Daily Archives: March 7, 2017

Nostalgia for a Virtual Spaceship

lt is interesting how certain images from old video games can cause a swell of emotion.  Just the other day Bhagpuss opened a post with a screen shot from EverQuest showing the bridge in North Karana that connets the zone to South Karana that launched within me a nostalgic reverie.

I spent a lot of time back in the day… and more recently during the early Fippy Darkpaw progression server era… in and around that bridge and its big block building.

There is, no doubt, some imagery from any game that I spent a lot of time playing that would bring on a nostalgic reaction.  When it comes to EVE Online, there is a ship… and some images… which do that for me.  The ship in question is the Caldari Cormorant.

Cormorant Classic

I even wrote a post… more than five years back now… about how I think of my early days in New Eden, when everything was fresh and new and I was figuring out the basics… at least things more basic than the basic things I am still trying to figure out now… and just undocking and flying about in space was a marvel, as the Age of the Cormorant.  It was my first real successful mission running ship.

Guns Blazing! Missile on the way!

One of the benefits of it were that destroyers were a later addition to the game, so their models looked pretty good.  At the time there were some original ships that looked awkward and shiny and positively low resolution.

What the Megathron looked like back then

And since it was one of the newer models at the time, it has soldiered on as is for years without update.  Its look has changed a bit with various graphic engine updates, the textures on it have changed a bit, and you can apply SKINs to it now, but for the most part the Cormorant I flew back in 2006 looks pretty much like the Cormorant I was still flying now and again up into last year.

Guristas Cormorant Skin

Meanwhile, the graphics of the game around the Cormorant have changed drastically.  Space has been transformed, nebulae are bright and colorful, stations have been updated, and asteroids no longer look like space potatoes.  You can run through screen shots in the Classic Graphics category on my other blog for a taste of what space was like way back when I started playing.

Over the years a lot of ships have been updated.  Some of them for the better.  I think the Caldari Scorpion and Moa, both victims of the asymmetry gone wild school of ship design ended up much better for the effort.  (Yes, the Cormorant is asymmetrical too, that was ever the theme of the Caldari school of design until the Drake showed up, but it a somewhat understated way.)

Others I am not sure were worth the effort.  I like the new Slasher/Claw models, but the old ones were still good, while the Dominix went from being a space potato to being a slightly squared off space potato.

And some of the changes were not improvements at all to my eye.  The Oneiros went from a light, asymmetrical feel to a ponderous bulk while the Griffon, once such a slender, graceful design, was turned into a flying space pig.

The old Griffin, as I will always remember it

I know it is all a matter of taste and perspective, but I have to call them how I see them.

So it is with some trepidation that I see the Cormorant is up for a revision.  CCP has a video out about the upcoming change to the model.

It isn’t awful update like the Griffon change, but it is a departure from the essence of the old design, something that hits at a long held memory of the game.  You can’t stop progress, and every ship ugly or not has its fans and they are all going to get a face list some day, so I have to take it in stride. (Except the Drake. Never the Drake, which ranks right after the Cormorant with me for nostalgia.  Change that and I am shooting the monument!)

There is also a video about the redesign process and considerations as well.  Antennas and fins and a wing-like nature are apparently the Caldari motif.

There is something comforting about something remaining unchanged, like that bridge in North Karana.  I haven’t flown a Cormorant on a fleet in nearly a year, but I still have one in my hangar, so I could fly it if I wanted to.  I suspect that I will undock now and fly around a bit to get a few final screen shots before the big change.