CCP does expansions twice a year, some blow players out of the water while others are a little lackluster. There is always a lot of controversy when it comes to the expansions with a lot of play styles feeling "cheated". This causes dissent among the subscribers upon which "bitter" becomes a tossed around adjective. While CCP has adopted a newer model and approach to their development and are looking to cover all the areas of play over multiple expansions instead of just one play style per expansion; I predict there is going to be a more widespread effect of "being cheated" among players. While newer pilots might not feel the effects as harshly, I'm guessing a lot of "bitter" vets out there are used to a big awe inspiring feature for a specific type of play.
While I still think CCP has a ways to go with their production and public speaking, it wasn't terrible. While I could watch the presentation of the next expansion, I felt it wasn't quite up to snuff when making an announcement of this size. (Lack of a Rubicon trailer was a little disappointing, but not much.)
Moving on to the "big" reveals, I had a really negative perception of the rest of the features announced after they revealed a major change to player control. I'll try to talk about this later but it still infuriates me, but probably not for the reasons you suspect. Moving past that, after a couple of days to dwell on the other concepts and digest how they could work (and get past my initial angry reaction) here are a few thoughts on some of the features.
************Everything is subject to change.************
Siphon Unit (Small) - *Work in Progress*: Reading through the forums a lot of players have a severe misconception of what this thing siphons.
"It is a unit that allows people to steal resources from starbases. So you can essentially siphon some of the resources from moon mining or reactions." ~Fozzie
This does NOT mean it takes things from hangar or construction arrays. I may be wrong but it sounds like they got this to work by having it interact with the cycle code so when a cycle finishes X% goes into the Siphon instead of the output location, therefore it never actually siphons from a storage location. The percentage it siphons probably goes up the longer the Siphon Unit is online during the cycle (eg: A cycle of 100 minutes with the Siphon Unit gaining .1% per minute. So you can't fly up anchor it at the end of the cycle, expect a huge payout and then un-anchor and run away. This means you have to leave it for the whole cycle if you want resources. The guy who does this will get 10%, the other guy will only .1%). I think it should be implemented this way because it is very important it never be allowed to siphon modules, ships, or resources from a storage location and it shouldn't reward you for not investing time and risk. (It should never have a base percentage payout). But based on how they actually did it will determine how often and when it is used.
Depot (aka Mobile Home Base) - *Work in Progress*: This module sounds like a really neat idea, and it may very well work out and be widely used. But since it has to be deployed, it will have to fit inside your cargohold, so unless it is somewhere around the 150 m3 (packaged) I don’t think it’s going to be used by a lot of guys who want to bring a hauler around on roams. The time between anchoring and un-anchoring will also play a huge role in when it is used.
I really don’t think players will use this in the way CCP is envisioning it. They sold it on the idea of being able to deploy it when you’re out on long excursions as a home away from home ideal. Enabling you to set up your own little base anywhere you want. Problem with this approach is it can be scanned down (from what I've read on the forums) so there isn't anywhere to hide the thing, it will have a short reinforcement timer (meaning if you leave it anchored when you go offline for the night don’t be surprised if it’s gone by morning), it can be freely shot without Concord interference (greatly hinders its usefulness in high-sec), it is unable to swap T3 subsystems (sorry wormholers), and unless it’s relatively cheap and has a cargohold (when deployed) greater than a normal combat ship, you’re not going to see it running rampant (which may not be a terrible thing).
- High-sec mission runners – I see this being used by skirmish/sniper range mission boats to allow them to jump into a mission with that extra mid-slot, kill everything in the room and then drop the depot, use the fitting service to swap in a prop mod, hoof it over to the acceleration gate, drop and swap again and move on to the next room with a rinse and repeat.
- High-sec general use – I may be wrong but who would use it to store valuables in when there is probably 7 stations in system they could dock at and refit in? (Stations which are safe by the way.)
- Low-sec mission runners – If they run these missions regularly I doubt they’re going to leave something which can be easily scanned and which will give away their position, or something which will be a hassle to leave behind if they need to make a break for it.
- Low-sec pirates/roamers – Same as high-sec general use, there are stations in low-sec as well. After the initial few weeks as people learn that these things are loot piñatas and seeing one in system will be like throwing blood in the water, they’ll take the easy route and just dock up to drop off valuables.
- Low-sec Faction Warfare – I see it’s use going up a bit for these guys wanting a cheaper or initial alternative to invade occupied systems. Otherwise there are stations about.
- Null-sec – I see it being overly used or never used, other than the reasons above I think null sec tend to fly larger fleets which are doctrine fit (right?). If it is doctrine fit then you’ll never see its use because there is no need to refit. What I think will happen are doctrines will now be including modules in the cargohold of a ship. Then if they run into a fleet comp which is different than what they are currently fit to engage, they can drop these, everyone quickly refits and they turn into hunters instead of prey.
- Wormholes – Same principles apply from above but I think these will be useful when raiding other wormhole’s anomalies and give a better initial staging point.
Deployable Automatic Tractor Beam and Looting Device (DATBLoD?) - *Work in Progress*: Not much to say on this one, this thing is AWESOME and I expect we’ll see its use all over the spectrum from PvE application to PvP. Based on what they set the tractor beam speed and range at will determine how many are brought out and deployed in a given situation also how large it is in the cargohold.
Deployable Temporary Short Range Cyno Jammer - *Work in Progress*: My experience in this comes from just understanding the modules and their importance (which may be completely misunderstood). With the limited range I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot more sniper doctrines worked into the regular rotation, or brawling fits which can be swapped for sniper using the depot if the jammer prevents them getting to the thick of the fight they can try and cyno in on the outskirts. But if they can get a covert cyno up, they can bypass this jammer altogether.
Warp Acceleration Changes - *Work in Progress*: It took me awhile when I first started playing Eve to realize this wasn't happening. I think this is a great change and will really mix up fleet comps as EFT warriors figure out how to effectively let a group of smaller ships intercept and hold onto larger ships while the larger ships will come up with easier ways to kill smaller things. Also as a frigate pilot this will be really nifty when I’m chasing someone.
Interbus Ship Identification System - *Work in Progress*: Why it wasn't done this way to begin with….(probably programming issues). But it will be nice, especially for the new player to get a handle on the complicated skill system.
Character Selection Screen - *Work in Progress*: It will depend on how much information they give and show. As well as how responsive it is and how quickly it loads.
Twitch.tv Integration -*Work in Progress*: My biggest issue is they are advertising this as a Twitch thing. I want to know if it is an integration of streaming/video recording software technologies, or if this only works for Twitch.tv? While I have nothing personal against Twitch; regarding CCP's future, does this integration allow for scalability of technologies, what if a new streaming site rises up, or what if Twitch.tv goes under? Are just a few concerns which rise to the top. If it is the integration of the technologies then it gets a little nifty response from me, however if it is Twitch exclusive I believe it is a bad feature, poorly thought out, and I hope Twitch paid for its development. Figured CCP would have learned recently about favoring third parties.
Overall I think a lot of these features have potential for success.