For those who miss the cohesive themes, grandeur, and the anticipation that comes with the large expansions of yore, rejoice! In a move that came as a large surprise to the player base, CCP Seagull announced that a classic staple of Eve Online, expansion releases, will be returning alongside the rapid release schedule that has been in place since 2014. While it may sound odd that these two very different development processes will be used simultaneously, players will still enjoy the benefits of the rapid release cycle, yielding smaller changes like balance passes, storyline content, and SKINs. Meanwhile, big changes like the introduction of Citadels will be more thoroughly tested and launched in major releases, much like the expansions of yesteryear.
Expansions certainly were the highlight of the dev blog, but they are far from the only things CCP Seagull discussed. The blog started with a straightforward and well-done video from CCP Seagull. It then went over some of the changes that have been released in the past year, and the overall direction CCP would like to take Eve. The rebalancing of sovereignty, pod loss mechanics, Citadels, and even the corporation and alliance changes have been geared towards making Eve a more player driven game. To quote the best line of the whole dev blog, “EVE should be a universe where the infrastructure you build and fight over is as player driven and dynamic as the EVE market is now.”
What was old is new again
Prior to the summer of 2014, Eve had semiannual expansions starting with the Cold War and Red Moon Rising. Eliminating expansions was one of the very first acts of CCP Seagull as the Executive Producer of Eve Online. While the rapid release system has been viewed largely as a success, the excitement, predictability, and integrity of the semiannual expansions has been viewed by some as lacking. Going completely back to the old ways would mean a loss of dynamic control that CCP has been enjoying of late. Rather than be forced to choose one or the other, CCP chose both. Ambitious.
Unlike the expansions of old with a somewhat set time frame of summer and winter releases, these new expansions will be put together and released as CCP sees fit. Ideally this means that CCP can avoid some of the half-baked landmine expansions of the past by keeping them irregular and unscheduled. Instead, the minor releases like we have had for the past year will continue at a pace of roughly one every five weeks for your dose of regularity.
The very first of these new expansions is going to be centered on the new Citadels. While several dev blogs detailing these behemoth player made structures have been released, CCP Seagull has promised a full reveal of the Citadels at Eve Vegas. The Eve community has been promised continued dev collaboration with the playerbase and the CSM through feedback session like town hall meetings. The only thing Seagull asks in return is that players play Eve.