Monday, June 4, 2012

Average Concurrent Users Before Inferno's Launch

I don't spend all of my time reading Eve Online botting forums.  Sometimes I read the official Eve Online forums.  Those tears just aren't as much fun reading as those on the bot forums.  One of the items that drives me crazy is reading people giving wild claims about the concurrency numbers on Tranquility.  Everyone seems to want to equate the situation with the unified inventory with last summer's launch of Incarna and Captain's Quarters.  Even though the concurrency numbers dropped both this year and last, I think the numbers show two completely different causes.  Here's why.

Last year the numbers clearly showed that the number of users declined after the launch of Incarna.  This year, the numbers took a drastic dive approximately one week before Inferno's deployment to Tranquility.
Rolling 7-Day Average Before Two May Expansions

Why did the 7-day rolling average of users on Tranquility drop 14.6% in the 9 days before Inferno launched?  I included the numbers from before the Tyrannis expansion to see if such a drop is normal.  I used Tyrannis because it launched 26 May 2010, which means it accounts for seasonal factors such as holidays, university exams, weather, etc.  Such a big drop is not normal.

What also isn't normal is the release of one of the most anticipated video games of the past few years, Diablo 3.  According to the Xfire numbers, the total number of hours spent playing all MMORPGs decreased by 16.8% in the first week after Diablo 3 launched.  That Eve saw a massive decrease in activity is unsurprising.

I did find two other points of interest about the average concurrent user numbers for the 30 days before the launch of Inferno.  The first is the effect of Hulkageddon V on the number of players logged in.  Actually, I should state the lack of effect.  Despite all the tears I saw on the forums, miners didn't log off en masse and stop playing the game.  From the start of the event on 29 April thru 13 May, the 7-day rolling average of concurrent users remained relatively flat.  The decline in numbers did not occur until Diablo 3 launched.

The second is that the average concurrent users in 2010 was slightly higher than that in 2012.  Does that mean that the number of Eve Online subscriptions flat-lined for 2 years?  Not at all.  According to, Eve had approximately 320,000 subscribers in June 2010 and 361,000 subscribers in April 2012.  So why the similar number of users logged into the game two years later?  My answer is CCP's War on Bots™.  Back in 2010 CCP still operated under the old mass banning at infrequent interval strategy when dealing with botters.  Botters were not afraid to run their bots 23/7.  This drove up the concurrent user numbers.  With the new strategy CCP Sreegs introduced in March 2011 of banning botters continuously, bot devs started advising their customers to cut back on the number of hours they should run their bots.  So even if the same number of people were running bots, the fewer active hours would result in a lower number of concurrent users averaged out over the course of a day.  How much lower?  I don't know, but on 22 June 2009, CCP banned 6200 accounts for botting as part of its Unholy Rage campaign.  If CCP Sreegs and Team Security managed to keep just half that number from botting 24/7 then that could account for the difference between a 10% increase in accounts and no increase in concurrent users on Tranquility.


  1. No.

    The numbers are lower from unsubscribed accounts, due to the unplayability for a lot of functions used ny Industrialists, and the new Infinigeddon. I have cancelled all 4 of my accounts. My former Alliance LEader cancelled 4 as well that are 5 years old.

    I know of 4 similar 'cancelled all accounts' players just from my Local Area In-Game.

    It's just too much nonsense anymore for casual play.

    We moved on.

    1. So the unified inventory came out before Inferno? Interesting.

    2. Sounds like someone's bots don't work any more. Don't let the door smack you in the back on your way out.

      As an industrialist and occasional hisec miner, things are just fine atm. I work on reactions, PI, capital and t1 production. It all works just fine. And due to the ability to rename POS structures now, its easier (somewhat) to do reactions.

      The WH works just fine, the inventory does take a change of thinking, though.

      in 2011 I was running 2 accounts, I now have 3.

    3. Suddenly Ninjas must be jealous of CCP. They could never generate this amount of carebear tears so easily.

      Humans are creatures of habit no matter how tedious or boring. Mess with their habits and they get uncomfortable and irritable. Humans are also highly adaptable. I'd put my money on the 80/20 rule. 80% will adapt, 20% will run away and EVE/CCP won't notice they're gone.

    4. Yeah, and good fucking riddance. Don't let the EVE Gate hit your ass on the way out.

  2. I agree a few factors affected my decision to unsub my fleet of mining accounts where I had never done that before. Infinigeddon does make mining no longer a casual activity. For years I never saw anything except other miners and haulers in belts. Now there are catalysts dropping in alot. "It's just too much nonsense anymore for casual play."

    I would normally turn to incursions during Hulkageddon, but that area continues to be in disarray from the Inferno changes. It was always tedious, but now it's tedious and dangerous and high risk/low reward. Now I use two accounts just for level 4 missions, which is just boring. I run 5-6 missions and logoff, where I used to have 6 accounts running 12-15 hours on weekends and 5-6 hours on weekdays.

    Diablo 3 now gives me a good alternative to playing Eve. I log off Eve after 30-60 minutes now and don't miss it.

  3. You used to mine, but now with hulkageddon you run missions, and you complain that mission running is boring?

    I smell a mining bot

    1. You're fairly typical of the angry little ADHD crowd that needs to take out their life on other people online. Small mind, limited ability for critical thinking, limited forethought. People like you lack the ability to understand that NOT taking out your miserable life on others, is even possible. Los of people, the majority of Eve players, in fact, play because it's enjoyable. Wondering if/when some angry little net bully is going to grief you isn't fun, nor relaxing. Mining isn't boring, it's relaxing. A few years, or decades, of maturity, and you'll realize that too if you're lucky.

    2. His point was that (he feels) mining is more boring than missioning, at least if you're not afk/botting. I think you're a small minded person for not seeing his point.

      Also, your arguments are pretty trashy. Duh eve players play because it's fun. If it's not fun, please, stop playing. You're wasting your time. Also...I've never got this, maybe it was because I'm from a large family and was bullied somewhat as a little kid, but people on the internet screaming at me and calling me a noob just makes me laugh.

  4. concurrent numbers are back down to 2009 levels. I'm not sure how you can make the argument that EVE is on the rise again. If you meant, on the rise from the last crushing dip in numbers, I suppose you're right.

    1. So if the fact that in April 2009 Eve had approximately 300,000 subs and in April 2012 Eve had 361,000 subs means that Eve is stagnant or in decline, then I guess you are correct. I would just ask you to explain why concurrency matches 2009 levels even though Eve has approximately 20% more subscribers today than in 2009. I've given my answer: the launch of Diablo 3 combined with the crackdown on botting.