10 for 14 on my picks. Not bad, even if a few were shoe-ins. What surprised me more was the balance of who got in outside the bloc vote. Mike Azariah but not Unforgiven Storm? To me that was the biggest shock. Nice to see Mike get a seat after so much time, though. Apparently persistence pays off, even in spite of the Null Bloc ballots.
So this thing called Fanfest happened. I didn't go. I followed the news as best I could. Lots to talk about. Too much to talk about, really. So I'll spin out some threads in my head.
This was at the same time awesome and disappointing. Removing grav sites to a simple system scan is a small boon to finding the things, but a huge smack in the face to anyone who wants to mine in them, especially in non-HS space. CCP has essentially turned grav sites into FW plexes, and that will not entice any miners who want to keep their ships for long. The one nice thing about signature-based sites in LS is the small window of obfuscation they provide for ships that are designed for some sort of PvE instead of PvP. I imagine that will be going away in mining sites.
Mining needs a mechanics change more than a location change.
As for Ice Mining, I have no real experience or opinions on that, and I'll have to see how it pans out.
Hooray, better scanning and probe interfaces! This is great. But it confounds the mining change. By making scanning less painful, did grav sites need to be taken out of that equation?
Not sure about the minigame yet. I'll need to play with it to see if it is engaging, or just a tedious addition. I've never been a fan of adding complexity for the sake of complexity, so if this just replaces waiting for archeology scanners to cycle with no other changes, meh. Will our success at the game change the speed and quality of the jettisoned cargo? Will it be able to fail out, and remove a site that we currently would profit from? What is the balance of the loot tables?
Jettisoning random cargo containers and then scrambling to pick them up. Oy. Not a fan of this, nor am I a fan of requiring a second account to facilitate the process. Exploration, in my world, should be made more solo friendly so that players can get into it and have content unshackled from needing lots of people to engage in. But as we have only seen a partial preview, I will hold final judgement on this as well. Which leads to...
There were new modules on the projector, there were hints at other unrevealed features, and without knowing a lot of this, it's hard to say if Odyssey will be a boon or a curse. We simply know too little about what hasn't been said to judge the whole expansion yet. If the changes above are the only changes, then that's pretty poor. If there are more features coming, I don't know of them and must reserve judgement.
I have always seen exploration as the solo-friendly career, wandering through space, avoiding hostiles, and occasionally scoring some loot. Thematically, it appeals to me in the lone-wanderer sense. It seems that most of the mechanics announced are an attempt to make solo exploration (with one account) even harder to do, so I'm torn. Making non-combat sites require multiple people just seems punitive to me. Time, experience, and more information will tell if I like this or not.
Yes, good, let's move along. Why wouldn't I want to continue having ships made more useful?
Resource Distribution and Outposts
I can't say I have much experience with moons. I hope the reseeding generates conflict in 0.0, as I much prefer to read about the big wars. It also keeps 0.0 players doing two things I like: Focusing on 0.0, and blowing up and buying more stuff. I think both of those are good for the game, so I hope the random reseeding of moons chips away at the blue donut.
As for ores and ice, it will be interesting to see if this has much impact on 0.0 players. I'm sure some price fluctuations will occur, with low end ores, and therefore high sec mining, suffering to some degree. It will really depend if the carrot is big enough for nullbears to undock in mining barges. The upgrading of starbases will only really matter if null sec industry starts getting utilized, so again I think it comes down to trying to convince players to engage in a rather boring gameplay elements. Again, time will tell!
Those are always nice. Not really a game changer, but I do appreciate the game being updated. It will make gate camps marginally more interesting to watch for the first few weeks, at least.
Despite there being a lot of info at fanfest, I still feel like I have no idea what Odyssey is about. Most of the info released was on updates and the big resource redistribution. This is all good stuff, but none of it really explained the name or theme of the expansion, outside the few tidbits about scanning and running sites. What was released regarding exploration, in the state released, seems like it won't actually change gameplay all that much, and may in fact reduce some types of gameplay. Is the odyssey CCP is referring to the final odyssey of miners from low sec? Is it the odyssey of a few null players into ice belts? The odyssey of cargo containers into space after the hacking minigame? None of those are particularly exciting odysseys. No cyclops or lotus eaters or sirens. Just bored warriors fiddling with the rigging as they sail home.
Forgive me for a little negativity, but so far small hints at player made star gates that won't be released in the expansion don't give any clues as to what is going to actually occur in June. I was hoping for a solid preview of the expansion, an explanation of the theme and the mechanics that would bring a sense of wandering or searching into Eve beyond what already occurs. The small hints delivered seem a wasted opportunity to get players excited.