No Sugarcoating


In his second column, Pandemic Legion pilot and Alliance Tournament XI winner Forlorn Wongraven, discusses what went right and what went not so right with the latest Eve Online expansion, Rubicon.

After each expansion, CCP presents an online survey to obtain feedback from their subscribers. Their latest survey is available here. Please take some time to fill out the survey! My feedback was hard and unpleasant. Let me tell you why I have such negative feelings about Eve Online’s latest expansion.

When the first features were announced for Rubicon, I was distinctly underwhelmed. I tested all the features on Singularity very early and gave feedback both via local chat to developers and on the forums. Rubicon is another patch that continues CCP’s drive for small iterations and fixes. It is basically just an overhyped quality-of-life update for things that have been broken a long time, some themed polish or even in one case, replace something broken with something else broken. At least CCP delivered what they said they would deliver with a complete absence of Jesus features.

None of the main Rubicon features appeal to me. The list with things I like in Rubicon is short:

UI changes in fleet management

– the minor changes to jump sounds

– the five new music tracks for low sec

– DirectX 11 implementation

– changed warp disruption bubble effects


CCP’s continuing rebalancing effort for all ship types is always welcome; with Rubicon we got changes for Interceptors, Interdictors, Electronic Attack Frigates and Marauders. CCP Ytterbium, CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise put a lot of effort in and I (often) like what they come up with. However, this is still it is just a fix for broken game balance and not a feature. The same applies to the warp acceleration changes.

Ghost sites are polished exploration sites with NPC spawns and different loot tables. The new certificate system has the same flaws as the old one, with even more irrelevant requirements for the new mastery levels. I particularly like those that require a skill trained to 5 which doesn’t even apply to the ship. ISIS looks nice but it doesn’t add anything to the gameplay. It could be argued that it assists new players but as long as ISIS is based upon the new certificate system, they still need to read guides and how-tos to understand what they need to train to fly a ship properly. High sec POCOs don’t bother me as I don’t do PI. They will have an mid-term influence on my market trading though. According to CCP Paradox, there has been a great purge of NPC owned POCOs in high sec which will inevitably lead to higher prices.

I deployed a mobile depot once but I actually didn’t use it. I killed a few siphon units. CFC tried to put up a cyno inhibitor during a battle. With pleasure, I observed how Pandemic Legion members looted a grid with the mobile tractor units. I must admit though that the mobile siphon unit creates some hilarious stories about failed moon goo stealing but there is no player interaction. Just take a look at zKillboard! Mobile units are clearly a nice gimmick but their capabilities are limited and their success is variable.

Overall, the new features Rubicon has brought to Eve Online have little effect on my gameplay. The expansion motto is ‘there is no turning back’. If there was a red line that CCP crossed with this expansion, I clearly missed it. Fortunately there is no other MMO that combines PvP, organisation, a good community and ruthless griefing like Eve Online does so I will keep playing. But CCP has to deliver more and soon if they want to keep their community, particularly the veterans, attached to the game.

Tags: forlorn, rubicon

About the author

Forlorn Wongraven

PL pilot, 2013 alliance tournament winner and Eve financier extraordinaire, what Forlorn doesn't know about Eve probably isn't worth knowing

  • HVAC Repairman

    more like rubiconned amirite

  • Fuzzysteve

    ‘inevitably lead to higher prices.’ What, with RvBee putting them in at a lower tax rate?

    • Forlorn Wongraven

      AFAIK RvB only controls a relative small share of all the POCOs.

  • Jack Holt

    I like Rubicon, but then again I drive a Marauder and the changes for it were very good. I also have found great use for the mobile tractor units.

  • Liner Xiandra

    It’s fairly disappointing to see that the focal point of Rubicon, the ghost sites are such a rarity that most players haven’t seen them in game yet. And if you do; you’ll see that its just a regular radar/magnetometric site with a different spawn and an extra timer. That’s no new content at all.

    The carrot that’s been dangling since fanfest about new space have me feeling like we’re back at fanfest 2008 where they were showcasing WiS.

  • GrouchyOldGamer

    I’m going to give credit to CCP Ytterbium, CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise as the most engaged Dev team in CCP. The reason the ship balancing has been pretty much drama free is because they actually talk to their player base directly. Good shot.

    Rubicon is indeed a massive meh.

  • Howard Treesong

    Although I agree with the main gist of the post, I always wonder why we have to be so negative about CCP’s efforts.
    I agree that there’s a lot of ‘it was broken, we fixed it’ in it, but there are new elements in it as well. The mobile depots will allow solo players to venture out into low-sec, 0.0, to see if they can maybe poke a hole in the universe or simply: to have some of their own lulz. I don’t see that as a negative.

    Here is what you do if you want positive changes: voice your needs, in a positive way, get wide support for that and make it ‘by unanimous request’ feature. I believe Rubicon is step one of an improved New Eden. Understand that this is now a very mature (although you wouldn’t necessarily say so by the tone of some comments) environment and introducing new features into that environment is a most delicate exercise.

    The sandbox applies to the people building the sandbox. If you poke here, something over there moves too. The ship reballance is a case in point. changing POCO status is another step forward. But I agree: it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some truly ‘wow, look at that!’ new features. It would help with the sense of wonder.

    I believe EVE has vast potential for new, meaningful and engaging content. 50% of that is you lovable lugs with your insufferable nagging and bad manners. I sincerely love you all, even the asshole who blew up my boat.

    Think about what ‘universe’ means and which real-world features will allow you to build a grand epic home between the stars for us all.

    • Forlorn Wongraven

      My CEO is Elise Randolph, I talk with Sala Cameron every day. I have my ways of feedback.

  • Poetic Stanziel

    More time is needed, of course, but if you look at there has been only a slight jump in PCU since Rubicon was released. I would predict that this expansion will go down as a disappointment.

    Looking at the data, I would guess that EVE subscriptions are back on the decline. I’m not saying the game is dead. It isn’t. But CCP has no idea how to capture the imagination of new or old customers.

    The excitement of Crucible has worn off. CCP can’t keep selling ship rebalancing as a major expansion feature. People have clued in by now that it’s nothing more than shuffling the database.

    Look at Ghost Sites. They took a new feature from the last expansion, added NPCs, and then tried to pass it off as a brand new feature. Who the hell (other than Ali Aras) fell for that?

  • Z

    What did you expect?
    Maybe you should inquire how many developers are actually working on EvE these days.