2011 started for EVE Stratics! with a new Managing Editor (yours truly) stepping up. With the help of the TGN and Stratics team we created the new portal and started porting content over from the old platform to wordpress. A Lot of articles were initially pulled over, but we’re still missing quite a bit and we’ll work on getting the rest over in 2012.
The facelift was part of a sitewide change that aimed to bring the Stratics portals into an age where editing would take less time than typing the articles and it started right as the Arab Spring kicked off. Wow, what an amazing time to live in! To witness the changes across the world has been quite the experience, even as a spectator! This would later prove to transition into EVE Online, although possibly on a subconscious level.
At the end of January, TGN’s YouTube channel for EVE Online went live and was quickly populated with content by Logan, another TGN Director. The plan was to bring in more content, more directors and more views quickly. This changed as the available programming resources started to dwindle.
In february we were finally ready to launch the new platform and from that point on, an awareness campaign was launched to make players more aware of EVE Stratics! That we were still there, still part of the community and still alive and kicking – just as we’ve been since the stratics network started tracking the progress back in 2002 and launched EVE Stratics! shortly after. And we really are back.
In late february, our Fansite status was reinstated and from that point on things started to progress nicely. First with the consistant posting of developer blogs, which has since been taken over by RSS feeds, secondly with the signing on of a second video editor: Devon. Simultanously we’re facing an energy crisis as the price on crude oil spikes by 20% due to speculations about the reliabilty of Libyan Oil supply. For the discerned player; this effectively means that the protests could affect the price of playing EVE Online as energy prices increase. You, the player, is affected whether you acknowledge it or not. Much like facing an imminent gank, allthough likely unintended by the protesters.
Early march and the Fansite status is public and fully implemented on eveonline.com as well. March mills along nicely for EVE Stratics! while the world faces the start of the Libyan Civil War in addition to the the Japanese 9.1 Quake followed shortly after by the devastating Tsunami that struck on march 11th. The community in EVE Online responds imediately, asking the developers to host another Charity Drive. Plex for Good: Japan goes live on march 14th and raises 44,000 USD in derivatives of ingame money. This is a month of reconciliation and concern as the world is in chock after the following disaster of the Japanese Fukushima powerplant meltdown. Germany reconsiders their nuclear program and asks their european neighbours: “Can we handle the responsibility and risk of a nuclear meltdown?” The response is a widespread re-evaluation of nuclear programs and iteration of safety procedures.
March is also the month were the preparations of the ISD interviews starts. Something that would prove to take a long time to finalize.
April come and go and as it does, we add an RSS feed of developer blogs to our forums, release a mobile app review and face the twitter hashtag war with “Deadliest Catch” of all things boaty. The war between internet spaceship pilots and fans of fishermen in plasticboots ends in favor of ~350,000 capsuleers as they rejoice in the victory against a vastly outnumbered, outgunned and outsmarted foe. The main culprit mysteriously vanishes never to be heard from again and #Tweetfleet activity returns to normal. There is some suspicion that the culprit has been alphaed into the next milennia. These allegations have not been disproved.
As the requirements of the Stratics Managing Editors change in May, the hunt goes in for a new ME that can pick up the gauntlet. While we wait, a new video is released to the YouTube channel in late may and I resign as ME to be replaced by Astonix in june. In the world; Portugal is bailed with a rescue package due to the financial crisis and the #1 world terrorist is found in Apottabad, Pakistan and dealt with by CIA and Seal Team Six. The bond between Pakistan and US is strained as ties indicate a link to Pakistani government officials from the terrorist network and the world marvel as the first operational stealth helicopter is revealed.
June was an interesting month in many aspects, both for EVE Online and EVE Stratics! For players of EVE Online, it was the month were the alliance turnament IX (9) was completed with Hydra Reloaded emerging as the victor but it was also the month were murmurs of unrest would start to erupt, and leave the dashboard in the “CCP Revelation” (Community Relations) lit up in bright sparkling lights, resembling a large Amarrian Lazorshow. There were no shortage of protests as the Incarna expansion was released, bringing monetary transactions to the spacelanes. Monetary transactions; where an internal newsletter discussed the possibility for “Gold Ammo” as opposed to the direction laid out by the previous statements: “for vanity items only”. In Jita, thousands of protesters gather and open fire on persistant structures as a result of the leaked newsletter, the lackluster pricing range on the released vanity items and a complete lack of new content.
Firing upon the monument in dislike of the Incarna expansion was just one venue for the protestors. The CSM was called in for an emergency summit shortly after where they went over the different problematic scenarios that caused the riots. Several communication errors were pointed out and player disgust were appropriately represented. Like the protests in Syria, the players persisted and the mood of the playerbase would prove to be affected. “Prove it!” seemed to be nothing short of a daily mantra for many players for months to come.
Incarna, even fully implemented proved to be a feature with scarce content (if any) as the staggered implementation schedule was changed midway and work commenced on “Crucible”.
It was also a month for EVE Stratics! with much activity as more internal functionality was added to the portal and more videos were uploaded as a result of Astonix exploits.
July was opened up with the CSM emergency summit results, Astonix stepping down as ME to give room for Orakkus as the new ME – and more written editorials/guides. In the case of EVE Online, the world kept spinning and there wasn’t really any other drama than the lack of Summit Notes and the introduction of “EVE is Real”. Status Quo remained. Outside, the sky was darkening as a lone wolf hits Norway in a killing spree and the protests continue in Syria – where people continue to be violated by their own leader. Also, the Nasa shuttle program comes to an end as space shuttle Atlantis touches ground.
As reactions to “EVE is Real” expanded into August, we were able to release an interview with Daniel Block. We were also able to secure an old corporation that once belonged to Stratics, but were the CEO went AWOL, which means that ingame funds are once again ready to be generated and passed out as gifts for various activities. First prezzies went out shortly after the interview was published. During this month we managed to release 3 interviews and a new video while in EVE, talks continued on the new path of CCP developers with early nullsec development plans. Nasa launched a new vehicle to explore Jupiter and announced that their Mars prober had gathered photographic evidence of liquid water.
Pakistani floods rallies the world to their rescue in September and EVE Online players once again appeal to CCP developers to allow for them to round up money for the flood victims. Mid-september CCP launches their “Plex for Good: Pakistan” program. The Plex for Good charity drives has resulted in more than 100,000 USD been collected and passed on to Red Cross organisations across the world over the years and isn’t about to stop any time soon. Furthermore, CCP caved in and further cemented their desire to do as the players requested of them by focusing on the space game, as a result CSM summit notes were finalized and published and an effort was made to review internally to assemble a team that would be able to do the work required, focusing less on WoD and Dust514 and more on EVE. Stratics sends out the internal newsletter where new focal points take priority; Single Sign-on, Staff Communication and Traffic/Revenue. Google Analytics are added and activated for EVE Stratics as a new tool.
There is no avoiding the crisis now. A crisis that started to develop back in 2007. October brings much rejoice among entripid capsuleers as the winter expansion is announced. The with and breth of the expansion doesn’t deliver new content per se, but adresses several longstanding balance issues along with a few iterations of old features. Its also the month were layoffs were announced and we say goodbye to ~20% of the CCP staff. Tears were bountiful in the hallways of game developer CCP Games as collegues and friends had to part. Also on the forums did we notice that players humbly thanking the departing staffers and for some, including me – the experience became emotional and as a result my objectivity was bumped out of orbit for a few days, which is a rare occurrance. Its likely that the effects of the crisis simply could prove to affect CCP Game investors, which usually means a need to secure assets and focus on a creating a bottomline surplus to make this possible – thus the layoffs. Meanwhile outside; Europe starts to brace for the effects of the financial crisis as Greece is bailed out of their spiralling debt and European Banks start to recapitalize. I suspect even Hilmar knew that he couldn’t remain distanced from his staff and very likely chose to spend some time saying goodbye to friends and former collegues as well. I don’t blame him for making the decision, even though its a hard one as the result of abstaining from it could jeopardize the company, and in turn – the other 80%. At the end of the month, Google Analytic tracker is changed for EVE Stratics! and old data becomes available for analysis. In addition we release the first ISD interview in a series aimed to be concluded by CCP Ginger.
November ends with the Crucible expansion, and EVE Stratics! releases 4 pages about the new Battle Cruisers in an attempt to help new players understand their purpose, fittings and more. The pages are an instant hit, generating a lot of traffic for the site. Up till that point, we’ve released another ISD interview and reviewed the POS changes. The new expansion isn’t just a hit with Stratics, but also for players as the iterated features are welcomed with open arms by the community. But for the Stratics staff it means that a new door with indexed content has been opened and needs to be explored. Traffic to the site increased by ~350% from october to november. Work started behind the curtain to bring more ship pages with viable fits for PVE, PVP, Incursion fits and more. With a bit of patience we should have something ready within a few weeks for the most popular ones.
With christmas around the corner, there propably won’t be much time for me to come full circle before the year has come to a close and we’ll all sign off with a hangover. I’ll use this opportunity to say thanks before going into the analysis for December.
For EVE Stratics! the first 2 weeks proved to be inline in terms of traffic to the end of November. Comparing to the same time last month, we’re seeing another 300% increase, but for the entire month we’ll propably just double last months traffic, again. CCP provided prezzies and fun in-game and the world is preparing to wind down the economies and focus on domestic matters. For the people in Syria, that propably doesn’t bode well as the country is rapidly moving towards Civil War. The alleged death toll hits at least 3,000.
As the year draws to a close though, reports of snow has hit London – where some of the EVE servers are located. Lets hope we’ll get a white Christmas after all, shall we?