And To Cap It Off, My Sentry Drones Barely Go *PEW* *PEW* At All

To quote Wizardling, quoting EVE Radio, Incarna has something for everyone to get mad about.

Seriously, I am dismayed about Incarna.

First, the great big advance, full size avatars given a space of their own in which to play, turns out to be a few steps below Barbie’s Dream Quarters and suitable only for showing off crap from the much maligned Noble Store… and only to yourself, because nobody else can see your $68 monocle or $25 high heeled boots.

And you cannot go back to the old station view… it is gone for good.  So you are left staring at a generic station door graphic.  Only when you’re used to having a great big 3D rendered visual cue as to what ship you are currently jacked into, this seems a thin substitute.

No Jim Morrison, this door

Sure, the new agent finder is good.  But they went and simplified the agent classifications.  So, on the last day of Incursions I was parked in the center of a cluster of level IV agents who mostly gave me combat assignments, but would sometimes hand out a delivery mission.  Then Incarna came along and I find myself in the midst of a pack of level IV distribution agents who appear to give nothing but delivery missions.

Local Losers

Not cool guys.  Not cool at all.

And all my stuff is in the middle of this cluster and moving all of it to some place else will be a pain.

Fine… but at least I had the security blanket of sentry drones blazing away to cling to.  CCP said as much in the Incarna 1.0 patch notes.

Sentry drones such as Garde, Curator and Warden were missing their firing animations. Thanks to the new turret system we can now witness their destructive power.

Witness their destructive power!  Now that was something I wanted!

I did not even have the Sentry Drone skill on my main character.  I had trained that up with my alt.  So I bought the skill, trained it up, flew half a dozen jumps to get a mission from a level IV security agent, and then  flew off to see my sentry drones shine.

Only shine turned out to be operative word.  Destructive power my ass.

PEW... or spew?

If you look at the picture above you will see a green glow in the middle of the drone.  That is the firing animation.  All of it.  That is all the destructive power there was to witness.  Not a big change from a non-firing drone, really.

Stock sentry drone picture

Really CCP?  Was that worth the effort?  My wife has a solar powered butterfly light in the back yard which glows more fiercely  than that.  Other drones are probably laughing at these guys even now.  They were better off with no animation.  They could at least pretend they were just chillin’ in the back of the class.  But now… now they have to explain that no, they did not just ooze glowing green slime all over themselves, thank you very much.

Oh the shame of it all!  It was better to be boring!

Ah well.  I guess the beam weapons were fun to watch.  We still have that.

Kitchen sink inbound!

I have it all going on in the shot above.  Inbound beams.  Outbound shots.  A tractor beam.  A salvager beam.  There is even a missile headed in on the my Domi.

But I have yet to see anything that looked as cool or as detailed as the turret animations shown on the Incarna client launch screens.

Bait, meet switch.  Switch, this is bait.

Oh CCP, look at what you have wrought!

14 thoughts on “And To Cap It Off, My Sentry Drones Barely Go *PEW* *PEW* At All

  1. wizardling

    LOL. That’s pathetic. I didn’t even notice as all I’ve been doing while my sub runs down is protest in Jita. But as a heavy drone user (I primarily fly a Typhoon Fleet Issue which has a massive drone bay) I’m once more disappointed by CCP. If I am ever to return to Eve after my upcoming ‘holiday’, CCP has an awful lot of work to do to restore player’s faith in them and fix broken features.

    I have some sliver of hope in the upcoming CSM emergency summit, but more than words are needed now. To borrow Hilmar’s words from his leaked email – this is one of the moments where we look at what CCP does and less of what they say.


  2. Soliloquy

    You’ll agree that this last couple of weeks have not been the best for Crowd Control Publications.

    However, they have arranged an extraordinary meeting with the CSM to debate the issues.

    Possible points to be discussed in this meeting:

    a) Golden scorpion
    b) Token $99 fee
    c) CQ damaging hardware
    d) The monocle
    e) “Greed is Good” attitude
    f) Enhancing player attributes with cash…

    a) and b) are shelved for now
    c) is being looked into
    d) …
    e) will be played down as an internal matter that has been misinterpreted

    that leaves the possibility of players advancing through cash. Who do you think will win that?


  3. Stabs

    “that leaves the possibility of players advancing through cash. Who do you think will win that?”

    Ultimately CCP. All the player protest will do is slow down the rate at which substantive items and unlocks get added to the cash shop.

    CCP have to win this because if they don’t it not only affects Eve it affects their other products too. And those are likely to have been designed with the triple-dipping box/digital download + sub + cash shop that is rapidly becoming normal for MMOs.


  4. Old Tom

    Great post, it reveals vanilla CCP quality when they’re not shooting themselves in the foot while it is planted firmly in their own mouth.

    I think one large contributing cause to the explosion of player-rage is that CCP’s work is very very sloppy. All their expansions introduce half-working features while breaking that which worked perfectly well. They usually get most things buttoned up after 7 or 8 optional patches. But its a pain and it belies CCP’s claims of excellence and makes their hype all the more hollow.

    It was forgivable for a long time while CCP was still thought to be giving the players what they want. But the past 18 months of ignoring the vast majority of spaceship gameplay has thinned patience to the breaking point.


  5. NBarnes

    It was already trivial to buy plexes for cash, sell plexes for ISK, and spend the ISK on ships and +5 implants. I don’t entirely understand the furor over EVE’s newer macrotransactions. Sure, they’re overpriced for cosmetics, but other than that, we pretty much already live in that world. Anybody that really truly can’t stand it already quit when CCP implemented secure plex sales.


  6. Old Tom


    The issue is the legitimacy of the player-driven economy.

    Every item in the Eve universe that is sold on the market is acquired/manufactured by players and sold by players. This is the core of Eve game play. Miners mine roids, plantary interaction, PVE’ers run complexes for officer items, Industry types build modules, ships, etc.

    PLEX sales do not violate the market. Player A buys a game time code, converts it to 2xPLEX and sells it to Player B for Isk. Player B gets game time and CCP gets sub money. Player A now has lots of ISK to buy ships, etc with *from other players. Further, the items are sold at specific stations, requiring that someone haul them to market (risking ganking). All ISK stays within the market and further supports player-driven game play.

    MT sales are entirely different and violate the fundamental workings of the game-economy. Player A buys Game Time Code, converts to PLEX and buys MT items. Vanity MT items are not so much the issue (aside from their idiotic pricing). But NON-MT items for sale for Aurum would be created out of thin air by CCP. This circumvents the miners, manufacturers, haulers, etc. CCP is competing with their own player base. Also, if said items are Better than what’s available on the market, the damage is even worse.

    And there is another issue. The NeX store is available via any station in Eve. If I can buy ships for AUR/$, then no one has to haul em out to 0.0 or other dangerous areas. I could buy ships and melt em down into minerals .. instant minerals at any station anywhere with no mining needed, just cash.

    THAT is very different from PLEX for ISK. If you don’t get that, you don’t get EVE.


  7. Aufero

    I don’t understand why they did away with the old station view (with its obvious hint as to which ship you were flying) as an alternative to the new captain’s quarters. I mean, the code was already there. Surely it was more work to put in a picture of a door that gave you less information?


  8. wizardling

    @Aufero – Because in a less than subtle move CCP is trying to shove players into the captain’s quarters. Without CQ you don’t see your full avatar, so there’s no reason to care about most of the overpriced MT clothing introduced with Incarna (and later on items to be placed inside your quarters). Only the ridiculous monocle and the top of some shirts and jackets are visible in player portraits, and that wasn’t enough for CCP to base a MT clothing store on.

    In other words – CCP’s crass push to sell vanity items in Eve is why walking in stations and it’s first step – CQ – is being implemented over fixes and improvements to current content. The majority of current Eve players could care less about getting out of their ship to do things they already do more efficiently via current UI. But the way space operations work now, you rarely see anyone else’s ship close enough to make things like MT custom paint jobs and vanity engine trails worthwhile.

    However non-vanity MT ammo, ships and modules open a whole new door for spaceship related sales, which is why CCP would love to sell that as well, apparently not caring how detrimental items out of thin air would be to the player economy and achievements.

    Now – why is CCP so into selling MT items in Eve? Why are they showing players who turn off CQ the door ? To answer that you have to look at their financial situation. CCP have overextended themselves using Eve’s profits, some very large loans (one of which has to be repaid before the end of the year) and grandiose promises to investors in order to continue work on their two other projects – World of Darkness and DUST – neither of which are near completion or generating a single cent.

    CCP wasn’t happy with one profitable space sandbox MMO that has had consistent slow but steady growth over the years. Instead they fancy themselves another SOE, only they don’t have the wealthy giant Sony behind them nor the multiple already profitable properties. So CCP looks to Eve players to fund WoD and DUST, despite Eve players being largely indifferent to a non-sandbox fantasy MMO and console FPS. We get milked dry while 18 month freezes are placed on spaceship related improvements to Eve so CCP can focus on CQ and WIS, break promises never to introduce MT, and formulate secret plans (now leaked to the public) to introduce MT non-vanity items.

    Thus the recent player rage and massive protests.


  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Aufero – In addition to the above, following the dev blogs, it seemed to me that even the option to turn off the captain’s quarters was something of a last minute item based on concern raise by people who multi-box and do not have top end systems.

    The CQ is a bit of a resource hog which brings into question how CCP is going to get many avatars walking around in a station when they aren’t very efficient just drawing your own little room.

    @Wiz – CCP has painted itself into a corner. They integrated PLEX into the economy so they cannot juice the revenues a bit by making PLEX more attractive because it impacts the whole economy. So they are looking for a new revenue source and boy those guys at World of Tanks seem to be doing well selling special vehicles and ammo for their MT currency….


  10. wizardling

    @Wilhelm – Yeah the player driven economy is both one of Eve’s greatest assets and a defining feature. You can’t seriously impact it at this late stage in the game without causing massive disruption, radical changes to gameplay and changing the type of player Eve is attractive too.

    PLEX worked because it translates into ISK and items in-game that still require player effort to accumulate, and ultimately someone paid real money for the GTC that became PLEX, so no one plays without CCP getting paid real money.

    But making PLEX transferable into AUR which is used to buy items that CCP creates out of thin air alters the value of PLEX. On the markets we already saw PLEX increase in price after Incarna launched, thus making it harder for players who fund their play in-game. Things will get even worse if PLEX can be translated into non-vanity MT items – then the player economy takes a real hit.

    It all makes me wonder what CCP is thinking. Are they that desperate for funds that they’re willing to sacrifice what makes Eve special? Or is it greed as they watch properties like the SOE Station store and World of Tanks?

    Either way it’s discomforting… :-(


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