Yesterday was a big news day for Eve. In fact it has been a big news week when you add in the CSMX Summit and other earlier announcements. There is a lot to take in. I recommend you read the Dev Blogs, especially CCP_Seagull's entry. I can't do them full justice here so I will cherry pick those that closely impact my game-play.
So let's start at the top with CCP_Seagull. The headline news for me was expansions are back, but in a hybrid form. So we will still have the monthly updates for things like quality of life, rebalances, and developing lore changes. But big changes in mechanics and new features will released together as a coherent whole rather than piecemeal. Essentially to avoid repeating the current scenario where capital's are struggling for a role because the full Sov changes have not been rolled out yet for example. The expansions will be rolled out when everything is ready rather than regular intervals of say 6 months thus avoiding the Incarna scenario.
This change feels right on so many levels and I imagine he marketers in CCP are happier because the have a tangible event they can push to the outside world. An opportunity that was lacking in the current cadence. On a personal level it addresses a problem I had raised on here and with a CSM before. Current skill training times force you to take a long term view (especially with my low level SP). That's fine but it is less fine when your objective you have been aiming at for 2 or three months can be compromised with only a couple of weeks notice. The only realistic response was to train for less ambitious short term objectives. In my case that meant I stopped dual training and held off starting an addition account. Disheartening for me and a financial impact for CCP. So the changes allow me to seriously re think that decision. A final point before moving on, it was good to see CCP_Seagull restating the vision. She had been a bit under the radar lately. I appreciate she wants to make teams like Team 5-0 be more autonomous. That is a good thing. But the context to why the teams are doing what they are doing can get lost when things get fraught and that is where the upper echelons need to step in - if only to deflect the heat.
Next on the list are the structure changes from CCP Nullabor's devblog . The thinking up to now has been draft and this is just the latest iteration. I was concerned by the previous iteration. Overall, it smelt like a global fix to a null problem so imposed null game-play on wormholes for example. Not now. More than that it has disposed of the Entosis wanding. You have to shoot them and they will shoot back. So capitals and dreads in particular will have at least that role. Frankly I am astonished. CCP have clearly listened and more importantly understood the feedback from all areas of space and appreciate he distinctions. So I am very impressed and not a little relieved about the direction non sov structures are taking. Of all my concerns only one now remains. Currently, structures will not auto defend. Given everything else they will be capable of this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Sure, thoughtful attackers will be able counter it easily but it would limit opportunistic trolling (in the way they have had to do in Null) and as a solo casual player I would not be able to man the defence in all likelihood.
Moving on to the o7 show, CSMX member Sion proposed the formation of 'focus groups'. Essentially groups of specialist matter experts that they can refer to in the wa that Sugar Kyle and Corbexx have worked with wormhole groups. So in principle this is absolutely fine but I do wonder who would represent the likes of me. I can't be a bad thing to get more focussed feedback that doesn't involve the phrase "FozzieSov in cancer!"
To wrap up, there was a little noticed quality of life test on SISI for the scanning map was announced. The new beta map was very disappointing from a scanning point of view of the point of being almost unusable. In fact, I still use the old one. The announced changes look spot on so hopefully it will be implemented soon.
Beyond this, there is a whole lot more that I haven't looked into - multi-buying for example. All in all a very impressive few days. CCP have clearly been listening and the CMX have been communicating. Looking forward t seeing more of CCP Seagull too.