My worries are not so much about the things that have been announced. I really am quite optimistic about the new features. Rather I find some things oddly missing from the expansion so far. Granted, not all of Rubicon’s features are announced yet. There may well be some aces up CCP’s sleeve. However, until I see clear evidence that CCP is working on this, I remain wary.
I am talking about this side of the river Rubicon. As exciting as the far bank and the green pastures beyond look, I’d not like to see the leap across that stream to leave interesting projects behind. What about the things introduced in the previous expansions? In particular, how does Odyssey fit in the picture?
The theme of Odyssey was Exploration – a theme that works very well with a colonization vision. Only, the colonization project is not there yet. New space “beyond the known universe” is due not before the middle of the 5 year roadmap… So the Odyssey features, the new exploration sites, improved scanning UI and above all the hacking minigame, for the moment have to stand on their own. Will they be left behind on this side of Rubicon? I would have expected hacking to undergo a major iteration with the winter expansion. Just like faction warfare was only ironed out in Retribution, the exploration mechanics and in particular the hacking game certainly could profit from more polish. Maybe this would even go a long way to prepare these features for an integration into the post-Rubicon world. Hacking PvP could be wonderfully applied to the new mobile deployable structures. But to make it work the hacking engine probably needs quite a bit more love. Will we see this? Or will hacking turn into one of those projects that were released with a big backlog which subsequently never got burned down? Needless to say that this would really be a pity.
Although hacking and the new exploration sites were the signature feature of Odyssey, the most important change certainly was the resource rebalancing, which (amongst other things) triggered the Fountain War. The status on that side is pretty unclear. Only CCP has the numbers to try and judge how the economy is really affected. At the moment the moon goo rebalance seems to have shifted the income strategy of the big alliances from moon minerals to renting. Is CCP satisfied with this development? Any tweaks they want to do? The Siphon MDS is an interesting twist and may be CCP’s answer to this question.
What about ice? CCP Soundwave had the vision of ice being kind of the “Oil” of “New Eden” – a major conflict driver. Currently gigantic stockpiles are keeping prices down and nothing fundamental seems to have changed on that front (yet). Is there anything that CCP want’s to do there? Or are they just going to wait for stockpiles to deplete? So far we just do not know. The same is true for 0.0 mineral and station rebalancing. I have not seen recent numbers but I do not see any fundamental change in nullsec industry. 0.0 is sucking on Jita’s tits as ever. The grand player empires not more than colonies to highsec.
Resources, exploration and hacking … how will these be connected to the grand new schemes coming in Rubicon? It is not what I hear from the new expansion that worries me. It is what I do not hear.
EDIT (02/10): CCP Fozzie posted this reply on twitter:
Fly smart, Chira.