Summer Update Roll-Out Goes Smoothly; Project Discovery Being Tweaked

Bill McDonough 2017-07-11

The 2017 Summer Update has been deployed, and so far, so good. The days of CCP’s updates and expansions invariably containing bugs, errors, and secret commands to accidentally erase your boot.ini file are long past. The update’s main features are the T3 cruiser rebalance, and the new Project Discovery.

The new strategic cruisers appear to be working as intended—or at least, working as designed, as the intentions for these ships will be born out over the next few months. Project Discovery, as well, looks to be working without any major problems in the interface or underlying code.

The new exoplanet-oriented Project Discovery has run into one minor problem, though: It’s too hard. Many players have been finding that after completing the tutorial sets, the next set of data offered is significantly more difficult. While EVE is famous for its steep learning curve, players and devs alike have determined that such a quick increase in difficulty is counterproductive. In the interest of encouraging productive citizen science, the data set will be switched out for another at downtime on July 12.

The decision was conveyed through an in-game alert:

Hello pilots,

MMOS are currently investigating an issue with Project Discovery. It appears that during the evaluation phase (after the tutorial) data sets that are presented for analysis are too difficult for that stage. This has led to many players being given extremely low overall accuracy.

While this has caused some concern among players, we will not be shutting down Project Discovery. Samples are still being assessed correctly, and once past the evaluation phase players are still able to continue assessing and completing samples.

A fix will be deployed tomorrow after downtime, which will update the data sets to a more reasonable one for the purposes of evaluation, and reset to 50% all Accuracy Ratings for players who have it below 50%.

We will publish another update in our news channels once the fix has been deployed.

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Comments

  • Pew Pew

    Can I request an article? Not sure if you guys would be interested in exploring this.

    EVE offline says that basically all the players gained by going free to play have gone away, so it was quite a limited 6 month boost.

    I personally think this is because the tutorial was of the wrong type. I think a tutorial showing EVE to be a fleshed out, voice acted, single player campaign was exactly the wrong thing to focus on.

    I think the tutorial should focus almost solely on the social aspects of the game and get people into corporations / interacting with other players as quickly as possible.

    What do you think of this? Do you agree or disagree? What does CCP think? Do they have any comments on how successful the new tutorial has been? Do they think they’ve been pursuing the right strategy?

    July 11, 2017 at 9:09 pm
    • Arrendis Pew Pew

      I think before any real comparison can be made, you need to have an entire cycle. It’s been established for years that EVE activity dips in the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, and picks up again in the winter.

      Has the PCU count dropped? Yup. Is it a complete reversal of all of the gains made in November, though, or is it the loss of some of those players, plus some people going inactive in the summer while they have things to do outside, with family, etc? We just don’t have enough information yet.

      July 12, 2017 at 3:41 am
      • Bill Bones Arrendis

        PCU is below last year’s in the same dates, by roughly 1000 players less. Either they just invented summertime this year, or something is wrong with the PCU trend. One reason being speculate would be shorter gameplay sessions, but frankly, EVE has run allegedly in all kind of “special cases” whenever PCU lowered. Sometime we should agree and face that there’s less people playing it despite or because of CCP action.

        July 12, 2017 at 6:08 am
        • Arrendis Bill Bones

          There’s definitely fewer people playing. That’s not the issue. If we’re measuring the effects of alpha clones, though, we need one complete cycle where alpha clones have existed. Any conclusions drawn before that point will be flawed.

          That’s not to say the conclusions can’t be the right conclusions, but it’s easy for the people you want to convince (CCP) to ignore the ‘right answer’ if you bring it to them on the basis of methods they can easily dismiss as incomplete.

          July 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm
          • Lrrp Arrendis

            I’d be curious to know if there is data on how many Alpha clones migrate into Omega clones. How many of the new Omegas are from new players or existing players. In short has the scheme to attract new paying customers actually worked or was it a colossal waste of time.

            July 15, 2017 at 2:27 am
  • hurf

    Excited by them shaking up the ship meta, lets the theorycrafters sperg out and lets me fly new ships 😀

    July 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm
    • Alot hurf

      I’d be more interested in getting the statistics of the old and new project discovery and how individuals perform over time at frequency recognition as opposed to the more natural human pattern perception of shapes.

      July 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm
  • Venerable

    My comments on the Project Discovery Exo-planets.

    1. The search for transits o the light graphs of stars has been around since 2013 or so through Planet Hunters.org. The interface provided by the Eve client is far and away better than the planet hunters interface. Eve players have been given a much more powerful tool.

    2. I understand why the samples given were exceedingly hard. They were. The real purpose of Exo-planet hunting is to find ‘earth-like’ worlds in distant solar systems. Light transits for earth sized planets is very hard, because of the size relative to the star. In short the small planetary bodies don’t cause a sizeable transit which is easily spotted. Easy transits are normally caused by huge gas giants with a very fast orbit around the particular star.

    3. Wouldn’t a computer be more efficient for identifying transits? If all transits looked the same, a computer could be programmed to identify the transits, but no two transits are identical. The human brain however is based upon pattern recognition. For example, a picture of a woman’s face can be flashed in front of a human, and from that glance the human brain can determine young versus old, a woman vs a man, the size of the person, and of course hair color and face symmetry, whether the face is attractive or not. A computer can’t make the same determinations. It can only look back at the examples and try to find an example to match. Accordingly the human brain is extremely powerful. Couple that with thousands of human brains looking at the same picture, a trend can be developed, and thousands of imagines can be discarded and the few imagines that might be useful can be the subject of more intense scrutiny.

    4. A few years ago, with citizen scientists identifying transits were able to confirm for the first time that other solar systems contain planets. Before then exo-planets in other solar systems was a theory. Now its a fact.

    Finally, looking at light transits may not seem to be very exciting. However its important science. Learning what transits look like and taking that knowledge and applying it as only the human brain better the world around us. Please take the time to engage on this important project, earn your skins and shiny clothes. Who knows you might help find the next dozen earths.

    July 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm
    • Pew Pew Venerable

      “Wouldn’t a computer be more efficient for identifying transits?”

      Getting a large number of identified examples will help deep learning algorithms to learn what to look for.

      July 12, 2017 at 2:42 pm