Flight of the Seagull

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss EVE’s new Executive Producer and the progress on that roadmap of hers.

Ok, this is  the one where we catch up on the Executive Producer thing and roll on to the more up to date happenings.  Because I said I would.

EVE-Online finally has a new Executive Producer!  This news reached us about a year later than expected but I’m happy with the result.  CCP’s Senior Producer Angie Nordgren has finally been recognised as the right person for the job by CCP management and has been promoted.

But why the wait?  And didn’t CCP want to hire someone external?  Yes, they did.  Jon Lander (CCP Unifex) stood down as EVE’s Executive Producer back in April 2013, and Hilmar had this to say.

For our next Executive Producer of EVE Online, we will be looking outside of CCP. We have been actively interviewing candidates and plan on a smooth transition over the summer. I am letting you know now so everyone can plan on buying Jon a lot of beers at Fanfest, but also because we have had a lot of really talented people join CCP from the EVE community over the past decade. Jon himself is in fact one such example. It might very well be that some of you have what it takes for this job, or know someone that does.

Feel free to make wild guesses about what happened to those candidates.  Over a year later we now have EVE’s then-senior producer getting the job after all.  I don’t why none of the candidates Hilmar was talking to a year ago didn’t pan out, and it may just be one of those things, but in the year since CCP Seagull has gained experience and demonstrated what she can do and brings to EVE.  Furthermore, CCP has suffered some painful setbacks over the past year in the form of Dust514 failing to meet expectations, World of Darkness being cancelled and EVE itself failing to sustain its traditional growth.

Why then do I think Andie Nordgren is right for the job?  Because I don’t think that her efforts have much to do with any of these problems.  Certainly Dust514 & WoD were not her doing.  As for EVE, I think the much debated decline in activity is due to the sort of legacy issues that she herself has identified and developed a plan to tackle.  Time is finally catching up to EVE, but fixing these old design flaws takes, well, time.

The good news is that CCP Seagull is already a year or more into her long-term roadmap and vision for pulling EVE out of its current rut.  Even better, I’m starting to see a little light on the horizon.  As disenchanted and worn down as I have been feeling lately about EVE, this lady is starying to make me think that she might be able to pull this off.

The switch from two large expansions a year to ten smaller flexible releases was a bold move that made a lot of sense.  It is intended to both let CCP release features as they are ready and to take the time they need for more complex projects that don’t fit well into the old expansion model.  Some of the legacy issues currently dragging EVE down, such as the arcane POS code, are prime examples.  CCP can’t rebuild the whole POS system from start to finish and make it awesome with less than six months to work on it.  Nor could they complete the Industry revamp in that time frame.

The Kronos release was made up of content originally planned as a traditional expansion.  It was meant to include the Industry revamp too, but Fanfest feedback showed CCP that they weren’t in a good place yet to ship it.  The new release schedule allowed them to take an extra six weeks and deploy a much improved version in Crius instead, which is cool. My issue with this new model however was that sooner or later we will get an underwhelming release with not much in it.  I thought that release would be Hyperion, but it seems I’m wrong.

Hyperion is going to include the largest update to Wormhole space (Anoikis to we lore junkies) since they were first put into the game.  This I did not see coming.  I am very impressed that CCP are doing so quickly on the heels of both Kronos and Crius.  I am particularly impressed that CCP Fozzie’s huge blog detailing the suite of changes in this WH revamp is apparently not even the sum total of what is going to be in Hyperion.  CCP Seagull has a blog of her own coming out with yet more stuff in it!  Those devs are certainly cranking out the content at the moment.

For 2014 then we still have four more releases slated.  Hyperion on August 26th, Oceanus on September 30th, Phoebe on November 4th and Rhea on December 9th.  If we are going to have a smaller release, then I’m thinking it will probably be Oceanus.  CCP Seagull’s recent AMA had a few interesting comments in it, one of which being this one.

 [–]MagCore 44 points 9 days ago

I really get a sense of your enthusiasm and passion when you talk about the game. When you talk about “re-imagining sov” it gives hope to us 0.0 players. Are you able to give any kind of generalised timeframe/progress on this?

[–]ccp-seagullCCP[S] 58 points 9 days ago

We will start this year, with changes in one or more of the remaining releases this year. Those will not be changes that will be the single solution to sov, but rather changes rolling out continuously to make things interesting. And as we continue work on new structures, and new corp and alliance functionality, we will be able to do more and more interesting things, especially about connecting smaller group actions and ownership of space or structures to the bigger picture warfare in new ways.

Hyperion is shaking up Wormholes, not next year but a fortnight from now and I don’t think many people would have guessed that was coming so soon.  With changes like this coming so soon after all the stuff that was in Kronos and Crius I would expect that Oceanus may be the lighter release of the year.  But I suspect that we might start seeing changes made to null sec soon after in Phoebe.

At this point my hope for the end of the year is that CCP will have taken their first crack at revamping corporation management, a tangled mess of headaches that could come close to rivalling industry for complexity.  I certainly think we will get the Invention overhaul as it just makes sense to press on with it post-Crius.

It will be interesting indeed to see where EVE will be by January 2015 and how many of the ‘legacy road block systems’ have been tackled.  Whatever may be, if CCP can maintain their current pace then CCP Seagull will have made a believer out of me.

Posted in EVE-Online, Out Of Character | Tagged , | 2 Comments

If in doubt, use a bigger pot!

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss Alliance Tournament XII.

AT_XII_logo-banner

With my finger ever on the pulse of breaking news, let’s catch up on the AT12 prizes dev blog published earlier this week.  Meant to get to it sooner, but didn’t.  Also CCP Seagull is now Executive Producer for EVE-Online btw.  Maybe I’ll get around to that too. 😉

So, prizes.  I was a bit surprised to see this dev blog as I had thought that CCP were committed to the traditional fifty unique cruisers for winners and fifty unique frigates for the runners up.  I am a fully paid up member of the ‘this prize system needs to change’ club so we have some very welcome news here.

The twelfth alliance tournament is to the best of my recollection unique among alliance tournaments as being the only one that failed to attract enough applications to fill its roster of teams on the first attempt.  It has been standard practice for CCP to either operate a first-come-first-served system for selecting the teams or to use a lottery/auction.  There are always team that wanted to compete who don’t get the opportunity.  Only not this time.  There was no lottery held this year as CCP did not manage to fill the sixty-four team roster by their deadline, forcing them to offer an extension.

I think there are three primary reasons for this.  Firstly, it is now well established that in order to be even remotely success in the AT, a team needs to put in the effort to practice and test fleet compositions and tactics for months beforehand.  The days of throwing a bunch of ships together and rocking up on the day and actually expecting to win a match are long past.  The gap between teams can now be cavernous and it is well known which teams will dominate the tournament before it even begins.  This means that you either enter the tournament committed to putting in the long hours of preparation, or you go in expecting to be beaten.  Increasingly, I think, many alliances are well aware that their odds of success are slim so are choosing to opt out.

This is compounded by issue number two.  The prize structure.  As the AT has only awarded the top two teams, and the pool of teams with any realistic hope of reaching the finals has become ever smaller and locked down, the chances for entering with the hope of getting anything back are seen as minimal.  Entering the tournament is an expensive prospect with a ten PLEX entry fee (assuming you don’t go into the auction) before you even start to consider the cost of all the ships you will be fielding and probably losing along the way.  Why sink so much ISK into something that you are so unlikely to win?

And finally our third issue which I think exacerbated the whole thing.  That dramatic fall in player activity we are all fretting over.  If players are generally feeling demotivated, it makes sense that they won’t respond too enthusiastically to the prospect of preparing for the tournament.  I say this of course with the wonderful benefit of hindsight, I was very surprised that the tournament had unfilled slots at the time.

The prizes dev blog goes a long way towards addressing the second issue, that of the tournament poorly rewarding participation and investment.  Unfortunately, it has come several months too late as it would have increased interest in signing up for the tournament.  We will have to chalk that one up as a missed opportunity by CCP, but I suspect that this revamp is really a reaction to the poor sign up’s.

The Alliance Tournament Cup is a nice piece of fluff, but largely irrelevant I think as only one player is going to have hold of it which makes it a largely invisible part of the game.  I guess we will be able to show info it or something.

The character medals are much more welcome, although I suppose their perceived value will vary.  The ‘Tournament Competitor’ and ‘top 32’ medals are going to be showing up on every character from 48 alliances, so there will be quite a lot of them around.  Still, it will be a visible piece of character history so hopefully hold some sentimental value to its bearers.

Then things get meatier.  The Tournament Edition Rattlesnake ship skins are a very nice idea and represent some actual ISK value for teams.  There will however be a lot of these things handed out.  According to CCP Fozzie a whopping 1,260 of them!  In the grand scheme of EVE, that isn’t many but it is enough that they won’t be commanding anything even remotely like the 30bill plus price tags that the unique tournament prize ships command.  It will be interesting to see how many make it to market and what the demand will be.

The more reliable ISK source has to be this:

  • Teams that place between 17th and 32nd place will receive 5 PLEX

  • Teams that place anywhere in the top 16 will receive 15 PLEX

So assuming that you survive the first round of eliminations, your team will be getting 5 PLEX back and a stack of limited edition ship skins.  Better than a poke in the eye when consider the price of PLEX at the moment.  And finally, we have the long overdue main course.

This year each of the top 4 teams will receive special edition tournament ships, and each of them will receive equal numbers of our two prize ships.

  • 1st place: 25 Chameleon Recon Cruisers and 25 Whiptail Interceptors

  • 2nd place: 15 Chameleon Recon Cruisers and 15 Whiptail Interceptors

  • 3rd place: 7 Chameleon Recon Cruisers and 7 Whiptail Interceptors

  • 4th place: 3 Chameleon Recon Cruisers and 3 Whiptail Interceptors

About damn time!  The benefits of coming first or second in the tournament have at times been blurry.  Sometimes the 2nd place prize have actually been the better ships and either way the value of these things is so high due to their rarity that coming 2nd is just as good.  Now we have a clear distinction and benefit to victory along with better distribution of the unique hulls.

Rewarding 3rd and 4th place with a few of these valuable beauties is also excellent.  There is a ‘brain drain’ effect in the tournament community that has seen the best pilots of weaker teams head hunted by the more successful.  This has simply resulted in the good getting better and the rest being left even further behind them as key team members are lost.  Spreading out the prize pool should give more players a reason to stick with their home teams, or at least reduce the temptation to jump ship.

Hopefully these changes will do something towards reversing the trend we are seeing of ever fewer successful teams.  If not, the tournament scene will simply grow more stale with time.

But hey, I’m looking forwards to AT12 and may even end up flying in a match or two if needed.  Tournament practice has certainly had me logging in more frequently lately, even if I’m not all that busy on TQ.  Our goal?  Don’t lose our first two matches! 😀

Posted in EVE-Online, EVE-Online Tournaments, Out Of Character | Tagged , | 2 Comments

You, me & EVE (Part 3)

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the competition and market conditions facing both EVE and CCP now and in the near future.

Welcome back to Part 3 of the ‘You, me & EVE’ series in which I attempt to unload the contents of my head and explore the current health of EVE-Online, its playerbase and whatever else I think is relevant.  I’ve been having some PC issues so this instalment has been a bit delayed.

In the last instalment I rambled on about how I used to enjoy null sec and burned out, touched on some thought of why low sec is doing quite well these days actually and topped it off by suggesting that players don’t like change that challenges them so may resent things like Crius and the Industry revamp for making them change the way they have been playing for up to a decade.  I consider this sort of challenge and temporary discomfort to be good for EVE’s health.  A bit like how Unified Inventory made the game better (once patched/iterated upon!) but players initially loathed it for being different.

Now then.  Let’s take a step or two back from EVE-Online and talk about some wider issues facing the EVE Universe and CCP over the next year or so.  As you may have gathered from the previous two or three thousand words published in this series of mine, I have been facing down some issues when it comes to EVE for awhile now.  Quite serious concerns in all honesty.  I have for some time, a long time even, been feeling less engaged than I used to be.  It has gotten to the point that when my subscription came up for renewal the other week that I very nearly chose not to renew.  Yes, I almost retired from EVE!  From someone who has been continually subscribed for over a decade these dark thoughts trouble me.

You are probably now wondering why I didn’t quit.  You would definitely be wondering about why I then chose to re-sub for a further six months!  I wonder that too, I think it ultimately comes down to (brand?) loyalty and a lingering sense of connection.  Plus the fact that part of me really doesn’t want to quit!  I still want to be involved with New Eden.  And so soon after CCP suffered a round of job cuts I don’t want to stop supporting that great  group of people working there, no matter how little difference my single account makes in the grand scheme of things.  But let’s focus on my desire to be involved.  CCP is not a charity and by no means should be treated as one by its customers, so let’s not go too far down that road of blind fanboyism.

I had hopes for Dust514.  I was hoping that CCP could pull off that compelling vision of two games sharing a deep and meaningful connection where I could remain a part of New Eden and explore new interactions with the game world through it.  Sadly, that didn’t turn out so well and the ‘Rouge Wedding’ of Fanfest saw the ambitious plans for that game cut short and go back to the drawing board in the form of Project Legion.  So my hopes for planet-side adventure have been put on ice for a good while longer.  I can still get my EVE-flavoured lobby shooter FPS fix, but it isn’t going to be any more than that any time soon.

My problem with EVE of late is that I’m finding it harder to find those nice long play sessions that the game is best suited to.  That, or part of me isn’t prepared to make the time.  Something that resonated with me from CCP Presents at Fanfest earlier this year was CCP’s pitch to position their games to target differing lengths of play session.  EVE-Online would be there for your longer play sessions, Legion for those wanting a more flexible 30 mins to an hour session and EVE Valkyrie bringing the instant fix and extra accessible high octane bursts of 15-30mins at a time.

I love that vision!  It offers flexibility and fresh alternatives to keep me invested without quitting my full time job, cutting off my friends, divorcing my wife and taking the cats back to the sanctuary for re-homing.  There is so much that gets between me and my gaming these days, it was must simpler being unemployed, sad and lonely!  But hey, at least I had EVE. 😉  Is this getting depressing?  Here, have a cat picture.

I actually walked upstairs and found her tucked up in bed.  She was annoyed that I had interrupted her nap.

I actually walked upstairs and found her tucked up in bed. She was annoyed that I had interrupted her nap.

So as great as that vision of product positioning is, we are still quite some way off it being all that I want it to be.  EVE Valkyrie and Project Legion are both likely a full year away from getting into my hands, at the optimistic earliest.  The Prophecy trailer is still a long way from being our daily gaming reality.

Until then, we have the grand old ship that is EVE-Online with CCP battling to change its engines and upgrade every core system and the on-board entertainment during flight (mixed metaphors anyone?) and Dust514 receiving those scaled-back updates to hopefully tide us over for awhile until Legion comes to the rescue.

Herein lies the problem.  Like many players, I have been waiting a long time for CCP to pull their long term plans together and deliver on the big vision.  Be it Incarna, Dust514, Valkyrie or even World of Darkness, I have grown tired of waiting for this stuff to become reality.  I have found it kind of depressing to see so much of it fall short in execution or not arrive at all due to long term failings in CCP’s planning.  The bottom line, I think, is that CCP wasted years of development time, effort and money poking at multiple projects inefficiently.  WoD reached alpha three times before finally being scrapped, the same is probably true of Incarna which we know went through several iterations over the years before the abortive launch of the Captain’s Quarters in 2011.  Ultimately CCP lost valuable time and player goodwill over the years, I feel that there is now ever less of it left to draw upon as time passes.

As players become less invested in EVE, they become tempted away by ‘the competition’.  For many years EVE enjoyed a market containing limited direct competition for its position as the go-to internet spaceships game.  Depending on your own opinions, that might be changing a bit with some upcoming distractions in the form of the magnificently hyped Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous.  I have yet to play either, but my own view of SC is that it has been placed upon a gilded pedestal and should be regarded with caution.  Frankly I feel like Sc is making every promise that CCP ever made in the past decade, throwing in a bunch more random things and attempting to deliver them all in one shot.

Sc has currently raised an enormous $48.6 million by crowd sourcing but money alone is not the question.  Project management is and it is where CCP have faltered in the past and where Sc seems to be going a bit wonky at the moment.  The recent announced $50 million stretch goal  is to add three alien languages to the game, a decision apparently made in response to a community survey that overwhelmingly indicated that backers wanted to see more focus placed on ‘core gameplay’.  I guess my definition of what constitutes core game play differs from theirs…

There is a sense hubris at play here that we saw lead CCP into a hole back in 2011.  They are still trying to climb back out of it as they disentangle themselves from aborted or faltered projects and attempt to bring their newer initiatives to market.  In short, I am waiting to see if SC actually does deliver on compelling gameplay/features before I spend any money on it.

Elite Dangerous on the other hand has me intrigued.  Elite II: Frontier was a defining game for me back in the nineties and a major influence on both EVE’s creation and my interest in playing it.  If there is a game that will pull me away from New Eden, Elite Dangerous could well be it.  I back it on kickstarter and have been very impressed by its steady and strong pace of development to date.  I am also very appreciative of the more reserved planning for their ambitious features.  There is little sense of hype around ED, it just feels like there is a solid plan together with a clear vision as each step is tackled in order it needs to be.  While both SC and ED are very different games to EVE, I can see them increasingly being contenders for our time.

As we have talked about before, EVE’s player activity/subs have been down and the thought of significant competition just around the corner is a concern.  I don’t believe that EVE is going to suddenly die out as a direct result of any one thing, but a combination of factors could see the player base further contract.  Even if it does, EVE should be able to withstand a slow bleed of players for years before the game hits real trouble.  My concern is over CCP rather than EVE.

If CCP’s failed investments and faltered long term aspirations catch up to them financially then EVE may in turn run into an abrupt crisis or shift in focus as the company may cease trading or be bought out.  If they can balance the books and keep the server running then EVE still has years of life left in it, even if it does fail to attract and retain new players.

I am not angry about all this, or very bitter.  I’m just feeling fatigued.  I have been feeling ‘all played out’ on the EVE I know lately.  I have so many great memories of the times I have spent in and around New Eden but I grow tired of waiting for the next great step.  I have been very much looking forward to Dust and Valkyrie as a new way for me to stay engaged, only to see the promise of Dust514 is now giving way to development of Project Legion.  Both Legion & Valkyrie are still a long time away, it is quite possibly still a year or more before we get to play either of them.

Personally, I need for CCP to deliver more on those big promises.  I need to see EVE striding forwards towards CCP Seagull’s vision of Colonisation and an exciting new frontier.  I need to see that Valkyrie and Legion are not more WoD/Incarna vapourware but tangible experiences that will come sooner rather than later.  Valkyrie may not hit its original 2014 release but we cannot still be waiting for it three years from now.  It would simply be too late, as Dust514 was.

And this is my problem.  Deep down I still very much desire to remain a part of the EVE universe, but my motivation to keep retreading the very familiar ground of EVE-Online has been at a low ebb.  In the end I decided to renew that sub of mine for another six months.  I didn’t want to quit just before my alliance competes in AT12.  I didn’t want to walk out on EVE just as CCP put their new delivery methods into practice.  Six more months will see me through the first five or so planned mini-expansions which should be a good measure of where EVE is going.

Where will we be then?  I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Posted in Dust514, EVE Valkyrie, EVE-Online, Out Of Character, Project Legion | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

You, me & EVE (Part 2)

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the state of gameplay (defined loosely) in EVE and how it relates to player activity.

Alternative title and tl:dr –  “Shake us out of our collective ruts that we have settled into over the years.”

Welcome back to Part 2 of the ‘You, me & EVE’ series in which I attempt to unload the contents of my head and explore the current health of EVE-Online, its playerbase and whatever else I think is relevant.  We have established that EVE’s players are not logging in as much as they used to, and that activity (along with subscriptions as best we can tell) is currently in decline.  I feel very close to this subject as my own activity has been suffering for some time.  Why is that?

Once upon a time, I lived out in null sec and fought in sov wars and small gang skirmishing.  I spent a great deal of time logged in and interacting with other players doing *stuff*.  I spent a huge amount of time doing things around the game filling in leadership roles for my corp (of 50-100 members) and my alliance (peaking at 1,500 members).  I took part in everything from large scale sov warfare to sub-ten man roaming gangs.  Sometimes I would create and run roleplaying events of varying size and complexity in response to storyline events, alliance activities or to mark special occasions.

In time however, my RP-based motivations in null played their course and I became burned out on null sec as the alliance found itself with ever fewer ways to act on its heritage and increasingly on the wrong side of the fickle winds of null sec politics.  I stuck with it for longer than I really enjoyed it and stepped down as CEO of my corp a few months before finally deciding to make my break entirely and leave null behind in favour of a return to low sec just prior to Inferno’s Factional Warfare overhaul.  As things turned out, what was left of my then-crumbling alliance decided to do the same thing.  So Inferno was pretty well timed for Ushra’Khan!  At the same time however, I had to say good bye to a corp I had run for about two years and part ways with those who decided to remain in null, which wasn’t easy.  Sometimes I think my social ties to EVE haven’t been as strong since, even though I am still in occasional contact with some of them.

I think my story is not uncommon, and I attribute this to what I’m going to call the ossification of null sec.  I think the term ‘stagnation’ is over-used. 😉  I was a null sec pilot and resident for many years, I’d say at least half of my decade as an EVE player has been spent living either in sov null, NPC null or out of a low sec station from which I would launch raids into null.  The problem I, and my roleplay-founded alliance Ushra’Khan, often had was finding both an objective that scratched our RP itch and the means to pursue it.  And by ‘means’, I pretty much mean mean allies.

Our null sec adventure started around 2006 in a time when both alliances were smaller and coalitions were not really so much of a thing.  They were beginning to form and it wasn’t uncommon to work with your neighbours in the next constellation or whatever, but it was still possible to take a few hundred people into null sec and stake your claim to a few systems without swearing a contractual blood oath to some other alliance living on the far side of the map.  Skip ahead to the time I quit null (May 2012) and it was all but impossible for a small to mid-sized alliance to setup anywhere without becoming the subordinate of another alliance who were themselves a member of a much larger coalition running a huge multi-region chunk of the map.  Whatever goals you might have of your own will almost certainly take a back seat to the expectations of your overlord.

The situation has only become more focused on fewer and ever larger coalitions since.   We are now at the point where new alliances seldom rise to any sort of prominence and the most powerful are increasingly entrenched in their positions of dominance.  I find this unrewarding to be apart of and a far less interesting a climate to play within.  The barrier to entry is so high now that the only real way to get into null sec is to join an existing coalition and implement the role it hands down to you, in the space allotted.  I honestly don’t think this appeals to many players, it certainly doesn’t to me.  The falling interest in null sec and drop in general player activity reflects this in my opinion.

It was with a great deal of interest then that I read The Mittani’s piece on this barrier to entry and the role of Supercaps.  If one man could claim to be king of null sec, it would be Mittens and he himself seems quite ready to admit to the flaws in the system that have put he, Goonswarm and the CFC where they are atop the heap.  And he places the blame squarely upon Super capitals as the factor that drives players towards ever larger coalitions and that increasingly centralised control which I find so dissatisfying.

Of course, if one were the don their thick tin foil hat and ask “why would The Mittani advocate wrecking his own power base?“, well I would wonder if the removal of all super caps might hurt the CFC’s rivals more than it hurts the CFC.  Pandemic Legion for example is a powerful force in null sec outside of the CFC that rely on their supers as a force multiplier to offset their relatively smaller pilot numbers.  If super caps were neutered, the numerically superior sub cap armada of Goonswarm/CFC might be less impacted than other powers…   Of course I’m hardly an expert on null sec powers these days! 😉

But it is something of a moot point.  There is no way that CCP will simply remove all supercaps from the game.  A huge portion of their core customer base has invested significant time and ISK into training for these ships and place a very high value on their expensive flagships.  Then we also have those industrialists who are hugely invested into constructing them (assuming they don’t all quit over Crius).  Simply wiping it all from the game would cause an enormous backlash from those players forced to part with their powerful playstyle even if it did turn out to dramatically improve the flow of the game.  Far more likely I think is that CCP may choose to either radically redesign the ships (again) and/or nerf them hard down to a level much closer to Dreads and Carriers, thus closing the power gap.  There would still be outrage, but less.

So then, null sec needs a good hard shaking.  The eternal structure grind and alarm-clock ops of sov warfare is unappealing and the outcomes of conflict is largely determined by which ever side has super cap superiority.  As we have fewer and fewer political entities we increasingly know which side that is going to be before anything actually happens, quite possibly reducing the chance of interesting things happening in the first place.   As the system becomes increasingly predictable, it becomes less interesting and players turn their attention elsewhere.

Which is part of the reason why low sec is booming at the moment.  While null sec has seen little or no direct attention from CCP in a long time, low sec  has been iterated upon repeatedly and now offers more fresh content that is more easily accessible than ever before.  I would argue that just about every release since Inferno has lavished attention upon low sec, starting with Factional warfare (and its iteration across multiple releases) and Crimewatch 2.0, moving through low sec only exploration content and ‘Tags for Sec’ rats in belts to Mordus patrols and more known-to-known space wormholes arriving in Kronos.  Obviously no-one is going to declare things to be perfect, but CCP’s recent efforts in can be seen to have improved this area of the game.

Player activity in low sec at least is up, albeit perhaps in part tied to null sec’s slow decline.  As things get quiet in null some players shift their attention to low sec looking for quick bursts of action.  This post by Rixx Javixx I found interesting and may anecdotally back my thinking up.  He is seeing a rise in blingy faction ships, boosting alts and heavy gate camping in low sec.  Again, I suspect it may in part be due to a draw of new content in low sec and a push of stale null sec bringing bored but wealthy veterans out looking for kill mails and simply stuff to do outside of those infrequent all-or-nothing set piece fleet battles.  He finds this shift in the meta unwelcome as it impacts on the more ‘casual lifestyle’ of cheap Tech 1 gangs roaming about freely looking for honourable(?) good fights.

I think that shift will be temporary, to an extent.  Long term null sec residents typically don’t enjoy spending extended amounts of time in low sec where they have to contend with things like sec status and gate guns and will likely tire of hunting Mordus spawns and raiding FW plexes looking for T1 frigs to gank and return home.  The problem will be, if it isn’t already, that they will be returning to exactly what they left for boring them in the first place.

It has been a long time since we saw a new playstyle emerge in EVE, the last truly new one was Incursion runners.  Factional Warfare has been substantially overhauled recently as perhaps the major exception, but otherwise null sec and wormholes are very familiar indeed to their residents.  Industry is getting its big shake-up in Crius today but how much of an impact that will have remains to be seen.

If the critics are right then we may see players quitting industry over the inconveniences rather than embracing it as a new challenge or meta. I sincerely hope that isn’t in the case.  I think EVE very much needs to present its community with fresh challenges.  A revamp might not be as exciting on paper as all-new content but it may be enough to shake us out of our collective ruts that we have settled into over the years.

That being said, EVE does need fresh, novel content as well as foundational shake-up’s.  The promise of new and different space beyond the player built starbases of CCP Seagull’s vision is hopeful, but the lack of detail as yet revealed means that players can’t get all that excited about it yet knowing we are still months if not years away from playing it.

It becomes then a question of time and acceptance.  Will players embrace the sort of change and challenges presented by Crius’ fundamental reinvention of EVE’s decade-old Industry revamp, and what will more will CCP do to drive EVE forwards?

Next up in this word marathon, we take a few steps back from EVE itself and talk about what is going on beyond the game client.  If you managed to get through all of it so far, thanks for reading!

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You, me & EVE (Part 1)

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss EVE’s player activity slump and the price of fish.  Or was it PLEX?

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I want to talk about a broad range of the issues as I see them within and beyond EVE itself.  Let’s start with a couple of current hot topics, player activity and the PLEX market.  Because there just isn’t enough speculation already. 😉

It was noted back at Fanfest that CCP did not make their customary announcement that EVE had enjoyed yet another year of sustained growth like they have every year previously.  It has also been well noted in numerous places that EVE’s Average Concurrent User count has fallen hard this year, even harder than usual for the regular annual summer slump. Nosy Gamer does a nice job looking over the past couple of expansion going back to the launch of Retribution.

The short version?  Retribution (and stories like the Battle of Asakai) was a big hit drawing in lots of player activity, then Odyssey was a huge bust seeing those gains wiped out.  Rubicon brought some of that activity back and retained it for longer and around the Battle of B-R5RB was a huge spike but numbers have been dropping hard since.  There was a modest rebound around Fanfest and Kronos but numbers keep falling.  The run up to Crius and the focus on industry certainly doesn’t seem to be generating much activity.

If my own activity level is a reflection of the rest of you, I can see why Nosy’s chart is looking so rough.  I really haven;t been putting in the hours and by the looks of things I’m far from being the only one.  Of course it doesn’t get much more cheerful once you start thinking about this stuff, so consider yourself warned.  This may get melancholy…

You may recall that last year’s (2013) Fanfest announcement was that EVE had gained subscribers over the past year, but that  CCP were now including the subscription numbers for the newly re-launched Chinese server, Serenity, along with the Tranquility total.  That raised some eyebrows at the time and seemed a questionable move to make after keeping the two apart historically.  Personally, I suspect that the drop in TQ’s player numbers was showing back then and without the extra Serenity accounts CCP might not have been able to make their claim for a full decade of consecutive growth.

Consider the community analysis of the ACU counts falling over recent months or the oft-remarked upon plateau in PCU numbers (and the implied stagnation in subscription growth it represents) over a much longer time span.  Add in to that CCP’s recent staff layoffs and the cancellation of World of Darkness.  It seems an inescapable conclusion that EVE has indeed been losing subscribers above and beyond any historic fluctuations and that CCP have been staring those numbers in the face for awhile now.  They have tightened their belts.

Let us now briefly touch on the PLEX market.  Kirith Kodachi has a nice little post that sums up my thoughts quite well.  Prices are up while traded volumes are down.  I suspect that the reason is fairly simple.

Players who purchase PLEX to sell for ISK, do so to fund their gameplay.  If players are spending less time playing the game, then they are going through less ISK and don’t need to buy/sell so many PLEX to fund themselves.  So less PLEX reach the market.  Everyone who uses PLEX for their subs on the other hand still want to buy and are doing so, pushing prices up as the supply diminishes.  If the high price of PLEX is indeed having an impact on subs, then it is probably mostly players consolidating accounts and cutting back on alts.

Some players might choose to leave the game entirely, but I suspect that it is a relatively small number. Those who use PLEX arguably have good enough income streams established to find the ISK for it while the rest of us just pay for our subs using actual money anyway because we either don’t have the time to grind ISK or are too lazy to do so in the first place.   These are also the same people who might consider purchasing PLEX in order to sell for ISK in the first place (although not me personally, I just stay space-poor!).

Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the new ship skins, dual character training etc as a factor in pushing up price, but I think the reduced volume is probably down to a reduction in player activity reducing their need to put PLEX on the market.   And so we have declining player activity and rising PLEX prices.

In the next post I’ll get to the point of why I think player activity is falling.

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Votes and things

Good news!  I’m not dead! 😀

So I haven’t posted in five weeks, which is quite awhile.  I do have some reasons handy though, they include the World Cup, going away on holiday to a really remote part of Cornwall, the unexpected arrival of an actual British Summer, the Steam Summer Sale and… well… being lured away from EVE by other games for a bit.

There are a couple of hot topics in the EVE community lately, which are namely the apparent decline in EVE’s player activity/subscriptions and the soaring price of PLEX.  So far I’m seeing a lot of connected things going on here!  Interestingly, I feel like much of the general discussion is matching what has been in my own head for awhile quite closely.

I have also been chewing on a few thoughts about CCP, the wider gaming industry and how all of the above applies to me and I suspect many other EVE players at the moment.  Rather than shoe horn everything into one post (I did try!) I’m going to try splitting things up across a series of posts and seeing how that ends up.

In the meantime I wanted to give a shout out to the Dust514 Council of Planetary Management election which draws to a close this weekend on July 22nd.  If you are a Dust514 player, do go vote.  There is a community vote match tool to help you get started on picking candidates, like EVE’s CSM it is an STV vote where you pick a slate of up to 7 candidates.

So what’s my slate looking like?  Well going through the vote match, many candidates have at least a 70% match with my answers, and only one over 80% which is Pokey Dravon.  After a trawl through candidate threads I came up with my seven.

1. Pokey Dravon (My best vote match)

2 Iron Wolf Saber (CPM0 incumbent, seems to have done a good job)

3. Judge Rahadamanthus. (Clear history of strong community work and intent to communicate)

4. Zatara Rought (Obviously plays one hell of a lot at ‘competitive’ levels!)

5. Soraya Zel (seems to have their head screwed on and makes their points well)

6. Kevall Longstride (Dust Uni candidate, will hopefully be good for advising CCP on NPE and Corp UI)

7. Cross Atu (If he puts as much work into the CPM as he did his election thread, then he’s earned it)

Most of the candidates I crossed off I do so because I think they have unrealistic expectations of the development resources that CCP will be willing to commit to Dust given that the same team is now also working on Project Legion.  We are not going to get PVE gameplay in Dust514, sorry folks.  CPM members are going to need thick skins, plenty of patience and a realistic set of expectations going into the job else they will be quickly disappointed.  So, good luck to you all!

Next up I am going to take a look at the state of play in EVE-Online and its ongoing development.

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New toys and rooting for the home team

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss my recent dabbling.

Time flies.  We’re nearly two weeks into June already and I haven’t talked about my monthly goals yet!  Well, I’ll make it brief.  I sucked hard last month and didn’t do any of the stuff I had planned to do!  Excuses include lingering illness (nothing serious), laziness and playing Dust514 rather than EVE.  I’m starting to achieve ‘not entirely terrible’ status in Dust these days, which surprises me.  I often finish a (public) match in the upper third for war points!

Which isn’t to say that I haven’t been undocking at all.  I have, here and there, but didn’t do the stuff I’d originally planned on.  I have had a few outings in the Astero running some exploration sites, and just after Kronos launched I managed to get in a couple of longer sessions including joining the rest of New Eden in cruising through low sec belts looking for Mordu’s Legion spawns.

I didn’t find any.  Of course, it wasn’t until later on that I realised the new spawns were added as a new entry to the overview that I needed to turn on manually…  Have I mentioned recently that I suck at EVE? 😉  Although truth be told, it probably made little difference.  Not only are the spawns apparently fairly rare, but I have my doubts that my Astero would have been up to taking one down.

While out exploring, I was reminded of the Astero’s limitations.  While an excellent little ship for running Relic and Data sites, the Astero’s offensive capabilities are quite limited when it comes to tackling most low sec combat sites.  I found that I could survive in most of them with some careful flying, but many of the larger NPC’s I needed to kill to finish a site were more than capable of tanking a flight of light drones.  When coming up against the sec-status tag drooping Clone Recruiters NPC’s in belts I found that they hit my Astero surprisingly hard and also seemed able to tank my drones damage.  Given that so many sites I find are combat sites, and that relatively few data/relic sites seem to turn up for me, I reached the conclusion that it is time to upgrade my firepower.

So I have bought myself a Stratios. Haven’t flown it yet, but its a new toy that should expand my options so long as I don’t get myself ganked with it!. 🙂

A question I am asking myself though is why I haven’t been feeling the motivation to go PVP so much lately.  I suppose time constraints is one option, being generally unwell/damned tired lately is another.  Maybe its just my general mood.  But I did hear a bit of news today that could give me a little extra focus.  The Alliance Tournament draw was effectively cancelled as only 63 teams applied for the 64 team slots.  Why is this significant you may ask?  Because one of the 63 that did apply is my very own alliance Ushra’Khan and which means that all 63 teams are now officially entered!

I am pretty sure that this is the first time ever that the Alliance Tournament has failed to fill every available team slot.  It is usually heavily over-subscribed.  My guess would be that as the cost of entry and calibre of competition has risen, fewer alliances fancy their chances of getting anywhere and decided to not compete.  The auction has been a costly process in the past with slots going for twenty PLEX or more, so maybe the currently high PLEX prices have been a factor?  That level of cost could easily have turned off those in it just for the hell of it.

I think I’ll be doing my best to help our team practice.  U’K have competed several times in the past getting as far as the quarter finals, but haven’t entered for years due to cost and most importantly lack of a willing captain.  I even FC’ed three of our matches way back in AT5 and won two of them.  We lost the third in a close run then the fourth which I didn’t FC for was a massacre.  But I did make the final call on which setup we were going to use and chose scissors to the other side’s rock.  I don’t think that I put in enough time these days to fly in the team proper but I can offer to play target practice as needed to help them prepare.  Unless of course practice makes perfect and I get all inspired….

Either way, having our horse in the race will give me a team to really root for this time around which will be nice.  In the unlikely event you find yourself in the arena against me, you should definitely assume that I am the FC and call me primary no matter how massive my tank.  I don’t even know the meaning of the word ‘bait’!

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Another bad news day

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to share depressing thoughts.

I promise to write something more upbeat over the weekend, but today has turned out to be a bad news day for CCP and its employees.  As reported at Polygon and Eurogamer, CCP have made another round of redundancies cutting 49 jobs, primarily in Reykjavik but including some from other offices.  Combined with the April World of Darkness layoffs that makes for over 100 fewer staff at CCP.  I can but offer my sympathies and best wishes to those affected.

Every time CCP announces a layoff, something that seems increasingly common of late, I wonder if anyone I know has been affected, then I wonder what this means for CCP’s development projects.  Clearly seeing that coming, CCP’s statement includes this:

“Development teams and plans for EVE Online, EVE: Valkyrie, DUST 514, and ‘Project Legion‘ are not impacted by the restructuring.”

As a player, this is of course reassuring.  All projects are still in the works and nothing is being cancelled today.  Hell, you could argue that this statement sort of confirms that ‘Project’ Legion is an ongoing ‘thing’.  So that’s positive.  But it does raise the question then of where those 49 jobs have gone from.  Again, the statement says:

“As part of our strategy to focus on the EVE Universe, today CCP conducted a restructuring that resulted in the layoff of 49 people in our publishing organisation”

My next question then has to be what CCP define as their ‘publishing organisation’.  I’m picking up (second or third hand) from social media that cuts have hit departments as diverse as Operations, Office IT, Customer support and Community teams, Marketing and the Web team(s), with an apparent focus on customer support.  Which sounds like just about everything not involved with implementing new features in the actual games.

I have also heard some pretty well known dev names being mentioned with a fair few long serving employees falling victim.  CCP’s Xhagen, Eterne, Loxy and Hunter all are apparently leaving the company.  Xhagen was a shock to me as he is a 10 year veteran, the guy who founded the CSM and a producer/product owner for multiple projects including the ship skins and the just deployed New Eden Store.  It’s all quite depressing.

The other piece of bad news out in the media today for CCP is this article in The Guardian.  Overall the piece is about the way that the games industry treats its employees (badly) and its projects (short-sightedly) but it specifically delves into the protracted development and eventual cancellation of the World of Darkness MMO as a case study.  I am hearing that the article is considered well researched and does seem to be, although all sources for it are former CCP employees so I would read it with that point in mind.  Having said that, much of the content rings true and I can well believe that it is as accurate an accounting as those of us who were not there ourselves are ever likely to see.  I’d recommend reading it for yourself, but it isn’t a joyful read.

Nick Blood is named repeatedly, he was formerly known as CCP Dropbear and was one of the kery figures involved in bringing live events back to EVE through the Sansha invasion running up to the Incursion expansion.  I gather the reason why he is the only employee named in the article is because he quit not just CCP but the games industry all together (which is the ultimate point of the article) so his future in the industry is hardly at risk here.  I expect other sources remained anonymous as they do want to remain employable elsewhere in gaming.

It is a pretty damning piece, but largely of historical interest.  There are all sorts of points raised about the dark era of CCP’s ‘War on the impossible’ in which the company expended years of effort (and who knows how much money) on inefficiently flailing about trying to simultaneously develop EVE-Online, Incarna, WoD and Dust514 all at once and making little progress on any of them.  It was the period where EVE’s development jumped from one thing to another leaving a trail of unfinished and broken features behind that have taken years to clean up since.  Incarna made it as far as the Captains Quarters while WoD never made it out of internal alpha builds.  Dust514 as we well know launched poorly and fell far enough short of its vision that CCP are now building Project Legion to replace it.

The article focuses on WoD, but can easily be read as a description of Dust514’s development cycle.  It is abundantly clear, and has been for a long time, that CCP repeated the same mistakes across the company.  What the article does describe to us is how that happened.  CCP have long made a point of espousing the virtues of their Carbon technology platform, it is a means for work done on one project to be applied to another.  It was the starting point for Incarna in that the avatar tech CCP developed could be used in both EVE and WoD which would generate more bang for development buck.  Another example was that EVE’s inventory code was going to be used in WoD, again reducing the need for reinventing the wheel.  Its a pretty sound notion I think, but it comes with a risk.

The thing about being flexible is that it is easy to become distracted and gradually blown off course.  CCP fell into that trap.  It has long been known that CCP have at times moved staff between projects as needed, EVE’s Apocrypha expansion was hailed as a company wide effort pulling all of CCP’s resources together for one big push.  And it was, Apocrypha remains to this day one of the most celebrated expansions ever.  But it had a cost.  I recall CCP Torfifrans talking about Incarna work halting during that period and then scrapped and restarted fresh afterwards.  The same happened to WoD no less than three times it seems.

CCP have made a habit over the years of pulling staff off their main projects to work on other things for months at a time, leaving skill gaps in teams that would hamper development until they could return.  Also described is CCP’s method of funding projects.  Rather than assign each project a budget, CCP run a cenmtral R&D fund that all projects draw from.  That essentially means that a project will never run out of funding so long as the company has money coming in, which would explain how WoD’s budget never ran out, or why Dust514 was able to take as long as it did to slowly tick over.  I really do wonder how those projects would have gone if they had been working with a finite budget gradually ticking down.

I have long felt that CCP are historically big on grand visions but weak on developing to well defined goals.  Incarna never had a clear goal behind it.  CCP never managed to articulate what it was specifically meant to achieve.  That failure to define has been reflected across their projects as Dust514’s implementation drifted away from open sandbox principles and became locked into a rigid team death match model with no clear plan on how to become much else.  WoD was taken to alpha, scrapped and rebuilt with a different vision three times over nine years.  EVE leapt from one idea to another failing to deliver the promised iteration on what had come before for years.

I think, I hope, that CCP are putting those days behind them.  EVE has been developing with increasing focus and certainty in recent years that I find reassuring.  I do not think that EVE is dying, I think the game is in good hands.  My concern these days is increasingly not over the game but the company behind it.  CCP squandered so much time and money on ambitious plans that did not pan out for them.  It is so important now that they turn their current projects into solid products as I really don’t think they can afford another failure a this point.

Sorry this wasn’t a more positive piece, but I think it is an important topic.  The next post will be more upbeat, I promise. 😉

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Signs of Life

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to talk some post-Fanfest Dust514 developments.

Dust Taking cover

I might have gone a bit quiet here on the blog just lately, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening.  I just haven’t been keeping up with writing!  My excuses are being otherwise busy with :stuff: (blame summer) and being sick for most of the week (blame biology).

A few things have come up on the Dust514 news front just lately though so I thought I’d touch on those.

A developer spotlight went out on CCP Rattati, along with his personal thread which I found interesting.  The way I interpret this is that CCP Rouge has effectively delegated the maintenance of Dust514 over to CCP Rattati while he focuses on Project Legion, which is still being talked about as a prototype rather than a full blown game.  In effect Rattati is operating as a ‘junior producer’ while his boss tackles the more ambitious undertaking.

The dev spotlight does make me like Rattati, as he describes an approach to the game much like my own.  I’m not a hardcore player ploughing in hours every day, rather I’m picking up the controller and playing in short but frequent bursts.  Also his KD ratio sucks a bit, like mine! 😉

Rattati draws an important distinction in his thread that bears some consideration I think.

Next Steps

• A clarification on “server side changes“ versus “client updates“. Most of the attributes of items can be changed in our backend system, called CATMA.
• Adding new weapons and dropsuits with existing functionality, changing weapon damage, dropsuit hp and slots, pg and cpu values, and most of the values needed for balancing items and roles can be changed during server downtime.
• Things like terrain, texture, models, animations, functionality, UI and more, cannot be changed server side and need a client update. These changes are unlikely, but theoretically possible.
• In the short to mid term we will exclusively be focusing on server side changes

I don’t think that anyone is going to be shocked to hear that the upcoming releases for Dust514 are unlikely to be massive updates, given that the very same team is now also working on the game’s successor.  But it is important to be hearing it from CCP and what we can actually expect.

My expectation is that the ‘short to mid term’ probably means anything up to six months or so.  If so, we should only expect server side updates.  If it  requires a new model or texture, it is highly unlikely to happen.  So we can rule out any more weapons, maps or vehicles unless an artist happens to use their 20% time to finish something up.  CCP allocate their devs free time to pursue unscheduled projects that they feel are of benefit, which is where a lot of EVE’s ‘little things’ UI enhancements have come from in the past couple of years, and I think some/most of the existing ship redesigns.

I was thinking that this would mean updates would be primarily about balance changes, then I saw the thread describing Hotfix Aplha.  So yes, the immediate future is about balancing.  I think Hotfix Alpha sounds pretty excellent to be honest.  There are many things in there that sound sensible and needed, such as making Assault Rifles more competitive and curbing Combat Rifles a bit without nerfing them into the ground.  I like that AV grenades are being buffed and anti-vehicle options in general, the options have been a bit too restrictive in my experience as I tend to find myself either without AV options to hand or in an AV-dedicated suit with suddenly nothing to shoot at.  I probably need to get into Commando suits more often!

CCP can certainly do a lot of good for Dust514 by extensively and systematically ironing out the balance issues and generally making the range of existing options more appealing.  Much like CCP have managed to pull off in EVE over the past couple of years with the ship ‘tiericide’ initiative.  The difference here though is that EVE combined the balancing with adding all-new ships and modules to fill the gaps, we aren’t likely to see much of that for Dust.  Things will be all about making best use of the existing content by the looks of things.

The big community news of the week is that elections for CPM1 are officially happening!  At last!  CCP have now opened the floor for candidates to officially register themselves.  They have also announced that it will be an STV7 vote and that any account more than 90 days old with 60 hours total play time can vote.  They also took the time to point out that:

The CPM’s primary duties still pertain to DUST 514. CPM1 will have limited initial involvement with Project Legion.

So if your primary motivation for running is to shape Project Legion, you may be disappointed. 😉  I know why CCP have pointed that out.  It is very tempting to run for the CPM in order to get that very opportunity!  However, I think that CCP are going to be keeping a tight lid on Project Legion at this very early stage in its development. I suspect that the CPM will get to see a few things over their term, but probably not much.  It will be far more important that the candidates set their sights on the game we already have, not that other game we may someday get to see.

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Do not pass Basecamp.

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss the recent CPM0 Summit.

DUST514_GroupShot3

Today I spotted this on twitter, from CPM (and former CSM) member Hans Jagerblitzen.

I at least appreciate CCP’s honesty regarding the “summit”, if not what transpired:

It links to a post by CCP Logibro commenting on the first ever CPM0 summit that took place in Iceland the day after Fanfest.  I have been eagerly awaiting some news of what went on in that summit as the Project Legion announcement has cast a long shadow indeed over Dust514’s future prospects.  They are more limited than hoped for, to say the least.  If you haven’t already, go read CCP Logibro’s post, it won’t take long.

I think Logibro must have drawn the very shortest straw in the room to be the one who had to post that.  If you are a regular reader, you will recall that I expended a considerable word count over the handling of how CCP announced Project Legion and that I consider the whole thing to have been a massive slap in the face of the player community.  The news that Dust514 was going to be replaced and moved to another platform rather than receive the promised investment was always going to be a bitter pill to swallow.  To break the news as they did was just horrendous.

I had hoped that was going to be the peak of their community miss handling for one weekend, but it appears not.  Could you imagine CCP flying the CSM out to Iceland to discuss EVE-Online and being so unprepared for their own summit that they have to issue what is essentially a Mea culpa to the community before we even see the minutes?  I would concede that the early CSM’s didn’t achieve all that much and had to establish a process, but CCP have eight CSM’s to learn from and CPM0 has been in place since Fanfest last year.

I had my suspicions that CCP Rogue’s appearance during CCP Presents, and the promises made then to continue Dust514 development, were not on CCP’s radar until they saw the community branding torches and pitchforks following the Dust514 keynote.  This statement today seems to bear that out.  Not only did CCP go to Fanfest with nothing to show for Dust514 itself, they also went into the CPM summit with nothing to show there either.

At this point, I think CCP Shanghai has bet the farm on the Project Legion prototype and put everything they had into it but what we have already seen released in Uprising 1.8.  I’m not sure they really have much of a plan right now other than to wait on CCP management to say yes or no to developing Legion.  If they do, it doesn’t sound like they spent much time talking to the CPM about it.

A thought I have been nursing since Fanfest is still lurking in my head, and I’m still on the fence about it.  I am giving serious thought to running for CPM1.  I have no idea what my chances of actually being elected might be, but I’m thinking about it.  I think watching CCP drop the community ball so hard has actually been a motivator in that regard, I want to see both them and Dust/Legion do better and I don’t want to see the epic vision that started it all off wither and die.  It looks like the one thing coming out of that summit will be an election.  I just need to decide if I want to commit to a year of pushing through stuff like this.

What do you think people, what do you want from a CPM?

Posted in CPM, Dust514, Out Of Character | Tagged , , | 2 Comments