Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blog Banter 36: Expanding Universe of EVE

"With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?"

I started Eve on 29th July 2008. This was just after the Empyrean Age expansion. So here is a quick run through of the expansions I've been through in Eve.

Quantum Rise - November 2008
To be honest I'm not sure I was as much into Eve back then as I am these days. Eve was still a game to me, not a hobby. QR brought us the Orca, weapon grouping and lag reducing back-end code. Also it brought the speed nerf? Not something I recall but I've heard about it.....

I cannot really say much about an expansion I don't even remember.

Apocrypha - March 2009
The skill queue! Oh yes the skill queue. Can you imagine telling new players what it was like before the skill queue? As well as that little gem we got wormhole space, T3 ships and.... well WH space.

I still remember on release day someone shouting in corp chat that they had found a wormhole in our home system. Several of us quickly fleeted up and join our corp mate orbiting a wormhole. "Don't get too close! You'll be sucked in" and the resulting panic was a good laugh.


Apocrypha 1.5 - August 2009
In the summer of 2009 we got different sized rigs (really, that was nearly three years ago?), specialised cargo holds (such as the ore hold), some faction war improvements (really?) and epic mission arcs.

For me, the only thing that really stood out with this expansion was the new rig sizes. Suddenly it was worth rigging smaller and cheaper hulls. This gave you more options and a bit more choice on how to fit ships you'd have never rigged when they was just one expensive price.


Dominion - December 2009
The main theme of Dominion was the overhaul in null sec sov mechanics. We also got new planet graphics and the new in-game browser. Titans had their AOE doomsday replaced with a single target weapon.

Obviously this had a huge impact on null sec. It got more expensive and more complex to capture and hold null-sec areas. For me it wasn't much of an expansion living in low sec. Planets were cool to look at and the fleet finder was useful, but other than that, it was an expansion for the 0.0'rs.


Tyrannis - May 2010
The spring of 2010 saw planetary interaction deployed. The Scorpion battleship got reskinned, landmarks were added to hundreds of systems and we got Eve Gate.

I tried PI for a few days. Not enough explosions. As a Scorpion pilot I loved the new skin and the "top spinny bit". Again, an expansion that didn't really do anything for me. I was starting to feel a little neglected as were the rest of my low-sec PvP brethren.


Incursion - November 2010
Cannot see that word without thinking of the pub crawl at Fanfest 2012 and shouts of "IIINNNNNCCCCUUUURRRRSSSSIIIIOOOOOOONNNNNNN!" in Reykjavik city centre. Incursion gave us, well Incursions, the new character creator, the Noctis, removal of learning skills and lots of updates.

The learning skills change was nice. Had a load of skill points to dump into some PvP skills. The character creator was awesome. Just a pity the clothes are all so..... well..... dull. I'm a pirate! I'm not sure I want to dress like Muryia Mordu but lets have something a bit more interesting.


XXXXXX - June 2011
The expansion that should never be mentioned. The expansion that brought us riots, bans and job loses.

What can I say about the "Walking in Stations a small room" that hasn't been said before? It was a disastrous expansion and a lot of people (and graphics cards) were sacrificed for that cock-up. 


Crucible - November 2011
The turn-around expansion. This was a make-or-break expansion for CCP. After the disasterours summer, they needed to turn things around. And they did. If I listed all the improvements here it would be a long blog. Basically, CCP looked at all the players moans, gripes and wish lists, added in tier 3 battlecrusiers and went to work. And work it did!

Obviously Crucible was going to be one hell of an expansion. Look at it's preprocessor, it could only get better. The tier 3 battlecrusiers are awesome fun and generally everything about this expansion was win.


Failure to Launch - March 2012
OK not an expansion but the launch of the Eve-O launcher. I had to mention it here as it really arsed me off. I was one of the 6,000 or so that had problems running the launcher. I had to get corp mates to export the patch, upload it to a file-share website and manually patch the client. 

Lot of hassle, CCP unhelpful (if we make the patch available as download we'll never fix the problem) and a lot of rage.

0/10 (as I couldn't play the game without a lot of hassle)

Inferno - May 2012
Another success. Faction War re-iteration, missile and launchers (oooooh so cool!), war dec overhaul. Come on, it was last week. You know what was in it!

I have been trying to get used to the Unified Inventory, and still dislike it. But there was so much good in this expansion it's still a "Win" in my book.

8/10 so far, still so much more to try.

So the pattern during my Eve life has been....
  • Success
  • Meh
  • Meh
  • Meh
  • Success
  • Utter Fail
  • Epic Win
  • Minor fail
  • Win
So what makes a good expansion? The thing is, ask several Eve players and you'll get a different set of answers to the above. What makes a good expansion to me, is stuff that improves what I like to do in game. Well durrrr!

It's a real difficult one for CCP to get right. An expansion that I would love, as a -10 pirate, faction war, PvP player would be a terrible expansion for a carebear. Lets just look at my wish list......
  • GCC reduced to 5 minutes in low-sec
  • GCC flag only occurs in sight of gate or station guns (no GCC for aggressing at belts or planets)
  • Faction Destroyers
  • T3 Frigates
  • Further iteration to faction war
  • Overhaul the bounty system
  • New PvP mods and ammo
  • Stockings, suspenders and high heels in the ladies NeX store
Now that would make an AWESOME expansion, but how many Eve players would agree? How many would rate that expansion as a 1/10. It's almost impossible for CCP to make everyone happy with a single expansion. At Fanfest they spoke about cycles of development. This one is "Destruction", the next would be crafting and the final one harvesting before going back and starting the cycle again. May be that is the best way. This expansion is for Group A. Group B you'll be next.

So back to the original question. The worst expansion needs no pointing out does it? Any expansion that leads to the fallout out Incarna did has got to be the obvious low point.

The best? I'm not sure. I'm still settling into Inferno which I'm loving. I think it'll topple the other contender for top spot, Crucible eventually. However, time will tell.


  1. The new inventory has been very good to me. I was able to scrap my previous station-container based organization system and just leave everything loose in hangar and use filters. This immediately started me off on a big station move that I'd been putting off for close to a year because it would mean the loss of all my organization. Now I don't have to cross the same annoying few jumps to get to alliance home every time something happens.

    Now all CCP needs to do is make it so swapping frequency crystals by clicking "Reload Scorch (used)" actually reloads only USED crystals instead of some random mixture of used crystals and fresh ones, and I can get rid of all my "spare crystals" small cans and be completely container-free!

    1. It's really strange. People either love it or hate it. New changes coming soon so we'll see if the hates (of which I am one) are won round.

  2. Inferno missile system pic for you.
    Humorously, looks pretty spot on to what is in game.

  3. Probably one the most important thing you said as I see it:
    "So what makes a good expansion? The thing is, ask several Eve players and you'll get a different set of answers to the above. What makes a good expansion to me, is stuff that improves what I like to do in game".

    And that is more true than anything else. Any EVE expansion before, now and in the future will ultimately mean something very different based on what people's individual activities and usual profession are in EVE. Everyone will see it differently from some different angle.

    As far as the new UI Inventory, works great for me though it took a little getting used to, but funny how it can suck for others. I guess maybe it all depends on what your ingame activities are as it may relate to POS's, Mission/Ratting etc.

  4. What makes a good expansion to me and in my humble expansion is CCP been willing to include new stuff and elements to the game that allows everyone to participate in as well as new things for the various playstyles to engage in. As well overall changes, improvement and maybe new things to add to the core game/mechanic infrastructure of the game itself and quality of life issues with the game itself.

    Everyone have something to love about such an expansion from their way of life in EVE and not just one sided to the person in low sec, Null sec or High sec. Because if its all say Null sec then the person in Low, WH and High gonna say well it sucks because nothing there for them. Add stuff for everyone to have something to be interested in.