Saturday, June 24, 2017

Darkness and Light, Part 1

Five years ago today, the Code was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Five years. One can scarcely remember what our world was like back then, for so much has changed--changed because of the Code.

Unless we deliberately take time to look back now and again, it's easy to forget that highsec and EVE weren't always the way they are now. It's easy to lose sight of the great transformations that have taken place and are still taking place. That's why June 24th is Code Day. So we can catch a glimpse of the bigger picture.

With that in mind, I'd like to examine the present state of highsec and EVE. But, in fact, there are two EVEs today, and they are in two very different conditions. There is the EVE of highsec, which is under the firm and ever-tightening control of the New Order, subjected daily to all the benefits of said control. And there is the EVE of the outer regions, dominated by the powers of nullsec.

Today we'll talk about the outer regions. The state of that EVE is...


Darkness.

Traditionally, nullsec has been the stage upon which EVE was played. Nullsec represented EVE's purpose; the rest of EVE existed merely to supply nullsec with ships, equipment, money, and new players. You might say that highsec and lowsec were nullsec's feeder corp.

In turn, nullsec provided EVE with, well, EVE. Nullsec was EVE's content. It produced the titanic wars and epic stories which made EVE famously "more fun to read about than to play". That drama and those great wars were EVE's unique selling point. And a game with spreadsheets for its UI certainly needed a unique selling point.

The state of that nullsec, that EVE, is what I am going to talk about first. It's not going to be pretty. You may consider my darkened portrait above to represent a Real Talk Warning. I don't want to get any EVEmails from people saying, "Nobody told me there would be real talk. If you had warned me, I would've bought a permit!"

Let's not mince words. The traditional EVE is in a state of the deepest despair and pessimism. Never before has it descended into a state of such utter darkness and disrepair.

You answer, "What about the Summer of Rage? EVE lost more subscribers and had to fly The Mittani to Iceland for an emergency summit."

Ah, but back then EVE had far more subscribers to lose. The rage was hotter because people still had the capacity to feel something for EVE. CCP still cared enough to call upon The Mittani, as humiliating as it was for them to do so. Ours is the Summer of Apathy. The players do not organize protests to demand change; they simply melt away.

In late 2016, EVE's subscription numbers, as reflected by the number of logged-in players (CCP no longer releases subscription data) were in a terrible state. CCP broke with EVE tradition by offering free-to-play alpha accounts. Logged-in player numbers skyrocketed, and then utterly collapsed over the next several months.


This chart comes courtesy of Chribba's data. Long story short, the numbers fell off a cliff, and are still falling. But things are worse than the chart would indicate, because now the logged-in player numbers include non-paying alpha accounts. Thus, as these numbers fall, the number of paying subscribers is still lower. We cannot say with certainty what percentage of logged-in players are alphas, but we can reasonably estimate that they're a significant minority. EVE's subscription levels are at their lowest point since, let us say, 2006. However, back in 2006 the numbers were rising instead of falling, and there was potential for future growth.

We haven't gotten to the bad part yet.

It is in this context of financial desperation that CCP has chosen not to invest any real time or resources in EVE's future. Long gone are the days when CCP's staff and money were focused on new content and development for EVE. Those things are dedicated to CCP's VR games now. What EVE gets is a lethargic skeleton crew of developers who have been ordered to squeeze every last bit of microtransaction money they can out of the game while CCP considers the possibility of closing up shop and selling out.

In other words, EVE has little chance of improving beyond its current state. Which might not be such a bad thing, were it not for the fact that nullsec is horribly, inescapably broken.

Much has been written about jump fatigue and FozzieSov. Here it will suffice to offer a brief sketch of events. By late 2014, CCP decided that they didn't like the way nullsec was going. There had long been much crying about the "blue doughnut" in nullsec. Despite the complaints, massive wars were far more common back then. Just as an example, there wasn't much time between the massive Fountain War (summer 2013) and the even more massive Halloween War (beginning autumn 2013 and stretching into 2014). Nevertheless, CCP feared the possibility of too much space being controlled by a single entity (that is, the Imperium), which could lead to the pacification of nullsec. It has also been said that CCP feared the server strain of too many players being in a single system for some of the battles.

CCP's solution was to completely shift the focus of nullsec warfare. Before, it had been all about big wars, big battles, big stories--the unique selling point of EVE. The new plan was to create game mechanics that would encourage small, localized conflict. That way, people wouldn't need to travel so far to look for a fight, and maybe smaller, weaker entities would have a chance at carving out a piece of nullsec without joining a big coalition.

In late 2014, jump fatigue was introduced, effectively making fast transportation around nullsec impossible. In the summer of 2015, Dominion sov was replaced with FozzieSov. At first, it appeared that CCP got what it wanted. The effect of jump fatigue was essentially to expand the size of nullsec by an exponential degree; players couldn't teleport across the map to join every fight. Conflicts, to the extent that they occurred, were small and local. Unfortunately, what CCP wanted wasn't very good or interesting.

As the months wore on and subscription levels declined, CCP got buyer's remorse. They worried about the lack of large-scale wars, which normally brought media attention, new players, and a lot of re-subbed old players. To CCP's great joy and relief, they soon received manna from heaven--or rather, from EVE gambling websites.

To be continued...

51 comments:

  1. Happy 24th June, comrades! And what a way to celebrate; our very own Saviour's long-awaited SOTG analysis.

    I've a feeling that only the New Order will emerge from it with any dignity, and rightly so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim, this all supposition, you know it and so do I. So cut the BS and get back to work.

      Delete
  2. Happy New Order Day! And we still have another 995 years left to go. \0/

    ReplyDelete
  3. November 5 2017 .....the END

    ReplyDelete
  4. woah antigankers are truly failing hard right now!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wolf is an antiganker now

      Delete
    2. Let's kill this blog first

      Delete
    3. Yeah she is trying to get her hubby back.

      Delete
  5. Happy Code Day!

    Hoorah!

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  6. All those alpha shitters ended up being part of the problem. Looks like CCP needs to do away with everything but omega accounts and nullsec. Trim the fat and EVE could survive for 10+ years.

    What we need is a better class of player to replace the leeches.

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    Replies
    1. CCP will get ride of code, for they are the cancer

      Delete
    2. When CONCORD is abolished the New Order will wither away.

      Delete
    3. Carebears and years of nerfs are whats killing EVE.

      Both are insidious.

      Delete
    4. Let's go kill Star Citizen!!!!:)

      Delete
    5. the day concord just up and leaves will be the same day allot of player will just quit. personnally i don't care it will also be the same day CODE doesn't need to exist and allot of you player won't see a reason to play eve either.

      i geuss you will just go to a different game trying to ruin other players experiences.

      Good job james you are on the right track of you mission to destroy eve after all that is what you spoke about in goon swarm

      Delete
    6. EVE was alive before code and will live long after code is dead and forgotten

      Delete
    7. None of the good players will leave with concord, anon811, just highsec shitters who are too afraid to play the game properly. Null and low dwellers will find all kinds of new stuff to do without concord around.

      If concord leaving means chicken shitters leaving right behind them, then it can't happen soon enough.

      Every carebear that leaves when concord goes just makes EVE stronger.

      Delete
    8. Lets put that to a test.

      Delete
    9. The test is simple anon453: lets agree that COCCORRD=highsec.

      Remove highsec and EVE still has null/low and all the real players, the players that build ships/mods so they can destroy them. Self-reliant players survive without CONCORD. EVE becomes stronger, plis less work for CCP no more floods of tearmail petitions from carebears.

      Or

      Remove null/low and the highsec economy fails because the carebears produce but are afraid to destroy. Without conflict the game fails.

      The fact that provibloc even exists confirms that EVE don't need highsec. Or any "safe" area outside the starter zones.

      Delete
    10. But even by the devs own admissions if you want the miners gone all you need to do is stop ganking them. Those who get ganked mostly return while those that don't mostly quit.

      Delete
    11. Its CODE.* You cant even get the name of the alliance right. What you meant was New Order, which is the movement keeping EvE alive. Of course you're wrong about that as well, but its good for you to try new things, like thinking.

      Delete
  7. No one told me there'd be real talk!!!1
    *eyes melt*

    Happy Code day, everyone!

    -Galaxy Pig

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alpha shitters don't help EVE huh?

    Well no shit, who thought welfare for space nerds would do any good?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Piece of American shit!

      Delete
    2. Why you so mad 238piggie? You must have Bill of Rights envy.

      And a small penis.

      Delete
    3. Anon502 pig maybe you don't have a penis but the tail of a pig

      Delete
    4. Your rage is delicious piggiepoo545. Keep squealing like an ignorant shitter.

      Delete
    5. Yes anon 254 happy to help you pigshit this blog

      Delete
    6. Piggy come out to play

      Delete
    7. ag shitters are so mad. They love to cry over here and I like to listen to them cry. This site is great.

      Delete
    8. 7A. Capsuleers are prohibited from using offensive, sexually-suggestive, or obscene language in public chat channels.

      Delete
  9. Maybe CCP will see that protecting highsec shitters and bot-aspirants is bad for EVE, before it's too late.

    If the devs had removed the highsec crutch years ago EVE would have already stabilized and grown much stronger by now.

    The only need for highsec and concord is in the newbro starter systems. Anyone who can't make it after that is too weak to play EVE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7A. Capsuleers are prohibited from using offensive, sexually-suggestive, or obscene language in public chat channels.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Only if CCP allows the highsec carebears to remain. That's the real cancer in EVE, and it's time for them to be cut out.

      EVE could survive and prosper with the removal of highsec. That's the test. Remove highsec and EVE grows stronger as the weak are forced out, or nerf PVP more and EVE dies.

      Only CCP has the power to save EVE. That's if the devs have not all been corrupted by the years of carebear tears.

      Delete
    2. EVE is comatose, Zdzisław, waiting for either the 'wake up' or the 'switch off'.

      Waiting; that's the keyword. CCP are waiting to see which - if any - of their increasingly desperate ideas bears fruit. We are waiting for them to come up with ideas which are worth pursuing.

      It'll be a long wait. Switching off life-support might indeed be the kindest thing for the ailing patient.

      Delete
    3. Robert, you don't even play EVE anymore so why even speak of it

      Delete
    4. Hey, Anon 534, I protest! What makes you say that?

      And in any case, if it were true, is it not distance that gives meaning to perspective?

      Interesting that you used the full version of my name, rather than the more common contraction. Are we acquainted?

      If we are, I feel emboldened to point out the omission of one comma and one question mark in your comment. If we're strangers, you will, I'm sure, forgive my tendency to nit-pick.

      Delete
    5. Robert, Though is true about distance giving meaning to perspective, then it is also true that perspective is blurred distance. I will consider your grammatical suggestions in future communications.

      Delete
  11. "Darkness and Light"

    The highsec carebear chicken shitters are the darkness. Anyone who was around since the beginning can tell you how promising and full of potential EVE was by 2004/2005. Then the carebears started trying to nerf highsec, and their tears started eroding the very heart of EVE.

    It took those highsec carebears 12+ years of nerfs and tears to bring EVE to it's present state. But it will only take a brief moment to remove the protections that allow the shitters to remain, and make EVE great again. It time to remove highsec, CCP.

    When CONCORD goes, the weakest and most parasitical of the carebears will soon disappear, and EVE will begin to heal.

    The only problem EVE ever had was carebears worming their way into CCP and trying to destroy it from within. When the carebear devs are replaced, EVE can begin the correction process.

    It will all correct itself when the carebears are ran out and the "light" are allowed to play without RL death threats from ag shitters, so... The sooner the better?

    ReplyDelete
  12. CCP must decide soon if they are going to allow EVE to drown in carebear tears, or remove the real problems and start reversing past nerfs on PVP in both empire and null.

    All the things that made EVE the greatest PVP sandbox have been nerfed by a company that was drowning in carebear tears, both inside and out.

    Make EVE dangerous again. Remove jump fatigue, remove CONCORD, remove that damned friendly fire button, remove all the shit nerfs you have buried us under for the last 10 years. Return EVE to the grand vision it once was.

    CCP can make it happen but they seem to be suffering from carebearitis, risk aversion at it's worst.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7A. Capsuleers are prohibited from using offensive, sexually-suggestive, or obscene language in public chat channels.

      Delete
  13. Wow 5 years. I wasn't there at the beginning, but was there close enough (6mo) to know those early agents. Salt of the earth they were. Some of them like Capt. Starfox and John X(bunch of fuckin'Is) are still my friends today. Make a friend of a New Order Agent today, they will change your life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Might want to show the whole chart next time James, Your reporting is a skewed as CNN.


    http://eve-offline.net/?server=tranquility

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are you talking about anon 4.50? 'Your' chart matches what James has displayed above for the same period.

      I could insert a disparaging comment on how carebears are too lazy to mine properly and study data properly, but I won't.

      Delete
  15. Maybe CCP should hand over control of EVE to The New Order. Code Agents are the reason highsec is even mildly entertaining, so why not let James and friends keep up the good work.

    Imagine how harmonious highsec would be if there were no interference from the CCP carebears and their anti-fun agenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes lets shut down the game.

      Delete
    2. Those of you leaving EVE can join Star Citizen and get a free ship

      Delete
    3. Yes we can all go back to mining and making profit again!

      Delete
    4. Get outside you little bastards, it's SUMMERTIME!!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous522 hold your horses.

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-06-26-star-citizen-studio-seeks-to-calm-fan-fears-it-faces-financial-issues

      Delete

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