Now, some might point to faction warfare or the war declaration mechanics: "Hey, they gave both of these two development cycles." CCP certainly did, though not by design. The core of faction warfare was supposed to last a single cycle. Unfortunately, it was broke as hell, so CCP had to revisit that core. It is true that CCP had some faction warfare plans for the winter expansion, back when they were developing for the summer expansion, but those features were outside the core mechanics, they were mostly fluff items, little things, such as UI improvements, notification improvements, that sort of thing. Fluff is certainly great, and I would have loved to see the faction warfare UI map given some actual functionality, but core mechanics have priority. So plans were pushed aside, and the faction warfare core was revisited.
All credit to CCP for revisiting faction warfare and war declarations, to fix what was broken about them. Pre-Crucible, they likely would have just moved on to their next flashy feature, leaving both broken.
But now CCP has told us they are committed to developing longer term features in a piecemeal fashion. Which is great. And is the right way to go about the development. It allows each section of development to be field tested and evaluated before moving onto the next piece of the overall puzzle.
So, CCP has stated that modular POSes is one of their long-term plans. The sooner they show the players that they are serious about this intention, the better. The question is, if modular POSes is a two-year (minimum) project, where to begin that project?
I'd say the best starting point is with the corporate roles, titles, permissions and storage systems. This may take two expansions, and thus require itself to be broken down into sections. But, do a complete overhaul. Any new POS system is going to require a better way for corporations and alliances to interact with their assets, module functionality and each other. This seems like the logical first step. Corporations and alliances are going to need the ability to create a wide-array of custom roles. Every interaction with a POS should have definable permissions, both intake and outtake. The system needs to be generic, extensible and flexible. It has to be extensible and flexible to account for the future. It shouldn't make assumptions, it shouldn't limit. Should I also mention that this system should be interactable outside of the game via CREST? Let players build their own corporate and alliance management tools.
Players want to know that CCP sees modular POSes as one of the core, defining, future features of EVE Online. The sooner they start in on the overall roadmap, the better. We're happy with the piecemeal approach. It's the right approach. But we need to see CCP take those first steps towards progress.