Monday, 23 November 2009

Dominion?! Are we sure?

After the announcement of the upkeep costs for holding sovereignty in a system had been made, a lot of people brought up the exaggerated costs CCP had decided that would be logical for an entity to pay to have the ownership of one system. After hundreds of pages on the forums, CCP decided that they had clearly made a mistake. And in a swift movement they lowered the costs. But, in their effort to keep the people happy they went from the one end to the other end. From high costs they now went to low costs. Only 180 million ISK per system's sovereignty per month. And as with the previous costs estimation, again no good reason was given for the decision for the upkeep costs.

And before this storm settles down, they made sure to keep their forums busy of posts. They went and took back the major changes regarding the capital ships and introduced new ones, that according to the people, who use these ships, are totally useless and make no sense. They just show that the developer that took the decisions is not as knowledgeable with capital warfare as the guy who initially had planned the changes.

Although that I am neither knowledgeable enough myself to criticize the second change, I have to point out that, even that the first change looks to be for better, it actually might be for worse! The costs now been really small, won't push the bigger alliances to drop out of unused space and won't be forced to team up with smaller entities to keep their areas protected by the inevitable enemy roaming gangs. Thus the major goal of giving space to smaller entities and make them somehow necessary for the bigger alliances out there will not again be fulfilled. And although I understand that the exact balancing of such an action can not happen in vacuum, and hard evidences and raw data need to be collected from the actual server before adjusting the costs closer to a better level, I do see, combining the two changes and the recent history of EVE expansions releases, a bad trend. CCP seems to be pushing hard to achieve its two expansions releases per year.

Their previous winter expansion was again a fail. Was advertised as the change that the marketeers and the industrials were looking for, since the release of EVE. But was doomed to be the release that brought a sub capital in empire space (Orca) and a useless alchemy mechanism that most didn't even use. No real tools, or content or support for the categories advertised to be the main focus of the expansion. To my eyes at that time it was like CCP was trying to just do what its contract was asking  for ... publish a winter expansion. And the fact that it was a self imposed contract didn't make sense to me. I mean, if you feel you can't do a good job and release a meaningful expansion, just go out with it sincerely and ask you players for more time and publish one expansion for this year. I find this to be better than break most of your users game in your effort to keep a marketing trick to pull more people for the Christmas period.

Moreover censoring posts on your forum, from users  that happen to disagree with the view you have for the game is gonna come back and bite you one day. CCP you have been a great game corp so far. Surely some of your, or your employees, actions, have been not so ... sincere. All corps have these kind of ups and downs. But coming out as a dictator, although we all recognize that this is your game and product, is not a good idea. After all a product without buyers and happy followers is not a good one ;)

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