Hey remember EVE Online’s walking in stations, the talk of the genre a decade ago? Remember when all we really got was a captain’s quarters where you could finally see your character moving around as more than a flat avatar? Even that is now coming to an end.
In a dev blog this week, CCP says that “development time involved in maintaining the current state of the feature is significantly disproportionate to the number of pilots using the feature,” due largely, we assume, to the fact that the feature was a half-measure to begin with that was never developed further. While usage increased when EVE Online went free-to-play last year, it’s shown “steady decline,” and CCP doesn’t want to devote 4-6 weeks of art team dev time on it any longer.
“It is of course important to note that while use has been falling steadily over time, part of the reason for further decline recently has been a change in the default view that occurs when a character docks in a citadel, which doesn’t offer captain’s quarters and switches the account setting to hangar view,” says the studio.
Moreover, upgrading the captain’s quarters “to a standard that would reflect current graphics technology would take roughly 6-8 months of development work” — not something CCP feels is worth it, as “the underlying infrastructure would need to be stripped out of the client and rebuilt from scratch.”
Captain’s quarters functionality will be removed in August, but you’ll still be able to view some of your stuff:
“The ability to view your avatar in 3D will remain in place through the show info window on characters. You’ll also still be able to customize the look of your avatar through the station services panel the same as you can do right now. All the apparel that you currently own will still be available to you and will remain usable as it currently is now so that you can show it off to other pilots. There are no plans on the roadmap right now to expand on the locations within the client where your avatar will be viewable to others, however given that the character creation system and the avatar system remains untouched by the removal of the captain’s quarters environments and is regularly maintained as part of the new player experience, there is the potential possibility for this in future.”
Forumgoer opinions on the move are mixed; many EVE players considered the feature a waste of time to begin with, believing that visible, mobile player characters would add nothing to their hardcore sandbox. Others consider mobile toons fundamental to the genre and a doorway to a deeper, stickier MMO. And still others are ticked about the money they’ve sunk into their cosmetics, which will now be visible only through a panel.
Massively OP EVE columnist Brendan Drain penned a lengthy piece on the walking in stations issue last year, arguing then that it’d be worth CCP’s while to turn its attention back to the forgotten feature.
RIP, walking in stations.