Posts Tagged ‘Odyssey’

Personal Exploration

Much like distilling, making what I want to say fit in 140 chars, can take a good few days.

Much like distilling, making what I want to say fit in 140 chars, can take a good few days.

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

 

Twitter really isn’t the best medium for communication. I never really got the bug for it, and to be honest I hate having to try to limit my expression to an arbitrary character limit. I hear the argument that imposing the limit distills the information to get you the interesting facts fast, but I disagree. Can anyone truly argue that this is better than the book?

 

“Little, hairy people + wizard/dwarves/elves take a really long time to triumph over evil.”

 

Could a religion (for better or worse) have sprouted from:

 

“God makes world. God makes people, gets angry with them & makes them follow rules.”

 

Source http://memeburn.com/2012/06/10-famous-novels-transformed-into-tweets/

 

I don’t think so. But I Digress. I do have a presence on twitter, partly because it is useful for publicising this blog, but mostly because I believe that twitter & tweetfleet are an important part of the eve community/meta. And both community and meta are important to me. The reason why I bring this up is because I had a good (if character limited) conversation with @MagnificentHaze yesterday evening surrounding my post on the Exploration changes (no I am not as mad as I made out honest). You can find the full conversation on twitter (if you know how to use it better than I do). But it came down to a discussion on what was, and what was not good multiplayer experience.

[edit] Thanks again to Haze, who has given me a link to our conversation: https://t.co/gfwdpASGqR

 

In the end I described how we as a group run the sites, and why I feel that the Loot spray was good multiplayer. First let me reiterate why the loot spray was good for single players.

  • It made you make tactical decisions on what to scope (even more so now that containers are named for what’s in them).
  • It required you to be a good manual flying pilot.

 

Ok so now how we run the sites. As a group of three we fly from system to system scanning down signatures, if there are more than one in a system, we split them up to scan them down faster. Once we have a site we warp in and power towards the can. When we arrive we divide the cans up between us, and all start hacking at the same time. When someone finds their system core they generally say something to the effect of “I’ve got it, ready for me to pop?”. This way we don’t all finish the hack at the same time and get overwhelmed. Assuming everyone says yes, the person who found to core kills is, and the rest of us ignore our hacking screens for a few moments to help tractor loot. This continues until all the containers are popped and the site is done. We do have to be careful about not moving more than 5-6K off the active hacking sites (as this explodes them), but good piloting skills makes this easy enough to do. We also have to concentrate on not tractoring the same target (as this locks you out for a cycle), and ensuring we catch all the fastest moving cans before they stray too far. As a result of our teamwork we complete the site 3 times as fast as a solo player, and scoop 100% of the loot as opposed to the 50-60% of a solo player.

 

I just don’t understand how the change is an improvement over what the loot spray brought to the table.

 

 

Exploring Entitlement

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

So… Things have moved in the prenatal world of Odyssey Exploration and I am afraid to say that in my opinion some of the changes are for the worse. Let’s aim for the jugular first off: Loot Spew.

 

Previously in exploration when you hacked a container it would give you a seconds warning, and then ejaculate loot out in one, sometimes two directions. These directions appeared to be pretty random, and they did cause some issues (as I mentioned in the previous post). My reaction to this was that CCP should simply reduce the number of structures in the vicinity of the Loot throwers and use this as an excuse to find and refine rouge clipping issues, to make the sites less frustrating.

 

entitlementHowever, there was a more sinister plot afoot. You see a large part of our community feels that they are entitled to everything, now, if not sooner. It seems that to them the idea that they might have to fly tactically to collect loot, or make choices about which cans to grab, or worse yet, share the loot was just horrid. So using the Structure issue as a soap box, they seem to have persuaded CCP to slow down the loot spew to a crawl. Seriously!? This really sucks, I liked the fact that the can farted loot out at a rapid pace. I liked that the game encouraged pilots to be good at manual flying to collect maximum loot. Now we have to just sit there like a fat man at a buffet selecting which greasy morsel to shovel into our lazy mouths. Worse still this hasn’t even fixed the issue of the invisible clipping, it’s still there! The old method of spewing loot was also a further encouragement to bring friends. Our group would bring three people and position ourselves around the structure to ensure that at least someone was close to the main spew, ensuring we would collect all the loot. Now it seems one person can collect 80% of the loot by just sitting wherever they are, meaning that its less efficient to bring friends. As you might be able to tell, I am a little bit pissed by this; mostly because I saw the exploration changes as a step in the right direction. Content enhanced by group play, which encouraged pilots to develop useful skills for PvP.

 

imagesOk… Deep breaths hark.. That’s it. Ok.. Wooosaaaah.. Wossaaaaah… oook…. *sigh* With that done, let’s look at some of the other updates.

 

It looks like hacking itself is being made a little bit easier, while at the same time reducing the bonuses on Cov-ops frigates (another reason the last post was out of date, we didn’t even realise the cov-ops frigs got a bonus).

 

It’s also worth noting that currently the rigs that boost Hacking and Archaeology are different, so to get a bonus to exploration, you will need two rig slots on your ship.

 

Anyway, that’s the latest from the forums, I really hope that CCP changes their minds on the spew, or at least iterates on it in another patch.

 

Fly rubbing your earlobe,

 

Hark

 

Exploring Exploration

The following post was written a few days ago, and is sadly a bit out of date now. Later today I will put out a post detailing the changes which have been made to exploration, and the state of play as of today.

In the last few days I have been talking a lot about the new exploration mechanics (and the changes being made to them). All the posts can be found below:

  1. personal exploration
  2. explorin gentitlement
  3. exploring exploration

With only a few days to go now before  Odyssey hits the live servers the Dirtys group set out on SiSi to take a look at the newly refurbished profession: Exploration. We have decided to take a short break from Faction Warfare post expansion in order to go and have a look at what we can make with the new sites. Of course as the man with the spreadsheets in our group, that meant some number crunching.

The key objective to our plan is to make money out of doing the hacking and Relic sites on New Eden. There are two main factors in this plan which needed to be worked out.

  1. What ship?
  2. Where?

VexorSo far our favourite answer to question 1 is the Vexor. A nice little drone cruiser which gives us 4 highslots for utility, 4 mid slots (dual prop and 2 exploration modules) and a tidy 4 slots tank with a final low slot for damage amplifiers. Of course that is by no means final. The Odyssey expansion page notes that there will be new exploration modules coming with the Expansion, and that might mean that we need something with a different slot layout to accommodate the new mods. But certainly for now, the Vexor is looking like a firm favourite. The bonus is that its comparatively cheap as well which ties in with the answer to question 2:

Probably W-space or Nullsec. Jury’s still out on which of these (or both), that’s why were on SiSi, experimenting. Certainly so far these two have come out with the best profit returns, and the support to group roam format we’ve been looking to do.

So enough of our plans, let’s talk opinions. Exploration specifically. The mini game is fun, if a little bit variable in difficulty. One hack I will be met by a blocking node on the first click, others the core is only 5-6 clicks away from the start, unblocked at all. It seems that you quite often get either ridiculously easy, or incredibly hard. It’s not all luck however, there certainly are some tactics to be found within the game.

The best bit of tactical game play so far surrounds the encrypted nodes. These, when uncovered require a second click to decrypt and reveal their contents. Sometimes this will be an item to help you, other times it will be a blocking node which will lock out all its surrounding nodes from you. The issue is this. If you always decrypt the encrypted nodes as soon as you find them, every so often you will block your onward path by revealing a blocking node. “Ah, easy” you say “just move a few nodes onwards and then decrypt it, so the block does nothing!”. But the issue with this is that again, every so often using this tactic, you will immediately reveal another blocking node right next to encrypted node on your next click. This locks out the encrypted node, restricting you from getting the potential goodies inside it.

Other tactical choices you will need to make includes the path that you will take to ensure you reveal as much as you can of the board before having to engage the blocking nodes. This means that you have the highest chance of revealing equipment to help you in combat, or simply uncovering the Core without having to fight.

It is really good fun, and it encourages group play, not only in that you will require a friend to help scoop loot, but also because there is no way to be effective at hacking, and keep an eye on local. You’re going to need a friend for that or it will take forever.

The mechanics are fun, and the group play aspect is great (eve needs more multiplayer PvE content), there is very little to complain about all in all. However there was one minor gripe that I had with the concept, and that was Geometry.

No you MWD into one!

Some of the Hacking/Archaeology (more hacking I think) have their main nodes ensconced within large geometry items. They look grate, but as anyone who has tried to fly through and asteroid belt knows, eve has some “invisible geometry” issues. I get that the more people you have with you, the less chance of a “loot ejaculation” going in an awkward direction there is. That works fine on the Archaeology sites, where being on the wrong site means nothing more than a few seconds and a few missed cans. However in the afore-mentioned Hacking sites, there can be entire stations which get between you and the loot squirt. There is nothing more frustrating that trying to navigate around a structure to grab loot that is rapidly pissing off into the distance, only to find your rubbing you ship along some invisible barrier which seems to extend in every direction except the direction of away from the fucking loot. I get, and applaud that group play means more loot, but missing out on loot because of frustrating mechanics you can’t even see is very frustrating.

I’ve run about 15-20 sites at this stage, and I’m a big fan of them. Looking forwards to seeing how the evolve during the launch. Speaking of which, it’s about time we got a plethora of dev blogs revealing details of the expansion isn’t it?

Fly like a mime artist,

Hark

Closing Fanfest 2013

I think we have ended our spate of posts from Fanfest now, and I guess its tie to try and sum up my feelings for the event, as well as its comming effect it could have on the game. The event itself is the easiest bit, it was great. We all had an excellent time and cant wait to do it all again.
To elaborate further the event was pretty much what I had imagined  based on the live stream from last year and my trip to Iceland in October. The presentations were great and the round tables were very interesting (as were the people we met). The venue itself was very interesting, nestled on the shore in among the rocks and jetties; and for the most part it served it purpose well. My only complaints were that the larger round tables could have benefited from a microphone system (for CCP and the questioners), and even better, an electronic “Hands-up” system. It seemed to me that asking a question was at the mercy of the eyesight and vocal ability of the devs. But lets face it, that’s a pretty minor niggle.
For us as the players part in the round tables the community needs to learn some patience and politeness. I lost count of the number of grumblings I heard about people not getting asked a question for a long time (yes it annoyed me too, but there is no need to start swearing about it). Worse were the one question wonders: People who seem to turn up for a round table and ask a question, then disappear of to do their next thing. Seriously if you care enough  about a section of eve to want to make you opinion heard, maybe you should put in the effort to listen to others who care as much as you? Instead of sperging your load over the Devs before running off to try and correct another part of the universe. Worst of all were the  people who spent an age telling CCP how to fix the game and then not even bother to listen to the response.
Needless to say I did meet as lot of very interesting and informed people during the round tables, as well as hear some perspectives which I found new and interesting. So enough of my whining, let talk about the presentations. Starting with the Dust 514 Keynote: I want a ps3 now, if only it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Enough said? No? Ok well it was a pretty good presentation which gave a good idea of where CCP is going with dust and how they intend to make it popular. Certainly. As a side note I managed to sneak past

a cordon at one point and try a Dust with a Razer keyboard and mouse for a few seconds before I was politely turfed out. I was pretty amazed at how good it felt tbh. This was pretty important especially as any hope I had of getting it on PC were dashed with the announcement of dust mobile on the psp vita. It looks like Sony and CCP are getting pretty far under the sheets together (as evidenced by the PlayStation logo all over Fanfest), and I really doubt Sony would appreciate a competitor to Planet Side from a partner.

How about the eve keynote then? Well first off I was enthralled by the history lesson from Hilmar. I did a little light research on the games history back when I wrote this piece on an alternate vision of eve. Hearing it from Hilmar was great however, and it really told me two key things: CCP has never really known how far the rabbit hole goes, and that the people who run the company are not all that many miles from me or you.
In terms of actual content, I feel like we have a mixed bag. Lets say upfront that the new gate animation is sexy as hell. Soundwave prefaced his demonstration of it but telling us we were all about to get nerd boners, and he wasn’t wrong. Even having seen it the day before at the art panel I was amazed by it. Sure gate animations aren’t the most important thing in the world, but its just a little thing which makes the world more immersive more tangible, more real. Loading bars break the immersion; and when you have to jump 10 or 15 jumps to a destination your going to spend less time immersed than not with just a loading bar between gates.  So good job on that one.

The exploration mechanics were also pretty awesome. We saw in the prototyping session that the original idea was to give the mechanic to miners who could increase their yield by being active and catching rocks while mining. But i think its been well placed in the exploration area as well. I certainly intend to give it a go at some point post release.
But the fact of the matter is that I was really hoping to see more to shake the nullsec snow glob. The resource rebalance is a great start, but really I don’t think its enough. I could be way out on this, I think we will see some jostling between the CFC and HBC to gather up a roughly even value of R64 moons, and then they will get back to swimming in cash ala scrooge mcduck. It will be an interesting proof of who was telling the truth about why Nullsec is quiet at the moment. With no changes being made to structure grinding if we do see major combat for a prolonged period of time: it will prove that the “Why fight when you can just collect cash?” camp was right, and the “Structure Grinding is to hard”/”We have perfected Sov warfare” camps were deluded or lying.
The final keynote was the CCP Presents session, which was apparently another name for “Dust 514 Keynote Part 2”. We spent far to much time listening to Dust stuff which would have been far better placed in, well, the Dust keynote. I seriously don’t get the whole expansion, wait 1 week, then go live with another patch thing. Why not put all the features together, label them uprising then go live with the expansion at the same time as releasing the game all on the 5.14 date they clearly wanted so bad?  I just don’t get it. In all honestly, if I didn’t know better I would have said they were filling time. After what felt like hours of intricate details about Dust stuff we could have guessed (well golly gosh CCP you released a Minmatar and Caldari pistol and you intend to release a Gallente and Amarr one too? Strike me down I didn’t see that coming! You’ll tell me your releasing all the suit sizes for all the races next!) CCP Seagull came out and pretty much said “all that stuff we told you yesterday is still true and still mystic, woohoo”. I guess its pretty hard to follow an hour of facts about a release, with just the incorporeal plans for the next 5 years.
The merchandise stuff was pretty cool (if presented with a good dollop of American cheese). I did feel that they left the biggest question unanswered which was “can I upgrade my main character to a collectors edition?” I’m guessing so as he hinted it was all done through codes (but 150 Euros is a lot of money to gable on a guess). All the books and comics sounded great, I will certainly be trying to sneak a copy of eve Source onto our coffee table, or failing that into the magazine rack in the bog.

Our coverage wasn’t exactly how we expected it to be. We were hoping for some more Round Table video, as well as some chats with Devs along the way. Sadly although we secured all of these things on a HD video camera, some kind of overheating or firmware issue caused it to corrupt all the video we captured. Needless to say that recorder will be going back to the shops some time soon. We did we some pictures and video via a camera phone, and I cant thank Lore enough for putting the effort in to pull us out of the fire. But with the best will in the world, a camera phone will never quite match a proper HD recording device. Still I believe what we got was very worth while.

Well its almost touch down time now so I’d better sign off. In closing Fanfest was great fun, and I cant wait to go again. I’m still pretty disappointed with Odyssey, not so much for what in it, but more for what is not. Lots more to talk about resulting from this so expect a fair few more posts from us soon (although maybe not at the rate we have been chucking them out). Without the pressure on to get things out as soon as possible, we may even start proof reading out posts now (did we ever?).
Fly home,
Hark

EvE Second decade trailer

Here is the EvE Second decade trailer as shown at Fanfest 2013 – CCP Presents. It is missing the first few seconds.

In this trailer you can see the ship’s that were part of the exodus in to new eden and are now part of new exploration sites that you have to salvage / hack to get the loot instead of the generic cargo can (tho the millennia floating in space have not been kind to them). These ships were also mentioned in Harkonan’s post on Odessey art sneak peak: wow

resource rebalance round table

This is just the first step
Choice on where you produce
Advantages and disadvantages to null vs high
Refining arrays changing too, although not sure how yet
Should be better than an npc station
With the changes highsec can no longer produce all the isotopes of eve
Previously produced 800% (4 belts)
Now 80%
Null and low can produce 500%
Ring mining concept still alive, these changes are a platform for the next step

Fanfest 2013 Eve Keynote (odyssey preview)

Filmed on a video phone so the quality isn’t great, but still well worth a look. Seriously. Watch it. Now. no stop reading… watch.

eve keynote notes

Moon changes
R64 and bottle necks
Ice belts into anoms
New inflight controlls
New radial menus
Station hangers and undocking events
Capital rigs
Pod and death transitions
More sense more cinematic less loading bar
Sec status for tags
More scanning modules
probe formations
Sigs and alnms found through a scan sweep
Re vamp of hacking and archology into data and relics
Mini games to unlock
Scattering contains quick grab them
After odessey
Next several expansions will have a single theme
Players taking over from empires in areas
Colonisation
Stargate construction
Eve devs have been working on a space sim using oculus
They have a demo tomorrow

Odessey art sneak peak: wow

Crucifier redesign
They have built some impressive animations on the hull, but that may not come yet.
The ship changes shape when you warp or lock targets

Apoc redesign
New ship or war barge show? Going to be in the keynote
Looks industrial
Old ship, archaeology, likely linked to the exploration

New hacking structure
New star gate effects, they look like living dynamic item
see the vid at the end to see this! its amazing
New jump effect
Goes through a animation
No more black screen
Sexy as hell
New comorose

New hud items, some kind lf scan or arrival
Scanner appears on the ui
Can see where they are in relation to you
Looks like loads of ui work
Hacking minigame

Conceptual work
Station interiors
No more station window icons on the hanger
Good feel for the next expansion,  lots of exploration stuff

edit: cant get the vid up now, but trust me the new stargate effect is awsome. thing stargate and slider :p

Eve game design & Remixing eve

Remixing eve
All about the arcade machine made downstairs
http://www.extra-vehicular.com/2013/04/eve-arcade.html
Interesting precedent for games within eve
R type game made entirely in the trinity engine
Www.Offline.eve.is
Does show how great the python language is, seems very versatile esp mixed with c++
This really does sound like good mews for games in captains quarters and mobile/mini games. Still a long ways off though.
Eve game design
CCP SOUNDWAVE
No pandas comming to eve
There are a few rules to game design in eve
  • No game should be more complex the it absolutely need to be
    • i.e placing a bounty
      • Its not dumbing down eve if you make 1500 people a day die
  • A good feature can be based on positive or negative interaction, neither is inherently more valuable
  • Other players will always be more interesting for longer than designed experience. Give players to tools to maximise the variety and impact of their decisions.
    • Incursions
  • Every systen should affect and be affected by the wider world
    • Butterfly effect
    • The old fw didn’t comply with this. The new one does a bit more (faction kit prices etc)
  • The social experience is more important the practical system balance; the interaction between winners and losers is more interesting than mechanical equality
    • One person standing in a cupboard is creepy, two is kinda interesting
      • Belt Mining is against this as your often alone
      • Better to have 1 big belt than 20 tiny ones
      • Should be more about reaching out and touching people, less about spread sheets and numbers
  • Players are not entitled to success. The most aspirational goals are converted by many but reached by few.
    • We must let people dream
    • Some will make this
    • And thats ok
Sounds like bounties might be removable by the placer
Feels that ccp feel they are better now at scalability, i.e. Proliferation
They never would have belived this many people have titans when they were build
Talking about enforced limits on numbers of powerful items
Not happy with the number of super caps
Ccp do.es not believe that they should push all people to nullsec anymore. Do what makes you happy.
Wants a better tool before they replace local
Talk about an awesome scanner could this be a covert reference to the discovery scanner?
Exploration can be about finding players
T2 changes comming in odyssey announcement tomorrow.