"With the Winter expansion possibly being named 'Crucible', it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it?
For bonus points, the one thing lacking from this "patchwork" of iterations is a cohesive storyline to package "The Crucible" together. How could this expansion be marketed to potential new customers?"
Much is being made of the winter expansion currently entitled "Crucible." After a long and dark winter, the spaceships and the universe that revolves around spaceship combat is being focused on in many small (and some larger) ways to restore the polish to a once-favored combat simulator. I have only a few minor concerns with the changes due this winter, but one thing I wish could have been introduced as part of Crucible would be a change to the impacts of Faction War.
Currently there is no real impact to anyone in occupied systems in the warzone. In war, taking possession of assets and controlling conquered territory are some of the least exciting and most necessary activities to stabilize the newly occupied territories. What if your faction stations turned over (from Minmatar to Amarr, and suddenly employed docking fees for the opposing faction? What if station services were disabled in systems that are contested? Some small change to the impacts of Faction War, perhaps even something based on existing mechanics (like something based on incursion effects), would round out the changes in Crucible to address at least something in each of the pain points from the last 3 years. The absence of even a small list of bugfixes for Faction War missions or complexes makes the Empyrian Age the largest expansion that isn't even glanced at in Crucible.
As for backstory, or storyline events to bring cohesiveness to Crucible?
Well, it takes a while to write a story. I'll be writing up separate blog entries for that, in the spirit of the Chronicles.