Sunday, September 13, 2015

In a Constantly Changing Universe…

~or “The Only Constant You Can Count on… is Change.”

At Fanfest 2013 CCP Seagull announced the Next Science Fiction Theme for EVE... where she asked us to “dream with her”… about “Space Colonization” and “the Rise of the Capsuleers, taking over what the Empires used to control”… “imagine what could lie beyond the known, if only you could construct the right kind of stargate ”… which ended with the Big Reveal that we were going to once day build our OWN Stargates leading to New Spaces.

At Fanfest 2014, CCP Seagull expanded on this and gave us the Roadmap to Player Built Stargates.

And we have been living that dream and on that road and following the map she laid out that night ever since… And we have seen CCP do exactly what she promised.

First up on the Roadmap we had Rubicon, Nov, ’13, which brought us player owned Hisec customs offices, ghost sites (from which we understand we are to collect the BPs, materials, etc., needed to build the PBSGs) and new hacking mechanics among others… the first steps towards Colonization.

Then eight months later came Kronos, Jun ‘14. Small note; and the beginning of the new 6 week schedule… and one of the things we lost to that faster paced patch schedule was those amazing Expansion Trailers… but CCP instead gave us… this.

Kronos was slated to begin the Industry changes, but they were rolled back to Crius. A benefit of the 6 week schedule was the ability to do this… to roll back something that was not ready without forcing us to wait six moar months. But we did get the new Mordu’s Legion ships, low slots on Freighters, removal of the Lewt Spew™ mechanic and the Serenitization of the Moa among others… so this ended up being an interim patch, nothing directly required by the Roadmap.

Then Crius, Jul ’14, with the long awaited Industry revamp. Complete overhaul; of the Industry interface, Corp standing removal, Industry “Teams” among others. Required by the Roadmap.

Hyperion, Aug ’14, which was focused primarily on wormholes as well as their game mechanics plus things like the L4 Frig missions. An interim patch.

Oceanus, Sep ’14, Burner missions, lots moar wormhole stuff. An interim patch.

Phoebe, Nov ‘14, “Phase One” of the jump changes for Capitals and Supercapitals, introduction of Jump Fatigue, bookmarks in space, multiple sell orders and unlimited Skill Queue among others. Major requirement of the Roadmap.

Rhea, Dec ’14,  Complete overhaul of the Death mechanics… no SP loss and removal of Clone grades, 101 new ‘shattered’ wormholes, Thera, T3 Dessies and the Bowhead. I feel this is one was definitely on the Roadmap though not a ‘big’ waypoint.

Proteus, Jan ’15, Combat Recon scan immunity, Hi-end explo sites added, and lots of graphical work, an interim patch.

Tiamat, Feb ’15, Emergence of the Drifters and increased NPC interaction across Empire space, Svipul T3, corp friendly fire toggle… I am not sure if this is on the map or not. I can see the Drifters and the Sleeper lore and NPC behavior possibly becoming important in or leading to the New Space, especially if it is Jove Space as so many seem to think.

Either way, a hugely improved AI and increased NPC initiated interaction is, IMHO, nothing but good for EVE as a whole… I’m putting this one in the “CCP Seagull Sekret Roadmap” category.

Scylla, Mar ’15, mostly focused on EVE Launcher Improvements, download on demand, etc., NPE improved by the new “Opportunities” Ishtar/droan nerf… a solid interim patch if not actually on either The Map (or the Sekret Map), which it may be, too early to tell.

Mosaic, Apr ’15, Entosis Link introduced, SKINS, T3 rebalance among other changes. Definitely on The Map as the Entosis Link is required for the New Sov mechanics.

Carynx, Jun ’15, (sorry, the only goes to Mosaic so I have to use the moar graphical and hence a bit less bulletpointed site…) Carnyx brought us “Phase Two” of the Sov changes started in Phoebe back in Nov of 2014.

The core of the New Sov system… the Entosis Link module is the core of the new Sov plus the Asset Vulnerability Window and the Occupancy Defense Modifier, Cruiser Burner missions, moar SKINS, PBR graphics, Jackdaw T3, Drifter inhabited wormholes and the highly debated new OV Icons… Major requirement of the Roadmap.

Aegis, Jul '15, brings us "Phase Three" of the New Sov. the Entosis Link expands to all Sov structures; vulnerability windows take effect and constealltion-wide capture events and Freeport mode become active, a lot of balancing and the T3 Hecate. Again, major requirements of The Map.

Galatea, Aug ’15 (our most recent patch) Sov balancing and fixes, Drifters Invading the Throne Worlds, new SKINS, clothes & graphics… good stuff but an interim patch or on the edge of The Map.

And Vanguard is on its way, set to drop the 29th of Sept. only 16 days from this writing.

In Vanguard we are slated to get, Multi-buy, Jump Gate Cloak Invuln timer, WH Jump Polarization timer (Yea!), improved Probe scanning map, new Guristas Burner missions and more graphics enhancements… Plus in this Dev Blog, Next Set of Sov and Capital Movement Iterations by Team Five O we read…

Team Five 0 is hard at work on our next set of iterations to sovereignty (as well as some changes to Jump Fatigue)…”
“These are the second set of major iterations to the Sov capture system since Aegis, with the first set having been released in our earlier Galatea release.”
“The first of these changes is scheduled for the Vanguard release on September 29th, and the rest will be coming in the Parallax release on November 3rd.

Looks like Troll ‘ceptors will be a Thing Of The Past with ‘ceptors losing the ability to fit an Entosis Link, some really boring “numbers” and “words” about something called Passive Regeneration of Structure Capture Progress… OMFG… (I will NEVER understand nullsec or them as care about it…) anyway, this was cool… Ability to Self-Destruct Sov Structures…. FTW! And other changes they are not far enough along on to discuss ATM.

But it seems the Parallax release will also contain a significant iteration to the Jump Fatigue mechanic to “…reduce the damage that a character can inflict by overjumping, reducing the maximum possible fatigue from 30 days to 5 days.” This is so “…a player who is mostly active on the weekend will have fully recovered from one weekend by the next.

These changes (1) are definitely on The Map and (b) seem to me to be quite close to if not The Business As Usual of iterations, balancing and tweaks that CCP does normally in keeping EVE healthy and interesting.

So that is where we are now. If one were to graph (cause we all like graphs) completion indices on the Roadmap now, close to 2 years and 14 patches after the original announcement… I wonder if CCP Seagull’s looks something like this…

The above is my take on where we are currently in order to get to Stargate Construction and Control according to my reading of the patch notes and Dev Blogs etc. CCP is obviously done with Industry. We know they are on the way to the final tweaks and iterations on the Sov & Warfare changes.

As for that sliver of green I put on Corp & Alliances… I have seen a few iterations and tweaks here and there… expanded Corp size, bookmark sharing and improvements and overview sharing, Friendly Fire, improved Corp adverts… but nothing writ large so I feel while some work has been done, Corps & Alliances major changes are still to come. And of course, we are all eagerly anticipating the upcoming Station, Outposts and Starbases changes that have been the talk of the ether for some time now.

So… here’s the genesis of this post. The players who applauded CCP Seagull back in 2013 when she announced the Player Built Stargates and in 2014 when she showed us how we were going to get there… are all playing a quite different game than the one we all logged into back in ’13 and even in ’14.

You need to remember there was eight months between Rubicon on the old twice yearly Major Expansion cycle and Kronos and the beginning of the new six week Patchspansion cycle… and it has been a year and 3 months since Kronos dropped, 12 patches total in that time. On the old expansion cycle we would have seen just 2 expansions and even going back to Rubicon we would by now only have seen 3.

So where am I leading with all this background?… I was thinking of all the all the hoopla and hype over the idea, at that time, that Goons or at least nullseccers in the form of the Great Coalitions, were going to be the players in the best position to be the ones who were gonna build those Stargates and then force the rest of us to pay tolls or simply lock us all out and take ALL of the new space for themselves…

Kinda moot now dontcha think? I have spent a good part of this evening wondering just what the New Eden political and player starscape will look like in ’16 or ’17 when CCP get’s all those arrows green so we can ALL find out just what it will take to build “the right kind of stargate” and explore, discover and fight for whatever lies beyond the known…

CCP Seagull… You go gurl!

Fly reckless and see you in the New Sky =/|)=


  1. It all depends on your perspective, I suppose. On the one hand, the Imperium is still capable of exerting Mittens' will on ANY corner of the map.

    On the other hand, the jump changes and obligation to cultivate its space means the Imperium cannot exert its will on EVERY corner of the map at once.

    What CCP has done is to open up some breathing room for other entities to grow (assuming they grow in sufficient numbers that the Imperium can't stamp them all out). In recent days, a lot of the discussion about making null "worth it" has focused on customization and unique gameplay options of owning the space, not exploiting the space (selectable rats, missions, customization of the form of space, alliance income from colonies and "civilization" within their area of space). And that's a good thing. I think it can create a lot of possibility.

    But like the Reavers in Firefly, at any time, the Imperium can still come by and smash everything you've built. Look what happened to Providence - half their ihubs and about a trillion isk wiped out in three days.

    That's a problem, albeit not as large of one as it used to be.

    1. By and large I agree with your assessment. Goons (or the Imperium or whateverwhocares…) are neither gone nor so neutered as to no longer be a force to reckon with in EVE… however as you yourself said, they are not what they were as re power projection before Jump Fatigue and Aegis Sov… and Null is well into the balkanization CCP wanted, that ‘breathing room for other entities’ you mentioned…

      The thing is, Goons are the Reavers of New Eden. That it is their chosen playstyle has been proven over and over by their actions towards the rest of the EVE playerbase. They are the Bad Guys and NO ONE except them actually wants the bad guys to ‘win’. Yes, they wrought their evil upon Providence… but you know as well as anyone Goons never wanted to do anything other than to burn Provi and laugh dancing in the flames.

      Goons being ‘forced’ by the Jump and Sov changes to back off of owing a huge swath of unused nullspace combined with the ‘obligation to cultivate its space’, probably better stated as, ‘requirement to cultivate its space’ or find themselves spending more time trying to hold that space than they care to…

      All of this levels the playing field significantly for everyone, giving other groups the opportunity to grow and make a real mark in the verse... without automatically being wafflestomped in the crib by a Band of Buttheads.

    2. And yeah... you may have heard a twee bit of Grrr Goons in there... wasn't aimed at you, just, you know... Grrr Goons. =\

  2. Meanwhile, PCU dwindled by 30% from 2013 to 2015 and the game as played by 80% of all new players and 50% of the current players is steadily dying one subscriber at a time.

    1. Angry... I let this one through, but that 's it. My blog will no longer support this kind of negativity.

      You got something to say? say it but stop effin whining and crying with BS made up godsdamned numbers. You have NO FUKIN CLUE as to 80% or 50% of ANYTHING, cause there are no hard numbers for us to work with. Yes PCU is down, and you have no better idea of why and what's involved that anyone else... except CCP.

      Does it bother me that CCP no longer shares that info with us? Yes, of course it does.
      But will I myself (or will I let you) MAKE UP BS to fill the gap? Hell No.

      FYI to all...
      Use the term 'EVE is dying' or any variant of same in a comment here and that comment will not see the light of day on this blog.

      IE Think of something constructive to say... or shut the fuck up. I have simply had it with the negativity.

  3. Just for your private information since you're not going to allow it through.

    What I provided are hard numbers supplied by CCP. They're not primary sources, not the raw data, but are based on what developers have stated publicly. We know how many new players just PvE: 50% quit without subscribing, 40% PvE alone, 10% do the cool stuff. That's 80% of young subscribers doing PvE. That was provided by the developer workin in the NPE.

    Also we have the Fanfest split off of what do players do ingame. 25% of them play EVE like a traditional MMO, so no PvP, jsut PvE. Another 25% do everything but PvP -industry, exploration, PvE.Tha's the 50% who are being left behind with all those new opportunities to PvP, Drifters-in-lowsec included.

    As for PCU, it is publicly available from a reliable source. We also know, by the way, that EVE players have among 1.3 and 1.65 accounts, with 1.5 being the median.Also know that acxounts per player has been growing slowly but steadily for years. That denies the usual explanations on why there's less people online.

    My opinion, thus, is that there's a big unaknowledged issue with PvE population and not adressing it is dragging EVE behind.

    1. Some of the “hard” numbers you supplied were not “hard”… you got them from either the FF’14 NPE presentation by CCP Rise [video linky, start 16:02 to 18:26 – Fanfest 2014 – New Player Experience Vision] or by posts and articles, other’s including myself, ( For Once, a Simple Sales Problem…) have made about the information given in that presentation. This was information that CCP Rise makes very clear is not “exact” or “hard” numbers, but approximates for the needs of the presentation…

      Now keep in mind I lambasted both Jester and CCP a bit in my post on this subject but not because of the accuracy of the ‘numbers’ but because the approach to this issue was to put everything on the vaunted 10%... instead of accepting that you need to go after 100% of your potential customers. And once you have them hooked with good PVE THEN you will get a shot at showing them how much better player based content can be… Not OMFG! OMFG!! OMFG!!! EVE IS DYING ‘CAUSE CCP SUX!!! … like you and so many prefer to do.

      And some of the other number you refer to were presented by CCP Quant at last year’s FF and are very very accurate… and yes, they are cause for concern and discussion and a serious effort to find a way to correct or reverse this trend for the health of the game… but again more Not OMFG! OMFG!! OMFG!!! EVE IS DYING ‘CAUSE CCP SUX!!! will not do help matter how loudly or often you or anyone else repeats it.

      Is there an issue with reduced subs in EVE? Yes, obviously. I logged on recently and I play in the US EST TZ, right smack in the middle of the Europe/US switch over and traditionally a high point in daily PCU and… only 18,000 were on. Slow nights back when I started EVE in 2010 were like 30k… so, yeah, there are a lot less players on… well, a lot less ‘toons’, which is NOT exactly the same as a lot less people, but IMHO is indicative of substantially less actual live players than before.

      You say, ”My opinion, thus, is that there's a big unacknowledged issue with PvE population and not addressing it is dragging EVE behind.”

      I disagree. See the New Opportunities for NPE (I tried it and I felt it was a major step up for new players), see the new Ghost sites, see all the new Burner missions, Thera, 101 New Wormholes, the Drifters, all the new Drifter wormholes and sites and the brewing Drifter War in Empire… So no Angry, PVE is not unacknowledged or not being addressed by CCP… they are hammering on it and delivering in spades.

      Again, is there an issue with reduced subs in EVE? Again, yes, obviously. So instead of crying and whining about it, which is a waste of time, breath and recycled electrons… how would YOU fix it?

      And did you notice I did post this? Why? Because you did not once say or use the EVE is Dying ‘tard mantra and you at least attempted to discuss the issue as you see it… so yes, I posted this comment as I will post any attempts at serious or at least non-trolling discussion on any subject in or affecting EVE… even if I strongly disagree with you.

      Just don’t be an asshat, use your head, speak and discuss the issues as an adult and seek solutions instead of crying and whining… What I will not allow or post is ‘the- sky-is-falling’ juvenile, unfounded bullshit.

      As I see it, yer just not happy unless yer Angry is all.
      Being Angry is easy… putting the effort into solutions… that’s hard.
      And of the two, I will only support people who are willing to make an effort…

  4. On the topic of "EVE is dying", this claim uusally comes with a tail: " gimme this and gimme that and...!"

    CCP can't please everybody, that's obvious. And they're managing a terribly complex situation that's grown on its own. EVE is what players make and so is closer to a society (any society) than to a mere entertaiment. Jus to make it "funnier", EVE is CCP's mean of survival, where their jobs and salaries come from. And also is their passion, since nobody moves to Iceland just for the sights or the weather...

    Now, how do you change a society? The "EVEisdying" is the usual call to fear. "You should be scared and do what I tell you" (gimme this, gimme that...).

    Another mean is to use the feedback systems of that society. CCP has implemented a few, and they more or less listen to what the customers say, based on what they want to listen. Sometimes the customers are right and CCP acknolwedges, even if it takes them two months and some hard data to agree that sun rises from the east, winters are snowy in Iceland and trollceptors make the game suck hard).

    So, what do I do? I don't pay CCP, not any longer, and yet I have a passion for EVE. So I parse the forums and run through the blogosphere, spreading what I think that would be good for me but also for the game and CCP.

    I do it out from a lack of visible voices with my view. I think that PvErs should be taken as they come rather than see them as stray sheep hoping to be led to PvP Salvation. Some people just want more Level 4s to grind. How does that make the game any worse for anyone? Of corus,e developing new misions each expansion requires a certian type of developer. Maybe CCP doens't haves that talent abroad. But agreeing to that ugly reality would be better than use skilled developers to build stuf flike the Drifter storyline, which is completely useless to the average PvE since the average PvEr never PvP. Lowsec is a no-no. Also the average PvEr is swimming in ISK. Why should they bother with the ludicrously low payout of highsec ghost sites? Et cetera, et cetera.

    Last, everybody agres that player generated content is the key in EVE. I wonder, very seriously, with all the heaps of people doing PvE, why PvE doens't allows them to create content their way. NPCs are irrelevant, and under CCP Seagull they're being deprived of whatever little rewards they provided to the people who focued on blasting NPCs rarther than spoiling somebody's gametime.

    And whenever PvE is added, it is built like a bait to draw people to PvP. That, in my humble opinion, isn't working. It is irrespectful and arrogant to ignore how does people play and jsut call them a lost cause if they are not up to the high standards of HTFU.

    And as I said, that is draggin back EVE. It's wasting 50% of EVE society's human resources. And would be naive to think that it's not hurting the PCU.

    People quitting leads to more people quitting. Being a PvEr in EVE is an awful experience about seeing buddies and friends quit rather than leave high, gang together and PvP...

    1. OK, a caveat to the EVE is Dying Rule... I will allow reasonable discussion of the EVE Is Dying meme, meta, causes and effects etc., etc. but not when it is used as some form of statement.

      Its late, I'm tired, I will answer this later...

      Oh and regardless of vehement disagreement or Kumbaya agreement... I do really enjoy all comments on my blog and I am still humbled that anyone takes the time to comment here.

      Thank you.

  5. In regards to Onions assertions re the PCU - If I'm anything to go by as an example, I can run four alts simultaneously but generally only run two. Why? Hardware. And because CCP has long been moving towards a system where individual pilots are of greater value than alts plus alt-tab.

    In other words, PCU as an ongoing measure is inaccurate as far as game health goes. Most especially since we don't have hard data on how many individuals per number of subscriptions back in the old days for comparison purposes.

    As to the rest of your blog: amen, brother!


I have opened my blog to Anonymous Users... I hope I will not come to regret this. Please identify yourself when posting and read my Blog Disclaimer and Comment Policy.

All posts on my blog are moderated by me. I will post em as soon as I see um...