∞ EVE Online CEO offers mea culpa, winter 2011 expansion unveiled

The last few months have been hugely trying for CCP Games, makers of the massively multiplayer online game EVE Online. The rollout of the game’s most recent major expansion, was met with a huge pushback from the player community, who voiced a long list of complaints. CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson has posted A letter to the followers of EVE to apologize for the debacle.

At several points Petursson reiterates his responsibility for the failures of the company as a whole, explaining that past successes gave him too much hubris and blinded him to some very real problems.

EVE Captain's Quarters
Among the list of issues Petursson apologized for is the implementation of “Captain’s Quarters,” which takes players out of their spaceships for the first time but doesn’t provide them with “establishments and meaningful activities to engage in.”

“We would have been much better off positioning Incarna as an optional technology preview that interested players could have experienced and helped us to refine,” Petursson said, adding later that “once Incarna hits its stride, EVE will be more personal, and thus more accessible to general audiences,” but that CCP plans to implement those changes “without disrupting the space combat simulator that many of you are, or at least were, very much in love with—and without delaying crucial improvements that this core experience desperately needs.”

Petursson also noted the comparative failure of EVE Online’s virtual goods payment system. “Quite frankly, it was rather pointless to begin with because we did not have a multiuser environment in which players could show off their purchases. It was another feature that we rushed out the door before it was ready,” he said.

CCP stands ready to make positive changes to the system, however – Petursson explained that the payment model for online games has changed, and CCP desperately needs to keep up with the evolution of the business in order to stay competitive.

“From now on, CCP will focus on doing what we say and saying what we do. That is the path to restoring trust and moving forward,” Petursson concluded.

EVE senior producer Arnar Gylafson has outlined CCP’s plans for EVE Online’s winter 2011 expansion, which, while not “set in stone,” is expected to debut before Christmas.

Changes players can expect include hybrid weapons balancing, factional warfare improvements, assault ships, capital ship balancing, new T2 modules, starbase logistics management, new EWAR-drones, T2 rigs manufacturing, and some visual enhancements like ship spinning, new font, more captain’s quarters and time dilation.

This isn’t a final list, Gylafson warned, but he reiterated that the “expansion will be themed around improvements to warfare and PVP (player vs player).”