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blankseplocked Effects on the PLEX market of current CCP policies. Thoughts ?
 
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Rakshasa Taisab
Caldari
Sane Industries Inc.
Posted - 2011.04.11 15:22:00 - [61]
 

Originally by: Vaerah Vahrokha
You know what? I am past my care thresold. I wasted 30 minutes studying a chart and that's what I got and that's what I posted.

If you don't like it, that's ok.

Fly happy.

Yes, humans often go past their care threshold when presented with arguments they can't refute.

stoicfaux
Gallente
Posted - 2011.04.11 16:28:00 - [62]
 

Edited by: stoicfaux on 11/04/2011 16:30:41
Originally by: Akita T

Well, BEFORE the advertising campaign, the subscription count was going up more or less linearly.
AFTER the big advertisment campaigns started, the fluctuations in sub counts started showing heavily, but overall, the trend instead of remaining linear APPEARS to be now degrading.


The advertising campaign may have pulled in a lot of folks who weren't Eve material (meaning that Eve looked shiny, but once they got into it, they realized Eve wasn't their cup of tea) and we're seeing those players leave.

Quote:
So... do your math... more money spent on marketing for a smaller increase in subs compared to no marketing... what does that tell you ?



If Eve is trying to expand beyond their niche in order to quickly grab a lot of subs, then Eve needs to appeal to whatever market/gamer_type that they're trying to pull in. There's a huge number of MMOs out there, so if attracting new subs is a zero sum game, then Eve needs to look at why players sub to other MMOs and then tweak Eve to fill that need.

I hate to say it, but Eve's latest expansions, IMO, look pretty underwhelming to players of other MMOs. The Character Creator is just eye-candy with no game value, incursions mainly appealed to pre-existing hard-core organizations (do folks even care about incursion loot?,) PI isn't something that would appeal to PvP types, training times can be off-putting, etc..

New players have access to lots of shiny ships and modules and what-not, but then after they have spent some time with Eve, they start to realize the difficulties in finding fights, getting to fights, understanding Eve mechanics, figuring out a skill plan that doesn't put them in a race's class of ships that suck, financing their activities, PvE is pretty basic, etc..

Eve isn't for everyone, but if CCP wants everyone to play Eve, then they need to do a better job of appealing to the Least Common Denominator. The time of Everquest and UO is over.


Personally, I think Eve could really capitalize on the Planetside paradigm. Planetside catered to casual to hard-core pvp, from individuals to highly organized military units with heavy elements of tactical and strategic gameplay.

If Eve wanted to poach Planetside players, then they would need to look at Planetside's base features and the history of tweaks that were made over time to make Planetside more fun. Examples would be getting players into combat faster (instant fight option, dropship wait time reduced from 15 to 5 minutes, warp gates got you to the front lines faster,) allowing newbies to be competitive against vets right out of the box, a grind to keep players interested (leveling up gave you points with which to use more skills or to get the really fancy equipment,) and so on.

They would also need to look at what Sony Online Entertainment did to drive players away from Planetside: client side hacks, a major expansion with gameplay mechanics so poor that most players avoided the expansion zones, etc..


If you want to attract players from other games, what are they interested in, and what does Eve offer to keep them? <IMHO> I think Eve has plenty of shiny, but unless you get into a good corp, a lot of Eve's features are pretty shallow. </IMHO>

Personally, I'm in the "the only reason I'm still subbed is because of PLEX" boat. So if CCP mucks with PLEX, then *shrug*.


Mara Villoso
Posted - 2011.04.11 17:53:00 - [63]
 

I don't know a thing about whether EVE is "dying" or not. I do know, anecdotally, that the people I've tried to introduce to the game all basically said the same thing: "Too complicated."

This is a game that has incredibly high barriers to entry. There is almost nothing you can do successfully in this game without a serious time investment in research and planning or a hell of a lot of trial/error. It wouldn't be half as big a problem if there were CCP-produced documentation to explain things; the tutorials are not up to the task and do not provide a static information source (and while player produced information can be good, it can also be bad or woefully out of date). All those great tools that players have produced should be part of the game. No one should have had to go out and invent something like the IGB POS Planner, EVE Agent Finder, Chruker's invention site, DotLan (god I love dotlan), or any of the other tools that have become such critical tools to advanced EVE players.

Another subset of people I've tried to convert also either say "I hate PvP" or "I hate being forced into playing with groups of strangers." Its clear from the number of complaints on the board in general and from the types of threads that get trolled with "go back to wow" comments, that many people just don't want to play in a sandbox where they keep getting sand kicked in their faces. Throw in the scamming and similar behavior and you've alienated a huge number of people who just want to log on for a few hours of mindless fun, instead of a fight to even undock. [I'm not saying these things are good or bad, just how most of the gamers I know feel about this game.]

I feel confident that CCP is aware of these problems. Which is precisely why the last big speech of fanfest included a plea to help them find a way to explain EVE to the uninitiated. Whats-his-name, in that same speech, threw up a slide with "I hate sandcastles." Obviously, their research is turning up the same thing as my anecdotal evidence.

But to return to the OP: fixing bugs or not; focus on new or old or not; the problem with the subscriber base is much more fundamental than your linked post would suggest. Given the focus on business in this subforum, I would think most of you would give more credence to their market research. There's a reason that type of research is done, why people keep paying for it, and why they make decisions based on it: it works. EVE is a niche game. If you want EVE to grow, either find a way to attract more people like us; keep people like us playing forever (and most of the MD group seem to be doing just that); or do what it takes to pull in the other type of MMO player. And no one, esp. in MD, should blame CCP if they opt to make money rather than try to keep hardcore, old time, in-my-day-you-could (or couldn't)-do-XYZ players.

Shar Tegral
Posted - 2011.04.11 18:14:00 - [64]
 

Originally by: Mara Villoso
If you want EVE to grow, either find a way to attract more people like us; keep people like us playing forever (and most of the MD group seem to be doing just that); or do what it takes to pull in the other type of MMO player. And no one, esp. in MD, should blame CCP if they opt to make money rather than try to keep hardcore, old time, in-my-day-you-could (or couldn't)-do-XYZ players.
No one questions the import of business matters taking precedence. I guess the debate comes with two schools, better product keeping customers at the expense of "growth" or more features gaining customers at the expense of quality.

And I think I should say this: If CCP listened to marketing in the first place Eve wouldn't be here. I'm not saying that marketing or focus groups do not have a role to play. However one should learn to realize that sometimes research results can be wrong. And Eve history has shown us that, in fact, they are wrong often enough that any report should come with a salt shaker.

stoicfaux
Gallente
Posted - 2011.04.11 18:20:00 - [65]
 

Originally by: Mara Villoso
EVE is a niche game. If you want EVE to grow, either find a way to attract more people like us; keep people like us playing forever (and most of the MD group seem to be doing just that); or do what it takes to pull in the other type of MMO player. And no one, esp. in MD, should blame CCP if they opt to make money rather than try to keep hardcore, old time, in-my-day-you-could (or couldn't)-do-XYZ players.


I'm starting to think along those lines.

What if Eve can't grow? What if CCP has maxed out the market of Eve Players? What if Eve's codebase is too crufty/spaghetti and thus too expensive to change?

What if CCP has decided that Eve isn't going to grow, that Eve can't be changed to appeal to a wider market, and has thus decided to bet on WoD as the future?


Antihrist Pripravnik
Scorpion Road Industry
Posted - 2011.04.11 18:25:00 - [66]
 

My opinion:

Plex prices will drop until Incarna with a minor spike when Captains Quarters go live. My predictions are that it will drop below 300 mil (around 280-ish), but those are only my predictions. It will make a sudden spike when Incarna hits and keep being on today's levels (360-380mil) for a couple of months. It's too difficult to predict what will happen after that.

All this is based on the assumption that EVE will not lose a critical mass of subscribers necessary to bring in question the existence of the game.

Shar Tegral
Posted - 2011.04.11 18:33:00 - [67]
 

Originally by: stoicfaux
What if CCP has decided that Eve isn't going to grow, that Eve can't be changed to appeal to a wider market, and has thus decided to bet on WoD as the future?
I think this is the case but with a softer conclusion.

Eve is not going to magically transform into something more appealing to the masses that don't like it already. Never gonna happen. All the code changes and feature polishing in the world simply won't do it. Add in all the publicity and word of mouth that Eve has gained coming onto a decade now and it's just not feasible. Eve can not expand it's customer base in any significant level.

This does not mean that CCP can not have mutual side by side products on the marketplace however. As is being shown by their attempts at two other products while Eve supports the development. (That being WoD and Dust.)

The problem, me thinks, is that dead weight is catching up to CCP. As has been said ad infinitum ad naseum, features are not being iterated till they work. Thus there is a lot of code in Eve that requires a lot of work. CCP only has so much cash and manpower. It is reasonable to understand that something has to give.

But sympathy for them? No way.

Years of "quantity over quality" (as evidenced by Oveur's infamous quote) has created this situation. As customers, we worry for the product we have purchased and invested in. Not the product that is siphoning valuable resources away from what we're interested in having.

Yes, it is a dilemma.

We reserve the right to be ****ed off if CCP continues to behave like this. Just because we can understand how things stand right now, even understand how things get to where they are, does not mean we should blithely accept matters.

And, before the inevitable waste of space says it, quitting is not a reasonable option before you've reached your limit. Adults express displeasure before things come to a such a state that quitting is the only valid option left.

Debate and discourse does not mean "whining".
If you think it does, you are the problem.

stoicfaux
Gallente
Posted - 2011.04.11 19:01:00 - [68]
 

Originally by: Antihrist Pripravnik

...snip price guesses...

All this is based on the assumption that EVE will not lose a critical mass of subscribers necessary to bring in question the existence of the game.


It might also be interesting to look at ISK seller prices as a potential indicator of the game's health.


SencneS
Rebellion Against Big Irreversible Dinks
Posted - 2011.04.11 19:02:00 - [69]
 

Ohhh CCP have bet on WoD over EVE.... There is no doubt about it.

Consider "Carbon" their core technology. I found it interesting to listen to the "Carbon" sections of the fan fest videos and see just what it is. Carbon makes up most of EVE's code, the only things that make EVE, EVE, is an interface to Carbon and all the engine does. The developer even says, the same engine will be in Dust514 and World of Darkness.

So what CCP have managed to do here is... They have a fully developed independent massive 350,000 strong Q&A department which pays CCP to test their new software architecture, under the guise of expanding EVE and it's game play. Now that sounds horrible but it's really what CCP have here. Carbon is what they have been developing for several years now, it's just now come into it's own name.

When they WoD they will only need to interface with Carbon which has the entire back end, inventory, economy, player and server architecture all ready in place. This is a majority of coding any MMO has.

Do I blame them? No. Do I want to continue to be a paying member of the Q&A department? Yeah. Does CCP recognize that the players are needed not only to test their new money tree, but to continue to pay the paying Q&A department some new stuff and features? Without a doubt. Does CCP recognize that the old timer players don't want their EVE broken for the sake of fluff? I believe so, but it comes with a thought..

Stuff that IS broken is getting fixed, but it took the CSM for CCP to realize this. The team they have working on the "What makes sense" fixes are making EVE more user friendly. The biggest example of this is being able to drop an item into a can in your hanger without having to open the can first. There is a load of other "fixes" like this, but they are all "trinkety" if you ask me.

Is it great we can load up a can without having to open it? Hell yes, but it doesn't compensate for the.. I want to install 11 invention jobs so I need to click my mouse button 15 times per job in order to make it happen. This is the type of stuff they are "fixing" but the underlaying issues are still there.

That is why that team consists of four people, and the "Carbon" team is (I can't remember 23 or something).. Exclusive EVE content is really under the development of these four people and their graphic designers for EVE. While CCP might EVE has over 9000 developers working on EVE, a bulk of those developers are working on a technology CCP will be using in other games. Just that EVE has the "luxury" of getting any new updates first, because after all they need to benchmark the new developments.

Love CCP, love EVE, hate the small issues getting ignored, like new content that makes sense and integrates into EVE, dislike the way CCP are doing it.

Mara Villoso
Posted - 2011.04.11 19:12:00 - [70]
 

Originally by: Shar Tegral
No one questions the import of business matters taking precedence. I guess the debate comes with two schools, better product keeping customers at the expense of "growth" or more features gaining customers at the expense of quality.

There are several assumptions buried in there. It isn't necessarily true that to gain customers one has to sacrifice quality nor is it necessarily true that focusing on quality will stunt growth.

The focus of my comments was what kept people from playing in the first place, quality or the lack of it is something those potential players have never seen. Whats-his-name (seriously who is that guy? the ceo?) specifically asked players to think of ways to explain EVE to potential players and he specifically mentioned that "I hate sandcastles" was a summation of what most potential players think. Older players care about quality issues, but I'm not certain that its driving new subscription rates.

Just reading general MMO gaming sites, EVE isn't discussed as a bug-ridden product. It is invariably discussed in terms of just how hardcore it is. Hell, that's why many of us came to the game in the first place. But that's probably the reason not a lot of other people do.
Originally by: Shar Tegral
And I think I should say this: If CCP listened to marketing in the first place Eve wouldn't be here. I'm not saying that marketing or focus groups do not have a role to play. However one should learn to realize that sometimes research results can be wrong. And Eve history has shown us that, in fact, they are wrong often enough that any report should come with a salt shaker.

Can I see those marketing reports? Are they made publicly available? Or do you know something we don't (please resist the urge for sarcasm Razz)?

The conclusions drawn from those reports might be inaccurate, but I don't see how the results themselves could be wrong. They're just reporting what they found. We could, if we had access, question their methodology, question wording, etc., but if people keep saying "EVE sounds like something I wouldn't enjoy," it seems ill-advised to discount their report and, once again, it seems like the CEO's plea pretty much sums up the problem.

So, perhaps we should all focus on his request: how do you explain to people what you LIKE about EVE? Why are you playing? What on earth could motivate you to waste precious RL moments making forum replies to hypothetical questions about the economy of a virtual world and the state of a business model over which you have no real control or ownership?

Adunh Slavy
Ammatar Trade Syndicate
Posted - 2011.04.11 19:52:00 - [71]
 

Interesting graph. If it comes around that way, who knows.

We don't know who the majority of subscribers are. As some have suggested, college students change their patterns for summer, if they're a significant part of the base, and more have joined over time, then that segment will represent larger moves on the graph.

There is more real world volatility in most markets right now as well. It is therefor not unreasonable to expect some volatility in Eve's subscriber base. Real wages have yet to catch up to real inflation, in fact real wages are moving downwards. It would not be a surprise to see Eve be impacted as well; Eve subs, PLEX, GTCs, are purchased with disposable income.

And last but not least, There is a limit on how much Eve the market wants. Some where out there is a limit, a market saturation point that will be difficult to cross. Is Eve there? I've no idea, but we do know such things exist in markets. The closer product comes to this limit, the more slow it grows. This is natural and to be expected.

biggie fluffy
Posted - 2011.04.11 20:21:00 - [72]
 

Edited by: biggie fluffy on 11/04/2011 20:22:11
CAN someone confirm from another game (ie WOW) should a "growing" game, grow linearly, ... as shown..(and fits graph), or are you expecting year over year return (ie exponential) growth?

I would be interested to have the raw data, and fit a curve to it in excel or matlab.

What can be gleaned form the fact it is near linear growth, if anything?

ALso interesting to note, . IF you assume it is exponential, then you would have 45% / year growth in accounts. However, I think if you where to apply this graph you would notice that it fits well untill 2009 , then become widely deviant. Thoughts?

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.04.11 22:05:00 - [73]
 

Originally by: biggie fluffy
CAN someone confirm from another game (ie WOW) should a "growing" game, grow linearly, ... as shown..(and fits graph), or are you expecting year over year return (ie exponential) growth?

Most "modern" MMOs have a radically different subscriber graph - a HUGE spike at launch, some slow growth afterwards with fluctuations here and there, a few spikes after patches and such, then not much later a slow but steady decline.
The only two exceptions so far that are noteworthy have been EVE (first couple of years a small slope linear growth, then for the next half decade a heftier linear growth, now starting to fluctuate noticeably) and WoW (which seems to be experiencing a logarithmic growth curve).

Steve Thomas
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.04.11 22:47:00 - [74]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Originally by: biggie fluffy
CAN someone confirm from another game (ie WOW) should a "growing" game, grow linearly, ... as shown..(and fits graph), or are you expecting year over year return (ie exponential) growth?

Most "modern" MMOs have a radically different subscriber graph - a HUGE spike at launch, some slow growth afterwards with fluctuations here and there, a few spikes after patches and such, then not much later a slow but steady decline.
The only two exceptions so far that are noteworthy have been EVE (first couple of years a small slope linear growth, then for the next half decade a heftier linear growth, now starting to fluctuate noticeably) and WoW (which seems to be experiencing a logarithmic growth curve).


EvE WoW and SL all originaly had a subscriber curve that was refered to as a "Technology adaptation curve. (Bascialy a elongated S shaped curve

then people figured out that SL was more or less flat out lying about its user base (they were counting everyone who had ever activated an account

by the way some more data is avalible here

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart5.html
http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart4.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_adoption_lifecycle

Shar Tegral
Posted - 2011.04.11 22:50:00 - [75]
 

Originally by: Mara Villoso
There are several assumptions buried in there. It isn't necessarily true that to gain customers one has to sacrifice quality nor is it necessarily true that focusing on quality will stunt growth.
Agreed, I wasn't saying that the choice must be one or the other. Just that the debate seems to range over this two schools of thought... primarily.

Eve is not bug ridden, agreed. However Eve is mostly unfinished. A fine example was made about the state of documentation and tutorials. MMO will have some lag in updating those to new(er) conditions but Eve is especially behind on that it seems. (Anecdotal!)
Originally by: Mara Villoso
Can I see those marketing reports? Are they made publicly available? Or do you know something we don't (please resist the urge for sarcasm Razz)?
CCP never makes free with any internal documentation. Even when I was part of a community news site I wouldn't have wanted it anyway. My comment on the matter was based upon past history with various marketing maneuvers that have been made.

Eve trading card game, eve board game, eve books, eve voice*. Creating additional revenue streams for eve has been a long time goal of CCP. A laudable goal one. However things have not always worked out very well. From that one can easily deduce that putting too much faith in marketing reports/surveys can be a flaw. But you bet your horses and take your winnings or lumps as they came. <shrugs>

PS: Yes, Eve Voice. Was going to be an extra fee to have Eve voice. Look how that turned out. (No offense intended on the development of it.)

Hieronimus Rex
Minmatar
Infinitus Sapientia
Hav0k.
Posted - 2011.04.11 23:05:00 - [76]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Originally by: biggie fluffy
CAN someone confirm from another game (ie WOW) should a "growing" game, grow linearly, ... as shown..(and fits graph), or are you expecting year over year return (ie exponential) growth?

Most "modern" MMOs have a radically different subscriber graph - a HUGE spike at launch, some slow growth afterwards with fluctuations here and there, a few spikes after patches and such, then not much later a slow but steady decline.
The only two exceptions so far that are noteworthy have been EVE (first couple of years a small slope linear growth, then for the next half decade a heftier linear growth, now starting to fluctuate noticeably) and WoW (which seems to be experiencing a logarithmic growth curve).



Aion was apparently at 3.4 million in 2010, has that number been falling?

I would expect the total MMORPG subscribers graph looks somewhat like WoW's....WoW has been one of the few 1mil+ subscriber games with actual staying power.

Steve Thomas
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.04.11 23:17:00 - [77]
 

Edited by: Steve Thomas on 11/04/2011 23:19:03
yep, in fact some of the preliminary data I have seen seems to show that mmo growth has flatlined in the past year with mmos literaly canabalising one another for subscriptions,

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/TotalSubs.png


Michael J Fox
Posted - 2011.04.12 10:48:00 - [78]
 

Originally by: Steve Thomas
Edited by: Steve Thomas on 11/04/2011 23:19:03
yep, in fact some of the preliminary data I have seen seems to show that mmo growth has flatlined in the past year with mmos literaly canabalising one another for subscriptions,

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/TotalSubs.png




that makes sense in terms of the global economy. Whilst several game developers are trying to turn their FPS games into micro-transaction models the world (unless you are chinese) is suffering a distinct lack of cash.

When I consider I can pay 25 for a copy of FIFA and play it until the next one comes out a year later (2 pm roughly) as opposed to 15 pm for an MMO, the choice becomes much simpler when i have no money!

Katie Tanaka
Posted - 2011.04.12 16:31:00 - [79]
 

The other thing to bear in mind is that EVE is the only MMORPG (that I know of) which so strongly incentivizes people to have multiple independent subscriptions. I want to know how many unique players of EVE there are, rather than just the number of accounts.

SencneS
Rebellion Against Big Irreversible Dinks
Posted - 2011.04.12 17:00:00 - [80]
 

Originally by: Steve Thomas
yep, in fact some of the preliminary data I have seen seems to show that mmo growth has flatlined in the past year with mmos literaly canabalising one another for subscriptions,

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/TotalSubs.png


I actually like this chart more :)

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-2.png

There is something to be said about EVE, yeah it's slow growth, but check out the others... GOOD GOD! Sharp incline, slow progressive decline with a huge crash at the end..

LOL at Warhammer...

clixor
Celluloid Gurus
Posted - 2011.04.12 17:26:00 - [81]
 

Originally by: SencneS
Originally by: Steve Thomas
yep, in fact some of the preliminary data I have seen seems to show that mmo growth has flatlined in the past year with mmos literaly canabalising one another for subscriptions,

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/TotalSubs.png


I actually like this chart more :)

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-2.png

There is something to be said about EVE, yeah it's slow growth, but check out the others... GOOD GOD! Sharp incline, slow progressive decline with a huge crash at the end..

LOL at Warhammer...


Quite disturbing. If i read this correctly EVE is back to 2010Q1 levels. It all depends on how profitable CCP as a whole is though. I do suspect that is not the case and that we may see a radical course change starting with Incarna.
This could surely backfire with the older (in age) player. I'm personally not waiting for WOW in space and shinies to 'upgrade' my avatar.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.04.12 17:52:00 - [82]
 

Edited by: Akita T on 12/04/2011 17:55:23
Originally by: clixor
Quite disturbing. If i read this correctly EVE is back to 2010 Q1 levels.

In the end of Q4 2010, they were. It bounced back to a higher peak by the end of Q1 2011.
It may soon fall down below that though.
That was the whole point of the graph tinkered with by VV mentioned in the OP.

Sub counts used to be relatively stable and growing linearly, they started to fluctuate heavily when CCP adopted an aggressive advertising policy and the focus on new features rather than iterating on old content.
Now, the fluctuations have become so big and going downwards that they occasionally pull back the bottom line a couple of quarters back on each downswing.
And they MIGHT become even worse in the near future.

If you believe VV's analysis, it's not just some possibility, but the most likely outcome.

Vaerah Vahrokha
Minmatar
Vahrokh Consulting
Posted - 2011.04.12 20:33:00 - [83]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Edited by: Akita T on 12/04/2011 17:55:23
Originally by: clixor
Quite disturbing. If i read this correctly EVE is back to 2010 Q1 levels.

In the end of Q4 2010, they were. It bounced back to a higher peak by the end of Q1 2011.
It may soon fall down below that though.
That was the whole point of the graph tinkered with by VV mentioned in the OP.

Sub counts used to be relatively stable and growing linearly, they started to fluctuate heavily when CCP adopted an aggressive advertising policy and the focus on new features rather than iterating on old content.
Now, the fluctuations have become so big and going downwards that they occasionally pull back the bottom line a couple of quarters back on each downswing.
And they MIGHT become even worse in the near future.

If you believe VV's analysis, it's not just some possibility, but the most likely outcome.



I'd like to point out some additional factors.

My analysis needs some caveats:

1) It has really been done on a very low resolution picture, furthermore made of moving averages and not with data points. If I had the real data it'd be way better.

2) It's not the most likely outcome, it's a likely outcome. There are infinite permutations and news (both in markets and in player base) are known to break trends regularity and possibly make them resume at another "quantic level". Therefore if CCP pulls out something that does not suck hard nuts they may reposition the trend in a more favorable position.

What many above don't get is, one cannot be optimistic or pessimistic on a market / market alike graph. Only terrible traders doomed to fail do.
One has to act on the partial available information and prepare a setup. The setup is not optimistic or pessimistic, there are groupthink mentality laws imbued in those curves and those curves won't change just because someone decides to be optimistic or pessimistic on them.

3) That's a graph exploring new higher highs with no back history of previous resistance / support levels. This means that the community, the psychological groupthink that constitutes the graph (us players) has no past reference points. This usually means that predicting the so called "extensions" (higher turns up) tends to focus more on other factors, typically Fibonacci extensions. Now, while I see many similarities between a market curve and a playerbase curve, I can't say if their rulesets are so deeply similar that we may try RL markets instruments as legitimate prediction tools.

Vaerah Vahrokha
Minmatar
Vahrokh Consulting
Posted - 2011.04.12 23:26:00 - [84]
 

Just for the sake of curiosity I took the OP picture and applied a Fibonacci extension on it.

Linkage

Now, just to setup the picture I had to invert the colors and the picture was quite blurred to boot (and with no exact references like candle tops and bottoms), so this is NOT to be taken as anything more than a curiosity.
Furthermore the fibo is slightly offset to the lower (probably 2 pixels), because the charting softwares are not made to work with bitmaps and have fixed anchoring spots. The proportions were kept though, both 0 and 100% are as distant as the center of the blue line high and low are.

Some of the usual working levels like 61.8% seem to intersect a corresponding piece of curve, I drawn some red lines at relevant crosses.

If the fibo applies, the chart "says" the next swing should be higher and... be like the red swing I drawn in my analyzed graph in the OP.

Steve Thomas
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.04.13 00:21:00 - [85]
 

Originally by: Katie Tanaka
The other thing to bear in mind is that EVE is the only MMORPG (that I know of) which so strongly incentivizes people to have multiple independent subscriptions. I want to know how many unique players of EVE there are, rather than just the number of accounts.

Actualy a number of games have this to one degree or annother, my WoW guild roughly half of the members in it had extra accounts for guild/bank alts because it was easyer to just hand items over than to use the IGmail, especialy if for thoes members who had Hord and aliance on the same server. EQ had that problem to an even greater degree(originaly no ingame mail or Xfer slot) also some games bascialy have "too few" character slots.

Diomedes Calypso
Aetolian Armada
Posted - 2011.04.13 00:22:00 - [86]
 

Originally by: Vaerah Vahrokha
Just for the sake of curiosity I took the OP picture and applied a Fibonacci extension on it.

Linkage

Now, just to setup the picture I had to invert the colors and the picture was quite blurred to boot (and with no exact references like candle tops and bottoms), so this is NOT to be taken as anything more than a curiosity.
Furthermore the fibo is slightly offset to the lower (probably 2 pixels), because the charting softwares are not made to work with bitmaps and have fixed anchoring spots. The proportions were kept though, both 0 and 100% are as distant as the center of the blue line high and low are.

Some of the usual working levels like 61.8% seem to intersect a corresponding piece of curve, I drawn some red lines at relevant crosses.

If the fibo applies, the chart "says" the next swing should be higher and... be like the red swing I drawn in my analyzed graph in the OP.


How long have you been a technical trader for Vaerah? Most don't last more than a market cycle or two.

Ever read "fooled by randomness"

I won't dispute that charts help draw attention to price ranges where buyers have surfaced in the past or that break-outs will set off a bell that something has changed that might be worth looking at ...but decades of data don't show much actual success in technical trading in general ....not saying its 100% useless but the confidence you're having in predicting outcomes is far beyond the way it works.

You might gain an edge similar to that of a card counter in vegas and if so that t could be enough to make vast fortunes over time with some leverage, but you're just not goint to find the crystal ball you suggest long term.

I wish you luck though.,

Tehg Rhind
Posted - 2011.04.13 00:42:00 - [87]
 

Edited by: Tehg Rhind on 13/04/2011 00:52:47
Edited by: Tehg Rhind on 13/04/2011 00:44:39
Seems like there are a series of points/arguments here and I wanted to deconvolute them:

1) Based on a technical analysis of account numbers there is a reason to believe that member counts are trending downwards.

2) Member counts are trending down because CCP is screwing up the game

3) Massive list of ways that CCP is screwing up the game.

ok.

Let's ignore 2 & 3 and just look at the root argument. Which is a technical analysis. Which is highly questionable if not total crap. I'm sorry, but if the root of your argument is a TA then you just introduced so much error into your downstream hypotheses that you should be very wary of extrapolating. EVEN if you were to assume that TA was a reasonable system, almost no one would argue that it is all that accurate. VV threw the number 40% in earlier.

And from that, a conclusion drawn with a massive level of acceptable error, we start drawing all sorts of other conclusions?

No.

Stop.

This is what separates people who play with graphs and people who work with numbers. Did anyone consider fitting confidence intervals to the regression model? I wouldn't be surprised if those numbers were still within 90% confidence intervals on the linear model for growth (which frankly is astounding.) Did anyone do a covariate model adjusted for season? What the # of releases of other competing MMOs? What about the account growth in WoW/MMOs as a whole (someone posted the graph earlier, should be easy to do?) Etc etc etc ffs etc

What you are doing is reading noise, something I see people do all the time with control charts. You have to divorce yourself from the visual representation of data to appreciate it. The only conclusion I would make about this data set is that the level of noise has increased in the last 3 years or so. Whether this is due to a methodology change in measuring, or a change in the model as the player count increases I don't know, but it IS clear that noise has increased. Which is the sirens call of the tea readers.

Note that I am not arguing that the conclusions are wrong. They very well may be right. I'm simply arguing that the conclusions being made here are founded in almost no real statistical/numerical analysis.

The one telling graph, above all others that I saw in here is this one:

Originally by: SencneS


I actually like this chart more :)

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-2.png

There is something to be said about EVE, yeah it's slow growth, but check out the others... GOOD GOD! Sharp incline, slow progressive decline with a huge crash at the end..

LOL at Warhammer...


Yes, LOL at warhammer.

This graph is one that tells a story. This is a place where you can clearly state something without getting into the numbers. The first part of the story is that EvE is one of the only consistently successful low market share games out there. The rest take off like I rocket and die instantly.

The second part of the story is hinted at by the other successful games. There is a market saturation for MMOs. Someone earlier mentioned that at a certain point growth in one MMO requires eating into another's market share. Intriguingly most games seem to cap out at that market share relatively fast, EvE seems to keep on trucking.

It could be that the increase in noise and fluctuations you are seeing is due to EvE trying to breach it's own saturation point, but that's speculation.

*Side note. I am pretty sure that if you checked your 90% confidence intervals from day 1 to now you would see that the growth is getting close to getting outside of its boundaries. I also am pretty sure that if you assumed a new model from 2007 then EvE is well inside it's boundaries.

Also...wtf is Dofus?

AnakieNine
Posted - 2011.04.13 01:27:00 - [88]
 

I already allowed 3 of my accounts to run out last month.

The only thing that has been keeping a lot of accounts active including mine is the training skills. This game keeps subscribers for one reason over all others. Skill advancement and hope/belief in what the game may offer in the future.

Once that hope for "excellence" has gone, so will much of your player base. Every new player signing onto these boards sees the mountain of discontent coming from old players over the last 9+ months and the ramifications aren't good. It is no longer just something probably effecting the older players but one that will bleed the numbers of new players into the system.

That graph also should/could look a lot worse. It includes a lot of player grabs that CCP did in the quarter such as removing the learning skill which brought alot of players/alts back. Even the QEN stated that Plex was effected by old players returning. Granted this is probably also what caused one of the large variance in the graph that quarter. So dont read to much into the spikes of the quarter. Much better to look into the trend VV and akati.

Assuming no real marketing changes my belief the trend change reflects a drop in sentiment and the large eve player base that just keeps accounts active for skills. I'd perfer to see number of accounts who played more than 5 hours or longed on more than x time in the last 30 days.

Shining New stuff is great but bring out new content like PI that currently has no multiplayer play into a multiplayer game is not "excellence" imo. All you did was encourage thining out of the player base as anyone involved in PI is basically a loner in a single player game. (unless they are chatting to someone.) The reason people liked the original PI descriptions was because it was "another" battlefield that effected existing game mechanics. It been a year and nothing on that front.. Why didn't you make it where we had to terraform the planet. build large infrastructure and terraform the plants first. That would have brought long levity before actual Pi itself and made people become emotionally connected to the planets they terraformed. Also deterraform if left alone to repeat the cycle. So will the Captian Quarters be the same? disconnected from the game and just a spot to land in-station? Eve is about war, wealth and frendship. Stop bring new features that deminish these qualities unless it is of a very high standard and somehow adds value to the existing game. Walking in station should be great but will it. Most people at fanfeast shrug their head at the info.

Last but not least. You believe your communication with players is good however by running things like the csm you forget the basics (same as forum security..) of determining customer service and gauging the opinions of your customers. How about taking a step back the next time you just give away a nice new ship and instead provide it as a reward to filling out a customer survey/poll. Do some basic stat on groups of players depending on their player age and if it's a main account or alt. Get back to basics and Re-learn your customer base both the new and old ones.There is nothing like being able to say 35% of customers over a year old want the older game mechanics fixed over new content and that 25% of players in their first year don't give a dam for 0.0. Guess what? 15% want the market systme made more advanced and 70% found the most fun they ever had in eve was when they ?????.

You get the idea. I think you have moved from a company of people that played and loved the game, who instinctively knew what was good and drove head first toward it until the vision was done; to one who don't have the time to play which has a bureaucratic management going for the quick in your face dollar returns over the long term good of the game. That approach is good at times but it's not a approach to attempt to rely on for the last 2+ years.

Hope keeps us here but how long?

Nauplius
Amarr
1st Praetorian Guard
Posted - 2011.04.13 02:27:00 - [89]
 

Originally by: Akita T

Sub counts used to be relatively stable and growing linearly, they started to fluctuate heavily when CCP adopted an aggressive advertising policy and the focus on new features rather than iterating on old content.
Now, the fluctuations have become so big and going downwards that they occasionally pull back the bottom line a couple of quarters back on each downswing.
And they MIGHT become even worse in the near future.



MMOs industry-wide are now experiencing a lot more short term fluctuation, even those with populations that are relatively stable long-term. Population increases with content updates (and the advertising associated with them) and eases in the lulls between them. This can be observed in WoW (in a lull at the moment) and other old games that were once more stable.

This is not to say that there aren't EVE-specific factors going on here; there probably are (just like WoW's current population lull owes something not only to the expansion cycle but to the release of a heavily promoted competitor with mechanics nearly identical to it). But the broader trend should be kept in mind.

Tehg Rhind
Posted - 2011.04.13 02:39:00 - [90]
 

Edited by: Tehg Rhind on 13/04/2011 02:48:24
Edited by: Tehg Rhind on 13/04/2011 02:45:03
I can't believe I didn't say this right off the bat.

Let's just assume, FOR THE MOMENT, that TA has real predictive powers in the stock/securities/etc market. Why IN GODS NAME would you think that it applies to this data set? The principles of TA have to do with group psychology and an understanding that everyone is aware of the details of price fluctuation and responds according to some mildly predictive model.

That has ZERO application here.

Yes, people are aware of the other players butthurts. They are also entirely unnaffected by it. Either they share in the butthurts due to their own dislike of the changes or they don't. The cause of their decision are the mechanics in EvE. They don't look at the QEN and say "Oh dear, it looks like other people are unsubbing. I guess I'll unsub too"

The simple fact that you thought you could even apply TA to this data set shows how poor your ability to analyze data is. Why don't we resurrect Freud and Adler while we're at it. I'm sure their theories could be made to fit this situation. And yeah, you know I think we could apply Historical Materialism here as well. What the hell., you know what will fix all that ails EvE's mechanics? Some homeopathic remedies. I might even be able to solve lag with some string theory.

And you know what? Since TA applies everywhere lets go ahead and use it to predict global warming. I can give you a graph of what time my girlfriend comes over, maybe you could tell me what time I should put dinner on. At work I've been having trouble determining what the productivity of this new catalyst will be. I can give you a graph, so you should be able to figure that one out for me as well. Here are some stats on how many people got AIDs last year. Is that a head and shoulders? Looks like the AIDS crisis is finally over.

TLDR? Apply TA here is fail even by a devoted TA analyst, & Donny? You're out of your element.


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