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Monday, February 21, 2011

To whom should CCP dedicate their resources?

I've been around long enough to "hear" a lot of players smack talk CCP about not doing this or not addressing that. One on going whine-fest concerns lag. Another has been Incursion because it caters to PvE players and not the "elite" PvP crowd. Obviously since I put "elite" in quotes I have an opinion about that but I'll need blog material later. I'll just set that aside for now.

When I think about where I should allocate my resources I always look to satisfy the most people I can. I know I can't satisfy everyone. That is impossible. However, I'd like to at least hit 80%. That's a good mark to aim for IMO.

So the quarterly financial statement came out and in it was a figure that caught my eye. It said 86% of players inhabit High-Sec. Really!? That surprised me. From everything I'd read on the forums and in EVE blogs I figured over 50% of all players were in Null-Sec. Of course, the first explanation that hit my brain concerning this discrepancy was the thought that all Null-Sec players have alts and usually on second accounts. So I pulled out my trusty 'droid calculator and crunched some simple numbers.

If there are 500k players in EVE, then 70k (14%) live in Null-Sec. If they each had a second account then they could have as many as 210k alts in High-Sec. If they also threw in the 2 extra alts on their main account that would be another 140k alts in High-Sec. That means of the 430k players in High-Sec 350k are Null-Sec alts. Is that likely? No way. Let's be real, how many alts does it take to support a Null-Sec life style. From the blogs I've read, no more than 2. So, if each of the 70k Null-sec players had 2 High-Sec alts, that leaves 360k High-Sec players. That's more than 50% of the total number of players: mains, alts and all.

Now, this is s simplistic way of looking at it in the extreme. It does not take into account the plethora of robo-miners and robo-ratters infesting Null-Sec. It does not address Low-Sec space. It doesn't even touch W-Space. It's just a mental exercise to confirm in my mind that, regardless of what logical or even semi-logical assumptions you make about Null-Sec alts, there are more Carebears and PvE players in EVE than not. Mayhap I'll gather more detailed data and run some real numbers but that too would be for another post.

So what's my conclusion after this bit of mental juggling? If I were CCP, I'd keep working on exactly what they're working on and not cave to the squeaky jump drives. That's where the most bang for development ISK lays, not in reducing lag so all 70k Null-Sec'rs can pew-pew themselves to death.

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