Expansions, Fixes, and CCPs Commitment to Excellence

 

CCPs Promise

So CCP has trumpeted their Commitment to Excellence, and has maintained that they hold their product to the highest standards of quality control.  In addition, they promise two major expansions a year.  The problem they run into is that they often end up with major bugfixes to do in the week or weeks following the release of any major new patch.

For example:  http://www.eveonline.com/updates/patchnotes.asp?patchlogID=221

Now, none of this is particularly game-breaking.  Just lots and lots and lots and lots of the kind of small, niggling mistakes that break the immersion and adding in things that players have been wanting to see for some time.  Things like killmail damage reporting, logistics GCC flags, and corrections to spelling aren’t things that should take terribly long to fix, but they haven’t been a huge priority for CCP until the recent CSM (#5) took strong enough action and – combined with pressure from the player-base and external media – that these changes needed to be a higher priority.

I am a fan of these changes.  I feel that they are a step in the right direction.  However, they aren’t nearly up to the level that I feel CCP’s Commitment to Excellence requires.  Seleene (whom many of you will know as the former EvE dev CCP Abathur) sent me a link to a recording of a presentation he made while he was still with CCP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHYcrow4ZUU

He is talking about the Dominion expansion, as well as Apocrypha.  To me, Dominion remains one of the biggest existing holes in the EvE Expansion plan.  The list of unfulfilled promises is very long, and fairly easy to find.

Treaties, and one word scarcely says all that might be said on that subject.  New Space beyond the explored Galaxy.  New Cap Mods. Faction Cap Mods. Fighter Bays. Static Defense Upgrades for systems you hold Sov in.  Intel reports from gates in systems you pay for Sov in (Shiptypes, pilots, etc, using the gate).  And the list goes on.

Now, not all of these were killed by CCP laziness.  Some of those were most likely removed for balance issues; things like Static Defenses and Intel, and some of the Cap Mods – for example plates and shield extenders – might have been hard to balance.

However, much of it has simply disappeared with no explanation.  Treaties were supposed to be one of the cornerstones of Dominion, and there have been no reports of them since they disappeared from the features list.  The only new cap mods have been the aforementioned meta-mods that came about in Incursion, no faction mods and no entirely new systems either.

and now two more examples from http://scrapheap-challenge.com/viewtopic.php?p=1544352#1544352

Example 1 – Using specialized :awesome: racial technology, you would install a module or rig in your jump capable ship and instead of making a jump you would actually fold space in order to reach new regions far out of the range of ordinary jump drives. True Exploration.

Example 2 – The T3 modular concept has always been intended to expand beyond just one ship class; there were even public discussions about modular weaponry and ship fittings. Custom / Brand name industry.

New space hasn’t materialized.  Now this I can’t really fault CCP for, this would be an entire expansion in and of itself.  But T3?  More ships, more weapons and fittings?  These discussions started before Apocrypha released and to anyone’s knowledge – outside of CCP –  nothing has been done with it.  Faction Warfare has been a disappointment from a participation standpoint from almost day one, and lowsec in general has become more and more of a “flyover country” where people pass through, but don’t stay.  And yet CCP continues to push more new content, without fixing broken content that already exists.

To me, it looks like CCP’s modus operandi is to drum up a lot of publicity about an Expansion, make their decisions about how much to put in when faced with their artificially imposed deadline, and relegates the rest to the trash bin, as its already been “milked dry” from a publicity standpoint.  They saw no need to go back and revisit them because even negative press is still press coverage and draws people in.  Again I feel that this CSM’s biggest contribution has been making CCP go back and fix some old problems, and phasing the Incursion release so that things were more polished.  This didn’t go perfectly; it took several patches for “back” buttons and “Are you Sure?” to make an appearance on the new character creator, and there are still issues with Incursions from what I’ve seen about them.  Something about logistics ships not being allowed through some gates.  But there has been some improvement.

However, there’s a long way to go.  While this CSM has made CCP see the need to fix some of the small problems, it hasn’t been enough to get them to go back and deliver on past promises.  As long as this attitude continues, I question just how much CCP really is “Committed to Excellence”

Road to the Future?

As players we can do things to put pressure on CCP.  We can post on forums the Devs actually read, in the hope that the Dev’s will respond; we can talk to media outlets we may have contact with; and we can select people for their CSM in order to face CCP with a solid front of people who demand accountability for CCP’s promises.  We can face CCP with their own lies.  Apocrypha without its complete array of T3 was 2/3 of an expansion.  Dominion without treaties was 1/2 of one.  If CCP wants to promise two expansions they need to deliver two complete expansions.

In the end, at the very least, they need to make sure they actually finish what they’ve started.

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About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on March 4, 2011, in Things I think I think, Things You Should Know About. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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