Carrot On A StickHVAC Repairman
Over the past year, CCP has made no secret of what their plans are for the future of EVE Online. The goal is simple: improve our sandbox further by making the construction (and destruction!) of any ship and structure in our fictional universe possible. But to reach that vision, many of the core concepts and features of EVE will need to be thoroughly overhauled. Some had hoped that after the industry renovations, CCP would next be working on features more directly related to the future vision. Instead, the closing announcement by CCP Seagull at Fanfest made clear that current mechanics and tools would need to be updated before that vision can be realized.
I’m down with that.
Prior to CCP’s movement to the iteration process during late 2011 and 2012, many of EVE’s current mechanics had been in a broken state. Instead of addressing problems with them, CCP had spent several expansions adding rushed content on the basis of it ‘sounding cool’ instead of fixing things. Then the riots over Incarna happened, and CCP’s movement towards the iteration process meant that features like aggression, balancing, corporation interface mechanics, factional warfare, industry, moon income, player-owned starbases, and sovereignty could potentially be overhauled. CCP then spent time on the Crucible, Inferno, Retribution, and Odyssey expansions fixing many of the problems on that list, but notably several major areas of concern have been left untouched. One of my concerns with the future vision is that the iteration process would either be slowed down or completely abandoned altogether.
Of those broken features I mentioned, there are two that have been left untouched: corporation user interface and sovereignty. So imagine my delight when both were shown on a graphic during Seagull’s EVE keynote on what needs to be worked on before that vision can be realized. The corporate user interface has always been one of the worst sores in the game and the biggest barrier for newer corporations flourishing. Sovereignty has needed an overhaul since a day after the Dominion release, and while I’m nervous that any revamp will fuck it up even worse, it’s something that can’t be ignored forever.
The corporate role system may indeed be one of the most unintuitive things in the history of gaming. The under-developed and never-used corporate shares system has lead to the robbery and disbandment of several entities during EVE’s history. The mechanics that support alliances are surprisingly bare, and almost anything done at the alliance-level is through corporate interfacing. Iteration to further expand what alliances can do, such as introducing alliance taxes, can immediately help support their development.
Using Seagull’s vision as the carrot on the stick as motivation to move forward, the only way to realize that vision is updating old projects from the past. I’m glad to see that iteration to the core foundations of EVE is going to continue. Starbases, corporate and alliance mechanics, and sovereignty are all things that need a lot of work in order to get there. One of the mistakes Hilmar admitted to was rushing towards a future vision while ignoring the problems of the present. That is one mistake that CCP won’t be making twice.