I know we’re in the midst of the Incursion cycle and I should be pondering how to spend the windfall squillions of skill points I’ll be getting later tomorrow, but instead I’m holed up in the office pondering Incarna. My thoughts are poised on the summer expansion because it’s the lead feature in the next issue of the magazine (a feature that really needs to be written up before the morning), to which as an aside I’ve also been thinking on how things have changed over the years, specifically with regards to CCP’s attitude to “walking in stations.”
I’ve been playing EVE long enough to remember when Earth & Beyond was still alive and kicking. During the time of its brief existence it was EVE’s main competitor, and having beaten EVE to release, and with the combined resources of Westwood Studios and EA behind it, it was for a while a not inconsiderable threat to EVE’s eventual success.
The differences between E&B and EVE were many and varied, but there was one in particular that set the games apart from each other. In Earth & Beyond you could run in stations.
Personally, I didn’t think E&B ambulatory aspects were anything special. In fact the need to get out of your ship and run up to an NPC mission contact was rarely anything but a tedious chore, but many players liked it and inevitably when Earth & Beyond closed down and a significant number of its players migrated to EVE, the calls got louder for CCP to do something more with their otherwise excellent character generator other than take and store portraits. CCP’s response at the time (understandable for a less-than assured company with less than 50 employees): “EVE is a space game” not a walking game.
Here we are almost exactly seven years later and CCP number 500 souls (or is it 600?) and EVE is about to go from “space game” to “ultimate sci-fi world.”
I bring up this history only to show how things have changed with regards to EVE and the priorities that CCP have places upon elements of its design. Seven years a long time and EVE has come along way. Four years is a long time too, which is how long it’s been since CCP revealed its intention to develop Ambulation.
Anyway, I should get back to work…