A survey undertaken by bittervet posting site Kugutsumen.com revealed that 69% of Eve players believed the barely-functional prototype of the game in 2000 was better than the current iteration that haunts Tranquillity today.
All kinds of players had concerns with the last twenty-one expansions. Many nullsec players cited the development of the 'toxic' lag management system known as 'time dilation' as the feature that they disliked most in the present day. "Imagine what B-R5RB would be like if we didn't have TiDi. We wouldn't have been slowed down by a factor of 10x for the entire fight. Tidi does nothing. Anyone who says Tidi has revolutionised the scale of combat that can be experienced in Eve and ended the days when battles were won by those who loaded grid first is a fucking idiot."
Those who lived in the neglect of highsec didn't appreciate the direction of CCP's development for the last decade and a half either. "It all went wrong when CCP released the Second Genesis expansion in 2003" believes valued highsec resident Shikari Auduin. "From there it's just been downhill with every single expansion, with nerf after nerf after to highsec. For me, nothing could match the gameplay in Eve's closed beta. I have an IQ of 39" he added.
There's no doubt that this will once again ignite the debate that Eve Online is, in fact, dying. However it's worth noting that 24% of people believe Eve is better today than it was at the turn of the millennium, a significant improvement last time this survey was undertaken following the Incarna release, when just 9% preferred the current version to its predecessor. The players who changed their vote between those three years stated 'graphical improvements' as the main improvement to the game, with the V3 shaders and hull redesigns being a bigger hit than many of the larger features that have been released in the past 36 months.
Nonetheless these figures are likely to concern CCP. With 76% of people saying the game is either on par or worse than what it was fourteen years ago, many people are wondering whether the majority of the time and money spent on Eve has gone to waste since its conception in 1997. Unless they can turn the game around in the next few expansions, it's likely they'll face growing pressure to revert the game back to its embryonic state.