Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, January 28, 2013

"No" but in the nicest possible way

Just a quickie.

For those of you who are on Team "Summer expansion = POS expansion! Go!", CCP Seagull has posted a reply to Two step's thread on the topic.  And it is the kindest, gentlest, nicest "no" that I've read so far in 2013.  Go give it a read, but here's the money quote referencing the modular POS prototype:
The result was design work and a prototype, where the prototype and art requirements were centered on stuff that was very cool for the person creating the starbase. ...  Because there were too many open questions around the functionality outside the features for starbase creation, we could not responsibly green light the design to go into production for the summer expansion.
Translation?  "The design was for a fantastic toy -- really cool stuff! -- but when we asked 'Yes, but what does it do?' the team couldn't give us a good answer."

Dear Heaven, do I like this lady.  Where was she before the Incarna expansion?

Anyway, she also says that we're not going to know more about the theme chosen for summer until late in February.  Meanwhile, Trebor Daehdoow has let slip that CCP and the CSM are hashing out what that theme might be and what features might be included even as I type this.  In a very real sense, CSM7's term started a little over two weeks ago...


  1. I have not let anything slip. I am simply doing what certain pesky bloggers keep saying they want, which is to keep the community as informed as possible. Sometimes circumstances are such that I can't be as forthcoming as I would like; in this case, I can be timely but I can't go into a lot of specifics, other than discuss the process, and my impression of it, which is that it is proceeding well and is on track to produce something the community will appreciate.

    It would be a misrepresentation to say CSM and CCP are "hashing things out". We are doing our jobs as a stakeholder in the process and providing analysis and feedback.

    1. Shh. People will read it if they think it's inside information.

  2. Frankly, I don't like this girl. Her post is a complete cop out. The entire POS problem smacks of "too hard", and the argument against building a POS related expansion is completely fallacious.

    She's a political mouth piece who seems to be there to circle jerk with unifex.

    Frankly if they cannot come up with compelling game play surrounding space-lego POS things then CCP lacks any imagination these days.

    1. Yeah. I have to agree strongly with this.

      The very idea they that they couldn't make it better than current seems like a farce.

      Combining invention slots into one central bank per division would be one thing.

      Allowing a small personal space for each member would be another.

      Further the idea that there were "too many open questions". lol. If only someone was paid to answer them... If only...

      But it did take them half a decade to make a prison cell with $80 barbie items so who knows.

    2. Your complaint is fallacious.

      Seagull isn't saying that POSes aren't going to be fixed. She is saying that they know the problems and they know it is going to take a lot more work than a few quick database tweaks and new artwork. She basically acknowledged that POSes are indeed on CCP's active to-do list. The fact that they actually have someone working on a prototype pretty much proves this point.

      However, fixing the POS system is not as simple as balancing ships, and requires a significant amount of effort and resources to do it correctly, lest we end up with yet another CQ.

      Unfortunately, CCP does not have those resources available, at this time, due to their priority to get DUST from beta to production this year. Once DUST is launched and generating income, we'll see CCP shift more effort back to addressing resource-intensive problems, like POSes.

    3. Anon2229 is correct. In addition, as I keep saying, a POS expansion would be hard for CCP to sell and market to anyone BUT people who have to mess with POSes all the time.

    4. @ anon 5:58 PM & Xurr 7:19 PM

      Did you guys even read what CCP Seagull wrote? Here, I'll quote a sentence for you...

      "We can see tons of potential in how a re-vamped system could both fix the stuff that's broken about the existing system, and open up for all kinds of exciting new things for both new and old players to do in EVE."

      Just that one sentence makes a huge mockery of your posts. Maybe try reading before replying next time?

      Bitching about WiS (fair enough, it sucks) but then in the same breath bitching about CCP deciding not to go ahead with an expansion that has been identified as infeasible in the current time frame & requiring far more resource than is available to deliver a meaningful expansion, is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've read in a long time. If they did continue and release a half finished poorly rehashed expansion (like Incarna!), I'd wager a few trillion isk on you guys being amongst the first to bitch about it.

      You are essentially bitching because CCP have decided to avoid making the same mistake and release an expansion that would:

      a) be terrible due to lack of time / resource
      b) upset & annoy existing players and
      c) be completely unmarketable to new players

      I'm glad you guys don't work for CCP.

    5. A non-POS as such housing-and-construction-in-space expansion I'd find no problem marketing. But it's a considerably different beast, and to be honest, a much larger one.

    6. @Jester - I actually think that a POS expansion could be effectively marketed and sold, but it would have to be an entirely new system, far more expansive than anything discussed thus far, and not merely a fix or an extension of the existing system.

      For example, I can foresee the idea of entirely replacing NPC stations with player-owned stations, with all of that functionality now under player control. POSes would range from small orbital support stations owned by new players - not much more than the ISS - to massive space structures owned by megacorps - which are effectively cities in space.

      I believe this is what CCP actually intends to do, when they can free up the necessary resources.

    7. Not if they coupled it with making war decs actually mean something. Let Corps own stations and charge for docking rights/set market/broker/research/production/etc rates while raising the rates in NPC stations. Move all level 4 agents out of NPC stations and make agents an upgrade for Player Stations. At that point, corps could compete with each other in the station game for customers, and an event like burn jita would actually mean a bit more.

    8. Are you sure about that, Jester?

      It's your home in space, your own little claim to stake even in high sec. That's huge now.

      Think of it as housing, in addition to its pragmatic roles (which would make EVE's version of housing stand out as different, along with destructibility) and suddenly the potential appeal is wide open.

    9. @ wil

      We are upset because they announced it, then said it wouldn't impact many players then walked it back as usual. It is the same crap as always.

      This idea of yours that it has to be all or nothing is foolish.

  3. EVE Online: Battlegrounds

    Features :TotallySafeHisec:(tm) with Battlegrounds, formerly known as LowSec and NullSec. LowSec is now for Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch, and Null is for large-scale CTF gameplay.

    In other news, CCP applauds this as the "easiest expansion evar!!!" as the only code re-write involved setting the new "safety" feature to "perma-green" in hisec, and the terminology changes to Low/Nullsec.
    By and large, players fail to notice the difference in gameplay, resulting in a few tears from the wardec/griefing/ganking crowd, and a whole lot of "That was it?" from everybody else. ;-)

  4. You missed
    CCP Soundwave was on voices from the void, and said this at 12:40 into the podcast:
    "POSes are something that that is pretty much always up here and we will doing something with them for summer, whether it is small changes, first steps to something bigger, something is going to happen for the usability of them"

    From 2 days later, frankly if it is just more circle jerk, well CCP can get stuffed.

  5. I picture CSM7 just advising nice stuff for the big blue donut and screwing everyone else as usual.

  6. It's a good explanation, and makes a lot of sense. The problem with the current POS system is not the initial setup and takedown, but lack of ability to properly control access to POS (and corporate) resources. Seagull saw the problem -- that they had a toy with no good functionality, and wisely decided to wait until the team had something more substantial to show. After all, POSes are very rarely put up and taken down with any frequency; the problem lies in the day-to-day management and control.

    But I think some of the folk above are missing the crucial point: CCP is actively working on POSes, and they aren't rushing out a half-finished job just to meet some arbitrary deadline. We're going to get a POS revamp, but it won't be delivered in a month or two of work.

  7. More worrying to me is CCP Greyscale's response in this thread:


    It's disturbingly reminiscent of when CCP decided out of the blue that capital ships would no longer benefit from command ship bonuses, offered half-baked justifications that made no sense, and then finally backpedalled on the whole thing. In this case, instead of fixing a bug, CCP Greyscale decided to take the easy way out and simply remove the functionality entirely.

  8. Know what else Seagull said?

    "When we talk about "the POS system" only affecting a "small portion of the community", we are referring to the focus of the prototype, not to the current starbase system or the concept of the full "modular POS system" - but this does not come across well in the CSM Summit minutes."

    According to Two Step(see his blog), the reason this doesn't come across in the minutes is because it did not come across in the meeting room.

    Nice job, Seagull; now are you just backpedaling, or blaming the CSM for your failure to communicate? I, for one, am not that keen on her.

  9. EVE Online: Repairs

    Features: Fix the broken wardec and bounty systems, which SonicLover and Co. managed to botch up by not listening to the player feedback.

  10. "CCP - Giving you garage startup delivery based on show business hype since... damn, how long has it been since we stopped listening?"

  11. At this point I'd prefer if CCP changed to a single expansion per year with a minor 'balancing' patch 6 months later. The CSM minutes made clear that they have never had a long term planning cycle; they wing it every 6 months. You can't keep that up, especially with a game that's about to turn 10. The number of game design features that are even possible within a 6-month window of concept, design, development and artwork is vanishingly small. Then move the CSM yearly election/summit cycle to coincide with the new yearly release cycle so their involvement occurs at the beginning and at the 6-month balance point.

    And as for, "fixing the POS system is not as simple as balancing ships", well golly gee! The ship rebalancing is taking a solid 3 years from start to finish. Does that mean we can look forward to improved Player Owned Stations some time around EVE's 20th Anniversary?

    1. "And as for, 'fixing the POS system is not as simple as balancing ships', well golly gee! The ship rebalancing is taking a solid 3 years from start to finish. Does that mean we can look forward to improved Player Owned Stations some time around EVE's 20th Anniversary?"

      Nah, probably not. It is a question of resources. Currently, there are 1-2 people doing the ship rebalancing - mostly Fozzie. A new POS system would probably involve around 10-20 devs, artists, etc. With a full team, it can be accomplished in 1-2 expansions. As someone noted above, however, CCP doesn't have those resources currently available, due to DUST development. After DUST, things should get better and go faster, on the EVE development side.

  12. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the first example of the new approach this summer. However, I’m afraid that saying they are going to do it gradually means that no major changes are ever going to be made in a foreseeable future. Same with sovereignty. Also for a lot of people seeing some results being achieved in 5 years practically equals to never, as they quite likely won’t be playing by then.

    How would they ever be able to develop wormholes or even dominion sovereignty revamp under this new strategy? Frist introduce scanning changes, then wormholes themselves, and T3s half a year later? That certainly sounds much less exciting then Apocrypha.

    I’m afraid both POS and 0.0 changes could very much devolve into the series of band aids and conveniences to satisfy the player base somewhat. Then CCP could argue that after the recent improvements to, say, POS UI modular POS are no longer needed.

  13. Unrelated to this post but; Jester, found your site through other means (thx google) after a while but used to look just here http://community.eveonline.com/community/fansites.asp for my blog fix, not sure how many people use that page, but other less insightful, and definitely less active, blogs are featured there. Maybe submit yours as well? Just saying it was my starting point as a noob when looking for additional opinions/reading material about my fav alternate universe.

  14. I think CCP already knows how bad POS's are, I think they already know what great new gameplay can be brought in with them, I think they honestly really want to do a POS revamp but fundamentally the POS revamp as players envision it is just too big to do in any meaningful form under the new design strategy. The real problem here is that the new design strategy does not allow for projects anymore that would take huge amounts of man hours and can't be released in small stages, like the ideas for modular POS's.

    POS's are just too many man hours to do with the new design strategy. The new strategy of having multiple features for each release, means multiple teams splitting man hours per release, so the modular POS idea suddenly becomes really long to do, not just in one or two releases (we already knew that), it's probably too big to do ever now, or will take several (as in 3-4) years to do not 2-3 releases. And they certainly can't come out and say that right now. POS's have needed fixed for years, and CCP promised to do them last year but they can't now come out and tell their players that under the new flow chart they are married too, doing so will take another 5-6 years to get done. I fear we will get a few cosmetic interface things done for a few releases to calm the rabble down and allow CCP to say they are working on it. All the comments from CCP and CSM saying POS's are still on the table leave a lot of wiggle room. Sure they can still work on POS stuff like small UI fixes and role changes and can say "look we are working on POS's like you asked", but the full modular POS's tied to SOV type ideas we all seem to want, I think that died the day they adopted the new design flow chart.

    When a company adopts a design strategy thats built entirely on middle management speak, things in the real world that don't fit in get tossed under busses. As much as I'm sure many want to do it, the problem is meetings have been had, flow charts have been adopted, and peoples reputations have been bet on this new design strategy, so sticking to it now becomes more important than the product they put out. Hell, this new design strategy for a while IS the product they put out. POS's no matter how vital to the game and community are just not as important as making the new strategy work for some at CCP.


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