Monday, 12 December 2011

Crucible: First Impressions

I know I'm probably a little late to the topic, but I'm just so blown away by Crucible that I'm determined to spend a little time on the good (and less good) in the patch.

Engine Trails

This is probably my favourite change among many good changes. Not only does it look awesome, but it adds a sense of depth and motion to New Eden that is often lacking from sci-fi games (it's the nature of space, to be fair).

Ever since playing Privateer way back when, I found that I often felt more like I was sitting in a turret than a space ship, as there is little in the way of natural speed indicators (which is very realistic, just not all that fun). Eve has done a better job than most, but the engine trails take it to the next level. Bravo.

However, the real reason that this makes it to the top of my list is the added tactical depth it adds to the game. Until now, enemy ships have simply been points in space; I can get a rough sense of their relative vector through my overview and the "look at" command, but this was a distraction from flying my own ship.

Now, though, I can quickly get an idea of each ships vector (meaning speed and direction) just by looking at the engine trails. Changes to that vector are immediately apparent, and I can react accordingly. I've yet to really put this to good use, but the potential astounds me.

I imagine that FCs are going to be even more ecstatic. You should now be able to tell at a glance whether your fleet manoeuvres are working as planned; that guy who aligned to the wrong planet or who is falling behind because he forgot to overheat his mwd will be immediately obvious.

Of course, it will be obvious to the enemy as well, so a devious FC will probably be thinking of all sorts of ways to feed bad intel to his opponent. I am reminded of Master and Commander, where Captain Aubrey tells his men (who are pretending to be civilians in order to lure a French vessel into combat) to be "lubberly and un-navy like".


I did a fair amount of roaming yesterday, and I have to say that so far Hevrice is the most beautiful system I've encountered. Someone in the CCP art department must love us, because I can't think of any reason why they would have picked Hevrice, an unimportant nothing of a system, for such a breathtaking piece of scenery.

It's not just beautiful, though. It's right. One of the finest pirate corps in New Eden now lives at the heart of a nebula, a symbolic detachment from empire space and all that it represents. A hidden system for an outlaw corporation. A place of shadows for dark deeds.

Okay, I'll stop now. But it seriously is beautiful.

CCP wanted to create a sense of location and belonging in New Eden. They succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.

T2 Ammunition

I wouldn't be a real Eve player if I did not include a few complaints in a post about Eve, so here's one. The penalties were removed from T2 turret ammo, but not T2 missile ammo, despite the fact that this penalty was (according to the dev blogs) supposed to be removed also.

Perhaps it was an oversight, or perhaps it is coming in a supplementary patch. Regardless, this needs to be fixed. I have a kiting Malediction I want to fly. With engine trails.

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