On Saturday 2 January, both sides of the months-long nullsec war in New Eden gathered for another showdown in the system of M2-XFE. The fight was supposed to be a follow up to the biggest Titan clash in EVE’s history, which occurred just two days prior. This battle did not unfold the way anyone expected it to. A large proportion of the attacking side experienced in-game issues, which resulted in devastating losses for them.
The ongoing war in New Eden has seen some of the largest and bloodiest battles in EVE’s history. The war has already claimed two official Guinness World Records, whilst also breaking many other EVE records, including a record number of battleships killed in one battle, and a record number of Titans destroyed in another.
The second fight in M2-XFE was a next step in the evolution of these unprecedented fights. Three systems in Delve were the focus of the fight: 1DQ1-A (defender staging), T5ZI-S (attacker staging) and M2-XFE (battlefield). 1DQ1-A’s player count topped out at 4226, T5ZI-S hit 6723 and the player count in the target system of M2-XFE went the highest with 6739 pilots, breaking the Fury of FWST record of 6557. The three systems – which were each reinforced – saw a combined peak of 13,770 players around 23:23 EVE time. To put this in perspective, approximately 35% of all online pilots in the game were situated in just these 3 systems.
These numbers are unrivaled - and unrivaled numbers in New Eden lead to uncharted territories when it comes to performance. Neither side of the war, or CCP, can, could or will be able to predict the server performance in these kinds of situations.
Of the 3 nodes; attacker staging, defender staging, and fight; 2 were under heavy load: the T5ZI-S and M2-XFE nodes (since both had about 5-6k pilots). As pilots attempted to jump from one heavily loaded to another, they experienced odd and unresponsive game behavior. This was simply a brutal symptom of what happens when there is a great deal of activity between two heavily loaded systems.
Both during and after the fight, players experienced things that don’t happen under normal circumstances. Things like ships disappearing, ships reappearing, ships not appearing in the right systems – even after going through the jump tunnel, ghost killmails, duplicated ships/mods where a wreck with loot was in M2-XFE but the fitted ship was in T5ZI-S, bridging Titans getting moved to the system it was bridging people to, among others.
Many of these unusual events have not happened in recent times (although some veterans will remember that they have been seen before), and that is largely because the increasing size of large battles has been more gradual over the last 10 years. However, this fight dwarfed any previous engagement in New Eden. Had every player who was trying to get into M2-XFE successfully done so, it would have nearly doubled the current Guinness World Record for concurrent players in a single fight with approximately 12,000 players.
There has been an ongoing discussion regarding a “population cap in M2-XFE.” The only system in the game that has a population cap is Jita - to avoid the system going into Time dilation. There was no population cap set for M2-XFE.
What players were seeing in their client call log was a standard call that is an everyday occurrence. The client will call every jump – and when logging in - to check if there is a population cap on the destination system – in this case it was not receiving a reply from the heavily loaded system (the population cap being one of the different calls it was not receiving back).
While there was no population cap, players did have trouble entering the system – which was an unfortunate symptom of the sheer scale of this fight. This caused a great deal of unexpected outcomes, and has, understandably, been the cause of great frustration for many players.
Another discussion has revolved around whether all players could have loaded given enough time. Due to the unprecedented circumstances, any discussion on that is theoretical – what can however be said is that we’ve received reports of players that waited for their jump tunnels ended up traveling, but to the same system as they originally were in.
As per our usual policy Customer Support won't be reimbursing any losses or moving players between systems. It is our policy to not get involved with fleet fights, and that policy has been upheld during this war – for both sides.
We will be intervening as little as possible in the repercussions of this battle. We will not be taking away any insurance payouts for ships that are still alive, removing looted duplicated modules, or going into hangars to destroy ghost titans that survived. We will only consider moving players who are completely unable to log into the game, if there are any such cases. Players that can log into the game will have to move themselves.
CCP and the pilots of New Eden have long been engaged in a perpetual arms race. Players push the envelope of what is possible, and we continue to improve performance with improved hardware, software, and changes to the mechanics of the game. As EVE players continue to create larger and larger wars, with bigger and more epic battles every week, these battles continue to bring the game into unknown territory. We salute all the players for their efforts and their ambitions – this ongoing war, which at times has had unfortunate moments for both sides, is continually reshaping the landscape of New Eden and adding new and exciting stories to the history of EVE Online.
Note: This article will be available in other supported languages later this week.
Abundance breeds Complacency and Scarcity breeds War
Predictable Inputs lead to Stagnant Outputs
Autarky is Anathema to Free Trade
In EVE, much of 2020 was spent in renovation working on the goal of regaining control of the EVE economy which had been spiraling towards major excess of ISK, minerals, and assets. This endeavor has not always been simple or comfortable, so you are to be acknowledged and thanked for your resilience. The stage has been set for a more abundant and sustainable future for EVE. Before that future is discussed, here’s a look at some of the accomplishments this year: - Big strides were made towards reining in capital proliferation with changes to mineral distribution and the power of capital umbrellas. - Several sources of RMT ISK supplies were addressed, especially loopholes in Incursions and Faction Warfare missions. Payment fraud prevention methods were also significantly improved. - Changes made to the capital ecosystem improved diversity, promoted escalation, and increased destruction. - Several meaningful updates were made to structures; reduced structure spam, reduced the power and prevalence of time zone tanking, and structures became more rewarding to destroy. - The Encounter Surveillance System and Dynamic Bounty System were launched together to dynamically curb excessive system outputs, support PvP income streams, and increase risk to low-attention ratting. - Since October 2019, a rapid pace of balance and meta changes has been established and maintained, enabling faster responses to your feedback.
CSM collaboration has been very constructive this year, both with CSMs 14 and 15. Not being able to meet in person and build on relationships with the Council due to COVID-19 is regrettable, but hopefully the world will be in a better place soon and all can return to in-person meetings again. At the beginning of the Scarcity Phase, the strategic decision was made not to involve the CSM before the rest of the community. As fundamental changes were made to the DNA of the universe, preserving the integrity of everyone involved was a priority.
There is a lot of trust for the CSM, but the decision was made not to put them in a position where other players could claim they had forewarning of major economic changes to the game. Interactions with all members of the CSM are highly valued and there is daily communication with them, debating various topics back and forth. Thanks to their work dedication and expertise, a number of plans and changes have become much stronger as a result.
As iteration took place at a much faster pace this year, not everything has been perfect from the moment it went live on Tranquility. This is another area where the CSM has been extremely helpful. When combined with data and feedback that is regularly collected from the entire EVE Online community, it’s been possible to follow up quickly on key changes such as the reverting of the “Aggressive” setting on drone behavior. Other moments saw rapid iteration on the ESS, DBS, and the Activity Defense Multiplier (ADM). Next year will be a continuation of bold changes with quick iterations based on monitoring, data, and feedback.
It is clearly understood and acknowledged that many players are faced with reduced income and some radical changes to what they have become accustomed to in New Eden. To make it abundantly clear, scarcity is not the new reality, this is a temporary phase and it will end.
In 2021, further steps will be taken towards the long-term vision, while observing and reacting quickly to player actions. Here are few of the steps planned for 2021, with more detail to follow as live dates approach. - Improve customization of player-owned space through iHub upgrades, allowing meaningful choices and trade-offs. - Introduce Reserve Bank keys for the ESS as players start planning heists and/or fortifying their bank defenses as billions of ISK become accessible across all of Nullsec. - Add more dynamic systems – the DBS has allowed for geographical resource balancing and the plan is to extend and expand on that with dynamic systems for resource distribution and industry. The DBS allows for quick iterations, and there have already been two updates since its release (raising the baseline bounty multipliers in Null and Lowsec). - Continue to balance risk and reward for income with attention as an additional pillar within the risk/reward framework. EVE has low-attention style gameplay and that is perfectly acceptable. However, care must be taken to ensure that the rewards of that gameplay balance attention and risk, and so, the intention is to revisit high-risk income platforms like Carriers and Marauders, and revisit lower-attention options in more precise ways. - Address one of the most debated subjects in EVE, AFK cloaky camping, with improved systems to get rid of the frustration of AFK cloaking and its total lack of counterplay without removing the ability for hunters to catch lazy prey, or for spies to be able to scout and monitor systems with strategic value. - Further define the differences between the five categories of space and foster geographical variety. The semi-lawless frontier of Lowsec has the potential to become much more than it is now as the Empires’ patience with intrusive Capsuleers in Highsec is wearing thin while wormhole resources will see increased demand. - Establish a sustainable role for Rorquals and Orcas and do a general balance pass on mining ships to ensure that they each have a unique role and they are balanced in terms of wealth generation and survivability. - Add new personal deployables, both to allow more control of your immediate surroundings, and to unlock brand new meta opportunities.
Now follows a brief overview of some of the things being used to determine the state of the EVE Ecosystem. The current health of the Ecosystem can be measured across three main categories and each has been assigned a simple grade for health (AAA/A/B/C/D) and a trend (Improving, Stable, Worsening) with various health indices feeding into this grading.
All of this is also subject to what is fed back from the community. Metrics are important, but what you are saying about the game is also important and noted.
The current health of the Ecosystem can be measured across these 3 main categories, and they have each been assigned a simple health state (AAA/A/B/C/D) and a trend (Improving, Stable, Worsening) to each. A handful of Health Indices have also been defined to guide the prioritziaton and focus while listening to the community.
No EVE Ecosystem post would be complete without discussion of bots and RMT. Please don't buy ISK from RMTers and don’t let your friends buy ISK from RMTers, either. Botting and RMT negatively affect everyone. Thank you all for reporting bots, the in-game bot reporting tool is being prepared for further improvement.
There is continuing commitment here to rooting out all forms of botting and RMT in EVE, and everything possible will be done to shut down ISK sellers, to make botting harder, and to punish those who repeatedly try to rip off our community. The main focus has been on high-impact botting, but additional focus will be assigned to highly visible botting also. So far this year 42,000 bans have been issued, of which 15%, or around 7200, have been reported by vigilant players. Thank you for your help in improving our algorithms and processes, every report counts!
2020 has been a year of rebuilding. The work this year on the EVE Ecosystem has been focused on long term health and sustainability for EVE, to ensure that player choices matter, loss has meaning, and to ensure that the universe is dynamic and changing. Great steps were made towards such an ecosystem this year and many EVE players have already started reaping the benefits through new income streams and many more will continue do to so.
Fly Safe and see you next year.
The Monthly Economic Report for November 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.
EVE News 24:
Sunday, 27. December 2020 21:10
Dev Blog: The Eve Online ecosystem outlook.
Abundance breeds Complacency and Scarcity breeds WarPredictable Inputs lead to Stagnant OutputsAutarky is Anathema to Free Trade Dear Capsuleers, In EVE, much of 2020 was spent in renovation working on [...]
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On Saturday 2 January, both sides of the months-long nullsec war in New Eden gathered for another showdown in the system of M2-XFE. The fight was supposed to be a follow up to the biggest Titan clash in EVE’s history, which occurred just two days prior. This battle did not unfold the way anyone expected it to. A large proportion of the attacking side experienced in-game issues, which resulted[...]
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