CCP Soundwave has gone public (in a podcast; Jester has a good summary of the contents, some of which is quoted below) with broad details of what CCP is working on for the Summer 2012 release, which means I'm free to make some observations.
"The summer patch is going to focus on 'fundamentals' and 'old systems that are hampering us.'"
This is a natural progression from Crucible. With Crucible, there was no time for long-term planning, so they concentrated on point-fixes. With the luxury of time, they're thinking longer term.
"The war-dec system is going to be redone, particularly as it applies to Empire war-decs."
This is part of a significant redesign and rewrite of Crimewatch, the code that handles all the agression timers, Concord and Police response, and so on. I was very pleased to hear in December that CCP is tackling some of their oldest legacy code -- it bodes well for a stab at iterating on POS's, which Soundwave touches on at one point. Yes, the Dead Horse may rise from the grave!
One thing I do hope that comes out of this rewrite is more emphasis on making it easier for people who want to fight to find fights, while at the same time making it harder for people to abuse war-decs to grief players who simply have no interest in PvP. I made this point at the summit, and quite frankly, I thought that some of the mechanics suggested at the summit would be invitations to organized extortion.
"Faction Warfare is going to receive a massive rework."
This is the big one, and I couldn't be happier. This is exactly the kind of iteration that CSM has been pushing for, and FW is the perfect place to start, because (as I have pointed out several times) CCP can try something innovative here -- who knows, perhaps an capture mechanic based on actually occupying and using the space -- and apply the lessons learned to fixing other problem areas in the game, such as nullsec sov.
CSM does not yet know what CCP has planned for FW 2.0, but it will likely be something that gets a lot of attention during the final months of CSM6.
"CCP is going to build in more tools for alliances to 'make money off their members.' Then they're going to get rid of the massive 'own this moon and you're set forever' system."
Both excellent ideas. I am a big proponent of "you get sov by using space", as opposed to "you get sov in order to use space", and these are both steps in the right direction.
"They're going to look for ways to foster animosity between null-sec alliances, hopefully breaking the NAP-fest in null. Instead of trying to foster conflict through resources, they're going to try to foster conflict through social means."
I look forward to Soundwave clarifying exactly what "social means" he means, but again, this seems like a step in the right direction.
"Soundwave mentions that he'd like POSs in EVE to be more like 'houses in Skyrim': a place that you live and that's yours and set up how you like and that every EVE player should want one of."
In other words,
All in all, these tidbits are great news. As long as players and the CSM keeps the pressure on, I think we're going to see interesting stuff on SiSi in the coming months.