Today I would like to write about a popular space MMORPG, known as Eve Online. It once was a popular game quickly fading into the past. At its peak it hosted well over 60,000 players online during peak hours. One of the greatest achievements that has been hosted by this game (and what it is well known for) is massive player battles. These battles have reached levels so great they have caught the attention of news and blog outlets. However, with all this mention there is a dark sinister cloud a mist.
A while ago, the developer of Eve online, CCP, introduced a industry setting trend which we know today as game tokens (or plex in eve). Over the years the plex has gone from being around 150,000,000 isk (in game currency) until today?s value of around 1,700,000,000 isk.
What do we all care about this? the truth is that this inflation is extremely advantageous to CCP. why? because the higher the inflation takes place, the more difficult it takes for alpha players (eve?s player base that has not subscribed) to subscribe by not paying (using in game currency to buy plex).
Recently, CCP announced the removal of Level 4 and 5 missions from alpha clones, due to ?botting? causing inflation. Ironically, one of the entities in Eve online, known as Goon Swarm Federation (aka goons) has been directly responsible for inflation of the economy in conjunction to CCP. Why do I say this?
Some time ago, CCP made the choice to allow asteroid belts to re-spawn rapidly. Prior to this change the belts re-spawned a few times weekly. According to the following chart published a few days ago by CCP, goons are responsible for around 90% of the games economy. They produce near a staggering 100 Trillion isk. This is broken down into production, bounties from killing pirates (ai) and production of items as well as some market trading.
So now we come to a set of important questions. Exactly how many bots does it take to generate enough inflation to merit the alpha clone from accessing level 4 and 5 missions?
According to CCP, 4102 accounts were banned (?4102 account bans for botting related activities? ). this means that running at the average 50,000,000 isk per an hour these bots generated at best around 36,500,000,000. So if ccp deems it fitting to make a change to the game that generates this amount of isk, why not nerf the income of the player entity?
Looking into Goon Swarms numbers
According to statistics, the average players online in eve is around 25,000 players. Goon swarm is made up of around 35,092 players. This means that its active player base has to be significantly less then half. Generally in games, the average activity rate for a player entity is around 35% of its population at any given time. What we do know about eve is that it hosts around 65% unique active player base according to CCP?s own statistics. This means that 16,250 out of the 25,000 are unique individual accounts.
If we factor this in with goon swarms numbers they cannot possibly make up even half of the online population of eve. This means they never prune their inactive player base (removing them from the entity), an effort which is undoubtedly a tactic against its enemies. What we do know is that their active player base is significantly less, probably even less then 5,000 players.
Why do these numbers matter?
Lets assume that goons has 5,000 active players which means they would make up of almost every person online. How much isk would they need to make a month to produce 100 trillion isk?
Well its simple math. 100 Trillion isk divided by 5,000 players is 2,000,000,000 per a day, for the entire month with no day missed. According to developer statistics, the average game spends around 3.5 hours a week playing. this means that every player in goonswarm makes around 666,666,666 million an hour (funny number!). Any person in this game (eve) knows that it is not possible to make 666 million isk an hour. There has never existed a time in eve where that has been possible that Iknow of, not even with bugs.
There is something sinister going on here, but it stems much further then goon swarms shady isk making capabilities. The biggest question we have is ?why is CCP allowing them to cheat or use abusive bugs to make this amount??. The answer to this is because CCP benefits from them doing this! Yes, as goon swarm races the inflation, CCP sits by and collects money and makes changes to the game making it even more difficult for alpha?s to ?plex? omega status.
The story does not end here, readers it gets even darker then this. CCP has an ?escape goat? t hat i am going to call them out on. That escape goat is ?our bad, we?ll have to fix this?. While all this happens and they soak up a fortune of ?real life currency?, all they have to do to fix this is just say sorry and make some changes and after they collected all that money walk away scott-free for this ?shady practice?.
So i ask you the big question here that seems to be consistent in this post, Is CCP secretly working with goon swarm? Exchanging power (in-game) for wealth (out of game)? you be the judge
Video Game Master