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, March 7, 2014

Something real

It's way too early for another look at the output of my little program that tracks logged-in player counts. After all I only did an update on that data two months ago. I generally do these sorts of posts two or three times a year and wasn't planning my next one until the run-up to the summer expansion, whenever that is.

But I happened to spot this article on Wikipedia the other day and I was charmed by it -- an EVE Online battle, in an encyclopedia? Neville Smit let me know the other day that EVE University is seeing a big spike of new players, the guys in Brave Newbies that talk to me are telling me the same, and of course there was this data that CCP Manifest was nice enough to share with me about new player account creation and trial account conversion. And then on top of that, we've got the upcoming EVE player monument and the snapshot that was taken of subscribed players a week ago, March 1. Everyone who had an active account on March 1 is on the monument.

And so that sent me to the player count data a little early.

The algorithm that I use to look at this data has always been a little wonky. The math I use to generate the daily average is set up such that it will show me what I think of as "micro-spikes": small enough jumps in the logged-in player counts so that I can see major events happening in EVE. I originally tweaked the math this way for the Incursion expansion so I could see the impact of the big live events that CCP ran at that time. This way of running the math makes the graphs "twitchy" and tends to overemphasize minor changes. It makes those minor changes easier to see, and since minor changes have been all we've had to talk about for the last few years, that hasn't bothered me too much. But I've also consoled myself with the thought that if "something real" happened to the number of logged-in EVE players -- something major -- then the data coming out of my little tool would still definitely show it.

I'd say something real is happening, wouldn't you? ;-)

Remember, that red trend line is the rolling 30-day average. So it takes 30 days for an event in New Eden to fully manifest itself on this graph. B-RB was on January 27-28, 39 days ago. The bottom of the curve was at the start of the Halloween War last year. I've marked the date of B-R5RB for reference. You can see what the numbers have been doing since then! The spike after Rubicon was faster: that expansion pushed the 30-day logged-in player average up 6000 logged-in players in seven weeks. But this one is showing signs of having some staying power!

Keep your fingers crossed!


  1. The February Peak, historical trends:

    Feb. 13 2014: 34,201
    Feb. 21 2013: 35,752
    Feb. 23 2012: 31,515
    Feb. 03 2011: 35,667 (sloping down from a January peak)
    Feb. 18 2010: 32,858
    Feb. 05 2009: 29,971

    The data have been hand-mined from the eve offline graph so there may be some inaccuracy on the actual week for each February Peak, but the phenomenon is easily noticeable on the graph.

    Non-ordinary events lead to non-ordinary peaks, but an extra is an extra and it won't change a trend (to best) unless it's carefully engineered to do so and the implementation succeeds.

    1. February was gone and Mach is on its way, and PCU has dropped 1.8k compared to 2013.

      Looks like the monument vets and the BR5 noobs are mostly gone and CCP is left with the cold truth.

  2. Yeah but do they stay... I just hope there is something coming for everyone in Summer, wh'ers, industrialists, missioners, null sec, griefers yada yada just something to shake things up again. If not... people are just going to drift away, this one included :(

  3. There is more than crossing your fingers. You can support changes that let B-R repeat: make big ship combat more important. Which means make small ship combat less important.

  4. I personally think this is just another false milestone the grandstanding null sec alliances (aka hardcore combat pvpers; aka griefers; aka bartle's killer type) are blowing it's influence out of proportion with hyperbole.

    Just look at your graph, Jester, for it clearly shows an uptick from when the Rubicon hype began in october. I think this video had more influence than your beloved null sec battles.

    Obviously, there are some players who got interested, or found out about eve, through overblown battle reports on gaming news sites just like you have people proud to say death of Ubique Seraph got them into this game. The hyperbole in that was epic i must say.

    So, yeah, if you want to ride the coattails of a good trend by claiming the credit goes to players not a decent expansion go for it...i doubt we'll ever be able to figure out how much of CCP's bullshit is their marketing department (hyping any news as good news) versus how much accuracy is in their 'metrics' (lies, damned lies, and statistics)

  5. Perhaps BRAVE has something to do with that - action right away and the welcoming culture.

  6. has there ever been any other mmo, current or past, where the players openly care about server populations? Its a curious thing.
    I suspect its down to the nature of eve; we are all on one 'server'. Therefore perhaps its an existential crisis of sorts, we can see the population, it matters to us because population = a ready barometer on the state of the game.

    I've played this since beta, off an on. I've seen it grow from a few thousand to where it is now. The amount of people actually playing is merely a curiosity, it barely registers on the fucks given scale. I wouldn't say the game is better today because of larger numbers, I'm tempted to say the opposite. But I know it is the life blood of the game. But as a player, it doesn't matter to me.

    But other peoples obsession with it (graphs?!) is an endless source of wonderment.

  7. Don't you think that the early February announcement about the monument and the fact that only those subbed on March 1 will get their names on it had some influence on the uptick in your graph and the numbers CCP has given you? I would guess that if people are going to activate their subs to ensure their name gets on the EVE monument, they're probably going to log in a bit while their account(s) are active.

    1. It's an interesting question. I definitely feel like it had an impact on the number of *subscriptions*. My hope was that some of these lapsed players looking to get their character names on the monument might try out the new ships and new tactics and maybe stick around a while.

    2. I reactivated my main account so it was present at the monument. Then logged in to set up a long skill, logged out and went back to playing a different game.

      I know everything I needed to know of EVE. Unless something changes dramatically, those will be the last 15 bucks I hand out to CCP.

  8. In Gallente Militia, I'm definitely seeing an influx of new go-getters that want to bash hubs and flip systems. I hadn't seen anybody seriously discussing that for months. They just organize fleets in militia chat and go for it. The FW veterans try to talk them out of it, though. I hope that doesn't kill their enthusiasm.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.