Monday, August 11, 2014

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Fourteen

A Look at the History of Expansions

Previous Entry: Revelations III

It is December 11th, 2007. The next day, Eve Online: Trinity will be released. But before we get there take a moment to remember Steve, the first Titan who was destroyed on December 11th, 2007 only a few months after his birth.

Eve Online: Trinity is released December 12th, 2007. While originally billed as Revelations III somewhere along the way the expansion picked up the name of its primary feature. The Trinity graphics engine that was giving Eve Online it's first visual update since its launch in 2003.


However, the Trinity release was still the third part of the Revelations release arc with its war featured theme. With Trinity, we received advertised fleets that members could join instead of every member being invited one by one. Eve's battles had grown and what might work for a twenty man fleet quickly staggered under the weight of several hundred players going to battle. This is aided by corpses having gender. Female's now no longer, oddly, leave male corpses. This is important. The battlefield will now tell a true story.

Trinity also brings with it undocking at maximum velocity in an effort to cut down undock congestion. However, if one wishes to indulge in the congestion the overview can now be filtered down to very focused tabs.

The tutorials received an overhaul. There used to be creation paths it seems because one of them was called "Executive Commander" and that needed some typos fixed. It also looks as if the tutorial missions were in some way protected. A warning was added to notify new players when they decided to leave the tutorial room.

Corporation standings can now be set from an accounts show info window. CEOs now are notified that they've been voted out of office.
 "The office bill reminder will now mention that it is charging you in ISK, rather than leaving you to guess if it meant Quafe, slaves, fedos, etc."
The Trinity patch notes are extensive but they are mostly an exhaustive list of tweaks and fixes. Typo fixes, rebalances, error fixes, menu clarifications, the list goes on and on. The Trinity engine was the highlight of this expansion but at the same time CCPs energy was going into cleaning up huge areas of the eve client. The developers even did a live blog (podcast) on patch day that was available to listen to or download.

December of 2007 is quiet on the dev blog front. The community team emerges from the latest GM/ISD shuffle. The 5th alliance tournament is also in the works showing that they were not in the current summer cycle for the alliance tournament.

CCP has moved heavily into more types of media. There are live blogs which are basically a CCP Podcast and Eve TV. I'm sure everyone will be pleased to know that CCP has looked at clones. They have added some higher grades and rounded up the costs to make everything better. More expensive clones.

Asteroid belts also get their own dev blog. There is a question about optimization and a question about change. Here, the nugget of prospect mining show. Mining would not be just about selecting the proper name but about hunting out special goodness.  Ewar icons are added to the overview. Before, who was using ewar was an unknown. Now you know. It will be far into the future when ewar icons are placed overt the HUD. These tiny icons are a useful first step.

CCP Prism X enters with his first dev blog. For those who use twitter, he is quite amusing once he starts up. He is cleaning up space. Anchored containers will now expire after thirty days if not interacted with unless they are inside of a POS shield. Sound familiar?

Amarr ships are the complaint of the day. They are getting love, care, and rebalancing. CCP has engaged the community about the ships. The changes are on the test server and they are taking in feedback. While they are balancing ships they decide to touch up on Jump Freighters. No one is using them so they get some buffs. Won't someone use a jump freighter, please?

The second quarterly economic report is released. At the same time, CCP sets up for the first CSM election.

It is March of 2008 and Trinity 1.1 is released and CCP releases another live dev blog during the patch. CCP has nerfed drones, removing their automatic shield recharge when recalled. Now begins the day of drone shield regeneration at some unknown speed inside of your ship. CCP also adjusted some docking radius, nerfing many undock and die stations.

In April of 2008, as an April fools joke, CCP deploys what they called Subscription 2.0.  It is billed as:
Just as Web 2.0 is built on top of Web 1.0, Subscription 2.0 will be built on top of Subscription 1.0. We're not changing the underlying Service Provision Model – you'll still be paying a monthly fee as part of your Community Participation Agreement – although certain product areas will be migrated across to Subscription 2.0 in order to enhance user choice through Selective Resourcing. Subscription 2.0 will allow you to invest in optional product areas on an ad-hoc basis, so you only pay for what you actually want!
Sounds great right? Until one reads:
Our launch product for Subscription 2.0 will be AmmoAnywhere!, which will be fully integrated into the client next week. It does exactly what it says on the tin – simply click the new "AmmoAnywhere!" button in the UI, and a new stack of ammunition will appear in your cargo hold. We've done everything we can to streamline this process, so there's no fiddling about with details and authorization: once you've set up your account to enable Subscription 2.0, clicking "AmmoAnywhere!" will automatically bill your credit card for the transaction as part of the Customer Experience Process. No hassle, no fuss, instant ammunition!
Pay for items? Micro transactions? What fascinating things do we have here? I can only think if this dev blog was deployed to Eve today. But it shows an interesting change in CCP. The Dev blogs since hte launch of Trinity have been somewhat scarce and now, micro transactions for game items. What future does this bring?

One that may be about battling RMT. The next dev blog, released a few days later, focuses on RMT (Real Money Trading).

A team to maintain the Eve Wiki is formed. I wonder what happens to them in the future. The first CSM candidate list is released and more information on what CCP hopes the CSM to be is also released. This is the first iteration of the CSM when CSM sessions were six months long and you could only run twice.

Fortunately, to break up everything, Shuttles can no longer be purchased from NPCs and are placed in the hands of players for ever and ever. While moving things from NPC to player made is very common, the reason behind the shuttle movement is interesting. It is about the price of tritanium.
"It is true that the convenience factor is important. It was debated internally if the benefit of removing the price cap outweighs the loss in convenience. In the end the opinion that current options of travelling in the capsule, warp to zero and free rookie ships minimizes the loss of convenience and hence the benefits of removing the price cap clearly outweighed the loss in the convenience factor.
The benefit from removing this price cap is that the price of tritanium will be more in line with the underlying demand for tritanium at any given time. This makes the mining industry more profitable in the long run and will balance the benefits between mining and other professions in EVE."
It is now May of 2008 and the name of the next expansion, due in June is revelead. Eve Online: Empyrean Age will be launching on the 10th of June. With it will come what CCP has promised and worked on for years. Faction Warfare.

And that is it for now. Next post, Eve Online: Empyrean Age

Edit Note: I added that the Subscription 2.0 was a April fools joke after it was pointed out to me by someone more aware of the meaning of such dates than I.

Resources:

Official Eve Online: Trinity Expansion page
Eve Online: Trinity Patch Notes
2007 Eve Dev Blogs
2008 Eve Dev Blogs
Massively - Steve

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