Tag Archives: Hats

Changing My Clothes in Space

Way back when, I bought the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition… and then CCP gave me a copy about a month later.  Comedy always finds me.

One of the items that was part of the whole big box of stuff was the Mystery Code, printed on the back of a piece of black plastic.

The Mystery Code Card

The Mystery Code Card

The Mystery Code, when entered, gave you a PLEX, a few special items, and the promise of more special items in the future.  Free stuff… for only $99… or free if they gave you a copy… or if I gave you my extra code as part of a contest.

Just this past week, CCP put up a note saying that there was some new special stuff for Mystery Code holders.  So I immediately went and tried to figure this out.  But since this is CCP, the process was somewhat… Icelandic?

Okay, the first thing you have to do is go to account management and claim your items, which is done by logging in and going to the “Vouchers” option under the “Services” menu, despite the fact that no vouchers of any kind are involved.

There you can pick your items to claim.  As it turned out, I had several items as I had never been to that option in in account management before, nor did I even know that it existed.

The new gifts for Mystery Code holders consisted mostly of clothes, something that disappoints children at Christmas and the perennially grumpy the rest of the year, but which was fine by me.  I am against CCP spending resources on walking in stations, but I still believe that your in-game avatar is important.  And while I would prefer hats, which you could actually SEE on people rather than, say, shoes, where you have to click, and click again, and then click a third time, and then resize a window, and zoom and rotate in order to even recognize that a shoe was even present, much less updated, I refuse to get too bent out of shape at CCP working apparel that is off screen 99.9% of the time.  More pants, more shoes, more whatever.  The people doing that probably are not working on null sec sovereignty fixes in any case.

So, new clothes redeemed at account management.

From there I had to log into EVE Online and, at the character select screen, redeem the items by dragging them from the bottom of the screen onto the character to which I wanted them to go.  After that I logged into the game and saw that I had a bunch of clothing items in my hangar in the station.

And I did not have a clue what to do with them.

Seriously, the EVE Online interface strikes again.  You can see these items of apparel in your hangar, but no amount of clicking on them, dragging them around, or getting info on them will tell you what to do with them.  Seriously, they tell you the amount of physical space they take up, but nobody could take a minute to paste in some text that says “Go to the character editor to use this!”

Where CCP fails, Google provides.  A quick search pointed me at several forum threads where people had asked the same “what do I DO with these clothes” question, which sent me to the character editor.

In the game.

Somewhere along the line I missed when this button showed up amongst the station services.

Of course, all the buttons look different now

Of course, all the buttons look different now

But there it was, and it brought up the full fledged, create your character editor.  That, in turn, allowed me to change all manner of aspects of my avatar, something I thought they were charging for at one time.  The character editor also told me I was owed a “resculpt,” which I am going to guess is the “start from scratch” option when it comes to your avatar.  Maybe that is was CCP was charging for… only they seem to be giving me one… because the first one is always free?  I don’t know.

Anyway, when you are in a station and in the character editor, then clothing items that are in the hangar of that station show up as choices amongst all of the standard selections.  I went through and picked out what looked to be “new” items and selected them to be added to my avatar.

After that I had to go and take a new portrait so that my change of clothes would show up in-game.

Wilhelm, before and after

Wilhelm, before and after

I am not sure that is much of an improvement.  But for most people my avatar will only show up as a tiny little square in a station list or chat channel. (One of the bigger shocks of watching people stream EVE Online is seeing how many people leave avatars on in chat.  The first thing I do when I open a new channel is turn off the avatars and set compact members list.  Maybe it is years of playing MUDs, but I do not need a tiny, indistinguishable picture next to somebody’s name in order to recognize them… I recognize the name.  Also, so many blinking chat tabs… you know you can turn that off, right?)

Of course, it turned out that these were not the new clothes I was looking for.  This was another set we got handed at some point for some reason… I don’t know… they were in my hangar as well.  The new set we had been given were dark, padded psuedo-combat armor style.  Oh well.  I might go back and change all that later.  And now I need a hat for the new avatar if I am going to use it elsewhere.  That requires old school Photoshop capabilities rather than anything in the game.

But having gone through all of that just to put on some new clothes… and you cannot even see my pants… a few thoughts jump out at me that might smooth out the process should CCP be taking this whole dress up thing seriously.

  • In the description on clothing items, tell us how to use them.
  • In the character editor, highlight in some way items of clothing that are not part of the standard load-out.
  • Give items from a matched set the same name please.  The new set had a jacket called “Impact” and pants called “Strider.”
  • Don’t just dump clothing items into the station hangar, to be lost amongst all of the other junk we accumulate.
  • Don’t make me be in the same station as an apparel item in order to use it.

The last two I think are especially key if CCP has some plans to make money selling people clothing so they can dress up their avatar.

I know that the last one breaks the “rules.”  In EVE Online, the fact that things have to be moved around, that there is no magic in-game bank or mailbox to deliver ships or modules or ammo to me no matter where I am is an important part of the game.  If nothing else, anybody who does a region-wide buy order in Domain should be made to feel the same pain I did a few years back.  I still haven’t picked up all those light missiles.

But I don’t think clothes really play into that.  What hat my avatar is wearing on a given day has no impact on the core game play in EVE, be it combat, hauling, mining, production, or playing the market.

So I think CCP ought to round up all that clothing I have left strewn about space and put it together in a nice little wardrobe tab as part of the character editor, so if I feel like wearing my Quafe T-Shirt when I am out in Immensea I don’t have to worry that I might have left it behind in Deklein or Jita or Amarr.

Of course, ideally I should just be able to go to the New Eden Store, buy a new hat, and be able to apply it immediately without having to go through the rigamarole of playing with the full character editor and all the positioning choices and what not.

I see that CCP is giving this some thought on the whole ship skins front, which says to me that the process is more convoluted that people are willing to work with.  We shall see if that gets translated over to the apparel side of things, because I would still like to be able to buy me a decent hat.

People Aren’t Wearing Enough Hats!

Last week Rixx Javix put up a post over at his blog about hats.

Specifically his post was about EVE Online avatars that he has adorned with hats over the years, including his own and others.

A selection of Rixx Javix hats

A selection of Rixx Javix hats

You should go look at that post.  He has done a lot of hats.  EVE Online avatars with hats on them appear to be quite a thing.  Even my own avatar on the blog is my EVE avatar with a horned helm applied to it. (I used that avatar at work as well.)

That lead me to joke that if CCP had given us hats instead of monocles with the Incarna expansion, things might have gone a bit differently.

I was, of course, being silly, and doubly so because monocles were never the main issue with Incarna.

But still, I felt in my gut that there was something to this.  Hats are fun.  Putting on a hat is almost the simplest form of costume.  Hats lend a sense of style, silliness, or personality when put on.  I love hats.

In fact, in-game if I cannot have a good hat I won’t wear any hat at all.  But I will go out of my way for a hat that fits my mood or forms the basis of a look.  One of the things I miss about Rift is that it had both a varied selection of hats available and a cosmetic system that allow players to easily wear what they liked.

Hillmar with his mean face on

I always liked that farmer’s hat on Hillmar

I realize that Blizzard wanted to use transmorg to get gold out of the economy, but the restrictions on what can be transmog’d into something else are too restrictive in my book.  I want to make my plate helm look like Whitemane’s chapeau or the Hydromancer’s Headwrap!  Is that too much to ask? (Also, the stuff you sell in the Blizz Store… the hats… they look awful.)

Fortune Telling Foursome

Fortune Telling Foursome

And in Lord of the Rings Online as well, I always had to find the right hat.

Manteca the Goon

Go ahead, say something about me hat!

Hats may be the only item I have eagerly spent money on in cash shops.

Who you calling, "fuzzy?"

Bunny hat I bought in EverQuest II

And there is Team Fortress 2 which apparently finances itself entirely through the sale of hats.  That seems to indicate that it isn’t just me with the whole hats thing.  Hats make the character.

Hats seem to be a thing worth monetizing.  Here is an opportunity for CCP to add something to their in-game cash shop that people might buy.

I hear somebody from the back of the hall saying, “But you can buy hats in EVE Online.  And they are bringing more in with the Hyperion expansion.”

And I would have to admit that those are true statements.  But the options currently available do not thrill me, and the options they are adding with Hyperion are even less palatable.

Hyperion Apparel Additions

Hyperion Apparel Additions

That was clearly the problem with the NEX Store, or whatever they are calling it these days; not enough color choices in the hosiery section.

Anyway, those headgear options barely qualify as hats and certainly do not represent anything I would want to display on my avatar.

What CCP needs to do here is get off the whole dark brooding dystopian future… after all, this is the future where anything should go, so if you can name yourself DoomBunny or HVAC Repairman (or even Dabigredboat) in-game and be taken seriously… and at least one of those people is… then fix things so you can find a decent hat in New Eden.  Dystopias tend to have pretty decent hat selections.  Look at Blade Runner or that snappy model Alan Arkin wore in Gattaca.  And lets not forget the Mad Max series.  Or the Soviet Union.  Police states and dictatorships practically rise and fall on their haberdashery selections.

So here is what I want.

I want to have a wide selection of hats, from subdued to zany, that I can buy from the in-game cash shop and apply directly to my in-game avatar so when anybody sees it come up in an info screen… or if they are one of those horrible people that leave icons on in chat… there is my damn hat in full view making exactly the statement I want… which is that I think hats are cool.  In a year I want Rixx Javix to look at the store in EVE Online and say something like, “I can’t keep up with that.”

But that is not all I want.

No, I want an entire hat subsystem in the game.  I want to be able to buy a hat from the store and apply it to my avatar right away, easy-peasy, no questions asked.  I want a hat inventory window where I can view and select from my ever growing collection of hats so I am always wearing the hat appropriate to my mood and the occasion.  I want the method by which I acquire in-game currency… Aurum, isn’t it?  I want that simplified.  I don’t want to have to buy a PLEX and then convert it to Aurum.  That commits me to a nearly $20 transaction.  Just sell me a stack of Aurum, small to large, starting at $5.

Which leads me to the last, and most essential bit.  Make the hats cheap.

We have a luxury item with a non-insignificant amount of overhead to create, but which has almost zero incremental cost per unit sold.  You make it once and sell it a zillion times and your costs don’t change all that much.

Because here is something that Jester got totally right on the similar topic of ship skins, which are too expensive (and too inconvenient) for most people to buy for ships they are going to lose.

Price the hats so that you will sell many.  I want them to be cheap enough that an FC can call for a specific hat style and get decent turn out on that front.  I want them to be cheap enough to feel okay calling anybody who refuses to “hat up” a cheap-ass scrub.  I want to see GSOL running around in yellow construction hats and Theta Squad in fezzes and Triumvirate in very serious fedoras and a halo for The Mittani and a selection of pirate hats and horned Viking helms for every low sec pirate corp to feel included.

What hat would you and your corp or alliance want?

I know, I know, technical details, 3D modeling, limited resources, everything is too hard.  Make the hats freakin’ stickies to apply to your avatar ala that horrible system in Google Hangouts.  You can add in fright wigs, red ball noses, and bow ties while you’re at it them.

All I know is that I want some decent, affordable hats dammit.

Which CSM member will take up this cause?  Who will lead the campaign for more hats in New Eden?

I would, but I’m trying to get this Soviet Naval officer’s cap on my avatar.  It just isn’t quite right.

Comrade Wilhelm

Comrade Wilhelm

A work in progress.