According to a CCP responce on the Eve forums, we now know that Establishment will not be included in the Winter expansion.
Sadly, the Establishments feature will not be coming in the winter expansion. We hear you guys loud and clear and realize that there is still strong support for a multiplayer, avatar based experience in EVE (we also hear those that don’t want it). However, we think you’ll agree that it has to be a compelling experience and there was a feeling amongst our people that the direction we were taking with the Establishments feature was… well, not that fun. Additionally, we wanted to ensure that our rendering technology was finely tuned to a point that would ensure all of your characters continued to look great while performing well.
It’s humbling to see the support in this thread for a multiplayer Incarna experience and we are still committed to providing it, as and when it’s ready. We want to take the time to do it right and ensure you guys get something that is both fun and involving. There are no promises about when this will happen, just rest assured that while you are enjoying your space based updates this winter, there will continue to be movement on this.
I’m completely fine with that as I agree with CCP Solomon’s statement. The current Incarna engine lacks the complexity and efficiency to properly render an area with multiple characters. Try running three Captain’s Quarters at once. Even on my semi-modern GTX260, it is unplayable.
I don’t understand why CCP chooses to reinvent the wheel. The Incarna engine and the impending delivery of the new font are examples of code that could be licensed and used from other sources. I would have picked a proven engine such as the id Tech x or Unreal for my own needs, but hey, perhaps it was more cost effective to build it in-house (I won’t begin the World of Darkness discussion).
Given that we are forging ahead with the current engine, improvements will be needed.
The design for the common areas should be modeled after iconic arenas that we have seen in modern Science Fiction shows; the Babylon 5 Zocalo and the Deep Space 9 Promenade are leading examples of the services, density, chaos, and intrigue that a public space should bring to the game experience.
There are going to have to be some smart designers implementing this vision. How are they going to design a space where the population of Jita can interact in a common public area? I can’t fathom right now.
Is there going to be a hallway with 1,200 doors — one for every person docked? What if there are two floors and 100 people are moving between them all at once? Engaging social and technical problems. I can’t wait to see some concept art and blogs about this idea.
I am fully willing to wait 1-2 years for a finished public space to hit the server if we can work through such laundry lists as the ones proposed for the Winter expansion.
For further commentary see the Jester’s Trek post on Establishments.