What you missed this week

 

Welcome back to a slightly belated ‘What you missed this week’, THE Eve-centric weekly summary of the beating heart and soul of the Eve community over these past seven days! This week’s been a bloody doozy with the Keepstar ‘thing’ happening, which you can’t really ‘miss’ as it’s already been covered by the big gaming media, but also was host to a lot of smaller things, overlookable things. So chill out, grab a beer or some tea, as is your fancy, and let’s get you up to speed on what you missed this week!

Before we get into the long tales of Keepstars and wormholes, I want to pay my respects to those of us that didn’t get to see any of the wonders I’ll be talking about. Even if Racine‘s death was earlier this year on October the 20th, with news travelling slow between real life and space life, the period of mourning for the friends that flew with him ingame is just beginning. We should also pay our respects to bladeshadow, a father, gentleman and a fervent player since 2004. May you both fly blingy ever-after and have many gudfites up there.

Let’s start this news section out by getting through with ‘THE BIG THING’. So the offensive against Co2 was at an end, a final Keepstar annoying their enemies enough to start grinding through it, the first real attack on a fully operational Keepstar. This was a battle of metagaming the metagame, of figuring out the newfound limits of soulcrushing TiDi, as well as the limits of CCP’s hamsters, and last but not least, only-in-Eve ridiculous-scale fleet combat that puts Wolf 359 and the Battle of Naboo to shame.

Nothing really went to plan on any of the sides, eventually superior firepower and weapons-grade-neckbeardiness patience winning out anyway, but a lot of third parties swimming in and out of the action reported entertaining themselves. The second timer was a mess, but CCP apparently was so confident in their ability to handle the load on the final timer that they put out a special kick-ass SCOPE video hyping up what was already something at ‘THIS HYPETRAIN HAS NO BREAKS’ level.

millions of hamsters were running their little wheels red-hot for the biggest battle Eve Online has ever seen

The battle for the final timer happened last night. The server strained so hard the rest of New Eden felt the game lag under their feet as reportedly millions of hamsters were running their little wheels red-hot for the biggest battle Eve Online has ever seen, fought between 5337 players. Given a lot less technical issues than last time, the battle ran as smoothly as it could under the circumstances, the killmail even generating, and everyone had fun with it, including local lowsec residents praying on the weak and strong alike on their way to the party.

Of course, it died. And thus another monument in Eve Online history has nestled itself in the collective memory of the Eve community. I applaud everyone for being part of this, making it happen, and while Eve Online is written by both small and large stories, it is the sweeping tales of ‘deathstars’ and great men that inspire players and non-players alike. Congratulations.

Naturally, this wasn’t the only show in town yesterday. Escalating Entropy managed to get their supers in a tangle, following a miscommunicated Suddenly Spaceships timer and a lack of subcapital support. Long story short, INIT managed to rage form and some EE supers, titans and capitals paid the ultimate price. Speaking of supers, Goonswarm supers got baited into a PL/HK trap earlier in the week – while trying to bait themselves. This happened in the GSF staging system of D-W7F0 in Delve, which meant that effective bubbling rendered support unavailable. Bat Country had their revenge as a dread bomb did its work. PL exhibited new anti-super tactics, using Minikawas and Rorquals for heavy tackle.

Spooky space also had its share of fighting and drama this week as the home of The Last Chancers was under siege by Hard Knocks. It started with a desperate plea on reddit, which didn’t get to a good start seeing as the top comment was “If anyone ever deserved to be evicted it was TLC.”. As layers of defenses were peeled one after another in glorious, and not so glorious combat, TLC eventually resigned themselves to self-destructing in tether range to deny HK and friends kills. TLC did provide salt and tears in the aftermath of the eviction though, shortly followed by the announcement that the corp is going to disband. ‘Wreck their dreams’ indeed. 

As part of the ever marching plans for the new structure types, citadels included, CCP thinks we’ve reached the milestone where they can put a stop to new outposts getting created. This is premeditation for the future nerfing/pressuring and eventually removal of Outposts. We still have a few good months of that, but expect to see all outposts getting removed out by fall/winter next year.

fitted to the Upwell Palatine Keepstar Citadel

Speaking of big things to come, it’s weird how in a recent patch notes post we saw “Corrected an issue that prevented the Standup Capital Shipyard service module from being fitted to the Upwell Palatine Keepstar Citadel.”. While CCP Fozzie’s vague hint from last week was debunked to relating to Drone AI chips, it’s nonetheless weird that some dev would just scan through the code randomly, see that, and fix it.

For more dedicated speculation there’s always schildwall.info that correlates Sisi changes with TQ, revealing things that might have not be announced yet. Besides what’s linked in that thread, among the rumors is also the fact that Drones may be getting neuts, making them a lot meaner and less of a punching bag. This will have a huge impact on the game given that the East is more or less a large supercoalition at this point, and drone-ratting is a large source of income. Other tidbits revealed may also hint to a rework of some lacking officer modules, increased requirements for faction frigates and sleepers getting deadlier.

Space-Silicon-Valley wise, Avil Creeggan managed to revive the old Dotlan Follower functionality that existed before the IGB got removed, and you can check that out for yourself here. SeAT, the magical corporation management tool, also got updated to a spiffy 2.0 version so now you have an again-functioning Dwarf Therapist for Eve Online!

Have no fear citizens of New Eden, it’s just back-money changing hands

People are also getting antsy and tossing stupid allegations after reading this little bit of news. Allegations of EA/Bioware-like shenanigans are flying all over by people that don’t know better. Have no fear citizens of New Eden, this isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s just back-money changing hands and a partial exchange of the ownership. Everyone calm your tits, Eve won’t transform into World of Spaceships over night. Eve has a lot of inertia, so much that even the China server/company controlling Eve Online in there just had its ten year anniversary.

Moving off the game itself, /r/eve managed to also have a productive week with getting two threads into /r/all and the front page for a short while, getting chosen for ‘subreddit of the day‘ just a few days after. I don’t know how to feel about this but I’m glad at least we manage to create our own exposure, even if said exposure is akin to that of a streaker mooning people on the subway and leaving everyone else going ‘what the fuck?’.
 

As has been the focus in game, we start out with this week’s Art Corner with a lot of of M-O flavored art, starting with another great sequence of Razorien-grade post-processed screencaps.

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Some fantastic Battleship Yamato styled M-O pseudo-comics from Keramatzmode:

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Cymek also chiming in with this cute thoughtful image, followed with an actual poem:

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Moving off null, Polkovniknades (i hate you for making me type that out), made this fantastic shot of a Golem in Bastion over Caldari Prime which just oozes Molon Labe.

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In the musical soundscape this week we had RMT Records doing a cover of Billy Joel’s ‘We didn’t start the fire’ with “We didn’t light the Cyno”:

And to get us into the holiday cheer, a Sindel and Rixx mashup made this fantastic eve-based Christmas tune:

 

Changes are unavoidable and as the tides change, so do men’s desires and goals. These may be a result of the men themselves changing by their own will, or by the will of the universe pressing new rules upon them. But these changes can only be seen by the people that have the eyes to see them. 

Some have a hazy perception of things, like a hot summer afternoon radiating undulating heat waves from the soil, distorting the view. Others are lucky to have forgotten tools to help shine a light in the dark corners of what is to come. While still, a large amount will be content just living their small lives, engaging in honest small work, and engaging in small distractions, tiding away day after day of their lives, relinquishing control to the tide as it comes and goes.

There’s a certain expectation made of you once you get big enough to fly caps. It’s not just training up Carriers and Capital Ship to V that makes you a good pilot. At the very least, as this kill by SpectreFleet attests, you should know to fill your slots with modules.

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Once that is done, you should know the capabilities of your ship and that of the deadly enemies you face, like the Sleepless Keeper

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But these lessons take time, and they often can be traced back to previous mistakes in the pilot’s career, as illustrated by the kill done by Shadow Cartel here.

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To start things out with a funny video as usual, we get to see a montage of how the Citadel trailer actually played out in real life.

EveBusinessInsider shows us the grimy and spreadsheety way of making ISK by using Reactions:

Knights of Poitot have a bit of fun with blopsing Stealth Bombers.

BigMiker flies a ridiculous Vindi against a ‘small’ gang in his trademark style.

And closing up, Honorable Third Party show us a great Confessor video having fun with an entire stealth bomber fleet.

 

CCP gets the attention of new money, the largest number of players ever in a system peaks, the landscape is disputed and small stories are forged alongside larger ones. There have been more new players than ever before, the universe is thriving, people are interested and are setting new goals. PLEX is going down, ships destroyed is going up, wormhole space is active, lore is booming, SCOPE news are interesting.

How then given all of that can one truly say, with his hand laying flat across his chest where his heart might be, that Eve Online is dying?

It is in the bast shape it’s ever been and it’s easily the most excited the community has been in years. You can feel it in the comments, in the way people talk of Eve, in the way they think and in the way they fight. As a whole we’re excited about the future, even if some reserve grim optimism. 

Maybe the issue isn’t the game; maybe it’s you? It’s easy to get jaded and tired after years and years of it. CCP’s promises seem easily broken if you’re waiting on each morsel of information every patch note and the game seems stale if you log in daily and expect an M-O every other week. There’s a good reason Eve is turning to be more ‘seasonal’, and that’s just because that’s how the community has grown into and matured for the past decade. Tides going in and out of the harbor.

Maybe to see the forest for the trees, you have to take a step back sometimes.

~Cosmo

 



Thank you for reading this edition of ‘What you missed this week’. If you think we missed something, share it in the comments section, i’m sure a lot of people still want to check out more things. Also please leave any suggestions and ideas you may have in the comments as well, and as always, if you enjoy the work we’re doing here, please toss a nickle or an iskcent into our real or virtual wallets to keep this going with the same aplomb and quality.



PS: Be careful with the conspiracy doping, it can lead to bad side effects.

Tags: Cosmo, what you missed this week

About the author

Cosmo

Cosmo has been playing Eve Online for the better part of a decade, on and off as most Eve 'careers' go, over the span of a dozen trials and over multiple accounts. He's your average every-man player, with no hats thrown in any rings and with enough perspective to not get bogged down in endless threadnaughts on how every new feature will 'ruin' the game.

He loves the concept of Eve and the potential of what it could be more than the actual grimy bits that currently define the experience. "An Eve Online beyond Eve Online" as he likes to put it.

  • Bill Bones

    “How then given all of that can one truly say, with his hand laying flat across his chest where his heart might be, that Eve Online is dying?”

    Because PvE players and highsec players leaving the game outpace the PvP churn rate, and thus the server population keeps going down no matter what CCP does for PvP. It’s been like this since the failure of Incarna, and the burnout rate increased after CCP started the PvP focused plan introduced with the Rubicon letter back in 2013.

    EVE grew strong while standing on two legs. In 2013 CCP crippled one with the Rubicon letter. Now we see the result.

    Disclaimer: I am aware that there are many things that are going on with server population, but many of them would be the same no matter what CCP did. Although, CCP Seagull throwing PvE under the bus is something CCP could have avoided. Then PvE could had provided the breathing room EVE needs now as its niche has become a death trap, and eventually will be its grave.

    • Cosmo

      If you look at year after year average PCU, the number has been constant since 2009. As mentioned, Eve is becoming more seasonal. You get fewer players during dry periods, but more players during high-activity.

      • Viince_Snetterton

        PCU today did not crack 50K. In fact, it barely cleared 49K. So we are already looking at the peak value of this free-to-play mess. My guess it will stabilize around 42-44K, which is a disaster, given how many paying subs will be lost.

        • Cosmo

          Do you know what seasonal means? It’s useless to judge numbers on a per week basis.

          • Viince_Snetterton

            Right…because let’s see, it is low in the summer because it is the summer. It is low around Xmas because it is the holidays. It is low in the late fall because of exams for students. Ditto for low in late March/ April.

          • Cosmo

            Was referring more to having more dips and higher peaks due to events and post/event fatigue which even out the numbers but sure, whatever you believe.

      • Bill Bones

        I don’t know what you’re looking, but this is what I see:

        Yearly average:

        2003 (partial) 05k
        2004 08k
        2005 12k
        2006 24k
        2007 30k
        2008 35k
        2009 44k
        2010 47k
        2011 45k
        2012 43k
        2013 48k
        2014 41k
        2015 33k
        2016 (pre F2P) 30k
        2016 (partial) 31k
        All time average 2003-2016: 37k

        Average yearly PCU for 2016 was literally at 2007 levels and going down until the F2P boost, and cumulatively has gone down by 35% since peaking in 2013.

        • Cosmo

          You can attribute a lot of things to 2015. Input broadcasting regulation, Phoebe, which replaced a lot of toons getting use at the same time with more regionalized toons use due to dread caches being implemented, all contributing to fewer characters per battle, as well as the introduction of Fozziesov.

          If we follow the idea that we most of the loss isn’t necessarily people, but multiboxing toons, the only real loss of people can really be attributed to post-WWB, the huge dip in June, as nullbears found themselves cut off from their usually scheduled playtime.

          Even so, somehow, at these numbers, Eve feels as alive as ever, and no, it isn’t all newbies running around in highsec.

          • Bill Bones

            So once the real numbers are exposed, comes the negation: it turns, you know, that at one point 1 in 3 characters logged into the game 23.5/7 where unnecessary, redundant, expendable alts/bots/non-players, and the game is cool without them. And anyway the game is old. And anyway your corner of it looks very healthy. All in all, why bother with that silly Germania border when things in Rome look better than ever? And why should we suppose that the change in demographic trends should be related to a change in development policy? All in all, the population only started going down once the future plan for the next 5 years was clarified in 2013 and had “99% multiplayer no-sec PvP” written all over it.

            You know, simpler explanations work better. CCP has focused on multiplayer PvP in no-sec space and players who don’t fit in that cathegory aren’t getting enough bang for their buck, or are downright losing bang for their buck, thus they quit. Since they are a large chunk of the player base, their absence is noticeable on PCU.

            Oh, and also in foreign language chat channels, places not known for having bots logged into them…

  • Zerpico

    Great article really enjoy reading it. Like the Colbert’s Report feel to it

    • Cosmo

      Thank you.

  • Nihilaus

    This is the bast article I’ve ever read.

  • Kael Decadence

    Love this new feature. The only thing I would recommend is maybe having a subtitle or bold separation between the stories at the top. That way readers can instantly focus on what is important to them. I hate having to read through something that I’m not interested in just to get to the part that I am interested in, if that makes sense.