What's in a name?
For an Eve expansion rather a lot, they think long and hard about finding a name that works on multiple levels - lore, publicity, new player attraction and most of all inspiring and guiding the current players.
Eve's upcoming expansion is called Rubicon and launches on November 19th.
So what's in this name?
Rubicon recalls one of the greatest changes in world history, the moment Julius Caesar committed to changing the world-dominating Roman civilisation from a Republic into an Empire. "Alea iacta est" he said, "the die is cast" the great gamble committed to and the world forever changed. (Hatip: Noizy).
On the face of it it seems an odd and perhaps even overblown word to use in the context of the promised Rubicon changes. Much of the changes seem routine, they're adding a couple of new ships, tinkering with the stats on some underpowered ship classes, pretty much like every expansion.
What's revolutionary about Rubicon? What will change Eve forever?
The answer could be nothing, it's just a meaningless buzzword that sounds cool and perhaps will usher in a wave of cool Roman sounding names like Eve: Imperium and Eve: Casus Belli and so on.
But I don't think so.
I think it's going to be one of those moments, as insignificant seeming at the time as stepping across a stream, that we look back on and go, that was when Eve changed.
There are two key elements that pave the way towards a new New Eden.
First is the warp acceleration change. Smaller, higher tech ships will move faster. This radically changes the playing field in pvp and offers a huge threat to pve and mining activities in dangerous space. But more it's a change in the balance of power between the have and the have-nots. At the moment the people who project power across the galaxy are supercap owners. With this change subcap pilots can threaten faraway regions - an interceptor gang that might roam 30 jumps away today will be able to cover 90 jumps in about the same time when Rubicon is live.
Next is the start of what seems likely to be a wide range of deployable structures. We may even in time see the phasing out of POSes, not by their deletion, but by the availability of deployables that do the same job better. The deployables also serve the goal of adding range to subcaps. Note this isn't an advantage being added that supers will get excited about - they can already refit and carry plenty of cargo - it's a shift towards subcap supremacy.
So that's where I think the grand plan for Eve is going, the change that is coming - we're moving towards a sov conquest game that isn't dominated by a few hundred pilots with very expensive ships, that isn't settled by acres of passive nullbears who pos up when threatened, but one which is opened up to the slings and arrows of a thousand voracious roamers.
And maybe some day down the line, in 5 years time, we'll look back and say Rubicon, that's when the game changed forever.