CCP is to drop the "Classic" graphics support from its MMO EVE Online leaving just the "Premium" graphics mode which launched in 2007, Massively writes.
CCP Zulupark explains the situation the team finds itself in on the EVE Insider Dev Blog:
One of EVE's unique features (along with being an awesome game on a single server) is that it can run on pretty much any computer built after 1998. The minimum spec for graphics card and CPU has always been very reasonable to say the least, so the barrier for entry into EVE has been relatively low compared to other games. Developing the client in this manner hasn't always been a given. It requires us to downtune our graphics engine quite a bit, for one, as well as maintain the "Classic" client version of EVE along with the Premium one. That means creating two versions of each art asset we want to put into the game. It complicates build and patching processes considerably and, for the most part, it simply doesn't allow us to make EVE look as beautiful as we want. The core issues we deal with are:
• Spending too much time and resources maintaining 2 clients
• Due to a dual pipeline we have less time implementing performance enhancements
So what next? Well, a "Premium Lite" version that will need ShaderModel 2.0 hardware to run and far less texture memory than the current Premium. This will ensure solid framerates on older hardware.
Through the link for a fully detailed explanation.
CCP recently boasted that EVE Online had over 45,000 concurrent users which was a milestone in the MMO's four and a half year history.
By Mike Bowden