Posts Tagged ‘Captain’s Quarters’

Blog Banter 29: Immersion in EVE

Oct
10

Time for another blog banter. This time, Seismic Stan has something a little less political for us to discuss. This is a topic that is straight up my alley, since being a roleplayer means you really get into the game and your character, through acting out what your experience rather than through controlling a character from a third-person perspective.

EVE Online is renowned for it’s depth. Its backstory, gameplay and social aspects are all qualities that draw players in. What does immersion in EVE Online mean to you?

I think the biggest immersion factor for EVE Online is that every action has a reaction, or the freedom to get one. We see this in security status, standings that drop when others go up, and the fact that scamming, theft and suicide ganking are not banned as they are in more “friendly” MMO’s. Likewise, players have the tools and freedom to strike back against this. And there is the playerrun market, which just like the real market reacts to what large groups of players do. A recent example of that is the new Goonfleet campaign in highsec. Isotope prices — which are the main target — are going up, and PLEX seems to be following in this due to market panic. That’s stuff that makes EVE feel real, because it is real. Yes, there is some form of control, exploits and bots are not allowed (and for good reasons), but you can really ruin or make a players day, and someone else can affect you just the same.

A close second immersion factor for EVE is roleplay as a whole. We might at times feel the backstory progresses slowly or not at all, but it has some dynamic to it and has been build upon since the game release. Yes, in the early days players had a much larger impact, but this is far easier to manage with a smaller playerbase. Still, live events have started again and players shape these events. As admitted by CCP Dropbear at Fanfest 2011, the events don’t always pan out as foreseen either. It might seem like all part of the plan on the outside, but that is only because you don’t see behind the scenes. Also, I was initially critical about the recent Arek’Jaalan event arc, but after deciding to give it a try to test the validity of my beliefs I can now say that credit is given where it is due and that nobody likes drama, and that when it threatens the event it is dealt with, where if players can or want to do it they are always given the preference, which stick true to the principle of the sandbox.

There are some other minor and sometimes subtle ways where immersion happens, sometimes without us even realizing it. Have you ever tried looking up characters from the backstory ingame? Prominent figures, such as Heth, lead the corporations they belong to. And they were even given unique sculpted models rather than the random generator that created the mission agents. It wasn’t there right of the get-go, and that sparked such an outrage, and it is lovely to see that this was taken seriously enough to step in and give the important figures the care they deserve.

Now, Incarna was a bit of a lackluster expansion, and the drama surrounding CCP in the last few months really didn’t do it much good, but I think the Captain’s Quarters balcony is a stroke of sheer genius. We already had a sense of scale in the way that flying a frigate next to a battleship, not to mention something as huge as a titan, makes you feel really small. Old artwork showed us that frigates were already bigger than large commercial airplanes, but now we can stand next to our frigates and see them tower above us. Yes, the sense of scale is a bit skewed because larger ships go further back into the hangar, but you have to realize that hangar is way larger than your little hangout spot.

A last thing that a friend mentioned when I asked around for inspiration is the warning noises on the interface. What, a user-friendly — the ear-friendliness of it being debatable, but it sure makes you pay attention! — UI feature that adds to immersion? Why yes, indeed. We all know warning noises from the real world, if an alarm starts there usually is a reason for it. And yes, there is no sound in space, and EVE has some game mechanics that don’t simulate space as it would work when it is real, but when you regard the game and the interface as a simulation that your character sees to make sense of what is going around him or her, much alike to augmented reality, the pieces quickly fall in place. And that is how you can best explain the Neocom (name of the UI framework) in an in character way. Arguably, science fiction MMO’s have an easier time with this than fantasy MMO’s due to technology being a way to explain a lot, but nothing wrong with getting the most out of what you have. After all, fantasy MMO’s tend to be high magic universes, where magic can explain a lot too! I’m not of the opinion that every last bit of game mechanic should be able to be explained in character, that’s a foolish pursuit as it never totally works, but the less substitution or not mentioning has to happen, the more immersive everything will feel as it all comes naturally.

Blog Banter 28: CCP, the CSM, and the future

Sep
13

With CrazyKinux recently retiring his blog and hanging up his coat as the “blogfather”, several cornerstones of the blogging community were relocated to a new home. Rixx Javix took it upon himself to maintain the Blog Pack, and now Seismic Stan stepped up to keep the Blog Banters going. That makes Blog Banter 28 the first set up by our new host, and right off the bat we’re getting a very hot topic to discuss:

In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it’s customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it’s player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?

For those of you who aren’t too sure what this about now — didn’t CCP give us a dev blog in which an accord was reached? — you best read Seismic Stan’s post, as it has a good amount of resources, before continuing on. All read up, or know exactly what this is about? Good, here we go then.

First off, this Banter is a bit on the late side. One of the reasons being my dad getting remarried at the end of the week, so I’ve been out and about to get everything ready for myself, from a dress to makeup to dropping by the tanning salon. The other reason, however, ties in perfectly with this topic. My motivation for EVE seem to have hit an all time low. From experience I know that summer is a terrible period in online gaming, because even the most die-hard players cannot say no to sunshine outdoor activities a nice BBQ. But this summer has been particularly bad, and then not just because most days were filled with rain, though that may have made made have rubbed in the issue a bit extra. There is a big loss of faith in CCP amongst my alliance members, myself included, and that results in activity dwindling. “I just don’t feel like internet spaceships anymore”, several people told me. Others simply filed an absence due to work, real life, or plain out lack of motivation. And sure, some of them will be truthful, there are jobs that are just not able to combine well with gaming, especially if you also have a family and social life to maintain, but if you really like a game you will find the time to play it, believe me. Currently Ghost Festival has about half its members on some kind of leave, and even the core players who are on every day are spending less time logged in on average. And this is a trend I only see continuing unless something is done about the cause.

Normally, I’d not post those numbers, because they don’t exactly help recruitment along. Or people will conclude that I must simply be failing as a CEO / Co-Executor. Well, I can tell you with confidence that this is not the case, or at least what mistakes I am making are not at the core of the problem. I’ve prodded enough members who I know are frank in their judgement and asked them, so unless everyone is out to kiss my behind or dead afraid of me, I think I did my homework right.

I have been discussing the issue to great length in the last few days, and there are certain things that keep returning. First off is the fact that we are a niche corporation / alliance. In fact, just slapping roleplay on anything already cuts your recruitment pool quite a bit, unless you take a really light approach to it, which on a sidenote is the only way to continue going if you reach a particular size like CVA or U’K. Then there is the fact we live out in 0.0, and then not the sov kind, but the NPC kind. That’s right, we’re a roleplaying alliance that bases out of Curse, you know that region most people know as the place alliances go to die, or use as a staging point, or grumble about because it requires an extra cyno to get from here to there. Welcome to niche play.

However, recruitment is not really the issue, we’re overall seeing a decrease in applications made but nothing that we didn’t see every summer already. Nor do people cite any particular issues with how we operate. Yes, we have a new neighbor that lost their sov and is now running around the neighborhood like they own it, but that’s something we’ve seen before. And it’s quite certainly going to be temporary, because alliances who consciously decide to live in Curse are few and between. It’s also my experience that once a sov player, always a sov player, which explains why losing sov can be a killing blow. It’s kinda hard to go back from there. This is just Curse being Curse and we’ve learned to deal with the eb and flow and carve our own path through that.

When going over what I will call “annoyances” like a former sov holder or the unprobable nerf or the summer activity slump, when digging in deeper, the core of the problem seems to be there is a whole lot of uncertainty going on which traces back to the current state of the game. The drama may have well passed, but it still lingers in the back of everyone’s minds. This ranges from performance issues with Incarna — though the recent patch that fixed load times and system temperatures has done a lot, but we did lose people due to not being able to replace hardware — to the NeX prices to there still being only one CQ to patches that patch patches which are fixing patches that broke patches (I feel for QA here) to the stagnant nature of flying in space. And even though we were presented a nice dev blog with 0.0 design guidelines which I wrote about previously, these are only guidelines, and long term at that, meaning that for the time being we have to make the best of what we do have. Fair enough, people knew when they joined what we do, and that would be quite alright, if only people were still motivated to do it. Not to mention that the things that Incarna brought are not things that will keep players entertained all day.

Ok, let me show you some numbers, which you may have seen over at Jester’s Trek and in The Mittani’s Kugutsumen announcement. Unlike the latter, I will link both images, as I feel they must be viewed together to really understand what is going on. Not that I disagree with what Mittens is saying, on the contrary, I just want to broaden the scope a bit to make the point even clearer.

EVE Logged-in Players (rolling averages)
EVE Online Average Logged-in Players 2011

The first image is a total view, going from 2006 over to 2011, with the red lines being the changing of the year. It’s rather obvious, but I’ll state it extra that means that summer sits halfway in between those red lines. More on that later. The second image is a view of the current half-and-a-bit year. Now, go ahead and compare the two. See how summer is nearly always offset by an expansion releasing, except in 2009 where timing was a bit awkward but where the winter expansion made well up for it. See how Tyrannis shook up last summer. And most importantly, see what didn’t happen right after Incarna. Now ok, the graph doesn’t a whole lot further after Incarna, but if you look at how soon spikes in activity occur after a patch, it should have to have been visible on this chart!

Looking at the second image then, we can see much higher the impact certain things have. What were the only spikes for Incarna? The riots and uproar, and then the time around where some positive dev blogs appeared. Fun fact for the readers, of all the blog posts I made in the last year, the one I did where I called out EN24 on creating / feeding the mass hysteria received double the amount of views any other post this year did. Yes, most of my writing is as niche as my alliance is, and I assume my readers are people interested in some way in that niche, so either that post must have broken me out of the  usual niche (pretty sure it did!) or my usual readers must care a great deal for post-Incarna woes. Likely a mix of both, especially taking into account all posts on Incarna have been doing really well.

I’m not conjuring up these conclusions out of thin air, and neither is it a sentiment trapped within the borders of the usual crowd I play with. Three CSM members have written or blogged about this (Mittens, Seleene, Trebor) and likely more have forum posted, but I avoid the forums like the plague. Yes even the fancy new ones ain’t doing it for me, which shows that design isn’t everything (even though I secretly am fond of the like button). The fact that CCP has messed up, and that the aftermath of that is being felt and has a negative impact on the game, is a reality. And it is one that must not be ignored.

So, to answer the first banter questions, I feel CCP’s recent strategies have a negative impact on the playerbase. As for the CSM, I used to once have faith in the process, but what with CSM members have been revealing about the missing emergency minutes, and Seleene’s account of it, I think Mittens and his (unintended?) media campaign are going to have a much bigger effect. I’m a fan of playing things by the book when they can be done, but right now, I feel a revolution might be more in order. CCP may say that things are going as they should, but honestly, I don’t think they mean what they say. Yes, decisions were made in a past in a very different era (see Iceland’s role in the banking bubble), and it may be hard to let go of great visions that indeed would be truly great when achieved. The question however is if this is still feasible? I have great ideas that would be truly great when achieved for Ghost Festival and Naraka too. It’d be amazing to create the equivalent of what CVA had with Providence, but for Angel roleplayers. But I know damn well enough that such an idea is foolish to chase when you are at a stage where you realistically can only support small gang roams and mission running.

The kicker is that the investments have already been made, that DUST is going to release, that the WoD MMO is being developed, and that we now have Incarna. And yes, sometimes you have to force certain concepts down people’s throats because they will lead to greatness in the future. But that means you have to be able to cope with the losses of those who will simply not take it. And that is just bad when likely your business strategy was built upon numbers from previous years which looked a whole lot more optimistic and may today be a lot more forgiving if not everyone was a lot more prudent about their expenses.

I am of the opinion that at the end of the day, while a company owns a game and is thus entitled to do with it as it pleases, it is still a good idea to develop what players really want. And the Incarna numbers show that either players did not want this, or rather so far it’s been very lackluster. And that is a sentiment I share. While I like my CQ, certainly now it runs smoothly so I don’t have to stare at the dreaded door, I’d have been a lot happier with new things to keep me going through the summer. They’d have given a distraction, and something to work with other players on. Instead we got something we can all bitch about. And that’s a poor ground to build or maintain a corporation on.

So what about the future? My plan is to stick around and do all those things I’ve never really had or made time for before. If EVE is really “dying” then why not make the best of it while it lasts? That should fill up the time until the winter, where I expect / hope / pray that we will see good things again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for any changes that will improve our situation in Curse, be it directly or indirectly. I’ll take what I can get. Maybe by then CCP manages to restore the faith of players, but that is going to mean that first off this current mess needs to see a definite end (at the very least, the minutes have to be released in a way that the CSM is pleased), and that a move forward must be made. We got a bunch of optimistic dev blogs, but it’s high time we get to see establishments, contraband, and some starting details on 0.0. And what if winter doesn’t bring anything good? Well, we’ll see about it then. There’s SWTOR, GW2 and D3 on the horizon, and maybe it is time for a change of scenery. But damn, that’s not how I’d want it to be. I would like EVE to be part of my gaming diet then, instead of dropped. Though if it happens, I suppose at least I’ll be ready for it.

Bittersweet Incarna: My thoughts on the expansion and more

Jun
25
Incarna parody

Is this satirical image just the work of a bitter vet, or does it really mark the "beginning of the end"?

Well, damn.

That is pretty much my summarized feelings on the release of Incarna and the days after. This sure isn’t how I had imagined -the- expansion to be. Although, to be fair, Incarna is just an expansion, and I should really adopt the term “Walking in Stations” for the bigger picture. Wouldn’t suggest using that for an expansion name though!

But I digress. We have gotten some pretty awesome stuff. New turret models. Holy hell are they nice or what? ….what do you mean you’ve not even looked at them? Yes, sadly, the whole awesomeness has been gone obscured by the gigantic clusterfuck – for lack of better words – that has been the last few days.

It started with the release day. Fair enough, server down some longer, extra optional patch, whatever. CCP is handling things. Not even other MMO companies run out perfect patch cycles all the time. We’re the EVE community, so we suck it up and we deal with it (and spam Tweetfleet while waiting). But uh oh, what is this! I log in and hello there performance lag. Yep, should have known better really, CQ as it was did not run smoothly on SiSi, and likewise does not on TQ. I admit I hadn’t been on the test server in a while, because I’ve been busy way over my ears lately, but this isn’t quite what I’d expect from a finished product. Fair enough, some tuning and tinkering done, take off SLI, and I have two client running at 20-30 FPS. Q9600 and 9800 GX2, so not bad for something a little dated, eh? Maybe we’ll see a performance patch if everyone is indeed having such terrible issues. Until then, suck it up and keep going!

Oh yes, new clothes! Let’s go to the Noble Exchange- JUMPING JESUS ON A POGO STICK you want how much for a monocle? *faint* So ok, I did see those prices on the test server. And I did notice you got three PLEX to work with. But never did it occur to me that the pricing they had on there would be anywhere remotely near the real deal.

So I get to thinking, maybe it is because I am poor, or maybe it is because these are exclusive items, even though it really sucks that they not moving with your jump clone (for the price, even when exclusive, they should go on all clones). But I’m not the only one who’s going “WTF MACRO-TRANSACTIONS?!?!”. Well meh. Ok, maybe if enough people dislike it the prices will go down, or we’ll see some other changes. If everyone disliking boycots it, CCP will be forced to lower prices, right? That’s how how them evil marketing dudes, who are probably behind all these shenanigans, work, right? Riiiiight?

So, by that point I was already a bit miffed. So I pull up a turret ship in my hangar and go watch it spin to console myself with. Except there are a lot of poor suckers out there who cannot do that. And what did you give them? No, not the hangar view, like was requested, you gave them a door to stare at. Ok, fine, so it’s a nice door. But I don’t think someone thought it through that this can also be seen as pretty damn insulting or slap-in-the-face. Staring at a closed door. That’s just taunting people. And at this point, you’re taunting players who are about to overheat as bad as their video cards.

And sure enough, when the first video cards fall, so go the first player subscriptions. The former I am still apt to write off on user error, a card under heavy stress should not melt unless your system is not ready to be under stress. And no, I don’t care it runs Crysis 2 fine and you don’t have heat issues. Because Crysis 2 is probably properly fine-tuned, just asks for very high specs to squeeze out pretties + performance.

But moving on. Now here is where things got bad. Like really bad. Because someone thought it was a good idea to leak “Fearless”, CCP’s internal newsletter. EVE News 24 claims they had it for a while already, yet what we get from them is a version that is missing a few vital pages, like the clause saying that these are not CCP’s views. Good going, you wanted to get a community that is already grumbling to grab the pitchforks and torches and go on an all out revolution? This here is exactly how you do it. Now, I am not saying EN24 is alone in this (even though I find they really thrive on sensationalism). Someone on the inside did decide to leak this. Not sure with what intentions, but without the whole context, which we only got in a devblog late today, this newsletter can really be seen as something different than it really is. So whoever is responsible either did this knowing what it could unchain or did it to warn us of what might just be but did not realize we lack context. Not that it really matters. Ever since it’s seen daylight it’s spread like a wildfire and left a trail of destruction and emo in its wake.

I’ll quickly state my personal opinion here, it is my blog after all: I do not feel that straight PLEX to ship / ammo / modules is a good idea, as it takes industrialists out of the equation. I’m neutral on the idea of selling faction standings. If you have them, you still need to make them work for you, and well, faction boosting services did really die when CCP had to go and break the displaying of them :( My opinion on clothes and other vanity articles is found earlier, I couldn’t care less, because I can just not buy them. So my personal biggest gripe is the potentially taking both the sandbox and the economy away from the player. And if that were to happen, that is where the line is for me. I love creating things, even knowing someone will sooner or later blow it up. I love the idea that the hull I dropped off to the market today might tomorrow be the one that turns the tides of battle somewhere. It pleases me to see the market go wild with speculation, even more when I can profit from it. But I will not stand for it being taken away so someone can pull out their credit card, buy a GTC, get two PLEX, and turn it instantly into whatever the hell they fancy flying today. The PLEX should always go to another player in turn for the ship that you wanted and they have for sale. We, the players, make the EVE market. Not the EVE marketing department.

Good, now that’s off my chest, let’s see at what it is doing to everyone else. Or actually, wait, let’s not do that. Last morning, after taking an hesitant look at Twitter, I just had to close it. I couldn’t bear it anymore. It’s damn everywhere all the damn time. Everyone is going crazy. Now, this morning we did not have the dev blog yet, so people were riled up that is was taking a while. Fair enough, I am a veteran EVE player, and I had plenty to do yesterday, so suck it up and keep going. Taken care of everything and log back in during the evening. Oh. My. God. My entire alliance chat, our public chat, every other OOC channel I’m part off, it’s all on fire about the newsletter and the content and EVE IS DYING and RAEGQUIT and EMO and WAAAAAAH. Goodness.

And then my good friend Casiella tells me he’s leaving EVE. Now I am a pretty sentimental person, I can cry over a movie, so no surprise that a little tear ran down my cheek when he told me. Because it’s just so damn sad. He’s one of the most awesome bloggers out there, he covers interesting topics both of what is hot in EVE as well as personal ideas and views. And always written in such a way there’s never really one word too many, or you get bored halfway wondering what the point is. Well, fuck, it sucked to see other bloggers and tweeters throw down the hat but it sure as hell sucks even more when all this recent herp-derp saps the energy out of someone who days ago was sharing the awesome ideas he had for a future within EVE.

And he’s not alone. Well, granted, most people are still up on the fence. Wait a little longer, see what CCP brings. Or let subscription lapse and take a break. And they are not alone. I, too, am up on the fence. Now I admit I am on a short fuse as of late, but even then. I am finding myself with suddenly a lot less willpower to log in and get things done. Just now when everything is going so well. I have notes on my desk scribbled with ideas and all I need to do is turn them into forum posts so we can begin working on them as an alliance. But guess what. This whole combined clusterfuck has shaken my faith.

Now I know this could all end well. I can ask people in our channels to lay off the issue and remain calm. It seems absurd to me that CCP would pour proverbial concrete over the sandbox and take the sandcastles away from the players. But I also notice a recurring trend where CCP seems to be in monetary trouble. Asking $99 for third-party licensing, so-called because a contract needs a monetary charge to be bound? Ridiculous prices for clothing? Even the mere consideration of selling “game advantages”? Now I might be seeing patterns where there are none, it’s human to search for patterns in everything and it can be a true curse, but what if I’m right? We know that Dust requires a heavy money investment, and that Iceland got hit pretty damn hard by the credit crunch. So what if that is at the root of this all? Money? It sounds so simple, and even if I am wrong, it’s probably still a deciding factor somewhere. CCP is needing money for something. And the usual ways are not sufficient.

But I will say this: Having spent a fair bit of my game time trading, one of the core principles I learned is that many small profits can make you rich, yet one bad investment can bankrupt you. Buyers too, are pretty naive. Feed us several small chucks, and we’re likely to buy more, due to the feeling of free will. Yet ask someone to drop down one big sum, and the same person will suddenly be far more hesitant. Dear CCP, if you really need money, why did you not do something else. Raise everyone’s subscription by one euro, perhaps even for just one month. Or give us many cheap clothes to buy. They didn’t even need to be all that fancy. Perhaps faction t-shirt, or replicas from the EVE store. I bet you they’d have sold. You’d have gotten your ISK. I was fully planning on buying clothes for my character. But right now I’m just not even sure I want to anymore.

Yep, that sounds pretty emo too, but that’s how I am feeling right now. I see my alliance members being sad, upset, angry, or any combination. And depending on what you decide somewhere in the future, as we are not being given any more guarantees anymore, I may or may not lose them over something that is completely outside of my power. If I make a shitty call, or if I am not careful and recruit a bad apple, it will be my fault that things implode. If others decide to raze us to the ground, it will be their fault and I can accept that, as that is what makes EVE into the game it is. But when you, the company I’ve held in such high admiration for being bold and defiant, for saying bring it on to the larger studios, and for proving an experience which is until this day wholly unique, do this, well, that stings. Because it is you, really, who has the power to decide if EVE lives or dies. And we, the community, might be critical, and really would you want it any other way? But now, you are pushing us over the edge, and people are responding. Attacking the Caldari memorial, moving from trade hub to trade hub to protest, because even threadnaughts will not do any longer. No, I am not saying it is all right and justified, some people are taking it too far, a community representative should not get spammed on Twitter for example (leave CCP Fallout alone, she’s a dear <3 and the rest of the Tweeting employees for that matter). But I am saying that we, your community, are worried and afraid. Because this reminds us of something in which Sony too was involved, and it ain’t too hard to point at Dust then.

So, in conclusion, I too feel struck by recent events. I keep hoping, but I also worry. I care about my favorite pastime. Because as you said it, EVE is real. I think a whole lot of things could already have been done better. But unless you deliver what I and many others consider the final blow with taking the sandbox away from us, I will be here to see how things work out, and perhaps in a few months we will laugh about this. But let it be said, that should it come to a point where I see so many people leave there is hardly an alliance left to run, or I look at my friends list and all the people who I really cared for are gone, well, then I will leave too and a small miracle will need to take place to ever gain me back. Because I’m not the kind of person to half-ass things. It’s all or nothing. Please prove me wrong and make internet spaceships into the glorious vision it could be :(

PS: You know what is really damn ironic? Check Valnurana’s bio ingame. When I created her to be my trader, way before she’d be the alliance holder, I had just seen Wall Steet and admired the character that is Gordon Gecko, wanted to do some light roleplay with her inspired on that. Yet with the whole newsletter thing, those words and the whole movie reference feels pretty damn bad all of a sudden.

SiSi preview: Captain’s Quarters

Jun
5

As a follow-up to this post, I hopped on SiSi to go and take a look at the more finished results, as Incarna is hitting on June 21th! Yes, I know, some of you don’t really feel that CQ equals Incarna, but it’s a pretty damn nice start.

Graphics glitch

Sticky shadows graphics glitch

I’m logged on a few minutes and already breaking things! The shadow layer sticks to the screen, as if burned in. Tabbing out fixes it. Hope this one will be eliminated in the final release, even though the fix is not too bad, it’s pretty freaky to watch.

Docked Archon

Archon hovering happily in dock

Let’s take a look at the biggest ship I own. Looks like it was built right inside of the station, and nobody thought what would happen if I’d like to undock with it. I hope the ceiling opens or something, because awesome as it is to see, from an immersion point of view this is interesting to explain.

Docked Tengu

Docked Tengu, for scale comparison

The Tengu looks a little less silly when docked. I do wonder if the Archon was scaled down to fit in the station, because seeing both undocked the latter looked smaller next to the carrier.

Docked Crow

Even the smallest hulls are impressive on the new display

Here’s another snap, of a Crow this time. This shows really well that even frigates are humbling to the individual pilot, as prime fiction does outline them to be as big as a jumbo-jet.

Undock button

Oh hey, so that's where my undock button went!

Just because it has become a running gag that my undock button is broken or lost when I am finding myself lost under a pile of CEO work again!

Pod

My pod in dock, waiting for its pilot

Ok, I really love how they added the pod to the station interior. Shame you cannot walk all the way up to it, but that’s just a gorgeous detail!

Watching holoscreens

Ship spinning is now automated, so capsuleers can chill on the sofa and watch TV.

The screens are now actually showing information and are interactive. I hope in the future we get to customize them. I didn’t find the market ticker option yet, hope that is still coming. What I’d really love though is being able to watch EVE related movies (trailers, fan work) on the screen.

Caldari dress

Myrhial admiring her pretty self in the mirror

Caldari dresses. Oh god yes! This is exactly the kind of stuff I envision Myrhial to be wearing. Can’t wait for the uniform style stuff from the Aurium store either. I have this dreadful feeling though that soon all my ship funds is going to be poured into vanity items.

Dominations logo

I'm a sucker for details like that.

No, this picture was not an ass-shot, look up! It’s a small detail, but things like that just really complete the feel for me.

Standing in Quarters

Front shot to show off pretty Caldari outfit

I can’t get over how awesome my character looks, sorry! Please continue to the next picture.

Epic Arc

Epic Arc warning

I really love how the screen shows all kinds of useful informative tidbits. There is also sovereignty info, incursion warnings, a warning from Aura when you do not have a skill trained, certificates that are available, market data, and blurbs of in character news. Yep, I’m totally happy to give up ship spinning for this.

Locked door

Wonder what it says.

One last thing I noticed, there is something written on what I assume is the door locking mechanism. I tried to zoom in as well as I could, but I can’t seem to read what it says. Anyone have a clue?

Duality sneak preview: Captain’s Quarters

Apr
20

As announced in the latest dev blog, Captain’s Quarters (CQ) are now available for testing, alongside with the New Player Experience (NPE). This post is going to focus just on me squealing over finally being able to run around as my character and my take on the initial-still-very-much-under-development hands-on experience.

Main screen

Can you find the button?

This is the first thing in the room that caught my attention. A nice big holoscreen displaying useful tidbits of information, well expect there was not much sov information to be shown. Not sure if that’s because we’re in NPC space here, or there just ain’t sov on Duality. There seems to be incursions though!

Home

A larger view of your home

Here’s a bit of a larger view. Do ignore the textures still missing and the lack of light sources here and there. At least you’re not exposed to the flickering of shadows. The screen on your left is the corporation center, or recruitment for those still looking for a corporation. The one on the right takes you to PI.

Sofa

Sitting down on the sofa, ignore that she is actually floating in front of it

Closer look at the sofa and table. The little holoscreen is the agent finder, unfortunately not yet available. One of those features that pique my interest. I expect some sorts of eve-agents equivalent. The thing on the right opens fitting and hangar, and is what will contain a little ship model. Not sure if that is working already or just broken for STRAC’s.

Hangar view

Tengu looks terribly small from way over here

Speaking of STRAC’s, that lump of metal way over there is my Tengu. Looks weird from way over here. Didn’t have any other ships on hand to swap out to though.

Impressed

"Goodness, this is all quite impressing", Myrhial thinks to herself.

And that’s Myrhial, looking impressed and a little confused as well. I don’t blame here, it is a lot to take in.

At this point, there is only one direct wishI have to express: Add strafing as well as mouse turning, please. The current movement feels very counter-intuitive and clunky. With such realistic models we need fluidity to go with it. An option to run wouldn’t be bad either. If only because walking up and down the bridge takes a bit, and might discourage people from using the CQ interface when needing to remain combat-ready.