Thursday, 12 October 2017

Post EveVegas

EveVegas needed a good news story. And it had one. CCP Seagull popped up on screen and announced she wasn't going to be there. This is isn't the good news. Fanfest and EveVegas are richer for her attendance. No, she has produced a son and has far more productive things to to than listen to a bunch of drunken 50 year old men whine about spaceships. Congratulations go to her and her family. 

Reality also prodded EveVegas in other ways. It was the location of the latest slaughter that America feels obliged to submit itself to. This plus CCP Seagull's Alt - CCP Falcon meant the keynote felt more of a briefing from the municipal sanitation department rather than a celebration of pixel space. Interesting if sewers are your thing, but you are not really going to get your average punter salivating over a code of practice on odour nuisance. It was notable that the slide remote also held this view and struggled with performing its only role in life.

There are two aspects to events like Fanfest and EveVegas. There is the audience that attends and gets to meet each other. That's the fun bit. Probably. Then there is the information that gets broadcast by various means to the wider public. The perceptions will be different. Twitch was hard going.

Anyway what did we learn. Where is Eve, where is it going? In short, there is less of Eve than there was. Captains Quarters have evaporated. There are sound economic reasons for that but it it reminds me of when Concorde was taken out of service. Commercial aviation had gone as far as it was prepared to go. Flying is now a pain (literally if you are bumped off a flight unwillingly) instead of an engaging experience.

What we will get are iterations of what is already there. The Shipyard PVE is moving to High Sec. Empire/Resource wars and events are to feature. This is no bad thing. But they might not be that great either because of some existing game mechanics that don't seem like they a going to be reviewed. But for all the potential pitfalls it is an acknowledgement that other areas of space need attention.

Structures on the other hand remain a disaster. When Citadels were announced the Devs declared they had no idea what would happen but would intercede if things went pear shaped. They didn't and it has. So now we are told there with be a Structures 2.0. to make structures great again. This would be fine if they didn't appear to be repeating the same problem. 

Discussions around structures revolves around the < 1% of the time when they are involved int a conflict. And treated as static ships (when your only tool is a hammer etc...). If there was the same amount of consideration given to the remaining 99% of the time when the structure is serving its purpose, then they might come up with a better answer

But that was really it from EveVegas unless you were there. Reiterate, rebalance but don't add. It is a holding pattern.

CCP Hilmar implied as much when he described the broader CCP vision and game portfolio. Nothing experimental to come to Eve. Other games such as Project Nova (DUST replacement sort of maybe) and Project Aurora (pocket Eve) may develop features that could at some point be incorporated into Eve. Maybe. 

The big takeaway was the upgrade coming to Alpha clones. What you can deduce is that Alpha clones weren't successful (because we would be talking about Beta clones now if that were the case) but were not disastrous enough to abandon. The discussion still revolves around what you fly (when your only tool is a hammer etc...) rather than what you do. But it does give the player the potential to do more if you are prepared to avoid the groupthink so it will be interesting to see if this latest iteration is more successful.

Next year Eve is going to be 15 years old next. In 15 years time CCP Seagull's son is going to be an awkward teenager. Assuming he is not playing football for Iceland and defeating England in the world cup for the third time, what CCP game do you think he might play? Eve Online or whatever Project Aurora develops into?

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