I accidentally the entire market
After the release of the last statistics dev blog, one of the main requests for information to go alongside the PVP data was for information on the actual popularity of various ship types. Instead of raw numbers on how many are blown up, in this blog we shall show the relative popularity of various items against others of its type on the market throughout the past. These do not show the total individual numbers of these ships/items, they show the number of them traded on the market. This means that if the same ship was traded through the market twice, it would count for two.
These graphs show October 2003 to March 2009, a span of 66 months, and you can click any of the graphs to see a larger version.
Interestingly, the Scorpion has gone from being the most popular tier one battleship in 2003 through mid 2005, to being the least popular from 2007 to now. This can largely be attributed to balancing changes to ECM in April 2005 and the introduction of other, preferred ECM platforms such as the Caldari Recon ships in December 2005.
The popularity of each of the ships has remained stable since early 2007, with the Dominix being by far the most popular tier one battleship. The Dominix accounted for 48.26% of all tier one battleships market transactions in the April 2007 to March 2009 period. It can be speculated that the Dominix is the most popular tier one battleship due to its versatility, with it being effective in both PVE and PVP environments due to it's main weapon being drones, leaving the high slots available for whatever utilities people may want - energy neutralizers, remote repair modules and so on.
Tier two battleships have remained fairly stable since early 2006, with the Raven being by far the most popular battleship. The last year has seen significant growth in the popularity of the Apocalypse after it was boosted in the Trinity 1.1 patch, and there has been a slow decline in the popularity of the Raven since late 2007.
Missiles were reworked considerably in the Cold War expansion of July 2005, from a system where all missiles did full damage to their targets to the current system that takes the signature radius and velocity into account. This explains the dip in the popularity of the Raven at that time. Interestingly, the actual number Raven trades through the market has stabilised over the past year, whilst other battleships have continued to grow as expected in terms of numbers traded. During 2008, Ravens were traded through the market an average of 16,542 times per month. The least popular tier two battleship in terms of market trades was the Tempest, with a monthly average of only 2,362.
As can been seen from the combined statistics for the tier one and two battleships, shown grouped by race, Minmatar tier one and two battleships have been the least popular in terms of market transactions in the October 2003 to March 2009 period, with the exception of October 2007. In October 2007, Amarr tier one and two battleships had less market transaction than Minmatar ones.
Regarding Minmatar, there doesn't seem to be any real consensus on why their battleships are the least popular. If you have any theories on why this is, feel free to discuss this in the comments thread.
Starbases were added to EVE with the Exodus expansion in November 2004. At first, only large control towers were available, with small and medium control towers being added in the first half of 2005. Upon first being released, the size of a control tower did not affect sovereignty - so ten small control towers would beat the claim of nine large control towers and so on. This led to small control towers being the most popular type, until these mechanics were revised. Medium control towers have been the least popular since their introduction except for only one month, making it seem that there is less demand for a middle ground, with the wish being for either as large a starbase as possible or as small a starbase as possible.
In March 2009, 2,821 large control towers were traded through the market. The 2008 average was 1,616. February 2009 had the highest number of large control towers traded so far, with 3,027 being traded in that month.
Taking a look at the racial comparisons for starbase towers, it can be seen that Caldari starbases have been the most popular most of the time. Minmatar starbases had a period of increased popularity from early 2006 to early 2007, which can be at least partially attributed to the primary choice of starbase type for alliances engaged in territorial warfare in that period.
The various types of isotope are used as fuel for both starbases and jump drive capable ships and were introduced in November 2004 in the Exodus expansion. Interestingly, the isotope market does not follow the starbase market quite as closely as would perhaps be expected. This suggests that jump drive capable ships also have a significant impact.
In 2007, an average of 3,285,019,553 isotopes were traded on the market each month. In 2008 this number increased drastically to an average of 5,990,842,951 isotopes traded per month. The average for the January-March period of 2009 was 9,710,071,318 units.
This graph has been cut down to show only from January 2006, as these ships were introduced during December 2005. Force Recon ships are very specialised and each have their own roles (such as ECM, warp disrupting or webifying). The comparative popularity of these ships for the first two years after their release was been surprisingly similar, likely due to each race having its own unique role. Since early 2008 though, we have seen two interesting events - the rise and fall of the Rapier, which lost a lot of popularity after a rebalancing of speed and stasis webifiers, and the rise of the Falcon to become the most popular by a very large margin. This can be attributed to its role as an ECM ship becoming increasingly popular in a variety of situations.
In this graph, the most used tech two large turrets of each weapon type are shown. With the introduction of the Rokh in Revelations II (November 28th, 2006), the market share of the 425mm Railgun increased drastically as this provided the Caldari with a battleship railgun platform. In line with the trends for Amarr battleships, the Tachyon Beam Laser has increased in popularity in recent months. This can be largely attributed to the changes to the Apocalypse in the Trinity 1.1 patch, which was released on March 12th, 2008.
500,545 tech two large turrets were traded on the market in 2008, an increase from 314,085 in 2007. This means that the monthly average increased from 26,174 to 41,712. In January through March 2009, the average was 68,680.
Tech two missile launchers were introduced in July 2005 as part of the Cold War expansion. In the Trinity expansion of December 2007 there were significant balancing changes to torpedoes to turn them into short range weapons, which led to a very significant reduction in their popularity when compared to cruise missiles.
The average number of tech two large missile launchers traded on the market per month in 2007 was 32,948. In 2008 it was 56,843 and in Jan-March 2009 it was 67,921.
So, that's it for now. We will be taking a look into some of the other requests there have been and will see what we can do regarding more graphs for you all, but no promises! As always, please give any suggestions for things you'd like to see on this front in the comments thread on the forums.