No SugarcoatingForlorn Wongraven
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.