The first thing that I heard when I got to the hall was from a friendly member of goonswarm discussing the Rumor that 'isotopes are being removed from the ice belts and we will hear more at the Keynote". So, complete Rumor but the other story I read later was that Ice was being removed from high sec as well. We will see what we find out. The above is 100% rumor at the time I am writing the blog.
I first attended the Retribution Roundup. It was an overview of what Retribution meant. I can see how it is not interesting or exciting but ignoring what was for what will be isn't the best idea in my mind. I also liked Retribution a lot so decided to try to take some notes and see how it went. It was hosted by CCP Soloman who I felt was a very good presenter interesting and engaging. His obvious passion for being a project manager showed through. Especially when he showed us project manager books and how richly engaging they were.
The project managers do love their thing. They explained how they start with tons of ideas and start filtering and cutting them down to what will fit into the expansion. They assign high priority to some things. I didn't understand the project manager lingo that he used but it seems that everything is assigned a series of points that show how important they are.
Tactical Combat Features had 95 points assigned to it. The Fog of War should not apply to the UI. He defined how they are trying to move things out of that spreadsheet feel and into a more interactive game.
New Destroyers that gave different weapons options had a high priority 125 points assigned to it. He says the numbers they are seeing (the numbers were not shown) show that they are very popular.
Bounty Hunting - The Poster Child for a Broken Feature. It has an importance of 134 points. He said that trillions of ISK placed and claimed since the system went live.
Balancing Ships - 154 points
I believe he said that logistics frigates have helped shape up small gang PvP. I'm not certain because that sounded insane. Maybe he meant or said T1 cruiser logistics. Unless small gang means litteral, small spaceships all of a sudden. Unless logistics frigates are very popular in FW?
He went on to say that despite nerf whining when people lose their favorite ship (I am guilty) it shakes up the game and the meta. Its good for the game.
Crime Watch - It had 264 points one of the most sizable deliveries they have made.
Greyscape and Masterplan were the leads for redoing the aggression mechanics. He gave thanks to player feedback and CSM 7. FW was upgraded and improved. Drone Regions are up to speed. The Second reiteration for the Unified Inventory and that now it is in a good place.
There was a general murmur of "no not really" about the Unified Inventory being in a good place. He continued that it was. It is a challenge to take a system that older players had become used to and to also give newer players a system that they would find intuitive because it is similar to the interfaces they use every day for other things.
As a personal aside, when he commented about the Drone Regions I was like, "Really?" I even have a note written beside it that says really? I mean they are better with bounties and some loot but up to speed? No, they are not there yet. We still skip drone exploration sites as not worth the time.
They are continuing the V3 as well. Also a nod to salvage drone introduction They redesigned the stabber, the mega and the tempest. He said that the mega was the only change that caused a threadnought and if that was what was upsetting people the most things were not that bad.
Q and A time:
Q: Retribution was great. Will there be further work on the Unified Inventory? It is better then it was but it still needs work.
A: They have been looking at it. Go to the round table about it for further discussion. More details in the keynote.
Q: Right now it seems that the graphics team is the bottle neck to adding more stuff. What is being done to make stuff adding faster?
A: He would not say that it is a bottleneck. What they have to do is very well known and they work to improve all of the time. However, standards are very high to keep Eve gorgeous.
Q: Procedures for the new player - is there a team that is working on it from a delivery stand point? Things that have no obvious way to be learned in game? Some in game source for them to do this?
A: They want the interface to be intuitive so that people do not have to read for hours before playing. There are so many players who have written good, thought out guides with great detail on these things. They are not trying to pass it onto the player but at the same time the players have stepped up and filled the void as experts.
A: The evelopedia is there and they have given some of the weight of filling it to the players. They have syndicated a lot of material from Eve Uni for instance. The players are a rich source of expert knowledge.
Q: What was the best feature that did not make it?
A: Having more information from the effects bar.
Q: What else didn't get in from the way the graph looked at the start (I didn't take a picture of it) it seems that there is a lot that didn't get in.
A: The graph does not directly express "this made it" and "that did not" it is more an example of ideas being trimmed down to manageable, producible size
A: They are always trying to design ahead of what they want to do and for the future. Dueling is an example of something not ready at expansion deployment but ready by the time the first major patch came through. Also some of the things they started in Retribution will be features in Odyssey.
Q: A guy who has a high sec bounty and feels that his freighter is now a loot pinata because of it. He says he was not bad but he got the bounty because he has fan girls. Will there be a time when bounties go away with time?
A: He doesnt' know if they have plans to get rid of bounties through other ways. It was a hotly contested topic with CSM 7.
Q: "So I'm screwed."
A: They don't want there to be a way to go to a dark corner of the game and grind off a bounty
Q: V3 - Can we get an upgraded texture package? When you scroll in close the ships still look bad.
A: It would be large and they want to limit client size. Maybe they could do a download texture for people that want it. (The audience was then asked if they wanted it to great cheering and yeses. They will see about it and it appears that they decided to do so before Fanfest ended.)
Q: Looking to add more battleships to the lineup?
A: Yes they are always looking to add more. Go to the ship rebalancing. Battleship usage has decreased. There is a lot of internal discussion about what they want battleships to do. (They also forgot to not use the old 'tier' descriptions for outlining battleships).
Q: When bounties are placed have they thought about adding a conformation box to double check the amount? He managed to add too many zeros to a bounty once while intoxicated.
Q: Wormholes - Are they doing anything for wormholes and T3s? They have been in the same place forever.
A: They would like to - Would we like to see frigate T3? BS T3S? Indy T3s? The crowd cheered for all of it. Capital T3s? Big cheers to that in which everyone was ordered to put their hands down.
They feel that wormholes are in a good place in general. As they look at how other mechanics affect them like POS life they are looking for new content to make them more juicy. Wormhole round table - probe it down and go there. Remember the personal hangers are coming into play.
Q: Ventures outside of high sec? He has never seen this. Did they do a follow up to see if it is being used as intended?
A: It is not a ship problem but a resource one.
Q: The affect bar shows the same icon for a scram as a disruptor. Can we get a different icon?
A: That may have been something that he axed on the table. Whoops.
And thus ended the first session on my first day.