Blog Banter 36: Expansive Horizons

 

“With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?”

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Firstly, I should qualify any commentary in this post with the following caveat; Xander is around three years old so my personal experience in game is Apocrypha onwards. My knowledge of previous expansions is a mixture of some research, whispered hearsay and Wikipedia. Because of this, I’m not going to spend time talking about a full suite of expansions as some others may do. We all know some of the disasters (I’m looking at you Incarna) and we are all aware of the fallout of said mistakes.

Instead, I will focus on the one expansion I think has had the most impact on the game in the time Xander has existed – Crucible. Crucible needed to be special. The pressure on CCP after the Summer of Rage was monumental and if Crucible didn’t hit it out of the park the consequences could have been incredibly severe. The perception of New Eden from its inhabitants needed rescued quickly. And Crucible delivered. Oh my, how it delivered.

With a focus on flying in spaceships, fixing mistakes, graphical enhancements and those wafer-thin but entirely deadly Tier III BCs, the entire package screamed, bolded and underlined a company who were aware of the mistakes they had made and were trying to do their damndest to repair the damage to the game and the relationships with their player base. Iteration was the order of the day with an infinite number of tweaks designed to improve what makes EVE currently great rather than try and throw a multitude of features and functionality no-one cares about to see what sticks. Assault ships were rebalanced, overheating was made a bit easier and rookie ships were made to look a little better than a spaceship variant of your Dad’s Fiat Panda from the 80s. The cherry on the cake though was those delicions T3 BCs with the capacity to throw around Battleship damage on a Battlecruiser hull. They immediately felt like they should have always existed.

EVE needed a reboot but not in the way CCP had originally thought. We didn’t need to walk in stations. We didn’t need to make the most perfect, realistically detailed avatar in the history of gaming (but yeah, the character creator is awesome). What we needed was EVE Online fixed. What we have all loved doing for years needed rebalancing, tweaking, polishing and adjusting. Crucible did that, helping push EVE towards the potential we all know it could fulfil and every pilot in New Eden, old and new, rejoiced.

Tags: blogbanter, blogbanter36, crucible, freebooted

About the author

Jeg Elsker

Jeg Elsker is the brains behind the Crossing Zebras team. While Xander may come up with all the fanciful ideas, Jeg was the dude with the technical ability to create the Crossing Zebras site and all the technical infrastructure required to go with it. On top of this, he somehow manages to temper Xander’s enthusiasm on the podcast with some tempered reason and sense