Eve has a population cap, stop trying to ignore it

It’s time we stop pretending that there’s no upper limit to the number of ships on a grid.

Eve is an amazing, one of a kind game - a shared, global, persistent game universe. The potential for massive scale is it’s biggest appeal (for me), but when it overpromises and underdelivers on that scale it’s incredibly disappointing. See this video - False Advertising - for an example.

It’s ok that there’s an upper limit - we live in a finite universe! But CCP needs to have the bravery to measure that limit and communicate it well to the users. For any online service, you need to measure your load capacity and have a strategy for when you hit that limit. I think TiDi is an incredible innovation and works well - it can scale server resources 10x over normal, but it isn’t magic. There’s a limit to the number of clients, beyond which things just break.

Instead of giving a frustrating, broken experience, what about this?

  • Use existing server logging and mass test events to determine the number of pilots in system that causes 50% Tidi in a given system.
  • Create a mechanic to allow for population caps. Make it clear when it is or isn’t possible to enter a system. Obviously this is tricky (what happens if someone tries to log in to a system at cap? Maybe they can pick a jump clone in an uncapped system for free?).
  • Communicate that cap clearly in the UI and API, so that everyone is aware of how close we are to the limit.

Obviously the maximum number of clients depends on what those clients are doing. But picking a limit that does well at 50% Tidi allows for variability - if everyone undocks and it spikes to 10% that’s fine, as long as big fights are able to proceed normally.

What are the advantages of this?

  • Players can incorporate population limits into their strategies. Will people stuff systems to block them? Yes, but this already happens - just no one knows the limit.
  • Ensuring the server can handle load properly eliminates frustrating experiences (stuck in tunnel, unable to log in).
  • Extreme Tidi can be fun, but not knowing whether you fired, or whether you undocked isn’t.
  • Instead of stories about the largest, biggest scale fights in Eve talking about how broken the game is, they’ll focus on what the players actually do.

Historically we have proven that no matter what they do , we always end up breaking the server, we have always pushed it to the limit , it has been like this since the game was released.
If they make it to handle a battle of 10k pilots in a system , we’ll bring 15k and so on.

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You have already dismantled your own proposal right there. HARD player cap just begs to be abused and exploited.

There are by far more efficient ways to limit the “active engagement numbers”.
Some ideas may include : Complete removal of the standings system ingame to force standings resets across new eden. This will make huge multi alliance (Coalition / Blue Donut) fights impossible because overviews will be one clusterf*ck. In addition “shooting blue incidents” will be rampant because blue, in game, does no longer exist.

Once that is implemented a hard cap on alliance members can be introduced. for example 500 - 1.000 players in a single alliance. This builds on the standings reset and will further break up massive alliances into smaller ones.

Ultimately this will not only limit the potential pilots involved in these fights but also bring a lot more conflict into stagnant null sec.

Edit : Sorry for hijacking your thread with my own ideas. Can’t get tired enough begging CCP for the removal of the standings system.


I agree with Luwc. CCP should absolutely not communicate population caps to players because that would just tell the big blocs exactly how many players they needed to bring in order to lock down systems during timers.

So, -1 to this idea.

Scratch that, -6,000 to this idea.

This is literally the first time I’ve heard ANYONE say people were pretending about “no upper limit”.
I just remembered that in the past, Jita even had a population cap and people trying to jump in would be stuck on gates waiting for a slot to open up. When did anyone ever pretend there was no “upper limit”?

EVE doesn’t have a per-system population cap. It has limitations on concurrent commands that a node can process - and nodes may contain multiple systems, which is why activity in one system can cause TiDi in another. Hardened nodes have a single system assigned to them and have more dedicated resources to try and increase concurrent command capabilities for said single system, to maximize potential capacity, but there isn’t a set limit on pilots connected - it is entirely dependent upon what said pilots are doing. Combat is the most taxing activity a server can sustain, and certain types of weapons are more stressful than others (like missiles, which have collision mechanics unlike turrets).

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All CCP has to do is to distribute events that have attracted, attract and will always attract massive numbers of people into one spot to several spots. That way we can still have massive battles that everyone can participate in in an enjoyable fashion without losing ships and fun to unresponsive server nodes. Population caps do not work if the underlying system only allows one point of action. With a population cap, groups could win these events by default just because they stuffed the system.

Ok so read me carrefully :
The population cap is know by no one. CCP haven’t code a population cap, yes they’re server suffer if to many people are connecT.
Nowif you make a true “pop cap” in a place, you kill the game beacause it will be easy to exploit to deny fight.

So to take a sov system all we have to do is fly in with a number of players equal to the cap, in corvettes?

Smart, real smart.

There is no population cap nor should there be for the reasons already stated by everyone.

By 2022 or 2023 CCP will have undoubtedly increased the limit yet again and we will probably be having fights with 5000 people on each side and bitching that the servers can’t handle 15,000 players! This is the one area where they have been literally world-leading since Eve first began yet I hear little about it other than complaints as if nothing had changed since the days of regular node crashes and servers dying. Even loading issues like M2 are incredibly rare these days! Once or twice a year, max, there is a gigantic fight that pushes the boundaries and every time CCP promise to raise the capacity and every time they do. It’s the one part of the game that has consistently been improved year-on-year without fail. They know how important the big battles are for marketing purposes and I have complete faith that they will improve again. I also have complete faith that the playerbase will bitch and whinge just the same as they always do - “WHERE DID THE MONEY GO CCP?!?”

Given that this game is a nearly two decade old unplanned, iteration-upon-iteration-upon-iteration nightmare tangle of spaghetti-code, coupled with the very real physical and practical limitations of server hardware, their track record in this area is highly impressive imo.