I for one enjoyed having the old expansions with all the content and polishing they brought at once.
The current development system seems rushed-I can picture the devs busy on their work stations and a guy behind them with a whip demanding faster development.
I’d love to see big content like Apocrypha again and this can’t be done in 2 months so why not go back to big expansions every 6 months or even 1 a year
I have been playing MMOs pretty much since it was possible, UO, EQ, etc. so I have experienced my share of them. The big long pauses between content cause stagnation in many games which subsequently end up losing a lot of people because of it. Sure some come back for the new stuff, but too many don’t and the game ends up losing population.
As for the new content, you are correct that it is kinda bad, but here is the thing. The content itself, concepts, artwork, encounter designs etc. are actually pretty good.
What is not good is the balancing, which could be all resolved simply by changing numbers. Take for example Resource Wars. Its bad. But its bad because the rewards suck and it sucks for people who are not miners. All that they would need to do for resource Wars is enable your standard faction (whichever the faction of the event) LP store. Make the encounters longer so people can get actually together to actually do them, and give combat folks some better stuff to do. Get points for shooting hostiles not just mining, let the NPCs mine and let players that want to as well. And it’d be OK.
Same with FOBs and abysmal space, all they need are just number and loot table tweaks. The concepts are good, artwork in abysmal space is freagin fantastic, just need to be more enticing and need to be doable at higher end with more different ship choices and fits then a blinged out Gila or an occasional Ishtar or Sac. There is a large chunk of games population that’s just not into drone or missle boats and doesn’t like bling, all those people are now excluded from that content. Me personally, I love drone and missle boats, but even I get bored and would love to be able to do these in several different turret ships (1 of each flavor of turret at least) with the same effectiveness as the drone and missle boats.
Then the FOBs, they also need to be tweaked. Either make them very hard soloable, which would also make it so that less experienced players can do them in groups of 2-3, or up the reward of what it is now, but per person. Quite literally. Then people will flock to them.
IMHO there were some very good events done, some were complete duds, but the ones that were good were like that. You could solo them, but had to warp out if you screwed up and I have seen a lot of new-ish players or people that weren’t normally into much PvE doing them in groups of 2-3. On top of that there were a lot of shenanigans going on over loot boxes. I even lost some ships in the process. All in all these were a lot of fun. Much moreso then the abyss or FOBs or Resource Wars.
I think it’s exactly the opposite. The problem with the expansion system was that it forced the devs to release unpolished content because of the deadline. They had to make the decision to rush it out or keep it back for another half year.
I suspect the main reason for the change is the industry shift from predictive to adaptive project management methodologies. Large expansions presume you know what your customers want - if you’re wrong, a lot of time and effort are wasted. Agile methodologies let you deliver small increments of content and adapt based on customer feedback. This game has changed a lot over the past few years - small changes add up over time.
Can we please not turn these massive nuisances into even bigger nuisances? You can already do them in fleets of variable sizes with Incursion-like scaling rewards. The reason why next to no one does them is because they are a pain in the back and not enjoyable at all. The only reasons why people run them are to get rid of them from your preferred system of residence (stop giving me that bovine waste argument of move to a different system), or because someone hired a group to get them out of their preferred system of residence.
I must admit, the expansions always felt like a big box of chocolate. Although, we did almost always have had several hours of downtime during their release. Sometimes half a day of downtime. We even had downtimes a few days before the release of a new expansion, usually caused by the release preparations.
So I’m going to say no simply because of these large downtimes these expansions have caused in the past.
I’d honestly rather see another 2 or 3 rounds of “little/QOL fixes”.
They always bring about the stuff that makes me giddy inside. Big expansions with new content, whatever… I’ve already got content - obviously there’s always someone wanting new content, but personal preference, fix the content we have. Just maybe, it’ll draw people into areas they previously did not want to be, while at the same time making everyone who is where they want to be, a little bit happier.