Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Looking At EVE Online In February 2023

On Monday CCP published the February Monthly Economic Report. Getting into the nuts and bolts of the New Eden economy is fascinating, but some of the data issues makes the effort frustrating at times. Instead, I am looking at some other statistics. The first is the average number of concurrent users on at any one time. 

The 7-day rolling average fluxuated up and down throughout the month but the 30-day rolling average increased throughout February. Perhaps more surprising to some EVE players, the number of players logged in increased year-over-year. Many believe the price increases in May 2022 permanently damaged EVE. But in February, at least the number of pilots in space exceeded the time of the price hike.

The Uprising expansion in large part was based around low sec and factional warfare. Three months later, activity in low sec was still up compared to before the expansion.

The number of player-owned ships exploding in February was down month-over-month, but not unexpected since January has 3 more days. When adjusted to average per day, the number of ships dying only declined by 1.1%. Compared to February 2022, the number of ships exploding last month increased by 27.7%.

I also decided to create another graph similar to those I see for the warmest global temperature years just to show how activity has increased over the previous four years in low sec. Through the first two months, the number of player-owned ships exploding is up compared to the same time period from 2019 to 2022. Next month will pose a challenge as we will get to compare the changes implemented in Uprising to the beginning of the COVID lockdowns of 2020.

I did want to add a new chart this month. EVE Online cannot survive financially if CCP relies on low sec players to carry the weight. Null sec players, particularly those interested in PvE, carry a lot of weight. While not the most vocal in today's EVE media, the game really cannot survive without them.

The best measure outside the MER is probably the number of NPCs players kill in null sec. After efforts to limit player income, first by implementing Blackout, then the Scarcity Era, the developers did their best to suppress that type of activity in order to fight inflation via a rising money supply. In Uprising, players saw some of those efforts lifted. 

If February 2023, players killed 3 million more NPCs in null sec than in January, in 3 less days. Unadjusted, the number of NPCs dying rose 2.2% month-over-month. When the extra days are factored in, the daily average number of NPCs killed in null sec increased MoM by 13.2%. Perhaps more importantly, compared to February 2022 the number of NPCs dying in null sec increased by 34.5%.

I think three months is still too soon to tell about long term trends, but for now CCP appears to have stopped the bleeding caused by questionable design decisions and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But if CCP can build on Uprising in the upcoming expansion, perhaps the game can continue on well into a third decade.

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