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...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Best of 2011: 1

As I stated in my earlier post, I'm combining a "Best of 2011" retrospective with a good old-fashioned pledge drive.

I wrap it up here by saying thank you: thank you to everyone who's read my stuff this year, commented on it, and argued about it, both from the people who think I'm way smarter than I actually am to the people that made me realize that I'm sometimes a moron about this game.  ;-)

As to the pledge drive itself, I want to say again how overwhelmed I've been by the show of support.  There's been virtually no trolling, virtually no "GTFO, noob", virtually no dickish behavior of any kind.  So for that, thank you!  Thank you even more to those of you who chose to contribute.  More public thank yous, this time to Jarth Skyrunner and Karbox Delacroix, both of whom were very generous, so: thank you very much.

Thank you also again to those who sent very kind comments and encouraging wishes, and all of the contributors both public and private.  Anyone who doesn't think EVE players aren't generous when they want to be is wrong.  Your support means a lot.

There will almost certainly be one more "thank you" post before the end of the year.  I sent out some EVE mails to contributors asking if they wanted their contributions to be public or not, and some of those EVE mails haven't yet been replied to.

This is the last post of the pledge drive, so there will be no further shaking of the tin cup after this.  Of course, any time you want to send contributions my way, I won't say no.  ;-)  Again, thanks very much to those of you that have contributed.  To those and the rest, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll continue to do so!

Here's what I thought was my best post in 2011... and it wasn't hard at all to choose.

#1:  Some curves aren't
As I've said already, I'm a metrics guy.  So when I chose to turn my experience with metrics to the topic of how many people actually play EVE, the net result was a post that struck through the EVE blogosphere and the forums like a lightning bolt.  I got dozens and dozens of messages thanking me for writing this post and asking me questions about it.  Everybody seemed to be talking about it.  The Mittani took this post and the graphs provided in it and did nothing less than publicly rub CCP's face in them like a dog that has soiled the carpet.

And surprisingly... it worked.  ;-)

The flat-line player curve after the release of Incarna had everyone talking, everyone commenting, everyone arguing about what it all meant for EVE's future.  And once CCP sat down and really looked at the hard numbers, they had little choice but to come to realize that Incarna was an overly ambitious failure that was providing no benefit to their business.  It's certainly not what they could have wished for.  It's not even what I could have wished for; I still want EVE to break out of the niche that it's in and I thought Incarna could help.  But you can't argue with the facts.  And these facts changed the course of CCP in 2011.

This is a post that I fully intend to follow up on, but getting hard PCU data out of CCP has become harder and harder as the year has gone on.  CCP really is trying to shut off the flow of data about their game.  Still, I'm not going to give up and if I can get the data to continue my analysis of CCP's 2011, you will be the first to know.  ;-)

Hopefully, you've enjoyed this little retrospective.  It was kind of amusing going through my output in 2011 and choosing what should be on this list.  Did I miss any particularly memorable posts?


  1. That was a great post. Maybe the most quoted/linked post of 2011.

  2. Couldn't agree more with you on your choice for #1. That was indeed the best post anywhere in the Eve blogosphere in 2011. May there be more where that came from in 2012!

  3. Best of 2011: 1 was the best post of 2011.


  4. Most influential post of 2011? Without a doubt. In the history of EVE? Possibly. But 'best'? Not for me. Personally I'm grateful for all the insignificant tangential posts you provide - stuff that's interesting, not so much important.

  5. I think you have choosen the right post.

    The fact that the from CCP so loved Incarna was a complete failure as they decided to bring it up early can´t be denied anymore.
    And this mistake stands for Eve-Online 2011 and nothing can change that anymore.
    The new "Expansion" (well more a patch than that) is only a sign of a big U-turn.

    Now CCP needs to keep on going down that new road, so that we all get a game that brings us more fun with each patch and not the need to HTFU and adapt each time.

    Next for CCP is the release date of DUST514 and the implementation to the Eve Universe.
    So when they got that running(next expansion maybe?, they have two games that need the constant maintenance of a MMO.

    So we´ll see a interesting 2012 coming up.

    oh and btw Jester:

    "GTFO, noob!" :p

    *german giggles*

  6. Here's an idea about getting the data from CCP. Maybe just ask them for it. I know it sounds like a bad idea, and that they won't go for it, but here are some reasons why they just might.

    You have a very large readership with EVE's Pilots, and a corresponding influence on the perception of the health of EVE as a result.

    Your original post on the metrics wasn't in the best light for CCP. Not saying it was slamming them, just brought out something that they didn't want to acknowledge and forced them to look at it.

    CCP has said that the numbers have gone up since Crucible released in Diagoras' blog on 13 December. (http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=3266 I don't know how to link.) In the last section of the blog.

    People have noticed that the number of people on when they log in are higher as well.

    Simply, an update that shows the numbers are indeed rising from you would be more accepted than coming from CCP. Most people have lost trust in much of what CCP says about metrics. After all, they did believe that Incarna would bust EVE out of the niche.

    And, as an added bonus, business wise at least, CCP would get a free, independent analysis of some metric that is sure to generate a lot of good press for them. (At least I think it would be good.)

    Of course, you may need to agree to some sort of CCP overview of the final post. But going by what CCP has said, and what I have seen on the login screen, I believe they would be happy with your take on it.

  7. Best post? Not sure. It really substantiated the summer of rage and the general bitter old vet attitude of many players. As a young player being exposed to all this negativity was not encouraging, I had plenty of fun in the game and did not need every blogpost telling me that the game is broken. At the same time, it was an important post, of course so your choice as post-of-the-year is appropriate.

    Also, I think you may overestimating the impact of your post on CCP. _They_ knew that their online numbers are staying flat at best, they did not need you to parse it. But the fact that you made it public and gave CSM the ammunition is laudable.

    Personally, that post reminds me of a period in this game that I don't want to experience again but I am very glad that you did publish it.

  8. Good deal, Jester, but I would caution that before this weekend - with Christmas breaks in full swing - the PCU numbers were again falling after a 2 week bump for Crucible.

    New BCs, POS Fuel improvements, a new font, new nebulae, aggression mechanics fixes.... all good and long overdue. But as Mittens said, we need something new TO DO. Structure grinding remains, moon mineral imbalance remains, supercaps being OP remains, etc. etc. etc.

    The next expansion will tell the tale. The goose that lays the golden eggs has gotten a reprieve from the Governor, but it's still on death row IMO.


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