Friday, 20 June 2014

Been a while...

Sorry it's been a while since the last blog but RL has been very busy recently and the Legion announcement knocked the wind out of the sails of the community for a time. But the work of CCP Rattati on Hotfixes Alpha & Bravo seems to re-energised the community somewhat so I thought I'd post some thoughts.

I would like post a little bit about what is happening in DUST University and how it pertains to the future of Dust and Legion.

Right now, I'd be an outright liar if I was to say that D-UNI was as active corp as it once was. The Legion announcement hit us very hard as I knew it would when I first learned of Project Legion. For those not aware I, along with a select number of community members were told and asked for opinion about Legion prior to Fanfest. The details as to how I was told are covered by NDA. But the fact I knew beforehand became an open secret at Fanfest once the news was out.

I knew that new player numbers would drop significantly because people would, wrongly as it turned out, just assume that Dust 514 would have the plug pulled almost straight away. Legion is at least 12 to 18 months away from being a shippable product according to what all the Dev's were saying at Fanfest and Dust is likely to continue for at least a year after that.

Many of the CEO's of the other corps do 'inactivity culls' much as I do. I personally kick members that haven't logged on in the previous calendar month on the first of every month. So on the 1 July, I will be kicking members that haven't logged on in the month of June.

Why highlight this?

Because of the size of the D-UNI membership, the cull's I perform have a statistical value as to the 'health' of the community. I've always publicly announced the level of inactivity as a percentage of the size of D-UNI. For pretty much the last year it has remained a steady 18-22%, meaning that I'd kicked that percent of players for inactivity. But we'd be getting many new applicants to replace them.

However the 1 July cull will be different. This will be the first cull that will show the direct impact of the Legion announcement. Many players logged in over the Fanfest Weekend which was the first one of May, so I wouldn't have kicked them in the 1 June Cull. 

As it stands right now the next Cull will show somewhere in between 40-50% removed for inactivity. This will be because the numbers of new players joining the D-UNI has significantly fallen between the 2nd week of May to the 3rd week of June.


New Player applicants are once again beginning to grow and while they are never going to reach the heady heights of the 70+ a day we once got till Legion is released, they are giving me cause for optimism for the continued growth of the player base. It will be minimal growth but growth nevertheless. And because I use the Eve Client and are able to look at a players employment history and date of Merc creation, I'm seeing a growing number of veteran players returning, I suspect because of the Hotfixes deployed by CCP Rattati and his team.

And this is the main reason that I want to be on the CPM in the first place. D-UNI managed to do a great deal for new players despite the games UI and infrastructure being so NPE unfriendly. But being on the CPM would give me a chance, however limited, to ensure that Legion provides the tools required for ANY corporation to do the most important work they do, which is to provide the chance to create emergent gameplay. I can also help ensure too that the NPE in Dust is not forgotten. Some of that may require UI change, some could be done with server side changes to make running a Dust corp easier in the Eve client.

I'm often accused of being the most optimistic of the candidates despite the setbacks that CCP either intentionally or unintentionally hit us with. But I do see much cause for optimism with the figures I'm able to gleam from my corp data. D-UNI can still have a huge part to play in the story of Dust and continuing in Legion and I want to be at the heart of ensuring that all corporations in the in game can grow strong and effect the history of New Eden.