I’m something of an odd Eve player. I only have one character I play. That’s Mabrick of course. And because I am only Mabrick, that makes me a statistical outlier. As near as I can tell, most Eve players have at least two accounts. Hell, I have a friend out in Pure Blind who has four or five… well, four for certain.
Now, I may be wrong about that “most Eve players” bit just before this because I really have no special data on it. I really wish I did. But I think I can safely say that most if not all null-sec players have high-sec alts. Is that a fair statement? To see, there is a poll at the top right corner of my blog. Please indicate the number of Eve characters you have. At the least it will confirm I’m a statistical odd ball. 😉 [EDIT: Blogger’s Poll widget seems to be broken at the moment. I’ll get the poll up soon as I can.]
Now, let’s do some logic. I recently saw this in a signature block in the comments of the latest blog on mining barge changes.
“EVE residents: 5% Wormholes; 8% Lowsec; 20% Nullsec; 67% Highsec. CSM 6: 100% Nullsec residents. EVE demographics vs CSM demographics, nothing to worry about…”
This is not the first time I’ve seen something like this. I am certain it will not be the last. But is it true?
Looking at it from a pure account bases I am certain it is. I know the percentages come straight from CCP. Hell, when we used to get quarterly economic reports they were always in it. Man, I miss those quarterly reports. CCP Dr. EyjoG, can we have them back? Anyway, back to the logic thing.
So these percentages represent how many capsuleers are in each of the various regions of New Eden. But I think this is misleading. It does not shed any light on how many mains are in each region. I think that is a much more important question to ask.
We already agreed that most people in null-sec have alts in high-sec. If you didn’t agree with me you can stop reading at this point. You won’t agree with anything that comes next anyway. So if every person in null-sec has an alt in high-sec, how does that change the percentages listed above?
So the first thing you have to do is adjust for the current number of capsuleers in high-sec who are alts for null-sec mains. Fortunately this is not as difficult as it may seem. Since we are dealing with an original statement that totals to 100% we can directly convert that to 100 people. Twenty people come straight off 67 people leaving 47 true high-sec dwellers.
That isn’t the end of the matter though. Since we dropped 20 people from the equation there is now only a total of 80 people in our sample. We have to adjust all of the percentages again to reflect this new sample size. That’s a little trickier but fortunately three of our original numbers (WH, low-sec and null-sec) remain constant. The formula is:
Here’s what that signature should look like if only main characters were counted (rounded to eliminate decimals – rounding favors high-sec.)
“EVE residents: 6% Wormholes; 10% Lowsec; 25% Nullsec; 58% Highsec. CSM 6: 100% Nullsec residents. EVE demographics vs CSM demographics, nothing to worry about…”
That’s not as “alarming” but it still means more than half of all Eve players live and work in high-sec. But what if more null-sec players are like my friend? He has a high-sec corporation populated by his alts. Only his main lives in null-sec. How does this signature look if each null-sec pilot has two alts in high-sec? That means we have to drop 40 pilots from the sample leaving a sample size of only 60 capsuleers.
“EVE residents: 8% Wormholes; 13% Lowsec; 33% Nullsec; 46% Highsec. CSM 6: 100% Nullsec residents. EVE demographics vs CSM demographics, nothing to worry about…”
Now that’s a horse of a completely different color isn’t it? Where do these percentages end up if you drop trial accounts from the high-sec total? What if we eliminate noobs since they don’t know enough to actually make informed choices and couldn’t get into most (all?) null-sec corporations anyway?
So, just like in anything political, anyone can use statistics to make their case seem better than the other person’s. The only sure fire way to know is to get a hold of CCP’s actual account database and of course CCP isn’t sharing. That can really only mean that CCP spins the statistics their way. I don’t hold that against them.
You see, there is an alarming trend in all this. Does anyone else see it? The worrisome development is the drop in the sample size. We started with 100 Eve players. Then we threw 20 out because they were alts. In the next stage we threw out 20 more. That left us with only 60 real players. There are even more alarming scenarios than this one. So what?
CCP states that they have 400,000 subscribers. That’s at least five million dollars ($5,000,000) a month in revenue. It is probably more since the five million amount is calculated at the lowest possible Eve Online subscription rate of $13 a month. That’s awesome so far as it goes.
How many real people is that though? If every player of Eve online has four alts and plays them simultaneously like my friend, that means that only 100,000 people play Eve Online. That’s not nearly as impressive a subscription rate. It’s damn dangerous.
Many people have said the final act of rebellion that made CCP blink last summer were the unsubscribed alt accounts. If that was only one of four, can you imagine how frightening it must have been for CCP to contemplate players unsubscribing ALL of their alts?At the start of the last recession, my RL company had a 30% drop in revenue almost immediately. My boss was let go. His boss was let go. We shed a quarter of our work force within a month. Does that sound familiar? It should. That’s what CCP did last summer.
And what about economic troubles from the other perspective? If someone is suddenly unemployed, how many alts can they afford? My personal unemployment math says none – providing I had any alts. Hell, I might not even be able to afford Mabrick. I have RL obligations that take precedence over Internet spaceships. We all do. If CCP’s 400,000 are actual individuals that’s a great buffer against economic uncertainty. If the true real person tally is a quarter of that, it’s like taking an unbuffered Drake into a Vanguard site. Capeesh?
So the next time you wonder why CCP seems to be catering to the null-sec bloc – why they seem to be waging war on high-sec – think about these numbers again. This hypothesis is the only logical conclusion I can come up with for what so many, including myself, have noticed and complained about. And if my hypothesis is true, CCP doesn’t have a choice. They have the account database. They already know who’s buttering their bread – and it’s not statistical outliers like me.
P.S. This hypothesis also answers the question of why all the CSM are from null-sec… doesn’t it. That’s a far more sound reason than, “the election was rigged!”