Time to Call it. Alpha's are a failure

After an initial spike, concurrent users are back down to what they were prior to the Alpha change. CCP’s continual chase of the causal users seems to have fallen off a cliff. CCP’s changes to make eve more causal friendly have seemingly done little to actually bring causals to the game while simultaneously angering and driving away many of its traditional core players who came to Eve for a hard core game and prefer a hard core gaming experience.

CCP has seemingly shot its wad - it has gone micro transaction, sells sp, and went limited ftp with alphas, all were scared cows that nobody ever thought ccp would touch, yet none of this has goosed user numbers. There is seemingly no more low hanging fruit for ccp to grab at. The introduction of daily missions - an overt attempt to bribe people to log in everyday seems to reinforce the notion that CCP is out of big ideas to fix their user numbers. Maybe selling skins and sp balance out the loss of subscriptions but maybe its time to go back to basics. Maybe its time to remember what made eve great to begin with. Maybe CCP should forget about its losing battle trying to win over the causals and go back to making a better game for its hardcore users?

As an aside when I first started playing, I was told by an older player (who has since stopped playing) that you would know the end was near for eve when 3 things happened - 1) ftp; 2) microtransactions; and 3) they open jove space for players. Well 2 of those signs have occurred. the end is nigh?



I would argue that Alpha =/= Casual.


Alpha is beginner or returning player to me.


Well, they are completely reworking the moon mining thing and just recently changed the whole lot of T3C.
You can argue that CCP does “waste” resources on NPE and such but you can’t say they are doing nothing for “core players” either.

I think they are doing it just right to work on both ends.
At his time your older player who stopped playing might have been right. But times also change.

In the end what you are saying is, EVE is dying because CCP makes bad decisions.
I’m glad I don’t share that opinion.


I second the concept that I do not share the OP’s pessimism.

Alpha clones were never about rapidly boosting numbers. They were about giving people ample time to try the game and enjoy it. They were also about letting old characters back into the game on a limited scale to see how EVE has evolved. And if either group opt to subscribe, great. If not, CCP is not charging them or bilking them out of money just to see what is different.

Seems like a nice gesture on CCP’s part instead of saying you must pay to be social with old friends on game. So to me, I see see space as half full and ready to be filled more.

Proof is in the pudding - they spent untold number of hours making the alpha update with the promise that concurrent user numbers would go up. The spent untold number of hours on sp trading with the promise that this would lower the bar to new players joining and drive concurrent user numbers up. They changed crime watch to make the game friendlier because apparently vets were driving the new players away. They changed the npe because apparently that was preventing the new players from joining. None of it has worked. Concurrent user numbers are as low as they have ever been. CCP keeps doing the same thing chasing after mythical new players that never show up, while ignoring that for most of eve’s history none of this was needed or wanted. CCP is in a hole and they simply got to stop digging if they want to get out.

I think its fair to say that the T3C changes were not something that core players wanted - maybe im wrong about that - but it seemed to me more of a dumbing down of the ships - less choices more things being or rails - maybe im wrong about that but the t3c changes for me fit more into the ccp making eve worse narrative.

As for the moon mining changes - meh - ultimately it is the same mining mechanic. The changes will hurt the pure pvp lowsec alliances. Also at the same time it makes so that everything is going to be on a clock - log in miner when moon goo is up, mine, log out - less random people doing random things and more preprogramed game play.

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Nice ideas, but a few details please:

  1. what do you mean by ftp? I know what it means in IT, but is it for alpha or also Omega?
  2. microtransactions? That’s interesting, because about 1 year ago some players asked for an option to buy a ship+skills. For example, you could pay 50 eur/usd and use an Astero with T2 data and relic scanners and so on. That means Mastery level V for that specific ship, not jokes like 10 skills lvl V and 30 skills lvl 2-3! Or maybe pay 10.000 usd/eur for a titan. For life, not yearly! Eventually, if you lost that ship more than X, or Y or Z times, you could pay that fee again, to fly it. When seeing this, a lot of players jumped and simply attacked that player (not the ideas), saying that those were microtransactions that would kill the game. Really, really? LOL.
  3. what is jove space? yes, noob question :slight_smile:

By ftp I mean free to play - which alpha is arguably a limited form of - ccp advertised alpha as being free to play although it is more of an unlimited trial.

By microtransactions I am referring to ccp selling skins, sp and other convenience items.

By jove space - I mean just that - it is an area of space where for lore purposes the jove live which - which is limited to dev access. For a long time people been talking about how to get there that there are wh’s and back doors, etc. . . It drives the imagination because it is forbidden but in truth it is probably just like anywhere else in eve.

All of these were/are sacred cows that People believed ccp would never touch because it would outrage the players. Ofc we now have microtransactions, sp sales and ftp. Only thing left is jove space.

Thats me. I played a few years back and just coming back when I heard of the alpha program. I love to touch base once a week or so, not worth thinking about it if i didnt play at all

When time and ol lady allows, I get a month or two of game time. I wouldn’t bother trying to comeback if I couldn’t keep my toes in the air lock.

I can’t remember that a CCP official made such promise, tbh. What I can remember is them speaking of “a chance” they want to offer. (Referring to the statement of CCP Seagull, iirc that was around Vegas '16) Of course it is easy to interpret this as some kind of promise.

Concerning the T3C changes I can only speak for myself, but I like them. But I don’t know if I would call myself a “core player” still - even with 5 years playing.

True. But it is also summer. And I explain this summer drop slowly getting stronger with the fact, that EVE players getting older.
People tend to go on holidays during summer more often when they become older. They graduate, earn money, go abroad instead of staying at home, having access to their gaming PC. At least that’s what I have experienced during my (EVE) career.
We might not loose active players but time that’s being spent logged in. Maybe they are all stuck with this hell of a meta game. :grimacing:

About Jove space: I would love if they made it available in a creative event like way to the players. With lore & news videos from THE SCOPE. Some crazy mechanics where capsuleers could get slowly more and more access to systems and regions. Maybe introducing a whole new shiptree in the process… oh, don’t mind me. I’m just dreaming.


I may have totally missed it, but CCP never put on a full court marketing press. I know the NPE was holding them back (and for good reasons), but it’s pretty much on track now, right?

Seeing as I am a returning off and on player for the past… 10 years or so. I can say the alpha program was a success. I hadnt paid for EVE since I started, hopping on during their free trials every so many months and doing a few things then quitting till the next trial.

Now that the Alpha program came about, I can and have been able to play the game longer than a few days and enjoy it. I have even subscribed to the game. Granted this last month I just paid with PLEX bought off the market.

Saying something is a failure because it didnt meet your expectations is just flawed foundation for any debate.

Alpha brought me back after a long absence (nearly 10 years). I resubbed pretty quick.

Eve has been FTP ever since you could buy game time with in-game currency. ALPHA just makes it easier as you can take your time to earn enough plex for omega and keep playing even if you don’t earn enough in a month to get omega status again.

Alpha didn’t create FTP. It just made it a bit easier. Plex created FTP.

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LTR we are not talking about my expectations - we are talking about objective measurements of any game’s success i.e. the number of people playing it. Its great that you came back, yada yada yada - you’re a drop in the bucket. Concurrent users are way down, as low as they have ever been. Who knows, maybe it would be even worse without the alpha change? But, I strongly suggest that if CCP got back to its core values, quit worrying about ease of play, then we would be still climbing the slope of CUs instead of seeing its downward side.

What are your suggestions? I am keen to hear them.

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I tend to disagree simply because of the age factor.

Eve’s old. It’s kind of foolish to expect a continuous upward climb in numbers for 15 years. While I think there’s room to draw more in and reach a point where we’re get to a certain level and maintain it… nothing CCP could have done would have caused Eve to have continued growing their playerbase for 15 years.


Easy there, slow your roll.

I was talking about the grand “you” not just YOU the individual.

Every year I would see a post like this pop-up, if not every month. “Oh the game is dieing because of XXXX” well fact is every game is dieing.

I dont mean to come across like a prick but, you are not the first person to become “Chicken Little” and scream the sky is falling. Fact is this game has many more years in it.

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It’s my understanding that the larger community has trouble identifying what the word ‘casual’ means. Many seem to say that it is simply referred to people who have less time to play than others due to real life responsibilities. I doubt those people are in any way truly ruining EVE for everyone.

I’m truly wondering though what the EVE community defines as ‘casual.’ Please enlighten me. Is casual being grouped with the word carebear to mean the same thing in this connotation?

As for the alpha mode, it is meant to be nothing more than an unlimited time trial of the game with specific limitations in place for good reason. It wasn’t likely supposed to solve any and all issues with population decline, but rather be a vehicle to make it easier to try out the game and hopefully up retention of new players in my opinion.

I wouldn’t be here without the alpha update.

So it is rather hard for me to see it as a failure.