BlackOut: Dissecting the Experiment

Okay, so, I yank CCP’s chain pretty hard at times. (Not that they notice or anything.) This is actually not because I dislike CCP (I like them, but don’t like their corporate culture/performance/decision making process), it’s not because they ruined my playstyle (I never really had one), it’s not because they aren’t ‘free’ enough or ‘easy’ enough or whatever.

I just wish they would stop pretending they know how to design games and focus on getting some people and some programmers on board who can actually turn EVE into the amazing game it’s always been capable of, rather than the mildly interesting game that it’s usually been (for my taste, YMMV).

THAT SAID, I say “Kudos to CCP for taking the risk with the Blackout experiment and seeing what happens”.

Some people will say “Great it’s over, never shoulda happened!”. Others say “DOOM! CCP chickened out!”. But they said it was an “undetermined duration” event, and so it was.
Nullsec Local Blackout Incoming

While the matter is still fresh in everyone’s minds, we should forego the vitriol over “Hated it/Loved it” and instead bring some analysis from the players perspective on what specifically was good about it, bad about it, and most importantly, how it could be tweaked to make it better.

I’m not a nuller, and I don’t care much about the effects of null aside from the fact that the current Null setup (pre-BO) is boring and uncreative and leads to economic distortion and lame playstyles.

From my view, all I see is that BO drove down Plex prices (which can be good or bad depending on your view) and caused major drops in a lot of game statistics.

What do people who actually have direct knowledge of Null think? What was the single best and worst effect from the change?

As for ‘ways to make it interesting’, I’ve been thinking about ways to make Null better (which is hard because I know very little about it aside from other people’s reports/guides/posts). One idea has been to make Sovereignity a kind of ‘currency’. With new activities that increase sovereignity, and other activities that entities can use to decrease the local owners sov (sov ‘mining’ and theft, as it were).

In this concept, things like the number of people in your corp/alliance would both cost Sov in upkeep, as well as generate Sov with certain activities. They might even be Sov-taxed. Whereas hostile entities could mine/steal/redirect Sov with various black ops, structure, or device mechanics. Sort of like setting up that structure that steals ISK from bounties. Perhaps purchasing Sov could be used as an ISK sink.

So what if maintaining “Sov local” cost Sov, and hostile entities could try to interrupt/blackout your Local by anti-Sov operations? It could also be that “Sov local” only works for the specific corps that pay for it, rather than a whole alliance or sector. That means even Renters would have to mine/buy/acquire their own Sov currency to be effective.

The first problem I see with this is that, as usual, this would be way easier for the big corps/alliance to pay for/maintain than for the small guys. Unless you maybe put a really big Sov fee on “number of members in corp” as the count gets higher. Which would make smaller corps more effective. And make Sov local more expensive the more corp members that share it.

Anyways, TL:DR: specific discussion of benefits/downsides to BO without the love/hate politics. Anyone up for it?


The problem is not the restoration of Local, its the cave in once again by CCP.

For once it looked like the game might have a balanced future but as usual CCP caved in.

So there is no future for the game as the norm is null and everyone else might as well not bother. With the rewards for Null so high, there was hope the risk vs reward was being fixed but CCP have proved they never will.

So we are in the winding down of EvE, it might take another 10 years but it is unlikely to get a classic as Null will not like it and CCP will cave.


You understand that ending an event “of undetermined duration” is not the same as caving, right? Well, no, of course you don’t understand that. You’re just repeating the same things you say 10 times per thread in every thread you can.

Well, if anyone has anything original or thoughtful to say, please feel free to toss it in here and just ignore the usual trolls for now.


There are ways to end an experiment and there is a cave in. This was a cave in.

Also this became temporary after Null started to bitch.

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BO forced people to pay attention, to use the dscan rather than just glance at local and assume things were ok.

I have seen orders of standing defence fleets to be formed being ignored and then people complain when they get jumped. there are some complacent players in null and this BO would force them to defend their risk making…if they don’t then they will get ambushed pure and simple.

BO forces people to learn new skills and hone others. it makes people form defence fleets to protect their mining ops and ratting carriers from marauding gangs rather than relying the local or in house Intel channels


Blackout was a nice stress test, a trimming of fat of sorts.

Lets hope that CCP can do something productive with 2 months worth of data they should have gathered…


More like when a ton of null decided to play other games rather than play as a glorified potential pinata for cloaked ships. And a lot of the small guys trying to rat in sub-caps to buy their next doctrine ship or replacement PvP ship pretty much vanished into just not logging in after a couple weeks of BO.

A game is supposed to be a fun diversion… not a job. The closer certain things get to being a job the more people you lose to competition. People with limited time in their 30s are a lot less willing to put up with stuff that hampers what they want to do when they want to do it when they’ve probably only got a couple hours any given night to play at all!

The overall effect of the Black Out was enormously magnified on the smaller entities and individual players without deep reserves in the first place. There are degrees of risk. And most people are willing to take calculated risks when they know most of the variables. The black out basically dropped a multi-ton brick on the risk side of the scale without much in the way of amelioration for players not under the auspices of a bloc umbrella and in possession of a capital ship that can live long enough for the intervention to arrive in the first place. It basically choked out a lot of the small fish in the pond leaving the PvP crowd crying about space being empty of targets.


It was always going to be temporary.

No duration was given, because then people would react in different ways then if they didn’t know when it would end.

Fact finding.

(cue more insults towards CCP and the CSM)


Sorry if you think they are insults towards the CSM.

The CSM is a cancer, you don’t insult a cancer, you identify its spread and then you try to get it cut out.


EVE Lore News at 11
Nullsec alliances banded together and stopped the Drifter Menace. CONCORD found lost stash of juice to power nullsec comms.

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the only issue I have is over the cyno change and it will cripple small corps and casual players. CCP tried to get empire dwellers to go south a few years ago and now there logistics are being seriously impaired and I do know what I am talking about as I work in logistics and distribution in real life.

before jump fatigue and reduction in jump ranges, resupplying bases and station in deep null sec was do able in a few hours, jump fatigue pushed that back to a few days and this change will for push it further still. jumps will have to be timed for quiet periods or an overwhelming defence force would need to be put in place to provide security to the Cyno.

some of these corps have a member count of less than ten. I one is lighting the cyno and another is piloting the capital ship then that leaves only eight other players to act as a defence force assuming that the remaining players are all available to participate. if not then the defence force’s strength is significantly reduced and would need additional support from their alliance which might not be available as it would be needed to defend other key assets during BO.

the only people with significant number to accomplish all of these tasks would be the large blocks.

That was not the communication from CCP.

Yes, we’ll all knew things were going to be iterated on in the future and the game mechanics around intel change again at some point. But both CCP Rise and Hilmar spent many words celebrating the beneficial effects on the economy and telling us how the decrease in resource generation would open doors to future changes to the game. That makes no sense if this was just a “temporary” experiment that would be revert wholesale back to the state we were repeatedly told was unsustainable and a problem.

Please tell CCP for me that it is fine to experiment, but they really need to get their messaging together. From here on the outside, it appears they have no clue what they are trying to do. Is it build a better, more sustainable sandbox game, or make changes that pander to getting the warm bodies/accounts to log in? I mean, I logically know the answer is both, but it doesn’t feel especially good when they bare for the world to see their sacrificing a better game for more warm bodies.


They said it was for an indeterminate period in the announcement. That’s not permanent.


Of course not. But both CCP Rise and Hilmar went on to great length about how great lowering the resource faucets was for the game and what possibilities this opened for future development.

Again, please ask CCP to get their messaging together. It makes no sense to extol the benefits of the blackout and the design flexibility it provides for future changes if they are just going to revert back to the previous state a week or two later.



Edit: Seems like more of the same rudderless game design that continues to tank the game.


Teckos points out that the reason why they’re ending the blackout might be related to economic issues.

I trust him when it comes to financials, so maybe he’s right. It’d also better explain the disappointment that was hearable when they’ve announced the end of the blackout. Maybe it’s not that they want, but that they have to.


Noooo, don’t leave us! D:


I think it was too much. Hopefully the data will be useful for future iterations and ideas. Maybe come up with structures to claw back some sembalance of local. Maybe impose a limited black out on an areas suspected of significant botting.

My comparison of the August 2018/2019 MERs suggest eastern NS was hit very, very hard which could be the botting effect. If the return of local gives rise to new suspected botting maybe impose local blackout in those areas and let players run amok hunting the bots…

But right now, I’m worried about significant deflation in game and a collapse of the in game economy.

Roll it back.


Beyond stating ‘indeterminate period’ at the start of the “experiment” CCP didn’t want to prejudice us one way or the other, they gave us every chance to believe it could become a permanent feature, so that players would not simply wait out the effects. They would do the things to their best advantage in a state of blackout. For some it meant “the lights are out - I’m a going hunting!”— but for some others, it meant cancelling subs. They did “string us along.” The fact we are surprised by the “sudden” rollback, is a sign that they succeeded in getting good data.


Define “good”, players unsubing? Only chaos I see is chaos in CCP actions. If BO is so good for ingame economy why they rolling it back? I think it is obvious there will be a fall in NS production/bounties when players leave the game, it was expected. I don’t think it has anything to do with in-game aspect, it’s just RL money they lost.