Wednesday, February 25, 2009

D-EVE-lopement Delays

I’ve said this before, but in the absence of the actual release I guess I’ll just have to talk about it again. When I first started playing Eve I assumed that there was a human avatar component. Of course, there is not—Eve is all about space ships, pvp combat, industry (crafting), and complex economies. In 2005 they were talking about “walking in stations” and that suckered me in to playing. Usually when a development team is talking about a feature, it usually shows up inside a year. Well here were chugging through 2009 and the Eve dev team is still talking about it.

Granted, they are talking about it more often and in association with such features being released in 2009. We’ll see. I must admit I’m still excited about the notion. CCP doesn’t do things in half-measures—every dial on Eve is set to 11. I expect no less from the human avatar design. The screen shots so far have been very impressive. There is much discussion about “games in the game” which is the ability for players to plonk down at a table and play games. There is even discussion of things like Texas Hold’em. This opens up a whole new avenue of revenue generation via in game gambling for ISK. That would be pretty fabulous. I can see some players jumping in to Eve with no interest in being pilots!

Many things have been discussed. I can only wait until they finally do release. In the mean time, my accounts have both expired again. I can’t afford to pay the online fees in US dollars at the moment, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

CCP continues to put other enhancements in to affect. They are releasing a whole new technology tree with new “customizable” T3 cruisers in the next month or so. While these are interesting, I don’t find them compelling… at least not at $30 NZD a month.

To me, Eve Online is the only unique competitor to World of Warcraft. Virtually every other MMORPG is just another fantasy based WoW clone. No one will be able to take on Blizzard and WoW for next 10 years. Blizzard is raking in 70+ million dollars a month in fees… 70 million a month. Just from WoW. That buys a lot of developers. No start-up will be able to challenge that expenditure. In order to pull away WoW players, you’re going to have to offer something that WoW doesn’t. No game can be all things to everyone. Fantasy clones are therefore doomed to fail. Other genre’s will have to rise and take hold of the market. Eve has more years of development under its belt than even WoW. They have easily the most rich and diverse Sci-Fi MMORPG ever created. If they can continue to grow and stay funded, then they may yet steadily gain ground in the MMO market.

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