Category Archives: CCP

EVE Online Gets Another New Player Experience and Skill Training Updates as a New Quadrant Arrives

The summer vacations are over and CCP is back with a new Quadrant.  The Foundation Quadrant is over and the Gateway Quadrant has arrived.

Didn’t we all get stuck out here after that gateway closed?

And with that CCP is focused again on its favorite obsession of the last few years, the new player experience.  This time the NPE has been rebuilt around a new NPC faction, the Association for Interdisciplinary Research which will introduce new players to EVE Online.   The highlights from the dev blog are:

  • More immersive experiences and faster iteration
  • More dynamic visuals
  • Gradual UI reveal
  • Improved UI highlighting
  • An integrated intro video
  • Beautiful visuals

To the cynic in me that works out to “pretty,” “pretty,” “working with the UI we already have,” “working with the UI we already have,” “pretty,” and “pretty.”

I mean, there is room in there for real improvements, and maybe it is a better NPE, but CCP has chosen to emphasize the superficial and that the UI is too much for new players in its own description.  What is that supposed to tell me?

The new NPE is also said to be story driven, but so was the NPE two iterations ago, which was going to be a big new thing until they quietly ditched it, because everything PvE had to go into The Agency…. and probably also because once you got done with the story the actual game is nothing like that, bait and switch not being a great idea for player retention.  I hope CCP learned something since last time and aren’t just jumping back on the same idea they previously axed.

Though the NPE has been through the wringer more than a few times, CCP has been especially adamant about new player retention being an issue since EVE North back in 2019 when they gave us this chart.

How many new players log back in as time passes

As I noted at the time, that seems pretty dismal without any context.  But the one publicly available study on the topic I found seemed to indicate that those retention numbers are pretty close to the industry average for MMORPGs with a free to play option.  Given EVE Online’s legendary difficulty, obtuse UI, and open world PvP, that CCP does so well is probably an achievement.

So while I get that CCP likes to keep reminding us that new players are the lifeblood of the game… and I hope this next revision of the NPE helps on that front… farming the installed player base, the lapsed veterans and such, is how games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft have revitalized their bottom lines.  Here is hoping that another investment in another new NPE pays off.

The NPE is also emphasized in the trailer for the new quadrant.

I feel like I saw that launch sequence in the EVE Valkyrie opening… but I guess all tube launches feel kind of the same.  I’ll have to find some time to give it a try.

So that is the first thing on the list.

Next on the update front is skill training with the introduction of skill plans and a revamp of the training system UI.  This feels like a feature that benefits both new and old players alike.  Players will be able to create plans for specific goals, with milestones to mark improvements for specific configurations, and even certified skill plans aimed at new players to help them decide what to train.

There is also a revamp of the skill training UI.  Being an old fart that has finally gotten used to the current setup, I immediately wondered how badly could they screw it up? This morning already saw calls for the old UI on r/eve, but they hate everything there.  But here is the new UI on day one.

The New Skill Window – The red arrow thing is not part of the UI

For openers, skills now have their own window, no doubt because the game UI doesn’t have enough independent windows floating around, and it defaults to the new training plan UI, which I won’t even delve into right now, but it feels too big and not all that helpful.

For those of us who just want to see our current skills and queue together, the second tab has that, with all the skill groups now in alphabetical order finally.  I know, there is outrage that Spaceship Command isn’t in the upper left, but whatever, and my brain wants to read left to right along rows first, then down columns, and the sorting is by columns, but I’ll get used to all of that.

The window seems bigger than it needs to be.  It defaults to full screen, which is obnoxiously large on my 34″ monitor, but even when I make it a window it remains too wide for my taste largely due to the black dead zone between skills and queue (marked with the red arrow in the screen show above) that cannot be sized down by itself. (The gap between skill names and their states seems pretty wide as well.)

Anyway, there is always EVE Mon still if I need a more compact view.  Oh, and your character sheet is different now, lacking all those skills… and I hope you remembered to put pants on your avatar.

A fuller body view now

All of this comes with a couple of big changes to skills queues:

  • The current limit of 50 skill entries in the queue will be increased to 150 for both Alpha and Omega clones.
  • The current restriction of the Alpha clone training queue allowing only the skills that would start training within the next 24h will also be removed.

As somebody who came from the “one skill at a time and make sure you start a long skill the night before the next patch update” era, these seem huge.  150 skills in the queue will let you build up a might skill plan… I’ve bumped into the 50 skill limit a few times since it became a thing… and the removal of the 24 hour queue limit will be huge for new players.

And old players.  I can even now see people rolling up a new alpha, sending it the ISK for skills, setting up the desired queue, then letting it run for however long it takes until that suicide gank character or whatever is on the shelf and ready to use.  There is no improvement that EVE players will fail to exploit.

There are a few other items with today’s update.  A new skill points for sale pack is in the store.  EVE Online will be available in the Epic Store come September 23rd.  And, in a nod to the promise to relax the economic starvation plan (now planned for November), there was this tidbit slipped in at the bottom of the announcement:

More ice has been brought back into New Eden with its availability having doubled, and the availability of Mercoxit has also increased.

I wonder if the ice availability got boosted due to the jump drive fuel crisis that hit the game when World War Bee ended and PAPI had to move home?  Anyway, there is alleged to be more ice now.

So that is the what has come with the launch of the new quadrant.  Here are the related dev posts for today’s update:

Dealing with Mudflation

A few weeks back on The Meta Show The Mittani characterized CCP’s attempts to fix the EVE Online economy as an attempt to roll back mudflation.  And that seems to fit the bill as to what they have been attempting over the last few years really.

Mudflation goes back to… well, as the name implies, MUDs and their economies.

Much has been written about the economies of online games, but my early experience with mudflation was around TorilMUD, which was big enough to have a player economy, but not big enough to absorb the faucets over time.

Mudflation generally refers to the growth of both power in online games and the effects of the uninterrupted flow of cash from drops, quests, and what not into the player economy.

In TorilMUD both aspects hit the game.  Power creep was generally part of the introduction of new raid zones.  If somebody made a fancy new zone for players to attack, they would seed it with some desirable gear, a bit better than you could get in some of the older zones.  That made people run the new zone to get the drops that they wanted, but also made older raid zones a bit easier to run.

For example, way back in time, the City of Brass in the Astral Plane was a tough zone for a raid group.  It had some nifty stuff, but groups primarily went there because it had drops for a couple of epic spell quests, including one of the druid spells… creeping doom or moonwell, I forget which this far down the line.  You needed a fire protection item, you needed to have fly cast on you, several of the fights needed very specific group compositions.

As new raid zones came in and gear got better overall, City of Brass became a bit of a cakewalk.  Part of that was the raid leaders learned all the tricks over time, what you could skip and how best to approach various bosses, but a lot of it was that we were all just now over-geared for the zone, so that save for one boss fight a run was rarely in question. (Unless Mori was running the raid, in which case we might all wipe just traveling through the Astral Plane and spend the next three hours recovering from that.)

The TorilMUD solution to this over time was to redo gear, generally by hitting it vigorously with a nerf bat until zones were, if not hard, but at least not a walk over.  Often the devs came for specific things.  There was the great war on haste items.  I remember Meclin lent me a pair of grey suede boots, which were haste items when he took a break and I traded them for some gear that was a big upgrade for me and then, two weeks later the devs nerfed them into oblivion.  I offered to go buy a pair of grey suedes for him when he returned to the game.  They were cheap because nobody wanted them anymore.

Part of the issue for TorilMUD is that it has had a level cap of 50 since 1993, so adjusting gear was the go-to solution.

Then there was the economy.  For some time after a pwipe, and I went through four of those, a player economy would grow and flourish.  I wrote a post about how we used to handle sales by yelling about our wares back in the old days.

TorilMUD was a game of many faucets and few sinks.  As usual, life was hard when you were level 1 and could barely afford the copper needed to buy a ration to eat.  But as you went on and looted every coin and sold every bit of junk to a vendor… we used to race off to the Faerie Forest with every crash/reboot because there were things we could sell available at such a reset… you eventually could cover your needs, then buy a few luxuries, then had excess.

When everybody was hungry, the economy thrived.  When people got fat, when the streets were running with gold, then the economy would die.  Basically, gear had value and coin did not, and who trades something of value for no return?  And when somebody did want to buy/sell something, it was for an obscene pile of coin.

That problem was never solved, save through the community itself.  People were generous in donating gear and when there was no demand, people stopped farming low level gear to resell.  But if you wanted to buy gear, pay money for an item, you were likely out of luck. (Except maybe for that tinker’s bag in the Faerie Forest.)

Both of those aspects of mudflation have carried on into modern MMORPGs.

In fact the experience of early EverQuest was very much a replay writ large, right down to people shouting to advertise their wares in the tunnel in The Commonlands.

The Plane of Knowledge kills all this eventually

The EQ developers had a different way out… a route that actually ran with gear inflation… which was expansions.  If you pile on some levels or some AAs to earn, a bit of story, and a pile of new gear to grind for, then you kick the gear inflation can down the road.  As long as you keep making expansions… and the EQ team was doing two expansions a year at one point… and don’t go crazy, you can sustain this for quite a while.

The economy was still a bit nutty in Norrath.  They had to turn off gravity in the Bazaar, the official player economy center, because you needed to haul huge amounts of platinum coin around to buy things, and woe to anybody who forgot to bank their coins before stepping out of the Bazaar, because you would find yourself weighed down, unable to move.  I’ve done that.

World of Warcraft had adopted pretty much the same point of view, at least up through the Battle for Azeroth expansion.  They did a gear squish at one point, just to reign in numbers, but gear progression through expansions was still pretty much the same; new expansion green gear was likely better than your old expansion purples.

And the team at Blizz made old raid tourism a thing for pets and transmog gear, so your inflated power could be used to go back and collect stuff you missed in past expansions.

It wasn’t until Battle for Azeroth that they started to feel that the “more levels with every expansion” model might be reaching the point of absurdity, so we got the great level squish before Shadowlands hit.  For me the jury is still out as to whether that was worth the effort, though it is hard to judge due to Shadowlands growing stale in the first six months and then the hostile workplace lawsuit hitting the company.

Regardless, I suspect that a level squish like that is a luxury that few titles can afford.  I am sure the EQ team feels the pain of having a level cap at 115 and 27 expansions to sort through.  I am not sure how Neverwinter managed it, though I suspect their plan was not as ambitious.

On the economy front Blizzard has just run with the inflation model, even expanding the gold cap over time.  Each expansion hands out more gold, but they add in a few fancy gold sinks… mounts and bags and what not… to try and offset that.  I am sure that WoW Tokens helped at least redistribute some of the hoarded gold in the game.

But the player economy isn’t critical to the game.  There are servers where the economy is totally screwed up, where the auction house is bad, but you can mostly ignore it.  You do quests, get gear, earn faction, get enough gold to buy from NPC vendors, and go on with your life and adventures.

It has actually been a bit amusing to watch the economy change in WoW Classic with the unlock of Burning Crusade Classic.  We would go out of our way to finish a quest with a one gold reward in vanilla.  In Outland the quest rewards are throwing gold compared to what we’ve been used to, and the market reacted.  People got rich, prices went up, and things moved along.

Still, the auction house it options.

Which brings me back to EVE Online, where started about a thousand words back.  CCP has been doing something that I have not seen before in an online game.  CCP has been trying to stuff the economy side of the mudflation genie back in the bottle.

After introducing all the changes that led to the current situation, epitomized at one point by the Delve Time Unit, CCP had a change of heart/staff and started down a path to reduce the wealth being accumulated in New Eden.  Rorqual mining was repeatedly nerfed as was supercap ratting.  Taxes on commerce were raised.  Anomalies were nerfed some more, then the whole ESS nerf was put in place to put income at risk.

CCP then got serious and went after mining and minerals, the core of the manufacturing economy, reducing ore yields, limiting where some minerals could be found, reducing the number of asteroids, and generally trying to starve the New Eden economy.

Most recently CCP redid industry.  Ship prices were already on the rise due to mineral prices, but CCP made certain ships, battleships and above, much more expensive to produce which saw a large downturn in production back in April.

A lot of effort has gone into throttling the economy, though after all that CCP threw some ISK at people for an event when they unlocked the ESS reserve bank keys.

July 2021 – Money Supply Over Time (with highlight)

While the money supply is down a bit from the June 2019 high, that last injection seems to have undone much of what they were attempting to achieve.

And CCP has promised that the starvation economy will be ending with changes slated for Q4 of 2021.  We do not know what those are yet, but I am very curious to see if there will be any tangible change resulting from these months and years of squeezing the economy.

For example, CCP loves when null sec goes to war.  Big battles with expansive ships set records and make headlines that help promote the game.  But this big economic squeeze has clearly impacted the war.

Yes, PAPI is claiming that the tax changes killed off their Tranquility Trading Tower revenues, which meant they could no longer finance the war, but that feels more like an excuse than major factor.

That said, making capitals and supercapitals more expensive to produce means that both sides in the war were much more careful about putting hard to replace assets on the line.  The tax change may not have ended the war, but the production change loomed large over how it was being fought and made those big battles CCP loves less likely.  Nobody wants to risk their big toys if they can’t be sure they can replace them.

CCP is in a tough corner, I will admit that.  If they think the economy is getting out of hand they cannot just add some more sinks in with the next expansion, a spiffy new mount or some such.  And the economy is vital to EVE Online in a way that few other games have ever managed.  Life goes on in New Eden because you can go to Jita and buy a new ship to replace the one you lost.  ISK has value in the economy.  Screw that up and the game breaks hard.

But I am still wondering if this effort will end up being an object lesson to other developers about how to, or how not to, deal with mudflation.

The July Monthly Economic Report and the Lull Time in EVE Online

CCP dropped the Monthly Economic Report for July yesterday, a little earlier in the month than usual.  I take this as a further sign that not much goes on at CCP in August, so nobody was too busy elsewhere to run and post the report.

EVE Online nerds harder

That they had time to run and post the report early doesn’t mean that we got a better report.  As gets pointed out in the discussion thread about the July MER, there are still issues including the missing Pochven region and data bleed through across months.  But you work with the data you have, not the data you might want.

While August is a lull time for CCP, July saw the big lull in game.  The weekly peak concurrent numbers that I had been tracking since the start of World War Bee were at their lowest as the stalemate in Delve carried on into its third month and PAPI leadership was talking about taking the summer off.

We all know how that turns around in August now.

An interesting side question revolves around the sudden bump in player wealth at the end of July.  Was that the 235 million ISK in login rewards all Omegas got at the end of the month, the effect of people coming back when the final battle of the war suddenly loomed and PAPI was calling people to get re-subscribed, or a bit of both?  Down below we get a number for the login rewards, and it doesn’t seem like enough for that big of a bump.

July 2021 – Money Supply Over Time (with highlight)

But otherwise the MER is, as always, a month behind so we’ll have to just pretend we haven’t skipped ahead to the good part.  (Or the bad part if you were in TEST or Brave.)  Still, you can see the war slipping away in the Delve net imports/exports numbers for June and July

In June the Delve net trade balance was 138 billion ISK in imports, while in July that changed to 4.69 trillion ISK in exports.  That is a lot of stuff leaving the region.  Somebody was on their way out the door early.

Production

The last few months we have been looking at the impact of the industry changes on production in New Eden, so we may as well start there again with the chart and the red line that tracks it.

July 2021 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

As you can see, the slide in production continued into July, then turned around a bit mid-month to start climbing a bit.  It is still well below any recent dip, but there was also the slow down in the war and the decline in active users.  The numbers in the regional stats showed 85.23 trillion ISK in production, which is down about 3.5 trillion from the June number, even though the month saw an increase as it moved into August. (The chart goes to August 9th.)

The top regions for production were:

  1. The Forge – 15.33 trillion
  2. Delve – 9.19 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 6.59 trillion
  4. Lonetrek – 6.55 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 4.37 trillion
  6. Fade – 3.91 trillion
  7. Sinq Laison – 3.52 trillion
  8. Domain – 2.83 trillion
  9. Placid – 2.34 trillion
  10. Malpais – 2.22 trillion

Numbers did not change much over the June numbers.  As usual, a lot of the production occurs in the regions adjacent to the Jita trade hub.

Destruction

With the war in a lull the destruction numbers remained flat, ringing in at 27 trillion ISK, down slightly but not a significant amount when compared to June’s 27.65 trillion.

High sec remained to the top of the list when it came to destruction.

  1. Lonetrek – 1.82 trillion
  2. Delve – 1.82 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 1.76 trillion
  4. The Forge – 1.58 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 1.57 trillion
  6. Metropolis – 952 billion
  7. Querious – 871 billion
  8. Sinq Laison – 813 billion
  9. Domain – 793 billion
  10. Genesis – 746 billion

Delve was in the running, narrowly edged out by Lonetrek, but the three regions around Jita again dominate together, being the prime location for suicide ganks and war targets.

Given what we have seen in August so far, Delve should see a huge uptick in destruction if CCP doesn’t botch the numbers as the did back in December.

Mining

Mineral prices started rising again in July even as production stayed low.  This might be due to mineral bottlenecks in the production cycle.  Some higher end mineral caches have likely been burned through at this point.  I mentioned the morphite crunch last month.

July 2021 – Economic Indices

Mineral prices remain very high despite the drop from the record prices of recent months.

On the supply side, 20.57 trillion ISK in ore was mined in July, down about 4 trillion from the June number.  The top regions were:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.16 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.02 trillion
  3. The Forge – 934 billion
  4. Metropolis – 686 billion
  5. Insmother – 635 billion
  6. Lonetrek – 507 billion
  7. Kador – 499 billion
  8. Etherium Reach – 489 billion
  9. Genesis – 488 billion
  10. Everyshore – 484 billion

High sec space still holds most of the slots, but Fraternity still tops the list in Vale, FI.RE in Insmother, and Slyce, a PanFam ally, in Etherium Reach.  Those are the null sect hot mining spots.

ISK Faucets

There was a new faucet on the chart in July, the “Redeemed ISK Token,” which I assume is the ISK Omega accounts got for the login reward campaign I mentioned at the top of the post.

July 2021 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

You might need to click on that image to bring it to full size in order to read it… I know I have to and the print is pretty tiny even then… but I underlined the new token item, which apparent injected 9.4 trillion ISK in the New Eden economy.

That doesn’t give us the full extent of the login reward largess, since that ran into August, so some people won’t have redeemed all of the 235 million ISK, and some will have left it in the redemption queue, but if everybody happened to collect and redeem in the first five days, that would be about 40,000 Omega accounts.

Put that number as the new floor on how many subscribers there are.  There can’t be less than that and likely much more.  I’ll follow up on that next month.

The redeemed ISK token also appears on the faucets over time chart.

July 2021 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

That dark blue line spikes up pretty hard at the end of the month.  For a short bit of time it was bringing more ISK into the economy that the other faucets.  But it was also a limited time item, a short blip.

Commodities remained the top ISK producer as usual, with incursions in third place.

July 2021 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

As usual, the wormhold crabs brought in the most ISK with Sleeper components.  Abyssal space and incursion rewards were pretty close, while the miscellaneous line must be related to the Minmatar Liberation Day events that showed up in the second week of the month.

As for NPC bounties, those totaled up to 24.74 trillion ISK in value in July, down just 1.5 trillion from June, with the top regions being:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.88 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.09 trillion (PanFam)
  3. Insmother – 1.0 trillion (FI.RE)
  4. Tenal – 995 billion (Fraternity)
  5. Esoteria – 993 billion (Army of Mango)
  6. Tribute – 894 billion (Fraternity)
  7. Branch – 867 billion (Fraternity)
  8. Oasa – 846 billion (Fraternity)
  9. Querious – 831 billion (Brave)
  10. Delve – 828 billion (TEST)

We are back again to null sec taking all ten spots.  Fraternity was especially active, but it has been clear from their position on the war and the TTT that they aim to be a significant null sec power in their own right.  Delve and Querious show that TEST and Brave were really bought into the idea of living in Imperium space, an idea shattered this month by the collapse of the PAPI coalition.

Trade

Finally, there is trade, which was up in July, hitting 513 trillion ISK, up from the 489 trillion ISK in trade that June saw.  The top regions for trade remain as consistent as usual.

  1. The Forge – 370 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 39.75 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Delve – 15.75 trillion (Imperium/PAPI)
  4. Sinq Laison – 14.43 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Lonetrek – 12.09 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  6. Metropolis – 10.75 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 8.26 trillion (Rens)
  8. Essence – 4.65 trillion (Gallente High Sec)
  9. The Citadel – 3.63 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  10. Vale of the Silent – 3.23 trillion (Fraternity)

And so it goes.

The next report will be interesting.  Destruction should be way up again, trade up due to fuel scarcity, and the remains of the ISK token login rewards to account for.

As always, you can find more charts and all the data on the MER dev blog.

Related

CCP Releases the ESS Reserve Bank Keys and Hands Out ISK in EVE Online

As expected, CCP’s final update for July, named The Grand Heist, went live today.  It brought with it the long awaited ESS reserve bank keys, allowing players access to ~20 trillion ISK that has been piling up and inaccessible since the introduction of the mandatory ESS structures last November.

The Grand yet Slow Heist

In a surprising move, CCP also decided to straight up hand players ISK.  But I’ll get to that in a bit, first the reserve bank thing.

The reserve bank keys are now available in low sec sites that need to be scanned down.  The keys are available in four “flavors” with two variations.  The flavor is which quadrant of space they are useful in, the break down being:

  • SW: Feythabolis, Impass, Delve, Period Basis, Querious, Catch, Esoteria, Paragon Soul, Providence, and Stain
  • SE: Geminate, Curse, Detorid, Great Wildlands, Immensea, Insmother, Omist, Scalding Pass, Tenerifis, and Wicked Creek
  • NE: Cobalt Edge, Etherium Reach, The Kalevala Expanse, Malpais, Oasa, Outer Passage, Perrigen Falls, The Spire, Vale of the Silent, and Cache
  • NW: Branch, Deklein, Pure Blind, Tenal, Tribute, Venal, Cloud Ring, Fade, Fountain, Outer Ring, and Syndicate

The variations are the durations,15 and 45 minutes, which is how long the key in question allows you to siphon encrypted bonds from the reserve bank.  As with the main bank, the payout is in bonds that need to be turned into an NPC in order to convert them to ISK.  So the robber can get robbed trying to cash in.

So you don’t get all the reserve bank, but a steady payout for every minute that you and your crew sit in the ESS, up to the duration of your key.  The payout apparently ramps up over time, with a potential peak payout of 150 million ISK per minute.  That is some decent ISK, though it is still going to be a while before the current 20 trillion ISK is drained.

As I noted previously, some alliances have already nationalized some of their reserve banks, declaring that their output will go into the general funds to support the organization and its programs, like SRP.  Those not nationalized will likely still be harvested by the local residents.

In addition, the ESS structures and UI got a complete overhaul.  The small percentage of capsuleers than actually end up in an ESS will no doubt appreciate the new visuals.

Further details about the ESS update are linked at the end of the post.

But that is not all the update brings.  CCP seems to be all about the ISK at the moment, which seems a bit odd after the panic of the starvation economy and trying to make us all poor over the last year or so.  In order to celebrate the Grand Heist CCP is handing out ISK as login rewards for Omega clones.

Grand Heist Login Rewards

That is hard to see unless you enlarge it, but if an Omega account logs in for six days they will get rewards of 10, 15, 25, 40, 60, and finally 85 million ISK.  Not bonds or other items of value, but straight up in-game currency totaling up to 235 million ISK.

Handing out in-game currency as a daily login reward is pretty common with free to play mobile games, but I cannot recall an MMORPG giving out cash like this.  And this isn’t even an trivial amount.  For a lot of players, myself included, 235 million ISK is a useful sum.  I won’t be resubscribing any accounts to collect it, but I will certainly be sure to log in my subscribed accounts to gather this ISK largess.

But wait, that’s not all!

CCP is also trying to stimulate the economy by declaring something of a tax holiday, reducing sales tax and broker’s fees by 50% for the next three months.  So selling will net you more profit on the market between now and the end of October.

Both the ISK handout and the tax holiday are unprecedented in the history of the game.  CCP not too long ago went through a phase of raising taxes, again due to concerns about too much ISK coming into the economy.  Now they’re giving away ISK and reducing taxes.  It is almost as though they are reacting to something.  Can we be bribed to log in with ISK?

Anyway, I’ll be interested to see if there is a blip in the July or August MERs that line up to these two things.

The update is live in the game now.  Information is available at the following locations:

Addendum:

I now have a screen shot (thanks to Reddit) to prove the keys exits.

The info for a 45 minute SW key

Go forth and heist I guess.

The End of Scarcity Foreseen in EVE Online in Q4 2021

Or should that be Q4 of YC123?

CCP dropped a July Update post on us earlier today.

An update… because July I guess

They don’t do regular monthly updates, so the suspicious part of my mind thinks this is really the “we’re all on vacation in August” update to get us a last up note before the company goes into light hibernation until some time in September.

And much of the update could be categorized as “reminding us about things we already knew.”  There is a lot of self-congratulation about updates so far this year and an insistence that they have been listening to the community… at least over the last few weeks.  As they say, “odd flex” but whatever.

So the post includes a tour of 2021 from Quantum Cores to the return of the Alliance Tournament.  They did get some things done in 2021 so far.

Then there are the two future items.  The first is the releasing of the reserve bank keys, which we’re all pretty sure will be this Tuesday, so file that under “things we already knew” as well I suppose.

And then there is the economy.  This is the news that everybody has been waiting for… and it manages to be at once both exciting and disappointing.

Scarcity firmly ends in Q4 2021

-July Status Update

That’s exciting.  I don’t know if that means October 1st or December 31st, but at least we have a target of sorts at which point CCP plans to ease the economic squeeze they have had the New Eden economy under for over a year.  CCP marks the start of this with the redistribution phase, which is certainly where things kicked in hard, but they had been after mining and ratting with the nerf bat for at least a year before that.

They even have some bullet points as to what they are looking into:

  • Increased quantity of all resources across New Eden
  • Introduction of moon goo and gas compression
  • A balance pass for all mining ships
  • Additional specialized holds for gas and ice
  • Rework of the industrial index including greater choice over the distribution of resources

That all sounds good, and if you want resources broken out by regions then moon goo and gas compression are essential to make transportation viable, because right now it is a huge pain in the ass.

There is also a mention of ratting in the post, with a pass on anomalies expected:

Later this year will see planned updates for existing Nullsec anomalies, including the addition of capital anomalies. A new high reward Nullsec PvE feature to get capitals back into space to trigger exciting player escalations is also being worked on. As mentioned before, you will get more detail and discussion on these topics as their release draws closer.

Once again, sounds cool in theory.

What this all lacks is any detail.  There is no sense of how far CCP really plans to go in relaxing the restrictions on resource harvesting.  And they haven’t renounced their flawed tenants of economic interdependence.  We’ve been beaten so hard by the scarcity stick that it is tough to trust that things will get much better, and anybody that thinks we’re headed back to the “good old days” is destined for disappointment.

So color me, and probably many others, a bit hesitant to cheer too hard after the long haul of privation.

I am happy that CCP is looking to dial back scarcity and that they’ve actually take a moment to communicate with the player base in a more general fashion, and I certainly hope CCP has a real plan to get capital ships to undock again, because everybody loves blowing them up.  Whether they can walk the line between keeping the economy in check and getting back to expensive ships blowing up is to be determined.

Related:

Friday Bullet Points on Deck for Summer

Back in the day I used to have a regular “mail bag” feature that took items from the blog inbox… reader submissions and press releases… that I thought might be interesting.  I don’t get much reader email these days and the press releases… where to even start?  Leaving aside the non-gaming updates, and the interview offers for random “experts” on even more random topics, the best one I’ve seen in months was about a Hello Kitty mobile app.  It even has a video, if that is your thing.

Bullet points though… I can pull those from anywhere.  All of which was a too long way of saying we’re back to the Friday Bullet Points thing again.

  • Steam Deck

Probably the big PC gaming announcement of the week was the Valve announcement of the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck hardware

Basically it feels like Valve looked at the Nintendo Switch and said, “Yeah, we can do that and then some.”  No doubt experience garnered with the failed Steam Machine helped them along

It runs on the Linux based SteamOS, plays games directly from your Steam library, has a docking option that allows you to hook up a keyboard, mouse, and monitor if you so desire, and is supposed to be available by December, with pre-orders opening up today.

Pricing is “aggressive” according to the company, starting at $399 for the 64GB base model and rising to $649 for the 512GB top end unit.  It seems pretty cool.  There are games in my Steam library that certainly favor a controller for input, and $400 for a mini gaming PC seems like a pretty good deal.  But I’ll probably wait and see on this one all the same.

Picking additional coverage to link to is tough as literally any web site that has any connection to video games has an article up by now, so there is plenty out there about the device.  Still, IGN’s article links to a FAQ they put together with Valve, so I’ll link to that.

  • Pokemon Go Fest

Pokemon Go turned five this month and the annual Pokemon Go Fest is this weekend to celebrate.  I haven’t really felt the need to buy the $14.99 in-game ticket to join in on the event in the past.  Some things, like all the special raids, are there for everybody.  But this time around they knocked the price down to $4.99 and have a pile of thing available for those who buy in, so my wife and I spent the money.

the 2021 event price

It is summer, we can go outside again, and it isn’t like the war in New Eden will miss me for a couple of afternoons.  I also have to go feed somebody’s cat on Saturday, a walk which will take me past at least three gyms.

  • Pokemon Go Five Year Collection Event

It is lucky for Naintic that we bought the event tickets before we finished the warm up event.  For the five year anniversary there was a run to collect all of the starter Pokemon from the first six generations of the game.  They were out in the wild, so the first dozen or so were easy enough to collect.  But there are always a few who seem reluctant to show up.  We found out that the daily tasks related to the event always had one of the starters, so the night before the deadline we were out at the community center, which has a a bunch of Pokestops, doing tasks to try and get the last two we needed.

Take 5 pictures of a wild Pokemon was a common task

After some persistence, my wife ended up getting her final catch.  I got my final one the next morning… a totodile if you are interested… so we were able to collect the rewards.

All of the starters checked off

They were some Pokeballs (yawn), a few rare candies (decent), and a special encounter.  The hope was that it would be something good.   Instead it was the anniversary Pikachu.

5 year Pika

That would have been cool… had that Pikachu not been littering the pavement throughout the event.  They were everywhere.  I wasn’t even bothering to catch them.  My wife about exploded when she saw the reward for the effort.  So here is hoping we get a bit more from the weekend’s run.

  • Pokemon Go Raid Achievements

Earlier this month, in advance of the anniversary, Pokemon Go got some big updates on the graphical front.  It is no longer either day or night.  Dusk and dawn see the light change as the sun moves through the sky.  Shadows are also more realistic.  When joining a raid there are some splashy new graphics.  And, there are now raid level achievements for things like most damage, final blow, and best dressed.

My wife got the final blow, but I just make this look good

There are, of course, badges for getting raid achievements… achievements for achievements are my favorite achievements I guess.

I can hit hard when I want

The interesting one is the traveler award, which goes to the remote raid pass person furthest from the gym.  I’ve had one friend from Japan get the furthest I’ve seen so far.

That is pretty far away… I was about 1km from the gym

  • Diablo II Technical Alpha Updates

I am trying to be cool about Diablo II: Resurrected.  We’re not getting it for a while, so no need to get all excited about it.

The return of the classic

But then we get updates from the company about how the technical alpha is going and it becomes hard to sit on my hands.  I want to play.  As a pre-order I will get a chance in about a month I guess.  That isn’t too far down the road.  Time flies.

  • Reserve Bank Keys are Coming

Back when CCP was nerfing ratting by forcing the ESS on it last November, they setup a main bank, which can be stolen from ratters, and a reserve bank, which would require special keys that were not yet available.  Since then trillions of ISK has built up in the reserve banks across null and low sec space.

CCP has announced that the reserve bank keys are finally coming.  They have put the keys, which can be found in low sec sites, up on the test server so people can try them out.

I expect comedy will ensue.  A few keen players will get in, figure out the system, keep quiet about whatever flaws there are, and otherwise position themselves to act the moment that the keys are released on the live server, at which point there will be a rush for them.  The winners will likely be the preppers and large groups that will rob their own reserve banks.

I expect that the reserve bank keys will be live on July 27th unless some tragic flaw is found, reported, and actually investigated by CCP.  At least they put the ISK payout flow on a timer,  made the keys specific to a particular quadrant of New Eden, and gave us two flavors (5 minute and 15 minute) so all the reserve banks won’t be empty in a week of furious activity like they did with structures a while back.  And, like the main bank, the payout is in bonds that need to be redeemed at an NPC, so they can be lost even after the heist.

 

CCP Announces the Return of the Alliance Tournament to EVE Online

CCP teased us with a count down to a video yesterday which had capsuleers wondering what the company might have planned.  Summer isn’t just a down time for players, much of the company tends to go on vacation as well.  This morning at 15:00 UTC (8am for me, so morning in my book) the video was unlocked and the big news was… the return of the alliance tournament.

Coming this November

Why is this a big deal?

The Alliance Tournament ran annually from 2005 through until 2018, then went on hiatus in 2019.  CCP allowed groups like EVE NT to host tournaments on their infrastructure, but declined to carry on with what was viewed as the “official” tournament for many players.  Many were disappointed and it has been a perennial point for CSM members to ask about its return since the 2019 announcement.

In addition to the prestige of winning the Alliance Tournament… CCP even unveiled a monument to the winners earlier this year in the Manarq system in the Genesis region… success in the tournament could be quite lucrative for the winners.

Winged Victory surrounded by markers of all the winning alliances

There alliance has not been without controversy.  For openers, one of the prime aspects of EVE Online is that we all play on a single server and everything happens within that space.  But the Alliance Tournament breaks that, taking place outside of the game.  There is also a bit of elitism as to who can participate, where the rich get in and the poor stand by.  And the wealth accumulated by some winners has seemed a bit excessive.  It has been said that Pandemic Legion financed many of its operations over the years on its winnings, so the influence of an out of game event has been felt in New Eden.

And then there have been the actual controversies within the tournament itself including accusations of collusion, with winners having been disqualified.

But it has remained a staple of the game for years and many will celebrate its return.

It will be interesting to see what impact this return will have on the game.  There have been years when wars have slowed down or stopped because key players in alliances drop out of playing to plan and practice for the tournament, often months in advance of the actual event.  Of course, with the currrent state of World War Bee right now, I am not sure anybody would notice.

So some big news on Bastille Day.

Related:

New Eden and the Death of the Subscription Model

You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

On Wednesday this week I was arguably somewhat critical of CCP’s monetization policy in EVE Online. (I see myself as most in a state of exhausted indifference at this point, but sometimes tone doesn’t come through.) Today I am going to argue the other way around because life and software and business are all complicated.  There are no simple answers to anything.

There was a new round of outrage at CCP this week over all sorts of things, from bugs to the CSM election, but monetization always gets the biggest response and this week had a couple of hits on that front.

First there was the $230 black ops pack that I mentioned on Tuesday which, due to the inclusion of skill points even got somebody posting on r/eve that we all needed to undock in Jita and shoot the monument.

This has been the go-to move since Incarna by people who didn’t understand what happened during Incarna.  As much as I’d like you to go back and read my Wednesday post, I’ll sum it up: shooting the monument did nothing, people unsubscribing led to change.

Also, with the Jita 4-4 revamp, the monument is hidden around back of the new station and no longer visible from the undock.  CCP has successfully sidelined the protest zone.

Can you see the protest going on? Me neither.

Anyway, the frog was on the boil once again with the black ops pack when people discovered that, since Tuesday’s patch, if you lose a ship it appears that there is a chance you’ll get a advertisement pop up with your loss suggesting you buy some PLEX to turn into ISK in order to purchase a new one. (I lost a ship this week and didn’t see one, so it might just be for Euros or for accounts less antiquated than my own.)

Use your credit card to finance your revenge!

I had to look at that image a couple of times because at first glance it seemed to imply that you could buy your ship back with cash, a first step on the path to something I expect to happen eventually.  And, of course, I might have been influenced by the fact that EVE Echoes has real money ship insurance.

But no, we aren’t there yet in PC based New Eden.  This was just a hint that you could finance your return with your real life wallet… handy since so many ISK earning avenues have been devastated by the economic reforms of the last year.

So another week, another fire in New Eden.  Film at eleven.

This time around these outrages seemed to spark a mass desire to return to the “subscription only” era, back when EVE Online was at its peak and everything was good.  (Except, of course, it wasn’t because the only thing more persistent than “EVE is dying” is players complaining about CCP and their handling of the game.)

Unfortunately, few supporters of the “subscription only” idea seem to be aware of the brutal nature of the situation.

EVE Online subscribers peaked in 2013 when they claimed to have hit the half million mark.

20% of those were probably on the Serenity server in China and, while that doesn’t mean they weren’t earning the company any money, CCP wasn’t getting anything close to $15 a month out of them.

Still, that leaves 400K subscribers in the west paying in US Dollars or Euros or whatever local convertible currency they had to hand.  That number, and the fact that the game is still around to argue about today, probably marks EVE Online out as the most successful open world PvP everywhere MMORPG in the west… though that isn’t a hugely high bar, given that most other contenders had to either make PvE servers to survive (e.g. Ultima Online) or imploded (how many versions of Darkfall were there?).

Anyway, CCP was able to make a go of a business with that many subscribers and even had pretensions about creating other games… all of which failed, but EVE Online remains.

I would estimate that EVE Online has fewer than half as many subscribers here now in 2021.  Things peaked in 2013, but it was a downhill ride after that.  Hilmar has thrown around numbers like the game having a monthly active user count somewhere between 200K and 300K, but he omits how many of them are Alpha clones… non-subscribers… and how many of them are new players, 96% of whom bail out in the first 30 days.

In the time between 2013 and now the price of many things has gone up but the subscription price remains the same… I had a whole post about this a bit ago… and the subscriber base has been cut in half.

So, taken literally, the suggestion to go back to a subscription only business model would mean CCP bringing in half the revenue they were in 2013.  That seems like a non-starter, even if they were not owned by Pearl Abyss.

But wait, even that is optimistic.  I do not know how many people earn ISK in game to buy PLEX in order to pay their subscription, but it is a number larger than zero and big enough to attract CSM candidates interested in buying votes.  Most of those accounts probably go dormant in a subscription only situation, so we’re at less than half of peak revenue.  We’re back in 2006 maybe, if we’re lucky, which was a crazy time in EVE but not an era that would pay today’s bills.

There are, of course, solutions being offered.  At the top of the list is raising the price of the subscription.  As I have written before, that seems like a sure fire way to drive away more players, especially since CCP would have to at least double the monthly price to make the model work.

Then there is the “stop sucking” group who believes if the new player experience or some neglected feature was fixed subscriptions would surge.  This is wishful thinking at best.

Still, that is better than the magical thinking brigade which includes a new and persistent faction that believes if CCP would only allow player made ship SKINs in the online store their financial problems would be solved.  Leaving aside Sturgeon’s law and the tragic history of player made content in MMORPGs, the operating theory of this group seems to be that SKINs are just mods and if Skyrim or Valheim or Minecraft can have mods then so can EVE Online.  It is like a festival of ignorance.

So it is not going to happen, not here in 2021.  The “subscription required” model is a thing of the past except for a few select titles.

Which isn’t to say anybody has to like the situation the game is in.  The first decade of the twenty-first century was a charmed time, with many fresh seeming MMORPGs and a universal subscription model that seemed to keep the genre, if not pure, and least not irredeemably tainted.

But the past is the past.  Besides which, half of the appeal of EVE Online has been facing adversity and sharing the effort with others.  We’ve always been angry at CCP and this horrible game and play it in part because the bonds shared suffering creates.

So go shoot the monument in Jita I guess.  Join in and talk with some fellow protestors.  It is hardly less pointless than a lot of the game and maybe you’ll make some friends you can complain about CCP with.

Incarna a Decade Later

It has been ten years since the Incarna expansion released for EVE Online and set off probably the biggest confrontations between CCP its customers in the now 18 year history of the game.

Incarna – June 2011

It came at a moment when CCP was at its absolute pinnacle of ambition and hubris.  Before Incarna the company was shooting for the stars, had set their sights on, in their own words, world domination.  Before, EVE Online was just a stepping stone on their path to greatness.

Afterwards… well, EVE Online is really the only money maker they’ve had.

Which isn’t an uncommon story in tech.  It is rare for a company that finds success with one product to be able to repeat that success with another.  Even less common, however, is finding success at all.  So you have to give them that.

I always find it odd that the events around the Incarna expansion get summed up by some as “monocle-gate,” a reference to the  $70 cosmetic item introduced into the in-game store.  People who use the term “monocle-gate” brand themselves as outsiders in my eyes, as the monocle was a side-show at best and, once everything had calmed down, stayed in the in-game store without much further comment.

For many people, myself included, it was avatars and captain’s quarters that broke our faith in the company.

Walking in stations was a bad idea.

Or at least it was a bad idea for CCP as their execution was less than stellar.

After hints and hype and neglect of the rest of the game, to say that the captain’s quarters were underwhelming is an understatement.

What is on Space TV today?

I came back to the game just to try out the expansion and I couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the update.  And to get this feature they had to not only forego working on other more core issues to the game, but pretty much had to rob the World of Darkness team of resources as well.

I’m not sure CCP could have pulled off a World of Darkness MMO, but the diversion of resources from that and DUST 514 made sure we would never find out.

More importantly to many players, the captain’s quarters replaced the hangar view that had been a staple of the game since launch and which had the utility of immediately displaying which ship you were in as it was right there in the middle of your screen.  If you didn’t care for the useless fluff that was the new quarters, your only alternative was a view of a hangar door.  That hangar door was viewed by many as, and I apologize for dredging up this ancient angry metaphor, a slap in the face.

When Hilmar derided requests for a return of the old hangar, dismissing it as “ship spinning” people were pissed.  When he pushed back on growing player complaints about the changes, he hyped up CCP’s technical achievements at their ability to inject solo avatar play into a spaceship game.  He wasn’t going to listen to player complaints.  CCP was going to stay the course.

Not listening to players remains Hilmar’s signature move, as we saw most recently during the Blackout and are experiencing now during the economic starvation plan.

So a useless and processor hungry new feature, the removal of the interface everybody was used to, the neglect of many problems in the game to focus on fluff, Hilmar’s pompous “I know best” attitude, a requirement that 3rd party apps pay a license fee, and even that monocole, had effectively poured gasoline all over the landscape.

All it needed was a match to really set it off, and CCP was happy to oblige in the form of the Greed is Good? issue of their in-house magazine Fearless. (link to it here)  When that leaked… some coincidental timing on that… with its discussion of selling premium ships, gold ammo, and other crass monetization schemes, it was too much for many players.

People speak of the Jita riots which, like the monocle, betrays a simplified view of the event.  A bunch of players did orbit the monument in Jita and shoot it as a show of protest.  But the monument wasn’t a destructible object in the game, so it was very much symbolic.  Did that shift CCP’s view?  I somehow doubt it.

Word is that, on hearing that CCP only cares what players do and not what they say, many players decided to see if unsubscribing was an action that would bring attention to their unhappiness.  I was certainly in that group, cancelling my subscription in annoyance at the company.  That seems a much more likely lever of change when it came to CCP’s view of things.

In a rare display relevance, the whole fiasco gave CSM6 an opening into some agency and they helped harness player discontent at the company into a coherent message.  For a brief period of time the CSM was a voice the company couldn’t ignore, which led to an emergency CSM summit in Iceland, where some accord was reached, though both sides had to issue their own statements on the whole thing as CCP wouldn’t step down from Hilmar’s attitude.  And Hilmar was like Sadam Hussein at the end of the first Gulf War, defiant, shooting his gun in the air, and still claiming victory in the face of catastrophe.

While CCP wouldn’t admit they had been wrong in any of their decisions or attitudes, their actions after the fact played a different tune.  Maybe Hilmar had a point with that idea.

For quite a stretch CCP tread very lightly on the monetization front.  They learned that moving slowly, drawing tentative lines, and laying smokescreens (i.e. lying) was the way to go.  So we went from skill injectors and a promise never to introduce skill points directly into the game to skill point packs in the cash shop over a few years.  It took time, but they got there by making each step small enough to not generate outrage until we got to the destination.  The slippery slope demonstrated.

On the bright side, CCP did also show a renewed interest in actually fixing things that were bad or broken in the game.  We didn’t always get what we wanted and CCP has had some strange ideas on what is good for the game, but they have at least kept focus on it.

And then there was walking in stations.  Player reaction made it a feature that was pretty much dead on arrival.  They did introduce a few different captain’s quarters to match the different empires, but it was never seriously worked on after Incarna.

CCP demonstrated that they did not have the resources to make walking in stations a feature of the game and keep the flying in space aspect of the game evolving as well.  What we received with Incarna was hardly more than a mock up of a real walking in stations feature.  Making it viable, useful, and multiplayer would have required CCP to essentially build a new game, ignoring the old.

Flying in space won out over walking in stations.  You don’t ditch your paying customers for some theoretical new customers.  The history of tech is littered with the wrecks of companies who tried that.

The captain’s quarters lingered in game, with barely 10% of the player base opting to use it.  Then came Upwell structures, new code that did not have the captain’s quarter’s integrated into it.  Given how long it took CCP just to get insurance available within citadels, integrating the captain’s quarters was clearly not in the cards.  Usage of the feature declined further.

Game time spent in Captain’s Quarters

Then came the drive towards 64-bit, which was being held back by the code.

One of the first things that we want to investigate is to release a 64-bit EVE client to better utilize your available system memory when playing. Compiling a 64-bit client has been held back by the outdated middleware that was needed by captain’s quarters.

That was the death knell for the feature.  It will never return.

In the end, Incarna did at least focus CCP on what was important to the current player base, and we have gotten a lot of improvements over the years.  It hasn’t stopped them from going in on VR or believing they can make a successful shooter, but they don’t neglect flying in space as much.

It also made CCP more wily when it came to monetization, pushing them to boil the frog slowly.  But, as the frog knows, we still get boiled in the end.

Related:

Introducing Your CSM16 Representatives

Yesterday CCP did the big reveal stream for CSM16, going through the election round by round to both demonstrate how STV elections work and to try and milk some suspense out of the results.

Unfortunately there wasn’t that much suspense because CCP accidentally posted the results archive up on their site before the stream, so they were up on /r/eve before hand.  CCP tried to pass that off as just “test data,” but when the results lined up it was clear that was just a smokescreen.

The winners were:

CSM16

Congratulations to those who made the cut for CSM16.

In order of election they were:

  1. Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation (first round)*
  2. Gobbins – Pandemic Horde (first round)*
  3. Innominate – Goonswarm Federation (first round)*
  4. Brisc Rubal – The Initiative*
  5. Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion*
  6. I Beast – Method Synergy
  7. Suitonia – We Form V0lta
  8. VilyTest Alliance Please Ignore*
  9. ProgodlegendTest Alliance Please Ignore
  10. Mike Azariah – The Scope*

*CSM15 incumbent

Seven of the eight incumbents who ran were re-elected and seven of the ten total seats when to sov null sec bloc candidates, which is about par for the course for CSM elections.  Null sec blocs tend to take between 6 and 8 seats.

Total votes cast were 38,086, up from the 36,120 cast in the CSM15 election and the 32,994 cast in the CSM14 election.  The votes by country saw the US contribute the lions share of ballots making up close to a third of the count.

CSM16 Election – Votes by Country

As happened last year, Merkelchen and Gobbins, who topped the Goonswarm and Pandemic Horde ballots respectively, met the ballot quota of 3,463 to get themselves elected in the first of the 36 rounds of elimination.  Interestingly, there were enough votes for Merkelchen in the first round, 7,726 to be exact, that his spill over elected Innominate in the first round as well, being the next candidate on the Goonswarm ballot.

Innominate, having made quota, then sent another 204 excess votes to Brisc Rubal, third on the ballot.  In the past, those voting the straight Goon ballot have generally only sent votes to the first two candidates, but there were enough voters for some to trickle down to Brisc this time.

The round one vote bounce

From there it was quite a few rounds before Brisc Rubal and then Kenneth Feld met quota and were elected.  By round 36 the final three candidates neither eliminated nor elected were Progodlegend, Mike Azariah, and Arsia Elkin.  Arsia was the last candidate eliminated, so they will be the first called up should somebody on the CSM drop off or be removed.

The State of the Final Round

Being in 11th place used to give you a pretty good shot at serving on the CSM at some point, as we had a pretty long streak of councils where somebody ended up getting tossed for non-participation or leaking NDA related information.  CSM15 was a bit of an outlier on that front.

One thing I observed from a ballot analysis (linked at the post end) was that Silent Company, the largest alliance in the game, which I mentioned in yesterday’s post, had an official ballot.  But of the 30K players in the alliance, only 133 voted their ballot. (Mike Azariah got those votes as he was the top pick on their list.)

People bitch about sov null sec candidates winning 6-8 seats every time, but there was a potential tide-turning number of voters who didn’t bother voting.  Guess what, you don’t get your act together and vote your ticket, you don’t win.

The eliminations, round by round, were as follows:

  1. Elimination: “TDor Clau” with 30.551773 votes
  2. Elimination: “knockerwrench Alduin” with 51.510715 votes
  3. Elimination: “hurleyalex hurley” with 56.163352 votes
  4. Elimination: “Styxx” with 57.628965 votes
  5. Elimination: “Reicher514” with 62.725040 votes
  6. Elimination: “Xenuria” with 63.810632 votes
  7. Elimination: “Kay-Lynn Tsero” with 67.353259 votes
  8. Elimination: “Micromancer” with 69.549025 votes
  9. Elimination: “Lucrative Business Opportunity” with 99.172650 votes
  10. Elimination: “Xeromus Plague” with 109.192879 votes
  11. Elimination: “Broodin” with 122.813039 votes
  12. Elimination: “Robert Downey Iron” with 156.601009 votes
  13. Elimination: “Gay Pride BOOOOOM” with 191.050778 votes
  14. Elimination: “White 0rchid” with 225.780072 votes
  15. Elimination: “DutchGunner” with 231.144089 votes
  16. Elimination: “Winzentowitsch Madeveda” with 244.139180 votes
  17. Elimination: “Angry Mustache” with 251.063735 votes
  18. Elimination: “Rich Richman” with 285.158034 votes
  19. Elimination: “Baculus Orden” with 306.315076 votes
  20. Elimination: “Mantis Akiga” with 309.669628 votes
  21. Elimination: “Evie Kouvo” with 326.396510 votes
  22. Elimination: “Eluwien” with 352.996941 votes
  23. Elimination: “Shui Jing Jing” with 420.596216 votes
  24. Elimination: “Jim Halescott” with 519.031531 votes
  25. Elimination: “Maldavius” with 600.084464 votes
  26. Elimination: “Jurius Doctor” with 671.064656 votes
  27. Elimination: “Phantomite” with 720.975725 votes
  28. Elimination: “teddy Gbyc” with 750.116022 votes
  29. Elimination: “Dr Spodumain” with 775.232211 votes
  30. Elimination: “RonUSMC” with 850.020410 votes
  31. Elimination: “Rixx Javix” with 972.755342 votes
  32. Elimination: “Stitch Kaneland” with 1048.711892 votes
  33. Elimination: “Seddow” with 1227.656965 votes
  34. Elimination: “Uriel Paradisi Anteovnuecci” with 1509.087582 votes
  35. Elimination: “Mark Resurrectus” with 1736.691925 votes
  36. Elimination: “Arsia Elkin” with 2241.771743 votes

And so it goes.  As I have repeated ad nauseum, CCP is in the driver’s seat when it comes to the CSM, so it is up to them to pay attention or ignore its advice.  The current relationship with the CSM seems pretty good, but CCP always talks up the CSM, even when it is in the midst of trashing its relationship with it on a whim.  We will just have to see how the next year turns out.

Related: