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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TeaDaze's trees

I want to talk some more about the various responses I'm reading on various blogs to the Captain's Quarters, Incarna and the direction CCP is taking EVE.  I've decided to write a series of posts regarding these issues.

After reading a bunch of FUD and what not, I'm slowly coming to the feeling that the CSM lacks vision.  You're going to ask "WTF are you talking about Let?".  This is actually something that CCP itself was complaining about when the CSM started.  CCP has adapted to this reality and is using the CSM interaction to guide it's proofing of certain things.  But the reality is that MOST EVE players tend to concentrate on issues from a very limited point of view.  How can anyone who boasts that they've never put a mining laser in a ship ever have any valid input on various aspects of mining?  The truth is they can't because they are only looking at it from a very limited point of view.  A lot of the CSM feedback is highly valuable on the nuts and bolts mechanics side of things.  Sort of like some strange extension of the QA/Balancing side of things.  However I am becoming convinced it is actually less valuable from the point of view of the expansion of the game into new territory or serious re-balancing of existing mechanics.

Let's take TeaDaze's post explaining his reasoning for quitting EVE online.  Let's take a good look at what he's saying "ccp promised that we would not be forced to interact with avatars".  Umm, unless they promised you something under NDA, I never saw any promise like that I ever read in any publicly available material.  I did see a promise about how the new system would not take any more time to accomplish certain things than the current system takes.  What does this mean to me?  This means the following:  Can I dock up, change ships, refit the new ship and undock in the same amount of time under the new system?  How to test this out?

First we look at the purpose of the maneuver:  To change ships and refit the new ship in anticipation of combat conditions that will be prevalant between the moment one undocks until the next moment one finds oneself docked back up.

Example that covers the current situation:
  • Dock up
  • Switch ships
  • Strip all modules and cargo from new ship
  • Open up fitting tool
  • Refit all modules and fill cargo (including fixing up groupings)
  • Undock
I would suggest someone sets up a specific ship and fit and time themselves a few times on Sisi in an unoccupied system to see what their average time to accomplish the above task is.

Now this operation should be functionally identical once Incarna (more specifically the captains quarters part of it) is in place. According to CCP there will be a new mirror made next week so I expect to see the new CQ up on Sisi within a week or two of that (to make it up before Fanfest).  Once the CQ is on Sisi we can test this out and see if we get the same results time wise.  If not THEN we can say that CCP is not delivering.  If the time is close to the same, then we can say that the interface is irrelevant to the functional objective of the procedure.  The truth is that the current station environment imposes a certain cpu and interface constraint already.  There's a session timer when you get into a station and when you undock.  Cosmetically changing the interior from the ship spin to an avatar with a view up to the ship may not change the functionality or time sink at all.

This is why I say "wait for Sisi".  Now I can respect TeaDaze's decision to stop playing EVE.  I don't have a problem with that.  From his point of view EVE was drifting too far from what his vision of what EVE's mechanics should be.  But that's a personal analysis and decision.  Personally I'm not married to particular mechanics so long as the functionality is there.  For that I'm willing to wait.  My decision to cut short my break was based on a failure to deliver functionality in another game.  Not a failure in mechanics.

You can criticize CPP for breaking the established lore of EVE.  Course you have to ask yourself if that lore is there because of the way the game was designed to get around limitations of not having ambulant avatars from day 1.  But unless they break the functionality I'm willing to wait and see.

I really get the impression though that Mynxee and TeaDaze specifically are disappointed from the lack of progress in improving low-sec traffic for pirates to go after.  I can't say I'm surprised because the current situation (lack of use of lowsec) is a direct result of the ratio between the inexpensiveness of PvP ships vs the lack of defensibility and relative high cost of industrial ships in low sec.  Unless CCP is willing to address that issue (and so far none of the proposals address it) low sec piracy will allways be the victim of it's own successes.


Numtini said...

I think the largest part of my cynicism about Incarna is because I lived through the "Second Life is the Future of Business hype." The result of that was largely that people prefer a nice simple website interface to trying to get an avatar to manipulate something.

I don't know if it's the source of their winter of discontent, but I agree in terms of lowsec. If the game is predators hunting prey, it's impossible to incentivize players to be prey. If you want people in lowsec (or NPC nulsec), it's going to have to become what I've called "controlled space."

Letrange said...

@Numtini Not necessarily. There are ways I see that would change the balance so that it would make lowsec attractive while still allowing for piracy. CCP is simply unwilling to change the balance to that degree. Probably because the changes necessary would make for the worlds biggest whine fest coming out of the pirates.

Numtini said...

@Letrange I think we may mean the same thing. I'm just assuming that anything that actually fixes lowsec makes it something that is no longer what people think of as lowsec.

Piracy is, after all, quite possible in high sec. I've made a whole lot more money suicide ganking than I ever did as a Hellcat.

VonBargenJL said...

the new avatars, as teadaze said, broke my enthrallment with eve as well. I <3ed my avatar alot, but not enough to try to spend hours trying on every outfit and hair. so i ended up with 'random > finish' toon. looks shit. if what he's saying is coming out, i might have to go, again, as well. i dont want walking around, theres plenty of FPS and third person shooters there. I want spaceships in space

Calderus Rex said...

@VonBargenJL - so true m8. I've got around 10 characters across 6 accounts. First few I played with the options. After that, all about the random. I can't shake the feeling that despite all the detail, the characters mostly end up looking the same (across a few different archtypes). There really should have been more tats and weird stuff for personalization - but I have a feeling the microtransaction faction are driving the limitations. :(

Casiella said...

Lore breaking? Apart from the time it should theoretically take to get out of our pods, I can't think of anything in the CQ design or what else we know about Incarna that breaks the lore. I'd love to know what that criticism means, though, because I certainly could have missed something.

Letrange said...

@casiella it's prety much lore that capsuleers don't for the most part bother to leave their capsules since they would be vulnerable to true death outside of one since the technology to take a snapshot of your brain and transmit it to a clone is integrated to the pod. There are hints that a non-destructive version of that tech exists (otherwise how do you explain the Broker? not to mention the upcoming dusties). So the lore reasons for us to be OUT of capsules would be damn unusual.