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Monday, October 24, 2011

The cynical in me

Well now, CCP's latest moves are filling me with concern.  Rumblings from various reporting sources like Massively, fill me with trepidation for the future of EVE online.  This is having all the hallmarks of a knee-jerk reaction.  Which can best be described by removing the word "knee".

With the burn rate issues and what not, I can see why CCP needed to cut employees.  This was one of those "Get shit under control" where their burn rate HAD to start matching their income from EVE rate.  Sucky though this is it HAD to be done or CCP goes under.

As distressing as it is for the employees, I can see why WoD got put on the back burner and CCP is concentrating on pushing out DUST and re-focusing on EVE.  They had lost sight of where their bread was buttered.  They are paying the price.  The problem is now what?  If, as Brendan reports there were no changes at the executive level and the entirety of the critical decisions came directly from Hilmar, then fine, he wants to fix things, he deserves a chance.  However if Hilmar was not personally 100% responsible for those decisions, then some of the executives below Hilmar should have also gotten the axe.  This has not happened.  I suspect that this means that the same guys who have LOST what the player base considers the vision of EVE online to be are still in control of the decision making levers.

Combine this with the squeeky wheels in 0.0 and you have a recipe for some very dangerous changes coming up.  I suspect that CCP could easily break high sec to the point where there is a mass exodus of carebears from the game.  The sad/amusing thing is that since these executives don't understand the thought processes of carebears they could easily do this by accident thinking they were improving things.  We'll need to pay close attention to subscriber numbers.  Theoretically, by addressing the FiS issues and working on some FiS content, CCP could turn things around since there is still no real competition in their Space Sandbox segment of MMOdom.  If players regain confidence in CCP, it should at least stem the outflow of players.  Oh! and incidentally, 8% of your subscriber base is not "just a few disgruntled players" - you idiot, it's the start of a mass exodus.  You need to start treating it as such.  Then there are all the carebears who weren't really affected by this summer's fun.  Fuck that up and you'll see a silent bleed and welcome to the NGE incident you're currently trying to avoid.

Oh, incidentally, congratulations on finally introducing battlecruiser to the game for the first time (at best all existing "battlecruiser" class vessels are simply what most people would call "heavy cruisers").  That still feels like a panicky "fuck, what can we deliver for the winter expansion to pander to the players?", but at least we're getting real battlecruisers out of it.

CCP needs to start thinking less in 6 month cycles and more with proper long term planning with staged deliveries matching up with those 6 month cycles.  I have a suspicion that all the good work CCP Greyscale did over the summer ruminating on long term changes to the FiS side of thing just got thrown out with the bath water and the rush to show something for the winter expansion.  This does not augur well for thought out changes.

Still waiting for the winter patch itself before making any decisions about coming getting active or un-subbing my main.

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