Friday, August 07, 2015

Reply to Tweet From Susan Black

On twitter I got a message from Susan Black (@gamerchick42) about my post from earlier this week:

In a comment on that post, Ripard Teg provided a better looking graph of the data which I will post here:

The purpose of my earlier post was not to compare overall base logged in numbers from 2014 to 2015 because, as many people point out when I post about those numbers there has been a lot of mechanic changes in that time period from Phoebe on out which can contribute to that decline such as the jump changes regulating a lot of cyno alt characters to the logged off bin and ISBoxer get the much needed ban hammer.

What I was trying to investigate, and perhaps did not explain properly, was whether or not the trend of the logged in player numbers going down from the start of the summer to near the end of summer as demonstrated by 2013 and 2014's lines in the graph above, would be replicated by 2015's numbers and how closely it would match and whether it would show any deviation upwards or downwards to indicate if FozzieSov had a positive or negative impact.

My conclusion was that the low point in the summer seemed to have ended earlier than previous years so might be evidence that FozzieSov has increased player activity compared to where it would be this year had FozzieSov not been deployed. There is no question that activity is not as high as previous recent years but, as stated above, there may be mitigating mechanics changes to account for some if not all of that drop.

I hope that clears it up!


  1. I think what the graphs show isn't that the low point in the summer ended earlier, but that the "summer expansion" for 2015 was released later. For the timeline shown on the graph, here are the release dates for the summer expansions:

    Incarna - 21 June 2011
    Inferno - 22 May 2012
    Odyssey - 4 June 2013
    Kronos - 3 June 2014
    Aegis - 7 July 2015

    I name Aegis as this year's summer expansion as it introduced FozzieSov. Also, I would caution about saying that the downward trend in the summer is over. If you look at 2014, you will see a plateau from mid-July to mid-September, most likely caused by the release of Crius, the first of the 5 week point releases, on 22 July 2014 bringing in the industry changes.

  2. Yup, I got what you were saying. I wasn't saying anything about activity this year compared to activity in previous years. I was pointing out your conclusions about summer activity were wrong and better data makes it clear.

    In EVE, mid-summer activity typically peaks in mid-August (and per the information Noizy provides in the comment above, the exact date seems tied to the date of the summer expansion), then it drops toward a yearly low in October. That yearly low is typically 2000-4000 players below the summer peak. This has happened for the last six years.

    Here's another chart to make it clear:

    If 2015 sticks to the trend of past years -- and right now, I see no reason why it shouldn't -- we can expect the 30-day rolling average to settle to around 17500-18000 logged-in players in the next 60-70 days. Then it will start climbing toward 2016's peak, which we can expect to happen in early February. Again, for the last six years (including 2015), EVE's peak user period has happened around February.

  3. And just to be even more clear, EVE's cycle seems to be:

    * Players rise steadily in January to the year's peak user count in February; then,
    * player count drops steadily from this annual high then rises a bit in early summer to an early summer peak in June; then,
    * player activity drops again in July before stabilizing and rising a bit to a late summer peak in August; then,
    * player activity drops sharply in September (gee, I wonder why) to an annual low in October; then,
    * player activity rises steadily from this annual low to the next year's peak in February.

    So short version, no: the period from June 1 to July 15 is nearly always shit for EVE logged-in player counts, and has been shit in relatively equal measure in 2013, 2014, AND 2015. That's where the myth of the EVE summer slump comes from. Players just haven't been very good at recognizing that the autumn slump is even worse.

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