Labels: Space Stuff
But there is hope; nebulae will now become a useful tool of location recognition. During the video shown Ben Bohn explains how they will be located between systems, and if you travel further toward a nebula by jumping systems; its appearance will alter depending on the distance from the nebula you are. And it's not limited to one nebula either; by layering multiple nebulae from several locations in the constellation, each time you move around the star-map the size and angle of the nebulae will alter again, dependant on the location of your viewing.
I expect this will allow exploration to be a little more of a discovery; each new backdrop unique to it's host system. Perhaps CCP can go a step further and allow the exploration of the interior regions of nebulae; possible lawless pockets within the Empires harbouring great bounties of some kind to lure in potential prey - well, that's something I want for my own sake, for pure pew pew.
It's a feature I'm sure will go a long to way to making each system more than a collection of planets surrounding a solitary star. But I'm unsure how this would work at the edges of the galaxy and whether the same idea can work within a wormhole; the latter proposition possibly allowing the puzzle of positioning the wormhole pocket amongst the catalogue of known nebulae in the galaxy. Only time will tell I guess...
The apparent infinity the universe presents must surely give rise to life which, when encountered can promote the most terrifying of situations. It's accepted that Aliens is one of the greatest Sci-Fi Horrors ever committed to film; a tale of desperation and survival against a deadly alien race. One can only marvel at the impression this game leaves - it's Aliens; but playable!
I'm convinced that the freedom posed by this patch is the beginning of a new phase in EvE's life cycle and popularity, which must grow relentlessly. New players not before considered self suited to this environment will relate quicker to a humanoid form to within PODed spacecraft, perhaps why new players by default are configured to start with legs.
But since CCP announced 'Ambulation' so many moons ago, many more contenders have risen in this genre. Some already boast of walkable stations, some claim to be free. But due to sheer perfectly realised complexity, EvE Online can still comfortably claim the best sci-fi game in the world; but the perfect equation of game elements still eludes developers due partly to decisions made during EvE's conception.
The mind control interface between our thoughts and the ship we are plugged prevents us moving naturally as we may all now become accustomed. The decision to have this interface: the POD, may haunt the development of future features such as ship interior interaction. The love affair we have with our vessels should surely eventually extend into the natural form of walking so we may really feel inside the ship, thus the game.
I imagine rising from slumber on an abandoned outpost I discovered orbiting a moon. Wandering on-board a glorious Amarr battlecruiser, I take stock of the systems and instruct the outpost security script to unlock docking clamps and press helm to roll the mighty vessel onwards into the massively complex worlds of New Eden; jumping wormholes and invading sleeper sights, exploring the depths of their architecture, their lost secrets, pillaging whatever remains; holding victims of piracy or bounties, hostage aboard prison ships wreathed in defences; the prisoner considering suicide at the cost of billions in implants; secret meetings aboard cloaked ships hidden within silent nebula; and assassins deploying devious steps when privy to this knowledge. This ultimately adventurous dynamic was hinted during Fan Fest.
Looking back there have been attempts already at this common ideology. Mace Griffin; Bounty Hunter is a superficial example of this perfectly empowering ability; to connect with the heavens and the ground beneath. Star Wars Battlefront 2; Elite Squadron shows just what's possible at the minute level; an online universe in your pocket.
But the laws of New Edens ever evolving universe are certainly not set in stone, I've seen many ships become illegal, impossible or impractical. CCP persistently tackle issues with confidence and ingenuity and I'm sure of an 'upgrade' to allow such fantasy.
It's simply a question of time as the slow infection into the interiors of the stations begins. It may generate an entirely new demographic and may also introduce massively multiplayer twitch based interactions on-board gloriously giant station spaces, as demonstrated.
Whatever the future , EvE Online can claim not only ambition, but accomplishment. This is what makes EvE Online the future, now.
I take solace in the presumption that I have found a path to my destiny and that New Eden is the theatre in which my horrors and honours are expressed. The consequence of this choice is to assume that, with the aid of potential technology, cyberspace may one day cradle my mind entirely, and when/if this happens I shall revere in the delectable experience that is EvE Online for as long as my mind virtually exists.
Beneath the flamboyant aesthetics there lies a web of unique ideas, techniques and designs. Be it invention, piracy, skirmishes, faction warfare, manufacture, ratting, exploration, planetary harvesting, covert operations, border patrol, pvp roaming, industrial sabotage, empire control, ship building, market manipulation...>add
With Choice comes complexity and a powerful tool to control and define our desired destiny beyond any other world and to no greater scale than New Eden is capable; from eyes to stars. And due largely to the sandbox approach the universal content is created on the fly by our passing through the game-world and that interaction. Due to all the choices we make, the more complex the evolution of the status quo.
There is a cost to this choice; the constant spawning and increasingly consuming skill tree reminds us of our reality; mortality. Though our avatars have the capacity to out live our meaty entity. And with immense choice comes confusion; freshman often display bewilderment asking numerous basic questions upon entering New Eden's fray of fanatical ego maniacs.
But the chokes of choice are acceptable due to the sheer presence choice has in our lives; virtually. Without it EvE Online could be called simply; Space game. At present I find it hard to classify EvE into any assumed pigeon hole. One choice after another, EvE Online spawns an infinite labyrinth of interactions and transactions. It's the defining nature of what we do.
EvE Bolg Banter 26; Beyond Nebulas and shiny ships
EvE Online has always been considered by many as expensive to play. It's also a very hard world to get ahead in, particularly if one is not able to commit vast tracts of real life to the game and, without consistent success it rewards very little in return. But despite it's harsh nature, EvE Online can claim to be the largest game world in existence featuring thousands of systems and a massive singlular persistant world. Black Prophecy is also a MMO space game but rather than entire systems to explore there are sectors, each with their own dangers present and unique visual styles. Due to the twitch based style control mechanics, the game boasts a cockpit view which is an omission CCP continues to ignore.
It's important to note that this type of online game is only possible through legitimate sales of world items in the absence of subscriptions. Upgrades and expansions to your ships capabilities can be acquired by looting wrecks and completing missions, or by simply exchanging real cash for parts. This business model is not entirely new, but I truly hope it works for the Reakktor team as I firmly believe that EvE Online mostly rewards the independently wealthy, or the socially inept with progress in the game world, which seems somewhat unfair tho those of us who have lives to attend or careers to nurture.
Although very early in it's life-cycle, Black Prophecy should become more complex and dynamic like EvE Online, but it's already much more financially viable and thus appealing, should you choose. Black Prophecy is here to serve those who, for whatever circumstance cannot continue to pay for play, but that still want a MMO game that is spacial and special.
Sometime in 2012 there will be a major update of the game world featuring walkable stations and rent-able clan zones. Although EvE Online has for years (feels like decades) been droning on about ambulation, none of this has become playable and indeed may become old hat in the great race for the ultimate MMO space game.
For Years CCP have rested on the laurels of their player base assuming that there is literally no competition, online anyway. But since it's Beta launch, I've witnessed an exodus of curious cats eager to discover a game world that offers as much depth, but without the compulsorily financial drain. Black Prophecy may therefore become a serious threat to CCP's monopoly in this style of MMO game. In truth, competition of this type can only serve to drive forward ideas and development further and faster than before, which usually means better and more diverse games for us all.
Both games offer differing styles of play but equally rich and beautiful worlds to play out your life among the stars. But It's up to you to decide which to play and, if you can't choose, like me, then play both, at will. There's room, I promise.
Black Prophecy (official site)
The delicate balance we see in nature is not necessarily true here, some resources return to the void as unclaimed wrecks without reformation, but mainly a kill tends to be looted at least, though not always completely.
Due to the linear flow of cause and effect, our prey has become the instrument of it's own demise. Their modules and ships and missiles and guns make them money and grant power for sure, but surely they know these items will be used at some point to take away that advantage, in the right hands of course.
It would be interesting to know that percentage; of encounters of this coincidence. I'm not unfamiliar to selling back to a victim his appropriated property, a very satisfying occurrence.
A universal assumption is that it is quicker to destroy than create. Necessitating the resolve of either party to do what they must to achieve their goals. Pirates live for the glory of the kill, for the hate mail, our flaming and notoriety. These lusts satisfied by a quick fix of explosive ecstasy until the next encounter, just as a predator skulks.
The remaining community of cosmonauts are clearly disposed to being lower in the galactic food chain, but perhaps more valuable than rats; certainly a greater challenge. But with every mass murder a pirate commits, it's done with thanks for the pandemonium, ferocity and the barbaric buzz of seeing the deconstruction of complexity at it's most sadistic. The habitual yang of the aspired ying of life and death in this elegant yet grotesque macrocosm.
Down to the rusty, nitty-gritty - a dusty vision...and free to play.
World of Tanks (official website)
Some planets represent glittering beacons of civilisation amongst the vast void, but they tend to be core systems and usually relate to population density or significance, eg: Amarr home-world.
There’s value to allow colonial pilots to imprint their claim upon a corner of terra firma, a splendid visual recognition of their commitment and accomplishment. This in-turn would produce a visually dynamic landscape with content updated indefinitely, making New Eden more diverse in it's appearance.
With the advancement of space flight and the turnover of resources that brings; there must be a supply chain of industry mining and manufacturing all these elements, much of which must come from the lost minerals of all the settled planets contained within the gargantuan galaxy. High density core systems would naturally have less resources as they have already seen the seeds of industry. Perhaps this effect is-in-fact what's erroneously absent from many planets; the hive of heavy industry plaguing the planet surface. These systems should illuminate; their lights huddled together in vast factories, linked by dusty pockets of faint fluorescence. A distinct difference to the lights visible only from within orbit, identifying the effect as indigenous or colonial.
The idea is subject to perversion; a trait typical of us all. Some may find ways of improper displays of some vile joke, the planet; a giant canvas for insult! One can only hope. There-in lies the problem with pilot created content. But long ago CCP should've realised one critical factor with this type of platform; the greatest asset New Eden possesses is it's community. We enrich the galaxy with our ingenuity and variation and it is this quality that CCP looks to embrace.
Thus the specific use of the ergonomic mouse interface is unwieldy at times. A better preference is the keyboard which is much quicker at translating instructions and negates the need for a high DPI device or a steady flat surface for successful use. One can, for instance, command the vessel no matter the physical position of your avatar – no hard surface required. This method of control then, is purely about tactical decision making and is limited only by the speed of the mind.
The powers that be should look again at the interface and introduce a method of control that does not require the pilot to have precision skills to hit minute buttons within the maelstrom of icons and boxes; the luxury of a large view-screen/high DPI mouse a significant advantage.
There’s already a plethora of programmable shortcuts available to every ship, but they do not include the cycling of targets, approach, orbit, lock, keep at range, warp – mostly navigational commands. I appreciate that many pilots may be content with the scheme as it is, but improvements can always be made. EvE Online must surely be more about decisions based on experience and tactical savvy, rather than the deftness to pilot an icon into a small box to take proper flight.
I currently run my own miniature corporation; a population of half a dozen, but not to a level which would require my constant presence to protect industrial and territorial assets and maintain the obedience and respect of the group. And although I have also commanded my own gangs in battle I cannot confess to being tactically savvy enough to undertake the responsibility of a full fleet.
There are those that own/manage corporations set amidst the darkest voids in null sec and in our Empires. Their commitment to New Eden’s status quo is surpassed only by the powers that be (CCP). I’d assume these individuals to be independently wealthy or may have some other purpose granting the freedom to commit great swathes of lifetime nurturing their respective clans. The attributes of such individuals must converge on similar grounds, many may already be versed in the art of management and motivation to maintain the vast gaggle of egocentric players, all vying for their slice of fame/respect/fear/loathing.
To kill a CEO is one of my personal goals in this life, and would be an honour. Locating a CEO is easy but combat with such not so, I’d assume many don’t have the luxury to spend their time in the void occupying them-selves by whim, instead they are locked in a prison of their own making, micro managing various abstract interfaces. It’s not something I’d aspire to, although I understand the lure as I understand Miners and Makers.
A CEO’s ALT must be their most valuable asset if their identity is withheld. The ability to pass unnoticed through any non-specific space is something we take for granted, but a CEO of a particularly large/famed corporation/alliance cannot guarantee they will remain unmolested for any length of time if travelling alone. I expect many to use ALTs to lead a separate and completely different life to their main, a taste of the virtual freedom commonly enjoyed by the masses.
It is curious that we persistently relish stress, risk and loss for fun, friendship and faction loot! I have great respect to those elite few whom manage to manage on a daily basis much of the structure found within our galaxy. New Eden’s populace in majority needs leaders, pioneers and those with the courage to make the decisive decisions whether right or not. Without them New Eden would surely be a much lonelier and chaotic realm. Now if only I could find one outside.
Happy (CEO) hunting…
Labels: EvE Culture
Although very dated by today's comparison, Star Trek's special effects were cherished by the millions that watched it and thankfully the tales it told were equally fresh, but after a life span of 3 series, Star Trek as we knew it was finally cancelled in 1969 due to poor ratings and writing.
In 1979 and after immense pressure from the sturdy fan-base; Star Trek was resurrected on the silver screen in: Star Trek; the Motion Picture, still one of my favourite films to date. Many years later and the franchise is still going and growing strong on several media fronts, including an MMO; Star Trek Online.
The quality of Star Trek can be debated many times over. It's clear that the pressure to keep the franchise alive led to some poor choices throughout it's long history, but it's depiction of a tolerant and inclusive universe, the curiosity of the human race to expand it's knowledge is well known and respected.
There are many reasons why Star Trek is still with us and it's Trekkie brand of fans penetrate every facet of the society; their passion for the idealised future will always be a part of our culture. Star Trek is here to stay and is welcome on my screen anytime, even when it's simply appalling.
Star Trek (official website)
Star Trek; the Motion Picture (dvd)
Star Trek Online (official website)
Fortunately I am not the only freak passionate about such a sim and therefore a fan-made version is currently in development. I am pleased to link the alpha version which is fully playable, if a little unstable.
A Venusian sunrise - pressure 13.82 bar.
An ancient valley orbiting a gas giant.
Scoping for a landing site.
It's worth noting that Pioneer uses Fractal mathematics to generate its worlds. A great deal of trust has been put into the equations and it's very effective. There have been times I have been utterly astonished at the visuals produced by this homage. Every world is generated procedurally and it's this approach to simulating the cosmoss which is simple yet incredibly powerful.
A word of warning; as this is an alpha - save often and try not to run much else simultaneously for the best performance.
Pioneer Space Sim (alpha download)
Frontier - Elite II
Chaos Pro (fractal generator)
Upon enthusiastically raiding the old storage silos, I intend to build a life size Avatar! Now if only I had enough 2erds in yellow...
Despite technical reasons I'm annoyed that, after replacing my profile image twice and having to pay extra costs for the privilege, this image is now no longer possible using the fiddly inadequate suite. Whomever made this decision not to represent the same choices of clothes, hair and face as previously possible has seriously undermined mine, nay our right to choose how we look in New Eden.
I was perfectly happy with the way I looked but without the ability to recreate any image even remotely similar has forced me to make this choice to remain faceless. And besides, I kinda like being a ghost anyway, it's sort-of unsettling and may serve a greater purpose than my angry brow ever could. So until such time as CCP decides to grant us with the same choices we were blessed with previously, I will remain as a ghost indefinitely.
Petition: Can I have the cash that I paid to change my profile picture back in my pocket? I await a response, but I already know the answer...
But all is not lost as I have a loyal engineer en-route to my vessel, the cloak now severely deteriorating my sense of being, It took my crew 50 hours to fashion a garbled message into the core systems to request assistance from an ally. I have been assured that this engineer will meet me at the predetermined location within the wormhole to repair my vessel; the previous attempt assumed astray.
Once repairs have been completed I will return to the daily grind of grinding grumbling gamers in the virtual void. Did you miss me?
And so it begins...welcome the children of the Sansha Nation, for they can teach us much of pain and death.
Labels: EvE Culture
EvE Online is attractive to me in many ways, but as far as I'm concerned, its glaring flaw is that it doesn't use physical laws to define parameters and create diverse situations or use any part of cosmology to inspire its content. Every single palpable or use-able thing in EvE Online is man-made.
Infinity is as close a successor as I've seen to the most impressive technical game I've ever played: Frontier; Elite II, which simulated the laws of gravity, solar system orbits, it even had stars as big as 100 suns.
CCP could do much worse than take note.
Infinity; The Quest for Earth (official site)