About three minutes after Hilmar's Apology letter to the community was posted, CCP Zulu released a dev blog that gave everyone a look at what the immediate future of EVE looks like.
EVE Updating - Winter Expansion 2011
1.) If it's not been made clear by the numerous blogs and dev postings, CCP basically had to scrap their August release planning because, "What is this shit... I don't even... we are fucked..."
2.) As a result, they spent the last 3-4 weeks not only changing course but re-shuffling resources and prioritizing what they could do with the time and resources left before December.
3.) While all this was going on, CCP also had to unfuck their public relations which meant letting certain people speak up and telling others to shut up. In the end, Hilmar decided to just stomp on it all and attempt to right the ship from the top down. Granted, this should have been done months ago, but at least it's done now and in a way that leaves CCP no room at all for error.
4.) What we will get for Winter will be in preparation for much larger / bigger / shinier stuff come next year. While all of the 'fixes' and updates are going on in the trenches, the Art department and such can go ahead and start working on NEW STUFF that can be coded and mechanically integrated next year.
5.) The next CSM summit is going to focus on whatever 'new stuff' CCP decides to go with for Flying in Space (FiS) and they've said they intend to keep the CSM and the players in the loop as they move toward that.
Basically, winter is going to be all about fixes and updates with a few small new things. I don't know and don't particularly care if they even name it as an expansion but considering the long awaited balancing of hybrid weapons, this seems like a good suggestion:
|Click on me for Epic Awesome.|
In addition to all of this, last night it was confirmed that after the new racial Captain's Quarters are released, there will be no further development for Incarna in the near future.
Dev Post LINKAGE
CCP Solomon wrote:
"Sadly, the Establishments feature will not be coming in the winter expansion. We hear you guys loud and clear and realize that there is still strong support for a multiplayer, avatar based experience in EVE (we also hear those that don’t want it). However, we think you’ll agree that it has to be a compelling experience and there was a feeling amongst our people that the direction we were taking with the Establishments feature was… well, not that fun. Additionally, we wanted to ensure that our rendering technology was finely tuned to a point that would ensure all of your characters continued to look great while performing well.
It’s humbling to see the support in this thread for a multiplayer Incarna experience and we are still committed to providing it, as and when it’s ready. We want to take the time to do it right and ensure you guys get something that is both fun and involving. There are no promises about when this will happen, just rest assured that while you are enjoying your space based updates this winter, there will continue to be movement on this."
My thoughts on this are simple - in order for Incarna to have any chance whatsoever, there needs to be solid, interesting game play. That doesn't exist, nor has the CSM seen anything on the horizon that looks to change that. Since there never appeared to be a solid idea about what 'establishments' would bring to EVE, CCP basically postponed a feature that didn't exist in the first place.
Incarna has the potential to be amazing but in terms of importance, for example when allocating resources, it pales, or should pale, in comparison to spaceships. Certainly now, and probably for a long time to come as well. In the end, you can take Incarna out of EVE, but you can't take spaceships out of EVE.
I am still not sure if certain people in the company 'get it' at all (actually they are probably mad about a lot of this) and won't attempt to de-rail this effort. This is why I'm going to continue to beat the ITERATIONS ITERATIONS drum often and loudly, no matter what ~words~ are released. Still, I think that CCP, with the help of the CSM and continuing to actually LISTEN to their community, has chosen a smart path for the immediate future.