Welcome to an update on some of CCP’s anti-cheating efforts in 2020. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening so let’s dive right in!
One of the recent changes is an automatic reply sent to all users whose in-game bot reports led to CCP taking action. This has driven use of the Report a Bot feature and added a much-needed feedback loop to make you all aware of the work being done daily to keep Tranquility healthy.
It is important to note that CCP never bans players based on reports alone, and each case is investigated and reviewed by the team.
Let’s have a look at some numbers:
- Since 1 January 2020, 107,000 reports have been sent from 13,600 EVE accounts.
- 27,000 of these reports resulted in permanent bans against a total of 4,600 EVE accounts.
Here is a visual representation of the year so far, in terms of amount of reports sent:
It is fantastic to see how many of you are actively helping by sending in reports! Here is an anonymized top 10 list with the number of reports individual Capsuleers sent which have resulted in permanent bans:
| Reports| Reporter | | ---------- | ---------- | | 287 | FriendlyCapsuleer01| | 276 | FriendlyCapsuleer02| | 211 | FriendlyCapsuleer03| | 200 | FriendlyCapsuleer04| | 160 | FriendlyCapsuleer05| | 153 | FriendlyCapsuleer06| | 139 | FriendlyCapsuleer07| | 126 | FriendlyCapsuleer08| | 125 | FriendlyCapsuleer09| | 123 | FriendlyCapsuleer10|
Thanks to everyone for their reports so far this year and please keep them coming! Of course, there is still much work to be done, but sending a report is the best way to get potential cheaters on the security radar.
If you simply can’t get enough of juicy graphs and botting talk, it is highly recommended that you watch CCP Larrikin’s talk from EVE Vegas 2019.
Plans to reward people for reporting bots are currently being evaluated.
_A quick recap of how bots are handled at present: _ - Punishment is never limited to the offending account; if successfully verified, all accounts that belong to the offender are penalized. - Alpha accounts are permanently banned on first offense; abusing Alphas is a serious issue which CCP is committed to tackling. _Do NOT do it. _ - Generally, Omega accounts may receive a 3-day suspension on first offense, and a permanent ban on second. - Some bots are permanently banned on first offense due to the methods used to manipulate the client.
The next graph tracks attempts at hiding from the law, year to date.
You can see an increase, and many people banned for botting nowadays know full well that it is against the rules. Bringing these numbers down is currently one of the key focuses.
Moving right along, this graph shows connect events from NVIDIA’s IP’s, and the teal line annotation is the launch date of their GeForce Now cloud-based game streaming service.
Using GeForce Now to play EVE Online is great and allows you to play on essentially any device if you have a good connection speed. It is allowed and not against the EULA.
This is being mentioned primarily because there were some reports earlier this year of people being banned for playing through the service that were unintentional. This should all have been corrected, but if not, please contact support to have your case reviewed.
Here is an illustration showing that bad guys are actively trying to get into legitimate players’ accounts:
The flat yellow/orange line is your baseline for a healthy EVE Online, and the spikes are attacks, where groups driven by financial motives are trying to break into EVE Online accounts. If you log into your account and check https://secure.eveonline.com/LoginHistory.aspx you might be able to see some of the activity.
_So please, please activate 2-Factor Authenticator today and protect your assets. Dormant accounts are particularly at risk. Also, for your own protection, NEVER reuse passwords anywhere. _
This kind of malicious activity is driven primarily by Real Money Trading (RMT). Another way to help is by not participating in such things and educating others, particularly new players, about the illegality of it in order to raise overall awareness. You especially do not want to be on the receiving end of stolen goods, whether it’s your corpmate’s brain goo or PLEX originally bought with a stolen credit card. If you purchase EVE assets from illegal third party sites, you are a part of the problem.
Thanks for reading and stay safe!
The Monthly Economic Report for June 2020 is now available!
You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. As always, each image can be enlarged by clicking on it.
With the arrival of the Abyssal Proving Grounds in New Eden and an exciting quadrant full of conflict ahead of us we’re inviting capsuleers to vie for fame and glory by announcing Champions of the Abyss!
Over the course of Quadrant 3 there are nine Proving Grounds events planned. Each event will have its own unique filament which will work only during the period that event is running. Your victories for each event will be tracked on leaderboard and these leaderboards will be reset before the start of the next event. For more details check out the recent dev blog about the new Proving Filaments feature.
At the conclusion of the final event of Quadrant 3, the number of victories of the top 100 pilots from each of the Proving Grounds events will be added together, and the top 10 characters who have racked up the most wins across all events will be declared the Champions of the Abyss!
The formats for the first three planned events are as follows but may be subject to change:
July 16 - 28: 2v2 Tech One Combat, Attack, and Disruption Cruisers
Ship Types: Omen, Caracal, Thorax, Stabber, Maller, Moa, Vexor, Rupture, Arbitrator, Blackbird, Celestis, Bellicose
July 31 - August 2: Five Player Destroyer Free-for-All
Ship Types: Coercer, Dragoon, Cormorant, Corax, Catalyst, Algos, Thrasher, Talwar, Sunesis
August 7 - 9: Amarr Foundation Day Special Format: 3v3 Imperial Navy Slicers
Ship Types: Imperial Navy Slicer
The preliminary schedule for the rest of the Proving Ground events in Quadrant 3 are as follows (formats TBA):
- August 14 - 23: Event 4
- August 28 - 30: Event 5
- September 4 - 6: Event 6
- September 11 - 20: Event
- September 25 - 27: Event 8
- October 2 - 11: Event 9
HOW SCORING WORKS
Each victory in the Proving Grounds counts as a single point on the leaderboard regardless of the format of the event. So a victory in a 3v3 fight during one event will count as a single point for each member of the victorious team, while in an individual contest such as a 5-way free-for-all, only the overall winner of each battle will receive a point.
The final score used to determine the Champions of the Abyss will be the total of all wins recorded by a given character across all events during quadrant 3. The number of draws and losses will have no affect on your final scores.
Your pathway to victory may lay in complete dominance in just some of the events or consistent performances in all events across the entire quadrant. The ongoing leaderboard for Champions of the Abyss will be tracked in this forum post and updated at the conclusion of each event until we have our final winner.
THE REWARDS OF GLORIFICATION
Similar to the Champions of Lowsec event from back in Quadrant 1, there are some cool rewards for the glorification of the combatants who prove their mettle in these abyssal arenas.
The top 10 characters on the final Champions of the Abyss leaderboard will receive:
- 1000 PLEX
- A unique medal commemorating their achievement added to their in-game character sheet
The top 5 characters will also receive:
- a US$50 voucher and free postage for a single order from the EVE Online Gear Store
- Their names up in lights on an in-game billboard advertisement celebrating their prowess for all of New Eden to see
In addition to that the top 3 characters will also receive: - the EVE Online ship model of their choice from our friends at Mixed Dimensions. The stand for your model will be signed by the development team who worked on the Proving Grounds feature.
And finally, the identity of the overall winner will no doubt become a very hot topic amongst the population of New Eden. That capsuleer can probably expect the most prominent news outlet in the cluster to feature them prominently in an episode to air sometime after the conclusion of Champions of the Abyss!
Hello quarrelsome capsuleers,
We thought it might be timely to issue a reminder about the Fleet Fight Notification tool. This tool is a means for players to give CCP advance notice of upcoming large-scale fights which could attract so many players to a single system or systems as to create a strain on the server and cause performance issues like time dilation which would adversely affect the gameplay experience of all those involved.
The Tranquility server which runs EVE Online is split into a series of nodes. Each node can play host to one or more in-game solar systems and those systems are distributed across the nodes every day during downtime.
A very busy system like Jita pretty much has an entire node to itself since it constantly has a large volume of players in local and a very busy market. On the other hand, a quiet system in the far outer reaches of Omist or a dead-end lowsec system somewhere in Solitude might be placed on a different node which it shares with many other similarly quiet systems that see very little traffic on a typical day. This method is generally how we balance the performance of systems across the cluster so that your experience in high-traffic areas remains consistent with those in low-traffic areas.
Where we sometimes run into problems (and you encounter things like time dilation) is when there is a large volume of unexpected player activity in a system which is on a node that is sharing its resources with several other systems. Some of you may have experienced the result of this in the form of unusual time dilation in an otherwise quiet system due to there being a sudden flurry of activity in an entirely different system several jumps away that your current location happened to share a node with.
Fortunately, we keep a few nodes in reserve for occasions when large player engagements occur so that we can allocate more resources to those battleground systems, and this is where the Fleet Fight Notification tool comes in.
Using the tool, players can let CCP know when a big fight is coming up, such as over a structure timer that one side or the other plans to contest in force, or if one group intends to invade another’s space en masse and attack their sovereignty. But it can also mean occasions where players are organising a public event like Stay Frosty’s Frigate Free-for-All, the annual Luminaire Snowball Fight or World War Chappy which saw 2,000 players show up for a brawl in Tunudan.
With enough notice we can take steps to reinforce the system(s) where the conflict will be taking place by distributing them to these reserve nodes at downtime in such a way that when the fighting does break out time dilation can either be avoided or at least mitigated somewhat. Our resources are limited however, so in order to make sure they’re applied to where they’re most needed please keep in mind the following when using the form:
- Only a corporation CEO or director can submit a fleet fight notification. If you are working in collaboration with other corporations or alliances please coordinate with your allies so that only one submission is made from your side to prevent unnecessary duplication of requests.
- Provide as much notice as possible when submitting your fleet fight notification. Systems are allocated to nodes at downtime so after downtime on the day of the fight it may not be possible to move systems to other nodes.
- Only submit notifications for systems where you are reasonably confident conflict will be unfolding. Speculative requests may result in resources being misallocated to the detriment of other, more contested systems. If a player submits too many vexatious requests (eg. neither side shows up, not even the requesting party) that player's future requests may be given a lower priority in the event we are running short on nodes.
- Refrain from requesting reinforcement of systems of “convenience”. Eg. a capital ship staging system which you only might want to use in the event that your opponent escalates the fight. Unreinforced, these systems may experience a temporary period of time dilation when there are mass logins after pings go out and when the capital fleet leaves the system, but for the rest of the time these systems tend to be very quiet and take up resources that could be allocated elsewhere. Main staging systems (eg. where the bulk of your subcaps form up regularly) may be an exception for this. Be sure to let us know the purpose of your request when you’re filling out the form in the comments field.
- Please be as conservative and accurate as possible when entering the coverage time into the form. If you're expecting a big fight over a timer but it doesn't come out until 02:00 UTC you don't need to request reinforcement for the entire day. We also can’t take “reservations” on a node to reinforce a given system for an extended period of time.
- The Fleet Fight Notification form has an internal timeout of 600 seconds (10 minutes) so make sure you complete the form before that time is up. If your submission is successful you will get a confirmation after you click the “Submit Notification” button at the bottom. If you submit the form and do not get this confirmation, and instead the page refreshes with all the fields empty, your request was NOT received and you should do it again.
In addition we would like to note the following:
- Although the node allocation process has been automated for some time, during this period of heightened activity, CCP’s Player Experience department will be manually reviewing incoming fleet fight notifications daily to ensure that the distribution of systems to nodes is as optimised as possible for the best overall end-user experience.
- Please understand there is no way for us to guarantee flawless performance during large fleet fights, even when the node has been reinforced. Although we are continually improving our infrastructure, our bloodthirsty players continue to bring larger and larger forces and there is a limit to what our technology can sustain. We will work our hardest to provide the best experience possible for our players however in the event that large numbers players show up for a fight, high levels of time dilation will be unavoidable.
- Fleet Fight Notifications are only seen by a small number of Customer Support staff at CCP who treat this as privileged information and it is not public facing in any form. There are no risks to operational security by submitting a fleet fight notification.
EVE Online thrives on conflict and we celebrate the battles and ambitions of our players. It’s something not found anywhere else in gaming. CCP is committed to providing the best experience possible while you’re engaging in digital pugilism so please help us out by letting us know in advance of where and when you intend to fight.
Greetings competitive Capsuleers!
Today’s dev blog will dive into an exciting set of new PVP events that will be launching with EVE’s third quadrant this July.
Alongside their ongoing invasion of empire space, the Triglavian Collective is also inviting capsuleers to prove themselves in all-new Proving Grounds within the depths of Abyssal Deadspace. Unlike the old Abyssal Proving Grounds, which were accessible through a Triglavian gate at the end of some standard Abyssal PVE runs, these new Proving Grounds will become directly accessible via a new set of dedicated Proving Filaments that will be active during a series of limited time events. For the first time ever, the new Abyssal Proving Grounds will be accessible to small groups of Capsuleers, fighting against each other in a variety of ship types.
In the tradition of other recent additions to the game, such as the Needlejack Filaments, the new Proving Filaments are intended to provide players with another unique form of short session PVP that is full of variety and that complements the other PVP systems already available in the game.
These Proving Grounds will allow players to face off against each other, using their mastery of both piloting and theorycrafting to overcome their opponents. They will also be able to track, compare and boast of their prowess through leaderboards that will allow players to follow the action throughout each event.
The Story So Far
The original Abyssal Proving Grounds were introduced in the Onslaught release in late 2018 as an experimental addition to the popular Abyssal Deadspace content. Many players have enjoyed the old Proving Grounds over the past couple years, however we have been hearing a lot of similar feedback from active abyssal PVPers, whether it was on social media or the forums, or when we’ve seen them in person at the player events like the EVE World Tour. This feedback has often included a few of the same concerns:
- Many pilots want the ability to enter the Proving Grounds directly instead of being required to complete an Abyssal Deadspace run first. While the combination of PVP and PVE can be interesting under the right circumstances, many of you have expressed that you want to be able to PVE when you feel like PVE and PVP when you feel like PVP. The current system requires you to go through one to get to the other, and that was an impediment to some players engaging with the content.
- We have also heard that the existing Abyssal Proving Grounds meta has been “solved.” After a year and a half of the same format, PVP in the Proving Grounds has become stale, and players have developed a handful of optimal fits that are repeatedly used, and the result has been the stifling of innovation and creative thinking. Over the first half of 2020 over 83% of the kills within the old Abyssal Proving Grounds were made by the same five ship types, and 48% of the kills were made by one ship type, the Ikitursa.
- We have also received quite a few requests from players who would like to compete in Proving Grounds style PVP engagements with their friends, rather than being restricted to 1v1 engagements. While the Abyssal Deadspace PVE content gives players the option to enter with groups of up to three frigates instead of a single cruiser, the old Proving Grounds PVP engagements have been limited to solo cruisers only. We all know that EVE is at its best when played with friends, and we completely agree with the players asking for the ability to compete alongside their friends in the Proving Grounds.
- Finally, we have heard from players that the system for finding opponents could do with some improvements. In the old system, the gate to the Proving Grounds would spawn when it detects that enough characters were active in the Abyss. Players could then choose to enter the Proving Grounds and might wait for significant periods of time for an opponent. It was even possible for them to win by default when no opponent could be found within the time limit.
We really appreciate all the feedback about the old Proving Grounds that the community has passed along, and we are planning to address all of these issues with the new Abyssal Proving Grounds and Proving Filaments system this July.
_The New Hotness _
Starting next month with the launch of EVE’s third quadrant, the old Abyssal Proving Grounds feature will be replaced by a new set of limited time events where the Triglavians will invite Capsuleers to enter the Proving Grounds to compete in a variety of formats. To enter the Proving Grounds, your fleet will activate a new Proving Filament, which will find your group a suitable set of opponents and then launch you directly into a pocket within Abyssal Deadspace for a fight to the death.
The “format” for each Proving Grounds event in Q3 2020 will consist of a set of ship types that are able to use that filament to enter the Proving Grounds, as well as a specific fleet size of Capsuleer participants. Over the course of the third quadrant, we are currently planning for 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, and 5 player free-for-all formats. We will be mixing and matching ship restrictions and fleet sizes to ensure that each event provides players with a unique PVP experience, and that the meta never grows stale. Each Proving Filament event will last for a limited time, generally either three days over a single weekend or ten days across two weekends and the intervening week.
The following events are work in progress and subject to change:
July 16-28: 2v2 Tech One Combat, Attack, and Disruption Cruisers
Ship Types: Omen, Caracal, Thorax, Stabber, Maller, Moa, Vexor, Rupture, Arbitrator, Blackbird, Celestis, Bellicose
July 31-August 4: Five Player Destroyer Free For All
Ship Types: Coercer, Dragoon, Cormorant, Corax, Catalyst, Algos, Thrasher, Talwar, Sunesis
August 7-11: Amarr Foundation Day Special Format: 3v3 Imperial Navy Slicers
Ship Types: Imperial Navy Slicer
We can also share our preliminary schedule for the rest of the Proving Ground events in Quadrant 3. The details of the formats for these events will be revealed nearer their dates: - August 21-25: Event 4 - TBA - August 28-September 1: Event 5 - TBA - September 4-8: Event 6 - TBA - September 11-22: Event 7 - TBA - September 25-29: Event 8 – TBA - October 2-13: Event 9 - TBA
We plan on adjusting our format plans based on community feedback from each event and we will be using these events to experiment with a wide variety of different format options to see how you all enjoy them. Most events will focus on relatively inexpensive and accessible ships so that the widest variety of players can participate, however we plan to have some special events with more flashy ships as well.
In Quadrant 4 and beyond we will be continuing these events, with the frequency of the events depending on how popular this version of the Proving Grounds proves to be with the EVE community. We will adjust the frequency of events to maximize the likelihood that players will be able to promptly find opponents when they compete during each event.
The Proving Filaments
The new Proving Ground matches will follow a simpler process than the old Proving Grounds mechanic. There will be a unique filament for each event. When activated, the filament will launch a capsuleer and his fleet into the Proving Grounds, just like an Abyssal Filament launches a player into Abyssal Deadspace or a Needlejack filament launches a player into a random nullsec system.
The filaments will be obtainable through several different methods (which may change over time and between different events), including as loot from Triglavian PVE content. We will be experimenting with a number of ways of distributing the filaments in the future, so the methods available for obtaining the filaments may change from event to event. The filaments can be sold on the market, so if you just want to focus on pure PVP you will be able to obtain them there. Each filament will have a specific start and end date for its event, as well as information about the details of the Proving Grounds match format for that event.
The process of using one of the new Proving Filaments will be very similar to that of a Needlejack filament. Your whole group will need to be in a fleet together, and at a location away from stations, gates, and other obstacles. The player with the filament activates it, and their fleet will enter the queue for the Proving Grounds event. While the group is in the queue, they will remain outside of Abyssal Deadspace and will be able to cancel their match and have their filament returned if they choose to do so. Once the Proving Grounds find a random opposing team, both teams will be transported through the trace directly into the Abyssal Proving Grounds arena.
The new abyssal Proving Ground arenas are a variety of visually stunning Abyssal environments, including crystal rock formations that Abyss players will recognize and an all-new environment above a large hot asteroid. The Triglavians have also constructed a new set of structures around their Proving Grounds, to better observe the Capsuleers who have come to prove themselves through ritual combat.
The new Proving Ground battles will last a maximum of 15 minutes, with the resistances of all ships being reduced around the 8-minute mark, just like in the old Proving Grounds. The combat field is contained within a bubble of safe space and exiting the boundaries will result in progressive damage to your ship. The match ends when the only ships (other than capsules) left on the field belong to a single team of Capsuleers, or when the 15-minute match timer completes (whichever comes first). The winning team can choose whether to show mercy and allow the losing Capsuleers to escape with their pods or whether to send them directly back to the home station in a fresh clone. If the timer runs out before one team has succeeded, the bubble of safe space within the abyss will collapse, destroying all the ships and capsules from every team and rendering the match a draw.
Once a team has been crowned the winner, a Triglavian cache will explode within the arena, allowing the victors to collect their spoils: loot that will often include Triglavian Survey Data and more filaments. An origin gate will also activate, allowing the surviving players to return back to the same location in normal space where their adventure began.
_Glorification of the Fit _
Individual results in each limited-time Proving Filament event can be tracked through a new window that will be accessible through a link in the filament UI or directly through the Neocom menu. This window will allow players to view the format for the current event, track their wins, losses, and draws, as well as view a leaderboard displaying the top 100 Capsuleers by total number of wins in that particular event. At the end of each event, a set of prizes will be distributed to the accounts that reached this top 100 leaderboard and then the leaderboard will reset for the next event.
The rewards for reaching the leaderboard in an event in Quadrant 3 will include a set of unique ship SKINs. These SKINs will only be accessible by reaching the top 100 in one of the Proving Ground events during Quadrant 3 2020. This means that if you see one of these skins being sported in space you can know you’re looking at a top competitor in one of the Quadrant 3 2020 Proving Ground events. In addition to the unique skins that will be shared by all the Quadrant 3 events, there will also be specific rewards for those on the leaderboards of each event, and those rewards will change from event to event. These rewards are in addition to the loot from both the Triglavian cache and the wrecks of opposing ships that will be available to the winners of each individual Proving Grounds fight!
_Looking to the Future _
We hope that many of you will enjoy these new Proving Filament events, and we strongly encourage interested players to give them a try and let us know what you think about them and what you’d like to see us add to them in the future. Just as the old Abyssal Proving Grounds and the needlejack filaments were built on the foundation of the abyssal deadspace filaments and as these new Proving Filament events are built on the foundation of the old Abyssal Proving Grounds, we would love to see these Proving Filaments serve as a building block towards even greater things in the future. Your feedback is absolutely key to that progress so keep talking to us digitally and (eventually) in person and we’ll do our best to incorporate your feedback into our future plans.
Some of the future additions that we are especially interested in exploring are the addition of new forms of format restrictions including restrictions on fitted modules and implants that would allow for an even greater variety in Proving Ground event formats.
We are aware that any discussion of structured PVP will raise questions from the players who miss the old annual Alliance Tournament about whether this is intended to “replace” the AT. We want to make it clear that this feature is intended to stand separate from tournament gameplay and was primarily designed to replace the old Abyssal Proving Grounds. We know there is an appetite among the community to see organized tournament gameplay return to EVE, and we have built this feature in a way that might potentially allow parts of its code to be useful for potential future work. That being said, we want to focus on making sure the new Abyssal Proving Grounds gets the attention it deserves and we have time to iterate on the feature based on data and player’s feedback before we start exploring the next exciting opportunity. In the meantime, if you are looking at organizing a tournament using existing options on the Thunderdome server, please reach out to the Community Team by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be opening the new Abyssal Proving Grounds for public testing on the Singularity test server tomorrow, and we hope that all interested players will try them out and let us know what you think. We will also be organizing a mass test soon to stress test the feature on Singularity. More information about dates and times for the mass test will be coming soon.
The team of developers working on this new feature will be reading the forum feedback thread for this dev blog as well as future feedback threads that we will be creating in the test server feedback section of the forums. Please feel free to let us know what you think. What about this feature excites you? What would make it even better? What formats would you like to see later in Quadrants 3 and 4? We look forward to chatting with you there.
From all of us on the EVE Dev Team, thanks for reading today’s dev blog, and best of luck in the Proving Grounds!
CCP has been doing quarterly reviews of the state of the economy in EVE Online for a while now. These reviews have been for internal purposes to help our developers better understand how the macro trends are developing in the game. For this purpose, a wide-ranging tool set has been set up for monitoring everything from in-game data points, dashboards and indexes as well as sending out a survey to players for each quarter where they rank statements and situations in the game. Last but not least, special council is sought from individual players in the game such as CSM members.
This time around, some of the developments that are being noticed are shared in an effort to promote a better dialogue around the economy and macro in-game situation. In every case, the playerbase is an important source to understand the complex ecosystem that is EVE and very often conversations with players sparks giant in-house research projects. Having said that, it is important to keep in mind that the blog intentionally leaves out information that can be considered "vulnerable", so this is not the full report, but rather a summary of some of the megatrends that seem to be permeating the world in the first quarter of 2020. Hopefully, you will find this interesting and it will add some depth to the EVE world.
Q1 2020 Economy review
There are three big trends to pay attention to for the first quarter of 2020 in the EVE economy.
The 1st quarter of 2020 was mostly a good quarter for the economy. The Problem Index, which is an index put together by players' rankings of 12 potential problem areas in EVE, shows improvement in 67% of our main problem areas which is great. There are also strong indicators that the economy is now more fair, that the value of labor is increasing and that connectivity is increasing - all positive trends.
1. It seems that the economy is getting fairer
Anti-Botting efforts are removing massive amounts of ill-gotten ISK from the economy and making it harder to bot. This seems to correlate with lower PLEX prices, which makes sense since massive bot farms are no longer constantly driving up PLEX prices with their cheap ISK. Players seem to be taking notice since a year ago only 37% felt CCP was taking active action against botting, but today that number is 50%. Also in Q3 2019, 66.9% of players believed botting to be a serious problem in EVE, but today that number is 52.6%. Botting is absolutely still a big problem but headway is being made in a meaningful manner and it is being noticed.
The Economy Fairness Index consists of 6 statements about the state of the economy that players rank every quarter, all of them dealing with fairness in the economy. The average concern ratio for Q1 2020 is 46.4% compared to the average concern ratio in Q3 2019 which was 52%. So overall, players are ranking the economy to be more fair. Again, there is a lot of work to be done but player feedback indicates things are moving in the right direction.
2. Strong indicators that the value of labor is rising
- There were major changes to mineral distribution made in Q1. The changes seem to be having a big impact since the volume of minerals mined has dropped considerably. According to the Mineral Price Index, the cost of minerals is increasing as well, from a bottom price point value of 68 in November 2019 to 112 in April 2020. Reports from players indicate that “smaller agents” especially are now getting more for each haul. Larger entities are getting better prices, but it is harder to amass massive amounts in a simple manner, which increases the value of labor to a degree.
- Players are now getting more PLEX for their ISK. PLEX prices, in parallel with anti-botting efforts, have now been dropping since Q2 2019 from a height of 4,487 million ISK on 17 May 2019 to 2,455 million ISK on 17 May 2020. So in a year, PLEX prices have dropped 43.5%. At the same time money supply (the amount of active ISK per character in the game) has been increasing.
- Anti-botting has decreased the amount of minerals and ISK coming into the economy, and coupled with mineral changes increasing the value of minerals, has made mining more profitable per unit sold. Along with the price of PLEX going down while active ISK is going up, the cumulative effect is that in important segments of the game, the value of the labor hour seems to be increasing. An oft-mentioned measure from players on valuing worth of time in-game is how many hours of their “average work” it takes to be able to PLEX their account. Player reports and other indicators suggest this number has been going down in most places, although of course it depends on the specific type of work.
3. Connectivity is increasing - The Friendship Machine is getting hotter
Q1 saw a bunch of "connectivity" changes introduced to the game intended to spur connectivity between players. These are as follows:
- Needlejack Filaments were made permanent – filaments are tools that increase the odds of chance encounters with other players
- Wormhole Chaos update - designed to increase wormhole connections
- Loyalty to Lowsec update - led to substantially more lowsec kills and activity
This, partnered with the fact that many more new players are entering the game and solid events happening, have led to social markers for "connectivity" improving considerably in the quarter:
- There was a 14.5% improvement between quarters in how difficult players found it to find other players
- 6.1% improvement between quarters in how much players felt player conflicts were lacking
- 7.9% improvement in how difficult players felt finding content was
CCP sends out quarterly surveys where players are asked to rank a range of social markers such as the difficulty of finding other players, conflict, content etc.
- Corp invitations on 1 January were 1,145 (7 day moving average) and 1,451 on 31 March - a 26.7% increase
- Corp applications were 1,503 on 1 January (7 day moving average) and 2,054 on 31 March - a 36.6% increase
- DAU increase in the same time was 3.5% so the corp application and invitation rise is proportionally much greater
In short, there are now more chance encounters in the game thanks to Filaments, you are more likely to run into someone in a wormhole due to more players in-game, and you have greater incentives to participate in Faction Warfare. All of this is leading to more connections, which hopefully is fuel for more friendships being made. Keep in mind that 73% of players claim they have made a friend as a result of playing EVE Online. Let's hope this phenomenon is increasingly being delivered well to the hordes of new players now entering EVE Online.
As stated at the beginning, this is just a glimpse of the internal economic review that is conducted every quarter. We hope you found it interesting!
The Monthly Economic Report for May 2020 is now available!
You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. As always, each image can be enlarged by clicking on it.
The time has finally come to present the 15th Council of Stellar Management that has been democratically elected by the players. Please join me in welcoming a few returning faces and some new ones that together will collaborate with us on the development of EVE Online for the next year.
It is commendable to see all the hard work candidates have put into their campaigns this year despite the trying times everyone is going through. This extends to every player that took their time to evaluate the candidates and cast a vote bringing the total number to 36120 confirmed votes, which shows a steady increase in the last couple of years.
As a side note, it seems we had a handful of votes that were cast on characters outside of approved CSM 15 candidates. Our investigation did not indicate any wrongdoing, but we will look into this further to ensure that with our planned updates to the website, this won’t be possible next time around.
The next few weeks are going to be dedicated to onboarding of all CSM members. It is an important period where we will go over all the ground rules and ensure we are on the same page in terms of expectations from one another. Therefore, even if the new council is in immediate effect, please be reasonable with your requests and understand that it may take a few weeks before everyone is up to speed.
Fly safe o7!
Since the Tiericide efforts have been revived this year, it was deemed appropriate to remind old players and to introduce new players to what this process is about, so here is an update.
What is Tiericide?
"Tiericide" is the name given to the process of balancing ships and modules, revamping them so that they fit into distinguishable specializations rather than simple power tiers. The goal of this process is to ensure that the options are more meaningful and apparent, making it easier for a player to discover and to pick the ship or module they want, depending on its role, power, requirements and price.
The Rebalancing EVE, One Module at a Time dev blog is recommended for some background information.
When a module group receives the Tiericide pass, you can expect the following: - Specific roles for some modules - Clear progression from low-end to high-end modules - Apparent naming convention indicating the role and power of the modules - Removal or consolidation of modules where no meaningful variation exists
To show what "changing the values in DB" entails for a module Tiericide, let's take an example of what gets done.
First, the whole module group gets looked at in order to identify the primary and secondary attributes, usage, quantities in game, prices, and the attribute patterns and extremes. At this point it is decided which modules should be removed, or whether some new ones need to be added, and what the module power progression should look like. For most module groups, the progression isn't just a singular line, but rather there are progression "bands" separating the group into sub-groups focused on different attributes. The main power progression indicator is the Meta Level. Some modules might have their Meta Level adjusted to represent their power level, while others might have their attributes adjusted to match the Meta Level they are on. Sometimes it's both.
At this stage it is also decided whether there's a need to change the names of particular modules or that of the whole group. Renaming modules is usually the most controversial part as it always affects some players negatively. There is always an effort made to find the correct balance between making the names more helpful and preserving some historical flavor elements, in order to appeal to as many players as possible.
A recent example is the Armor Hardeners group. Its analysis and design went as follows.
Armor Hardeners are divided into the following groups: - Included in this balance pass: - EM Armor Hardeners - Explosive Armor Hardeners - Kinetic Armor Hardeners - Thermal Armor Hardeners - Not included in this balance pass: - Reactive Armor Hardeners (only one module type) - Scriptable Armor Hardeners (Capital Flex Armor Hardeners)
Each of the damage-specific groups is divided into Meta Levels indicating power progression.
- The primary attribute for the hardeners is the damage resistance bonus.
- The calculations for progression purposes will take into account the fact that the value of the resistance module bonus is not added directly to the ship resistances, but rather it proportionally increases the resistance by reducing the difference between the current resistance and 100% resistance by a given percentage. One module is better than the other by the amount of the damage reduction, not by how big the difference is in the resistance bonus they provide. For example, -88% bonus is not 8%, nor 10% better than -80% bonus. It is 40% better as the better module reduces the remaining incoming damage of the weaker module by 40% (1 - 0.8 = 0.2; 1 - 0.88 = 0.12; (0.2 - 0.12) / 0.2 = 40%). As the base value for comparing all modules damage resistance bonus, the Meta Level 0 - Tech I module (-40%) is taken.
Named (Meta Level 1) modules
- The following specializations for named modules have been established:
- Ample - Used for named modules that specialize in extra capacity
- Compact - Used for named modules that specialize in reduced fitting cost
- Enduring - Used for named modules that specialize in lower cap use or otherwise longer running time
- Restrained - Used for named modules that specialize in reduced drawbacks
- Scoped - Used for named modules that specialize in longer range
- Upgraded - Used for named modules where no specialization is possible (used sparingly for modules with few effects)
- Precise - Used for named modules that specialize in better tracking
- Armor Hardeners are active modules activated on self, providing one bonus and no drawbacks, and not requiring charges. This leaves two named (Meta Level 1) module variations: one with the Fitting specialization and one with the Usage specialization.
- Fitting: all Armor Hardeners require only 1MW of Powergrid and this won't be changed. The CPU varies and it will be adjusted where necessary to create the Compact specialization.
- Current Prototype type will become Prototype Compact. Current Limited is the one with lower CPU requirements, so it will be merged into Compact to avoid unnecessary issues with over-fitting for ships currently fitted with this module.
- Usage: Activation cost and Duration should be combined here to get the actual Usage. This is because the bonus received is not a one-time event when the module is activated, but a continuous bonus while the module runs through its cycle. This means the longer the cycle, the cheaper it is to run the module. The disadvantage of longer cycles is the inability to overload/disable overloading too often. The Enduring version will be the Usage specialization module. The Heat Damage has been increased for Enduring, so the overall Heat Damage over time is the same as for the other modules.
- Current Experimental type will become Experimental Enduring. Current "Upgraded" will be merged into it.
- Meta Level 1 modules will have their resistance bonus increased from -40% to -42% to put their primary attribute between Meta Level 0 - Tech I (-40%) and Meta Level 5 - Tech II (-44%).
- This design follows the scheme of the recent Shield Hardener Tiericide.
The naming scheme should make the module names indicate: - module group (Armor Hardener) - type of damage resistance (EM / Explosive / Kinetic / Thermal) - specialization for named modules (Compact / Enduring) - historical flavor for named modules (Prototype / Experimental) - Tech level for Tech I and Tech II - Meta Level: - Tech I - 0: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and tech level - named - 1: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type, flavor and specialization - Tech II - 5: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and tech level - Faction - 8: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and the name of the Faction - Deadspace: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and "Deadspace Type" designation letter indicating the position in the Meta Level progression (even Meta Level numbers from 10 to 16) - Meta Level 10: C-Type - Meta Level 12: B-Type - Meta Level 14: A-Type - Meta Level 16: X-Type - Officer - the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and the name of the officer. The name of the faction's officer indicates the Meta Level (odd Meta Level numbers from 11 to 17). Each officer's name indicates the same Meta Level across all module groups. For example Draclira's Modified modules should always have a Meta Level of 17. - Armor Hardeners can drop only from the officers of pirate factions that use armor-based ships: Blood Raiders, Sansha and Serpentis. - Meta Level 11: Tairei, Brokara, Brynn - Meta Level 13: Raysere, Selynne, Tuvan - Meta Level 15: Ahremen, Vizan, Setele - Meta Level 17: Draclira, Chelm, Cormack
| Meta Level | Angel | Blood Raiders | Guristas | Sansha | Serpentis | Triglavian | | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | | 11 | Mizuro | Tairei | Kaikka | Brokara | Brynn | | | 13 | Hakim | Raysere | Thon | Selynne | Tuvan | | | 15 | Gotan | Ahremen | Vepas | Vizan | Setele | | | 17 | Tobias | Draclira | Estamel | Chelm | Cormack | Zorya |
- Current naming: Armor EM Hardener I, Limited Armor EM Hardener I, Khanid Navy Armor EM Hardener, Armor Thermal Hardener I.
- This doesn't match the name of the group (Armor Hardener) as it puts the resistance type name between the two words.
- Shield Hardeners, for example, use the following naming: EM Shield Hardener I, Domination EM Shield Hardener.
- Armor Hardeners will match this pattern: EM Armor Hardener I, Enduring EM Armor Hardener, Khanid Navy EM Armor Hardener.
- All blueprints will be renamed accordingly.
Skill requirements: Hull Upgrades level 5 for T2 and level 3 for everything else, no changes.
Meta Levels are not consistent with the current scheme. They are being changed as follows: - Named Meta 2, 3, 4 → Meta 1 - Faction Meta 9 → Meta 8 - C-Type Deadspace Meta 11 → Meta 10 - A-Type Deadspace Meta 13 → Meta 14 - X-Type Deadspace Meta 14 → Meta 16 - Officer Meta 12 → Meta 13 - Officer Meta 13 → Meta 15 - Officer Meta 14 → Meta 17
Faction modules - There are two bands of Faction modules - Old Meta 8 (Domination, Republic Fleet) - resistance bonus lower than T2 (40%), high CPU requirements, lowest capacitor cost, rare modules. - Old Meta 9 - resistance bonus same as T2 (44%), lowest CPU requirements, average capacitor cost, less rare than old Meta 8. - All Faction will be moved to Meta 8 and will have the same main power level: resistance bonus at 44% - Old Meta 8 will keep the extremely low capacitor cost and will also get an increase in duration, lowering that cost further. The Heat Damage will remain unchanged at 6.6, which means that Domination and Republic Fleet Armor Hardeners will produce less heat damage over time, due to their increased duration. For comparison, the Enduring modules that got their duration increased as well, got their Heat Damage increased, for the heat damage over time to stay in line with other modules. - Old Meta 8 will keep the high CPU requirements, to balance out its advantages over Old Meta 9.
Deadspace and Officer modules - The power progression within those Meta Levels was off. The Officer modules are the rarest of the rare and that is visible in their quantities and prices, but their stats were exactly the same as the comparable Deadspace modules. - Now for each tier in power progression, the Officer will have a better resistance bonus than Deadspace. This change will smooth out the progression within the Officer/Deadspace tiers, without changing the extremes. The bands can be identified by the same CPU requirements and capacitor consumption. - Every next Deadspace Meta Level will be better by 1 percentage point in calculated resistance effectiveness bonus, than the previous Meta Level. - Every next Officer Meta Level will be better by 1.5 percentage point in calculated resistance effectiveness bonus, than the previous Meta Level. - Example: - Meta 10: Corpus C-Type Thermal Armor Hardener: -45.8% thermal resistance. This is 9.7% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. - Meta 11: Brokara's Modified Thermal Armor Hardener: -46.7% thermal resistance. This is 11.2% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. 11.2% - 9.7% = 1.5% power difference between Meta Levels if Officer is the higher Meta - Meta 12: Corpus B-Type Thermal Armor Hardener: -47.3% thermal resistance. This is 12.2% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. 12.2% - 11.2% = 1% power difference between Meta Levels if Deadspace is the higher Meta - Meta 13: Selynne's Modified Thermal Armor Hardener: -48.2% thermal resistance. This is 13.7% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. 13.7% - 12.2% = 1.5% power difference between Meta Levels if Officer is the higher Meta
Volume is 20m3 for Meta Level 0 modules and 5m3 for everything else. Changing all modules' volume to 5m3.
The above analysis was the basis for the name and attribute changes for 156 Armor Hardener module types. Some other nuances were considered but were either too obvious or too minor to be documented here.
The Tiericide process started in 2012 with ships and in 2014 work started on modules.
The module groups that went through the Tiericide process so far are as follows:
| | | | | ---------- | ---------- | Armor Hardener|Gyrostabilizer|Remote Shield Booster Armor Plate|Heat Sink|Remote Tracking Computer Armor Repair Unit|Inertial Stabilizer|Sensor Booster Auxiliary Power Core|Magnetic Field Stabilizer|Sensor Dampener Ballistic Control system|Mining Laser|Shield Booster Burst Jammer|Mining Upgrade|Shield Extender Capacitor Battery|Missile Guidance Computer|Shield Flux Coil Capacitor Booster|Missile Guidance Enhancer|Shield Hardener Capacitor Flux Coil|Missile Launcher Light|Shield Power Relay Capacitor Power Relay|Missile Launcher Rapid Torpedo|Shield Recharger Capacitor Recharger|Missile Launcher XL Cruise|Ship Scanner Cargo Scanner|Missile Launcher XL Torpedo|Signal Amplifier CPU Enhancer|Nanofiber Internal Structure|Stasis Grappler Damage Control|Overdrive Injector System|Stasis Web Drone Control Range Module|Power Diagnostic System|Survey Scanner Drone Damage Modules|Precursor Weapon|Target Painter Drone Tracking Enhancer|Propulsion Module|Tracking Computer Drone Tracking Modules|Reactor Control Unit|Tracking Enhancer ECM|Reinforced Bulkhead|Warp Disrupt Field Generator Energy Neutralizer|Remote Armor Repairer|Warp Scrambler Energy Nosferatu|Remote Capacitor Transmitter|Weapon Disruptor Expanded Cargohold|Remote Sensor Booster|
Here's a list of the remaining module groups:
| | | -----|----- Armor Coating|Missile Launcher Rapid Heavy Armor Plating Energized|Missile Launcher Rapid Light Automated Targeting System|Missile Launcher Rocket ECM Stabilizer|Missile Launcher Torpedo Energy Weapon|Passive Targeting System Gas Cloud Harvester|Projectile Weapon Hull Repair Unit|Shield Boost Amplifier Hybrid Weapon|Shield Resistance Amplifier Jump Drive Economizer|Smart Bomb Missile Launcher Cruise|Warp Accelerator Missile Launcher Heavy|Warp Core Stabilizer Missile Launcher Heavy Assault|
The next in line, scheduled for the June release, is the Shield Resistance Amplifier module group. It will be followed by Armor Coating, Armor Plating Energized, and Shield Boost Amplifier. That will conclude the armor and shield categories.
Turrets and missile launchers are the most difficult to balance due to their number of attributes and the fact that those might be dependent on the charges used. Some launchers received the treatment already, but no turret-based weapons have been balanced yet, even though the very first example given for module Tiericide back in 2014 was the Beam Laser group. It is likely that all groups of turrets will receive a Tiericide pass at the same time.
To give you an idea of the scale of the task, here are the numbers of types of all turrets and charges: - Energy Turrets: 210 - Frequency Crystals: 200 - Projectile Turrets: 165 - Projectile Ammo: 144 - Hybrid Turrets: 221 - Hybrid Charges: 224 - Total number of valid turret-charge pairs: 27,683
Each turret has five prime combat attributes: damage multiplier, optimal, falloff, rate of fire, and tracking. Each type of charge provides its own damage type and damage amount, and for some charges, they also affect the turrets' attributes too, like range or tracking. On top of that, different turrets and charges have different designated roles, so they perform differently from each other in different scenarios. It gets even more complex when you take the fitting requirements and capacitor consumption into account.
To put it simply, there are too many turrets and charges and only a fraction of them represent a meaningful choice. 78% of total turret usage is generated by 10% of turrets (59 most-used turrets, out of 594 turret types).
It is still too soon to talk about the details, but you can expect dramatic changes to turrets and charges in the future.
Missile Launchers and Smartbombs will follow, but most likely those will be the last categories of module groups to go through the Tiericide process.
Feedback and Iteration
You might have noticed that some of the module groups that went through the process this year have been updated again in May: - Armor Repair Unit - Shield Booster - Shield Hardener
The Tiericide passes for those groups have been revised due to the feedback received from you. You have pointed out some modules that didn't receive the usual treatment, and provided some other suggestions that have inspired further changes.
Thanks must go to all of you who came up with suggestions through various channels, and to Neugeniko and other players reporting on Tiericide on the EVE forums. That thread inspired us to pick up this whole task back in November 2019.
It might not be apparent that we react to your feedback if we don't reply to it right away, but rest assured that all of it is taken into consideration. Whether you criticize, praise, or suggest solutions, please keep it coming!
If you have any questions or comments regarding this blog or Tiericide in general, please post them in the official forum thread.
From undocking in Jita to getting in your first Titan, beauty is found in all areas of New Eden. Today, you will be introduced to one of the new features coming in the upcoming Clear vision update: Contrast Adaptive Sharpening.
The process of image sharpening is important in most visual media. Film directors, photographers and game texture artists will use it daily to get the desired result. Using it correctly takes patience, practice, and skill, but the result can be a vastly improved image when used appropriately. When used incorrectly, over-sharpening an image will make the result look unnatural or introduce artifacts.
The main reason this happens is due to the way sharpening generally works; it adds contrast between pixels, which means it becomes particularly noticeable around edges. Quite simply, as one pixel gets brighter, the other gets darker.
The image on the left below is a normal, unedited screenshot from the existing renderer within EVE Online. On the right is the same image, adjusted by using the default ‘Sharpen’ filter twice within Adobe Photoshop, to illustrate the type of issue that can occur when sharpening is applied incorrectly. There is artifacting at the edge of the planet, the gradient has lost its smoothness and the surface of the planet is starting to look too pixelated.
While it is clear from these images that sharpening can hurt image quality if not done correctly on a 2D image, in a 3D rendered environment where the camera and ships regularly move, it looks even worse. As EVE has a significant number of areas that also have large contrast differences, such as planet surfaces, ships against space, hangars, stargates, and even weapons fire, it’s been a challenge to find a solution that fully satisfied. This means that sometimes objects look slightly blurred, out of focus, or the image looks soft.
This problem is not unique to EVE, and many other games encounter similar issues. AMD noticed this and provided a free-to-use, open-source, high-quality sharpening shader called "Contrast Adaptive Sharpening" as part of their GPUOpen FidelityFX toolkit. It is graphics card agnostic, so you will see a benefit no matter what GPU you have.
As the name suggests, Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (CAS) considers the contrast of the pixels during the sharpening process. Edges and gradients no longer suffer from the same artifact problems shown above, but it still allows for areas that have large contrast differences to be sharpened accurately.
A great example of this is moon surfaces. They have craters, surface rings, mountain ranges, and flat areas that have large contrast differences by design. CAS really shines in this situation, where it successfully allows for the subtle details created by the artists to become clearer in the final render, even with the existing post-processes turned on.
It looks equally as good on ships, where CAS brings out the subtle details of the hulls. You can see this particularly well on the Orca and Naga where paneling and decals are used:
The performance cost of this enhancement is negligible relative to pre-existing post-processing. However, it has been decided that this feature will only be enabled when the ‘Post Processing’ setting within EVE is set to ‘High’ for the moment.
Work is continuing on the DirectX 12 client which will open up even more avenues to explore in the future.