Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Due

We all know Eve is supposed to be a cold, harsh universe, and both the players and CCP have embraced that fact fully. Players have absolutely no problem telling CCP when they messed something up. In fact, we're coming up on the year anniversary of Incarna and the Jita riots (Incarna dropped June 21, 2011). I'd like to take a minute and actually commend CCP for all they've been doing recently though. Let's look at the trajectory.

This time last year, CCP was just about ready to give players a room that could fry GPU's, cause massive unsubs, and make players spend their in-game time shooting a statue. We were about 12 months into the legendary "18 months" of no spaceship iteration. They kept true to their word on that one, by the way, failing to do anything remotely significant for combat-oriented spaceships until Crucible. And then, of course, there was the "Greed is Good" publication. Can't forget that one. The best part about this ongoing fiasco was that  CCP had no clue what they were doing wrong. "Why don't you guys like the pretty room with the door?" It makes me shiver just writing about this.

Let's take a look at now. A year later, I think we have an almost entirely different CCP. Let's start with the releases: Crucible and Inferno. Please raise your hand if you had a problem with Crucible. I'm not holding my breath for any takers. In my opinion, all of the Inferno features are neutral at worst, with the exception of the unified inventory. Personally, I don't think that the UI is that bad. Its different, but not inherently terrible. Regardless, CCP committed to a very aggressive release cycle in order to rectify the issue, including two more releases over the next 2-3 weeks. Plain and simple, this would not have happened last year. Its an extremely positive step.

Another important factor that says great things for CCP is the CSM interaction. It appears that the CSM is being well utilized and the the summit was at least relatively successful. Even through strict NDA, Seleene and the rest of the delegates seem optimistic about the state of things. Again, this is a drastic contrast from CSM 5's open letter to the public and CSM 6's public opposition to CCP. The CSM is no longer fighting against, but instead defending CCP. They have no reason to be lap dogs, which therefore leads me to believe this is genuine.

The overarching theme is more communication and transparency. Look at Twitter for example. CCP devs are constantly chatting with players. The environment is laid back and friendly, but these people care. If you're interested in getting something done in game, it can't hurt to poke one of the devs on Twitter. The answer to requests is not always yes, but a lot of times its "Hmm interesting, I'll look into it." That's a nice start. A special shout-out goes to CCP Punkturis, who is arguably #tweetfleet's favorite dev.

Overall its just nice to see positive change. Before Crucible, I told my girlfriend that I was worried about the state of Eve and the impact Dust would have. I'm still a little bit apprehensive about Dust until more details come out, but Eve is most certainly going in the right direction. CCP still isn't perfect, but its nice to give credit where credit is due. To everyone at CCP, thanks for all of the hard work over the past year and keep it up!

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