CCP Games definitely had a few EVE Online players up in arms last week, with their announcement that they'll be dropping the Classic graphics client as of the next expansion. While Machariel battleships no longer being that gorgeous black is clearly the only serious issue with that decision (only half-kidding), the fact that they were considering dropping support for older hardware drew a substantial amount of response from the player community. CCP's proposed two part plan was to:
1. Drop Classic (and ShaderModel 1) with the Apocrypha expansion launch on March 10, making ShaderModel 2 the minimum system requirement to run the game with "Premium Lite" graphics.
2. As of the Winter expansion 2009, drop ShaderModel 2 support, making ShaderModel 3 the minimum spec to run EVE, with full Premium graphics.
Well, the players have spoken, and based upon this response CCP is moving ahead with step one -- dropping Classic, ShaderModel 2 will be the minimum needed as of March 10th -- and NOT step two. That is to say, CCP is holding off on phasing out machines that can't handle ShaderModel 3.
EVE Online developer CCP Zulupark covered this info in a dev blog earlier today, which players are discussing on the official EVE forums. The tone is a bit less mob-and-pitchforks than what transpired last week, and it seems that while some players will still be affected by the minimum requirement of being able to handle ShaderModel 2, at least some of the playerbase has a reprieve from having computers branded as obsolete under the unforgiving sneer of ShaderModel 3.