Monday, February 09, 2009

CCP Drops Linux Support for EVE Online

CCP Whisper:

I am sorry to have to announce that from the 10th of March onwards CCP will no longer be officially supporting the Linux operating system. The low amount of users of the Linux client did not justify the degree of additional complexity having three operating systems imposes on our development and release schedules. There is the matter of maintaining the hardware infrastructure to facilitate the development work, spending man-hours on testing and diagnosing faults in the client as well as regression testing. While we did embark on this project with the aim of being one of the few MMOG’s on the market offering a game client for all of the major operating system architectures, we feel that the time and resources that were being spent on the Linux client would be better utilized in areas where more players would benefit from them.

Linux support was one of the reasons I started playing EVE, and I mostly play it on my desktop Linux box. They never had a native Linux client though, it was via Transgaming's Cedega, a commercial version of Wine. Unfortunately, this approach was always at least as buggy as just using the standard Windows EVE client with standard Wine. Usually a bit worse. Also, the comparisons are confusing if you don't know what a reasonable baseline of crashes on a regular Windows box is for comparison.

The bottom line is most people who run EVE on Linux now don't use the "supported" Linux client, just the regular Windows one. I understand why they're punting on this, and since they'll still be supporting a Wine-based port for Macs, it seems reasonably likely that EVE will continue to more or less work under Wine. The problem is that the nature of EVE play is not tolerant to either poor performance or lags between the release of a new version and Wine's support of it. So... I'm evaluating my options.

On a slightly related note, my initial impression of the Windows 7 beta is meh. The GNOME desktop seems more professional.

Later... Shockingly, I can't get the correct video card driver working on Windows, thus EVE won't run. If Windows is going to make any inroads against Linux, they're going to have to work on driver support. In the meantime, it would be very helpful if I could at least find out how well EVE runs on this hardware -- it was mediocre on Linux, but most people reported significantly better performance on Windows. Eh...

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