Tag Archives: World War Bee

The CCP World War Bee Press Briefing

Those of involved with the war for the war, which ran for almost 60 weeks in New Eden, CCP’s interest in it seemed lukewarm at times.  They were happy enough to pay attention when we were setting Guinness Book world records for battles, but there were times when they were putting out videos from The Scope about capsuleers battling Triglavians in their scripted event while ten times as many players were battling across multiple regions of null sec.

The Tower of Legends brought down, one of many Keepstars destroyed during the war

Add in the economic starvation plan that CCP cranked up during the war, which seemed then, and now, intended to punish null sec and ensure that nobody has the resources to start another large war, and you might come away with the impression that really doesn’t like null sec.

Of course, there it is also a core belief in Goonswarm Federation that CCP is working against us, a view rooted in the T20 scandal, when a CCP employee was spawning tech II BPOs for Band of Brothers, and which has been renewed by CCP behavior regularly ever since.  It is an article of faith in the alliance that the only sure fire way to get CCP to nerf something is for GSF to start doing it.

So the fact that CCP was kind of quiet about the war once it ended was easily chalked up to the Imperium successfully defending its space and driving out the invaders on its own terms once the retreat began.  CCP was much more interested in strangling the economy than a Goon victory.

But apparently somebody at CCP wanted to make note of the war.

Dracarys member Satoshia posted to the GSF forums that they had been going through the EVE Online press kit materials on CCP’s corporate site and ran into a press briefing slide deck about World War Bee, dated August 17th, 2021. (Download at their site, or archived here if that goes away.)  Sitting in a directory with the name Unreleased Pictures from WWB2, was the slide deck that nobody could recall CCP ever mentioning.

Not released, just sitting here

Unreleased indeed.

They used their Triglavian template for a null sec war

The slide deck is a reasonable summary of the war, which they refer to as World War Bee 2 because they they won’t call the 2016 war The Casino War, having bought into the narrative of the Imperium’s foes. (Another “CCP is against us” moment, along with CCP waiting until the Imperium was defeated before banning the casinos that generated the funds to sustain the war against us.)

Some of the bullet points from the back half of the slide deck are the more interesting and reflect the feeling of things back in August as the war was winding down and PAPI was trying to move home.

  • Repercussions
    • The political landscape of New Eden is changing rapidly in the immediate aftermath of the war.
    • The Imperium have miraculously recovered their home space in less than two weeks.
    • The Imperium military leadership begin planning their revenge. The war is not yet over.
    • Legacy Coalition has dissolved.
    • A new PIBC Coalition has formed from some elements of Legacy.
    • Nearly a dozen alliances disbanded
  • What the Future Holds
    • Both sides are walking away with most of their capital and supercapital ships.
    • Fraternity, Pandemic Horde, and Northern Coalition. are returning to their unscathed homelands.
    • TEST, Brave Newbies, and others are moving to hastily-arranged space far from the conflict zone.
    • The Imperium are redesigning their territory to be more defensible – certain they will be attacked again.
    • New small-scale conflicts are already sparking in other regions.
  • Economic Impact
    • This war affected over 100,000 pilots who depleted markets of key materials.
    • Strategic stockpiles built over many years have been reduced or consumed.
    • Jump fuel, necessary for the vast migration, has tripled in price and is hard to find.
    • So many ships have been built and destroyed that Fleet Commanders must now limit themselves to fielding ships that have plentiful raw build materials.
    • Many pilots are grateful the war has ended so they can replenish their funds.
  • Power Dynamics
    • This will be a war that players will speak about for many years to come.
    • The apparent win for The Imperium has given them an aura of invincibility and high spirits.
    • Public opinion and esprit de corps are hugely important in these highly psychological battles.
    • New partnerships are being forged – as yet untested.
    • War-time achievements are coloring how each entity is treated politically in the aftermath.
  • Guinness Book World Records
    • Largest multiplayer video game PvP battle (8,825 players)
    • Most concurrent participants in a multiplayer video game PvP battle (6,557 participants)
    • Most costly videogame battle ($378,012 USD)
    • Most Titans lost in a battle of EVE Online (257)

But the points of the last slide in the deck are probably the most important for CCP to remember.

  • History In The Making
    • This is what a lot of these players have dedicated their lives to as Capsuleers in EVE.
    • They are here to write history and be a part of these galaxy-changing events
    • Both sides write and retell their own stories — the conflict and drama of it all is fuel for the players who take part.
    • The next in-person EVE meets and fan festivals will be filled with retelling stories from this war – to allies and enemies alike.

This last part is what keeps me and many others invested in null sec.  I have said in the past that, in many ways, EVE Online is an objectively dull game.  The mechanics are difficult to learn and even more so to master, the PvE aspects, ISK generation and resource gathering, are especially tedious.  PvP is sporadic and unpredictable.  And when a few thousand of us end up in a single system battling over an objective, the game slows down to 10% speed and becomes unresponsive and frustrating.

But the sum of those dubious parts is so much greater, the players organizations and the people you fleet up with and the enemies you face and the politics and loyalty and betrayal and all the little moments in between that make up a war of this scale.  That is what gets tens of thousands of players in null sec logging in around the clock to play an intractable and unforgiving game like EVE Online.

I don’t know of another game where things happen on this scale.

And I really wonder why CCP left this slide deck tucked away in a directory like that.  Not a narrative they find useful at the moment I suppose.

Addendum:  In digging around there were a couple of other interesting items, such as this infographic about the war.

CCP and World War Bee by the numbers

And then a tally of Imperium and PAPI ISK losses over the duration of the war.

The cost to both sides in the war looks fairly close

That charts ends in early August, before all of the PAPI structures in Imperium space had been purged and before many of the losses on the way home from the war that the coalition suffered.  So it looks like the Imperium won the ISK war along with keeping their space.

Meanwhile, CCP has chosen to remove the presentation because… reasons.  I suspect the fact that their economic changes choked off the war, leading to a period of stagnation, or that the Imperium coming out looking like winners irked somebody at CCP.  Whatever the reason, it is gone now.

Answers to My Questions for 2021

Back at the start of the year I eschewed the usual predictions post and instead went in for a round of questions.  After 2020 I was clearly feeling unprepared to predict anything, though this was not the first time I went down that path.  Now we have hit the middle of December and it is time to see if any of my questions got answers we like.

2020 plus 1

There is a long pattern of me making such posts on the first of the year.

Anyway, let’s get tucked in and see what I can come up with.

What will a return to normalcy bring to the video game industry?

Right off the bat I am going to have to object here to the assumption that we’ve returned to anything like normalcy.  We’re not in 2020 anymore, but we’re not not in 2020 anymore either.  The shadow of that year lay heavily over this one, its poison seeping in.  People who can are still working from home, Covid is still spreading, the economy is still in a bind from the pandemic, and the world still seems to be going to hell at a rapid pace.

Will Shadowlands hold players?

Well, at least we have an easy one here.  The answer is “no.”  There are a few reasons, not the least of which is Blizzard not releasing much in the way of additional content and Blizzard being revealed as a nightmarish Dickensian workhouse of misogyny and intolerance.  Also, maybe “run Torghast every day for the next two years” wasn’t the winning plan that somebody thought it was.

Will Diablo Immortal ship?

Another easy one!  And another “no.”   Wyatt Cheng once asked if we had phones.  Many of us probably have new ones since he asked that question at BlizzCon 2018.  Now does he have a game?  That seems to be a more pertinent question at this point.

Does Blizzard have anything new planned?

Three for three here on the easy questions, with another big “no” on the tally.  Diablo II Resurrected is about as “new” as they got, and they had Vicarious Visions do the remaster of a twenty year old title for that.  It was a good remaster, but it wasn’t new.

Along with that we had Burning Crusade Classic and WoW Classic Season of Mastery, also not new.  Even the solo mode for Hearthstone didn’t feel very new.  I guess their bigger company issues got in the way for some of that, but it still feels like they came into 2021 just winging it and hoping something would come up.  And, honestly, they don’t seem to have much lined up for 2022.  How can such a big studio… more people work on WoW than most MMO studios have total employees… deliver so little?

What does Daybreak under EG7 really portend?

A reverse merger, with Ji Ham now at the helm?  I wouldn’t have called that one.  Otherwise there has been some promises for the future, but the first year really seemed like business as usual for Daybreak… except maybe they didn’t lay so many people off in 2021.  That’s a plus.

Will Norrath continue to boom?

Kinda, maybe, sorta.  As noted above, things were mostly business as usual.  That has generally been good for the Norrath titles, EverQuest and EverQuest II, which get an expansion in November/December and a major content drop in late spring/early summer every year.  So things roll on there.

But when it comes to doing anything new, it is LOTRO they want to put on consoles, DCUO they want to update, and an unannounced Marvel IP MMO that gets all the headlines.  They even keep bringing up H1Z1.  But EverQuest as a franchise?  Any plans for that look to be dead.

What happens with H1Z1?

Nothing.  As I wrote above, EG7 keeps bringing it up when they talk about the important IPs they control.  There is clearly some wishcasting going on about the title returning to the top of the battle royale genre. But actual progress?  There was some mention that they had a few people look into being able to run a build, but otherwise nobody appears to be working H1Z1 in any meaningful way.

At least they stopped renaming it I suppose.

Where is Cold Iron Studios?

Not with Daybreak and EG7, we know that much.  Somewhere between the announcement that Daybreak was purchasing Cold Iron and the launch of their game Aliens: Fireteam Elite, Cold Iron went somewhere else.  Details are hazy, the story is mostly inferred, but Cold Iron never made it into the EG7 stable of studios.

What does ArenaNet do after all the departures?

Pretend nothing has changed and announce an expansion?  This is the problem with bringing up studios and games I do not watch closely.  A bunch of key people left ANet last year, but back in August they announced the End of Dragons, slated for February 2022, so I guess everything is good.  Maybe?  I don’t really know.

Where does CCP go next with New Eden?

Nowhere?  Seriously, after the Triglavian story cycle the company has been been focused on the new player experience and trying to force the in-game economy into a form that they believe is best for the long term survival of the game, ignoring the short term “hey, can you give us something fun?” requests from the players.  Short sheeting the economy isn’t fun.  Even if you don’t care about the economy and mock miners and industrialists who are complaining, you have to admit that there is very little fun in what CCP has been doing for the last year.

Will CCP stop strangling the New Eden economy?

No.  There was a promise over the summer that the end of scarcity was coming.  But the Q4 quadrant, New Dawn: Age of Prosperity, involved very little prosperity.  For every relaxation of the economic restrictions there was some matching nerf to offset things, often hidden behind some oppressive new game mechanic.  CCP said they were listening to feedback, but they mostly slowed their roll a bit (compression will be in 2022 now) and tried re-arranging the deck chairs some (“waste” got renamed to “residue”) as they carried forward with the goal of resetting the economy to some past halcyon state.  I am sure this will end well.

How Will World War Bee End?

The side with the 3:1 numbers advantage got tired and went home.

There are many ways to spin who “won” the war.  PAPI can claim that they forced the Imperium down from four regions to one constellation and destroyed trillions of ISK in ships and structures.  The Imperium can claim that they held out, denied PAPI their stated victory conditions, and in the end destroyed as much in ships and structures as PAPI did.

As for losing the war, that award generally goes to the group that loses their space and has to move elsewhere.  That makes Legacy Coalition, the main instigators of the war under Vily, the losers.  TEST, the leading alliance in Legacy, lost their old space, couldn’t hold their new space, and ended up trying to live as far away from the Imperium as they possibly could.  Brave gets a special mention for losing hardest of all, as not only did they lose their old space and their new space, but now the rest of PAPI is attacking them because Brave sold structures to the Imperium so they could at least asset safety their stuff and get some seed ISK in the bank to carry on.

Really though, the honor of ending the war goes to CCP.  It was already somewhat obvious after the second battle of M2-XFE that their servers were not going to be up to a final mighty battle.  And then CCP made changes to resources and production that made capital ships too valuable to expend freely, so the attackers were limited to subcaps.  In the choice between investing a lot of time and effort in a real blockade of the final Imperium constellation or just going home, they opted to go home.

Will Nintendo announce a remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl?

Yes, goddammit, yes they did.  About freaking time.  And it has shipped and there is a copy for me and my daughter under the Christmas tree.  We’ll see how that plays out soon enough.

Will crowd funded MMOs finally find their way?

Ha ha ha ha… no.  I mean, Crowfall went live I think.  I am not sure it will survive, but it shipped.  And they are a stand out in the stable of crowd funded MMOs, which mostly promised things they couldn’t deliver.  Don’t spend money on things that you cannot play today.

Project: Gorgon is the right path, as it was in playable form from the day of the first monetary ask. Camelot Unchained is the wrong path, asking for money, blowing through every promised date ever, and starting a new project before the promised one is even in beta.  And then there is Star Citizen… well, they certainly know how to milk a community.  Star Citizen is a lot of things, but being an actual video game seems to be a few bullets down the list.

Is there anything new possible for MMORPGs?

The metaverse maybe?  That seemed to be the topic for 2021.  I don’t know if it is Raph Koster’s desire to remake the simple days of MUDs in the 90s or Mark Zuckerberg’s dystopian vision of an all controlling metaverse that turns our very desires against us, but I guess either might be something new… at least for MMORPGs.

Oh, and something about crypto and NFTs.  But we’ll probably burst that bubble in 2022.

Will I play anything new this year?

Valheim.  That was a bit of a left field star, but ended up being our main game for about two months earlier this year.  New World showed up and, once the initial chaos settled down, the instance group got into the game.  And then there was Forza Horizon 4 & 5.  Open world driving for the win.  There were a couple of other small titles that were new, but nothing that I invested more than a couple of hours in.

That I played three new games made 2021 a departure from the usual routine.  In 2020 80% of my game time was spent in WoW, WoW Classic, and EVE Online.  The year isn’t over yet, but so far those three titles represent less than 50% of my tracked play time.

Will VR get a killer app this year?

Ha ha ha ha… no.  VR will remain a niche so long as it requires a real world obscuring mask strapped to your face… oh, and the motion sickness issue gets addressed.  Ready Player One and Zuckerberg’s idea that we’re all going to live in his ad laden VR metaverse hell is a pipe dream.

Will the industry be smart enough to keep regulators away?

Not really.  The industry’s best defense so far has been regulators being interested in other things to further their own interests.  It has to be a slow news day for lockboxes to make the headlines of late, so politicians and regulators have mostly been busy elsewhere.   Except for Blizzard.   Yeah, Blizzard is having some regulatory issues, though not over lockboxes and that sort of thing, just mundane things like running a hostile, discriminatory work place.  The usual corporate thing.

But the industry keeps on trying to get the government to come down on them hard, with cryto and NFTs on their list of things to try next.

Will We lose Section 230 Protection?

Not yet, though Facebook seems to be pushing to have that taken away, because they have the money and the staffing to deal with any new regulations which would help them cement their place in creating our dystopian future… and present… and recent past.

What will I do when the blog turns 15?

Write a post about it.  That is my answer for most things I suppose.

So that was the list for 2021.  As those were just questions rather than predictions there is no score.

I think I’ll be able to warm up to doing some predictions for 2022.  I have a couple of weeks to get on it.  But first I need to make a 2022 graphic.

The View From Delve as YC123 Draws Towards an End

YC123, the 123rd year since the Youli Conference, which marked the founding of CONCORD and the establishment of the current status quo of the empires of New Eden, opened with null sec space locked in a titanic war.  The second day of the year saw one of the biggest battles ever witnessed in the star cluster as the system of M2-XFE again became the place where many titans were destroyed.

That battle was at the end of a crescendo of spectacular, trillion ISK clashes in Delve that set world records.  October of YC122 saw thousands of ships destroyed and trillions of ISK vaporized in the vacuum of virtual space.

To put those ISK amounts into some context, using a scale I saw somebody using to make a very dumb political point, a million seconds ago was less than two weeks in the past, a billion seconds ago George H. W. Bush was still president of the United States, and a trillion seconds adds up to over 30K years, which would put us back in the late stone age when Fred Flintstone worked in a stone quarry and attended meetings of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo.

So a trillion ISK is kind of a lot, and to commit that much ISK in assets across multiple battles takes some stamina.

The from late April of this year until the beginning of August, just three months back now, the Imperium holdings in Delve were just the O-EIMK constellation.

O-EIMK Constellation from late April forward

That was the great stalemate, where the might of the Imperium, focused in such a small area proved to be more than PAPI could manage.  There was a lot of talk about being contained and the threat of blockading the constellation by camping the NPC stations in Delve, but the will of PAPI as a coalition wasn’t up to the task.  Only Legacy Coalition had real skin in the game, having committed themselves to live in Imperium space.

On August 2nd, at the start of week 57 of the war, PAPI made one last attack on the Imperium stronghold, then started unanchoring structures even before the fighting was done.  By the end of week 57 of the war all of the ihubs in Delve were back in Imperium hands and the clean up of PAPI structures was well under way.

The war cost a lot in ISK, but there were other casualties.  The online user count suffered, especially towards the was entered its second summer.

Over the timeline of the war

While the PCU recovered as both sides reoriented themselves, it remains below where it was before the war started.  Some put blame on CCP and their economic starvation plan for that.  But a lot of us are also tired out after more than a year of war.

And now, in Delve, normalcy has returned.

The view from Delve

After many months of having content on our doorstep, of minor clashes happening multiple times daily just a gate or two away, it is kind of quiet.  People rat.  People mine.  Somebody in a Rorqual gets tackled about once a day and Delve 911 lights up.  The intel channels are active and some of the usual suspects from before the war appear now and then.

I went on an op last week, the first op I had been on in over a month, that was set to blow up a Fortizar in Cloud Ring.  As I got into fleet and the FC asked us to set our destination to J5A-IX I groaned a bit and the thought of that journey.  But once I adjusted my route settings to include friendly Ansiblexes, which is a hugely underrated feature in my opinion, it was just seven gates away.

A seriously excellent feature

The Eye of Terror Mk. IV was setup and in business, its Ansiblex highway ready to take me from Cloud Ring down to Period Basis or across Querious and into Catch, the last being a new outpost for the coalition since the war.

New Eden with Imperium space highlighted in red

It isn’t all peace and crabbing.  The combat pilots who still crave action are out with the various SIGs and squads making sure the rest of null sec, the bloc formerly known as PAPI, remembers that we’re still around and looking for revenge.  Meanwhile, our enemies have fragmented somewhat.  They have reset some of their blue standings and some of their own frictions are coming to the surface.

War will come again to null sec.  But for right now Delve is a pretty quiet place.

Also, as an aside, I made that “The View from 1DQ1-A” image with the intent of making a New Eden version of the famous (to those of us of the right age) cover from the New Yorker, View of the World from 9th Avenue.  However, my limited artistic skills haven’t gotten me very far.

A Keepstar Dies in Catch

The war is over and most groups are back in their homes… old or new… and working on building up for the next struggle.  Out in Delve we have Ansiblex jump gates again and an industrial infrastructure in progress and ADMs on the rise.

But there are still some details to take care of.  While most of the PAPI structures have been cleared out, a Keepstar was still hanging on in Catch, in U-QVWD.  That might have been the most reinforced structure of the war.  The Initiative went after it many times, but it was a key waypoint on the capital highway to the east, so PAPI forces kept showing up to defend it even when they were not doing much in Delve proper.

They even gave it a name to taunt Dark Shines of INIT

But Monday night late USTZ the final timer was coming up for it.  The question was whether or not TEST or PAPI would put any effort into defending it one more time.  It was far from Outer Passage, but not impossible to get to.

The Imperium was not going to take any chances.  Capitals moved out the day before and as tht timer counted down subcap fleets were formed up and sent to Catch.  After all, who doesn’t want to get on a Keepstar kill?

Titans waiting their turn

There was even some chatter about Pandemic Horde doing a flash form and maybe coming our way.  But nothing came of it.  The joke went around that they accidentally jumped to the bait beacon in UQ-PWD like so many of their comrades before.

I had a jump clone and a couple of ships over in Curse in an NPC station just a couple of jumps away, so I grabbed an Ishtar I had sitting around and joined in to watch the fun.

Ishtar watching the Keepstar

I have been a bit under the weather and wasn’t feeling up to being in main fleet, so I did this on my own.  I waited until the Keepstar was down to about 15% then warped in range and took a few distant pot shots at it.  I scored no hits, but you get credit for trying.

The Keep exploded soon there after.

Another one bites the dust

I made it on the kill mail with about 800 of my fellow Imperium pilots.

GSOL, well practiced at this now, swooped in and grabbed the core then salvaged the wreck.

GSOL doing its thing

There is another TEST Keepstar in 0SHT-A, one gate over in Curse.  I am sure that will be next on the list.

 

The August MER and the End of the War in EVE Online

Time once again for a look at the New Eden economy as CCP posted the August monthly economic report for EVE Online late last week.

EVE Online nerds harder

August saw the end of World War Bee.  After the great PAPI summer lull, when the told line members to take some time off and we saw daily activity follow them out of the game, the coalition announced a final push against the Imperium, threw some subcaps against 1DQ1-A, then promptly began their retreat from Delve.

From there it was a time to clean up and return to normalcy, or something like it.  So let’s go through the usual categories and see what happened in August.

Destruction

While the final battle in 1DQ1-A resulted in a mere 340 billion ISK in destruction, blowing up the many PAPI structures left over in the region boosted the destroyed amount, putting Delve at the top of the region list once again.

  1. Delve – 4.27 trillion
  2. The Forge – 2.33 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 2.12 trillion
  4. Lonetrek – 2.08 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 1.42 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 1.37 trillion
  7. Querious – 1.27 trillion
  8. Catch – 1.1 trillion
  9. Genesis – 1.04 trillion
  10. Metropolis – 905 billion

You can see the effects of some of the clean up in Querious and the cyno beacon trap in Catch that added to the 36 trillion ISK in destruction that took place in August.  That was up 9 trillion from July.  With the war over, I expect we will see that number dip once more with the September MER.

Production

The end of the war saw a bit of a boost in production as well as parties settled down and began rebuilding for the next war.

August 2021 – Production vs Destruction vs Mined

You can see the red line pulling upward again after having dropped off in April with the industry changes.  Overall a total of 94 trillion in ISK value was produced, up almost 13 trillion from July.  The top regions were:

  1. The Forge – 18.27 trillion
  2. Delve – 11.38 trillion
  3. The Citadel – 7.08 trillion
  4. Lonetrek 7.04 trillion
  5. Vale of the Silent – 5.27 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 3.81 trillion
  7. Fade – 3.36 trillion
  8. Domain – 3.1 trillion
  9. Placid – 2.77 trillion
  10. The Kalevala Expanse – 2.74 trillion

The regions feeding Jita, The Forge, The Citadel, and Lonetrek, dominate still, but Delve managed to clinch second place as the Imperium ramped up production to rebuild the region shattered by the war.

Mining

Mineral prices changed a bit as the war ended, falling slightly.

Aug 2021 – Economic Indices

That would have seemed like a big change in past eras, but after the starvation spike it feels like a normal fluctuation.  A total of 21.95 trillion in ore was mined, up about 1.5 trillion from July, with the top regions being:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 1.43 trillion
  2. The Forge – 997 billion
  3. Domain – 979 billion
  4. Metropolis – 800 billion
  5. Fountain – 775 billion
  6. Insmother – 641 billion
  7. Malpais – 576 billion
  8. Lonetrek – 565 billion
  9. Sinq Laison – 538 billion
  10. Deklein – 531 billion

Delve was down in 14th position, which isn’t bad considering the need to install moon mining structures and the need to raise ADMs to get upgrades so that mining anomalies would spawn.  I expect that we will see Delve in the top five for September and that overall mining value will go up with the changes we saw in last week’s update, where ice availability was doubled and Mercoxit spawns were increased.  That is the first step away from CCP’s economic starvation plan.

Trade

The market also saw a jump in August.  I am sure all those players trying to buy fuel to move their capital ships added to that number.  There was a total of 647 trillion in transaction recorded, up from 513 trillion in July.  That is quite a significant rebound.

The top regions were:

  1. The Forge – 471 trillion (Jita)
  2. Domain – 51.36 trillion (Amarr)
  3. Delve – 25.81 trillion (Imperium)
  4. Sinq Laison – 16.15 trillion (Dodixie)
  5. Lonetrek – 13.41 trillion (Caldari High Sec)
  6. Metropolis – 9.62 trillion (Hek)
  7. Heimatar – 7.09 trillion (Rens)
  8. The Kalevala Expanse – 5.15 trillion (PanFam)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 4.62 trillion (Fraternity)
  10. Essence – 4.21 trillion (Gallente High Sec)

All of those regions, save for Heimatar, were up, with the top three being up significantly as the economy shifted back into gear after the early summer slump.

ISK Faucets

I have left the most interesting for last and we might as well get right to the Redeemed ISK Token entry.  Last month that line on the faucets chart spiked dramatically as CCP handed out 235 million ISK in login rewards to players with Omega accounts.  The main spike finished in August and then fell off as the month carried on.

Aug 2021 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

The sudden prominence of that line last month led some to believe that it only tracked the ISK tokens that were redeemed as part of the login event, myself included.

Following that logic, with the event over and most of the redemption likely concluded, the assumption was that the 25,869,509,165,000.00 ISK that line represented in July and August could be neatly divided by 235 million to give us a minimum number of Omega accounts active in EVE Online.

That gives you a minimum of 110,000 subscribers to the game.

However, nothing is ever that easy.  That Redeemed ISK Token line runs back into 2020 on the chart, and while it isn’t significant amount, it does mean that it isn’t all from that one event.  The Nosy Gamer did some research on that line item.  The upshot is that there are other things that feed into that line.  I pulled the data from the source file in the MER and found that from July 1st through July 26th, that line accounted for close to 20 billion ISK in payouts before the login event occurred.  That isn’t a lot relative to the trillions that the event adds in, but it isn’t nothing either.

Still, that 110,000 floor for subscribers seems to be fairly solid.  While a far cry from the 400K subscriber count the company was reporting in 2012, relative to titles of its age not named World of Warcraft, the game is doing pretty well.  The list of aging MMOs that would like to have 110K paying subscribers is pretty long.

Otherwise the faucets were the usual suspects.

Aug 2021 – Faucet end of the chart big chart

You can see that commodities are still in the top position, with bounty prizes lagging behind as has been the case for the last year or so.  Overall bounties were up by about 4.5 trillion ISK, with a total of 29.14 trillion ISK being collected.  But if you look at the sinks and faucets over time chart above, which shows daily activity, you will see bounties making a surge towards the end of the month as people settled into a more normal peacetime roles.

Tiny little crop

It is very possible, given that trend, that we might see bounties back on top as the primary ISK faucet come September.

As for where bounties are coming from, these were the top ten regions:

  1. Vale of the Silent – 2.46 trillion (Fraternity)
  2. Delve – 2.43 trillion (Imperium)
  3. The Kalevala Expanse – 1.47 trillion (PanFam)
  4. Tenal – 1.12 trillion (Fraternity)
  5. Malpais – 1.07 trillion (PanFam)
  6. Insmother – 1.02 trillion (FI.RE)
  7. Esoteria 953 billion (AoM)
  8. Oasa – 940 billion (Fraternity)
  9. Tribute – 908 billion (Fraternity)
  10. Branch – 886 billion (Fraternity)

Fraternity is still leading the way on NPC bounties, but Delve surged back on the list in the the back half of the month as work on raising ADMs continued.  Delve could climb back to the top of the list, though Fraternity’s diverse holdings will likely still add up to more ISK income over time.

And, finally, on the commodities front, one of the big questions was whether or not that estimated 20 trillion ISK sitting in ESS reserve banks would suddenly be let loose on the New Eden economy.  The chart says… not so much.

Aug 2021 – Top Commodity Items Over Time

While looking at the yellow line clearly shows an uptick in redemption of the encrypted bonds that both ESS banks and reserve banks yield when you rob them, relative to other commodities it wasn’t a huge impact.

Of course there have been ongoing issues getting the actual reserve bank keys, the fact that reserve banks have been “nationalized” in a number of regions, and the rather slow payout mechanism involved with robbing reserve banks that keep that number from suddenly jumping into the trillions.

Something to keep an eye on as time goes by.

Other items of note, going back up to the sinks and faucets line chart, you can see the brokers fee and transaction tax changes that CCP put in place reflected in the chart as well as a rise in the asset safety recover tax as people get their stuff out of hock after the war.

That is all I have for August.  As always you can find all the charts and data at the dev blog for the MER.

Related:

Reviving My ISK Reserves in the Post War Era

I went into World War Bee with approximately 15 billion ISK on hand, spread out across various accounts.  About 11 billion ISK of that was on my main, while other key alts had a billion here or there in order to be able to buy things at need.

When I got to the end of the war my main had about 2.5 billion ISK on hand, with another 2 billion ISK still scattered about.

Where did all that ISK go?  Was the war that costly?  Didn’t I run on about how SRP was paying the bills previously?

Well yes.  Mostly.  Of my total losses in the war, I war reimbursed for every ship I lost on a strategic war op… as long as I remembered to fit the rigs. (That only happened once though.) My losses:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 7
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Sabre interdictor – 1
  • Eagle heavy assault cruiser – 1
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

I did not, however, get reimbursed, nor file for reimbursement, for off the books ops I took upon myself.  I did a bunch of entosis ops in Catch and Querious at various times during the war and ate all of those losses.  That added up to about 1 billion ISK.

I also put 5 billion ISK into Imperium war bonds.

And then there was the big build up for the final battles in 1DQ1-A.  The Mittani encouraged us all to have multiple reships for key doctrines ready to go because, in a massive tidi fight you cannot rely on the market or contracts to work reliably.  I can attest to that.  So we might only have what we was in our hangars for a big fight.  So in July I stocked up on doctrine ships, buying battleships, battlecruisers, HACs, and logi ships to the tune of about 3 billion ISK… which honestly didn’t buy me all that many ships.  With the industry changes and mineral prices, a fit doctrine battleship was going for 400 million at Jita prices.

Add in other ships I bought over time and still had in my hangar, and I was down to 2.5 billion ISK on my main.

I was, however, rich in assets according to the in-game wealth appraisal, which said I was sitting on almost 50 billion ISK in ships, modules, and whatever else.  So my first step in reviving my fortunes was to sell some of that.

Doctrine ships are tough to unload when there is suddenly no war.  Those are all still sitting in my hangar.  But I clone jumped back to Jita on my main, which I had not done in almost a year, and started sorting through all the stuff that has accumulated there over the year.  I shipped some of it to 1DQ1-A, as the market there still looked good for some items… and some items had grown so expensive over time that I figured they would be better to have handy there if I needed them.

The big money item for me was a SKIN I had laying around, the SARO Black Troop SKIN for the Marshal, which came as the final mystery code reward a little over three years ago.

The mystery code’s last payout

I hadn’t activated the code because the fate of the Marshal was a bit uncertain back then, and then forgot I even had it.  But now, three years down the line, with a Marshal hull exceeding 4 billion ISK last I looked, I figured that was never going to be on my shopping list.  So I could part with the SKIN… which was going for two billion ISK.

I was also sitting on 100 doses of Quafe Zero.  I decided to hold onto that, but sold ten of them just for a bit of cash.  Selling two more than covered the costs of me shipping a bunch of stuff to 1DQ1-A.

Some ISK sales injection

There is probably a lot more stuff I could sell off.  I am always leery of dumping stuff I might need for a fit later, so my hangars tend to be full of modules.

So that was one shot of ISK.  And the Imperium war bonds drip a little bit of ISK into my account every month, to the tune of 41 million ISK.  That won’t buy you much, but it is something.

Meanwhile I have also been ramping up on planetary industry.  A while back I started training up my unused alts on active accounts in PI.  A few run around in high sec, where the payout isn’t that great, but it is very low effort.

I also trained up my KarmaFleet characters so they all have max PI skills and have started those running now that things are somewhat quiet in Delve.  I had given up on PI in Delve for a while because my main had all his PI stuff in 39P, which fell to PAPI.

I am not quiet ready to get into ratting or mining, but I might start doing abyssal pockets again for a bit of ISK.  I need to build up my reserves.  The big war is over for now, but there is always another war or deployment or whatever just over the horizon, so I need to start saving up for that.

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.

59 Weeks and the End of World War Bee

One last weekly update.  There is rarely a clean transition from war to peace.  The Imperium will be clearing out left behind PAPI structures for a while still.  But the pace of things has wound down significantly over the past week.

PAPI forces are all returning to their respective homelands.  Brave is clashing with Psychotic Tendencies in Geminate, and I can only wish them the best in that fight.  And they have their first ihub in NBPH-N in the region.

TEST though seems to be struggling to get to its new home in Outer Passage.  They do not appear to hold any ihubs there yet.  The word is that they have made it at least as far as A24L-V in Insmother on their route home, but that fuel constraints are hitting hard.

TEST has also dropped out of the Alliance Tournament.  I hadn’t heard why… probably ISK… but when they were pulled by CCP in the Alliance Tournament Feeder draw stream (you can see that at the 30 minute mark when they draw for spot 17), CCP Aurora said that TEST had asked to be left out.  They are still listed in slot 17 (see brackets here), but I guess they have decided to forfeit.

Progodlegend got up at another TEST town hall to motivate the troops during their retreat.  He once again tried to sum up the war favorably, declaring that 4,500 Goons just sat in 1DQ for 13 months.  I guess the battles in NPC Delve and M2-XFE, and the Guinness Book world records that went with them, were all just some sort of collective Goon fever dream.

You tell yourself whatever story you need to in order to get to your objective I guess.

And the rest of the former Legacy coalition is scattered about, settling into new homes or looking for a couch to crash on.

The overall PAPI coalition looks to be breaking up.  Pandemic Horde reset a large number of other null sec alliances, while the PAPI Assemble Discord server looked to have been taken down.

No more honking

Without PAPI there is no blue donut to fight for now.

One Year Ago

Niarja fell to the Triglavians, and the WWB participants were involved.

CCP added metaliminal storms to null sec so we could have space weather to worry about.

We fought over the O-PNSN Keepstar and lost, but at the fight over the KVN-36 Keepstar it was a server crash that saved the day for the Imperium.

In my week seven summary I looked at what coverage the war was getting, our losses, and Legacy getting pushed back in Querious.

Imperium Space Cleanup

In the Imperium regions of Delve, Fountain, Querious, and Period Basis all of the ihubs have been retaken and we’re in the count down to when GSOL can start installing Ansiblex jump gates again to facilitate movement around our space again.  Right now, if you don’t have a bridger and a cyno handy, moving around means taking a lot of gates.

TCUs, or territorial control units, are getting cleared out as well.  Those are less critical as their primary function these days is to act as a flag on the map for a given system.  They are a legacy of Dominion sov.  If you go to the null sec influence map for yesterday you will see that Delve TCUs have been retaken, but that TEST and Warped Intentions still have some down in Period Basis.  Those will be taken care of soon enough, but the ihubs are what matter.

Delve is Goons, Anime is Cartoons

And now it is the rebuilding time.  Structures are being put down again.  ADMs need to be raised in some systems to support infrastructure hub upgrades.  A new standing fleet for home defense has been arranged.  A list of supplies went out that the coalition will need to help rebuild.  I got my Planetary Industry stuff rolling again to help fulfill a few items on the long list of needs.

There is a lot of work still to be done, but plans are rolling out to focus our efforts in building a new Delve.

My Participation

I went out on a few ops this past week.  The pace of operations definitely started to taper down as the week went along.  The almost constant tempo of pings showing up for structure shoots fell off noticably.  Still, I got in on a few of them.

An Astrahus blowing up

We also got to run out and blow up a Hel supercarrier, which was a fun distraction.

Hel tackled in Catch

I did lose one ship this week, a Purifier to a gate camp.  It was a dumb, avoidable loss where I immediately said, “Why did I do that?”  But I am not going to count it as a war loss because the group that got me, Pax Sex and his gang, are neutrals that used to hunt in Delve in peacetime.  Losing ships to them is a normal thing now and then.  So my total losses for the war are:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 7
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Sabre interdictor – 1
  • Eagle heavy assault cruiser – 1
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

That is 86 ships and a deployable.  I am surprised I didn’t lose more really.

Other Items

CCP release the Monthly Economic Report for July, which I covered a bit.  It generally showed that July was kind of a slow month.

We also got a quick, three day login campaign for some skill points.  CCP hands those out like candy these days.

And CCP did the draw for the Alliance Tournament brackets.   The feeder round starts on September 4th.

The Final PCU Report

With each of the weekly updates I have reported the peak concurrent user count for that week, mostly as a record to see if those numbers tracked along with the intensity of the war.  There are a lot of other factors that play into online numbers, but they did seem to generally follow the war.  CCP reported that at one point during the second M2-XFE Keepstar battle more than one third of accounts logged into the game were in that system, T5ZI-S, or 1DQ1-A.

Anyway, I made a little chart out of the data with some annotations.

Over the timeline of the war

Over the 60 data points… I counted day one of the war as the “zeroth week,” which means that the numbers at the bottom of the chart are offset by +1… the following states can be derived:

  • Average weekly PCU – 33,893
  • Maximum weekly PCU – 40,359 (Week 15)
  • Minimum weekly PCU – 24,262 (Week 52)
  • Median weekly PCU – 35,075 (Week 9)

Weekly PCU isn’t all that accurate of an indicator.  It is more of a flavor for how each week went.  But it doesn’t reflect well if a whole week was busy or if we just had a busy day.  You can go to EVE Offline for a more granular look at the war.

The last year chart via EVE Offline

My chart lines up somewhat with that chart, though that cuts off the start of the war, which probably drops the average a bit when compared to mine.

And, of course, the final data set listing:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758
  • Week 46 – 31,768
  • Week 47 – 29,898
  • Week 48 – 31,462 (Monday)
  • Week 49 – 27,914
  • Week 50 – 26,045
  • Week 51 – 25,661
  • Week 52 – 24,262
  • Week 53 – 24,290
  • Week 54 – 24,922
  • Week 55 – 26,259 (Saturday)
  • Week 56 – 27,176
  • Week 57 – 29,953
  • Week 58 – 29,111
  • Week 59 – 29,749

Related

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

58 Weeks of World War Bee

The week of maximum Imperium smug may have passed, what with all the PAPI structure kills being racked up.  The main battles have been fought, the outposts of our foes that haven’t been destroyed yet are on their way to that fate soon enough.

The war is starting to feel over.

The enemy has fled, the invasion is no more, and the coalition that joined together to attack us hangs together loosely at best.  I might be at the last weekly update.  We’ll see what happens in the coming week, but I could be done.

Not that I ever meant for this weekly post routine to become a thing.  It sort of just happened and, once it started, it seemed like a good idea to just carry on.

There is still a lot going on.  PAPI forces are bunched up in a few systems trying to get out and have moved at a slow enough pace that, thanks to CCP having systems with very similar names in Catch, other groups have been able to setup bait cyno beacons that continue to provide juicy targets like this FinFleet Ragnarok.

And, with thousands of capital ships in motion across null sec, there is now apparently a jump fuel shortage with isotopes of all four flavors being scarce, which has caused prices to jump dramatically. (It isn’t all Imperium spies in Pandemic Horde relisting things on the market.)  The CCP scarcity drive made ice mining less productive and broke ice belts in some places so that there just isn’t anywhere close to enough supply arriving on the market to cope with the huge demand.

The PAPI trail of tears back to the Dronelands may be an extended journey.

Then there are the organizational shakeups underway as various groups shed members or recruit from traumatized alliances whose members are fed up.

Sov losses and member movement

There will also no doubt be a shift in the alliance coalition structures as PAPI breaks up into smaller regional groups.

The Mittani announced a general moratorium on accepting members of PAPI alliances into the Imperium for the next couple of months.  We are not seeking fair weather friends.  I am not sure how diligently this will be enforced, but you can expect that if you were in PAPI then KarmaFleet won’t be recruiting you for the time being. (Unless you made the Operation PAPIclip list.)

One Year Ago

The CCP update included armor plate tiericide and EDENCOM turned hostile towards anybody supporting the Triglavian invasion.

We lost the Keepstar in IGE-RI in Fountain and our tactics did not extract much of a penalty from the attackers.

When we got to the Y-2ANO Keepstar we had changed up enough to make PAPI pay for reinforcing it.

In the Week 6 Update I noted that Fountain was almost completely lost to the Imperium, that Legacy was getting pushed back in Querious, and we dropped 70 Athanors in Esoteria just to annoy TEST. (68 anchored successfully.)

Delve

As I mentioned last week, all the ihubs in Delve have been taken and the focus has turned to clearing out structures left behind by PAPI in their retreat.  There have been lots of structures to kill, with resistance by PAPI tapering off to almost nothing.  There are a few PAPI members who are out there trying to grab the cores when the structured die, and they have had some success, but mostly it is just things getting blown up.

Of course, the big kill of the week was the Tower of Legends, the primary PAPI staging Keepstar, but it was hardly the only Keepstar to die this past week.

The Tower of Legends brought down

The Delve campaign report shows this, with more than 3.5 trillion ISK destroyed in the region over the past week, 94% of which has been PAPI ships and structures.

Delve Campaign Report – Week 58

Listing out just the PAPI losses by type, you can see that structures dominated the list.

Week 58 – Top 15 PAPI Losses by Type

That is a lot of structure bashing that went on in Delve, including 7 Keepstars… and apparently a lot of expensive capsules.  I read somewhere that defense was so easy that nobody should ever lose a Keepstar.  Maybe TEST will defend some of theirs.

Other Theaters

Fountain has been purged of PAPI ihubs, save for the constellation that LowSechnaya Sholupen (LSH) has.  They should not be confused with NullSechnaya Sholupen (NSH) who were part of the PAPI coalition.

Querious has been getting cleared out.  Brave still holds some ihubs and has structures all over… again, they were clearly committed to living there… but have mostly fled the region.  There are unreinforced Brave structures in Querious just sitting there, not unanchoring, waiting to be blown up.  We even got on in an abandoned state the other day, an Athanor, which turned into a 3 billion ISK loot pinata for GSOL.

Period Basis has also been getting some attention, but a lot of the focus has been on Catch, where TEST had to retake an ihub in a system where they had a Keepstar for the evacuation route.

Catch – Aug 15, 2021

I’ve marked the travel waypoint and the system with the bait beacon, CCP having nicely put two systems in the same region that have very similar names to help make this possible. (There are also two systems that start with “GE-” in Catch, so CCP had something in mind or the random name generator blessed the region twice.)

My Participation

I went on quite a few fleets this past week.  As I have said, there were a lot of structures to kill.  While I was out in my Bhaalgorn a few times, most of the week was work for bombers and blops.  My Purifier undocked over and over.

Another structure out there to bash

And then there were the blops pilots who were ferrying us all over Delve and Querious.  I will say that conduit jump, where the black ops battleship and 30 bombers go in one jump, has become a useful features.

A Redeemer blops lighting a covert cyno

While there were a few attempts to interfere with our shoots, I made it through the week without loss, leaving my war time total as:

  • Ares interceptor – 18
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Drake battle cruiser – 7
  • Atron entosis frigate – 7
  • Cormorant destroyer – 5
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 5
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar T2 logi – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Jackdaw destroyer – 4
  • Scalpel T2 logi frigate – 3
  • Guardian T2 logi – 2
  • Sabre interdictor – 1
  • Eagle heavy assault cruiser – 1
  • Scythe T1 logi – 1
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

The propaganda party never stops as Srsli put together another music video for the Imperium.

CCP has gone into its August hibernation mode and the patch update for August so far was pretty minor.  They haven’t mentioned the war lately, but they only seem interested in it when it produces a couple of Guinness Book world records, which happened at FWST-8 and M2-XFE.

This is in contrast to the Casino War where CCP covered events, mentioned it in their video series The Scope, and even tried to name the war.  Now CCP seems more interested in stagnating the game by strangling the economy.

On the weekly peak concurrent user numbers we crossed the 29K line again.  Oddly Monday was close to that peak number, hitting 29,033.  It wasn’t a holiday anywhere that I can recall, so it must have been the continuation of the Sunday peak and the orgy of entosis and destruction that was going on as the Imperium worked on clearing out Delve, Fountain, Querious, and Period Basis.  But Sunday just eked the top number for the week, hitting 29,111.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708
  • Week 42 – 33,521
  • Week 43 – 33,731
  • Week 44 – 33,742 (Saturday)
  • Week 45 – 33,758
  • Week 46 – 31,768
  • Week 47 – 29,898
  • Week 48 – 31,462 (Monday)
  • Week 49 – 27,914
  • Week 50 – 26,045
  • Week 51 – 25,661
  • Week 52 – 24,262
  • Week 53 – 24,290
  • Week 54 – 24,922
  • Week 55 – 26,259 (Saturday)
  • Week 56 – 27,176
  • Week 57 – 29,953
  • Week 58 – 29,111

Related

Surprise! The change in fortunes in the war generated a lot of writing!