Yep, it’s the day a new expansion is deployed. On this occasion it’s a fraction of an expansion, a fracspansion if you like, in which we can look forward to only the merest wisp of a new feature (the Noctis salvager ship) wrapped up in more tweaks and fixes than perhaps we’ve had for a very long time.
While the ratio of innovative new features to patched up old ones leans heavily towards the latter, it is something that seems to have gone down well with the playerbase, as has the decision to spread the release of the expansion proper across three stages. The player side of me heartily agrees with this new strategy. After all, you need a healthy foundation on which to build new features, and it makes sense to only deploy them when they are ready. The Incursion feature list is rather disparate to say the least, so just from a PR perspective it’s a good call. If nothing else it’s nice to have something to look forward across the holiday season.
So, part 1 of Incursion – today – is the bucket-load of fixes. CCP have dubbed this the ‘player patch’ on account of the plethora of CSM/forum-inspired needs and wants. Next month is the mysterious ‘Santa patch’ and will come with more stuff, although we don’t really know what. In fact all we know for sure about part 2 is that CCP will be taking stuff away – the much-maligned Learning Skills. If that’s all we have to look forward to then it’s more of a contraction than an expansion, if there is such a thing. The first Eve contraction. Fancy that.
Scheduled for sometime in January, Incursion pt 3 will be the expansion proper, where the ratio of fixes to features will lean heavily towards shiny things that my hack side is getting all excited over: the eponymous dynamic storyline framework, public faction quests and the introduction of a new character creation system. Stage 1, effectively, of what will likely be a lengthy pre-season of Incarna deployments.
Let’s hope the player patch slots into place neatly. If it does, we can expect lots of lovely goodies from CCP Santa next month. Snowballs again?