So CCP Rise presented this graph is his recent dev blog as justification that battlecruiser and battleship hulls did not need a rebalance. This kicked off a storm about how Eve was Cruisers Online - but the question perhaps should be what we'd actually expect to see.
(Sidenote: I sometimes find myself slipping into using the BB abbreviation for Battleship thanks to all of the historical reading and minature wargaming I did as a kid. I'm guessing you can spot those Americans with either real military experience or military history backgrounds by slips like that.)
To some degree I wasn't surprised. I've heard cruisers described as the workhorses of fleets in contexts ranging from military history to science fiction such as Star Trek. In Eve they are a relatively easily attainable ship in terms of skill points and have a wide range of capabilities. If anything I'd expect to see something more like a pyramid of usage by class with the T1 frigates swarming around at the base of the pyramid and moving up to the rarified world of capital ships and titans at the apex. But that's just one off the cuff thought.
I wondered what the distribution of ships actually has looked like in real-world circumstances. Here's the composition of a current US Pacific fleet, and here's the composition of the forces arrayed at Pearl Harbor and Midway. It's a lot more flat than I expected with the only hull with particularly large numbers being destroyers. But we also understandably should be shy of comparing Eve to historical surface fleets.
So as much as people were upset about CCP Rise's graph as an expression of ship hull balance, what would we expect to see? CCP Rise said: "One good result here is that we see much higher damage per attacker the larger the classes get, generally, i.e. fewer battleships in space, but, when they are used they are potent." So would our ideal chart show frigates, cruisers, battlecruisers, battleships, and dreadnaughts all as the same length bars (perhaps even ideally spit evenly by weapon system?). Unless we define what we expect to see as a current state, and what we want to see as a future state, then these graphs don't really serve to validate much.
There was a pretty strong contrast to the recent Sov blog from CCP Fozzie, where he made a much more detailed presentation of data and what CCP saw in that data (absent axes on the graphs, as usual). While there's been some disagreement that the charts show as rosy a picture as CCP says (check out the discussion in Crossing Zebra #55 with Endie and Mannie) there's at least more to talk about.
So bring on the graph porn CCP, but make it meaty enough for it to lead to more than just tear-and-angst.