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14Oct/13Off

A quick glimpse into the Crystal Ball

This post is a reply to the Blog Banter #50.

With the Rubicon expansion being announced and the SOMER Blink scandals (or non-scandals depending on your point of view) that have erupted on the community at the same time, it truly feels like an age of EVE has passed and a new one is dawning.

But which direction is it going? This blog banter can be about several different topics:
- where do you think EVE is going? Is it a good or bad vision ahead?
- if you were EVE's new Executive Producer, where would you take the game?
- What comes (or should come) after Rubicon in terms of the mechanics and ship balancing we've seen? (CSM8 not allowed to answer this one!)
- Is there anything in EVE's ten year past that should be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?
- What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?

The Banter's topic is actually a funny one, because I thoroughly enjoy speculating about the future of EVE. Let's fetch the *Crystall Ball* (mind you, it's probably useless without skill *Polaris* trained to V).

* /me gazes into the Crystall Ball *

Where do you think it's going?

During Fanfest and then subsequently during Rubicon presentation CCP Seagull shown us a theme of exploration and space colonization. Remember the famous "Badgers" image? (Yes, I know some of them are Tayras actually)

badgers-build-stargate

I tell you what I saw in the crystall ball. I saw new space: space different from K-Space, and space different from Anoikis (also known as W-space). I saw the EVE gate open again. I saw abandoned planet on the other side of the EVE gate. I saw how legends of Earth come true as capsuleers explore the long forgotten point of humanity's origin. I saw space without stargates and without local chat. But I also saw Badgers building stargates. I saw gate satellites that report gate activity to the holder of the system (did I mention there was no local chat?). I saw Sisters of EVE digging for Terran artifacts. I saw SoE battleships. I also saw capsuleers owning stations in high sec space and I saw capsuleers running station establishments. One of the barkeep names was strangely familiar, but at the same time out of place: the name was "Quark"... And then the image went all fuzzy and I saw nothing else.

Is it a good vision? I think it is. Back when EVE was still young, the space was often empty. It was out there to explore and for the taking. Even though there was no Exploration feature as we know it today, flying around 0.0 felt like exploring the unknown. You would rarely meet other people. It was even possible to find empty systems in high sec! Now we have almost fully colonized wormholes, we have exploration mechanic and... suddenly it does not feel unknown at all. There is no real notion to fly around and explore. There, see my TCU? This system is mine. But does colonization really mean simply sticking a flag? Or is it about building housing, mines, roads, farms and so on? Even if EVE gate remains as closed as ever, there is still so much we could do with the amount of empty space we have in EVE.

If you were EVE's new Executive Producer?

Frankly, I'm quite happy that I'm not. This is a very an EXTREMELY responsible position. It takes loads of hard work to gain community's approval, yet it's very easy to loose it.

What comes (or should come) after Rubicon?

POS revamp. Current system works, but only because we have nothing else to replace it. The recent changes in Odyssey were step in the right direction (accessing storage from anywhere within the shield is really cool, and I'm sure Personal Hangar is great for WH residents). But setting up a POS, even with reduced timer is counter-intuitive and the UI to do so is still clumsy. A modular POS where you add modules by sticking them to the Control Tower like Lego bricks seems a much better idea.

A S&I GUI revamp. Seriously! CCP Karkur (and CCP Punkturis, when you get back ;-)), S&I needs your love. Lot's of it!

  1. Selecting labs and production lines (it's a pain when there is 40 labs to choose from, and you have to scroll-scroll-scroll-click every time you set up a job). Drawing the lists side by side, rather than one on top of another would probably be a good start.
  2. Start multiple jobs by selecting multiple lines. Hell, the current UI already allows you to select multiple lines, but there is no code to actually make sense of that multiple selection.
  3. Remember last invention choice and last decryptor used (if it's available in hangar). Pretty please!
  4. Some in game tool to plan a production line. Currently we have to write our own third party tools to do that (see LMeve)

More visual feedback would also be fun. For example, ship assembly lines at POS could feature the hulls that are actually being built inside (mind you that would add a lot to immersion factor).

Should something be resurrected? Or buried and forgotten?

Dear CCP, you should never (and I mean it) bring old limited edition ships back. There's plenty of hulls that the team Trilambda created, but are not available to players. I would really love a Roden Megathron in my collection! Or a Guristas Raven, when we are at it:

2012.10.03.16.49.08

What is the future of the community? What should or should not change?

Less drama is all the community needs, really. Most of us are grown ups, and should behave accordingly.