Picture Time!

Inferno Hit today! Here’s pretty pictures!

Others have said, I have said, but EVE still impresses me as the best looking game in the MMO market. Maybe I’m just a sci-fi nerd (I am), maybe I just have a hard-on for the beautiful vastness of space (I do), but years of continual graphical updates and continual content to this game has won me over too.

I didn’t think I liked the Manticore from the previews I saw of it, but I was wrong. Very wrong.

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Derrr… What?

Ever read something that just leaves you with a giant question mark? Something, that you kinda-sorta expected, but you still think the writer should have known better. So you get double hit with a confusing sense of self-confusion mixed with a boat-load of surprise at someone’s complete opposite take on a situation. Made worse when you thought the outcome was self-evident.

Well, I just did.

The thing that really surprised me was the off-hand, casual comment at the end in regards to the (lack-of) UI in Skyrim.

Read for yourself:

Now to see if there’s a HUD for Skyrim to render that game playable for PC users, so I can pick up where I left off there.

I love me some hyperbole, so calling it unplayable is just artistic license to make a point. I think the point is wrong, the game was more than just playable on PC, it was enhanced by the invisible UI. A small mutable cross-hair in the center, and fading status bars are all I wanted. The very absence of some cluttered, over-saturated, information-laden UI would be on my list of top 5 things I loved about the game.

The dearth of concrete stimulus lead to a far more visceral game-experience. Lacking the details of traditional RPGs like numbered hit points, or status icons, I was drawn into the gameplay and exploration of the world. I was learning behavior by feel and (player) experience rather than by regimented timers and notifications. Combat in Skyrim was enjoyable largely in part because you didn’t have exacts.

I have (had) a lot of wishes for the Elder Scrolls Online. Large sandbox world, full of exploration in the established world. An action-based combat system that eschews the trite and terrible stigma of tab-targeting hotkeys. Player creation of homes, buildings and communities in-game. A clear, beautiful view of the game with minimal interference from the clutter of a traditional MMO-HUD. No quest hubs (have I talked about that? oh, wait, yes, I did).

Anyway, I’m baffled, and to use a device suggested by Wilhelm:

It’s not me, it’s you

Massively, this is, well, just abysmal. I thought Syncaine was just being his typical pot-stirring, self.

I was wrong.

It became clear to me that the author has fuck-all of a clue about the full breadth of the Burn Jita event when I read this reply of his too a commenter:

The thing that gets lost whenever people talk about the goons is that they’re a drop in the bucket. They may be the biggest alliance in EVE, but they’re largely insignificant in terms of individual gameplay.

I played EVE heavily all weekend and much of last week, both with my corp (which was missioning and mining one jump away from Jita) and solo, and never once did I catch even the faintest whiff of those guys.

CCP likes to highlight their larger fleet activities because it shows how impressive the game’s tech and hardware is. And some of the more clueless gaming websites that don’t actually play EVE go “oooh wow, Burn Jita, let’s write that up because it sounds cool and we’ll get page hits,” but the net effect on EVE’s gameplay is minimal. I’m not really trying to convince anyone to play, you either like it enough or you don’t, but not playing because of goons or players like them is making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

I emphasized the portion I found particularly humorous. His reply was about equal in length to the actual article he wrote. An article on what is arguably the biggest event in MMOs that will happen all year, and he dismisses it because he’s either unwilling to go into the reality of the long-term repercussions of this event, or too short-sighted to see it. I like to believe it’s the former, because the myopia would have to be enormous for the later to be true considering the plan has been plastered openly in multiple places, and a reporter for the site should not have any excuse to miss the information.

The bigness of this event is more than just the awesome, and I use that word in the traditional sense, implication of a game studio giving freedom to players and letting us do our own thing within the rules of the world they created. It’s even more than just the ideological impressiveness of a fully realized sandbox game. At the bare-bones, base, individualy-impacting reality of it, it’s part of a large devious plan to make tons of money by driving up prices of highly-sought goods (that means you pay more). I’ve read before that if you dig deep enough, all motives for war are economically driven. In EVE, you just don’t have to dig very far, or even at all. *cough* OTEC *cough*

A devious, multi-headed plot that includes massive warfare in outer-regions, sneaky back-room deals with dubious partners to corner a market, mixed with a declared bounty on all people outside of your group to create a high-demand for your soon to be sole-supply of necessary production goods.

But hey, people are making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

Edit: Here’s a link to give you an idea of the worth of the tech-moon war to the victor, and what a sudden high demand for it’s goods will do. (also fixed a major DERP)

Important Lessons

Last night, I went out to scout some systems in my Buzzard for a corp-mate going to hi-sec with shopping list. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Beach, this is an event similar to when Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton go out to pick up the necessities for the inhabitants of their jungle paradise home. Well, in one system I was going ahead to scout, I came out of the gate, in my default cloak.

Some things I was not aware of:

  1. Gate cloaks only last 30 seconds.
  2. You cannot use a cloaking device once you are targeted.
  3. You cannot use a cloaking device to override the gate cloak with your own.

Oh, how three small pieces of information could have made a world of difference for my poor carion-eater-inspired ship. You see, as I was relaying the information to the corp mate who was waiting to see what the status was, my gate cloak dropped, and the enemy sitting on the gate had a sensor booster to insta-lock me and then take me out in just a few short volleys. By the time I realized what was going on, I was into structure, and then quickly saying good-night to my pretty, pretty ship.

After a few moments of cursing and vitriol, I asked in vent what went wrong, and the three listed information points were made clear to me. As well as a good method of (more) safely traveling in a cloaked ship.

Eve is a harsh teacher, and as frustrating as it can be at times, you can usually learn something from every encounter.

 

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Light-bulb

Guild Wars 2 = WAR (with three sides and perfect realm balance)