Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Eight

A Look at the History of Expansions - The Series

Previous Entry: From Cold War to Red Moon Rising

I start to write this just hours after CCP has announced that they are no longer going to push forward with two announced expansions per year. Instead, they are moving towards a more flexible model that will allow them regular, smaller updates to give projects more flexibility. I find it humorous as I look at the history of expansions that expansions are now also history.

But I will come to that in another eight years. It is now December 14th, 2005 and CCP has set the foundation for the future's Sov Null metagame with the expansion Red Moon Rising. Eve is now full of capital ships and these capital ships can be built and used in high security space. Titans can now be created but it will not be another year until that happens. For now, Red Moon Rising is an expansion that brings a huge amount of content to Eve Online.

Red Moon Rising added thirty-nine new ships. Now, before anyone swoons we have to remember that each race gets four ships. They also added tech2 barges. That means they added ten new types of ships. T2 barges, Titans, Motherships, Carriers, Recons, Interdictors, Command Ships, Recons

This is the expansion that created jump clones and T2 ammunition. There are now kill rights for criminal assaults! Everyone gets revenge! Also, jet cans now create a theft flag that allows the victim of the theft's corporation to seek retribution for fifteen minutes. This is particularly useful because we now also have tractor beams.

Trial account training restrictions were added.
In an effort to curb Trial account abuses, it is no longer be possible to train piloting skills other than [Race] Frigates, [Race] Cruisers, Destroyers and Spaceship Command on Trial accounts, nor will it be possible to pilot ships other than these classes on Trial accounts. Subscription accounts have no such limitation on training or piloting.
In an effort to curb Trial account abuse, Trial accounts are no longer able to donate ISK to other accounts, nor create courier or escrow contracts.
I suspect that hauler spawns were introduced as well due to this patch note:
NPC Pirate Mining teams will now attack players mining their ore. No claim jumping!
Or if not hauler spawns the foundation for them. And does this mean that once blue print origionals dropped? Or did the entire hull?
Blueprint copies for faction ships now only drops of NPCs in the end rooms of complexes.
Balancing changed the way stacking words. Links were added for mining and fighters were now the new top drone. We also got the shutdown announcement timer.

If you have ever wondered about rebalancing with Red Moon Rising CCP rebalanced T1 ships. This was a result of all of the specialized, T2 ships coming into play. T1 ships existed to fill basic needs. Now they where working to give them more defined roles in combat. Roles that were not about a neat smallest to largest progression. In a way T2 ships ripped that option away and started to spread out the field. Add in the additional resistances and the slowing down of combat due to damage changes, resistance changes, and various mechanical tweaks and Eve had begun to spread out and away from traditional MMOs.

Red Moon Rising was an enormous expansion and it shook the foundations that Eve was standing on. It shook them so bad that the hardware started to melt again. CCP was on the ball for it this time. While they were still having problems they had been proactive enough to make the news for their infrastructure upgrade.
the RamSan-400 hooks up via a 4GB Fibre Channel interface and has 3000 MB/s random sustained external throughput. That's three gigabytes per second. Sustained. Importantly for EVE Online, it can also handle 400,000 I/Os per second, with a latency of less than 15┬Ás.
It is now January of 2006. Eve is no longer the shaky new game stumbling on wobbling feet. There has been a great password reset that CCP is dealing with instead of celebrating the New Year as they do now. There are no fireworks only hundreds of petitions a day to reset account passwords and then there were thousands of passwords. They put the Devs to work alongside the GMs to clear out the petition backlog.

Eve is also suffering a serious RMT (real money trading) problem and CCP Arkanon is sick and tired of it. Ebay sellers get a perma band. Users of ISK buying services ether get a warning or a temp band. People will get negative wallets and he doesn't care how long ago you did it. He'll take care of it, no worries.

The second part of Red Moon Rising is called Bloodlines. It brings four new bloodlines, one for each race. You can search assets now. This is also not the first patch where jump gate effects have been lost for an expansion and found again for the next update. They were also adding PvE content each expansion and this time put in a bunch of static DED complexes and tucked in a new mission.

In February, 2006, Eve hits 100,000 active accounts. CCP is launching Tranquility on their new hardware and the changeover goes reasonably well. However, a rambling blog goes into a discussion about skill points and how CCP views them. But what is so very interesting is that on February, 22nd 2006 there was exactly 1 character with over 55 million skill points. That single character had the highest amount of skill points in the game.

It also seems that you could get Power of 2 promotions by begging. We need to try this out and see if it still works in this day and age.

For 2006 there are 98 Dev blogs written. There is a lot of community growth at this time. From 2003 until this point Dev blogs had mostly focused on development and numbers and where Eve was going. The late winter of 2006 shows CCP diverging from that path. EON announcements are regular with each issue. ISD awards are popular and general community focus happens.

In fact, in the spring of 2006 communication slows. Red Moon Rising was released in two fast deployments. Much of CCP's attention is focused on their infrastructure improvements and the community aspects have stepped forward more.  The first Alliance Tournament was held in 2005. At the time it looks as if CCP used its News outlet to release this information. That explains the lack of mention in the dev blog and due to the website changes, the old links no longer work. It caused me to flip over to the in game news archives and almost weep. I think I'll keep this series to the expansions and dev blogs working around them.

It is also going to be be November before Revelations is launched. Next, we will follow the rest of CCP's path through 2006 as they grow as both a company and a game and head towards another major release.

Resourses:
Eve Online: Red Moon Rising Official Expansion Page
2005 Eve Online Dev Blogs
2006 Eve Online Dev Blogs
Eve Online Red Moon Rising Patch Notes
Eve Online Old Forums
Eve-History.net
Bit-tech.net

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for doing these.

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  2. Just stumbled across this. You missed the most important piece of RMR culture though. Youtube wasn't really all that big yet, so people with some talent did flash animations.

    TheKiller8 (who quit eve quite some time ago) made a great video that will give you a pretty good snapshot of what it was like to play Eve around the time that RMR came out.

    http://thekiller8.deviantart.com/art/Eve-Online-RMR-42347848

    ReplyDelete