Attention Seeking

CCP is giving away more free Skill Points (amongst other things) with their Black Friday Log on boosts.

Log in daily between November 27th and December 3rd to collect.

I don’t recall a previous period where CCP has so regularly given away free stuff before.


CCP’s latest patch this week incorporates changes to how Bookmarks are managed and shared.  It also seems to have stopped my ESC key from bringing up the EVE client settings window.  That is the way I have always logged off the game.  Now I seem to have to use the Neocom menu.


In what I assume is part of their Chaos Era, CCP has also announced its version of player run SOMER Blink / Raffles / Gambling / Microlotteries.  It should be in game on December 10th.

One of my pet theories is that the more spin and hype in a CCP article, the more contentious the change.  This article has statements like “today there is great excitement”, “will stimulate the economy of New Eden by increasing the trade velocity of items”, and “the potential increase in access to coveted items for players through asset redistribution is also a very exciting prospect!”.

This new feature is called the HyperNet Relay.  It allows you to run your own Raffle by paying CCP (directly via the New Eden Store or indirectly via the market) a fee based on the value of your Raffle, in a new item (currency?) called Hypercores.

I wonder what the scam to valid lottery ratio will be?

The feedback thread is here, and promises much:

Having said that – remember this?

The Starter Pack that comes with 1M Skill points that there was such a huge player furore over?  The one CCP suggested they would reconsider?  It still gets advertised on occasion on the game launcher, including just the other day, and players no longer seem to notice or care.

In all honesty I am not fussed by this “feature”.  I might use it a handful of times for my own amusement, but otherwise I will ignore it.  My mind boggles however at the can of worms CCP is opening for themselves.  Even ignoring the initial player aggravation, there are all the complexities such how legal it is in each individual country, problems related to gambling additions, and so on.  Why would CCP go down such a path (aside the obvious hoped for profit)?




(My consumption of EVE related media tends to be sporadic and varied, so don’t assume what I remark on here covers a fraction of what might be worthwhile.)

I watched the 2019 EVE Vegas presentation by CCP Larrikin on Data and Botting, which was uploaded to YouTube a few days ago.

I wasn’t a fan of the slow speed of some of the animated graphs used during the presentation, but there was plenty of interesting things shown. It was cool to see Australia punching above its population size for things like Titian ownership and mining volumes, but rather shocking to see how overly impactful US based players are on the game.

Some examples of what was shown:

This graph shows the average daily Character PVE incomes in Sov Null Sec from Q2 this year. It is grouped in 10% ranges, so the bottom 10% of characters earn less than 10M ISK a day while the top 10% earn almost 700M ISK. Look at the curve of the graph, and how the highest incomes are skewed towards a relatively small number of players.

This graph instead shows the average daily PVE incomes in Sov Null Sec for Characters viewed as likely to be cheating. Note instead how linear the income is. That makes sense – assuming they are using similarly effective bots, the income might come down more to how long they are run each day. The likely cheating accounts are all earning substantially more than normal players in the same percentile.

And then you have the same sort of information – grouped in 25% income ranges across the last half year. The blackout reduced the income of the bottom 75% of Sov Null Sec PVE characters by between 38 and 43%. It reduced the income of the top 25% earners by only 12%. That was an unexpected worsening of the already unequal income distribution.

It was pointed out that the richest players in EVE do not do PVE. They were described as a minority of very smart players who “value add”. That is an interesting term. I expect many are traders – who buy at low prices, pay others to move stuff around, and then sell at high prices. Technically they don’t really add much aside to their own wallet and extra inflation.

In the end CCP Larrikin said it was time for a discussion amongst players and CCP about what they can do to change this unequal income distribution.

Dove too deep

CCP Falcon has left CCP. He does not appear to have a job to go to, but it seems to have been under his own volition. CCP are now looking for a new Senior Community Manager.

X-CCP Falcon and Hilmar were the very public and vocal face of the start of the EVE Chaos era. He wore his heart on his sleeve, championing the salvation of EVE through a glorious dystopian PVP blood bath.

And then reality slapped him in the face. In-game activity instead slowed, and CCP reacted by redefining Chaos into something rolled back and less chaotic like.

I am not a game developer; I play EVE in a solo centric way, and I sit in my comfortable study chair some 16,800 kilometres away from Iceland, but I have an opinion.

X-CCP Falcon ridiculed those into PVE while championed those into PVP. He, Hilmar and CCP repeated the same common misstep. They did not maintain focus on the symbiotic balance between the hunter and prey, the builder and the destroyer, the pacifist and the warmonger.

They should all go watch the Lion King.

The blackout could have added something meaningful and important to the game – if it had been refined. Have it applied just to Player Null-Sec. Allow the inhabitance of that space to build and fuel structures that allow them to turn local on (or switch it off when it suits). Introduce Ship classes and modules that interact with Player Null-Sec Local – Burst Pulses to temporarily show Local, or Analyzers to temporarily hack structures to turn it off.

Choice and counters for both prey and hunter, an adjustable and changing landscape, a better differentiated Player Null Sec, more dynamic interactions.

If CCP wants to arrest the games stagnation and slide they need to have people as brave and as passionate as X-CCP Falcon, but with a sharper, more inclusive focus.

Bounty Bounce

The EVE October Economic Report is out.

In October the bounty amounts collected were:

93.5% in Null Sec (41.5T ISK (against 72.5T in 10.2018))
5.5% in High Sec (2.3T ISK (against 4.1T in 10.2018))
0.9% in Low Sec (0.4T ISK (against 0.5T in 10.2018))

The expected rebound in Null Sec bounties occurred. The 17-month average for Null Sec bounties before the black out was around 64T ISK. The 41 Trillion Figure in October represents about 65% of that previous figure.

Back to again, the average daily online user counts for the:

Last 12 months has been 30,000
Last 6 months has been 26,000
Last 3 months has been 21,000
Last 1 month has been 20,000 (17,000 last month)


So, the decline bottomed out and started to reverse, and we saw an increase in 3,000 in the average numbers of users online at any point during the day. This would have been influenced by the continuation of the skills for kills event and the Halloween daily log in rewards but it is still moving in the right direction.

So, what does all this mean?

Overall, the impression I get is that EVE was in a general state of stagnation through the first half of 2019. In an unusually brave move CCP rushed in an era of Chaos to rejuvenate the game, starting by making the game more difficult for PVE players.

This saw an appreciable drop in activity, the slack not taken up (as I’m guessing CCP hoped) by the PVP players. CCP reversed and softened its changes, which halted the decline.

I think it is fair to say the game is still in the same state of stagnation, just now with less activity and less players than before CCP’s Chaos era started.

At this point CCP really needs to do something to rejuvenate the game. Instead, CCP – burnt again by their boldness (recklessness) have decided to play it safe. They are now calling normal ship balance changes chaos, suggest at a fairly blank road-map forward, while again focusing primarily on new player retention.

I understand statistically why CCP are doing this – but I suspect they are forgetting that any new players they do ensnare will join to find jaded and less loyal veteran players.

Anyway, that is what I think.