In a shocking revelation, CCP Games developer Matt Woodward, known as “CCP Greyscale” in EvE circles, has left Reykjavik and is no longer an employee of CCP. This could be a huge blow to both CCP and the EvE universe in general.
Matt Woodward has always been a highly polarising figure at CCP and in his seven years of employment has been involved in a number of projects that made him both the bad guy and the good guy, depending on who you speak to. Most recently, he was instrumental in developing the Phoebe release. Most prominently, he designed the jump range travel changes that were greeted with open arms by some and petitioned against by others. Introducing literally game-changing features was one of the jobs that Matt Woodward most enjoyed while employed by CCP.
In a 2010 meeting with the CSM, CCP Greyscale is quoted as saying;
The harder we can make logistics, the better for the game viewed as an abstract system. It would be much better for the game if we got rid of freighters, but we have to balance what is good for the game at a higher systemic level with making the player’s lives a living hell. Forcing people to do convoys with lots of industrials would, from a higher level systemic view, be awesome. But for the individual players, it would “suck balls.”
In the same meeting, the minutes show that Greyscale was happy with ‘everything going to shit’ during the mobility changes that have been on the drawing board for four years, only recently deployed last month with Phoebe.
Greyscale feels that reduction in mobility will decrease need for big coalitions, because huge coalition blobs won’t be able to move as fast; result should be smaller local wars. It is noted that the cost of supporting coalition allies will increase, which will increase friction; coalitions may fragment so reds are easier to find. This may make it easier for small alliances to set up shop, with less supercapital curb stomping.
Greyscale warns, however, that during the transition period “everything will go to shit.”
I believe that if the initial travel distance changes had indeed gone ahead (IE. there had been no consideration for jump freighters and other industrials) then the logistics of every alliance in nullsec may have indeed gone down the toilet, and fast.
Matt was also the man who brought us the ‘safety’ features with Retribution in 2013 which allowed us to ‘log off safely’ in space with a 30 second timer on our screens so you know when your ship has disappeared safely from the game, as well as the green, amber and red safety toggles to makes sure you don’t accidentally shoot someone and make yourself a criminal (I put mine to red the day of release and left it there). In 2010, Greyscale was also the person to announce the best Christmas present EvE has ever given, the long awaited removal of the attribute boosting learning skills from EvE online. He made many announcements and did much to tweak the game in industry and anomalies as well as the ill-fated walking in station programme.
No matter how much he was hated on one side of the fence, or loved on the other, he will always be someone who was respected for making dramatic changes to the betterment, at least in his eyes, of EvE Online and will be sorely missed.
This is not the first CCP dev to leave recently. CCPs’ Soundwave, Navigator and Dolan all left for Riot Games over the last couple of years and other CCP devs have left to pursue other areas of interest. Whether Matt Woodward will move on to Riot Games, as the rumour currently circulating suggests, is still up for debate. We will all join together to wish him the best of luck in his next endeavour.