I’ll be getting on a plane to Las Vegas very soon and will be on my way to what is to be the last official CCP sponsored EVE Vegas.
I was somewhat disappointed by the news of this being the terminal EVE Vegas. Vegas wears thin on me in about two days, but there are few places that epitomize the glorious highs and seedy dark underside of New Eden than this city of sin. It is also a pretty easy place to get to with plenty of distractions. No so San Diego, next year’s chosen location, which, among other things, is literally the only big city in California that is further/more expensive for me to fly to than Vegas. I still don’t understand that as a choice. It is a nice city, but so are a couple dozen other options in the US.
That, however, is next year’s problem. This year it is Vegas and I will be there live to see what CCP has to say.
They had better have something to say, and it had better sound something like a plan.
It is a sign when you hear similar messages from members of the community that wouldn’t otherwise acknowledge each other save to spit in their respective directions. But the lack of direction seems to be a unifying theme.
There has been a lot of back and forth about whether or not any outsider can definitively prove that EVE Online has been slipping this year, but the Chaos Era seems like a bust to me. Destruction isn’t up and most other metrics we can see are down. But more than that, it just doesn’t feel like CCP has a vision.
Yes, yes, they have something of a plan. As the CSM minutes informed us, new player retention is at the top of the list and 80% of development assets will be focused on that for the time being. And that is a good thing… or could be a good thing, if they can do something that addresses the issue.
It is also a very tactical choice, the desire to get more people to stick past the tutorial and through the first 30 days. More players are better for the game and its rather essential economy.
It just doesn’t do much for the eventual destinations. A few percentage points increase in that 30 day number will look good on somebody’s review, but it won’t shake up the stale null sec meta or make missions more fun or revitalize faction warfare or stop wormhole space from being crab central.
And it certainly doesn’t give us anything to look forward to. We need a vision! A destination! Something to inspire us to hang around! Dare I say it? We need a road map forward!
Okay, I know road maps are risky things. People see them and assume they are etched in stone and start calling you names when things change or don’t run to your initial (and always optimistic) schedule. Believe me, I’ve been there. At my last company I used to have to help with an ongoing two year road map for our customers. Everything more than six months out was always wishful thinking. (Not to mention about half the features I would suggest would get the response “We can’t put that on there, we told Gartner we had that already!” from somebody in marketing.)
But they are also motivational, both internally and externally. I can say from my own career over the last… oh lord have I really been doing this for almost thirty years now… that having a big goal, a splashy new feature, or a destination can get the best out of people.
It is certainly much more motivating than revising and updating the same feature set for the umpteenth time.
So my hope is that CCP will have something to inspire us, some vision… be it near or distant… that will spark hope that the future of the game will be better than the present.
We shall see. I travel light… and I don’t own a laptop in any case… so you’ll probably read about what they announce before I get back home to write about it. Look for my response next week.
Onward to Vegas!