I woke up this morning to find some fresh news from the Chaos Era, though this time it seemed a bit counter-chaos. CCP Cognac announced at the Berlin Fanfest that delayed local in null sec, the blackout, will be over after downtime on Monday.
CCP had said previously that the blackout would be for an indefinite duration, but its introduction two months back came with quite a bit of warning, discussion, and even a setup via the in-game lore. Has a new supply of Quantum-Entangled 4-Helium been secured?
We don’t know. Not yet anyway. CCP did not say why they are bringing the blackout to an end, just that it is happening. The announcement could charitably be called perfunctory. Clip of the announcement, and I have seen several, run about 30 seconds.
Of course, there is quite a bit of speculation as to why it is happening. You need only go over to cesspool of /r/eve to see various theories. But /r/eve has been at war with itself over the Chaos Era since it started. (At war with itself more so than usual at least, likely because the Chaos Era has been focused on nerfing null sec, which has led to the usual tribal division who see somebody else getting hit as good for them.) A leading candidate is the dropping concurrent player numbers, something I mentioned on Monday. The count fell off noticeably with the end of the Season of Skills event and has been slowly falling ever since. I was concerned to log in on a week night to find the online count under 15K, but this week I was on when it was around 12K. 18K used to seem like the low bar for my usual evening play time on the west coast.
There is even a post up over at Massively OP trying to sum up the various evidence and theories which, including the comments, range from summer vacations to WoW Classic to the core player base getting old and dying off. But back in the EVE Online player base people are still denying there has been any decline at all. So your mileage may vary.
Anyway, we shall see if the removal of the blackout has an impact on those numbers. I do expect that AFK cloaky campers will soon be back in null sec space to keep the ratters and miners on their toes.
I am sure there will be plenty of hot takes and summaries of the blackout. I might have a few additional words myself. But the end of the Chaos Era hasn’t been announced, so expect humans to continue to behave like humans when faced with uncertainty.
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