We’re never going to see another expansion like Apocrypha.

You see, CCP learned an important lesson from the Summer of Rage as discussed yesterday: you can’t let current features lie fallow forever when they are in a dysfunctional or broken state. Thus since Incarna we’ve seen massive ship rebalancing on a scale never seen before, Crimewatch 2.0, probing rework, factional warfare redone, graphical updates, unified inventory, UI enhancements, … the list goes on and on from big to small.

But these iterations take development cycles, and these cycles come from what used to be the pool of new development. Combine that with ~6 month development and hardening time and that means that brand new content comes in smaller, more discrete chunks. Thus why we see new ships more often since Incarna (Tier 3 Battlecruisers, ORE Frigate, Navy Battlecruisers) and new modules (Ancillary shield and armour mods, Micro jump drives, target breakers, etc), but not intensive/extensive new systems like wormholes, factional warfare, or even incursions.

Now CCP is aware that players want those big shiny features as well as the small stuff and iterations and that is what Rubicon is all about: delivering a large intensive/extensive feature over several expansions instead of one expansion so that the small features and iterations can be delivered alongside instead of letting the game get stale.

You’ve Seen This Before.

This is good, but it leads to the perception that each individual expansion is lackluster since the amount of new big and shiny content is lower and/or in smaller chunks. Out of this perception come comments like “this is not an expansion, its more like a patch”. And in MMOs, as in everything else, perception can become reality in the minds of the masses.

To combat this, I suggest that its time CCP considers moving away from the 6 month expansion cycle to something that supports the reality of their two-pronged development of new content plus iteration.

My suggestion is a yearly “Expansion” each summer that gives players 8-9 months of development time of new features, and then during the year there are two point releases that gives iterations and smaller features, one point release in the fall that addresses any immediate concerns from the major expansions as well as normal iterations, and a point release in the late winter/early spring that has iterations and can lay groundwork for the next major expansion.

This would still allow players to get the same content over the same time-frame but would change perception that they are getting more in an expansion as well as maintain the feeling that CCP is continuing to do iterations on existing content.

* * * * *

I realize that the likelihood of CCP changing their entire development methodology structure based on my suggestion in a fansite blog post is low, but I felt the need to put it out there. Someday, when I rule the world, I’ll make sure to address this issue personally.

- Kirith Kodachi

We are proud to bring you the stories, opinions and musings of a long time pilot who has dabbled in everything New Eden has to offer, he writes and podcasts about his opinions and adventures at Ninveah.com

60 Comments

  1. Red Teufel

    CCP still has allot of polishing to do. Eventually ccp will get around to adding something big. just sit back and enjoy the ride because ccp is finally on the right track.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm Reply
    1. CCP Iytzak

      If they needed 10 years to realise shit happens in game, and then did some tendentious repairs, then i’m really not intterested in what they plan next. Will just break toys even more.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm Reply
      1. Red Teufel

        well now CEO of CCP can’t just direct his company based on his own flawed opinion and view but from the player-base after almost losing the company. He doesn’t have a choice but to Improve his product rather then add some crap to generate a bump in revenue before the quarter is up. So don’t worry or you will see someone knew at the helm of CCP :)

        October 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm Reply
        1. Soulxlight

          CCP is a private company. It doesn’t work that way.

          October 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm Reply
          1. Red Teufel

            you sound like you’re an expert. please enlighten me.

            October 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm
          2. -1

            You sound like an idiot, he shouldn’t feel compelled to babysit you

            October 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm
          3. Red Teufel

            cool story bro

            October 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm
        2. Titus Veridius

          But Vampyres man. Vampyres.

          October 5, 2013 at 7:59 am Reply
  2. really?

    that last patch to rebalance ressources really worked well, just like the souv system, it really helped small entity to get a pieve of the big cake.
    or not.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm Reply
    1. Yahahiuy

      small entities did not get boosted, they just rent.
      Nothing has changed.

      October 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm Reply
      1. Jaime Gomes

        And it will never change. Its the way it goes. Smaller entities have npc space at best. Its unfortunate.

        October 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm Reply
    2. Dirty Rotten Sneaky Bastard

      Meh, at least it kicked Mittani in the balls. So he then turned and kicked Test in the head.

      October 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm Reply
  3. iskbot#1337

    odyssey realy was just a patch … not more like a patch … it realy was one !!!
    There was absolutely no content which was announced 1-2 fanfests before.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm Reply
  4. CMIV

    CCP are now doing it right with EvE. The enormous cluster fuck that happens when they try to basically deliver a whole new game every 6 months caught up with them with Incarna. The legacy of years of essentially rushed Jesus features has left them with an enormous technical debt and a code base resembling a giant bowl of spaghetti. If walking in stations ever does occur properly, I can almost guarantee you that it won’t be based on the current Incarna code.

    Rubicon is an excellent example of how stuff should be done. The deployable structures are based on brand new flexible and well designed code. Code that is laying down the foundations for new POSes and a whole load more brand spanking new player owned structures. It is code that can be built upon for many expansions to come. Old CCP would have hacked the whole POS thing into one release and it would’ve been shit and inflexible and it certainly wouldn’t allow for many different type of player structures. If we don’t get some form of new POSes next summer I’ll be amazed. If we don’t continue to get new player owned structures over the next few years, I’ll be amazed.

    There is no need for a Jesus feature every year or 6 months. Once CCP have caught up on their technical debt, each expansion is going to be pretty damn good.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm Reply
    1. 64bit

      They can add anything they want but will never be able to deliver multi threading.

      October 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm Reply
    2. Yahahiuy

      “CCP are now doing it right with EvE. The enormous cluster fuck that
      happens when they try to basically deliver a whole new game every 6
      months caught up with them with Incarna”

      No, Incarna was Goon’s Soundwave’s attempt to introduce a ingame cashshop, outside that of their plex/gtc cashcow. Luckily it backfired otherwise EVE would have a p2w shop like SWTOR/NWN have.

      October 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm Reply
      1. CMIV

        No, if Incarna included some awesome spaceship content that the player base was happy with, the Aurum store (or whatever it’s called) where you buy virtual garments would have been irrelevant. But CCP didn’t deliver any content, just a slow buggy interior station and apparel.

        P.S. You appear affronted that CCP have the shocking audacity to want to make a profit. That’s odd to say the least.

        October 5, 2013 at 8:40 am Reply
  5. heh

    I assume CCP is too busy creating unique assets and auditing for Somer Blink to introduce new content to the game.

    October 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm Reply
    1. Yahahiuy

      they wasted too much time and assets on DUST and not enough on their main game.
      Just look at Rubicon content, it’s shockingly lacking in fixes and new content.
      few new modules, command ships get repainted and raped (sleipnir anyone?). That’s it for another 8 months.

      October 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm Reply
      1. Ur Stupid

        You have no idea what they have in store for the fixes. They only announce the features, which, no matter how small they are, will bring massive content to the game. In particular, small/med gang warfare, annoyance from small entities to bigger entities. But they don’t announce fixes, that’s all stated in the patch notes.

        October 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm Reply
  6. Testie

    The Navy BC’s were NOT a new ship. They arrived because the players SCREAMED loud enough when all BC’s were Nerfed into the ground. All the navy BC’s are is the old BC’s reintroduced at 3 times the price.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm Reply
    1. guy

      Only one that is the same as the old bc is the navy cane bro.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm Reply
    2. Dirty Rotten Sneaky Bastard

      They did not nerf my Brutix into the ground… That thing still hurts stuff.

      Did they nerf your poor perma-MWD Drake into the ground so you cant just F1 monkey anymore? Sorry Dude… learn how to pilot your ship.

      October 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm Reply
  7. Dragon Outlaw

    Although they`ll never admit it, CCP`s goal is not to improve and expand the game my dear Kirith. CCP`s goal is to make its player base “believe” that they are. To keep them “hoping”! Hense why they are doing 2 expansions a year. It is also why they make all sorts of promises during fanfests. Promises they rarely keep.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm Reply
    1. BAJRAN BALI

      Must I quote CCP seagull? “We are on a long term plan to deliver on what we imagine for EVE Online and New Eden.” This means with Rubicon they are laying the foundation. Can’t you see the writing on the wall or are you too cynical to see it?

      October 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm Reply
      1. Dragon Outlaw

        No my friend. It does not mean crap. Seagull`s speach (even if I am sure she was honnest) is just a fart in the wind. I’m sorry dude but you have the right to drink CCP`s kool aid and give unlimited love to Eve. But some other people like me also have the right to be disillusioned. With the broken promises CCP has made in the past few years, I think it is legitimate. Don’t you think? WiS, Ring mining, POS revamp…and more!

        October 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm Reply
        1. BAJRAN BALI

          I understand your perspective. With some items in the game I share your feelings, but to lay claim that “CCP`s goal is not to improve and expand the game” is incorrect. If this statement were true they would let the game stagnate. Only offer stability and backend tweaks in the expansions. I know you may feel that CCP has blown smoke up your you know what, but I think with rubicon they are laying that foundation for POS revamps and many other things. In recent we’ve seen this happen. With inferno they laid the backend foundation for the new crimewatch system. I’m sure this was for stability testing which is smart.

          With one single expansion, only doing test server testing, they drop the bomb of POS revamp we would have another summer of rage. I’m sure the code for this crap can be mind numbing and tied with many other things. With a game on this grand of scale and a fan base as rabid as we are this is a daunting task. I think they are going about it correctly and I hope you can see why their decision to do this is a positive thing.

          October 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm Reply
      2. guest

        “This means with Rubicon they are laying the foundation.”

        Are you new here? If I earned a penny each time CCP said “laying the foundation/groundwork” I’d be in early retirement by now.

        October 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm Reply
        1. bob

          Ive known him for at least 6 years in the game. so yea he is a scrub

          October 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply
      3. Yahahiuy

        “Must I quote CCP seagull? “We are on a long term plan to deliver on what we imagine for EVE Online and New Eden.””

        in other words:

        “we haven’t fixed anything now, here’s a few carrots with 2 new modules, we repainted the command ships….this is all we did in 6 months….oh yeah, we got much more stuff coming…………………………………………..in the future, some 20 years later we will fix the pos and sov mechanics, no promises though.”

        October 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm Reply
    2. WWW

      CCP doing two expansions a year is a fantastic way of the company keeping in touch with the game and its player base. No matter how small the changes they make with each expansion, seeing something tweaked or redone makes me pretty pleased with the fact they bother to keep their 10+ year old game up to date. I’ve played games where the devs seem to let games go on the back burner, and the result is absolutely depressing. This is not what CCP is doing. No matter the drama, no matter how changes may be targeted towards a certain player group within EVE, recognize that it is forever a work in progress.

      October 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm Reply
  8. qwer

    I don’t know really should I agree or not.

    I think best option would be that CCP simply would get little more people to work on EVE. Instead of every team doing things for next expansion, couple teams could concentrate on doing full, polished features to expansion after that.Or even with a longer aim.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm Reply
  9. Agree

    Tbh I feel the same, seems expansions are just a few new things and it’s nothing to look forward to anymore, in fact I just get disappointed. I’ve always thought they should work on a couple if big things over a year and do these little things over a couple of releases like now

    October 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm Reply
  10. Charlie Firpol

    I couldnt care less if its called expansion or patch or point release…
    All those “small” iterations they did in the last years have made the game a LOT better.

    Rebalancing sounds boring in patchnotes but nothing has increased pvp as much as that.

    Warp speed changes sound boring, too, but will change SO MUCH about how fleets catch their targets.

    I would love to see people just stop moaning about everything and appreciate the huge amount of progress EVE has made.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm Reply
  11. BAJRAN BALI

    Let’s all be honest here… Have any of you ever made a game on this grand of a scale or even any game for that matter? I’m sure I know the answer. CCP has enriched all of our lives with these expansions as of late. Maybe they haven’t tickled everyone’s fancy, but they are making progress. I think shifting for their current release cycle might incite more rage and loose more subs between releases. If you look at the average player log in data it shows were on an ok path. If the cycles were any longer the player log numbers would tank even steeper than they do currently 5-6 months after expansion release.

    I agree that more shinny content would be great, but on the other hand with all the re-balancing being done its almost like getting a new ship and or module. Lets look back to the t1 frig re-balances those were game changing! On to the cruiser balance pass. Do you have any idea what making a t1 logi frig did for small to med gang pvp? It was a torrent of change, rocked everyone’s world, and brought new tactics to the game.

    CCP keep on trucking along! Your doing a great job that most jaded eve players can’t see. The new changes coming up in Rubicon are welcome and are more “shiny” than some players may think. Rubicon has got me so excited with all the new toys, balance, and mechanic changes.

    I wish the writer could see what they are doing in this expansion is no small undertaking. Something Kirith Kodachi forgot to mention here is the x.1 updates to the expansions where CCP adds content they couldn’t get to in the dev cycle. We get great content with these. We’re still rididng the Odessy 1.1 wave with Rubicon just on the horizon. CCP’s dev cycle is fine and should stay the way it is.

    October 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm Reply
    1. Danny Payne

      “enriched” is one word for it …

      October 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm Reply
  12. Anonymous

    One expansion every summer is a bad idea. Every summer CCP is on vacation, so forget about quick response on bugs and there’s going to be a lot of it since it contains 8-9 months worth of programming. I suggest the opposite, 1 expansion every 4 months, 3 expansions per year… less/easier features … easier to get it right

    October 4, 2013 at 1:35 am Reply
  13. blob bystander

    How about 1 large expansion in the spring time, with than fixes going into the summer. Than a second smaller more focused patch/expansion in the fall that is focused on wh’s, fw, or some other aspect of eve that is due for a rework.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:37 am Reply
  14. Dennis the Dreamer

    Is there an expansion to go back to Milky Way Solar system? I wanna go back to earth.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:03 am Reply
    1. Joshua

      You on shrooms ?

      October 4, 2013 at 11:06 am Reply
    2. Jaime Gomes

      The shit i would do in Uranos……

      October 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm Reply
  15. stone

    I like how CCP does expansions, patches and downtime fixes. Makes the game feel like the devs are actively working. Instead of yeah yeah we know but don’t care bc we are working on a big expansion to deliver a year from now so suck it up and pay us.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:56 am Reply
    1. iwasthere

      You must be new. The summer of rage changed the way ccp did it. Thank those that had pounded the monuments of jita and amarr for hours on end.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:23 am Reply
  16. Jaime Gomes

    I would actually prefer 1 year free from expansions. Regular Patches and downtime like usual. But a bit of slowing down so that for once old issues could be resolved: Pos system rewritten, some UI changes, more tests on Duality, etc, since every new expansion comes with its set of bugs and mistakes that push the old stuff further down the road.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm Reply
    1. Dirty Rotten Sneaky Bastard

      Agreed

      October 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm Reply
  17. guest

    Marketing, one of the official stakeholders in the development, is simply not going to let go this twice-a-year release approach. It’s just too important for them.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm Reply
  18. Short Memory

    Remember Quantum Rise? You’re acting like this is something new from CCP.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm Reply
  19. HonorGod

    I stopped playing eve about 6 months ago -a few months after the last expansion. Why? Because every expansion screwed folks that like industry and industry ONLY. I should have left after they screwed the hulks over, but hoped they would correct that HUGE error. At that time I vowed that if they expand again and “dicked” indies, I would be gone- only to return when they start using their idiotic brains.
    I am more discouraged every time I see post like this. I get it, most people want to blowup stuff and have the surges of adrenaline from getting away. A few of us do not, we just want to sit, mine, manufacture and make ISK. Seeing that nothing has changed, I will not be returning anytime soon with my Main Character Ahriman Gate or my other 4 toons. To bad for Eve, I was a Cash player at $100 bucks a month…

    October 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm Reply
    1. Chris

      Dude. Cry more. You don’t need to post this shit on every article, its not going to change anything, and I don’t think most people people particularly give a shit.

      Iterations on industry won’t happen every patch, they aren’t going to bow to your style of play. I don’t even see how industry was fucked over that hard. Deal with it.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm Reply
    2. Stating the obvious

      In CCP’s eyes everyone is a cash player.

      October 5, 2013 at 12:43 am Reply
    3. Makes money through Industry

      I don’t see how they fucked industry. Sure, the indy changes means the itty V is no longer the end-game for industrials, but the new specialised ones are amazing for their tasks, just means you might want to have more indys. Miasmos for example, at lvl 3 Gallente Industrial I am hauling 54,600m3 of ore. Awesome.
      Changing ice belts is great as before you would see people just afk mining all the time, which would no doubt have been a botter’s wet dream. I run 5 accounts, and currently I do mine in high sec. I feel the changes are just stepping in the right direction, making lower security space more worthwhile. The hulk is still the best mining ship, it is just better suited to use in fleets rather than solo. I would have liked for the skiff warp strength bonus to stay, but otherwise I am all for the idea of separating them into roles.
      The exploration changes opened it up to everyone which would have hurt anyone who was already into that field, but ultimately lowering the barrier of entry to that content is a positive step for the game.

      Every expansion can’t and won’t please everyone but if you look at the bigger picture, most changes since Incarna have been positive steps for the game, but there will always be more work to do.

      October 5, 2013 at 5:51 am Reply
      1. HonorGod

        1) I agree with your ice belt comment.
        2) The role changes were unnecessary and impacted many aspects of mining. The botters loved it! I saw the increase ASAP as soon as it happened. Yes, I made a killing on buy low sell high on them, but it has made mining worse.
        3) Hulk- really? Does it make sense that a ship that is 4 times the size of a skiff holds 1/4 of the skiff? Is this reality? IMO it is asinine. It is like revamping a Mini-Van that can only carry 4 passengers and no cargo. Why should the Hulk be as effective as a skiff when operating alone?
        4) I do not like the scanning changes. But lived with it for 3 months only to find that grav anoms were killed by 15 day pilots that did not have to train any probe scan skills. Me? Maxed out scanning/probe skills….
        5) I agree, every expansion will not please everyone, yet every expansion since early 2012 harmed miners.
        On a negative note… I just got tired of always seeing negative indy changes.
        On a positive note… I am glad “most” players still love the game.
        Note to you… Thanks for detailing your points and not showing a lack of intelligence by insulting and name calling.

        October 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm Reply
    4. indy are niggers

      fuck off already

      October 5, 2013 at 9:47 am Reply
      1. HonorGod

        Another intelligent player. Must work for CCP.

        October 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply
    5. Jaime Gomes

      A ginger black asian. You have broke the universe, Sir!

      October 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm Reply
    6. Ur Stupid

      I have no words for this complete, utter fool.

      October 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm Reply
      1. HonorGod

        A reply is not even necessary as your insult speaks of your intelligence.

        October 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply
  20. Greg

    I do so enjoy it when people write articles as if they are some authority on software development. Iterative approaches to software development (in all its forms) is what is required to maintain a competitive edge. Reduction in time to market is necessary to keep the money rolling in and keep people employed.

    What it means is that modern software development tends to be made up of several smaller incremental releases which in aggregate deliver the same (or often more) content as 1 larger one, but allow a much faster ROI.

    Eve should be moving to more, not less releases. Ideally they should be releasing at whatever their single increment time is (usually between 2 and 4 weeks, where the complete content within that 2-4 week iteration equals a potentially shippable – and thus feature complete/code complete/tested/QA’d component).

    They could go to yearly expansion name changes – this would be okay, but lengthening time to market? increasing the wait time to get feedback from their customers? This is software development suicide.

    October 5, 2013 at 9:39 am Reply
  21. Shari Evan

    I’ve never understood why CCP calls this an ‘expansion’. It’s not an expansion like in other games which mostly provide the same amount of content like the original game. None of those ‘Expansions’ provided a major content upgrade – more like bugfixes, balancing’s and gimmicky content or just crucial content to keep the 500k Subs to stay and maybe attract attention of new sub’s. It’s a content-patch, minor, maybe critical content – critical bugfixes. But 2 new Ships, a couple of new models for modules or new modules and rebalancing will be addressed as a ‘expansion’? Really? It’s an excuse for CCP for being lazy – critical rebalancing, maybe revamp’s are crucial to a running, fluid game.

    CCP is celebrating their ‘expansions’, their hard work they’ve achieved because they were able create a content patch every other developer will not address as a something special but something needed to make this game ‘better’. I don’t think of a specific developer nor i think of a specific franchise because all of them i’ve played to this point were not that cocky to ‘sell’ their balancing, bugfixing patches as a expansion.

    CCP may should release more bugfixes, work on something crucial like ‘Activation-Lag’, SOV and viable PvE Content (PvP content is shooting others, there’s no content to deliver) and rebalances of Ships and modules to keep the game up-to-date.

    For me, EVE feels like a old franchise which will updated now an then because the developers stopped caring about the game – and thinking of this and also thinking of their proudness that they were able to create such an ‘awesome expansion’ and seeing the Fanboi’s to celebrate CCP for this makes me wanna vommit.

    Less so called expansions, more updates and maybe once a year some cosmetic stuff as a Content patch’.

    October 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply
  22. Thodoros

    This game will never get a lot subscribers as it is now.
    Is way too complicated and difficult to understand and the overview is too small.
    Everything has to be sorted manual from Fleets to small gangs.
    Targeting sorting, FOF, neutrals priority targets and so on.
    Comm channels, warpouts, bookmarks, asteroid belts, planets, moons and I think you get the idea.
    There is just too much info that needs to be sorted before you start even play the game.
    Old players like me has be promised a more clear Overview for years now, and we still have this piece of crap. This is the change I want Kirith no the yearly or anything else.

    October 6, 2013 at 11:02 am Reply

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