Why is that?
When Incarna arrived and the playerbase erupted into righteous rage due to the gameplay being non-existent and existing content left to rot (and I'll have more to say about Incarna tomorrow), CCP over-corrected with Crucible, an expansion that was nothing but little fixes and improvements. Since then, we have seen the following expansions and major features:
Inferno - Revamped war declaration system, factional war overhaul, and new missile effects
Retribution - New Crimewatch and Bounty Hunting
Odyssey - New Probing system and Hacking minigame
Doesn't seem like a lot, does it? Now, there have been a lot more to those expansions as you can see here which have included fixes, iterations (including Tiericide), new ships and modules, etc (seriously, have a look at the list of stuff in each expansion, it is eye opening to be reminded how much is in there). The expansions have not been lacking in the amount of work CCP has dedicated to them, but each one has been consecutively less well received by the playerbase.
Again, the original question I asked: Why?
The quick and simple answer is that players want their cake and to eat it too.
They want existing features to be iterated on and improved and brought up to date. They want ships rebalanced and for each one to have a role. They want weapon systems made unique yet balanced. They want POSes to be less evil to use. They want annoying and broken little things to be addressed.
But they also want the 'Jesus' features. They want slews of new ships, new weapons, new space, new mechanics, new sov system, new POS system, new wars, new ring mining, walking in stations... and they want it NOW!
While the playerbase was so burnt out on new content while old content rotted that they celebrated Crucible and Inferno, and to a lesser extent Retribution, we can see in Odyssey that the fickle players are feeling the blahs of seeing old content recycled and presented as new expansion material, even though that is exactly what CCP were screamed at for not doing in the years prior. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Which brings us back to Rubicon.
|Obligatory Expansion Image|
This no-win situation was summed up perfectly in a blog post at Sand, Cider, and Spaceships by Drackarn called Eve Rubicon - An Open Letter to Eelis Kiy:
So there you go Eelis, the quick guide to the features (so far announced) of the Rubicon 'expansion'. Yes, I know there doesn't seem to be a lot. Yes, it is an 'expansion' in the loosest possible terms when compared to something like Apocrypha. Yes, there is nothing to re-invigorate bored players or bring back ex-players... but those SoE ships do look nice! And you have to remember that the development resources are needed to rescue DUST. But didn't you see in the above, Interceptors will be immune to warp bubbles!!! Apparently for some, this five second coding change suggested by a player on the forums makes everything all right and elevates this from a point release to a full blown 'expansion' of awesomeness?This post, more than any other, echoed my feelings and put them into words I can read. And seeing my misgivings in letters and actual sentences forced me to face the truth. I am being unreasonable. Eve players are being unreasonable if they think they can have massive new development from the ground up that is fully functional and feature complete AND iteration on existing features that is meaningful and useful. Not in six month release cycles (and we'll talk more about that Wednesday!).
Have I convinced you to hand in your ex-player-bitter-vet card and rejoin Eve Online? No? To be honest I didn't convince myself here either.
Being forced to face my greedy self interest I came to the conclusion that CCP gets this round and one more expansion to show me the direction of this 3 year plan before I start passing out torches and pitchforks. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and go to bat for them one more time.
Bring on the Player Owned Platforms! (We'll talk more about them Thursday.)