CCP has instigated a new development team that is dedicated to addressing one of EVE's greatest problems: lag. Team Gridlock's mandate is to find ways to reduce lag during large fleet fights. After the Dominion expansion in December 2009, lag rendered the game unplayable during medium to large fleet engagements. Team Gridlock has made considerable progress in this field through use of Mass testing on Singularity (EVE's public test server) and a new Thin Client tool (which has all the functionality of EVE without the pretty pictures, allowing multiple instances to be run on one machine).
On October 30th, these efforts helped pave the way for the largest fleet fight ever recorded on the Tranquility server. More than 3,200 pilots were online in one system, fighting it out for control of a strategically important 0.0 system. While it was far from lag free, the battle proved that Team Gridlock was making real progress, as such numbers would have caused the server to crash prior to the many small fixes implemented since the June summit.
At the beginning of October, there was a small hiccup when, in an interview with Creative Director Torfi Frans Olafsson on the Eurogamer website, it was revealed that CCP would be introducing additional uses for the Pilot License Extension (PLEX), starting with allowing players to purchase attribute remaps in exchange for PLEX. A PLEX is basically an in-game item that represents 30 days of subscription time. A game-time card, bought through CCP or an authorised dealer, can be converted into two PLEX, which can then be traded on the in-game market like any other item. The PLEX allows players to pay for their game time with in-game currency or spend real-life money to get a quick injection of the same. Some players felt that allowing the use of PLEX for attribute remaps would confer an unfair advantage on those who could afford to spend the real-world cash.
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