Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hurricane Hilmar: Why Look At The Numbers

Over the past three months or so, I spent way too much time looking at EVE Online data trying to determine the impact of the so-called "Chaos Era" and, up until now, it's major feature, Hurricane Hilmar. Officially, the institution of wormhole-style delayed local was called Blackout, but looking at the effects of the feature reminded me more of a natural disaster than something that caused players to run around New Eden like chickens with their heads cut off.

I guess that's why I spent so much time looking at the data. Yes, I got quite a few blog posts out of the situation. The data can tell a story. The problem is the data can tell any story if a person is willing to torture the numbers enough.
Any forum warrior or Reddit shit poster can spout off about what he/she thinks about CCP's actions. What I hopefully did over the past few months is collect the data readily available to players and connect the dots in such a way to provide some context to the whole situation. I doubt I imparted any wisdom in the coverage of Hurricane Hilmar. After all, stating CCP needs a strong winter expansion I think is pretty self-evident. Even those who disagree privately probably would look forward to more and better content.

Another reason for exploring and writing about the data was selfish. I never looked into the economy of EVE as closely as during the time the hurricane ravaged across null sec. I think I know a little better what to look for the the marco economy of New Eden. Of course, people don't make ISK off the macro economy. But who knows? Maybe one day I can earn some ISK off this blogging thing.

The third reason for diving into the data is that CCP really did make Hurricane Hilmar the focus of EVE for that last few months. As someone who doesn't play in null sec, the only angle I could find to write about the subject was the numbers. After choosing the angle, I just needed to describe what I saw in the data, not why null sec residents reacted they way they did.

The final reason for writing all the articles is that I really couldn't believe that CCP was doing what the numbers showed me. The more I stared at the numbers and discussed them with others, the more I fell into disbelief. Frankly, the fact that the blackout did not end on 13 August left me dumbfounded. After the logical date for reverting local back to normal passed, I kept staring at the trends in the data as if I were viewing a train wreck in real time.

Having started the trip down the rabbit hole, I can't stop yet. I still need to document the recovery, as well as finally look into why CCP made the changes that led to such a drastic drop in player activity. I also have to write a post about the biggest statistic of all: CCP's revenue during Hurricane Hilmar. I can't write that post until the Pearl Abyss investors call for the third quarter, which I believe will occur sometime around 8 November if history is any guide. Hopefully CCP will come announce cool new content at EVE Vegas next week that will knock talk of statistics to the back pages of EVE media. No matter what, though, I need to finish what I started, no matter what I find.

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