Saturday, October 24, 2015

Thoughts From The EVE Vegas Keynote

What you are about to read will come as a shock. I am part of a small minority at the event. Perhaps even a minority of one. But I didn't walk away from CCP's EVE keynote presentation with a heightened sense of excitement of the game's future.

I can think of a few reasons. First, I am not the target audience. These changes are designed with null sec in mind. Other areas of the game, especially wormholes, are affected. Players like me? Not so much.

Next, I probably follow the game too closely. I didn't see any major surprises. CCP Larrikin provided some surprising details, but the general outlines of the capital and supercapital changes were already known. In fact, a good summary of the presentation is that everything on the roadmap is proceeding according to plan.

Because I avoid null sec like the plague, I don't understand the full impact of the changes. Fleet hangars for dreadnaughts perhaps takes away the reasons players prefer carriers if they have a capital at all. Then again, with the jump fatigue changes brought about in Phoebe, I thought the suitcase carrier was a dead concept anyway.

In the same vein, the shift of carriers away from the "space healer" mode combined with the newly announced nerf to refitting while having a weapons timer probably impacts null sec and wormhole combat greatly. I imagine the Slowcat doctrine will need to change drastically, although the new class of capital logistics ships means capital level remote repair capabilities are not going away.

Some of the changes do affect low sec. Supercapitals are losing their total immunity to electronic warfare. Tackling a titan with a Rifter? New players can definitely have an impact on large scale fleet fights now. I'll wager that people stop throwing titans and supercarriers around like they have recently. But as I don't engage in combat, the possibility I am wrong is high.

I am probably in a tiny minority that wasn't impressed by the new doomsday mechanics. The Sickle-class doomsday seems like a gimmick more than anything else. But even gimmicks can have consequences. I imagine that the doomsday will have the ability to wreck great havoc on balls of ships orbiting an anchor. Combine that with the ability of supercapitals to fling their opponents involuntarily across the battlefield and I wonder if the era of tightly formed balls of ships is over.

Some of the other news was just providing details. We knew CCP planned on releasing "Brain In A Box" soon. Soon turns has a date: next Tuesday. Yes, an author, Jeff Edwards, plans on writing a book about the Fountain war. But we knew he was working with The Mittani on a project last month.
Finally, CCP announced more details of plans to introduce crowd science into EVE. But that initiative was announced during Fanfest, so the only thing new was the connection to the Sisters of EVE.

I do have to add a feature that will seem small to people who don't play EVE: new camera views. The ability to view ships and objects from beyond lock range is huge. Hopefully the change will also allow cloaked ships to observe fights with good camera angles while streaming. And from the distant to the up-close-and-personal. First person view is coming to EVE. I imagine that is necessary because CCP believes that many players will want to try EVE after Valkyrie introduces a new generation of players to the New Eden universe. Catering to people used to playing in first person view seems, in retrospect, an obvious move.

I should add one other reason why I am not filled with excitement. The venue of the site, Las Vegas. The city, or at least the part I see, is pretty depressing. Given the lore surrounding New Eden, Las Vegas is an appropriate place to hold an EVE convention. But once that glitzy exterior is stripped away, I think the dark undertones of the city affect one's emotions in a negative way. Perhaps once I get back home I'll feel differently about what I've heard so far.

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