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December 23, 2014

Eve Online Year in Review

The Battle of B-R5RB
This year in Eve Online started out with a boom, the Halloween War was in full swing. Everyone was still analyzing the Battle of HED-GP(Jan. 18) when only a week later it was quickly overshadowed by the bloodiest conflict to date in Eve Online the Battle of B-R5RB(Jan. 27). The battle was widely covered by the gaming press. All this press found Eve with a surge of new players curious to discover this strange game where players numbering in the thousands battle for hours with ships reported to cost thousands of real world dollars.

2014 Fanfest
This years Eve Fanfest offered the usual hints of amazing new features and gorgeous game trailers. None of these announcements can compare to the shift in CCP's new development cycle that for the last six months has been dropping patch after patch in quick succession. Players hardly have time to absorb the patch notes of the latest patch release when the next releases devblogs are already cropping up.

Jester's Trek Ends
Also in May Riperd Teg author of the blog Jester's Trek stepped away from his blog. Blogging is an exhausting effort and Jester's Trek was the best of us. As he stepped back from blogging I am sure not but a few of us paused to take note of our own priorities. He was a machine serving on CSM8 and keeping regular updates on his blog about everything Eve. His incites and influence is still felt strongly today.

Kronos Patch: First Patch in the Six Week Cycle
The Kronos patch was marked by what it didn't have more than what it did. CCP announced that the planned industry revamp would be put off until the Crius patch for more fine tuning. The push back was the first fruits of the new development cycle that would come to dominate the last half of the year.

Industry Revamp
The Crius patch brought about the industry revamp changing up the mechanics and UI of the research and manufacturing system. The new streamed line UI improved visibility of the manufacturing process.

Jump Mechanic Changes
The Phoebe patch saw the much talked about jump fatigue mechanic enter the game. The changes sparked a huge conversation within the community. I can't help but feel a strong sense of irony that CCP Greyscale doesn't even work for CCP anymore. I don't fly capitals so I didn't have much to say about the issue. It seemed a double edge sword for sure. I wonder why they didn't absorb more feed back and push the release back until the next patch.

"This is Eve"
Its hard to believe that a game trailer with only 1.5 million views created such a spike in new players. I have long thought that Eve Online has a very limited presence on youtube. People just don't know what this game is about. Several years ago myself I tried the game out because I stumbled onto some youtube videos about Eve it caught my interest and here I am today.

Input Broadcasting is Banned
CCP puts an end to Input Broadcasting. CCP has stated the following:

Input Broadcasting and Input Multiplexing refer to the multiplication of inputs, actions and events to multiple instances of the game. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

• Activation and control of ships and modules
• Navigation and movement within the EVE universe
• Movement of assets and items within the EVE universe
• Interaction with other characters
Input Broadcasting and Input Multiplexing of actions with consequences in the EVE universe, are prohibited and will be policed in the same manner as Input Automation.
Input Broadcasting is a feature of ISBoxer if you use multiple accounts at the same time you will now have to manually go to each account and push your buttons. TMC posted an article bemoaning the fact that this is going to really shake up the economy. I disagree, if you have gone to the trouble of setting up 20 accounts I think your okay going through and pushing a couple more buttons sure it might get a little tedious. I just don't see the mass exodus the article is calling for. People adapt and  Eve Online players adapt even faster.

Industry Teams Phase Out
The Industry Teams feature which was released in the Crius patch was announced to be phased out until further development can take place. A ground breaking move for CCP to take out a feature they thought wasn't working. As many perhaps unfinished or unused features have remained in the game for years.

New Space
A 100 new wormhole systems are introduced in the Rhea release. The first time new space has been added to the game since the Apocrypha expansion more than five years previous. As the six week patch cycle keeps rolling into the next year hopefully things will only keep changing for the better.

These are just a few of the things I thought of looking back through 2014. Enjoy your Christmas vacation and have a Happy New Year!

December 15, 2014

Elite: Dangerous to Play or Not to Play?

That is the question. I have been back and forth a hundreds times this month trying to decide if I should get Elite: Dangerous. The major reason I haven't bought it out right and stopped thinking about it is time. Everyone's time is precious these days and I don't think I can squeeze enough time out of my schedule to try this one out and really enjoy it that being said the holidays are always busy. So perhaps come January when things settle down a bit I might have a little extra time for this gorgeous looking game. For everyone else out there hope you have a chance to check this one out I will be reading your reviews and watching to see what you all think.

Check out this trailer with added honesty it made me chuckle.

December 8, 2014

Industry Teams Removal: The New Precedent?

Rhea has a host of changes that could be examined closer but this latest statement regarding the phase out of Industry Teams I find most interesting. I for one thought of industry teams as a needless complication from the beginning and adapted the wait and see approach. It seems CCP has waited long enough and have decided to take the steps to phase out the industry teams feature.

First a quick background is in order. Industry Teams was first mentioned in this devblog spring of 2014 as part of the Industry Revamp. It was supposed to be the extra icing on the cake to change up industry game play I'm guessing? Either way the changes to POSes and blueprint changes have had a much more significant change on the industry landscape coming out of the Crius patch which landed in July 2014.

Fast forward to today and according to CCP's numbers manufacturing teams use is in the single digits and it isn't even used for research jobs. The feature in its current iteration is clunky at best and in my opinion adds a slight amount of add value at a cost of tedious time consumption. CCP had this to say about their plans for the Industry Teams feature going forward:

Our rollout plan for this would be to disable the seeding of new teams by the end of 2014, and to disable the UI features in one of the first releases of 2015. That being said, we want your input and feedback on what is ultimately a fairly unprecedented course of action for us. While we feel we have done our due diligence additional context from you is always appreciated.
"A fairly unprecedented course" is right. Time will tell if other unpopular features released now and into the future are rolled back like the industry teams. I am of the opinion that if its not hurting anyone leave it be. I mean it only took ten years for a major industry revamp and if we have to wait another ten years why not leave teams be. If you want to take the time and isk to invest in them so be it.

Anyway lots of other eye candy and new space coming out in Rhea check out the development video for a quick recap of everything.