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  • The Second Timer in M2-XFE
    published on January 5th, 2021 at 01:50 AM

    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.


    Unprecedented War, Unprecedented Battles

    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.


    Weird events during and after the battle

    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.


    Population cap and players entering the system

    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.

    Max Pilots in System

    The table of systems which have population caps set, of which there is only one.

    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.


    Reimbursement

    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.


    Conclusion

    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.


  • The EVE Online Ecosystem Outlook
    published on December 27th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Abundance breeds Complacency and Scarcity breeds War
    Predictable Inputs lead to Stagnant Outputs
    Autarky is Anathema to Free Trade

    Dear Capsuleers,

    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.

    Income EN


    Into the Future

    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.


    The Prognosis of the EVE Ecosystem

    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.

    EcosystemTable_EN

    Botting and RMT

    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!


    Conclusion

    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.




    To join player discussion on this topic, please head over to the official thread on EVE Online forums.


  • Monthly Economic Report - November 2020
    published on December 17th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Hello,

    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.

    For discussion, please head over to the official forum thread.




    0 produced.vs.destroyed

    1 regional.stats

    2 destruction.value.by.region

    2 destruction.value.by.region bar

    3 mining.value.by.region

    3 mining.value.by.region bar

    3 npc.bounties.by.region

    3 npc.bounties.by.region bar

    4 production.value.by.region

    4 production.value.by.region bar

    5 trade.balance.m3.by.region

    5a trade.balance.by.region

    6 trade.value.by.region

    6 trade.value.by.region bar

    6 trade.value.by.region barforge

    6a contract.trade.value.by.region bar

    7 imports exports

    8 net exports

    9a sinksfaucets

    9aa services breakdown

    9aaa top.sinks.faucets.over.time

    9b isk.float.3

    9c velocity

    9d economy.indices

    9d economy.indices.short

    9ea index.decomp.ConsumerPriceIndex

    9eb index.value.decomp.ConsumerPriceIndex

    9fa index.decomp.MineralPriceIndex

    9fb index.value.decomp.MineralPriceIndex

    9ga index.decomp.PrimaryProducerPriceIndex

    9gb index.value.decomp.PrimaryProducerPriceIndex

    9ha index.decomp.SecondaryProducerPriceIndex

    9hb index.value.decomp.SecondaryProducerPriceIndex

    destroyed value (sqrt)

    peak concurrent players

    stargate jumps


  • Fury at FWST-8 Battle Report
    published on December 13th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    In October we published an article announcing that two Guinness World records had been awarded to EVE Online in the aftermath of the battle known as Fury at FWST-8. In it we provided some information about the prelude to this current war, going back to 2016.

    Today, we’ll take a closer look at the Fury at FWST-8 itself and provide you with some statistics about what you the players put into creating this record-breaking battle.



    The Objective


    Hostilities in this current war commenced on 5 July 2020 when the non-invasion pact between the Imperium and Legacy Coalition came to an end. Shortly after, Legacy Coalition along with Pandemic Horde, Pandemic Legion, Northern Coalition, Winter Coalition and many other allies (henceforth referred to as “PAPI”) began their push west towards the Imperium-held regions of Delve, Querious, Period Basis and Fountain.

    The next 3 months saw PAPI forces gain ground as the Imperium, reckoning that they couldn’t mount an effective defense of the entirety of their sprawling empire in the face of such overwhelming numbers, ceded outlying regions in a strategic move to concentrate defensive efforts in their home region of Delve.

    Finally, by 4 October PAPI had arrived on the Imperium’s doorstep.

    coalition map combined

    However, Delve was a heavily fortified region. Since 2016 the Imperium had been building up their defensive infrastructure: Citadels, Engineering Complexes and Refineries to stage their fleets from, a private jump bridge network to speed their travel around the region and of course accumulating massive stockpiles of ships, modules and ammunition. Fighting in the Imperium’s backyard would be a daunting task.

    In order for PAPI to push into Delve they would need the support of their supercapital fleets - their Titans and Supercarriers. For the time being though PAPI’s supercapitals were held on the borders of Imperium space. With a limited jump range there was only so far they could project their power into Delve, and with no safe harbour in the region itself they would find themselves exposed and fighting in the shadow of the Imperium’s own considerable supercapital fleet whenever they deployed. And so the next strategic goal of PAPI forces was to online a Keepstar-class Citadel somewhere in Delve as a forward operating base.

    This posed a problem since anchoring a Keepstar takes significantly longer – nearly a full week, in fact – in a system with an enemy Infrastructure Hub and high Activity Defense Multipliers; something which all Imperium-held systems in Delve enjoyed. So PAPI instead looked towards the Delve constellations of XPJ1-6 and 6-UCYU. Because the systems in these constellations were held by the Blood Raiders NPC faction and so contained no Imperium Infrastructure Hubs, it meant that a Keepstar would take only the usual 24-hour period to complete anchoring.

    Of course, the Imperium also knew this was the most logical strategic move for PAPI to make and any attempt to establish a Keepstar in one of the Blood Raiders systems would be fiercely resisted.

    PAPI would make their move just after midday UTC on 5 October. The system chosen for the attempt would be FWST-8.

    Delve is a region that consists of 97 individual solar systems. A Titan with max skills is able to jump itself or bridge friendly fleets up to 6 lightyears away, meaning that a fleet of Titans based out of a Keepstar in FWST-8 would be able to project their power over 69 systems in Delve - 71% of the entire region. This represented a threat that the Imperium had to prevent at all costs.

    FWST-8 Jump Range EN

    Imperium forces reacted swiftly to PAPI’s attempt to anchor a Keepstar and flash-formed in response to strike during its initial 15-minute vulnerability window. After a 5 hour battle the Imperium forces were victorious and the Keepstar lay in ruins. However before the smoke had even cleared a second Keepstar had been deployed by PAPI elsewhere in the system and was able to successfully begin the anchoring process. It would become vulnerable again in 24 hours and the fight that ensued would become the biggest PvP battle in video game history.

    The Battle


    At 16:34 on 6 October with an hour to go on the Keepstar’s anchor timer PAPI’s Jackdaw Tech III destroyers began to arrive on grid supported by interceptors and interdictors. They were followed shortly after by some fleets of Muninn heavy assault cruisers.


    50431600482 af60a304ba 6k

    Numbers in local continued to grow steadily with the local count passing 4,000 at 16:52 as the first battleships consisting a Nightmare fleet accompanied by Eagle heavy assault cruisers landed and began taking up positions around the Keepstar. With the grid secured, PAPI would soon bring in supercapitals at the centre of the defensive formation right on the Keepstar.

    At 17:36 with local topping 6,000 players the Keepstar's anchoring process completed, started its repair timer phase and was once again vulnerable to attack. The Imperium would only have a narrow 15 minute window to apply enough damage to pause the timer so they could set about destroying the Keepstar.

    50431574932 20baa94059 6k

    Almost immediately Imperium Rokhs and Ravens began landing on grid in a distributed sphere adding a mantle of battleships to envelop the core of defenders and began pouring fire onto the Keepstar from long range. The Imperium successfully paused the repair process at 17:43 with 8 minutes left on the timer. Imperium dreadnoughts and carriers began trickling in and slowly built up the critical mass of damage needed to chew through the Keepstar's structure hitpoints.

    Thousands of players would continue to battle through the night as Imperium dreadnoughts rained destruction down on the station while PAPI Titans attempted to doomsday them off. In between those giant ships exchanging blows, dozens and dozens of smaller skirmishes between subcapital fleets played out as well as more personal battles between individual frigates, destroyers and the occasional stealth bomber appearing to fling a bomb into the mix.

    50430709853 bdb2dcbb53 6k

    At 05:27 on the next day - 11 hours and 44 minutes after the repair timer was paused - the last of the Keepstar’s structure hitpoints were worn away and it finally succumbed, exploding in a dazzling flash of light. The Imperium had won their strategic objective and PAPI would have to try again if they were to secure their critical beachhead Keepstar in Delve. The victory came at a great cost though with a considerable amount of both sides’ materiel being depleted in the action.

    Dead Keepstar

    PAPI would eventually get a Keepstar online in Delve, however it would take another 3 tries to do so - the Imperium would go on to destroy a further two Keepstars in the system of 319-3D before finally on the fifth attempt, PAPI would successfully online a Keepstar in the system of YZ9-F6.

    The Fury at FWST-8 by the numbers


    If you’ve been following the news about the Guinness World Record set during the battle then you’ll probably know that the number of peak concurrent characters in local was 6,557 which was hit at 18:16, however system population was extremely high for the duration of the 12-hour battle:

    PCU Graph EN

    8,825 unique characters in total were in FWST-8 over the duration of the battle representing some 114 alliances and 1,022 corporations:

    Attendance by Alliance EN

    Unsurprisingly there was also an incredible amount of destruction in FWST-8, including the loss of the most battleships ever in a single battle in EVE Online with 1,308 going down, although interestingly only one of which was a Tech 2 battleship!

    In addition, 1,268 frigates, 836 cruisers, 574 battlecruisers and 356 dreadnoughts were removed from the game, along with 1,923 frozen corpses added:

    Losses by Hull Type EN

    All that adds up to a lot of ISK - over 705 billion:

    Loss Per Hour Graph EN

    Despite the considerable losses this wasn’t the most expensive battle in EVE, owing mostly to the fact that a committed Supercapital fight never broke out, so for now that title still belongs to the Siege of 9-4RP2 from 2018.

    And of course with so many players in the system all at once the server took quite a beating. Despite the system of FWST-8 being reinforced on one of our most powerful nodes, it was quickly overwhelmed and time dilation set in almost immediately as players began piling into the system en masse where it remained maxed out for the entire run of the battle:

    CPU Graph EN

    Records will inevitably continue to fall in New Eden. It seems like every other year there’s another war, a bigger battle and more incredible stories that capture the imagination not just of EVE Online players but the gaming world at large. The Fury of FWST-8 was widely reported on not just in the broader gaming media but the mainstream media as well. Millions of people around the globe have read with great interest about your exploits, but only it’s only EVE Online players who can say “I was there”.

    Battle Pictures: Razorien
    Sovereignty Maps: Verite Rendition
    New Eden Maps: DOTLAN


    Coverage of the Fury at FWST-8 from around the world:

    Guinness World Records - EVE Online’s record-breaking Fury at FWST-8

    MMORPG - EVE Online Players Break Records With Largest PVP Battle In Gaming History

    MassivelyOP - One of the largest PvP battles ever to occur in video game history’ just happened in EVE Online

    PCGamesN - EVE Online space battle breaks two Guinness world records

    Screen Rant - EVE Online Just Had The Largest PvP Battle In Gaming History

    Bleeding Cool - EVE Online Has Broken Two Guinness World Records

    The Gamer - EVE Online Just Broke Two Guinness World Records In One Day

    Tech Gaming Report - EVE Online sets two Guinness World Records in the latest war

    CBR - EVE Online Sets Two Guinness World Records With Latest War

    Jeux Online - FWST-8, la bataille à 8.825 joueurs sur EVE Online (FR)

    Ulyces - 8825 joueurs s’af­frontent dans une bataille spatiale sans précé­dent sur Eve Online (FR)

    Mein MMO - Riesiger Krieg in EVE Online verbrennt über 380.000 € – So lief die bisher größte Schlacht (DE)

    Gamestar - Eve Online: Fast 16.000 Euro Schaden in der größten Schlacht des Spiels (DE)

    Blick.de - Die größte Schlacht in der Geschichte der Videospiele (DE)

    Goha RU - EVE Online — Игроки установили новый рекорд. Самая крупная битва в игровой индустрии (RU)

    4Gamer - 「EVE Online」で大規模な戦争が勃発。CCP Gamesは6557人のパイロットが同時に参加した「FWST-8艦隊戦争」をギネス世界記録に申請へ (JP)

    MMORPGBR - EVE Online quebra dois recordes mundiais em um único dia e entra para o Guinness Book (PT)

    MMO.IT - EVE Online: due nuovi record nel Guinness dei Primati (IT)


  • Monthly Economic Report - October 2020
    published on November 19th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Hello,

    The Monthly Economic Report for October 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.

    For discussion, please head over to the official forum thread.




    0 produced.vs.destroyed

    1 regional.stats

    2 destruction.value.by.region

    2 destruction.value.by.region bar

    3 mining.value.by.region

    3 mining.value.by.region bar

    3 npc.bounties.by.region

    3 npc.bounties.by.region bar

    4 production.value.by.region

    4 production.value.by.region bar

    5 trade.balance.m3.by.region

    5a trade.balance.by.region

    6 trade.value.by.region

    6 trade.value.by.region bar

    6 trade.value.by.region barforge

    6a contract.trade.value.by.region bar

    7 imports exports

    8 net exports

    9a sinksfaucets

    9aa services breakdown

    9aaa top.sinks.faucets.over.time

    9b isk.float.3

    9c velocity

    9d economy.indices

    9d economy.indices.short

    9ea index.decomp.ConsumerPriceIndex

    9eb index.value.decomp.ConsumerPriceIndex

    9fa index.decomp.MineralPriceIndex

    9fb index.value.decomp.MineralPriceIndex

    9ga index.decomp.PrimaryProducerPriceIndex

    9gb index.value.decomp.PrimaryProducerPriceIndex

    9ha index.decomp.SecondaryProducerPriceIndex

    9hb index.value.decomp.SecondaryProducerPriceIndex

    destroyed value (sqrt)

    peak concurrent players

    stargate jumps


  • Memory Improvements
    published on November 13th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Greetings, performance-hungry Capsuleers!

    New Eden is at war again, and with war come new World Record-breaking numbers. An amazing 6557 pilots were in a single system at the same time, although a staggering 8825 players were involved overall.

    Signature to the war are the massive fleet battles which represent opportunities for performance measurement. Valuable knowledge is gained by collecting client measurements during these fights.

    Battles in EVE Online are incredibly dynamic and unpredictable. Your client does not know what ships will be jumping into the system until they enter, so it must load assets at that point. There are a number of assets that need to be loaded for every player including ship model, textures, sounds, weapon models, animations, and visual effects. With hundreds of different ships, SKINs, weapons, and a plethora of ammo types, it is no wonder that the EVE client wants plenty of memory.

    As part of the continuing work to strengthen the foundations of EVE as it goes into its third decade, a further step is being taken to improve client memory performance. While these memory improvements will benefit everyone, they help more dramatically in situations where there will be many different assets loaded by the client such as the large fleet fights mentioned above.

    Since large fleet battles are not always available when needed, specific stress tests have been built. The test below has been affectionately named the “Cube of Death”:

    Cube of Death

    The “Cube of Death” test features 1000 ships that are evenly spaced and stationary. This test facilitates taking reproducible performance measurements between changes – allowing the comparison of before and after results. This particular test shows off the new memory improvements very well, as the most dramatic improvements come from busy scenes with lots of assets.

    Let's talk numbers!

    There are two types of memory that EVE uses: GPU and System. When people discuss “RAM” they are generally talking about system memory, but it is important to understand the difference.

    GPU memory is used to store scene textures, meshes, and other graphics-related data. In a normal desktop PC with a dedicated graphics card, GPU memory is located on the graphics card itself. When you choose higher graphical settings in a game, it will use more GPU memory as a result.

    System memory is used to contain everything else the game needs to run: the Python interpreter, the user interface, sounds, networking, user input from the keyboard and mouse, and the localization engine.

    While both GPU and System memory will see an improvement to memory use, the big winner with this change is system memory.

    In the current version of the EVE client, the “Cube of Death” scene uses about 3600MB of system memory. After the change, it has dropped to approximately 3000MB, or around a 17% decrease in memory use by the client.

    The amount of memory improvement is highly dependent on the scene, but the decrease in System memory use is present no matter if there is one ship or thousands. It will just be more noticeable in scenes that are complex and diverse in nature.

    In conclusion

    The continuing investment in new technology and processes such as the introduction of the 64-bit client, improved crash reports, and now the RAM reduction will set EVE up strongly for its third decade. While much has already been done towards realizing this goal, there are still exciting opportunities and projects still to come.

    Large scale fleet fights in EVE and the significant player wars that take place in New Eden are important to EVE, and this latest improvement is another step towards improving the experience and performance for all players involved in making EVE history, while also writing its future.


  • Upgrading Crash Reporting Systems
    published on November 12th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Detail-oriented Capsuleers,

    New Eden is a complex universe with huge player-driven fights, a vast array of gameplay options, a massive player-controlled market, wormhole civilizations, and much more. Striving to find in-game advantages, players are constantly trying mechanics and interactions which were unplanned and emergent.

    The broad range of player computer configurations have a similar complexity. Operating system versions (including patches), individual system configuration changes, driver versions, and the reliability of the underlying hardware all play a critical role in how the EVE Online client behaves.

    Complex software can fail in complex ways and client crashes not only take you out of the game unexpectedly, but can disrupt that critical moment you have been waiting for. In some cases, the cause is easy to find and a fix can be deployed quickly. In others, the crashes happen so rarely that it is very difficult to reproduce.

    CCP takes client stability extremely seriously. Investments have recently been made to ensure our crash capturing ability is the best it can be, which should result in us finding more crashes and ultimately reducing the number you experience. This along with the bug reports you submit by using F12, will help us to keep the EVE client as stable as possible.


    Upgraded reporting tech

    When the client crashes, it will attempt to upload a crash report to a 24/7 crash monitoring system. After several years using the well-known and popular Breakpad library from Google, a better solution has been selected called the Crashpad library. Note that no information is sent to Google with either library.

    Breakpad sits within the normal EVE client executable. This means that a client crashing can also cause Breakpad to crash, resulting in a lost report. The same situation also happens if the EVE Client runs out of memory; the valuable crash report may be lost.

    Crashpad solved this problem by sitting outside the program it is monitoring. This means you will soon see a separate process running alongside the EVE Client appropriately named “eve_crashmon”.

    It will look like this in Windows task manager:

    This separate application uses no more memory or CPU than the old system it replaces so your experience should remain the same.


    How crash reports are used

    A crash report will typically fall into one of the five categories below: - The crash was caused by the client—confirmed with a reproduction. - The crash was likely caused by the client but with no confirmed reproduction. - The crash was caused by a device driver. - The crash was caused by external software interacting with the client. - The crash was likely caused by a hardware problem.

    While it may sound counter-intuitive, having a crash confirmed as being caused by the client is the best-case scenario. There is a clearer path to implement a fix, test it, deploy it, and monitor the results.

    If the client is likely at fault but the crash cannot be reproduced, your bug reports become increasingly invaluable – more on these shortly.

    Driver issues are normally easy to spot as they will be from the same GPU manufacturer and often the same driver version number. Gathering helpful information from bug reports to give to the GPU manufacturer reduces their time to release a fix.

    Software that interacts with the EVE client occasionally causes crashes. These are often game overlays, screen recording software, or hardware monitoring software that show statistics like GPU, CPU, FPS, and temperature information. Always make sure you're running the latest version of the software as well as the latest GPU driver.

    Finally, hardware issues can be extremely frustrating as they vary from the client running flawlessly for hours to crashing on startup. They often have no clear pattern.


    Bug reports

    Bug reports are one of the most useful tools for solving issues in EVE Online. There are two ways to file a bug report and one is much better than the other. You can go to support.eveonline.com and press the yellow button (helpful) or you can press F12 in game (incredibly helpful).

    If you think you have found an issue, please file a bug report even when you believe that someone else has already done so.

    This is particularly important for technical issues where being able to cross-reference different systems gives much better visibility. For example, if a set of bug reports arrive where graphics are displaying incorrectly and all the reports mention the same GPU manufacturer and series of video card, testing then focuses on those cards to reproduce the problem in-house. This naturally leads to a faster fix being tested, deployed, and monitored.

    The key to a great bug report is to include as much information as you can. A description of the issue, along with possible reproduction steps enables rapid replication.

    When it comes to a client crash, it is extremely valuable to have a bug report filed if the client crashed because of a user action. For example, changing from borderless window mode to full screen causes a repeatable crash. Crash reports are not infallible and may be missing a critical piece of the puzzle that you can provide. Filing the report using the F12 in-game menu will include the important client logs about the crash too, even after a restart.


    Test lab

    As part of CCP’s recent move into new offices, a new test lab was built to our specific requirements. This included increased available space, a more powerful air-conditioning system, and better storage for lots of testing hardware.

    This is where fixes are tested before being deployed – especially when it comes to crash or graphical-related fixes. The lab tests against more than one CPU and GPU family, along with different versions of Windows and Mac operating systems.

    The test lab is not just used for client bug fix testing, but also for performance and compatibility testing. Since EVE Online is run on so many different kinds of machines, this test lab checks that new releases work on the most popular configurations and that performance levels fall within expected values.

    TestLab1

    TestLab2

    The test lab will continue to evolve in tandem with upgrades to the underlying code of the EVE Online client, including the move to DirectX 12 in the future.


    Keeping your software up to date

    Not every crash can be replicated in the test lab. Keeping your OS up-to-date is important not just for security, but also for ensuring that operating system defects get fixed. Both Windows and Mac will automatically update on a regular basis and players are encouraged to run the latest OS patches where possible.

    Device drivers are a little more complex, as they sometimes require manually updating to the latest version. Reports frequently arrive from users that are running a graphics card driver that is several years old – and their issue is fixed by simply updating to the current driver.


    Hardware troubles

    One of the most difficult cases is the suspected hardware fault. Without having access to the physical machine, these are difficult to verify. Given enough time, every component in your computer will fail. When these failures occur, they normally show as a one-off crash report that has been caused by a situation that should be impossible for the client to find itself in.

    While troubleshooting PC hardware issues can be complex, five of the more frequent issues with hardware related game crashing are: - GPU issues: Sometimes these will be shown as a corrupted image with unexpected colors, or a checker box effect being rendered. At other times, a game may drop back to the desktop with a “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered” message – although this is not always hardware related. - RAM issues: When RAM has failed, random crashing will often occur, or you will experience BSODs*. If you have a large amount of memory that has a single failed address, then it may only cause an issue very infrequently. - Overclocking: This has become more popular in the last few years due to motherboard manufacturers making it easier. While overclocking can offer rewarding performance increases, it does come with stability risks. If you encounter crashing issues with an overclock, it is recommended to return the system to stock values, and see if the issue persists. - PSU issues: Unfortunately, a bad power supply can make almost anything in your system look like it is at fault. It is recommended to use a quality power supply to ensure long term system stability. If a computer often crashes when under high load, then the power unit is something that should be investigated. - Overheating issues: These are usually caused by an excessive amount of dust being present or fans not sufficiently cooling due to bearing failure. Depending on what component is overheating, overheating can cause anything from poor performance to complete application crashing.

    If you suspect you may have faulty hardware, thankfully there are many free programs to test your system stability. Popular recommendations are memtest86 for RAM and OCCT for general system stability. If you encounter any failures during system testing, the EVE client is likely to also experience problems at some point.


    What does the future hold?

    Our current crash reports include lots of useful information for debugging which significantly helps us resolve issues. However, they are unable to provide any context to wider issues such as how many players are experiencing this problem. CCP really wants to know “What percentage of players have experienced a new (previously unknown) crash so far today since the patch yesterday, and how does this compare to last week?” While we can find this information out with our current systems, it does involve the manual work of linking these events together.

    In the future, we want dashboards showing us complex situations unfolding as they happen. To do this, we would need to monitor the health of all EVE Online clients in real-time. The move to Crashpad and having a crash monitoring process outside of the EVE Client is one of the first steps toward this.

    Crashpad + Sentry as the endpoint for our crash reports allows us to monitor, filter, and take action quickly. Then to improve responsiveness, the next step is to integrate some of the recent improvements from their native SDK.

    Thank you and remember to press F12 to file a bug report if needed.


  • Encounter Surveillance System Update
    published on October 30th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Thieving Capsuleers!

    CONCORD has been working on a major upgrade to the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) and the new version is finally ready to roll out. The new ESS will come online alongside the Dynamic Bounty System (DBS) and together they will reshape ratting in Nullsec as you know it.

    ESS History

    The original ESS was meant to offer Nullsec residents the chance to juice up their systems with better bounty payments at the risk of having of their earnings stolen by roaming player pirates. The concept was strong but clever players highlighted several cases - including risk/reward-related and deployment location issues - that exhibited much opportunity for improvement. With lots of learning now in-hand, the aim is to revisit the concept with more focus on creating a flashpoint for conflict across Nullsec.

    Key Takeaways

    • The ESS is no longer optional and will be present by default in all Nullsec solar systems.
    • The location of the ESS is public and sits behind an acceleration gate with specific ship class access.
    • Payouts from the ESS happen automatically to contributing PvE bounty earners and no longer need to be retrieved in person.

    Breaking the Bank

    Like the current ESS, a percentage of bounties generated in the solar system will be delivered to the ESS rather than the player's wallet. Unlike the current ESS, the take will now be split between two banks: - The Main Bank – This is where the majority of the money goes. It pays out automatically every 3 hours to contributors, but can be stolen from at any time by invaders. - The Reserve Bank – This is the real jackpot. A smaller portion of each bounty is placed in the Reserve Bank where it sits until claimed by someone on grid who has a consumable key required to unlock it. When stealing from the Reserve Bank, you will be paid over time at a rate that spools up to a maximum then winds back down. You will get to decide how long this cycle takes to complete, and in turn, how much you stand to gain. These keys will be available via gameplay content at a later date, and its availability, as well as the timing of its release, will depend on how the players will interact with the ESS after going live. More information to follow later!

    For those wanting nitty-gritty details, you will have to wait until the feature is live and log in to discover them.

    Earn Your Keep

    The new ESS will have a unique set of on-grid rules to encourage good fights and avoid troll-like tactics. The ESS rule set, which affects a 75km radius around the structure, contains the following: - Warping is disabled - MJDs are disabled - MWDs are disabled - Cloaking is disabled - No cynos may be lit - No filaments may be activated

    Together, these conditions will demand commitment from anyone hoping to get their hands on someone else’s hard-earned ISK. Of course, the meta that develops around the ESS will be monitored and adjustments will be made as needed.

    All-in-all there is much excitement to see how this new version of the ESS pans out. More action for residents and roamers alike will emerge as players plan heists and protect their space.

    Fly it like you stole it!

    Please head over to the official thread on EVE Online forums to provide feedback and discuss the ESS Update with fellow pilots.


  • Champions of the Abyss – The Results!
    published on October 27th, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Champions of the Abyss has concluded and a huge congratulations to the overall winner - Cable Uta!

    As announced back in July, to become one of the Champions of the Abyss capsuleers had to rack up the most wins cumulatively across all nine Proving Grounds events during Quadrant 3 - and many of you put in a lot of effort!

    Here is the final Top 10 of the contest:

    | Rank | Characer Name | Total Victories | | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | | 1 | Cable Uta | 1678 | | 2 | uMillenium | 916 | | 3 | Tikktokk Tokkzikk | 746 | | 4 | Suitonia | 737 | | 5 | Gorski Car | 653 | | 6 | Frigate Gun | 627 | | 7 | SKYKILLER RUSSIAN | 586 | | 8 | NeedsToBeReal | 564 | | 9 | Kirzath | 557 | | 10 | Auraus Porcaleus | 507 |

    The result should come as no surprise – Cable Uta finished in first place on the leaderboard of every single Proving Grounds event during the Zenith quadrant (even if sometimes just narrowly!) and ended up almost doubling the number of wins of his nearest rival, uMillenium.

    The prizes for this contest have begun to make their way out to the winners.

    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 (spoiler: they all chose Dramiels)

    And finally, Cable Uta can probably expect the most prominent news outlet in the cluster to feature him an episode to air sometime soon!™

    Thank you to all capsuleers who chased the glory of becoming one of the Champions of the Abyss and those of you who participated in the Proving Grounds over Quadrant 3 just for fun!


  • CONCORD introduces the Dynamic Bounty System
    published on October 23rd, 2020 at 01:50 AM

    Dynamic Capsuleers,

    CONCORD is adopting a new Dynamic Bounty System (DBS) for bounty payouts across Nullsec space. This will reward those daring enough to hunt pirates in more dangerous space where their stronger presence is a greater threat to Capsuleer safety. Solar systems where pirate activity is under firm control by Capsuleers will see payments lowered. DBS is now live on the Singularity test server and will be live on Tranquility in November!

    The universe will become both reactive to - and self-correcting from - Capsuleer behavior. These changes will not take the form of wild swings but will move slowly over the course of days to weeks in response to changes in activity.

    This will see income generation more evenly spread across New Eden with large corporations needing to utilize more of their space over time if they want to keep their current levels of income. In addition, DBS will bring benefits to ongoing anti-botting efforts by making it easier to highlight suspicious activities and take appropriate actions.

    How does it work?

    Every solar system will now have an ever-changing bounty multiplier that is applied to any bounty payout earned in the system. As an example, if the solar system multiplier is at 110% and you kill a pirate that has 100,000 ISK bounty, the payout will now be 110,000 ISK. However, some of that will be captured by the revamped Encounter Surveillance System (ESS), which you will hear more about next week.

    This multiplier will always be visible via the starmap so that you can locate high-value solar systems in which to hunt pirates.

    bounty example This multiplier will get adjusted constantly based on what’s happening in the solar system:

    • Excessive ratting? Multiplier goes down
    • High level of player combat and death? Multiplier goes up
    • Empty system? Multiplier stabilizes at an equilibrium value.

    Of course there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to set the rate of change, but the three points above are all you need to effectively plan your bounty hunting activities.

    The benefits of DBS

    There are two main benefits that come from shifting to a more dynamic system:

    1. Dynamic systems and a constantly shifting ecosystem provide opportunities for dedicated Capsuleers to separate themselves from others. Learning to predict future high-pay areas, hunting in current low-pay areas (where you know there’s excessively safe ratting happening), and choosing your daily ratting grounds based on a new set of factors every day will make every part of Nullsec life more interesting.
    2. Spreading income generation across New Eden and moving away from massive ratting hubs supported by very concentrated infrastructure will create movement and more conflict. Empires will be stretched thinner and guaranteed protection will come at a more tangible cost.

    This will ultimately determine how much space is necessary to support income generation based on individual player organization sizes and requirements.

    Conclusion

    Abundance breeds complacency and scarcity breeds war.

    Predictable inputs lead to stagnant outputs.

    Autarky is Anathema to Free Trade.

    The DBS will begin impacting the playing field between small entities and large entities when it comes to the efficiency with which they can exploit their territory. This is a step to innovate and improve EVE Online for its third decade by introducing more dynamic systems that respond to player actions. The results will be unpredictable and truly rest in the hands of the capsuleers.

    Next Up

    Rumor has it that CONCORD is nowhere near finished with its updates to bounty payouts in Nullsec space and is targeting the Encounter Surveillance System (ESS) next, so stay tuned for more on that next week!

    Fly safe.

    Join the discussion over on the EVE Online Forums


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