Tag Archives: Crucible

The era of the Jesus feature is over

A Jesus feature, it emerged, is something that turns “4 loaves of bread into 50,000 new subscribers“. It’s the home run, the called shot into deep left field, the awesome idea that will solve all of CCP’s problems, carved in a stone tablet made of virgin Eyjafjallajökull lava and delivered from on high down to the adoring fish-factory devs.

Supertitans! Tech-IV! Jovians! Jovians in Tech-IV Supertitans! And they’re naked, and want your precious NEX store clothes and monocles!

You get the idea.

Trebor Daehdoow, Member of the Council of Stellar Management

The quote in the title was attributed to Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, as part of his address to the latest session of the CSM.

According to the full post, the next couple of expansions will be more like Crucible, fixing and refining.  It will be likely be 18 months before the next big “new feature” based expansion.  While the minutes of the session are not out, that seemed to be the general gist of things.  The Mittani seemed to only be tweeting about alcohol at the CSM, which I take as a sign that there was little drama.

Now, in the case of CCP and EVE Online, they kind of backed themselves into a corner.  Their last set of “big” features, which came as part of Incarna, and they failed to draw many new people while alienating a lot of veterans.

But a lot of other companies take their shots at “Jesus features.”  Free to play seems to be the big one these days.  And it seems to work, for the most part, though it isn’t really a feature of the game, just a payment plan change.

But history is also full of big feature plays that failed.  Trammel in Ultima Online and the NGE in Star Wars Galaxies, to name a couple of historical precedents.

Do MMOs just hit a point in time when the best thing to do is incremental changes and improvements?  Where raising the level cap, adding a few more zones and dungeons, tacking on a new features, and maybe tossing in a new race or class is all they can safely do?

When does the era of the “Jesus feature” end for most MMOs?

Three Generations of the Caldari Navy Issue Raven

With the Crucible Expansion, nebulae were not the only things to get graphic updates.  The trusty Raven, and its navy issue counterpart, both got cosmetic makeovers.

EVE Online history goes back to 2003.

This will be the third “look” for the Raven since I started playing the game.

Way back before the Trinity expansion, when premium graphics were introduced, the Caldari Raven Navy Issue looked like this.

Raven Navy Issue - Classic Graphics

Then with the Trinity expansion Premium graphics became an option, with classic graphics going away completely with the Apocrypha expansion.  At that point the Caldari Raven Navy Issue looked like this.

Raven Navy Issue - Premium Graphics

Now with the Crucible expansion, there is again a new look for the Caldari Raven Navy Issue.

Raven Navy Issue - Crucible Graphics

I think all three of those pictures were taken in the same station, though probably on different computers with different graphic settings.  But they are all the same ship, since I have had only one Raven Navy Issue.

Now the question is, which one looks best?

The original looks a bit awkward to me.  But a lot of the classic graphics models… especially the early ones… have that awkward feel to them.

I like the middle version, though I am not sure how practical what looks to be a jungle camo pattern really is in space.

And then there is the new, Crucible version.  The camo pattern is certainly more space themed, but it doesn’t seem to do the ship many favors when it comes to beauty.

Which do you like?

My God, It’s Full of Stars!

Stars and nebulae and trails… all bright and shiny.

I bit the bullet and opted in for a month of EVE just to see the new look of space.  And it is quite vivid.

(As always, you can click on the pictures to see the full size versions.)

My first undock into Crucible space

Of course, one of the things I mentioned already was the return of trails.

Rifter burning trails in space

One of the really nifty things is that jump gates now point to the star to which they jump you.  The star, obviously closer than most, is the direct target of the jump animation.

Shoot me to the star!

The new nebulae change slowly as you move across regions.  I took my Charon out to haul some stuff for Gaff and got to see things change slowly form system to system.  Somebody spent a lot of time getting this right.

Charon closing in on Jita

I spent a chunk of time just zipping around looking for new views.  I should be able to at least collect some more screen shots for my somewhat neglected site, EVE Online Pictures.

Flying around Amarr space

There are still some other graphical changes I want to check out.  But I am impressed with the visual upgrades so far.

Will Crucible Remove That Incarna Stink from EVE Online?

It was an ugly Summer for CCP after the Incarna expansion for EVE Online went live.  There was a lot of anger, conspiracy theories, inaccurate shorthand phrases, “leaked” “secrets,” oblivious corporate responses, and just damned lies about sentry drones.  I will certainly have fodder for my “one year ago” summaries next year!

The whole Incarna debacle is kind of summed up for me in this picture.

The Immobile Hanger Door

That is the hanger door view that you got when you turned off the useless, resource hogging captain’s quarters that was the crown jewel of Incarna.

Gone was the view of my currently equipped ship, a helpful visual indicator when you have more than a dozen different vessels that  you use for various tasks regularly, along with all the functionality that went with it… like being able to right click and open the cargo or drone bays.  Ship spinning, one of the shorthand phrases that people grabbed on to, never had anything to do with it.  It was the loss of functionality that had been there for years that was the pisser.

Anyway, that hanger door never had a chance to hit me on the ass I was out of the game so fast.

And I was far from alone.

But months have now gone by.  The tumult at CCP has subsided.  They have paid a price in people and projects and have promised to get back to the core elements of the game that people have been paying to play for the last 8+ years; flying in space, fighting in space.  That is what people DO in EVE Online, right Hilmar?

And the first big milestone is today’s expansion, the 15th formal expansion for EVE Online, Crucible.

Crucible

It is intended to be EVE Reforged.

The patch notes for Crucible are long and filled to the brim with very tangible changes and updates to the core game.  There seems to be something in there for just about everybody, from null sec warriors to empire care bears to those of us who just think space is pretty.  Even trails are making a comeback  along with a graphic update for my old warhorse, the Caldari Raven.

Crucible Raven – Pre-Release, with trails

CCP seems to be focused again on what matters to the players.

But will all of that remove the stink of Incarna.  Players have long memories and there were a lot of bitter words spoken.

What do you think?

[Poll mysteriously disappeared… no idea why]

And will CCP still be around next year even if they are back on track?

EVE Online – The Return of Trails

As I posted a while back, one of the things that brings me back to my early days in EVE Online, when the game was fresh and new to me, was the trails streaming back from my Cormorant.

Cormorant Docking - Trails On

But trails were part of the classic graphics and did not make the transition to the upgraded graphics.  When the classic graphics went away with Apocrypha more than two and a half years ago, trails went with them.

Well, it looks like one of the things that might be coming back with next week’s Crucible expansion for EVE Online is trails.

The return of trails

CCP has a dev post up about the trails and why the old ones went away, what it took to make new ones, and how they happened to come together in time for the upcoming expansion.

Not sure that is enough to get me to resubscribe.  But trails, the new nebulae, and potentially a new ship to fly has me thinking about it.  One of the things that has always drawn me to the game is the graphics.  Space is beautiful.