Let's start with the most famous quote in these two sections, shall we?
On top of that, Soundwave added, the POS system by itself would only affect a small portion of the community.Now, I've already mentioned this quote in another blog post and pointed to both Two step's blog post about it and his growing threadnaught. It's up to 121 pages, and I'm told that CCP is counting the number of unique player accounts that reply to that thread. So if you've been thinking about posting in there but think your contribution doesn't matter or enough players have already spoken up about it, I'd encourage you to revisit that thought process.
For those of you who hear it coming... BUT. And there are two buts: first, that post was written before I'd read the full Minutes and before I'd had time to really think through them. And second, my own position on this issue is a lot more nuanced than what I put in a single throw-away post. So I want to cover it again in a bit more detail but to do that I first want to provide a little bit of context.
I have four sets of experience with POSs:
- I have two of them myself where I do T2 research and manufacturing;
- I have played with low-end moon mining and moon reactions in low-sec;
- I've been one of the POS-managers and -fuelers for a small alliance; and,
- for about six months, I lived full-time out of a POS in a class 2 wormhole.
I joke lots on this blog that I'm capable of simultaneously believing two contradictory things at once. In this statement that POSes only affect a small portion of the community, CCP Soundwave has proven himself a master of this skill. That is because there are two factual things I can say about this quote:
- It is absolutely true; and,
- it is patently false.
The easier POSes were to set up, use, and deal with, the more of them there would be and the more interesting things could be done with them. And that is a fact. It is only the fact that POSes are fiddly, specialized, and annoying that makes them so relatively rare. And it's the "relatively rare" part that makes Soundwave's statement true: very few of us actually know how fiddly, specialized, and annoying POSes are. Kelduum Revaan frequently notes how many new players are interested in getting a POS... until they learn what's involved. And for that reason, very few EVE players have actual hands-on experience with them.
But let's be fair and come at this from the CCP perspective, shall we? It's very clear to me having read the whole Minutes that two things are going on here:
- CCP has looked at the POS code and it scares the crap out of them;
- they've done enough of the background research to realize that it would take a sizeable percentage of the company working on this to fix it in one expansion.
I just don't happen to agree with it, that's all.
As I hinted in my little throw-away post, the problem with a "POS expansion" is that it's not going to do a damned thing to bring new players into this game. It would be nearly impossible to sell a POS expansion from a marketing stand-point, and other than the amusement value for about two days of all of us throwing up new POSes and taking some screen-shots, the game play value of a POS expansion is virtually nil. And the reason is that those things that POSes are used for now would end up being those things that POSes are used for tomorrow. CCP wouldn't put very much thought into the question "is there anything more we can do with these things?" because there wouldn't be time to.
So yeah. I'm quite content with CCP taking their time on this one, doing it right, and really giving us some new functionality here. More than that, though, I want CCP to transition smoothly into this new system. I envision about an eighteen month period where the current POS code exists side-by-side with new POS code. I envision systems that have "old school" POSes holding down some tasks while new generation modular POSes are put up in the same system taking on new and then (slowly, over an expansion or two) the existing tasks. During this process, they can also take away some of the things that POSes should no longer be doing, ending with the decommissioning of the moon mining POS mod.
Know what I want first? I want a POS I can dock at. One office slot, a space-limited set of corporate hangars, a space-limited personal hangar for everyone in the corp, and that's it. I think that alone would make the wormholers happy... and I think the rest of us can wait. It'd be relatively straight-forward to do, I'll bet, and wormholers can leave their existing POSes in place for everything else. Just a little dockable POS that's just as hard to kill as the current ones to start, maybe with the sentry gun code. Wormholers would use it, null-sec players would use it, a few low-sec players here and there would use it, and it would start us down the road to a new way of looking at POSes. And then CCP could build from there for the next few expansions until we can finally delete the current POS code.
In the meantime, that leaves a lot of dev time free for 2013 for game play and CCP Unifex's themes. And that also strikes me as CCP's more likely approach to this. And as the poet said, that's all I have to say about that.
I'll have lots more to say about those two sessions, but since that topic is a big part of where CSM7 spent their time during the first session, I wanted to cover it separately. Several more posts today, so watch this space.