Daily Archives: July 23, 2021

The End of Scarcity Foreseen in EVE Online in Q4 2021

Or should that be Q4 of YC123?

CCP dropped a July Update post on us earlier today.

An update… because July I guess

They don’t do regular monthly updates, so the suspicious part of my mind thinks this is really the “we’re all on vacation in August” update to get us a last up note before the company goes into light hibernation until some time in September.

And much of the update could be categorized as “reminding us about things we already knew.”  There is a lot of self-congratulation about updates so far this year and an insistence that they have been listening to the community… at least over the last few weeks.  As they say, “odd flex” but whatever.

So the post includes a tour of 2021 from Quantum Cores to the return of the Alliance Tournament.  They did get some things done in 2021 so far.

Then there are the two future items.  The first is the releasing of the reserve bank keys, which we’re all pretty sure will be this Tuesday, so file that under “things we already knew” as well I suppose.

And then there is the economy.  This is the news that everybody has been waiting for… and it manages to be at once both exciting and disappointing.

Scarcity firmly ends in Q4 2021

-July Status Update

That’s exciting.  I don’t know if that means October 1st or December 31st, but at least we have a target of sorts at which point CCP plans to ease the economic squeeze they have had the New Eden economy under for over a year.  CCP marks the start of this with the redistribution phase, which is certainly where things kicked in hard, but they had been after mining and ratting with the nerf bat for at least a year before that.

They even have some bullet points as to what they are looking into:

  • Increased quantity of all resources across New Eden
  • Introduction of moon goo and gas compression
  • A balance pass for all mining ships
  • Additional specialized holds for gas and ice
  • Rework of the industrial index including greater choice over the distribution of resources

That all sounds good, and if you want resources broken out by regions then moon goo and gas compression are essential to make transportation viable, because right now it is a huge pain in the ass.

There is also a mention of ratting in the post, with a pass on anomalies expected:

Later this year will see planned updates for existing Nullsec anomalies, including the addition of capital anomalies. A new high reward Nullsec PvE feature to get capitals back into space to trigger exciting player escalations is also being worked on. As mentioned before, you will get more detail and discussion on these topics as their release draws closer.

Once again, sounds cool in theory.

What this all lacks is any detail.  There is no sense of how far CCP really plans to go in relaxing the restrictions on resource harvesting.  And they haven’t renounced their flawed tenants of economic interdependence.  We’ve been beaten so hard by the scarcity stick that it is tough to trust that things will get much better, and anybody that thinks we’re headed back to the “good old days” is destined for disappointment.

So color me, and probably many others, a bit hesitant to cheer too hard after the long haul of privation.

I am happy that CCP is looking to dial back scarcity and that they’ve actually take a moment to communicate with the player base in a more general fashion, and I certainly hope CCP has a real plan to get capital ships to undock again, because everybody loves blowing them up.  Whether they can walk the line between keeping the economy in check and getting back to expensive ships blowing up is to be determined.

Related:

Friday Bullet Points from a Leading Smoke Exporter

Fires have begun burning on the west coast of the US as predicted, thanks to droughts, record heat, and dry lighting strikes.  But the smoke from the fires, which in past years has settled in on top of the SF Bay Area where I live, has decided that it too wants to travel this summer and has been hazing up sunsets back east.  So while we’re sending out smoke I thought I would cover another set of things that I didn’t want to work up a full post around.

  • Blizzard Blows Up

Already foundering for being unable to bring home a win with retail WoW and the 9.1 update, causing many players to head for Final Fantasy XIV, the company took another body blow this week when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the Activision Blizzard for creating a hostile work environment.  While Activision got most of the headlines, the complaint is full of examples of how Blizzard specifically let a wide range of egregious behavior go unchecked and failed to respond to complaints.

Singled out in the complaint was Senior Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi, who had been with the company since 2004 and who had left quietly last summer.  He is referenced in WoW in a number of places, including as Field Marshal Afrasiabi out in front of Stormwind.

Welcome to Stormwind baby!

The disturbing nature of the issues detailed in the complaint was topped by the company’s response to the suit.  With the Blitzchung affair they didn’t seem to know what to say, but this time around they lashed out immediately (text at the end of this post) at the state agency, decrying government overreach and complaining about unaccountable State bureaucrats driving companies from the state, very much politically motivated talking points.

Otherwise the company statement claimed that while some of the things detailed may have been true in the past, the company is all better now, everything is fine, and nobody needs to be held accountable for anything.  They want to have it both ways, saying both that the state is wrong and that they’ve fixed everything in any case.  It is usually better if your statements don’t tend to contradict each other.

Any adult that has worked for a big company knows that corporate culture doesn’t change quickly.  It takes a lot of effort, and the word is that the company hasn’t gone there yet.  That references to Afrasiabi remain in the game is a testament to the lack of progress they have made.  And the internet is compiling testimonials about the company’s problems.

Anyway, the Q3 2021 Activision Blizzard financial report ought to be a real charmer after this.  Massively OP, in their coverage, rehashed the litany of problems the company has been facing in recent years.  It ain’t pretty.

  • A New World Beta

Amazon’s MMO New World went into what is supposed to be a final, pre-launch beta this week.  I don’t think they’ll yank the game back from the precipice this time around, but you never know.  I have been interested in the game and was in one of the big early NDA protected test runs a couple of years back

Just how new is it at this point?

I liked what I saw back then… it seemed like what H1Z1 ought to have been before they went all-in on battle royale, but I guess John Smedley being at Amazon Games now might explain that.  I did not pre-order, so no beta invite for me, but Bhagpuss seemed happy with how things looked.

The one thing that seems to be dominating the press coverage is a problem where high end video cards seem to be failing in the beta.  We’ll see how that works out.

  • EverQuest and the Ghost Collector’s Editions Past

EverQuest pretty much lives on nostalgia, with their retro and special servers keeping a good portion of their players invested in a $15 a month subscription.  But they have to farm the live servers as well, so they get an expansion every year an a cash shop that is always looking for something new to sell.  Now they are trying to farm a bit of nostalgia from the live server players by offering a pack that features items from the collector’s editions of no longer available expansions.

Missed out? Fear not!  But act fast or you WILL MISS OUT!  AGAIN!

For just 7,999 in Daybreak Cash, which is about $80 in real world cash depending on your purchase quantities, a selection of no longer available items can be made available to you.  It is like nostalgia for fear of missing out!

  • Path of Exile Expedition

I have something of a checkered past with Path of Exile.  On paper I should enjoy it, and I am always into it when I start out.  But something… network performance, bugs, no knowing what to do next… always seems to stymie me.  But I think about it every time the offer up a new expansion, and one if launching today.

Play the Expedition Expansion Today

This one is interesting in that Grinding Gears Games has decided to try and roll back player gear and power in an attempt to revitalize the feel of the game and to give it an overall more satisfying experience.  But it is always a risky move, taking power away from players.  Destructiod’s headline about the expansion is an illustration of that risk:

Path of Exile is nerfing everything, and players are unhappy

We shall see how it plays out I suppose, but a power reset might be a good time to jump back in.  Maybe? I took a look at the patch notes, which are a freaking book, but can’t tell either way.