New PlayersThe new player experience has received a great many facelifts in the last year including buffed rookie ships, a more interactive tutorial as well as an improved mission interface. The new safety system and improved crimewatch mechanics have helped get rid of some of the low ballers in the griefer world.
GameplayThe recent tiericide and rebalance for frigates and cruisers have led to a new way of life for some players, who felt they needed to always use Tech II ships. The buffed support ships especially give new players a chance to try out new roles before investing the large amounts of SP needed to fly the best Tech II ships and fits. The sleeper AI for npc's and new changes to incursions and Faction Warfare keep the professions interesting without being game breaking in the profit department.
Eve's internal and external communities are both still flourishing, Tweetfleet, Bloggers, and the podcasters are very much alive and well, despite some hiccups along the way. We have also seen the rise of a new Eve news website themittani.com ran by the much maligned, deserved or not, leader of Goonswarm Federation.
However, even their enemies are cordial in the event of a tragedy, as was evidenced when Sean Smith, known in Eve as Vile Rat, the leader of Goonswarm's diplomatic arm, Corps Diplomatique, was killed in Benghazi. The response from the community was incredible, A massive number of nullsec stations had their names changed to messages for Vile Rat. Video and Photo tributes circulated though eve's community, including a photo from Rixx Javix that is still my computer wallpaper to this day. So large was this response that it was even mentioned by the mainstream media and the Secretary of State at Sean's repatriation ceremony.
TechnologyThe game has advanced considerably under the hood in the past year. Along with the aforementioned Crimewatch changes, most ships have been re-skinned with new V3 designs and the UI has been greatly improved with a customizable neocom, a Unified Inventory (which did need a little more work that was initially deployed, sorry CCP Arrow) and new targeting reticules and readouts. Most people scoff when they hear eve is almost 10 years old now, but then you tell them about the 18 free expansions since launch and show them videos. Eve looks great for it's age, something that other games should take notice of.
NumbersChallenge: 10/10 This is Eve and it is real, hard.
Graphics: 9.5/10 You know any other games this old that look this good? Me either.
Community 12/10 Shoot Blues, Tell Vile Rat
Complexity 8/10 Eve is hard, but it's becoming less needlessly complex.