Release timeframe for Shiva - Q3 2004
First I'd like to apologize for how the information about the release timeframe for Shiva has been announced. You should have read it here first, and this won't happen again.
Shortly before E3 and some time after the EVE Gate interview, we were reviewing our featureset for Shiva, considering whether a small delay with fewer features or a longer delay with all the features was the right thing to do. This is why the EVE Gate interview is so vague and the E3 press material more detailed.
We went for a longer delay but decided on porting some of the content to come out before Shiva. After this was decided, our marketing team went to E3 while we started working on the Feature pages, containing detailed information about Shivas various features and it also contains screenshots and other visual material to accompany this.
The bad news are however, that Shiva is delayed until Q3 2004. We are increasing the time for playtesting and our programmers haven't been able to focus enough on Shiva because of optimization and fixing needed due to the large influx of players. We added 10 more people and doubled our cluster hardware to meet this influx, but it takes a lot of focus away from development.
We are already 5 weeks delayed from the original Q2 release and with further playtesting scheduled, that could increase even more. However, the upcoming hardware should increase cluster performance and buy our programmers time to focus totally on Shiva until the next optimization phase is necessary.
I can however tell you that the next Castor patch is scheduled for release in 2 weeks. It contains extensive combat changes and balancing, criminal flagging, NPC Commanders and Officers and changes to missiles amongst other things. I'll dedicate another post entirely to that.
I hope you accept my apologies for this blunder, this is entirely my fault. I have scheduled a formal beating of me here in the dungeons of CCP. Angry players are welcome to join in :)