Daily Archives: July 15, 2015

Quote of the Day – The Dreaded Rear Admiral

Most who don’t understand how the industry works, the technical challenges etc, were quick to discount this as just another Derek Smart rant, or hyperbole. Regardless, even those who doubted the statements, were forced to stop and think. According to online metrics, this single article, has set practically every gaming forum talking about this game, and the impact it will have when (not if) it fails.

-Derek Smart, Interstellar Discourse

It would be hard to argue against the fact that, in his attempt to shine a bright light on the on things, Derek Smart did indeed get people talking about Star Citizen, the promises, made, and what crowd funding is, where it may head, and what those who fund projects in this way really owe people.

As I noted in the comments of my previous post, even the team at Cloud Imperium felt the need to respond in the forums to the issues  he brought up.  They did not address him directly, but it was clear that Derek Smart’s post set the ball rolling and put them on notice.

At which point a mere mortal might think the job was done.  Pot successfully stirred, people talking, issues being discussed, recognition of some sort from the developers in question, and some “yeah, what he said!” sentiments still ringing in the Star Citizen forums, meaning the question wasn’t just going to die off with a simple “Everything is fine” response.

But this is Derek Smart, and the quote at the top is from his second post on the topic, another epic collection of words under the title Interstellar Discourse, from which Massively OP distilled a central theme and a list of seven demands.  (The full, yet to be shared list is reported to be a beyond-Wilsonian 33 points to date.)  And then the comments section for the post at Massively OP went through the roof, drawing in Derek Smart himself.  It is past the one thousand mark with no end in sight.  I hope Syp gets paid by the click.

In an addendum to the post, it was announced that Cloud Imperium had disabled Derek Smart’s account and refunded his money allegedly because he was using his posts… on his own blog… to draw attention to Star Citizen simply to promote his own game.  Kickstarter’s terms of service allow companies to refund money and lock those deemed “trouble makers” out of their campaigns.  And so Derek Smart’s rank as a Rear Admiral was revoked.

Your credentials are now invalid

Your credentials are now invalid

(Image from Derek Smart’s blog, for which he no doubt holds any copyright, and which I have used without permission.  But I cannot resist a Simpsons reference.)

And it is certainly true that Derek Smart makes reference to his own games, including his upcoming title Line of Defense often and at great length, arguably beyond the point needed to establish his credentials or support his points.  But that is a pretty subjective line.  I could personally take 90% of what came under that as read, but I have above average familiarity with the topic of Derek Smart.  Somebody unfamiliar with the him might need all that background and more.

And lest you think that things are over, with RSI having evicted the dreaded Rear Admiral, there is a mention of a third post in progress from Derek Smart and legal issues and even a theory that RSI plans to refund all $2.1 million in Kickstarter pledges to rid themselves of any crowdfunding FTC issues.  The fun never stops.

It is summer.  This is the silly season.  At least we have entertainment.

Addendum: Some are looking at this more abstractly than others.

So Many Wiyrkomi Skins

One of the more natural complaints about the ship SKINS program… and I will capitalize it just this once to acknowledge the force fed lore acronym, Super Kerr-Induced Nanocoatings… was that at its introduction, there were not a lot of skin choices.

Basically, why doesn’t MY favorite ship have a special skin?

There seemed to be a huge gap in the range of skins available.  There were skins for capital ships, no doubt because if you’re going to invest billions into a hull… and live in that hull forever in the case of super caps… you are probably likely to want a new paint job for it.

Then there were skins for a range of tech I ships, so new players could spruce up their look.

And in between, in the land of tech II hulls… there wasn’t much happening.

This pain was made more acute by the temporary bug in the skin system that allowed players to apply any skin to any ship if they knew how.  It was agony seeing every ship done up in the Police Pursuit Comet skin, knowing that it was a fleeting moment of awesome.

Police Pursuit all the things!

Police Pursuit all the things!

Some of the skins looks awful when applied to the wrong ship, but enough looked good enough… or even damn good… that there no doubt lived within many of us a faint hope that CCP would not fix the bug.  You can see some other examples at EN24, from whom I borrowed the above image.

Still, even with the tech II skin gap, I managed to find some skins to spend my ISK on.  And I actually got to use a couple of the skins I picked up in Jita.  We ran Ravens for a bit during the Reaver Querious campaign.

My Raven with the Wiyrkomi skin applied

My Raven with the Wiyrkomi skin applied

And I also got to use the Rokh skin for a one-way suicide venture to Fountain at one point.

Both of those used the Wiyrkomi corporation skin, which is a decent olive drab finish with some white highlights at key points.  It isn’t very showy as far as skins go, but it has a martial air to it.  This is a color you would paint a combat ship.  The Kaalakiota or Nugoeihuvi colors, with their red chevrons or red tiger stripes, may feel more savage, but Wiyrkomi is pretty good.

And CCP had its explanation for why it wasn’t rushing out skins for the tech II ships as part of one of its skins updates.

Another concern of allowing any SKIN on any ship is making Tech 1 ships resemble Tech 2 ships which would have visual gameplay implications. While deciding what SKINs to offer in the release of this feature we carefully selected SKINs for ships by making sure that if we offered a SKIN for that ship the same look was not used by its Tech 2 counterpart. This is the reason why for example there is no Sarum SKIN for the Apocalypse, as it would too closely resemble the Paladin.

Okay, I get that.  If you make a Merlin skin… which the had, including one done up in the flat olive of the Wiyrkomi corporation colors… it wouldn’t be much fun to then to have the very same skin on the Harpy of the Hawk, the tech II variations on the Merlin hull.

And then with the Aegis expansion and the Fozzie Sov patch we got a lot more skins, including a bunch for those neglected tech II ships.  The situation for me literally went from “no skins for any ship I fly regularly” to “skins for damn near every ship I fly regularly.”  And if they had done something for the Tengu… and with the subsystem configurations that change how the hull looks I get that such a skin will be a pain to make for any of the tech III strategic cruisers… I would have been pretty much setup.  Just look at the list for Caldari ships alone in those two drops:

  • Harpy Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Hawk Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Buzzard Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Manticore Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Kitsune Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Crow Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Raptor Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Caldari Navy Hookbill Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Flycatcher Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Cerberus Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Eagle Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Onyx Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Basilisk Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Falcon Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Rook Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Caracal Navy Issue Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Osprey Navy Issue Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Crane Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)
  • Bustard Wiyrkomi SKIN (Permanent)

That is 19 new skins, and I know just off hand that I have eight of those ships sitting in a hangar in either YA0-XJ or UMI-KK, which means I might even fly them once in a while.

You can open up that New Eden store and be treated to a veritable sea of olive drab ship skins.

My olive drab cup runneth over...

My olive drab cup runneth over…

The thing is, CCP seems to have changed its mind on the whole “making sure that if we offered a SKIN for that ship the same look was not used by its Tech 2 counterpart” aspect of their skin program.  While I haven’t bought the skins and compared them side by side, the Wiyrkomi skin for the tech I Merlin looks exactly the same as the Wiyrkomi skins for the tech II Harpy and Hawk.  Likewise you can compare the Osprey, Osprey Navy Issue, and the tech II Basilisk in the store and not see an iota of difference.  (If you can see such a difference, your eyes are better than mine!)

And there are similar skin matches between tech I and tech II in the Gallente, Amarr, and Minmatar line ups.  That Ishtar Intaki Syndicate skin looks a lot like the Vexor Intaki Syndicate skin and so on.

Which leaves me with a somewhat split opinion.

On the one hand, I appreciate CCP getting some new skins out there for all of these ships, and I know that cranking out this many skins… and they have promised us new skins every Tuesday this month… means that they cannot all be special snowflakes of uniqueness.

On the other hand, that is a lot of olive drab paint splashed over those Caldari hulls.  In that dev blog about skins coming this summer, the whole custom mask issue was explained, but there were also a lot of color options shown.  I feel like the tech II ships might have been treated to at least something a little different.

But with two more Tuesdays left in July, maybe CCP will show us something different.

Strategic cruiser skins maybe?

Well, once they get the game running again.  Fozzie Sov post-patch issues.