CZ Minutes: Trick or Treat?Tarek Raimo
CCP made great steps forward with the Drifter AI, but the more recent additions to PVE content were plagued with problems. The much anticipated Drifter Incursions had to be pulled from Tranquility and are still on hold – to be released in the Winter. The Blood Raider Harvest which went live this past week was also suffered from bugs and there have been complaints by some players that the site design makes them too easy to exploit by third parties. Until spring some more new PvE features are on the roadmap.
Do those issues indicate that there might be an underlying problem? Does CCP try to release too much too quickly? Is it legacy code buried deep within the NPC AI? Or are those just teething problems that can be expected with a new technology?
Ganky Deska: Like any code there’s going to be issues. The rapid release system is going to expose us to these bugs more than ever. Expecting things to be perfect is silly. I think it’s summed perfectly as teething problems. Every iteration will improve the program and minimize the problems.
JEFFRAIDER: I loved the surprise nature of The Crimson Harvest and CCP seemed fast to resolve the Cerebral Accelerator bug. I’m really more excited about the Group PVE activities in sov null, I’d love to hear more about that.
SpaceSaft: I don’t think the current problems with new content are something to be worried about. I like that CCP could roll the changes back and didn’t break anything important and I’m looking forward to eventually allying with the Drifters. I’m just going to pretend that’s what they’re working on.
Tarek: I do not care for PvE and I hate hypes. Consequently I couldn’t care less about the Blood Raider thing. I do understand that some people go crazy about it because they want to milk it for ISK and/or skillpoints. I am somewhat blase about all of this, but I hope it is evidence of CCP developing their NPC AI and their PvE design. Maybe one day we might even see a PvE system emerge from that series of trials that isn’t boringly repetitive and can’t be farmed AFK.
MukkBarovian: This has been a smashing success. I have seen many more players in space. It’s a gold rush. This has encouraged PVP everywhere from highsec to deep 0.0. The PCU has been up by a thousand since the event started despite the fact that many hardcore pilots are busy partying at EVE Vegas. The accelerators would screw with the market if this was a permanent thing. But this is is only a short time project. Its not going to stick around long enough to get old or distort the market.
Niden: I don’t really care about this stuff personally, but I love that it is there. However, unlike Tarek, I believe hype is essential to keeping EVE alive and interesting, and I don’t mind it myself.
The Blood Raider harvest, barring the bug, has to be considered a success. The popularity of the event is testament to that. It’s really a tried and true model used in many other MMOs, a stimulus to get people out there doing stuff – some go for the event itself, others go to hunt them in turn, there is a ripple effect. I think injecting things like this into the everyday life of EVE is a good way to keep things dynamic and interesting. You can have the best game mechanics in the world, but without variation, any game will suffer.
The Drifter incursions however (which are a much bigger thing and can almost not be compared to something as simple as the Blood Raider harvest), kind of stumbled on the finish line. Massive hype had been built up, and at the moment of truth, it just didn’t work. Part of the reason might be that most dev resources are currently tied into null sov, capital rebalance and structures, and that kinks in the feature just weren’t ironed out enough. In that case, CCPs ambitions simply outgrew their capacity at the moment. However, I understand their need to develop something like this, the community has been asking for new PvE content for a very long time. It was just a little too much at once.