The reason is that they fill an important role in the arc of the game. As the tech level of a server increases, the ability for the population to dramatically modify their world increases, thus increasing their impact and stress on the environment, which must be balanced out by strong civic development led by an engaged player base.
By the end of the game, players will have the capability to mine out huge mountains, build a skyscraper, and create farms spanning acres; and they will need to do this, in order to support the massive requirements of late-stage progress. Along with this capacity to change the world on a large scale comes a huge risk to the ecosystem. The fact that this tech takes time to build to is important: as players are developing technology, they need to also be developing their civic rules, and if tech gets too far beyond civic rules (laws, taxes, etc that guide the server) it could lead to ecological disaster.
So vehicles, beyond being fun to interact with, fill an important slot in the game that will have a huge impact on all the systems of Eco: scaling player-impact on the environment to very large levels by end-game. We have more vehicles we’re working on for the coming releases, so stay tuned for more, and a big official ‘Vehicle Update’ which we’ll make a lot of noise about in the future.
So without further ado here are the highlights from this release:
For the complete change list go here.