I am a pirate. My life involves around killing and plundering my little black heart out, but as my fellow corp mate Valgore wisely suggested; 'It is useful to know the life of your enemy'. I'm paraphrasing here as the exact words escape me but the message is nonetheless resolute. With the concept ringing in my mind I spotted a quarterly economic report in the Eve News sidebar that I usually peruse and then promptly ignore when the words 'null-sec' are chimed. I haven't read any of these before, nor am I in any way competent at reading the economic landscape of New Eden. With that being said, I have a few things to make comment upon based on my readings.
For those that haven't seen this or read the newsletter yet you can find it here. I suggest having at the very least a read of the 'Demographics' and 'Wormhole Space and Tech III Ships' sections as I draw most of my realizations from them (all those mineral graphs admittedly bored me silly!) I am going to attempt to read this economic newsletter as only I could; not as a miner, industrialist, null-sec dweller but as a pirate.
First on the list is the entire population of active accounts being logged into Eve. When I joined Eve Online the provided graph (labelled Figure 1) shows that there was on average 300,000 active accounts; this obviously correlates to the beginning of the third quarter in 2009 and continues through up until the first quarter of 2010. It is obvious that expansions fuel account activations for understandable reasons yet something bothers me about it all. I became a denizen of low security just before the influx of new people arrive to New Eden thanks to the Dominion expansion. Active accounts rose to 350,000 at this point (and could well have improved now due to Tyrannis also) yet I did not notice a change in low-sec life. I might even be as bold as saying things got a little worse, though my move from Molden Heath to Verge Vendor may have an effect upon that belief. Where did all these new pilots go then? CCP address this shortly after and the actual reality was somewhat surprising to me. Apparently, there has been increase in wormhole population by nearly 8%! Take note that null-sec is the focus of the 'population distribution' section in this newsletter with a splash of empire thrown in for good measure. I do however worry what the statistics for low-sec are now!
Another interesting musing of mine is in the 'ship types used' section that also resides within the 'Demographics' bracket. Firstly that the Hulk is the most piloted ship in Eve. That speaks volumes in itself surely? Secondly that the Kestrel is the most popular Tech I frigate in commercial use, just out-doing the Rifter hull. Who knew that the Rifter wasn't number one? Perhaps the most worrying revelation of the research and evidence provided is thus; "There is an obvious shift away from Tech I, low-tier fighting ships to Industrials and Mining Vessels, with a moderate increase in capital and Tech II fighting ships." In this one sentence all my worst imaginations are summed up and realized. More Industry and mining combined with less Tech I, specifically low-tier (as stated) vessels being fielded in space shows a clear move in focus of younger pilots when a life in New Eden is considered. This is an issue that clearly needs addressing I feel, a balance needs to be struck right? The increase in Tech II and capital ships also bothers me; the life of a frigateer only gets tougher it seems. I also feel that the sheer amount of capital ships being fielded is far too numerous for what they are designed as, the number stated being 14,202 pilots flying capital vessels with the most common being the Obelisk at 2,219. With only five times more Rifter pilots than Obelisk pilots in the game (and less than capital pilots collectively!), it is becoming apparent that 'shipping up' seems to be the best way to survive now.
I had planned to do this in a singular marathon wall of text, though with an hour already gone by and my killboard beginning to go stagnant I feel that it would be best to split these blog entries up. I hope some of you take interest in my perception of the economic climate of New Eden and I look forward to some discussion of your views. As with any such thing, the only hard facts lie in the statistics and my views are subjective to my lifestyle in the game. I want low-sec and small-scale combat to flourish! I would most certainly like to hear opinions of these reports from dwellers in all the corners of New Eden and with that having been said; reply!