Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meta Quote of the Week

I'm going to gamble that someone else is going to say something quotable before next Monday and post this quote from Malcanis today, in its entirety:
And just to hammer the point home: the unsub rate is non-linear. The players are the major source of game content. Every person that unsubs (or just stops logging in) makes it x% more likely that all his n subbed friends will do the same, and y% more likely that his m unsubbed friends won't come back. For someone like a :foreveralone: empire missionrunner, that xn.ym value is pretty tiny. For someone like the main FC of a large alliance, or Chribba, or Estel Arador, that xn.ym value will be hundreds or even thousands of times higher. In a situation like that you don't have to be a mathematical genius to realise that this means there's an unstable, unpredictable tipping point after which EVE will failcascade no matter what CCP do.

I don't pretend to know where the tipping point is exactly, but given that so many of the most visible players in EVE, the content creators, the motivators, the ones who have the largest values of xn.ym are either unsubbed, in skill maintenance mode, so just spinning their wheels in game... all I can say is if we have to "watch this space" much longer, there'll be nothing to watch but space. There really might be far less time than anyone realises.
Good Heavens, that's well-put.  I'd add only one thing: those people with large values of xn.ym are playing a lot of Tanks and Heroes of Newerth right now.  If CCP moved fast, they could draw a lot of them back.  As long as lapsed EVE players care what's happening in game, it's not too late to get them back.

14 comments:

  1. Yeah,there seem to be lots of people out there thinking their un-subbed account is a virtual loaded gun pointed at CCPs face right now....from what I can see the same players complaining so loudly now, were the same players complaining about everything as far back as 2 years ago when we couldn't have even imagined what the problems of current day would look like.

    I think that many of those same players have been playing the game for too long for CCP to make any change that would really appease them for more than 2 weeks...so in that light, CCP may as well just keep working on catering to new players.

    Mid range players will fill in the opportunities and roles where old vets have left....which begs the age old unavoidable question to be asked: "since ur ragequiting, can I haz ur stuff?"

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  2. This is actually a pretty good point. That formula should be used to guide where the triage development reps get targeted. I hope we see a correlation come Arnar's blog.

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  3. ... 2 more quick thoughts to go with my above post:

    A)CCPs hands are tied right now- until they get done putting out Dust514, we aren't going to get much more than we see in Dev blogs now for changes- and then there's quite possibly no solution that would really change things with the most disgruntled players for more than a couple days.

    B)...and disgruntled players playing "world of tanks" and "heroes of newerth" right now is either the biggest evidence that those players are more worn out on the game as a whole and not just angry at recent problems- or it shows that those players are just not anywhere near as loyal to this game as they are overly self entitled.

    Really, if you have any friends playing world of tanks and acting like they are waiting for some kind of "CCP make up sex" to come back to EVE- tell them to shit or get off the pot...either re-sub, or give their stuff to somebody who is going to use it.

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  4. I've seen this happen first-hand on many occasions: a smallish corp (0-40 people) is always doing stuff together. Then the one female in the group quits (because one of the guys is constantly trying to start a relationship, and she's already happily married, for example). Then the whole corp dies in a matter of days. Or alternately, the one guy who flies all the fancy ships and people like hanging with him because he's chill? Yeah, he goes to hospital and we fear he's dead/dying. By the time he comes back, the activity in the corporation has reached stumbling zombie levels.

    The funny thing is though, that you can't always pick which person is the king pin of a corporation or alliance's social structure.

    How will CCP win back old players? Liang Nuren quit because of MT + Fearless + Hilmar Veigar (or more specifically, his "predictable feedback / what they do not what they say" email).

    Of course, I don't see that EVE has any more MT than it had when GTC-for-ISK was introduced. What we have now is luxury virtual items. That's a different bag.

    How do we get players like Liang Nuren back? Fire Hilmar, return ship spinning, remove NeX, then protrate self and beg? Dunno, he seem to have been happy to play Rift, and then disappeared off Twitter.

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  5. The thing about subs from new and mid-range players taking over from veterans is that, in general, they don't create game content. (often, unwittingly, they are game content)

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  6. I don't think there's much to satisfy the bitter-vets, for the same reason that I wouldn't go back to WOW even if they introduce great things to the game; I am simply tired of the game.

    For now, EVE is new to me (a year or so), and I'm looking forward to whatever CCP is planning. I am enjoying the game as it is, with all the drama and the everyday sleeper hunts.

    One problem with older players is that they get bored with the current state of the game, but instead of trying a different game, they look to the developer and expect them to entertain them with new content. If you're living only for what's to come, and not for what is, then you need to take a break.

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  7. @ Mara- Perfect example of what I am seeing through all of the "drama" other players are un-subbing over....meanwhile, I am less than pleased with the way Incarna is being implemented- but can easily ignore it and am having more fun in EVE now than I ever have in 2 years of playing. (And yes, even more perfect- PLEX for ISK brought MTs to EVE a long time ago, including the ability to buy "uber" ships, mods and ammo with your credit card...all the stuff the "protesters" fear/hate the most with the whole idea of MTs has been here for as long as I have played)

    In regards to the player you named- he might come back when he gets tired of Rift, or he may just roll over to yet another game after that...there may not be anything (within reason) CCP can do to change that.

    Anybody you guys know who is un-subbed but lurking about waiting for CCP to pull a rabbit out of their hat, ask them: "Is the game really that broken, or are you really just tired of this game and haven't figured out how to move on yet?"

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  8. While losses in the old guard are certainly felt, its not an instant end of the world. This is a game, and most people prefer to play rather then step up. However, I have noticed a trend of newer people filling in the voids because they feel they have to. Todays pilots are tomorrows Fleet Commanders, and all that. For example if Somer.blink closed its doors someone else would fill that void as long as EVE was still around. While no one is irrelevant, no one is irreplaceable either.

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  9. ^Un-subbed and playing WOT

    It is true because each corp or alliance needs a critical mass of people on-line playing in order to run ops. No ops fewer people log on, nothing to do,, no one logs on.

    I'm not one of those high value players but even a grunts absence makes a huge difference to those who play with them. there absence is felt and drives more un-subbs.

    None of what is comming will entice anyone back...give me something to do and a reason to be excited when i log in...and i'll re sub in a heart beat.

    Eve is still one of the best mmo's because it is player driven and a single shard.

    But that does not matter if I have no reason to log in every night.

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  10. Having a reason to log in every night is why the most important thing for any capsuleer to do in EVE Online is make friends. This applies in general to all MMOs, but EVE Online especially.

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  11. Hi Jester,

    Don't really know where else to post this as it's just general feedback.

    I want to tell you that your blog is among one of the most insightful I've seen about the Eve meta-community. Each post you put up has something interesting to say. Thanks for often-times putting perspective in something I was vaguely informed of or interested in but couldn't find any new information on.

    Above, I'd say that I agree with the quote as it makes sense. There are players that look up to those who are pretty famous or those who blog. There are also those who don't really follow the news (perhaps better so due to it) and soldier on regardless. I however think that the failscade of a great game is much more complex than the unsubbing of many prominent players. They're still interested in Eve; the gameplay value is still there for us.

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  12. While corps may fizzle resulting from the loss of an "anchor" corpmate, more often than not these departures are from the corp, not the game.

    Until you get bored......

    As someone who's now working on my 3rd year playing this game - moving from carebear to 0.0 to Lowsec Pirate back to 0.0...I'm simply running out of things that are new and interesting. The drama and politics helped, but even that's become somewhat diluted. No real rivalries anymore - today's red may be blue tomorrow... big alliances are more about lining the pockets of a select few with real money these days. Essentially the game has become a business for these folks.

    My solution - I unsubbed all but one of my accounts, moved all assets to him and will occasionally log in until I stumble across something interesting in EVE or I run out of ISK to buy PLEX with.

    All that said, keeping my interest in a single game for 2.5 years is still remarkable.

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  13. If CCP Marketing knows what's good for it, they should extend a free year's subscription to Liang Nuren and Helicity Boson; two eve celebrities who have unsubscribed recently.

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  14. The bittervets are very much following what is going on.

    Some are ready to come back some not.

    "from what I can see the same players complaining so loudly now, were the same players complaining about everything as far back as 2 years ago when we couldn't have even imagined what the problems of current day would look like."

    I dont think it was a prediction.
    A feeling of uneasiness, call it instinc or whatever, that something is fundamentally wrong. I could not name it a year ago. People have always been vocal but this year tipped the load and all of a sudden it became apparent what was wrong. No matter how vocal un-subbing was not an option before this year.

    Also complaining and rage quitting are very different. One can complain about a feature or bug but rage quitting in these quantities is something different entirely.

    We were no longer partners on a voyage, we were sheep and cash cows. We always were cash cows to some extent but never give a customer a reason to feel estranged or loathed.

    I did not write in the "count un-subs" thread. I simply left feeling disgusted.

    I want back in. I want EvE. But it has to be the EvE I remember and lving up to a fond memory can be hard.
    Been to the military ? Best time ever ! Noone remebers the hardship and fucked up sergents and captains.
    Going back would never be an option because my mind has glorified the experience so that whatever comes will likely fall short of my expectations and memory.

    Just got lost in my own word jungle... Was trying to make a point but derailed myself...

    Anyway the bitter vets are around and want back in if CCP fix EvE. They are hard pressed though.

    Jester on a personal side note your blog is pure win, thx.


    Wotlankor

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