Well, Incarna has arrived, and all is not well in New Eden. Apart from the usual patch issues, some of them infuriating (my current favorite: the preferences folder location on the Mac was changed without notice and hard-coded, so running multiple clients is messed up -- and this was not fixed despite being reported weeks ago!), we have all the :rage: about Incarna and the new Noble Exchange.
While I believe that in the long run, Incarna will be a positive addition to EVE, it's gotten off to a very rocky start. The Captain's Quarters are a resource hog, the character quality doesn't even come close to what you see in the character portraits, and it doesn't add any gameplay. The net result is that a lot of people have been turning it off -- in particular, people running multiple clients (which I would be doing if it wasn't for the fact that I use the Mac client!). And note: the ability to disable the CQ is temporary -- as soon as performance is deemed adequate, it is likely that usage will be enforced.
One positive change that hasn't been getting a lot of attention: the NPE is significantly improved. I'm pleased about this since the CSM (and me in particular) have been pointing out that improving noob retention is a huge win. CSM got a big report on these improvements at the summit, and this will be detailed in the upcoming minutes (current status: 3rd draft, probably out by end of month).
Needless to say, CSM was not consulted on the issue of monocle pricing.
Looking at the business consequences of Incarna, it will be interesting to see if CCP is fearless enough to go looking at metrics that might disconfirm their impression that Incarna is as wonderful as two blondes on a waterbed (I do not want to even speculate on the Aurum price of such a micro-transaction).
Two that I think will be very interesting are:
* What percentage of people who have logged in and experienced the CQ have turned it off?
* Has the introduction of the Noble Exchange increased sales of Game Time Cards, both on an overall basis, and in terms of GTCs bought per active character? Because if it hasn't, then it doesn't matter how many monocles you're selling, it's just moving the money from one pocket to another.
CSM has asked CCP to gather these metrics and tell us what they are. Whether or not they do so is, of course, a very compelling metric in its own right.