Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eve Online's Incursion Delayed

In a dev blog today, CCP Zulu (aka Arnar Hrafn Gylfason), Eve Online's Senior Producer, basically announced that the upcoming Incursion expansion is not ready and will be deployed in three stages instead of all at once in November.  The current schedule as stated by CCP Zulu is:
  1. Release a first-step patch with a collection of player requested improvements November 30th.
  2. Release a second-step patch before Christmas (Only Santa knows what will be in this patch!)
  3. Release key features of this expansion such as the Incarna Character Creator and Sansha Incursions in January 2011
The features in the "mini-expansion" on November 30th may include (and are also not limited to):

  • 80 new story line courier missions
  • Rocket balancing
  • Tech 2 ammo balancing
  • Adding faction ships to the market
  • Fighter bomber missile visual effects changes
  • Anti-aliasing support
  • Window resizing, camera offset
  • Meta-item indicator icons
  • UI optimization to contract delivery filtering
  • Cargo can now be dragged to hangar by dropping on Neocom
  • Toggling probes in overview
  • POS gunners now receive notifications about control towers under attack
  • Sorting deliveries according to distance in jumps or regional locations
  • Unique icons for Microwarpdrives and Afterburners
Here is an explanation about the delay from CCP Zulu:
"Based on a lot of great feedback we've gotten from the Singularity public test server, we see that both key features [the new character creator and Sansha invasions] will benefit greatly from an additional level of polish.

"We also want to do some usability changes to the Incarna character creator UI, and our artists are anxious to invest more time tweaking the assets you've been drooling over. For the Sansha Incursion feature there is some polish we want to get in, mostly on the socialization and UI front, but there is also some backend optimization that we want to do to get things to run more smoothly.

"On top of that, we want to make sure our quality assurance department gets plenty of time with the more polished, final versions."

...

"We realize this is a bit out of the ordinary for EVE Online's standard two expansion a year policy but we're confident that the benefits will be obvious to everyone in the long run. More polished, more excellent features. More frequent and smaller releases. Less risky and long deployments."
Having watched from a distance what the Sentinel's Fate expansion did to EverQuest 2, I will have a hard time faulting CCP for attempting to get Incursion right.  I just hope that Santa brings snowball launchers for Christmas.

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