I’ll take this opportunity to go though the list at http://updates.eveonline.com to see what has been done lately, and I’ll highlight notable changes:
(Jan) Fitting window - actually useful even if I usually turn to a 3rd party tool.
(May) PLEX unification - Not a big one, but nice to get rid of Aurum.
(Oct) Life Blood Expansion - New AI, active moon mining with Refineries, Resource Wars, FOBS - lots of good things actually, even if a few need more work.
(Feb) Upwell 2.0 - Made shooting undefended structures more tolerable and added moon mining to wormholes and highsec. A+
(Mar) New Chat Backend - probably a good thing overall for the future, but it was not without it’s hiccups. Took weeks to stabilize.
(May) - Into the Abyss expansion - Abyssal space while interesting, isn’t especially compelling or fits well with Eve game design. As a test bed for the future it could be good, but otherwise it is a feature which looses any interest except to solo farmers after an hour or two which is disappointing as a centrepiece of an expansion.
Hmm. So on reflection not much has really changed. Most notable I guess is moon mining. Also, not mentioned as it was quite gradual, is how more developed and regular the events have become. This is maybe one of the more interesting changes and one that gets people playing. If I was going to hand out an MVP award to the developers for recent work on game play, it would go to @CCP_Dragon and his team for all their work on the events. The runner-up would be the teams working on the new AI, and the NPCs they power.
Overall though, development has apparently ground to a near halt. There are plenty of new ships and skins and some nice graphical updates, and clearly work is being done on the back-end to help get ready for the 64-bit client and beyond. But in terms of game play, since the beginning of 2017 we have got one new structure, some various new and smarter NPC encounters, and just recently a new… space? PvE? I don’t know exactly what to call it, but whatever it is has promise but so far is pretty limited in scope and interest.
Let’s hope the changes in leadership and ownership will lead to a refocusing of vision which we might get a peek of at Eve Vegas.