I don't mind at all being proven wrong when it's in a good cause.
Yesterday, I hinted at a little bit of frustration with the lack of spaceship-related features being promoted in the winter expansion this year. I then responded to a comment from a reader who was equally frustrated with -- as he put it -- the "glacial" pace of the ship re-balancing project in EVE. And remember, this isn't a new project: players have been pushing for a ship balance overhaul since last summer with the CSM6 meme "a spaceship is not a punch line". I expressed agreement with my reader and pointed out that if CCP stuck with just frigates and destroyers in 2012, that pace meant it would be 2016 or later before this project was finished.
Before the day was even out, CCP Fozzie was pinging me on Twitter with an indication that there was more to come on this topic. God bless game developers! They're so bad at keeping secrets. ;-)
And sure enough, this morning there's a new dev-blog on this topic. Saying that the ship balancing project is "ahead of schedule" and calling out Fozzie for praise specifically, the dev-blog says that the 16 standard cruisers will also be rebalanced for winter! This is great news, and you can check out the dev-blog yourself to read overviews of some of the details. In particular, it confirms what appears to be a CCP strategy to standardize the number of total slots per ship class to a specific level during the design phase. For frigates, looks like this number is going to be 10. For destroyers, it looks like 13 will be the magic number (with likely eight of those being high slots). For cruisers, the number looks like it's in flux but it looks like it'll be 13-14.
Each of the frigate and destroyer classes is apparently getting a comment section on the EVE-O forums looking for suggestions. The cruisers aren't there yet, but there's at least a little bit of conceptual information. So far, I'm quite interested in proposed changes to the Bellicose (anti-frigate missile platform), Rupture (more tank, more speed!), and Moa (shield resistance plus more damage). There's also a hint that the Caracal is going to be getting more grid; it mentions that Caracals will get some help with damage projection. Perhaps my comments about how it's currently difficult to fit HMLs on a Caracal and still make the ship work a couple of weeks ago helped.
While you're at it, CCP, more Amarr missile ships! It's really rather depressing how few of these there are, and most of them are T2. How about making the Maller a mini Sacrilege instead of a mini Abaddon? The Caldari and Amarr are allies so it only makes sense that the Caldari would share some tips. ;-)
I was also pleased to see that the art team took Rixx Javix's crusade against the new Vagabond model seriously. The Vaga's getting its frill back as well as a new base Stabber model that looks quite nice!
So all in all, I'm quite happy to be upstaged here. That said, it's not all rainbows and puppies quite yet. Turns out I had underestimated the number of ships in EVE Online. If all of these updates are complete in time for year end, CCP will have rebalanced about 50 ships in 2012... which CCP Ytterbium says is 20% of the total ships in EVE. Since 20% in one year still means re-balancing the rest could potentially take several years, you can expect me to keep the pressure on moving this project forward.
Thanks for the great dev-blog, CCP Ytterbium and thanks to this team for all of their hard work. Keep it up! This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.