Daily Archives: August 23, 2019

MER and the Blackout

Somebody finally got back from vacation and pushed the button to generate the EVE Online Monthly Economic Report for July.

This is the first report that reflects the Blackout and the VNI nerfThe tax increase didn’t go in until August 1st, so that will be for the next report.

Anyway, there is an obvious graph to jump into first, so here we go.

July 2019 – Top Sinks and Faucets over time

It is easy to see what day the Blackout began on that chart as the yellow NPC bounty payout line, already down considerably from previous changes this year, fell off a cliff, no doubt contributing to an actual reduction in overall ISK in the New Eden economy.

July 2019 – Sinks and Faucets

The total bounties for the last few months:

  • July – 29.1 trillion
  • June – 48.2 trillion
  • May – 55.5 trillion
  • April – 57.2 trillion
  • March – 71.4 trillion
  • February – 69.8 trillion

But where did it hit hardest?  Last month the top 11 regions, since I wanted to include Delve, sorted out as follows.

  1. Branch – 4.90 trillion
  2. Esoteria – 3.56 trillion
  3. Detorid – 2.88 trillion
  4. Insmother – 2.71 trillion
  5. Deklein – 2.70 trillion
  6. Cobalt Edge – 2.15 trillion
  7. Fountain – 1.96 trillion
  8. Tenal – 1.80 trillion
  9. Perrigen Falls – 1.70 trillion
  10. Period Basis – 1.67 trillion
  11. Delve – 1.57 trillion

Delve was way down because the Imperium was deployed to the north and attacking structures in Tribute and Vale of the Silent.  And then came the Drifters and the start of the Chaos Era and we pulled back home.  Being at home put the Imperium back on top of the NPC bounties rankings.

July 2019 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

The top ten regions for July were:

  1. Delve – 4.71 trillion
  2. Esoteria – 1.77 trillion
  3. Branch – 1.61 trillion
  4. Detorid – 1.23 trillion
  5. Deklein – 1.22 trillion
  6. Insmother – 1.10 trillion
  7. Tenal – 1.1 trillion
  8. Fountain – 1.06 trillion
  9. Omist – 0.85 trillion
  10. Feythabolis – 0.81 trillion

Delve is at the top again, but that number is still below even the April number, which included a the start of the deployment north to Tribute.

So the Chaos Era has hit NPC bounties, though there was a bit of a bounce back up at the end of the month.  August will show if things continue down that path or if null sec adapts.

Then there is the mining front.  Last month the top producing regions in ISK value mined were:

  1. Esoteria – 3.31 trillion
  2. Detorid – 1.84 trillion
  3. Insmother – 1.78 trillion
  4. Domain – 1.31 trillion
  5. Branch – 1.25 trillion
  6. Querious – 1,19 trillion
  7. The Forge – 1.16 trillion
  8. Fountain – 1.12 trillion
  9. Sinq Laison – 843 billion
  10. Metropolis – 829 billion

Delve was down in 22nd place with a mere 276 billion ISK.  Again, June had the Imperium deployed to the north, so economic activity was down.  But in July everybody was back home to face the Blackout.

July 2019 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

Delve was resurgent, with Rorquals out using tech II mining drones to combat attacks on excavator drones.  The top ten regions for July were:

Delve – 5.77 trillion
Querious – 3.18 trillion
Esoteria – 2.61 trillion
Syndicate – 1.99 trillion
Fountain – 1.92 trillion
Etherium Reach – 1.77 trillion
Domain – 1.69 trillion
Malpais – 1.64 trillion
The Kalevala Expanse – 1.61 trillion
The Forge – 1.47 trillion

Numbers were up in some places, including high sec, which remains a safe mining haven, and down in others.  But was there more necessarily more mining in places like Domain or The Forge?  Maybe not.  Since mining isn’t an ISK faucet, it is valued via the market prices, which change over time.  And July saw mineral prices going up some more.

July 2019 – Economic Indices

While not up as sharply as in June, mineral prices continued to rise.  That raises the value of ore mined for the purposes of the MER and encourages more people to mine.

And then there is destruction.  The Blackout was premised on greater destruction happening.  And, overall, there was more destruction in New Eden.  The summary of all regions in June showed 38.28 trillion ISK in destruction, while July saw that rise to 40.73 trillion ISK, and increase of 2.45 trillion ISK.  But where did that destruction occur?

Last month the top regions were:

  1. The Forge – 3.46 trillion
  2. Detorid – 2.31 trillion
  3. Sinq Laison – 1.69 trillion
  4. Tribute – 1.58 trillion
  5. The Citadel – 1.54 trillion
  6. Black Rise – 1.37 trillion
  7. Delve – 1.28 trillion
  8. Placid – 1.11 trillion
  9. Lonetrek – 1.10 trillion
  10. Vale of the Silent – 1.10 trillion

The chart for July shows the new ranking.

July 2019 – Destruction Value by Region – Bar Graph

The top ten regions were:

  1. The Forge – 2.81 trillion
  2. The Citadel – 2.33 trillion
  3. Detorid – 1.86 trillion
  4. Delve – 1.78 trillion
  5. Sinq Laison – 1.47 trillion
  6. Domain – 1.31 trillion
  7. Lonetrek – 1.29 trillion
  8. Metropolis – 1.17 trillion
  9. Providence – 1.03 trillion
  10. Cache – 1.00 trillion

Delve is up, but that was expected with everybody home again.  What is interesting is that there are now more high sec regions on the list.  There were four last month, but six on the list in July.  You might credit this to the alleged war on high sec, or maybe the less well known structure war in high sec, which is a topic for another post, except that not all the high sec regions saw more destruction.  The Forge, home of Jita, was more than half a trillion in destruction.

It feels rather that destruction was more spread out in July, that the increase was the result of a wider spread skirmishes rather than the destruction of ratters and miners due to the Blackout.  And, of course, the reduction in mining and ratting seems to indicate that many players simply declined to undock due to the Blackout.

All of which leaves me bereft of big conclusions.  But that is to be expected I guess.  The Chaos Era changes modified player behavior, but will it stick or are we just in a transitional period while people adapt?  And while NPC bounties were down a lot, they remained mostly a null sec thing. Null sect saw 88.7% of the bounties in July, compared to 93.6% in June.

June vs. July bounty payout ratio by space type

For August we will have to see how the trend continues, along with what the change in tax rate does.  Plus we still have the coming cyno changes and something about wormholes that has some people freaking out, plus other things mentioned during the Fanfest Home keynote, which may impact the September MER.  We shall see.

Anyway, all the data and charts are available to download from the MER Dev Blog.  In addition, CCP has also introduced a Monthly Security Report about how many people they have banned and what they were banned for.

Also looking at the July MER:

 

Blaugust and Burning Things Down

Here we are into the third full week of Blaugust and another topic of the week.

I have tried to keep up and do something on the right theme each week, though I failed a bit last week.  I mean, you got to know me some, but maybe that wasn’t what you were looking for.  And I felt, looking at the calendar, that this week was going to be another punt.

Blaugust 2019 Schedule

Developer appreciation things never quite resonate with me for a variety of reasons I’ve been over in the past.  I neither revere nor dismiss game devs or their work, or so I tell myself.

So I was going to give this week’s topic a miss… and then INN posted an article with the title, Why EVE or CCP Games Needs to Fail and I felt maybe I had an angle.

The basic premise is that CCP has done so many things wrong with EVE Online, made so many errors in the face of players telling them what would happen, been so tone deaf in their relations with customers, that the whole thing, game, studio, and all, should be burned down and scattered to the winds.

I have run across this attitude many times, the idea that things are so bad that we need to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.  Only then can we get something good.

I think there is a class somewhere that instructs young developers, when faced with taking over somebody’s code, to say that it would be easier just to re-write it all from scratch.  (Oh cute little dev, if we trusted you to do that we wouldn’t have handed you that code to maintain.)  But even old salts fall into that trap, the idea that it would be easier to go back to a blank sheet rather than start with code not their own.

Starting from scratch is a hazardous path, one that I’ve been down before.  It can even kill whole companies.  Microsoft gets the attention for the fall of the Netscape Navigator web browser, but if Netscape hadn’t decided to rewrite everything from scratch… in Java… it might have remained viable, or at least capable of keeping up with the features of Internet Explorer.

I’ve watched devs get their wish to start from scratch only to have to spend their time on a long voyage of discovery as they have to relearn all the wisdom that went in to forming that mess of code they are trying to replace.  Instead of spending time adding to the product that dev is stuck redoing something we already had.

Which isn’t to say there is a lack of code that deserves a fiery death.  There was a fax form editor I had to work with about 20 years back that was so problematic that it might actually have been better to restart from scratch.  But you never know until you’re waist deep in things and begin to regret your decision.

Anyway, my point here is that EVE Online or CCP failing would not automatically result in something better coming along.  If anything, the opposite is likely true.  Who wants to create a harsh, dystopian internet spaceship sandbox game if the premier example of the niche has failed?

And what other options would former New Eden residents have?  Star Citizen is not ready for prime time, Elite: Dangerous requires docking skills I’m too old to want to work on, Prosperous Universe is all the bad UI and spreadsheets of New Eden without any of the pretty pictures, and the handful of spaceship MMO startups are so far from being anything close to the scale of EVE Online that we would all be clamoring for an EVE Online emulator five minutes after the game went down.

Appreciate what you have got.

That doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with everything.  One of the more dynamic aspects of EVE Online is the discussion of what it is, what is wrong, and what it could be.  And it can be tough when “chaos” is the new flavor of the month.  But EVE Online with chaos is still better than no EVE Online at all.  Space is still pretty, the scale is still epic, fights still happen, and chaos cannot go on forever.  Maybe Hilmar will read Ringworld Engineers and become obsesses with stability.

Leave the wishes for financial failure, closure, and all that to the people who find the game’s mere existence to be an affront.  There is enough hate out there already.

Blizzard Adding Still More Realms for WoW Classic

As the grand opening of WoW Classic approaching, so the pressure on the servers via the name reservation system continues to build.

Classic is coming

Blizzard announced today that more realms will be opening up in both the US and EU regions.  These realms will be available Monday, August 26th at approximately 17:00 UTC, which will put them in reach just before WoW Classic goes live in some time zones.

For the US the new realms are:

  • Incendius PvP Eastern
  • Bigglesworth PvP Pacific
  • Old Blanchy Normal Pacific
  • Westfall Normal Eastern

For the EU region the new realms are:

  • Flamelash PvP English
  • Gandling PvP English
  • Mograine PvP English
  • Nethergarde Keep Normal English
  • Razorgore PvP English

That brings the total number of servers for launch up to 39.  I’ll go update my post about the WoW Classic server names again.

In addition, on Monday at the same time the name reservation restrictions will be lifted and players will be able to log in and create up to 50 characters, 10 per server, which is the limit that World of Warcraft had back in the day.

With a little less than four days left to go as of this writing, Blizzard is also once again pointing people at the community resources page for WoW Classic, in case you need to know what is going on and where to find further information.