Saturday, April 1, 2023

Cloud Imperium Games Earns $9 Million In March 2023

In March, Cloud Imperium Games recorded $9 million in sales of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 related merchandise as recorded on the funding page. The total represented a year-over-year increase of 53.8%, or $3.1 million. Looking at the first quarter as a whole, CIG sold $20.9 million, a 4.4% increase over 2022's first quarter revenue of $20 million. Overall, CIG ended the month having sold $560.9 million in goods since the company incorporated in April 2012.

Some people might not believe the figures and consider this post an April Fool's joke and I will report the actual numbers in a couple of days. For those people, I have to say, put down the copium, the release of Alpha 3.18 was greeted warmly, at least in a financial sense.

I can think of three reasons for the increase in sales in March. First, Alpha 3.18 was a long awaited (almost 10 months) patch. Do people really abandon a game if they can't log in at launch? As someone who lived through FFXIV's Endwalker launch, I can safely say no. Next, Alpha 3.18 involved a complete server wipe. A lot of people who hadn't purchased ships in the past probably hit the cash shop to replenish their ship hangars. CIG held a couple of ship sales to encourage the practice. Finally, year-over-year sales fell 43% in February, which means a lot of players saved their money for the launch of Alpha 3.18. At least, one can assume they did based on the March sales figures.

But just because CIG is 4.4% ahead of 2022's record sales does not mean the company is meeting financial goals. At the beginning of February I tried to estimate how much CIG needed to record in sales to meet the company's goals. The figure I came up with was an increase of between 13.2% and 18.5%, mostly based on CIG's assumed goal of fielding one thousand employees by the end of 2023.

I don't have sources in CIG's headquarters, but the sales goals had to have suffered due to the multi-month delay in deploying Alpha 3.18. Perhaps CIG learned last month releasing updates brings in more money. On Wednesday, CIG announced a more aggressive testing schedule to do just that. We shall have to see if the move works, but if I am correct, expect to see CIG's sales and marketing efforts to become more aggressive throughout the remainder of 2023.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Is The Latest Stormblood Givaway Really A Big Deal?

A couple of days ago, Square Enix announced it was giving away the Stormblood expansion to owners of the Standard Edition. For free! The campaign period runs from last Monday to 8 May 2023. 

During the campaign period, users will be able to add Stormblood to their account for free by obtaining it from participating retailers. Once redeemed, Stormblood will be registered to your account and will not be removed after the campaign ends. Note that an active paid service subscription to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online is required to play.

When adding in the Free Login Campaign is still in effect and one can see how Yoshi-P is attempting to boost player numbers.

Besides the idea that I now know when patch 6.4 will release, I began to wonder exactly how players acquire new expansions.

If you don't buy everything in the beginning

The sales campaign is designed to attract the players who were hesitant at buying the full game and just purchased A Realm Reborn and the first expansion Heavensward for $19.99. Perhaps that person would like to try Stormblood but doesn't want to pay for Shadowbringers and Endwalker

Why not let the person continue the journey? Does it really cost the company money to do so? Not really. If a player who takes advantage of the offer goes on to purchase Endwalker, Stormblood is part of the package anyway. And if the player decides after playing Stormblood the game isn't worth continuing, then at least the player helped populate the world for those who chose to continue on.

Financially, is the deal worth it for Square Enix? Let's do some quick napkin math. Assume 2 million active or semi-active players. Then assume 10% of those players only own the Standard Edition with ARR and Heavensward. Then assume 10% of those players then continue on to take advantage of the offer and go on to purchase Endwalker. That 1% conversion rate amongst active players nets $800,000 not counting additional subscription fees. So perhaps a chance at a million dollars is worth it.

I am guessing something is going to occur either on 8 May or the week after. Will the next expansion be announced? With the beginning of FFXIV's next story arc, will Square Enix add Stormblood to the Standard Edition? Or do players start coming back to the game on the x.4 patches so additional promotions are no longer needed? 

I didn't really answer the question in the title of the post did I? Sometimes I ask a question in the title because I really don't know the answer. I'm nosy that way.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

More Web3 Activity By CCP Games

And why do you boost a message about a meeting between the CEO and some crypto investors on that account?  Because crypto is coming to EVE Online maybe? (Edit: The EVE Online twitter account has since undone this retweet.)

- Wilhelm Arcturus, The Ancient Gaming Noob, 29 March 2022

I have to admit that the recent announcement of a $40 million round of funding for CCP Games' next project caught me by surprise. Not that the funding happened. Instead, that the entity making the announcement was CCP Games in Reykjavik and not Pearl Abyss in Anyang. 

I was under the impression Pearl Abyss, through its financial subsidiary Pearl Abyss Capital, was handling all Web3/blockchain/NFT investments. I was wrong. I did a little more digging and found two more transactions involving CCP Games and Web3/blockchain/play2earn gaming. But instead of receiving money, CCP Games was part of the investing groups.

The first transaction occurred in April 2022, when CCP took part in a $20 million initial coin offering for Civitas. Civitas is a 4x strategy game built on the blockchain. The game was supposed to go into beta this quarter, but Directive Games appears on pace to miss that target. But the more interesting fact, at least for this post, is the list of investors and strategic partners buying tokens.

Going back and reading Wilhelm's post from one year ago and he did a very good job identifying some of the investors. The reaction to the tweet was so bad MassivelyOP reported on the outrage. But the tweet that upset EVE players wasn't about EVE Online. It was about investing in another company's game. 

CCP was not done yet, though. In June, CCP Games became involved in a round of $22 million in investment funding for Clockwork Labs. The company is designing a game called BitCraft, a "community sandbox massively multiplayer online role-playing game.'

In the VentureBeat article, the author named some of the investors.
Andreessen Horowitz led the round to further develop their community sandbox MMORPG, BitCraft, alongside a new unannounced database technology that powers the game.

David Baszucki, Roblox founder and CEO, also participated in the round as a private investor. A16z and Baszucki join an existing list of investors and games industry legends and leaders, including Supercell, CCP Games CEO Hilmar Petursson, and Unity cofounder David Helgason.

Andreessen Horowitz. The same company that led the $40 million funding round announced last week. I'm guessing some networking occurred around the organization of the funding round.

One interesting note. While the author notes the involvement of Hilmar, Crunchbase indicates the funding Hilmar was associated with came from CCP Games, not his personal funds.

One final note. I wish I was writing an anniversary post for a fairly infamous tweet in the EVE community. But until the $40 million round of funding, I was blissfully unaware of everything happening. Once I knew which threads to pull, however, following the trail was fairly simple. And in some ways, the story is a lot better than the alternative.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Noting Nexon's Interest In NFTs And Other Web3 Tech

What is it about East Asian gaming companies and Web3/blockchain technology? The outgoing CEO of Tokoyo-based Square Enix has made integrating Web3 tech into games a main priority for the last two years. A new EVE Universe game based on Web3 tech was announced by South Korean-owned game studio CCP Games on Tuesday. Another East Asian company, Nexon, announced its increasing involvement in the Web3 game space last week.

Nexon calls itself a South Korean-Japanese company. Founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1994, the company moved its headquarters to Toyoko in 2005. With ties to both countries, perhaps the company's interest in Web3 technology is unexpected.

The first piece of Web3 news last week involved the $40 million investment into CCP Games new effort, Project Awakening. While I concentrated on the role of the lead venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz, one of the other main investors was Nexon. However, unlike what I've read at VentureBeat, I do not believe the main Web3/blockchain tech will involve non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

I don't blame the author of the VB article, though, because the other piece of Nexon news did involve NFTs. Nexon announced at the company is working on a new version of Maple Story. Named Maple Story N, all the items in the game will be NFTs.

In a session today at the Game Developers Conference, the company said the NFTs will have both tangible and intangible values. It’s another example of how South Korean game companies are all-in on NFTs, which can be used to establish player ownership and resale of assets. The South Koreans are in even though many hardcore gamers in the West have resisted NFTs.

MapleStory is a massively multiplayer game with more than 180 million registered players, as well as a strong presence on social media and community forums. But the MapleStory Universe includes the makers of third-party games and user-generated content as well.

Starting with MapleStory N, new content and characters based on MapleStory IP and tracked with decentralized applications (DApps) will be developed by content creators and introduced to the MapleStory Universe.

Since all items in Maplestory N are NFTs, players will have digital ownership of the items they acquire. The use of DApps allows NFT’s to be recognized and valued in the MapleStory Universe beyond MapleStory N.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the game is the lack of a cash shop. Players will acquire NFTs through gameplay. Is the lack of a cash shop enough to warrant player interest in the ecosystem of games Nexon plans to launch? Who knows? But the effort is something else to look at.

Friday, March 24, 2023

A Shadow War Event Update

I took a quick look this morning at the progress all four factions were making in EVE Online's Shadow War event. The progress wasn't that impressive over the first 9 days.

Green means completed

I'm pretty sure that CCP would like the event to conclude before the upcoming expansion to launch sometime in the second quarter. The most worrisome faction is the Gallente. So far New Eden's second largest faction (at least lore-wise) is only 5.8% through Stellar Transmuter Development and 1.9% through Transport Relay Development. The other three factions are 4-5% of the way through the hand-ins for the tech trees they are currently researching.

Over the past week CCP has tweaked the drops in the Shadow War content. On Tuesday, the developers "Adjusted the spawns for lowsec Waylaid Courier Salvaging sites, Research Data Node sites and Besieged Research Labs in low security space such that there is a higher amount of sites total and they will now respawn more consistently. Those outside of Factional Warfare lowsec remain unaffected."

Yesterday saw additional drops added to the game.

  • Significantly increased the drop rates of datacore BPCs and components shadow war sites.

  • Added "Scorched Containers" as a rare drop to the hacking containers, courier wrecks and vulnerable labs. These crates contain a small number of Recursive Computing Modules.

In addition, the devs fixed an issue in the contracts system and datacores and datacore components can now be requested as items from buyers in item exchange contracts.

Hopefully the additions will lead to success and the factions will have their research completed before the expansion drops. But I'm still worried about the poor Gallente. What happens if they can't finish the research into the ship caster in time?

Thursday, March 23, 2023

New Servers For North America And Patch 6.38

In the midst of CCP Games' announcement of a new Web3 game, Square Enix published the news about new hardware for Final Fantasy XIV's data centers

In order to deliver an optimal gaming experience for future updates, we will be upgrading the hardware of our North American data centers. An extended period of maintenance will be scheduled for all Worlds while the equipment is being replaced.

All content on North American data centers (Aether/Crystal/Dynamis/Primal), including character data, will be automatically transferred to the new servers. No changes will be made to the Data Center/World Selection screens, nor to any character or World data. The physical location of all data centers will remain unchanged and the FINAL FANTASY XIV Development and Operations teams will exercise the utmost care in ensuring all data is safely and successfully transferred. Players will not be required to take any action following this hardware update.

We've known about plans to upgrade all of the FFXIV data centers since Producer & Director Naoki Yoshida's post about the subject back in January 2022. However, I think plans changed a little. Here is the information conveyed a month after the launch of Endwalker.

Currently, the North American Data Center houses three logical data centers and 24 Worlds (an 8:8:8 configuration). In order to cope with a drastic increase in player population, we are planning a two-phase major server expansion. Due to the global shortage of semiconductors, it has taken considerable time to procure server equipment, but the schedule calls for the first phase to be implemented around August 2022, with the second phase to follow in the spring or summer of 2023.

In the first phase of the expansion, scheduled for August 2022, one new logical data center will be established and four new Worlds will be added under it. In the second phase of the expansion, we plan to add four more new Worlds under the newly established logical DC, resulting in a four-logical-DC configuration of 8:8:8:8. While we had originally hoped to add all eight new Worlds at once in August 2022, the aforementioned semiconductor shortage has dictated that we introduce the upgrade in two stages. Again, we ask for your understanding and patience in this matter.

In addition to the above, we are also considering a yet-larger-scale upgrade at the time of the next major expansion (Patch 7.0). We will be sure to update you with further details regarding this as our plans take shape.

From the description, North America is getting the larger upgrade of all the server hardware before the next expansion, not at the time Patch 7.0 launches. Which means Yoshi-P still plans on upgrading the Dynamis data center from 4 worlds to 8.

Patch 6.38 was also mentioned in the latest announcement. While details are sparse, the x.38 patch usually is when the weekly unlock for Savage content is abolished. Also, the current PvP season will end with 6.38. The Hatching-tide event, running from 27 March to 10 April, should not be affected. FFXIV's holiday events are so short that the loss of 24 hours during the event should not impact the vast majority of players ability to complete the event.

With the 24 hour maintenance on 3-4 April, make sure to log in and set your retainers and Island Sanctuary jobs if you set yours to begin on Tuesdays. Personally, I start my Island Sanctuary weeks on Thursdays just to avoid events like upgrades. Enjoy the day off and get outside and soak up some natural vitamin D. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Project Awakening - The Web3 Game

No, this post is not referring to Cygames upcoming RPG for the Playstation 5 due to release this sometime in 2023. Yesterday CCP Games, a subsidiary of Pearl Abyss, announced a $40 million round of venture capital funding for its upcoming video game based on blockchain technology. No official name was mentioned in any of the various press releases issued yesterday. Instead, press outlets started to refer to the effort by the URL of the information page that went live at the same time, Project Awakening.

As is my practice, the main portion of the press release is below:

Reykjavík, Iceland – 21 March 2023 – CCP Games, creators of sci-fi spacefaring MMO EVE Online, announced today that $40M in financing has been secured from external partners. This financing will allow CCP Games to build upon the discoveries of its research & development team to enable the full-scale development of a new AAA title utilizing blockchain technology, set within the EVE Universe.

"Since its inception, CCP Games’ vision has been to create virtual worlds more meaningful than real life. Now, with advancements made within blockchain, we can forge a new universe deeply imbued with our expertise in player agency and autonomy, empowering players to engage in new ways. This financing has marked an exciting frontier in our studio history as we begin our third decade of virtual world operations. We are humbled by the confidence from our partners in the development of this new title,” said CCP Games CEO, Hilmar V. Pétursson.

With key game systems developed on-chain, this new project will also leverage smart-contract blockchain technology, focusing on persistence, composability and truly open third-party development to create a new relationship between virtual worlds and players.

This financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from Makers Fund, BITKRAFT, Kingsway Capital, HASHED, Nexon, and additional participants.

“CCP Games is a pioneer in virtual worlds and digital economies with 25 years of experience creating living sandboxes with unparalleled depth. They're a veteran team and we believe in their ambitious vision to deliver incredible player experiences at the intersection of best-in-class game design and blockchain technology,” said a16z General Partner, Jonathan Lai.

“The depth and nuances of EVE have become a frequent point of reference in blockchain gaming and we are therefore thrilled to support the team's impressive vision of expanding the EVE Universe utilizing this technology. As a former employee, it's a great personal joy to be reunited with CCP and to witness their continued passion for creating truly meaningful virtual worlds," said Makers Fund Principal, Alli Óttarsson.

“We've long marveled at stories of interstellar war, spaceships forever lost, and the constant challenges of staying ahead of emergent, sovereign play patterns. Hilmar and the team's experience is unmatched, and we're excited to see how they use blockchain to let players dream further,” said BITKRAFT Ventures Partner, Carlos Pereira.

Alongside independent financing, this new title’s production is separate from current and previously disclosed projects, including EVE Online, which is now in its landmark 20th year.

CCP Games looks forward to sharing updates as development progresses. Register at for future news and announcements. To learn more about open positions at CCP Games, visit the careers page.

I will definitely need to do research into the topic, because this sentence threw up some serious red flags:

With key game systems developed on-chain, this new project will also leverage smart-contract blockchain technology, focusing on persistence, composability and truly open third-party development to create a new relationship between virtual worlds and players.

Quite frankly the sentence sounds like something Bethesda's Todd Howard and Cloud Imperium Games' Chris Roberts cobbled together. The only thing missing was that the new game's world would hold 16 times the resources of EVE Online.

In an effort to learn more about why venture capitalists would throw $40 million in CCP's direction, I began looking into the lead company, Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z or AH Capital Management, LLC. Specifically, what was the attraction of CCP Games?

Perhaps a Twitter thread from Jon Lai, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a founding investor of a16z Games Fund One, sheds some light.

I've said for what has turned into years now that EVE Online was built for the concepts of web3, the blockchain and, most importantly, play2earn mechanics. Here is a professional basically backing up my beliefs.

Now we get to the profit motive. When writers convert major null sec battles into real world monetary values, eventually the money people notice. I don't know if anyone pointed out to the folks at a16z that, if included in the monthly economic reports, RMT tokens like PLEX and skill injectors and extractors make up approximately 50% of the EVE economy. Just as the null sec powers skim ISK off the PLEX trade in Perimeter's Tranquility Trading Tower, the investment consortium probably envisions skimming real life money off of every sanctioned RMT transaction in the new game.

If Lai is calling Hilmar a founder of CCP, maybe he hasn't done enough research into the company (CCP Games was founded by Reynir Harðarson, Þórólfur Beck Kristjónsson and Ívar Kristjánsson). Then again, perhaps fluffing up the CEO of a target company is just part of the job.

Apparently EVE Brand Director Sæmundur Hermannsson is heading up the project. I believe his CCP dev name is CCP Goodfella. Hopefully Lai's positive impression is based more on the people actually working on the project and less on the front man doing the talking.

I included the last tweet for completeness. The disclaimer about investment advice is important and I don't want to contribute to any misunderstandings. Plus, given the subject of this post, I thought the warning was appropriate.

I learned one additional fact from yesterday's news. While Pearl Abyss wants to publish Web3 games, we now know the company does not have the money to develop Web3 games. If our overlords in Anyang had the money, CCP Games would not have had to go seek out venture capital to complete development. As the world discovered on the Q4 2022 earnings call, Pearl Abyss lost $35.6 million in 2022. The amount raised in this first round of funding was $40 million.

I will have to follow-up on the story as I did not include so much information. But I wanted to get something out quickly before I fell too far behind the news. Hopefully readers found the post informative.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Gearing Up The Rest Of Patch 6.3

I'm still living in a hotel, but due to a sale at Best Buy I now have a computer that is less than five years old. With equipment that reliably connects to the WiFi network, I started working on gearing up my character in Final Fantasy XIV.

The big angst amongst the community, or at least content creators, is the ease of completing the second phase of the Manderville relic weapon. After years of reading and listening to complaints of how grinding getting relic weapons are, people are complaining about the ease of acquiring the Endwalker relic weapon. The second phase, like the first, consists of two steps. First, complete the Manderville quest line up to the current time. Next, acquire three McGuffins at a total cost of 1500 Allagan Tomestones of Astronomy. Finally, turn in the McGuffins and receive prize. Easy peasy.

I'm not going to say the process doesn't involve a grind. All one has to do is run Lapis Manalis about 15 times using the Trust/Duty support systems and do a few treasure maps and a player can get the weapon playing solo. I'd estimate the total time at around 10 hours, although people who don't mind playing with others can obtain the tomestones much faster. I already had over 1000 tomestones, so I was able to complete the latest stage in less than a week.

I have the weapon, rated iLevel 630, but what about the rest of my gear? I'm still using the iLevel 610 gear I crafted for myself. I guess I could keep running the dungeon over and over since I need to turn in the drops for ventures to keep my army of retainers active. I have enough Allagan Tomestone of Causality to get the chestpiece, but that's about it. Or I can concentrate on gearing up my crafters and gatherers for the patch 6.4 meta.

I don't need the Indagator crafting set (iLevel 620) right now. I pentamelded the Pactmaker's set (iLevel 590) and that will see me through until patch 6.4 drops sometime in May. But if I want to be ready for May, I need to start making the crafting set now. No more spending time decorating my cottage for the foreseeable future.

I do need to upgrade to the Indagator gathering set now, though. I will need to start preparing to gather the next tier of materials for the next tier of craftable combat gear. I also need to pentameld my gear in order to have the stats to gather the items. Pentamelding is expensive in time and/or gil. I have enough gil to buy enough materia to complete the process, but I perfer to grind away doing things instead.

So my plan is simple. First, craft the Indagator gathering gear and pentameld the gear to achieve the stats for patch 6.4. Next, craft the Indagator crafting gear, but don't pentameld the gear until patch 6.4 drops and I know what stats are required to craft the next tier of gear. And while I do all of that, continue running dungeons to get the drops required to keep my retainers active and supplying me with gil and raw materials.

Oh yeah. And while doing all of this, I still need to find time to do things like work on the Loporrits' tribal quests, finish decorating my cottage, and finish the patch 6.3 MSQ (I'm almost done, honest!). Maybe some players are out of things to do. But this casual FFXIV player still doesn't have enough time to do everything I want to do in the game.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Star Citizen Is Basically Recovered From The Alpha 3.18 Deployment

I think this post is the last of the posts covering the launch of Star Citizen's Alpha 3.18. As of midnight UTC on St. Patrick's Day, Cloud Imperium Games still lists the status of the Persistent Universe as "Partial Outage". My personal belief is the status will remain at that level until a patch is ready to fix many of the issues discovered. At that point, the game will return to its buggy self.

I am getting a bit tired of all the dumb negativity surrounding the game. Look, hating Star Citizen, Squadron 42, Chris Roberts, Cloud Imperium Games, and yes, those who play the game is, at least in the United States, a constitutionally protected right. Given some of the history of those running Cloud Imperium Games, I even understand that hatred.

But understanding the hatred doesn't mean I have to like the vitriol. Some of the posting is so bad and dumb sometimes I just want to reach out and ask what did Chris Roberts do to generate such feelings.

 I've left a message around the Internet that I should also post here.

Let me expand just a little bit on the idea. In February, CIG averaged $150,000 per day in sales. For the first 10 days of March, sales declined down to $106,000 per day. Once the patch came out? On 11 March, CIG took in $1.4 million on a day most players couldn't log into the game.

From 12-16 March, CIG has averaged $264,000 per day in sales. If the pace continues, the sales amount will match last year's record pace for the first quarter of the year.

A lot of people want to dance on Star Citizen's grave, but the money train keeps rolling along. With the sales bump that accompanied the launch of Alpha 3.18, the total known funding reached $637.8 million.

  • Sales recorded on the funding page: $555.6 million (as of 16 March 2023)
  • Subscriptions and other income: $82 million (as of 31 December 2021)

When the Calders' outside investment is included, CIG reached $700 million in total funding on Monday. I am rooting for CIG to reach $1 billion in total funding before CIG officially launches any games. I want to see the heads of the worst of the haters explode.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Shadow War Event

I received an email from CCP advertising the new upcoming changes to factional warfare in EVE Online. In addition to Direct Enlistment and changing the fighting from a two-sided conflict to a four-way free-for-all, an event is coming up called The Shadow War.

The premise of The Shadow War is to collect McGuffins to enable each side to build teleporters to allow factional warfare players to travel directly to fighting in the war zones. Think the portal systems in games like Final Fantasy XIV. I can only imagine the local economies and trade hubs that will develop around the systems hosting the transporters.

Now, following December's Empire Frontiers event, each of the four empires is at different levels of technology. Thus, the goals are different, although the basic gameplay loop is the same. Players will go to one of three types of sites, depending on ship type. Basically, the event will bring a little bit of FW complex play to high sec.

  • Research Data Nodes - allows entry for Tech I and navy frigates.
  • Waylaid Courier sites - allows up to Tech I and navy destroyers plus Tech II frigates.
  • Besieged Laboratories - allows entry for ships up to battlecruiser and navy battlecruiser classes plus Tech II cruisers

Of course, the sites are protected by NPCs. These are not like data or relic sites.

The initial goals are accomplished by entering the sites and taking loot. Here are the details for each faction.

Caldari - steal stellar transmuter tech from the Amarr and/or Minmatar by targeting sites in the Factional Warfare (FW) warzone systems controlled by the Amarr and Minmatar, as well as within the highsec systems in the Kisana, Ryra, Tiat, and Ani constellations.

Amarr & Minmatar - steal transport relay tech from the Caldari by targeting sites in the Aokinen and Minnen constellations as well as Caldari-controlled FW space.

Gallente - steal both types of technology from all the sites mentioned above. If those loyal to the Gallente manage to acquire any of the above tech, capsuleers aligned with the other empires can expect Gallente sites to eventually spawn in the Intaki system, as well as within the Kiartanne constellation, and within Gallente-controlled FW space.

Once all the necessary material is gathered for a faction, the next step is to construct the interstellar shipcaster. This step requires the "the harvesting of materials from Pochven and moons, carrying out industry jobs, and then delivering the output to your empire."

Players can also receive individual rewards by earning points throughout the event.

These rewards include new combat boosters tailored to specific empire ship characteristics, and 11 fresh ship SKINs for each empire, including the all-new Penumbral Shadows SKINs as well as Versus Redforce and Blueforce SKINs available on some hulls for the first time.

The post also mentioned that The Shadow War replaces the The Hunt, an annual event featuring the Guristas. I'm sure CCP didn't think of the implications. A PvP focused event, which looks to bring player-versus-player gameplay to high security space by flagging participants for PvP, is replacing an event that allowed PvE players in high sec to participate as well.

At this point in time, I play very little EVE Online. The Shadow War won't bring me back, and not just because my gaming rig connects poorly to the hotel WiFi network. I don't like high sec PvP and do my best to avoid it at all costs. I can't do anything about suicide ganking, that is just part of the game. But the suspect flag mechanic? I avoid that at all costs.

That said, I like the thought and game design decisions in the post. The processes seem to flow in a logical way and will involve industrialists. I'm not sure what WoW/FFXIV style insta-travel will do to EVE long-term, but I think CCP's goal is to make factional warfare an instant source of PvP. We'll see how that plays out, but at least the developers are involving the players in making the story. One of EVE's attractions is that players make the story. Involving them in the developer-created story is a plus.