Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The EVE Online Universe Network

EVE Online, one of the most engaging virtual spaces we have. It has over 350,000 active accounts by the end of 2010 with the latest record of 67,000 players simultaneously online. Those numbers are nothing compared to WoW's numbers, but EVE's charm comes from its "player-driven economy." Prices of raw materials to all manufactured goods are determined by the market in the old tradition of supply and demand.

The interesting characteristic of the EVE Universe is that its nodes are location-dependent. This means that each node is immovable and the connections between nodes are semi-permanent. The main variable now becomes accessibility and desirability of connecting with a node.

One of the biggest mysteries in EVE is the popularity of the Jita star system. It is the biggest marketplace on EVE, the only system running on its own server. I hypothesize that a basic network analysis of the connectivity of the star systems would show that it developed into a hub because it acted as a central node to the different  activities that are required for a complete economy (mining of raw materials, manufacture of goods, questing, trading, and yes, piracy).

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