It seems that CCP’s new development strategy has hit the ground walking rather than running. In terms of traditional expansion expectation – tangible new gameplay and content – EVE Online: Odyssey feels a little light.
This may seem harsh, but if it is accepted that the last three expansions were representative of the fence-mending and fire-dousing required of the previous development regime, then there doesn’t seem to be a great change in Odyssey. The vast majority of listed changes are either tweaks to existing gameplay or cosmetic enhancements – it’s still a lucky dip. But don’t misunderstand me, they are very much welcome changes and some of them long overdue. However, almost every element of Odyssey could easily have been part of any of the last three expansions – each an eclectic patchwork of improvements.
I can’t really see the thematic links which were supposed to bring together the expansion elements as promised. I’m not entirely sold on the “exploration theme” and the cynic in me feels that it is little more than a tacked on label to what was considered to be one of the more marketable elements of Odyssey, but no more so than the Retribution expansion was about bounties, Inferno was about Factional Warfare and Crucible was about apologising for Incarna.
The Bright Side of the Moon
On the more positive side, CCP have continued to show commitment to seeing things through and the continued refinement and polish of a game which was first conceived in the late 1990s is most welcome. The development process appears to be increasingly effective at dealing with problems previously perceived as “unfixable” and “dead horses” are even being re-animated for future retraining.
Odyssey itself, as a promise of things to come, is very encouraging and I’m happy to give CCP the latitude to find its feet after a period of rebuilding.
As a ten-year EVE player, I’m happy to say this: for the first time in a while, wondering what CCP isn’t telling us gives me a sense of hope rather than foreboding.
I’ll be scanning the darkness for answers.