I know what you CCP guys are thinking about ship revamps and stuff.
It takes a while, it doesn't bring much new content or whatever, and it consume manpower on a worthless project.
I can understand that.
What you guys should look into, is to ask the community, simple as that.
Let me explain.
It will work on a 3 months/ship basis.First month :
Open up a thread, with a poll, about which ship should we redesign first.
Second month : Design a new ship, following what CCP wants(*), and submit it to CCP.
Third month : Open up a thread, with a poll, about which one of the submitions is the best one. Then, proceed to put it in the game.
Among the EVE playerbase, there are peoples that actually works as real life 3D designers or works as computer engineers and stuff like that. Check the average age of EVE online players. It's not like you're asking a bunch of kids to build up a nuclear warhead.
Quite a lot of peoples are WILLING to help CCP about that, especially when it's about ugly ass ships.
You just need to tell them what you want, what kind of files do you want, what should be the ship's scale based on 3DSMax scale system or Blender's, what kind of texturing or layers or whatever (I'm not quite into 3D modeling myself, sorry for that).
Put some good prizes and I'm sure peoples will participate.
And for CCP guys, take a look at that. What does it recquires ?
One single employee, who opens 2/3 threads/month, and who check if submitions are ok (If the submition is in the right file type or things like that). Also, you'll need a few prizes to reward those who worked hard to do a nice shiny ship that peoples will actually want to fly because it looks cool. But I'm sure it won't be difficult to come up with good prizes.
If needed (And I think it's need, based on how much ships looks ugly to quite a lot of players, like I don't know, the Dominix, the Typhoon, the Raven, the Moa...), you can even...I don't know that word in english, so I'll make an exemple.
January, poll for what ship should we revamp.
February, peoples voted for the Raven. Willing players start working on a new Raven model and start sending their projects. New poll for what ship should we revamp next.
March, new poll for peoples to vote for the best submition. The poll from February ended, the next ship to revamp is the Moa. Willing players start working on a new Moa model and start sending their projects. New poll for what ship should we revamp next.
April, the new Raven is implemented, new poll for peoples to vote for the best Moa model. New poll for what should we revamp next.
If you see what I mean.
Actually, it would take maybe a few peoples to manage this so it works flawlessly. But, it would still takes a whole lot less manpower/money than by asking CCP employees to do this themselves. It won't prevent more important fixes to be done, it won't do any harm to very much needed balancing. And I'm sure players are definetly willing to do something.
Do us a favor CCP, allow us to change what we would like to change, most importantly on something that won't break the game but will just make it look nicer.
Just to convince you guys, pics of fan work : The GateKeeperThe TornadoThe Precursor
So, lowish manpower needs, high enjoyability for players.
Why not ?