Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Summer War 2020: We Were Promised Explosions

The big summer war of 2020 began 4 weeks ago. We've seen coverage of the war on talk shows and Twitch streams. The EVE Online sub-reddit is full of propaganda. The growing number of systems with Pandemic Horde infrastructure hubs in Fountain and Brave Collective iHubs in Querious mark the progress of PanFam and the Legacy Coalition towards The Imperium's home region of Delve. But the question remains. Where are the ship explosions?

In July, null sec witnessed an average of 10,358 ships explode for various reasons. But despite the start of the war late on 4 July, the total was down from June's average of 10,421 ships lost per day. One cannot explain the slight decrease as a lot less of a decrease than normal, either. The 0.6% drop in wreck creation in 2020 is slightly below the average change from June to July from 2016-2018 of 0.0%. That's right. In EVE's free-to-play, non-Blackout history, null sec averages no decline at the beginning of summer (winter in Australia/New Zealand). In other words, the war is not providing an increase in ship wrecks.

On the ratting front, major wars have two contradictory influences. On the one hand, major conflicts can interfere with ratting, especially if the sides decide to declare total war on each other's rear areas. But, alliances have an incentive to increase ratting in order to improve their systems' activity defense modifiers. In July, null sec saw a 4.1% decrease of NPCs killed, down to 6,200,252 rats per day. The decline, though is in line with the 2016-2018 average decline in NPC kills of 7.5%. Once again, seemingly the "World War" is not affecting all of null sec.

Just looking at the data available on Dotlan, the current war reminds me of the fighting a few years ago in factional warfare. The participants were all happy and thought the action had picked up tremendously. But in reality, all the players gathered to a few points to make the game feel busy.

Is the same thing happening today in null sec? Perhaps not. We still haven't seen the big toys gather to have a critical battle or two. Also, we haven't seen the July monthly economic report yet. The Dotlan data can give a first impression but more is needed. The maps show the fighting is spread out over regions. But how deep is the war? How many ships involved? What are the resources devoted to the conflict? Or, potentially, the resources available to wage the war. But for now, the level of fighting seems not out of line with the normal state of null sec.

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