But KSP makes you think about transitions and that's what this post is, a transitional post. I've been talking about alts in EVE Online and how the structure of the game itself and the PLEX system makes alts inevitable. I also wrote the blog banter the other day about the number of average logged-in players in EVE, and that one's been getting a huge response. And in that post, I mentioned that I had a theory as to why that average logged-in player count is so stagnant. I hadn't intended to write about it until February but as I've been spending a lot of time thinking about these three topics, I think they're related.
Yeah, this is another one of those posts where I connect the dots between a lot of apparently disconnected facts.
I'm probably going to wander all over creation over the next few posts, but remember the three things I'm thinking about:
- alts, and why people have them;
- the logged-in player count, and why it's so relatively stagnant; and,
- what does it take to become "good" at EVE Online?
But during the Summer Summit -- as revealed in those Minutes -- the CSM was shown some analytical data about EVE Online retention. During that session, Dr. EyjoG shared a good deal of information with us about two types of EVE players in particular: newbies that shift into solo PvE (and then tend to get bored and quit), and newbies that break what he calls a "social wall", become socially invested within the sandbox, and tend to stick around but become "good at EVE" while staying outside the large corporate and social entities.(2) In particular, he brought up one issue near and dear to my heart (it's on page 27):
Dr. EyjoG said they asked surveys about why people quit, and asked if they knew about the sandbox. Plenty of people said they [did] and didn't want to be in it....but the data also showed them there was this second block of heavily invested players that weren't necessarily socially connected (it's on page 26):
Dr. EyjoG said, the question is what brings people from novice to engaged expert, if it's *not* social connections? The data doesn't necessarily support the social hypothesis; what else is going on?CCP has not made any secret of the fact that they want to understand why some people stick with the game and some don't. Some make the social connections that keep them invested in the game, but a significant number never do and further, aren't interested in doing so and never become so. But despite this they do become "good at EVE" and they do tend to stay in the game. Why?
And going back to the question of the stagnant logged-in player count, why aren't there more of them? Why isn't the count growing?
As I said, I have some theories, but they're pretty rough at this point but I wanted to start by staging the problem. I'll stop here and give you an opportunity to weigh in if you choose to. But stay tuned! I want to explore this topic a bit over a few more posts before I leave for the Winter Summit in a week.
(1) Haven't played much KSP in the last couple of days though I did send an unmanned lander to go pick up my two stranded Kerbals on the Mun. I put the second lander down within sight of the stranded one, so I was pleased with myself there. Pretty handy concept, too! I think I'll attach a mini probe core to the bottom of all my landers in the future so I can pilot them without crew if need be.
(2) Example: incursion-runners.