Over the time I've been playing Eve Online I have added various in game characters to my watch list for a variety of reasons. This has now reached a few hundred in size but a little while ago I noticed that while my watch list was large the number of them that actually logged at any one time was less than a dozen.
Now this concerned me at the time but once you realise some of those would have been trials that didn't work out, temporary names for a number of uses etc, it still leaves quite a number who should be in the game but are not.
However this doesn't effect me directly as these people were at arms length and the vast majority wouldn't know me or that I'd watch listed them.
Over the past, lets say couple of months, a more disturbing trend has emerged closer to home.
Various members who have been in the corporation I am a part of are now leaving the game. It seems at the moment that barely a day goes by that I don't see a message in corp mail that essentially says:
"It's not you it's me but with luck I'll be back in the future however I don't want to sit idle in the corp and screw up the figures."
All it needs a "Dear John" at the beginning to make it complete.
Do I think Eve Online is stagnant at the moment?
Yes I do, but Eve is a quite unique game and my experience is many people don't quit, they just take a break.
I'm probably atypical anyway as I'm fairly happy just to exist in the Eve Online universe doing the equivalent of the Lave to Diso run with a cargo hold full of Narcotics or shooting Thargoids.
The upcoming update on the 8th of August for Inferno 1.2 doesn't look like it will add much.
The visual changes to some ships will please some and annoy others so no real change there.
The added informative instructions will help almost nobody already in the game as that's a feature that helps the very new player just starting out.
Finally the mining changes may give some of the game back to those who enjoy mining but it could just as easily reinvigorate the "Goons" to attack miners in high security space as some sort of lesson.
Trying not to end this on a bad note I'll mention what has been done well in recent times.
The missile visual update is quite cool. Somehow it's a graphics update which adds much to the game.
The cheap clothing is also a step in the right direction, although I've yet to spend any AURUM as without Walking In Stations what's the point?
Finally we have the new inventory. Initially I was ... not a fan but with use, and some updates from CCP I've turned around somewhat. It is still too slow, but much better than it was.
I find myself wondering about the next expansion, even though the current one hasn't rolled out completely yet. It would have to add something new rather than changing an existing feature.
It could be a long six months.