Last September I went to some length to discover if the ships that are flown throughout New Eden could be flown by a lone capsuleer or if a crew was required. The information was available in the dark depths of EVE lore but it was far from conclusive. My archeology led me to discover there was a wide range of viewpoints, some suggestive fiction and a few outdated ship schematics that some figures could be gleaned from. I thought I left no stone unturned and fruits of my research can be read in this blogpost.
But that doesn't really matter now. It seems that CCP t0nyG, CCP Abraxus and the content team have revisited the canon themselves and finally put the debate to rest. The following image was apparently taken from CCP t0nyG's Fanfest presentation, 'Words Words Words', which I sadly missed.
It's interesting to note that there appears to be some disparity between the figures my research suggested and these new ones. For example, the Evelopedia states battleships are "...crewed by many as 10,000-15,000 lives", whereas the new table suggests the maximum is now 8,000, with Minmatar crews having up to 9,600. With a capsuleer instead of a regular command crew "...the combat efficiency increases greatly with the use of the pod reducing minimal crew needed to the hundreds." Many of the other new crew ranges seem to more-or-less agree with those detailed in Evelopedia with minor variations. The figures found on the ancient schematics are vastly different, but they should probably be discounted as apocryphal.
So whilst the Immersion Project team have stayed true to the general concept, they have tweaked the figures slightly. I'm glad that they have looked over this issue and are tightening the bolts on the official lore. The above table certainly seems to provide a definitive answer as to whether a crew is still required in a pod-controlled ship; it seems frigates can be completely controlled by a capsuleer, but anything larger still requires the vessel to be crewed.
One thing that struck me as an interesting statistic was the 'Statistical Average Survivor Rate'. If this is as it sounds and represents the average number of people who survive the destruction of their ship, it might be quite interesting (at least to a pedant like me) to revisit the galactic attrition rate calculations I made in The End of New Eden is Nigh. Given the number of ships destroyed on a daily basis, if these official figures are indeed canon, it could be argued that cluster-wide spaceship combat will result in the rapid annihilation of the human race.
Go read that blogpost now if you don't believe me, then never undock again.
Labels: discussion, fanfest 2011