EPLs, Google Pay on E2 - but is E2 reading the room?
Shane through his twitter handle shared 2 major upcoming updates - EPLs and potentially integration of Google Pay. Shane in his cryptic best mentions that Google Pay could be 'something else' besides a mere payment solution.
An EPL (Earth2 Property Location) is supposed to add better discoverability to E2 properties by providing a unique link pointing to that property rather than the current link made up of combination of random letters and numbers. EPLs, per the last update, would be acquirable by spending Essence and larger properties can 'upgrade' their EPLs (possibly meaning you can have shorter names). EPLs were first to be rolled out mid-May but were pulled off last moment (along with Essence) due to a 'major opportunity' and therefore requiring some changes in the background before the roll-out. Back then Shane in his announcement mentioned that they would be finding a way to still release Essence and EPLs while working on the said 'massive opportunity' in the background and we can only guess the said opportunity could possibly be related to blockchain integration.
A TACTICAL ERROR IN COMMUNICATION ?
It must be noted that Shane's twitter messages are more like 'updates on upcoming things' rather to be treated as official announcements, however it can be assumed that we will see either or both of these updates soon on E2 and before anything else. Let me tell you that roll-out of EPLs is not of irrelevance or a non-priority item as many in the E2 community think - remember it is linked to that 'massive opportunity' that Shane spoke of in his announcement. This means that EPLs will have atleast a somewhat important role to play say in blockchain integration down the line. E2 already had the EPL module ready, on which they would have spent several man-hours, and therefore somewhere we understand their eagerness to release an update that was long overdue.
However the manner this update was shared may have been a tactical error in terms of managing community expectations. The current displeasure within the community is quite high with respect to several bugs that haunt the website (related : https://www.e2.news/post/e2-is-a-great-idea-but-execution-and-team-culture-will-determine-success), including the massively painful mobile experience. Furthermore, E2 has recently released other updates (Jewels, Essence, Holo-buildings) which badly needed some follow-on. The user-base was expecting updates on all these possibly before wanting to hear about new features (which to be fair has high chances of becoming another buggy release given the track record).
Its a simple - Fix the current issues, tell us more about the recent releases and THEN talk about any new feature.
For example, a better approach could have been a 3-part communication:-
1) We have fixed some bugs (a,b,c) and are in the process of addressing the others. Meanwhile our efforts to improve the mobile experience continue.
2) Here are the follow-on updates on Jewels (crafting, impact on resources), Essence (what you can do with it in future), Holo-buildings (when deployable, cost, etc.), Resources (sound-bytes) 3) We are excited to share more developments - EPLs and Google Pay! And guess what - we have spent a good deal of time and effort in testing EPLs so we assure you of a better experience.
We do allude to the fact that development needs to continue in parallel to fixing the issues, so we are happy to see new features (excited about Google Pay). However ignoring the existing concerns and very little follow-up to the recently released updates hasn't served Earth2 too well. Missing these steps may have potentially diluted the hype that a name like Google Pay ought to have brought, instead it may have had the opposite effect on the E2 community. E2 has no one to blame but themselves for their failure to Read the Room