Blog Banter #28: Consider This Dead Horse Beaten
In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it’s customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it’s player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?
If you don’t know my opinion on CCP/CSM round 6 its all over this blog. The short, short version is CCP cannot communicate because it is too busy dealing with World of Dust 514. All 6 people working on EvE could be ninja coders from hell, there’s just too much to do in the short term for any small group to overcome the issues they are facing.
Now as for long and short-term affects. Some are easy to predict, some are a bit harder.
Short Term: (guaranteed 95% accurate or your money back) EvE will not change as a game. Any major changes simply require too much manpower. EvE will lose any positive momentum it has as a game, even in its utterly unique niche. In this industry you either are growing or sinking. EvE is no longer growing. In order to survive, it needs to show progress. CCP offices are littered with countless road maps to success. Hopefully they start using them for something other than toilet paper. Really its a poor use for them anyway, glossy paper just isn’t absorbent at all.
Mid-Term: (3-2 for, but not many takers on either side) As EvE’s population stagnates and Dust 514 flops CCP comes to realize that if they want to have the money to develop a real flagship game they need to have an existing product that is functional, even if they just want to use it as a cash cow. Winter 2012 will be the first major “flying in space” expansion since Apocrypha. It will include new ships (possibly new shiptypes) fixes to some major existing issues (Gallente balance issues maybe? AF balancing) and new play features hinted at in past expansions (T3 module production, treaties, Sov changes) will make an appearance. The major feature will center on a new ship/shiptype, it may be as pedestrian as a 2nd destroyer hull for each race, with the gallente one being a WTFpwnmobile of a drone ship (vertical ishkur!) or it could be as awesome as T3 frigates.
Long-Term: (50-50) This depends on CCP. If they are just going to milk EvE as a cash-cow then we can expect to see LOTS of shiny vanity bullshit. As soon as WoD is near completion we will see another cycle of EvE getting 0 meaningful dev support and generally going to what it is now, a stagnant pile of disaffected bittervets and increasingly disappointed neophytes. The alternative is CCP throws itself back into EvE full time, and returns to a schedule of MAJOR expansions. In this fantasy Dec 2012 gets followed with another “Back and fill” expansion possibly including the much-awaited time dilation mechanism. Anyone who thinks this is going to come out before EvE has at least 150 devs working on it is smoking some GREAT stuff btw. Dec 2013 sees an expansion with yet another massive graphics update, Possibly on the order of Trinity. This will include the first “True” original content (stuff never seen nor mentioned before) and helps CCP push the subscriber count over 500k
As long as I’m dreaming I’d like a pony. With a horn.
The ball is entirely in CCPs court. They know that EvE is their only realistic source of profit for at least a couple of years, and they have to at least be cognizant of the fact that in all likelihood Dust will be a failure of epic proportions. This is not entirely their fault, but MAN was it a questionable move.