Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Ten

A Look at the History of Expansions - The Series

Previous Post: From Red Moon to Revelations

Eve Online: Revelations was launched on November 29th, 2006.  The trailer is a very interesting bit of game history. For all of us who missed the time when Titans could shoot their Doomsday through a cyno, this trailer captures that moment. (No it is not coming back.)



As I dug through the dev blogs and patch notes I noticed something.  In between Red Moon Rising and Revelations was Bloodlines. I've actually detailed Bloodlines through the previous post. It does not exist on the offical expansions page as a patch. Instead, it exists within the patch notes as a patch along with another group called Dragons Branch. It is an interesting reflection of the patch and expansion push and pull that has been used over the years to detail Eve's growth.

Revelations is meant to be a three part series that will herald a new era for the players. Uncharted regions of space will open to them. New super weapons will become available to them. And they will wage battle.

Or write contracts.

And write loans. One of the first things that I saw about Eve was a review that discussed how players could get loans to buy items and then work to pay off their loans. It was a shocked, head shaking, awed contemplation of the life in a video game. We know that loans do not exist in current time (2014) but at the end of 2006 you could indenture yourself to your hearts content.

But really let's welcome 'warp to zero'.

The start of the Revelation Patchnotes is a list of world changes. Jump gates are being removed. Jita, for instance, loses its gate to Kisogo. Asteroid fields are removed from the busiest systems (Jita and Dodixie are on this list) and several systems loose their school systems. This is of particular interest to me because Gelfiven is on that list. Gelfiven is a high sec system in Molden Heath. With the removal of that school, Molden Heath only had school stations inside of low security space. It created a dynamic change that can be seen to this day.

This was the introduction of rigs, and the ships that we once knew as tier three battleships.  New battlecruisers as well. I believe this began to reign of the Hurricane and Drake. And for anyone who has ever used in game chat, this is the expansion that gave it to you.

But, perhaps the saddest part of the patch notes:

It is no longer possible to steal from a Starbase using a Carrier / Mothership / Titan.

There was a huge rework of character creation and the skill points a new character entered the game with. Each empire and each empire race had their own different attributes. I believe this heralded the broken age of the Achura.

Invention is also created. It is heralded as the revolutionary feature of Revelations. But, it starts on somewhat rocky path. This was in direct request to remove the T2 blue print original lottery where they were randomly handed out by research agents. Datacores are also been figured out with exploration not keeping up with the need.

2007 enters smoothly. People are complaining that rig prices are to high. Booster prices are also to high. Eve's economy, which we understand, has not become what it will turn into seven years from now.  The developers have to explain that balancing to bring down cost is a delicate process when new items are introduced to the game. CCP is interested in e-sports even this early and attempt to create a corporation league that is smaller and more friendly than the alliance tournament.

The Revelations expansion is also huge and will contain sixteen patches in all. Most are small fixes for the numerous bugs that spawned with the patch.

Community feedback is also very important. CCP shows that they have taken player feedback into account and acted upon it.

Welcome to the t20 scandal. For those who have only read of it or heard it when preached from above, they can read the Dev Blog written by t20 when he both confesses and apologizes for what happens.

After that, you can read Hellmar's response to what happened as well as the introduction to CCP's Internal Affairs. It also causes other accusations to spawn (as well as creating the footnote that only a few Titan pilots exist in the game). If anything, CCP is cracking down on everything in Eve.  There is a statement about account sharing in one blog and a discussion about ISK and RMT (real money trading) in another. And account security becomes a major concern. The winter of 2007 is truly a brutal month for the company.

CCP continues to work on speeding up Eve. Each time they manage to improve performance they shoot it again with an expansion. They are keeping ahead of themselves, in a way and the small patches that are hitting regularly are helping to clean up these performance issues.

Let's talk about missions. And the desire to improve upon them. Exploration is a big deal and mini-professions are a thing as well. People don't want the level 4 missions to change. But there is also this interesting quote:
We consider almost every activity in EVE to be "PvP". We've touched on this before, the basic example always used is that, you as a pilot doing a mission for an agent ties into a lot of elements where you are competing with other players. "PvP" isn't only direct person to person combat, it can be very indirect. Selling an item on the market which somebody buys from you is resulting in another guy not getting a sale. You're competing in price and supply.
CCP also moves forward with its next crowd sourced improvement drive. And while that is important we should really say goodbye to the nano age, for it will be coming to the end. However, as a consolation prizes freighters will begin to drop their loot.

I'll end this one with a review of Revelations. One that says both good things and bad.
Upsettingly, it hasn’t brought with it the major graphical overhaul, or any of the snazzy DirectX 10 stuff that CCP have been talking about during 2006. Nor has it fixed really hardcore problems like the sovereignty system used to capture player-owned stations. Without these things, the changes Revelations brings feel premature. I’d rather have waited for a massive installment some time in 2007...
 "Fortunately the new designs are brilliant, with the new tier-two battlecruisers seemingly designed by spaceship pornographers, the bigger battleships rounding off complex fleet warfare with wads of rippling metal."
Oh Sov, our Sov, you are still not fixed. Revelations is a lot of growth over time. And while it is a huge patch it does not feel so large to the players. That is a familiar story. It is now spring of 2007 and we have another few months until part two hits. I'll stop here for now, and next time we will reach to Revelations II and what it will bring forward.

Resources:

Eve Online: Revelations Expansion Page
2006 Eve Online Dev Blogs
2007 Eve Online Dev Blogs
Eve Online: Revelations Trailer (You Tube)
Reddit/r/eve
Games Radar

9 comments:

  1. "Eve Online: Revelations was launched on November 29th, 2014"

    Truly a sci-fi game.

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    1. At least I got the current year right unlike at work where I have to correct my reports for the first few months.

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  2. "Eve Online: Revelations was launched on November 29th, 2014"
    I knew it! Eve comes from the future!

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  3. "But really let's welcome 'warp to zero'."

    No, really, let us give thanks for that one... though not having that gave a lot of people lessons in making bookmarks. You had to make bookmarks from a specific start point to 15km beyond a specific destination so you would effectively land at zero. There was a whole market dedicated to selling bookmarks for specific systems or routes. It was a strange time. But I think it is always a strange time in EVE.

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    1. uhm...Did Sugar Kyle mention anything about the deviation in warp in? At one time it was pinpoint (assuming you did the 15km beyond bm) but sometime before they instituted the mechanic of warp to zero they created a deviation of 2500m

      damn, it was so much fun creating warp to perfect zero right on top of someone and having the collision system effectively making it a game of golf

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    2. This is why I need your reflections :)

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  4. gotta remember cold war was the big nerf to the highways

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    1. I think I mention that I think it was. This is reverse engineering for me for the most part. What we consider history now doesn't really show in many of the Dev blogs. I had to dig just to make sure that the T2 lottery stopped.

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  5. Thanks again for pulling all this together Sugar, makes for an interesting read.

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