-Why do certificates have what is essentially their own tool?
-Why do I have to open the tool in order to “claim” certificates?
-Why do I have to claim certificates at all?
-Why is the display of certificates chopped up into both type (defenses, gunnery, harvesting, etc.) AND rating (none, basic, standard, improved, and elite)?
Me, in a comment to a post about a silly certificate
My post a couple weeks back looking at the lack of expansion excitement appears to be getting a little more out of date. Companies have been stirring. Details have been leaking. Announcements have been made. Promises have been broken.
Yesterday’s big thing… for me and my fellow internet spaceship pilots at least… was the announcement of Rubicon, the next EVE Online expansion.
As is the case with EVE Online expansions, Rubicon doesn’t look like typical MMO expansion. You can’t just add a new region of space, a new race or class or some such, thread it together with a story line and call it a day in EVE.
Sure, looking at the Rubicon site or watching the replay of the announcement (which is on that page), or looking at the summaries at The Mittani or EVE News 24 if you want more details and clarity (I think EN24 wins on the clarity front), it sounds like we are going to get some new stuff.
There are going to be some new ships and some new deployable structures and a new battleship missile module.
But a lot of what was announced sounds suspiciously like, “Yeah, we’re going to fix a bunch of stuff, some of which you have been complaining about for years.” Welcome to New Eden.
This is why EVE Online “expansions” are free.
And while fixing stuff sounds like a “well duh!” level of effort, it can also a perilous journey.
EVE is, like no other MMO I have played, an ecosystem where unintended consequences can seem more the rule than the exception. Who could foresee, for example, that the Orca would become the high sec suicide ganker supply ship?
And CCP has learned to tread carefully… for the most part… when making changes. CCP can influence behavior. They made tech moons valuable null sec property, which lead to a null sec cartel being set up, where enemies agreed to not fight over these moons. Then CCP changed moons and redistributed them with Odyssey, and the war in Fountain was on, leading to the largest battle in the history of the game and the shattering of one of the biggest null sec alliances, which subsequently retreated to low sec.
So CCP has to show some care.
And some of the changes and updates for Rubicon seem pretty safe. Revamping the current certificate system seems pretty non-controversial. It fit a pattern I referred to as:
…a random, half-baked, over-complicated feature tossed into the game and left to stew for a few years… that sounds like the standard CCP process.
The new Interbus Ship ID system, which will help players figure out where they are on the ship training tree and where they can go next, seems like a good idea as well. EVE has a reputation with being miserly at doling out useful information to new players. There is the steep learning curve, which maybe they can sort of explain away, but then there is the sheer bloody minded refusal to display simple data, like how many rounds of ammunition a given weapon can hold in its magazine and how fast it will shoot that ammo. Moving away from that, even a little bit, is good in my mind.
And I suppose an integration with Twitch for streaming isn’t necessarily bad. We’ll see how many more people end up disclosing vital intel by streaming their fleet ops I suppose.
But the rest of Rubicon… well, things will happen.
Ship rebalancing always changes up what ships people use and how they used them. And throwing in a couple of new ships is always a crap shoot. Will they be over-powered and suddenly dominate every gate camp operation? Or will they fill no solid role and end up as something for ship collectors, role players, and the occasional eccentric? And will it make that TIE fighter sound when you fly it?
But it is some of the other items that I think will really spice things up, and not necessarily in the way CCP envisions.
Being able to control customs offices in high sec space… actually making them player owned customs offices… is clearly going to lead to conflicts over control of them. But how far and wide will that go? Will the struggle be limited to high sec entities looking for a bit of passive income? Or will The Mittani be announcing “POCO-geddon” when things get quiet in null sec, leading to an all-out invasion for control of that aspect of the game? You may say that the ISK wouldn’t be worth it, but that leaves out the value assigned to tears in some quarters.
And then there are the new personal deployable structures. They sound interesting on paper. I bet the siphon unit, which will steal resources from mining stations, will get deployed all over in hopes of picking up some resources from unwatched operations.
On the other hand, I suspect that we will see a such personal deployable structures become priority targets. During the live presentation it was stated that for these structures, CONCORD won’t be getting involved. You will be able to shoot them up in high sec without your ship being automatically destroyed by the NPC cops.
And, in EVE, when you say, “You may shoot another player’s things in high sec space,” you have to expect the response is going to be “SHOOT ALL THE THINGS!”
I expect scanning for these structures will become a new sport and hilarity to ensue.
So while I do not see anything in Rubicon that will mean much to me at this point, I do see lots of possibilities for changes to how people play the game. That is excitement enough for me.
Unintended consequences; coming to you on November 19, 2013.