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Massively's EVE Online Incursion video devblog roundup


Having progressed from being a small independent studio in Iceland to a successful multinational industry leader, EVE Online's developer CCP Games has always had a reputation for being very close to the game's playerbase. Back in July, this view was soured when information from devblogs and the June CSM summit seemed to suggest that EVE would receive no bug-fixes or iterations on old gameplay features for at least 18 months. Players were in an uproar, and a growing perception began to spread that CCP was selling current EVE players short in order to focus on Incarna.

In the past six months, things at CCP have take a complete 180-degree turn. Planetary Interaction has received the iteration players were promised, with gameplay tweaks and user interface fixes being deployed at a rapid pace. CCP also instituted team GridLock, whose purpose was to wage an all-out war on lag and fleet issues. In a refreshing and extremely welcome turn of affairs, CCP has been making a gargantuan effort lately to communicate with the players about upcoming changes and collect feedback. Though regular technical devblogs and pre-released test-server patches, players have been kept more informed than ever about what's going on behind the scenes at CCP HQ.

Most recently, a series of 18 developer videos was released leading up to the Incursion expansion's final release today. Topics covered include battle reports from the ongoing war on lag, information on server optimisations that have been made recently, updates to planetary interaction, and other interesting topics. Skip past the cut for a detailed roundup of all 18 videos, all hosted on CCP's official YouTube page.

EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #1 - Staggered Expansion
Arnar talks about the decision to split the Incursion expansion into three separate phases. Rather than rushing to meet deadlines and producing sub-standard work, CCP tried a new strategy of releasing what was ready and delaying those parts that weren't. This strategy has been well-recieved by players.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #2 - Neural Remaps and Skill Points: Listening to the Players
Arnar discusses CCP's plans to allow neural remaps for PLEX and how the company consulted the CSM and the game community and then changed its decision. Arnar also talks about the removal of learning skills, another often-requested change that was pushed through by the CSM.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #17 - Graphical Updates
EVE Core graphics programmer Steve Manekeller discusses updates to the Sansha ships, adding anti-aliasing, resizeable windows and other updates that come from CCP's graphics department.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #18 - Fleet Fight Notifications
Derek Wise and Devin Hendriksson explain the fleet fight notification system, which lets CCP reinforce server nodes in advance of major fleet battles during downtime. Also discussed are the new "super-nodes" to be used for major 1000+ player battles.

EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #3 - Team GridLock optimizing fighter-bombers and fleet jumping
Brian Bossé and Einar Þór Einarsson discuss optimisations with fighter-bombers and fleet jumping. Using the Thin Client, they were able to track down performance issues with those systems.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #4 - Team GridLock - What do we need to fix?
Members of Team Gridlock talk about how they find out what to optimise next to improve EVE's performance.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #5 - Team GridLock - Thin Client
Team Gridlock talks about the Thin Client -- a stripped-down command-line version of the EVE client with no graphical components. Hundreds of them can be run on one computer and directed to perform scripted actions.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #6 - Team GridLock - FleetJumping
Team Gridlock discusses fleet jumping lag and how the team goes about finding performance issues in mass tests and replicating them in-house in order to discover what the problem is.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #7 - Team GridLock - Mass Testing
Team Gridlock talks about Mass Testing and the help that having hundreds of players gives CCP in testing performance issues, testing new performance fixes in a real-world scenario and determining what to test next.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #8 - CSM & Team Gridlock - Stuck Modules
Team Gridlock talks about using the Thin Client to replicate a CSM-supported issue in which auto-cycling modules can become stuck during a fleet fight. Consequently, issues with EVE's command queueing system were discovered and a fix was released.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #9 - Weapon Grouping
Kristinn Þór Sigurbergsson discusses EVE's weapon grouping system, the server-side optimisations that it allows and updates that are coming to make the feature more usable.

EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #10 - Extractors On Planets
Kristinn Þór Sigurbergsson talks about planetary interaction and why the extractor process is not ideal. Extractors are to be replaced with new Extractor Control Units, around which extractors will be placed to find the optimum setup. This is intended to produce a more dynamic extractor interface.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #11 - Planetary Command Centers
Cat Pinson and Kristinn Þór Sigurbergsson talk about upgrading command centres, which used to require a planet's entire industrial network to be stripped down and re-built. This is being replaced with a new upgradeable command centre.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #12 - Planetary UI
Cat Pinson details changes in the Planetary Interaction UI updates and command centre upgrades.

EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #13 - Why Incursions?
Kristoffer Touborg (CCP Soundwave) from Team Best Friends Forever explains his team's work on Incursion and why CCP has decided now to focus on new group PvE experiences. Inspired by old features from Ultima Online, CCP has decided to use incursions as an open system in which a group of players can drop in to have fun or terrorise other players.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #14 - Incursion Rewards and who is it for?
Kristoffer Touborg says Incursion is intended for everyone. Invasions will occur in highsec, lowsec and nullsec. He talks about the changes that happen when an incursion appears, how the new Sansha AI will "beat you up," and what rewards players can expect from Incursion.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #15 - Why Sansha?
Nathan Knaack discusses the reasons for choosing the Sansha as the focus for the incursions, why Sansha Kuvakai and Sansha's Nation acts as a focus for the live events, and how CCP has had to evolve the events to handle the actions fo players.
EVE Online: Incursion Devblog #16 - Live Events
Nathan Knaack talks about the Sansha live events and how players have interacted with them. Most interesting is the use of EVE Online's roleplaying community, including integrating the story of one player's family being abducted and converted into slaves used in future attacks.

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