink). Band of Brothers is one of the largest and most war hardened alliances in game and by far the "big boy of the southern EVE systems" where my corporation and alliance claim home.
After standings there is war declarations. Any alliance or corporation can declare war on another corporation or alliance at which point they become hostile towards each other. The difference between standings and war "decks" (as they are known) is that you can attack players involved in a war in any security space. So there is no safe space during a war. Standings are just a reference point, but does not allow you to attack in safe space (0.5 and above).
While BoB's action is not really an official "war" declaration it effectively is step one towards an official declaration... actually a lot of declarations from anyone that lives near them! We will shoot them down and they will shoot us down if we cross paths... we just won't go out of our way right now to attack them and of course safe space is still safe for the moment.
What this means for my corporation and alliance?
Two things. First we have set Band of Brothers to a -10 standing which means we will shoot to kill them now. We don't play the neutral game... we want our members to know that BoB has turned hostile on everyone.
Secondly our neighbors, the FIX alliance, are no longer protected by BoB. BoB previously bailed them out of a very bad war that almost cost FIX their entire area of space. With BoB on one side of FIX and us on the other it may just be time to finish FIX off. I can't confirm that's what we're doing, but its wishful thinking on my part
This also means we are gearing for war... mining ops, ship building, and combat training. Fun fun!
What this means for EVE Online?
It puts an end to the relative lull in action lately. Diplomacy was truly taking over instead of violent conflict. People weren't fighting anymore! When a player alliance so large and so influential over such a large section of EVE decides to pretty much declare open war on everyone it shows the power that players can have in an MMORPG.
Also recently there has been a shake up in the northern territories of EVE with some other large alliances. Its possible that all of EVE will be at war soon enough and if that isn't enough to get you interested in playing... then I don't know what will!
Update: 15 Nov, 2009 - Edited spelling, applied label, and removed broken link.