You see, CCP learned an important lesson from the Summer of Rage as discussed yesterday: you can't let current features lie fallow forever when they are in a dysfunctional or broken state. Thus since Incarna we've seen massive ship rebalancing on a scale never seen before, Crimewatch 2.0, probing rework, factional warfare redone, graphical updates, unified inventory, UI enhancements, ... the list goes on and on from big to small.
But these iterations take development cycles, and these cycles come from what used to be the pool of new development. Combine that with ~6 month development and hardening time and that means that brand new content comes in smaller, more discrete chunks. Thus why we see new ships more often since Incarna (Tier 3 Battlecruisers, ORE Frigate, Navy Battlecruisers) and new modules (Ancillary shield and armour mods, Micro jump drives, target breakers, etc), but not intensive/extensive new systems like wormholes, factional warfare, or even incursions.
Now CCP is aware that players want those big shiny features as well as the small stuff and iterations and that is what Rubicon is all about: delivering a large intensive/extensive feature over several expansions instead of one expansion so that the small features and iterations can be delivered alongside instead of letting the game get stale.
|You've Seen This Before.|
To combat this, I suggest that its time CCP considers moving away from the 6 month expansion cycle to something that supports the reality of their two-pronged development of new content plus iteration.
My suggestion is a yearly "Expansion" each summer that gives players 8-9 months of development time of new features, and then during the year there are two point releases that gives iterations and smaller features, one point release in the fall that addresses any immediate concerns from the major expansions as well as normal iterations, and a point release in the late winter/early spring that has iterations and can lay groundwork for the next major expansion.
This would still allow players to get the same content over the same time-frame but would change perception that they are getting more in an expansion as well as maintain the feeling that CCP is continuing to do iterations on existing content.
* * * * *
I realize that the likelihood of CCP changing their entire development methodology structure based on my suggestion in a fansite blog post is low, but I felt the need to put it out there. Someday, when I rule the world, I'll make sure to address this issue personally.