Posts Tagged ‘Winter 2012’

The Safety Net

First off I want to state that I really like the Retribution Patch its a good example of how little changes can refresh the game and bring it forwards to compete with modern titles. But there is one glaring feature in the patch which I didn’t mention in my morning after post, the Safety switch. This was because every time I tried to explain in a reasonable way why I didn’t like it, I just couldn’t pin it down.

The thing is it doesn’t even affect me directly. Despite being a 0.0 warrior and a nasty blobber, according to my concord files (I asked for them under the Freedom Of Information act of YC2) I’m a pretty law abiding citizen. My two oldest my chars have 4+ security status, and my guns only ever get activated against enemies of the state(s), or in 0.0 combat outside the remit of CONCORD. I’ve been concordokend once (when very young) for activating a module on a friend, and if I remember right, I’ve only ever been in low sec a very few times. So actually I should never really have to turn off my safty system to fire my guns. So what makes me dislike it so much?

It arrived the other night, as many things do, while chewing the fat with my gaming friends. Chatting with one of them, we were discussing the crime watch flag changes in retribution. She was asking what the new yellow flashing symbol next to a player (in front of her) meant, I was explaining the suspect flag. While doing so I mentioned that although CONCORD wouldn’t attack a Suspect, it was free game for players. At this point someone else put in a doubt that this was the case (I’ve since confirmed it is from the patch notes), and this is when I hit upon my now rational dislike of the safety system.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure you can kill them when there a suspect, but if you want to check, just make sure your Safety is green and try to fire at them. If its illegal, it wont let you do it”

There it is. I’ve been tightrope walking the niagara falls of eves crime system for 4 years (mostly) successfully. And now CCP have come along and placed a safety net under me, my epic feet of not getting concord’ed (much) can now be equalled, and beaten by placing a keyboard attached to a PC playing an undocked eve account into a hamster cadge.

Is this just another bitter vet rant? I have passed well into the danger zone of bitter vet contraction. I’ve even since joined a Bitter Veteran Care Home. I’m just not sure any more. I would argue that the times I have crossed the line of the law by accident, have been learning experiences for me. I guess its a matter of learning preference.

I believe that I learned how to obey the laws of New Eden by researching and experimenting. If I broke the law I had the lesson beaten into me by CONCORD, and you don’t forget losing a ship as a new player.

On the other hand you could argue that new players can now be unafraid to push buttons and find out what happens. Before if a player was unsure if an act was illegal, they might have shrugged away from it. Now they can press the button and fear nothing more than a friendly warning flash that the action they tried to commit might have gotten them CONCORD’ed.

I just worry we are breading a new kind of player who isn’t encouraged to research about eve. Who doesn’t need to join a corp to tap the knowledge of older and more experienced players on what can and cannot be done. A player who is the mental equivalent of a hamster on a keyboard… gosh I really do sound like a bitter vet don’t I?

Retribution: The Morning After

Well, that was a refreshingly smooth expansion release! I was at work during the release itself, but my twitter feed seems to indicate that the servers were actually back up an hour early, despite some solo wormhold fixes by CCP Tuxford we seem to be up and running without any issues. Well… at least any release related issues. There is of course the subject of CapArmRepGate in which CCP put a tiny line in a patch notes to document a massive change (in effect a 25% drop in armour carrier remote rep). Just to add some spice to the mix, this change was only implemented because CCP believed that the nerf already existed for capital shield remote reps, which it did not. However this CCP Fozzie stepped up and apologised, promising a change roll-back in the next content patch. But still in comparison to past releases, and indeed release by other companies, this has been a very smooth ride.

Moving on from the release itself, I want to talk about my first impressions. First and foremost, the targeting UI. Wow, just wow. I wasn’t really that excited by this when it was announced (well a little excited, but not much), but I really was amazed by just how much such a relatively small UI change makes to the freshness of the game. It really makes the game feel that little bit more modern. That said I have one minor complaint; the bouncy new target lock. Specificity when you lock a new target and its details are added to your targeting bar, the targets you have already locked below it, bounce slightly like a stack of marshmallows having a pebble dropped on it. Now I don’t know about you, but when I describe the eve UI, and especially the parts of it concerned with killing people. I don’t want to have to use the words “Bouncy” or “Marshmellow” to describe it. I just don’t feel that soft spongy (more bad Kiling-UI words) feel it gives represents the hard ruthless feel of the eve universe. Also if your trying to sort targets into the wonderful new columns while the targets are bouncing up and down like a fricking set of double d’s in an earthquake, its very annoying.

Familiar?

Seriously thou that’s a nitpick, the UI changes are wonderful, new life into the old UI of eve. Esspecialy the new columns I breifly mentioned in the last paragraph, as a logistics, its great to be able to sort rep targets into columns by priority (and keep the enemy your trying to sneak a shot onto away from the friendly   It makes me wonder what effect it might have if CCP spent some time fixing the Windows 1.1 style windows in eve to something new. Who-knows maybe next patch?

Next up for me was the new NPC AI (I’m still working on some Epic Arc blog posts, but you’ll get more on this later). Again, for me, this was another breath of fresh-air into the game. I really don’t enjoy mission running that much these days, because its easy mode. Therefore anything which makes it a bit harder, or more interesting, is great news to me.

Unfortunately, I really haven’t had a look at the new cruisers as the moment (My RvB char couldn’t skill up in time to try the before cruisers out (nor the after ones for the matter), but given the excellent work that’s been going on so far in the re-balancing department, I have no doubt these will be great. Right now I’m just getting  ready for the Battleship changes to land, and the resulting 0.0 doctrine changes which might follow. As a side note, I love it when we get to fly something different in 0.0, especially if its something different from Armour carriers (because I cant fly them yet :p).

There are loads of other changes which are more subtle, and will come to light as game play continues (like the null-sec music), and things which will take a while to be seen (like the new modules and ships). Next blog I intend to look at what I hope will come in Summer 2013.

Fly bouncy,

Hark¬