CCP RubberBAND updated the community with the following announcement:
As part of the industry-focused Crius release earlier this year, a feature was added to supplement industrial gameplay called Teams. This mechanic allows you to hire teams of specialist non-player character (NPC) workers to boost your industry jobs in various ways.
Industry & Teams
Since Crius we have been closely tracking all related industry metrics and dials and it is apparent to us that usage of teams has been very low relative to the goals we set for it–with single figure percentage use in manufacturing jobs and near nonexistent use in research.
While we definitely think that the core idea behind teams is a good one and brings value to the game and you, in its current state it is adding the wrong type of complexity and not impacting the universe in the way we hoped. We have done some initial investigation and it is clear that bringing it up to the quality standards you should expect of us is a large project. A project which at this time is not the highest priority for us against some of the other things we are looking at. Given this, we believe the right thing for EVE and its players is to methodically remove industry Teams from the game over the next few months until such a time as we can properly revisit it.
Our rollout plan is to disable the seeding of new teams by the end of 2014 and to disable the UI features in one of the first releases of 2015. While we would stop seeding new teams, any existing teams in use would continue to provide bonuses until they retire, including those being actively used in jobs. We will also be closely monitoring the impact this potentially has on the Industry landscape and react as appropriate if the change is not as expected.
Why Teams & Why Now?
One common question that has been raised is “Why remove Teams and not feature X?” Over the past few releases we have become bolder in removing legacy features such as Clone Grades and the Skill Queue Limit to name a few high profile ones that we believe are not positively impacting the overall gameplay experience in EVE. Following much internal discussion and analysis the development team felt it was not right for us to leave the Industry Teams in their current state. In the case of Industry Teams we want to react more immediately before the system becomes difficult to address—which becomes much easier with the new release cadence we adopted this year. Low use is one of many contributing factors, but certainly not the only or most important one. As the EVE development team begins refocusing its efforts on other areas of the game, we want to make sure we are leaving industry in a good state, technically, for the health of the game and for you as players.
That being said, we want your input and feedback on what is ultimately a very rare course of action for us. While we feel we have done our due diligence in assessing the current implementation of Teams, additional context from you is always appreciated.
Thanks for reading,
Team Game of Drones