Will EVE Online Get a Bounce from M-OEE8?

In the history of EVE Online, when there is a giant battle in the game subscriptions go up as sure as one thing follows another.  The first Burn Jita, Asakai, 6VDT-H, and B-R5RB all got headlines in the gaming press and, in many cases, the general media.  Articles at the BBC have not been uncommon.

The fact that these giant battles happen on their own and aren’t staged by CCP (unlike certain record setting events) is part of the magic of the game, the draw that attracts news players and reinvigorates old ones.  It is one of those special aspects of New Eden.

CCP certainly got into the spirit of things as the big battle kicked off.

Old news, but The Scope reporters are hacks...

Old news, but The Scope reporters are hacks…

They had people on scene to watch the battle and the EVE:ISDIC Twitter account posted great pictures of the fight as it went on. (You should go look at them.)

And after the fight, CCP was at it again with the battle stats.

The war that started LONG before Easter...

The war that started LONG before Easter…

Granted, they might have jumped the gun on that last item.  B-R5RB.  According to CCPs post battle figures for that fight, there were 7,548 unique characters involved in the great titan massacre.  Though, to give credit, they did cop to that error when it was pointed out.

(Also, Easter War?  This war has been going on since January.  I know that CCP doesn’t want to use “Casino War” because that will inevitably shine a light on the shady RMT and gambling aspects allowed in the game, but Easter just seems wrong.  New Years War maybe?)

And they want you to have talking points ready, just in case somebody asks you about EVE Online.

So CCP is prepped.

And there are certainly rumblings within the community as old players who left for various reasons (Fozzie Sov and Jump Fatigue get mentioned a lot) consider coming back for a big war.  Having nearly every non-Russian null sec entity jumping on the “shoot Goons” bandwagon at last is certainly a draw.

But what about new players?  Will the M-OEE8 battle have the same halo effect as the other great battles before it?  I am starting to wonder.

CCP keeps linking to and quoting from a rather tepid article over at PC Gamer that pre-dates the battle.  During the battle the Polygon Twitter feed posted an EVE Online link, though it turned out to be to a 2014 story.  They wanted to ride on the EVE Online gravy train, not the other way around.

And… that has been about it.  Even Massively, which covers MMORPGs, only has their own tepid post, which amounts to “Somebody on Reddit said there was a war.”  And they haven’t even gotten around to something about the actual battle that happened.

In fact, nobody outside of the core EVE Online focused media and bloggers seems to have bothered.

If you Google “B-R5RB” you get results from PC Gamer and Wired and Polygon.

Do the same for “M-OEE8” and you get… DOTLAN, zKillboard, EN24, and me.  My post is the the 6th result.

So what happened here?  Was the battle not big enough?  Was the spectacle no grand enough to suit?  Did we not amuse sufficiently?  Was there insufficient internet spaceship drama?  Should CCP be calling the Guinness Records people?  Do we need to tally up the losses and convert them to dollar amounts to get some attention here?

Or are people just over internet spaceship battles?

Addendum:  The war is starting to get some traction now on gaming news sites now.  It just took a couple days.

15 thoughts on “Will EVE Online Get a Bounce from M-OEE8?

  1. splatus

    Good article, was in the process of writing my version of it but yours is far better researched.

    One thing I disagree with is that “CCP is prepped” part. CCP has released a couple of tweets to their existing social networking followers and thats it. There has been no email blast, there are no (as far as I can see) special adds, artwork (like “this is EVE”), the website still has the Gurista rabbit invasion as number one topic. There literally has been no media or marketing outreach from CCP on this.

    For me, CCP’s marketing is incredibly hard to understand. They know they need new blood but almost pathologically refuse to drive their marketing toward attracting brand new players. This is the time to hit the SEO hard for “MMO”, “PvP”, “SciFi” etc. This is the time to brutally poach bored dwarves away from the dying WoW clones. This is the time to pay for / endorse fiction and this is the time to promote an online store with actual things in it. Call me frustrated but since “This is EVE”, I know they can do better.


  2. Dave Andrews (@proceduraldave)

    Every time you mention the Guinness thing I get a little more cross with you Mr. Arcturus. It’s a legit record! And that engine is capable of larger battles than what was recorded – if they really wanted to stage things they would’ve uncapped the server and just crammed people in. /rant

    As to the question, though, it is interesting – but also worth noting that (at least for written coverage) things sometimes take a little time to process. M-O also lacks a flashy supercap fight, insane dollar values, etc. Perhaps we need to work a little harder on the betrayal angle?


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Dave – They didn’t uncap the server for that record then? Color me surprised, because you can’t seem to get anything close to that many players going on a continent lately without a queue forming, and I’ve been on their servers a bit of late, so something seems different.

    And, to be pedantic, SOE at the time did put our a call to get people on the server explicitly to set that record, so some aspect of that was indeed staged, something which distinguishes it from big fights in New Eden. I still think CCP should get Guinness on the phone and set some records of their own.

    As for the question at hand, I am not sure what, outside of raw numbers and the betrayal story, would make the fight more newsworthy. A mere $7,500 in real world value ship losses clearly isn’t cutting it. The raw numbers might mean something, except that the game has seen more, and the politics… that probably needs more time to stew.


  4. Gevlon

    Yes, I think they will get new people try out EVE.
    Too bad that in less then a month EVE will be locked in a forever status quo with a PL-led cartel ruling it forever and they’ll leave due to no wars. Just like the B-R newbies left after a few months since they learned that B-R was an exception.

    Don’t get me wrong, a Goon-led cartel would be worse. But keeping EVE a sandbox where the status quo can be changed would be better. This is likely the last war of EVE.


  5. Rob Kaichin

    This is going to be a 50% tinfoil, 50% serious reply.

    A thing to note about the ‘outside of game’ communities of Eve is how concentrated they are in one coalition. PCGamer, RockPaperShotgun, Massively, Something Awful, (for some time) Reddit, almost every out-of-game community is (or has been) in the CFC. All the ‘hard-core EVE’ Journalists are in one coalition.

    Now, this can be really helpful if, say, you’re launching a kickstarter for a book based on something you’ve done in Eve, or, say, looking for publicity as a ‘famous’ person. When you get a couple of journalists on your team, your side starts looking like the best side. Not to mention that you’re no publicity slouch yourself, with multiple contacts in the ‘real’ media: just how many time is The Mittani mentioned when EVE is mentioned anyway? 50%? 70%?

    If, say, you win the world’s largest and most expensive battle, and all of those aforementioned journalists were taking part on your side, then you’re guaranteed free, favourable media coverage. You might even get interview requests about it.

    However, if you lose a big battle, and all your journalist friends are losing with you, then how many of them want to publicise that? These are also the majority of the journalists who’d wish to cover EVE Online. Since, you know, EVE is a niche of a niche.

    How many reporters are left that cover Eve anyway, and how many of them are on the ‘other’ side to the Mittani? CCP needs to start making some noise, and hope it wakes the neighbours up.


  6. Fucknuckle

    I’m a little surprised the player averages haven’t jumped up. Last time there was a Great War it brought in a lot of people, this time the numbers are actually a little lower than usual.


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Fucknuckle – I haven’t looked at the numbers that I know somebody collects… somewhere… but my own personal metric is what the online count is when I finally get to log in during the evening on the US West coast. It has gone up from ~19K to ~21K since things got “serious” in the last two weeks.

    @Rob Kaichin – I dare you to tell Brendan Drain he is a puppet of The Mittani.

    @spaltus – Hey, a mailing!

    Also, welcome capsuleers from the Czech Republic, since I see from the referrer data that this post got linked in a thread at quafe.cz!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rob Kaichin

    Brendan’s still playing? O.O

    I was sure he’d quit after that spat with Mittens over some irrelevant thing a couple of months (years?) ago.


  9. Niko Lorenzio

    Many points to address here. First of all, those previous battles were very much climactic. This war is just heating up and this is the just the largest engagement so far.

    The strategic and monetary damage is also far from staggering in the historical perspective. This could be compared to the landing in Normandy more than a decisive battle that turns the tide of war.

    As far as attracting new/old players, I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again. Major events are a very ineffective to promote Eve. Yes they get the attention and bring in fresh blood but ultimately they never succeed in retaining them. That is because Eve is driven intrinsically by existing players who are emotionally invested enough to provide newcomers guidance and reasons to stay. With CCPs continued abandonment of principles and players that hold this universe together, no amount of press will save the downward trend.

    Those factors need to work together and help each other. Last few years have been marked by departure or resignation of many dedicated players who have been dismayed and tired of CCP direction. No single Jesus feature or event will change that course. Only a dedicated continuous regiment that shows CCP is committed to this universe like they expect the players to be.


  10. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – Playing? I could not vouch for that. But he is still writing about the game over at Massively OP.

    I was going to quote something he wrote in the last few weeks about null sec being better for no longer catering to large coalition wars or some such, but my enthusiasm waned when I noticed the site hadn’t even done a post about M-OEE8. CCP apparently needs to do a dev blog so Syp can demonstrate he doesn’t play EVE when tries to turn it into a post over there about it and makes an obvious misstatement… or at least obvious to somebody who plays EVE.


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  12. zaphod6502

    I did get an email today from CCP begging me to re-subscribe and giving me another 7 days to activate.

    Their hooks were:
    1. Massive alliance wars
    2. The politics and propaganda
    3. The rise and fall of mighty empires

    Sorry too many other far more fun games to play. Plus my Oculus Rift arrives soon.


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