CZ Minutes: The Road Ahead

In a video dev blog published on Friday last week, CCP Seagull (executive producer) announced new details for the roadmap, ranging from what’s around the corner, all the way to spring 2016. Here’s a summary of what’s ahead. Phallax:
  • Sovereignty structure modifications, including passive structure regeneration.
  • Jump fatigue reduction to five days.
Fall 2015:
  • The Crimson Harvest – undoubtedly some type of lore/PVE event featuring the the Blood Raiders (Halloween?).
  • Invasion of the Throne worlds – the problem-ridden Drifter incursions that General Stargazer wrote about
  • A revamp of the probe scanning map that allows probing in a separate window.
  • Brain in a Box performance updates, presumably the rewriting of legacy code will give a boost in performance, but it should also be noted that this is the launch of a rewritten attribute system – it remains to be seen what this actually means or what CCP intend to do with it.
  • More ship SKINs.
Winter 2015:
  • Community driven ship updates – it’s unclear at this stage what this means. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure Gorski had to do with it and you should all blame him come winter.
  • New destroyers with Micro Jump Field Generators that affect “you and any ships nearby” – it’s unclear what restrictions will be placed on these MJDs, but wouldn’t it be funny to MJD people off an undock?
  • A new Tech II  ice mining frigate.
  • New effects for explosions.
  • Expansions to Drifter sites.
  • Missile Guidance Disruptors, as Gorski has foreseen, these will be the missile equivalent of tracking disruptors.
  • The addition of the falloff mechanic for neuts and remote reps.
  • Tiericide for EWAR modules.
  • PvP kill marks on ships.
  • New propulsion systems.
  • Updates for module effects.
  • Battle-ravaged hulls – the very popular effects for wear and tear shown at Fanfest finally make it into the client.
  • Additional camera options.
  • Graphical updates to various things.
  • The Tribute system – a form of dailies introduced that pay out in ISK.
  • A cone display for scrubs who don’t know how to use D-scan.
  • Some much-needed improvements to the Mac client.
  • EVE has sound? Well, now there will be more of it in the form of additional music.
Spring 2016:
  • Capital ship rebalance and Citadels. The timing suggests this will be presented at Fanfest.
The initial reactions from the community have mostly been very positive and the hype is building. What are your thoughts on some of the updates announced? Is there anything you’re particularly excited about? Do you feel that anything is missing? General Stargazer: I’m really excited about this latest update. I was out on the Friday night it was announced so it hit me really the next morning and no kidding, i literally went “oh my fucking god” irl when I saw some of these proposed things. The only thing that did annoy me a little bit is while I appreciate the release schedule has been made a bit more broad now with expansions making a return, I do wish some of this information had been added to the updates over time rather than just BOOM here you go. Over the last few months, in my opinion, some of the community has been a bit down, with the constant dragging on of “eve is dying” theme recurring and I think if people had known that even some of items were planned it would have probably changed the tempo at least little bit? I’m not too phased with the lack of detail at the moment with some of the roadmap items, I imagine we will see this more in finer details as their release draws closer, but sure, as with the initial structure announcement, I think a few things on here will really get a talk and buzz going again? Couple of things on here that I’m personally excited about – The mentioning of Omir Sarikusa – sure as suggested it may be a Halloween style event, but short of Christmas/new years, seasonal celebrations aren’t really a thing in Eve? I hope perhaps it’s more of a new developing story arc? Perhaps some interactions with the recent happenings in the Amarr empire? No Empress/Trials?    As a side note – with Valykries launch grows closer as well, I’m surprised the main technology developer of the Valkyrie, the Guristas, aren’t listed on here.  Granted we’ve seen a few scope videos themed that way, but I guess we will have to wait and see?  (For those that haven’t played Valkyrie – in the pvp mode, the Guristas Valkyrie pilots launch from a Wyvern, like the one just stolen in the last scope video..) Drifter sites – I’m both happy and a little bit saddened that this is mentioned, as the previous drifter wormholes and complexes were more of a “discovery” rather than an informed announcement. But I’m greatly interested in this story arc as well to see where it leads. New Drugs are coming… New Destroyers – don’t these things just sound badass? Does it affect friend and foe? Anti anchor/blobbing ship? Will these only affect subcaps i wonder as well as you could move an entire fleet on top of or away from a cap fleet for example? Will they move the fleet in the direction the individuals are pointing or the Destroyer? So much potential! Missile Guidance Disruptors – great! Now about those defender missiles… and what happened about drone disruptors? Remote rep changes – I did feel Logi did need looking at in terms of repping power and its scaling, but will this be enough ? Also.. how’s it progressing getting logi on kill mails? Camera options – OH YES – one of the things I’ve been asking and longing for some time is for better camera controls! We can’t easily move ship models out of the game to make our own cool videos, but won’t it be nice to be able to have more camera controls for the video makers out there to make some more cool eve videos? Community Driven Ship updates – I’m guessing this relates to this:- the start of the focus groups concept we saw mentioned by CCP?” – Can/Will this lead on to the potential thing of Community Driven Ship Skins or Avatar Apparel? Alliance Ship Skins/Alliance “Uniforms”? Only other thing i’m not to sure of is the kill marks – Sure i think it’s a great idea, but once again, feel like the non combat role ships are left out again here. The scouts, the logi pilots, the EW support ships, what do they get?  Is it really going to be noticeable too with the amount of time players spend zoomed out? JumpFatigueb412 Tarek: The community driven ship updates most likely refers to this initiative from CCP which is about the formation of the first focus group. I truly hope that they will select those people with great wisdom. There are generally a few mechanics changes in there which are really big, and I think they tie in very closely with the Brain In A Box improvements they have also announced. BIAB is a new system that is under development which highly optimizes and streamlines the way how session changes work and how the interactions of ships on grid are calculated. I am no software developer, but my intuition tells me that this is the way how they finally manage to implement the changes to logi and EWAR which we see in the announcements. I have been lead to understand that further down that same road lies the holy grail of forcing links to be on-grid, something that is technically not possible at this point because of the complications it creates related to calculating the position of all ships relative to the link vessel. The Omir Sarikusa teaser is of course nice for all the fans of lore-related content. For those who don’t know, he is the leader of the Blood Raiders. Together with the fix for the Drifter Incursions which is also announced, that might spell a period of doom and terror for the Amarr Empire while they are already down after the loss of their beloved Empress. Personally I am not getting my hopes up too much. I think there may be a small event – many have speculated about Halloween – and then it probably ends up being a more complex Burner Mission like the recent one with the Guristas Carrier. If all the mechanics changes and new features make it into the game on schedule, CCP may find themselves comfortably surfing a wave of positive vibes and the afterglow of having completed some fundamental changes in the game when the time for Fanfest arrives. I really wish them the best in making all of this happen in time, and I am really looking forward to the new mechanics in particular. With projected effects becoming more range dependent, anti-missile EWAR, the new T2 destroyers and EWAR tiericide I foresee a major improvement in tactical fleet combat that will go a long way towards making kiter blobs less effective and generally leaves large groups in a less advantageous position when compared to tactically savvy smaller gangs. N+1 will of course remain a factor, but there are clear diminishing returns with this. It will simply become too difficult for FCs to manage massive fleets on a level that guarantees numerical and tactical superiority to the same degree at the same time. I am certainly looking forward to the PvP videos that will demonstrate what crafty tacticians can come up with.   CrimsonHarvest4ae8 Diana Olympos : Usually I’m part of the crowd defending CCP. 2015 was a really good year from my point of view, with the launch of Aegis Sov the best launch CCP ever did. And I know it’s not how people are seeing it, but it was really the proof that the new development cycle is good to get things done properly. Sadly on this list, only the graphical change are really interesting for me. Let’s see why. Jump Fatigue : 5 days? Well… that means that supers are usable every weekend… that is more in line with their original meaning but… that also means that you are not committing anymore with your CTAs toons. You can come and will be able to use you big thing the next week. Sov changes : Were announced before, some are good, some are just here to give a bone to chew to the mob. BiaB : Brain in a box is not really the interesting part. It’s good for TiDi and session change, but the real thing is the new Dogma that come with it. That will enable CCP to do a ton of change on the modules that were waiting since last year. Dogma is the mechanism EVE use to link attributes and effects to the objects that are used by the game, like your ships, pods, missiles, modules, drones, structures, etc. Crimson Harvest and Blood Raiders : nothing bad here, but no game changing either. Wait and see? Drifter incursions: The bug on the server did a lot of damage to that story arc. Finally fixing it is a good news, especially if that means deploying the new AI to every NPC faster. MJD T2 Destroyer: Urgh? What the hell? I know there was a lot of talk about harpoons and moving things in space, but we have a big problem of slow ships being too slow to do anything against the speed creep. And you add another thing that will kill them… It really come from nowhere and i’m waiting to know more but i’m not a fan of that thing. Maybe good for brawlers. Tiericide, falloff, missile disruption: Good, modernising modules is still happening and that’s good news. I think lot of that has to do with updates to Dogma. Kill marks: My ships are in nullsec in a place where things happen. If they kill something before dieing it’s impressive and they don’t last more than few days. So not really interesting. Good, especially if it’s from dev time on side project. It may lead to fun things. Graphical updates : As usual, CCP work to keep EVE feel like a modern game for graphic and keep it up to date. That’s quite good. Tributes : if you didn’t read the CSM Minutes Day 4, go look at them. There is a big part about these daily PVE missions. The elephant in the room : Here is what i feared about the expansions coming back. Content coming later (Medium and Large Citadels were not that far to be launchable on Tranquility, we could have had them before the end of the year) and being postponed to launch it with the next “big thing to be seen on media”. And packing too many game changing things on the same expansion. I really hope they will test a LOT the interactions and possibility of new caps and citadels. Because launch both these changes on the same day means that if something goes wrong, it will go wrong fast and big. And everyone knows Murphy’s Law… To wrap up, i’m really surprised that we don’t see anything about FW on that roadmap. The FW change that are coming are big and were anticipated for the end of the year or the beginning of 2016. Where are the 4 way fights? The new NPC convoy? They were talked about on the Day 4 of CSM and are not NDAed… Will it come later in 2016 ? For me, we got things that were expected, a lot of graphical change and a big loose with the GodExpansion coming with capitals and citadels. I’m worried. newdestroyerslargeb412 JEFFRAIDER: More like “The Road Head” LOL Tarek: Few people know this, but we only keep JEFFRAIDER around for his insightful high-quality contributions on the minutes. Ashterothi: EVE 2.0 is a theme I have been diving into quite a bit in my discussions and posts, and this fits into that nicely. Spring 2016 is a very important time for EVE, and now everyone knows it. BiaB is huge, and they are underselling it. This feature is part of a set of highly ambitious revisions to some of the hardest :legacy code:. Where POSes were easier to replace then revise, the core mechanics of the game have to appear to stay close to the same. They have done this with other systems before, however nothing on this critical of a level. Good responsiveness is important in modern games, and 10% tidi is likely no longer acceptable. New hardware also falls under this. New Launcher: by far the best quality of life improvement I have seen this year, and I am not joking. We now join the modern era of launcher functionality. Not only can I keep my accounts in order, but I will no longer hear about how I can’t hold a training fleet on Sisi because “not enough people will have it up to date”. Crimson Harvest: Talk about kicking the Amarr when they are down right? The new AI they are working on allow for a lot of different options, expect to see more story content as time goes on and the universe turns. I do find it very odd that there is no news about Guristas… Missile Disruption: I have mixed feelings about this. Fozzie’s original plan was to allow TDs to effect missiles. This has obviously changed (read: nerfed), but the question is why? I would argue that there may be technical limitations, but BiaB is coming, and that seems to directly counter such issues. More likely it was a design decision. Either way, glad they are finally here so that Amarr EWAR doesn’t have to be a #1 joke. Also absent was the aforementioned AI. Although the Drifter inclusions did have to be taken offline, the progress on the AI should be going strong. The goal was the end of the year, but no sign of it in the updates. However, I am glad for the timeline of Citadels. The sov rollout was disastrous, and if we have learned anything, it is that some things need to be released together.  I personally find a bit smug that we have come full circle to what I recommended two years ago: An expansion surrounding structures. Bottom line is EVE has been undergoing a huge overhaul, and what we see ahead is a mix of newer features (the citadel expansion), but mostly a deep polish of the overall experience of EVE Online. Citadels_Structuresb412 Tarek: I sort of understand why they would make separate modules to affect missiles rather than turrets. It’s a completely different weapon system that has very different parameters. Both from the viewpoint of mechanics and immersion that makes sense. On one side you need your disruptor module to affect specific variables in the equation of the weapon system you are affecting, on the other side, the technology involved in disrupting a missile guidance system would be different than what you use to affect the sensors of a mounted turret. The thing I am still missing is an actual use for defender missiles. They could have tied that in there when they are already busy with things affecting missiles. Diana Olympos : From what Fozzie said about them on the same post, I get that they didn’t have the tech nor the time to do it in the same pass. And as he said, Defender missiles need a complete rework. And i don’t see a lot of good ideas about how to change them floating around. General Stargazer: I’m sure the answer “ Because of Legacy Code” fits into the explanation also at some point.. Dunk Dinkle: My brain is completely overloaded by the amount of stuff listed above.  Whether the ideas are good or bad will only be known once we understand how they will be implemented.  Ideally, I’d like to see changes leading to a wider range of tactics & doctrines rather than creating de facto standards like Ishtars and Slippery Petes.   I’m interested in the change to logi modules.  Having remote remotes have falloff would be fine as long there is a balance where some aspect is beneficial to logi pilots.  While many Eve notables seem to blame logi for the paucity of good fights, completely nerfing it will be disenchanting the group whose playstyle is in demand and not benefiting from changes like kill marks on ships. Hopefully, CCP can slide in a new and interesting visual effect for hull repair.  Today’s effect is the same as armor repair.  This is critical and I hope the CSM pops this to the top of their list. What I didn’t see a lot of were items that appeal to new players.  New blood is critical to Eve Online’s continued success and anything that can be done to bring new players into the game and give them good reasons to stay is incredibly valuable. Dirt Niden: Let me first state that I am positive about all the changes, it really feels like a shot in the arm for EVE Online and I believe we have a bright future ahead. However, these are the things I am personally looking forward to the most. As Ashterothi mentioned, Brain in a Box may be one of the most underplayed important features for EVE Online ever. It’s understandable, it’s hard to market updating the backend of any product. But I believe this update is fundamental to the flexibility of EVE development going forward, it is the foundation upon which amazing new functionality can be built. ALL THE EYE CANDY! I’m not gonna lie, I am a sucker for pretty graphics and the way EVE captured the beauty of space is a large portion of what got me into playing the game all those years ago. I do zoom in at times and just look at the pretty ships, and love it. Killmarks and wear and tear on the ships? Oh yes please! Looking at these features at Fanfest and on the updates site has me watering at the mouth. It will give the ships character. I love browsing my hangar and remembering the amazing fights specific ships have been in. The new propulsion graphics, camera options and all that jazz is truly quality content for me and certainly think it was time well spent for the devs. All I’m missing now is a SKIN for my Machariel. Take my money already. Falloff to reps and neuts and the MJD destroyers are hopefully going to shake up the PvP meta, and that’s always interesting because it breaks up some of the cookie-cutter doctrines that tend to get relatively stale, and lets people get creative again. In summary I will say that this all feels good and that I am very optimistic about the next year of EVE Online.
Tags: cz minutes, CZM, expansions, roadmap

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12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.