My opinion from observing from the outside.
The patch was deployed a few hours ago and I’m reading the feedback. Apparently the most prominent feature is an “align” button to use in fleets that I don’t know what it does.
For the rest CCP did two things:
1- Write on a web page a bunch of made-up stories that never happened or cannot happen in the game.
2- Spawn an NPC titan in empire space.
And everyone is giddy.
What I understand from this? That players can be happy for very little. That’s not so dissimilar from spawning a dragon in Stormwind. Players will be happy (especially if there’s loot to ninja, like in this case of the titan). And it doesn’t require any effort from the dev team.
I also understand something I knew already. That the players love “massive” in a mmorpg. And that till today not even a single company cared to develop any “massive” in their namely massive games.
In fact we have smaller and smaller private spaces and irrelevant little carrots to maintain the dependence.
And today the very best “massive” feeling and well structured combat comes from games like Quake Wars or Battlefield.