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Monday, February 3, 2014

The Unsung Heroes of B-R

This is a bit rambly, but short so bare with me. There are several pictures and they are fresh. Onward! CCP Fozzie sent this tweet out over the weekend.

This definitely caught my attention. It fairly well stopped any arguments I might have wanted to make to comments on my last post concerning the Halloween War. On January 22nd, I said CCP shouldn't apologize when they did nothing wrong. One of the counter arguments to that sentiment, and something several commenters argued passionately, is CCP gets a lot of Marketing out of these large battles. Therefore they not only should apologize, but treat those who participate as some sort of better EVE Online player. That somehow CCP must make the PvP experience better and forget the rest.

There is no denying at this juncture that large battles are important. It's what the game is all about after all. And CCP does reap real world benefits from these huge battles. In his January Junk Drawer, Jester says he's, "been watching the Snapcount data like a hawk hoping that CCP gets a nice boost." I too am eager to see his numbers, but I don't think we have to wait. If we go over to EVE Offline, we can get an idea of the level of new player creation. It looks like this.

[caption id="attachment_1585" align="aligncenter" width="400"]New Player Activity post B-R New Player Activity post B-R[/caption]

It certainly seems like the Halloween War resulted in a lot of new accounts. Just look at that "Past month" chart. I'm certain that rise mirrors the level of main stream media exposure the game's gotten in the past week. And we can see exactly what that exposure looks like thanks to Google Trends. Here is the current trend for EVE Online.

[caption id="attachment_1586" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Google Trend EVE Online post B-R Google Trend EVE Online post B-R[/caption]

I haven't seen a curve like that since I studied General Relativity. The current trend is already substantially higher than any previous spike, and I don't think it's done. I think we can all agree, B-R was definitely good for business.

It would be easy to believe from these charts that events like B-R are so important to the future of EVE Online CCP should always go out of its way to make those who fight these big fights happy. That CCP should give them everything they want. But that would be a mistake. B-R happened because EVE Online is a balanced game, not because someone forgot to pay their bill. There was a lot of industry and carebear sweat involved in making that fight possible. I'd say there was more carebear sweat involved in the making of those Titans than in the losing of them. And who do you think is now racing to replace the lost ships though it will take many months? Carebears. "We make, they play." That's as good a motto as any. For anything like B-R to ever happen again, the carebear play style must be attended to in equal portion to everything else. Above all, EVE Online must remain a balanced game.

I tip my hats to all those null-sec PvPers who fought this battle, or helped in any way to bring it about. Kudos to you for taking EVE Online to the center stage. But let's not forget who allowed you to get there in the first place. Your battles are important, but they don't just happen by accident because someone forgets to pay a bill. The reason you had the assets to take advantage of that mistake was because someone else spent months of their life preparing for it.  They deserve no less praise for that success, and equal dev love, though they may generally be satisfied to remain in the shadows and just make the replacements that go BOOM - again.

Fly Careful

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