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...

Sunday, February 9, 2014


The legacy of B-R continues and quite literally grows!

I caught sight of this little graph on Kotaku, which claimed that 15000 new players have joined EVE Online. Curious, I contacted CCP Manifest to request a better version of the chart than what was used on Kotaku. While doing so, he also let me know that the Kotaku story isn't quite accurate. But he did verify two things that are both remarkably good news:
  • EVE trial account players logged in are about three times normal; and,
  • EVE activated trials are also about three times normal.
Taken together, I gotta say this is pretty freakin' awesome.

I've talked to hundreds of players about the impetus that first got them to start playing EVE Online and many times, it comes down to some catalyst: the Guiding Hand Social Club theft, the disbanding of Band of Brothers, a particular patch or feature. For those of us who started playing EVE this way (and I am among them), we can all remember that catalyst. For me, as I've said before, my curiosity about EVE was piqued by stories coming out of the game as well as the teaser for the Trinity expansion in 2007. But I really got serious about the game in mid 2008.

So I myself am part of the "generation" of players represented by those two spikes on either side of the Trinity expansion about 40% along this graph. And that's a time period that can now also be known as the #2 largest spike in the activation of trial accounts. We have a new #1, and it's twice as large as the catalyst that got me into EVE Online. For a whole new generation of players, when asked why they started playing this game, they're gonna say "that 11 trillion ISK titan battle!"

It will be realllly interesting to see how this new crop of newbies advances, what they do, and whether they stick with us. Obviously, I hope they do. I've been hoping for a large influx of new players into this game for a long time...

If you're one of them, welcome aboard! There are some new player guides off to the right. ;-)


  1. be interesting to see if the social engine gets a good looking at by CCP in the wake of this...since i assume they'll want to make more of this than your 'one time infusion' context, Jester

  2. It's going to be interesting to see how this spike evolves, because the ongoing trend was worrysome.

  3. I wrote about this as I see it a clear proof that players are drawn to events when large losses happen. However for this happen, players must be forced to put assets on the line. The tiericide is doing the opposite thing: allowing players to have impact in PvP while risking trivial losses.

    Don't you think that the balancing should be reconsidered after B-R?


    1. Tiericide is not doing that opposite thing. All Tiericide does is make ships *within a class* useful. It isn't buffing ships outside of their class. Prior to Tiericide there was no variety in the battles. If you were lucky there was 1 ship per class per race worth flying. Often one ship per class *period*.

      I think you fail to understand what Tiericide is trying to do. And no, balancing should not be reconsidered. The first balance pass of all ships in eve hasn't even been completed yet.

    2. News about massive Titan battles may attract players to EVE; what gets them to *stay* is not having to wait years and accumulate hundreds of billions of ISK in order to "have an impact".

      Trials don't make CCP any money. Subscriptions do.

  4. The Andrew Sisters & Bing Crosby-Accentuate The Positive http://youtu.be/fZUmAbi0Vm4
    Although part of me would not mind seeing a seven CSM8 troopers in period dress as the Monuments Men (and lady) http://youtu.be/CreneTs7sGs.
    Beware unexploded mines.

  5. A week ago the ISD shut down a thread on the forums when I brought up the point that there was a huge spike, but let's see what the numbers are like 4 weeks from now, because the NPE sucks so much, and much of that is due to the very players that supposedly created this interest in the game. Given the hatred that the goons and the other null sec players have for new players who typically start out in high sec, the attrition rate of these new players is huge.

    Will CCP keep even 10% of these players 1 month from now? Doubtful. 6 months from now, not a chance.

    Once they realize how the ships they read about being blown up are so far out their reach, and the very groups that they saw flying them are mounting campaigns to ruin their gameplay, disillusionment will soon set it.

    Now, I am sure that goons will say differently, and how they are massively recruiting these new players. And they should. New players drive the demand for ISK, and goons need since they have far more than they can sell. But we all know the story of the scorpion and the frog. The vats majority of goons, and the rest of the sociopaths, are hard-wired to grief.

    CCP embraces that griefing, which completely boggles my mind to this day, and will result in this being nothing more than a tiny blip in subs in the long run.

    1. the very groups that they saw flying them are mounting campaigns to ruin their gameplay

      Wait, what? Newbies don't have "gameplay" preferences... let alone game play that can be ruined. To boot, at least one of the entities in the B-R fight actively recruits newbies, lavishes them with gear and isk and trains them to fight in the very kind of battles that occured at B-R (albeit without the enormous scale).

      Your post makes no sense.

    2. I am bemused at the thought that awesome events in EVE as this battle are an accident and not something related to the game working as intended.

      Those new players, though, will be exposed to the game working as intended, and thus most of them will leave as fast as they have subscribbed.

      They will find out that it takes a year to as much as be able to fly one of those Titan ships, and you can't really use it for anything nor do anyhting else with that character once you're flying a Titan.

      They will find out that they should had joined an alliance outside of the game as they don't recruit ingame out of fear of spies.

      They will find out that the NPE naturally leads them to PvE, which is a brutalizin and boring experience, and the alternative is to become someone's PvP content.

      They will find out that their role as PvP content often means losing everything you own before you even know what is going on.

      They will find out that the game is crowded with players playing the liars, and their only chance to meet a gentleman is purely random, whereas trusting a liar will cost them everything they have in game.

      Awesome and success in EVE are random, whereas the game is naturally a jerk to players and its population is even worst than that. As someone cleverly put it (not a literal quote):

      "EVE playerbase has chased off any decent human being that wants to play. They have distilled themselves down into everything that is wrong with humanity and convinced themselves that it is all some kind of elaborate inside joke. They are what is wrong with the game, and the worst part of it is that they hold CCP hostage. Every time they try to expand the game or draw in new players, the players create a scandal to sabotage their efforts."

      That's what the new players will find out, ultimately, and so they will leave.

    3. What have you done to help keep new players in the game, Dinsdale?

    4. Look, Dinsy here might nail an occasional head to a table, but he's got a very good point in that in 6 months we'll be looking at a graph that indeed shows a large spike but will, as EvE has shown to do with every large new spike is lose ground in the long-run. What I see are 4-previous releases and slowly losing ground after each one. One big-battle and a bunch of new players being infused, while a good thing temporarily, I feel in the long run will be relegated to the ash-heap like all other "Spikes that indicated EvE is turning around".

      Case in point, remember the last big battle we had last year, the big influx of new people and "we're turning this thing around!"...Fast forward a year and its the same thing only on a larger scale. And I'm afraid all this will do IS bring in all those new players who were on the edge about playing EvE only to make them want to quit after 3 weeks of reality. In essence, the spike is the worst possible outcome because of potential failure. All we did was expose new players to current faults...

      The problem is this, in order to "save" EvE, we will have to kill off much of what is current and past game play to make the newbs feel safe and secure to retain them longer to therefore keep them in. Unfortunately the player-base feels differently about this. New players = chum in the water.

      While its nice to dream, EvE built itself on being a tough game, kept going by being a tough game, and will only fail when it is no-longer a tough game, and after all these years all that's been shown I feel is that we can either have more new players by destroying the old-guard -or- only hope the strong survive in game and keep playing.

      Considering the survival rate of the last "big battle influx" of players....I'm more worried than excited.

  6. This is the perfect response to the morons who want CCP to stop focusing on spaceship content and go back to avatar play.

    1. How so?

      What I see is a correlation between "advertising" and "sales." There's nothing here about "flying in space" getting more sales than "walking in stations."

    2. Mara Rinn: What have I done? I have an alt in one of the newbie corps, been there for years. I log on to that char (same account as Dinsdale) when I can, and correct as many basic mistakes to concepts ingame mechanics as I can. Last day, someone actually though that the 10M "permit" from the New Order saved them from ganking, I sorted them out and fast, hopefully saving at least one new player from rage-quitting.

      When the goons launch the next inevitable attack on Jita or asteroid miners or ice interdiction, I wonder how many new players they will drive from the game? Or are they just performing a great service for Eve and culling the "wrong type of player" from the game, one who would never contribute to content and not stick around in the long run anyway?

    3. Thousands of people starting playing last week because of a spaceship battle while walking in stations lost them subscribers.

  7. CCPs community folks need to get on it. Reach out to these new bros and make sure they stick around.

    1. YOU need to reach out to these new players and ensure they stick around. Preferably with a helping hand rather than a backhand.

    2. I'm trying to decide the best way to just that Mara...

    3. CCP's community folks already have a great plan for player retention - they're going to carve all these names into a giant block of stone. That will keep them playing, right?

  8. It's really too bad that null is as risk averse as it is. Probably right in that it will never happen again, at least not while CFC literally out caps, and out sub caps the rest of null.

    I suppose we can hope for a Bob level event to fracture, but hopefully CCP guerrilla warfare features actually bring the test extortion ring, and gg lemmings into the gray in a substantial way

    1. I agree with this,

      CCP need to stop selling EVE based on what happens between sov-null blobs as nearly everything that happens in 90% of sov null is staged and fake. As were the events in B-R.

    2. It's really too bad that the grrgoons people are so bad at making friends.

    3. naturally, let's all be blue and sing kumbaya. "make coalitions not war"?

  9. CCP should pick half a dozen of these newbros and offer them a free 6-month sub IF they both a. play at least 5 hours a week and b. write some sort of feedback report once a week on their "new player experiences".

    The recent spike is probably a good time to an ongoing survey like that because most of these new players are probably not vets rolling new alts. It's a really great opportunity for CCP to gather data from a fresh unbiased perspective.

  10. All I can say is that while the big fights get people involved its those nasty dirty fights that keep people. Myself I have been curbstomped in 10% tidi no fun and I have curb stomped in 10% tidi no fun. But the fast brutally 10 min actions on a gate with reps landing (or not) ships melting, being yellow boxed and then red boxed, following primarys, those fights are why I fly. The big cool kids can do their thing for 22 hours I will settle for a nasty prove nothing gate brawl where decsision made every micro second impact your survival rate. Get thyneself to provi and have fun IMO.


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