This entry is an ‘out of character’ post to discuss EVE’s development.
EVE, seems to have reached a crossroads this past week. And I find myself refreshing the forums, news and dev blogs pages looking for fresh pieces of information to complete a new picture of just where everything is now going.
First, Hilmar, CEO of CCP issued a public apology for CCP’s shortcomings of the past year or so. Then CCP announced a company wide refocusing on the EVE Universe along with 20% worldwide job cuts across CCP in the corporate restructuring.
While I found Hilmars open letter refreshing, the job cuts and apparently considerable restructuring struck me as quite troubling. That was a very big step, and I don;t think we know the depth of its implications yet.
I think this is much is clear; EVE’s development over the past couple of years has not been at the pace its players felt it should be, and some of the developments that have been implemented were more to do with CCP’s future vision than the current needs of the game.
Largely ignoring the short term issues for up to two years has finally caught up and the situation has reached a now untenable point. EVE needs fixes and it needs improvements to core mechanics.
The kicker is this; if CCP had successfully deployed a meaningful Incarna experience this year then pushing into a FiS drive for the following expansion cycle then they might have pulled it off. As it was the WiS cynics have felt vindicated in all their worst fears; after all this time ‘it was not worth the wait’.
I have had a long held opinion about Incarna/WiS. It is a good idea and I think will bring good things to EVE. I want to see it happen. I’ve been waiting since Fanfest 2006, and that is a long, long time.
I think that CCP have made the mistake time and again of not selling it to the players enough. They keep using vague terms like ‘immersion’ and ‘awesome’, but they have refused to be drawn on features. A pattern repeated right up until the present day, even when establishments were supposedly months from deployment.
This refusal to talk about features has reinforced the players perception, true or not, that WiS is all glitter and no substance. If players don’t see the point, why should they get excited?
What worries me is that CCP seem to be almost too eager to placate their irate player base and are throwing everything at turning out the most crowd pleasing feature list they can. Art resources are going into stuff like engine trails and a cyno effect all of a sudden while the game designers start hitting the hot topics of the past 2 years in ship balancing that never happened.
While the winter expansion feature list is offering a whole bunch of stuff that needs doing, it also seemed to be the stuff that CCP think will be the most crowd pleasing. I’m starting to think that WiS is getting downgraded further than it should in the wake of the summer’s angry mob.
I only hope that CCP are not writing off Incarna for the next 5 years. I still want to see that future vision become a reality, and we have already waited a long time for it.