EVE Serenity needs CCP's attention

https://eve.163.com/news/official/20180803/29109_768256.html
Netease says that the Project Galaxy will be developed on their Neox engine. Maybe that’s the point of partnership?

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The Serenity eve-offline graph of recent 2 days looks really weird. The peak player count dropped considerably(Imagine if that happens on TQ). Some tieba rumors say that the botters offlined their bots after being tipped that Netease GMs are taking over now and the skill extract ban after first ban will apply after Netease takeover.

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I’ve been looking at the eve-offline graph for months, but the graph of last day just look really horrible. A lot of dips and even a great dip that disconnects 80% of the online count.

The strange thing is, I’ve seen almost no threads on tieba complaining about being disconnected often, and I can’t find any further evidence to proof anything.

Only a few tieba posts alleged “malfunctioning bots”(e.g. tieba.baidu.com/p/5840857712) but the evidence is not strong enough.

Maybe it is just poor maintenance caused “socket closed” issues that everyone get used to
Maybe it is something they set up in the software to trip the bots.

So is your assumption that 80% of connected clients are bots at this point? I mean, can’t it only be good then to get rid of them altogether and somewhat re-start Serenity?

Serenity is a bit more advanced in terms of botting than Tranquility, though there is an ongoing tech transfer obviously. Picture the challenge as one of expectations and conditions. The ratio of human to supporting accounts is nuts on Serenity, worse even than on TQ (which says a lot), and yes the bulk of such associated accounts are scripted. Not botted as we refer to here, but the majority is script supported, so with different methods and alternate - seamless - switching between manual and automated gameplay.

What got cleaned up there is old bot tech, and TianCity supported stuff. The rest’s still there, and yes there is a big challenge as the bulk of that is integral to the functionality of the dynamic. It’s a programmative organisational approach pretty much like what Dual Universe is integrating, but which is detrimental to EVE.

Meanwhile, no telling if it is temporary or not but there are interesting indicators, there’s more and more Chinese arriving on TQ. Via VPN, and with the recent connectivity issues with people here switching to VPN it’s making it much harder to identify them beyond client flags.

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My other guess is that Tiancity just run out of budget to keep the server stable enough without visible dips, or they prefer disconnect spikes over node/server death, or the two servers work differently.

In comparison, the graph of Tranquility(check for yourself on eve-offline.net) is pretty smooth without major dips. Even in cases like 2018/07/17 - Connectivity & Server Issues or 2018/07/19 - UALX-3 Node Death the graph is still pretty smooth without 5-minute long dips that disconnects more than 20% of players.

However, the thread by one representative who spoke with Hilmar(https://tieba.baidu.com/p/5828098565) vaguely says otherwise. “但是从非官方渠道的消息,服务器没有撤减的迹象”(translates “according to unofficial source the server is not being withdrawn”). I am taking this statement with a grain of salt because if it is officialy endorsed it should not come from an unofficial source and be written with more certainty.

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Just FYI Tiancity started banning accounts (about 440 so far) again after a sharp decline of ban count in June and July. Will update the graph in #146 in the end of the month.

Is it fair to assume that Serenity has a more extreme graph, due to most players living in China? It looks like you have the steep curve to zero around downtime and a steep curve up and down around evening in China in the main chinese TZ.

On TQ we have at the very least US, EU and Asian/Aus timezones, so things might seem more even.

Edit: ah, now I see what you meant. The drops from one minute to the other. Strange indeed.

I think this issue started after the June 13 unscheduled DT and I don’t remember seeing any of those dips before that. Dear @Chribba, would you like to share some data of Serenity about the dips in the graph?

That is a fair estimate of the future of Tranquility too. Null have this specific role in the game that it doesnt gather too much players but it needs them a lot for alliance power creep, there goes bot if nobody (CCP) cares. It ends in 80% estimated bot clients.

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Serenity has about 1/3-1/4 the population of TQ, and with such low population density bots do not compete that much with humans than in TQ. In fact, bots are necessary to utilize the resources in contrast to TQ. You would hear complaints that “bots ratted/mined everything so I have nothing to do” in TQ but not in Serenity.

Humans always wil try to find more efficient way of dealing with these tasks that are repeatable ad nauseam and provide so little fun it feels like work in a stone quarry counting pebbles. Cant really blame players. The fish is starting to rot in beginning from the head (not literally). Players are not the head of CCP or any body that is in charge of EVE servers.

It does make sense. EVE’s model of creating in-game items and trading them around in order for people to have the things they want to play with, depends on a large enough people actually doing that. Producing things, allocating ressources and so on. If there are simply not enough players, bots have to do the work.

Actually, I wouldn’t be against botting on TQ, if there were specified areas of the economic gameplay that allowed bots, while excluding them from all other activities. For instance: mining and running anoms. These activities are so extremely stupid and soulcrushing, that it would be far better for the mood in the game if bots did them. CCP could even offer their own bots for those specific activities.

PVP, Missions, DED Sites, moving around, Industry, the markets and so on should be strictly anti-botting though.

Exactly. CCP introduced the age of mining and they can’t even wheel it back, the damage has been done. Bots don’t have to be bad for the game, if they were allowed for everyone, provided by CCP and limited to just a few activities, that are anyway beyond stupid if a real person has to do them.

If CCP were to introduce and allow the usage of their own mining/bounty bots, those should of course not have the same evasive capabilities as illegal bots do.

I’m sure I can, just need to know what’s needed.

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if your going to have bots do all the “boring” stuff, then why not just automated the whole process. would save on server lag if they just handed us a steady stream of isk instead of having an “anom bot”

and maybe have daily ore deliveries that can auto-magically appear in our hangars. after all, its boring and a bot may as well do it. so lets take out the middle man.

while we’re at it, how about allowing us to teleport resources anywhere in game so we don’t have to do any boring hauling stuff.

and scanning for targets is pretty boring as well, I should be able to press a button and have an opponent brought right to me.

You may have misunderstood the context. I clearly said that if at all, botting should be allowed for mining and anom ratting, and everything else should be better protected against botting.

A “steady stream” instead of an CCP-given bot would be bad, because it would mean less active chars and no losses for the bots. That’s not good.

Bots are there and while they’re not allowed, CCP is not getting a hold on them, despite doing the best they can. One underlying reason is that some of the PVE content is easily automated.

If they were able to largely stop botting, I wouldn’t propose anything like that. But they aren’t. This means that players who don’t bot will always be at a disadvantage simply by obeying the rules (which they should).

In my view, this is the major problem with botting. We don’t find anything wrong with having endless fuel supplies for our ships, being capable to freely steer our ship in near vakuum or traveling faster than the speed of light, right? How come, we think that mining, as in mechanically working on a piece of ore in order to create small transportable chunks of it, should be done manually? It doesn’t make any sense. If you were honest with yourself, you’d ask for all around need for manual tasks that fits the state of technology in which one has to manually mine. Like, you’d have to ask for manually refueling your ship, spending years to traverse a solar system and so on. But you don’t. Just think about how moon mining had to take a technological step back because it served CCPs vision of many new mining accounts vs. the introduction of Skill Injectors which allowed for instantaneous skill progression. It’s not about automating vs. doing things manually/tedious, it’s only about if chars have to be used for it.

Please let’s look with a certain honesty at mining.
People who mine usually create several accounts for this, inject into Rorquals or train into Exhumers or whatnot. The profit for CCP is of course the higher demand of active accounts. The profit for the players is to keep up with the others. The current state of Nullsec Anom mining but also the complete abundance of moon minerals after the changes and re-distribution, combined with Skill Injectors, make it possible to create extreme amounts of base ressources. And if something useful is doable in EVE, you have to do it, you have to adapt, otherwise you’ll be at a disadvantage.

So, why not keep the basic principle of it, but instead of forcing players to sink time into tedious clicking of the always same stuff, make the most boring tasks of mining and anom-ratting legally bottable, by bots provided by CCP. Just like Autopliot or so. Don’t allow these bots to be as efficient as players who are at their keyboard, have them run on actual chars that need to be logged in and in Omega state, don’t include any safety/evasive measures and to repeat, limit those to mining and (maybe) anom ratting. There is no better way to beat the existing bots than to introduce CCP’s own bots.

Players will steel need to inject into Rorquals, train for mining skills, move their ships in place, move their pilots into the Anom, but the rest of the tedious stuff will be automated. If this is truly the “age of industry” in EVE, it is about time to cut unnecessary time-sinks that could only ever compete with actual gameplay or a somewhat proper real life.

Now, tell me what you think the downside of that would be? I only see more subscriptions (because people who hate timesinks would have no issue running two extra chars mining), less time-sinks (which means more time for fun stuff in the game) and a strong punch against existing illegal bots.

Not good enough?

@zluq_zabaa

The fundamental issue with all of the above is that unlike other games, for example Dual Universe, EVE was only initially designed to fly spaceships, blow them up, make a little isk - rinse and repeat. Once people figured out how to be awesome at and with that, and how teamwork hooked right into enabling more fun, people started to make stories, even mythology, and CCP began to cater to that.

The result of this was that it wasn’t the mechanics of it all that was driving things, it was the stories being made. Not only did this have fundamental impact on shaping the game itself, it also provided the triggers to grow the game. When stories are made, people want to tell them.

In other words: what made EVE work and (!) what made EVE grow was behaviour. That was the driver of everything, including the development of features, mechanisms and later on even game niches.

Note how different this is from CCP’s focus on model changes after the Summer of Rage. But that as an aside, but do not underestimate the impact on foundation elements of EVE.

Anyway :slight_smile: Since both the container and the mechanisms and the niches are rooted in behaviour, EVE is not a game suitable for a programmable approach, no matter how vulnerable it is to this (especially so). Anything that compromises those foundation elements immediately instigates perception problems (first) and stimulus problems (second).

Every time EVE had a bit of a stumble, you can backtrack the pattern to exactly that. Here’s the kicker, when dealing with a programmable environment perception problems matter little. When dealing with a behavioural environment they determine survivability of said environment. You could replace the entire population with blank slates and you would still face that challenge.

This presents issues, obviously. It puts CCP in the equivalent of the eternal race between the bullet and the armor (and not just in relation to programmable actions / environment interaction). Invent new armor, the botmaker comes up with a new bullet. And so forth. As they said, they cannot win it. They can only prevail facing it constantly.

Letting go of those root / foundation concepts is pretty much impossible. In spite of CCP’s own attempts, EVE’s way too complex, too vested, and unless they kill off every pilot and seed the universe with new babies they can indoctrinate for 5 years there’s no changing this.

Yet at some point, and I hate to say this, CCP will have to consider options (beyond the F2P / historic trauma related focus of strict technical approaches). Unless, and this is the real benchmark, CCP find a way to not just get more accounts, but to get more warm bodies.

Since F2P a character has become a lot less than an identity. It’s become a tool. Interexchangeable, customisable, disposable. This diminishes the foundation of behavioural psychology related to creating and sharing stories. One of the biggest noticeable and measureable identifiers of this is the direction and cohesion of segment / subgroup communicaties in a population. It’s become inward bound, and fragmented. CCP has made this worse, after the Summer of Rage, through policy. Smart policy at the time, necessary even, but it has gone way too far.

As identity diminishes, so does association, so does participation. Sure, it provides brilliant hooks for gratification triggers (shortcuts, F2P), but that is walking a very very fine line in regards to something we touched upon earlier, in spite of content additions everything on a behavioural level has been done a million times over again and has been warded against. EVE has become conservative, conformist, in terms of social psychology. Funny bit, both former CCP’s Zulu and Seagul warned against this respectively.

So what you have is a virtual universe founded on and standing or falling by behavioural routines where perception problems are the prime cause of retention/acquisition/resource allocation problems. Inserting a programmable game design focus into that is lethal.

It’s where Dual Universe has an advantage, beacuse they get to learn from the best and worst practices of others, including CCP, as well as the evolution of technology and behavioural interaction with it. But it will result in something which is not EVE. It won’t be life, it will be a game. As CCP probably knows, as they do have their eyes on the inside :slight_smile:

I get what you are saying, honestly I do. You do touch on issues which need tackling. But the technical model approach of game design is inherently flawed as it encompasses less than half of the full picture. Opening the door under such circumstances for what constitutes options of / towards a programmable environment (means, mechanisms, not “environment” as we know it since EVE doesn’t really have that, see the earlier discussion on entropy / cataclysm / environment) is extremely dangerous.

Yes, I agree that the current situation, and the currently present patterns, provide a set of perception and actual problems which are slowly but certainly impacting foundation elements of the dynamic. But the angle of approach to that challenge, should not be automation.

To be blunt: CCP needs to find ways to stimulate non-conformist behaviour, to reaffirm process of identity and association, to unify communication pathways, to insert behavioural triggers for that to become outward bound once again - ideally at minimum chaos actors / options for all of the things individuals and organisations have warded against in their by now conservative behaviour.

To a degree CCP is doing this. But in a very limited manner and scope. It is merely sufficient to provide a technical monitoring output, not a behavioural. NPC Miners, Pirate Strongholds etc. The F2P focuses is dominant in every bit of prioritising and resource allocation. There’s a bit of irony here too, players mirror CCP, CCP mirrors players. Conservative, conformist.

Someone’s got to be, what in my field is known as, the chaos actor with vision and presence. Human dynamics thrive on it. Surges in the real follow the upheaval, but this is the virtual. Behavioural or not, this can be planned and plotted for :slight_smile:

you find mining and anom ratting boring, I find gate camping and hauling boring. someone else is gonna find scanning boring. so if your gonna automate the boring stuff, automate all the boring stuff. or… just leave it the way it is and don’t allow bots at all.

bots are not NEARLY as common as people seem to think they are, sure they exist, market bots in particular, but what many people assume is a bot, is 9 times out of 10 just a person who has optimized their activity to an insanely high degree. just because you find that level of optimization unbelievable doesn’t mean that it is impossible or that it has to be a bot, and that is where I think a lot of this idea that bots are running rampant comes from.

At least most miners with multible accounts don´t do that much while watching streams…
And you can do AFK-ratting in a VNI. Without a bot. And hauling…
And the only way to be sure as player is to ask the guy. If he or her gives a damn and answers…

Yes, regular optimisation and scaling processes make it difficult to distinguish human from bot/scriptrunner activities. It is after all only human to min/max, and in EVE players get triggered to do so quite a bit.

The challenge of automation however begins to surface when you start looking at the second part of it, scaling processes. Some years ago CCP cracked down on this, in regards to multiboxing. But that was at a time of traditional tech and methods. As always, matters evolve.

When you look at the remarkable concentrations of demographics that surface during large scale engagements, taking into account ratios of primary / secondary / alternate characters for such environments, it is interesting to note that particularly since F2P there has been a remarkable pattern of concentration and decrease of human elements, while the character elements have increased. Take note of what percentages of EVE’s demographics were active during the recent big engagements, and how across the rest of EVE active population took a nosedive during those moments.

In other words, demographics has become smaller in human terms, yet larger in terms of accounts. What’s more, on top of this there’s more accounts active concurrently. Then look at CCP’s economic reports.

As I said elsewhere, traditional botrunners are present, but it is at the individual level and CCP handles that quite decently. But there is a new evolution in regards to concurrent and organised activities which has been present and spreading for some time. Wait until you see a convoy of Jumpfreighters running back and forth in a synchronised manner, or note how in every big engagement there’s groups of characters which synchronise activity while in small or hybrid engagements none is present at all. And wait until you see the PI groups run their affairs in perfect timing and synchronised reactions across multiple systems by the multiple dozens at a time. And wait until you see covetor miner groups in null, you’ll see how very different those are from the humans that show up when an alliance announces the timer for a moon mining op. And wait until you see 10 rorquals in one system typing the same thing at the same time, followed by someone apologising for “misconfiguration”, after which you move on and come across a guy ratting with a hel but it turns out to be 12 of them. Meanwhile scripted activity on markets goes on, same for npc and player couriers / logistics, and so forth.

Do not underestimate the distribution and presence of automation, it’s taken different forms, transformed in activity, moved on from traditional implementations. What we describe as botting is but a small subset of the bigger picture, where organised automation dominates.