Honesty is a refreshing policy. Even more so when it comes from the CEO of a game company that has been the target of a lot of criticism lately. Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games, posted a Dev Blog on the 5th that was a very concise, heartfelt and intelligently worded letter to the followers of EVE Online.
In it he apologizes for his hubris which led to CCP isolating itself from the player base and caused so much strife. He also touches on some specific events and tries to shed some light on the reasoning behind the missteps with each.
Some highlights include touching on the forced integration of Captain’s Quarters, what is essentially single player content that you are forced to utilize (unless you check a little box in the settings) that was met with severe resistance. He also commented on the inclusion of the Noble Exchange and it’s terrible roll out. From the underwhelming selection, to the pricing of the items that were there, and the fear it drove into people about the potential pricing of other vanity items (see: Monocle Debacle). He also firmly stated that microtransactions within EVE are going to remain as vanity items. They don’t want Cash Investment to trump Time Investment.
Going on, he talks about some past mistakes that were made by CCP and how they ended up causing good things to come to be. I’m not one to begrudge that fact, but only time will tell if this situation is similar. He also apologizes again for his errors in steering the company and reiterates that CCP really does want the best for EVE, they want it to be the ultimate Sci-Fi Simulation. Just a note, you should go check out that last link. Watch that video. That is what CCP wants EVE to be. And it will be, I am sure.
Shortly after the Letter from CCP Hellmar came out (literally 3 minutes later) a Dev Blog outlining what to expect from the Winter 2011 expansion for EVE was released. Although it was an altogether short post without any deep down details, it does offer up some tantalizing hints at how CCP have really listened to the player base and are going to refocus on the core Flying in Space (FiS) experience and bringing some much needed changes down the pipe.
One of the biggest, and first on the list, is the balancing of Hybrid Weapons. Finally Caldari Hybrid ships and non-Drone Gallente ships will be competing at the level they really should be. Other long time things that are getting some light shined on them are the Font (which is dated and terribad by any standard), balancing of Capital Ships, and Time Dilation which should help with the lag in large fleet fights.
Some things on the list are addressing current mistakes from CCP, like putting Ship Spinning back into the game so that Captain’s Quarters or looking at a dead image of a door aren’t your only options when docked. They are also adding the Caldari, Gallente and Amarrian Captain’s Quarters as well as some cosmetic updates to the Minmatar Quarters currently in use. This is sure to please those who are enjoying CQ, I know I will enjoy being able to check out the Caldari Quarters.
And some of the items on the list just have us scratching our heads and waiting to see what is coming. Like what they mean by “Assault Ships” on the list. Are they being rebalanced, redesigned, or are more of them being added? And what about those new Tech 2 modules. Are we going to get a Tech 2 Tractor Beam? Only time will tell.
The only item on the list that I am personally concerned that might be a sign of them overreaching is Faction Warfare, as that is something that needs a good chunk of work to rebalance and will take time to do properly. Maybe they have put the time into it, but there is no way to tell as of right now.
Basically what I am saying, I suppose, is that this is an amazingly good time to look at getting into EVE if you have been thinking about it. Or maybe it is time for you to come back.
But a quick word of advice if you do decide to check the game out. First, if you think you are likely to actually subscribe, let me know in the comments or shoot me an email and I can get you a 21 day free trial instead of the default 14 day. And yes, if you subscribe by my sending you a link I get a free month of game time. Also, check out the Project Halibut channel in game if you do play (hit the little speech bubble on any chat window and type “Project Halibut” into the new window that pops up and hit join). Project Halibut was put together to help new players figure out the game and overcome some of the intense learning curve issues that EVE stills has.