In case you missed it, CCP released the official CSM 13 Winter Summit Minutes earlier this month. This "Winter" Summit took place during early September, which is technically summer. If you find that nonsensical, just wait until you read what's actually in the minutes. Or, better yet, allow me to summarize it for you.
The big news from the minutes, which led to numerous excited posts on the EVE subreddit, was all about wardecs. Did CCP announce a major overhaul to the wardec mechanics? No. Some small improvements to wardecs, then? Also no. The big news was... CCP and the CSM talked about the current state of wardecs.
If you're someone who participates in wardecs on any level, the excitement over the "current state of wardecs" may surprise you, because the wardec mechanics haven't changed since CCP last monkeyed with them in 2012. That's right, the EVE community was abuzz over the review of a six year-old game mechanic.
One might assume that there would be little to say about wardecs that hasn't already been said in the past several years--and less to learn. But CCP dropped a bombshell on the CSM. You see, CCP has recently been collecting statistics about player retention and highsec conflict. Again, if you're an EVE veteran, this is probably beginning to sound familiar.
Here's the introduction from page 8 of the minutes. Wardecs merited an entire section of the minutes, despite discussing a game mechanic that hasn't changed since Mitt Romney ran for president:
"In the EVE Leadership meeting the CSM was presented with numbers resulting from research into the state of war declarations in EVE and those numbers quite starkly showed how asymmetric the situation is, and how war declarations allow a small number of players to negatively affect a huge number of people, with low risk."If you're a wardeccer, you belong to an elite group of players who have been enjoying a massive number of victories. After all, in a competitive PvP game, "negatively affect" must be code for "winning", right?
Not so fast. Spaceship combat isn't all fun and games. In fact, as CCP's researchers finally uncovered, you wardeccers have been secretly undermining EVE all this time. In another section of the minutes, on page 12, we get a few more details on these shocking revelations:
"CCP Larrikin pulls up activity data for players of corporations that have wars declared against them and it shows considerable activity drops in all activities during the war. They also show that the low activity continues after the war ends. Brisc Rubal noted that the numbers here were so stark, it would justify immediately removing war decs as a mechanic and promising a fix after the fact. The CSM in general were surprised at how stark the numbers were and noted it was clear this mechanic was having a significant impact on player recruitment and retention."The CSM member's call to immediately remove these scandalous wardecs from the game was echoed across Reddit. That's no small matter, considering that the removal of wardecs would render countless highsec structures immune from all forms of attack. There would be many other consequences, as well. But for the sake of saving EVE from total destruction by the recently uncovered wardec menace, it might be worth it.
It goes deeper. Although wardecs were most recently revised (i.e., nerfed) six years ago, the wardec system has been around in one form or another from the beginning. It's extraordinary that the game-threatening cancer went undetected until now. But when you look at the player statistics, it all becomes clear:
The cause and effect are unmistakable. First there were wardecs, and now EVE is dying.* You would need to be blind not to see the connection.
Next time, we'll find out more about CCP and the CSM's quest to save EVE from an untimely demise at the hands of these sinister wardeccers. And, perhaps, we may hear a more reasonable perspective on wardecs from the Saviour of Highsec.
To be continued...
* For more Code.