Thursday, March 28, 2013

High Sec Population Dominance Fallacy

Ah CSM election time.

You will here the canard that "most players live in high sec" a lot. Sometimes the number thrown around is like 80%, as in "but 80% of the players live in high sec" so we should take action to make them move/cater to them/nerf high sec/boost high sec/ etc and so forth and so on....

The original facts for these widely held but rarely proven claims come from the old Quarterly Economic Newsletters that provided explicit population breakdowns of the areas of space. Like so from Q4 2009:

But there is a humongous problem with these numbers: they count the number of characters, not the number of players.

Take myself for example. I am one player, but three accounts. On those accounts I have 8 characters total. Two live in wormhole space, two in low sec, and four in high sec. A population breakdown with me as representative would be 50% high sec, 25% low sec, 25% wormhole space, and 0% null sec. I can assure you, I consider myself 90% low sec player with PI in wormholes being the other 10%. My characters in high sec buy and move stuff for my low sec lifestyle.

I don't think my situation is unique. A lot of people have multiple accounts and multiple characters on those accounts, but only their main and one or two others in the area of space they live in most of the time. Most veteran players have logistics alts and trading alts in high sec.

So the next time someone talks about how 80% of the playerbase is in high sec, make sure they understand that number if inflated by alts and the real value is probably much lower.


  1. However, we should also count that many null and losec players either spend considerable time in hisec activities (like incursions)or those players use alts that stay in hisec for those activities.

    To say that a null or losec player doesn't care about hisec or won't be affected by changes to hisec ignores the fact that the majority of, if not nearly all, players from those areas directly benefit from hisec through their alts or activities.

  2. Anonymous7:36 pm

    People living outside of high-sec tend to have a less casual, more committed play style. This means they'll own more of those alts to begin with. For example, a high-sec mission runner *might* have a single salvager alt, while a low-sec pirate quite often has a combination of alts for high-sec logistics, links, and scanning and scouting.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the number of characters per player for those outside of high-sec were 3x that of those who self-identify as high-sec dwellers. This skews the data even more.

  3. Working as intended? CCP loves alts? The sec status hit in low, the low profit margin of hs mining per toon... etc is yelling to player: get a fking alts!

  4. I agree with this post. I have 2 accounts, 6 characters. 1 lives in Low, 1 half low, half high, and all the others are in high sec. But I consider myself to be 75% low, 25% high, as the LS character is my "main", the HS/LS is for money only, and moves around, and the others are all utility.