Daily Archives: February 8, 2008

Five New EVE Online Wishes

Six months ago I wrote a post titled “Five EVE Online Wishes.”

Since then I have done a lot of flying, a lot of training, and a lot of experimenting.

I have learned a lot.

I have learned enough that my wishes for the game have changed.

While a skill training queue is still something I want badly, I would put this new list ahead of everything else I wrote back then.

So what is it I want?

System Asset Location

Doing a lot of buying and selling in EVE, I end up using the Assets window a lot. It is very useful, but not useful enough.

Specifically, I want an additional option in the search tab that allows me to see all of the assets I have in a given system.

Sometimes I am on the fence about whether it is worth a run out to a given area based on one transaction, so I find myself wondering if the trip would be worth it based on other items in that same system. Unfortunately, the granularity currently allowed by the assets function will show me all of my items, all items in my current region, all items in my current constellation, all items in my current solar system, and all items in my current station.

Of that list, all items in my current solar system is the most useful, and I would like to be able to direct it at a specific solar system on demand.

Agent Locator Interface

I already know how to find an agent in EVE Online, so nobody has to explain that to me.

How to EASILY find an agent of a given faction that is close by, offers the missions you want, and is available to you is another story altogether.

I want an agent search window akin to the assets window I addressed above. This should be easy to do, it is just database queries. Yes, there are web sites with details about agents, but I want something in game. Furthermore, I want something I can use in a station. I have spent hours floating outside a station, looking through the list of agents, setting their systems as my destination, only to say, “Whoa! 28 jumps? Next!”

And I know I am not alone in this desire.

On the all time list of most viewed articles for my blog, “How to Find an Agent in EVE Online” is Number 3, only falling behind “Play On: Guild Name Generator” and “PowerColor Radeon x1950 AGP Review.”

(WordPress.com just put in the feature to let me see that statistic! Such timing!)

Somebody has come to the site every single day in the six months since I put it up to view that post.

With that many people looking for help, I think we can safely say the demand is there.

CCP, make this feature happen!

Email Notification

For me, most of the time, in game mail is not very urgent. The majority tends to be from ISK sellers, though that has tapered off dramatically of late, or from people who read the blog and just want to drop me a note to say I should:

  1. join a corp
  2. get to 0.0 space
  3. all of the above

But now that I have started doing research with Ishukone Corporation, in game mail has a bit more urgency for me. Every once in a while, an in game mail will show up from the R&D agent telling me that research has stopped and that I have to come by and fix the issue, usually by supplying 900 units of tritanium. Since research points accumulate slowly over time, hours spent stuck waiting for me to cough up the tritanium are hours I am getting no points!

So I would like an email notification feature with a simple set of rules. Something simple would do. I would like to be able to set up a rule so that if I get an in game mail from an NPC Agent and I am not online when it comes in, send an email to my registered account (and I get enough email from CCP to be sure they know my email address) with the content of the message.

The rule set should be able to filter and allow notification based on corp membership, rank within a corp, buddy list, and so on. This isn’t as light or easy as my first two wishes, but it is certainly achievable, though they might have to beef up the CCP mail server. It won’t be much good if there is a 12 hour delay.

Lighten Up Trinity

I do not know what CCP did to the code between Revelations and Trinity, but I want it put back the way it was.

Before Trinity, I could run EVE pretty well on my work-issued ThinkPad with its dinky ATi x300 video card. I wouldn’t have recommended running kill missions with dozens of NPC ships, but for mining or hauling trash, it was the little laptop that could.

Since Trinity though things are just not the same. Obviously I am not running the new “Premium Graphics Content,” the x300 isn’t even close to being capable of that, just the plain old “Classic Graphics Content.”

But even running the lower quality graphic package, EVE now beats the crap out of the poor little machine. I’ve turned down all the settings I can find and things are still bad. I launch EVE and I can tell you right where that 1.86MHz Pentium M CPU is in the case; it is where the plastic feels hot enough to melt… and did I mention I do not need to leave the station for this?

From the downloads page (but not the FAQ!) I found that the current listed system requirements for EVE Online are:

Minimum

OS: Windows System 2000 SP2 /XP/ Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium? III 800 MHz or AMD Athlon 800 MHz
RAM: 512 MB or more
HD space: 6.0 GB
Network: 56k modem or better Internet connection
Video: 32 MB 3D graphics card. GeForce 2 Series or greater, ATi Radeon 7200 or greater and Similar chips from other manufacturers
Drivers: DirectX 9.0c (included) and latest video drivers

Recommended

OS: Windows System XP / Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium? IV 1.5 GHz or AMD XP 1500+ MHz
RAM: 1024 MB
HD space: 6.0 GB
Video: 128 MB GeForce 6200 class card or higher, ATi 9000 series or higher and Similar chips from other manufacturers
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Drivers: DirectX 9.0c (included) and latest video drivers

With the possible exception of the video card, my laptop fits nicely into the “Recommended” category. Even with the weakness of video card, it is still well above the “Minimum,” which makes me think the “Minimum” is no option at all, since the game is pretty much unplayable now on my laptop.

So, CCP, do something about this. Tune the “Classic Graphics” version so it will at least run as well as it used to with Revelations.

A Simulation Mode

I am going to go out on a limb on this one, as this one comes close to a controversial topic. One of the things that annoys me about EVE Online is that, for a lot of things, there is no way to learn how to do it without actually just trying it. I suppose that is fine for production and invention where you can assess up front how much ISK is really on the line. But when it comes to ship operations and combat, “learn by doing” means “learn by dying.” Fighting NPCs, which is a risk to noobs like me in and of itself, does not train you to take on live opponents.

So what I want is a No Risk/No Reward simulator in which you and maybe two or three other people could join together and fly a simulation of your current ships in a mock battle that lets you try out your configuration and feeds out a parse report at the end on the engagement so you can see how effective you were. Simple, instanced, and completely believable within the technological scope of EVE Online. CCP or their NPCs in game would have to charge ISK to use this simulator, available only in special CONCORD stations, probably based on the size of the ship you wish to simulate (frigates fly cheap, battleships cost more dear, and so on). I want No Risk/No Reward, I did not say it had to be free!

This would allow players to get some experience with their ships without having to replace them if they screw up. In the end, I suspect this would increase the number of real in-game battles, as people would have some degree of confidence in their abilities.

Now somebody is going to come along and say that learning the hard way is “real life,” and they are going to be wrong. For anything in life that is risky, there is almost always more training in advance than EVE gives you. When I went parachuting there was a considerable amount of training before I was allowed to jump out of an airplane on my own. Done the way EVE does it, somebody would have flown me up to 2,500 feet, handed me an unpacked parachute, some goggles, an airline safety-card sized guide to parachuting, and pointed me towards to door… but they would have recommended that I buy life insurance before I jumped.

What I do not want, what I am not asking for here, is some version of the World of Warcraft battlegrounds ported into EVE. I agree with the purists in the heated threads about this on the EVE forums: Such a thing has no place in EVE.

But a ship simulator that can be used for training, that has a cost in ISK but is otherwise No Risk and No Reward? In a technological environment where you spend your time in a pod, this seems like a no-brainer. Hook the pod up to the simulator, set it appropriately, turn on the ISK meter, and let me experiment in my own little play instance of virtual space.

Anything Else?

Those are my five current wishes for EVE Online. They are considerably different from the five I put up just six months ago, and I imagine that that six months down the line, if I am still playing EVE, I will have five different wishes again.

What are your current EVE Online wishes?