Facing the Future

A recent DevBlog from CCP talked about upcoming changes to the cosmetics of Eve Online. And I mean that in the fullness of the word. I’m talkin’ make-up here. As in eye-shadow and blush. However, there are also cool MANLY things like piercings, and scars, and FACE TATTOOS. Nothing says hard-core like a face tattoo. Not just some namby-pamby tear drop in the corner of your eye. No, what we have here are full-on,  Minmattar, war-paint, scare-the-fuck-out-of-the-other-guy, style of tattoos.

The service will work like any other station service, and will take you to the character creator interface straight away. You can change all sorts of other things beyond tattoos and makeup. Clothes, hair, backgrounds, poses, lighting, and all the other superficial aspects of your appearance. No gender, racial, or physical structure changes though. Only in the universe of EVE you can clone yourself to your heart’s content, but plastic surgery is forbidden! (whether that’s a technical hurdle or a design choice, I don’t know – but I guess the latter).

One of the best parts about all of this is CCP’s usual trend of not doing what other’s in the genre believe to be the “way”. This service will be totally and utterly free. Not one isk will be put towards your new look. In other games, cosmetics will frequently cost you, at-best, in-game currency. At worst, a service like this would require participation in a game-sponsored RMT to get a “token” to change your race or visit a barber – monetizing fluff. CCP seems to have taken a look at that “inevitable future” of MMOs and said, “Fuck that, let’s do it a different way.”.

The more time I spend playing this product, and partaking of this service, the more and more impressed I become by it. I think it was Gordon who once said (paraphrased) that, after having experience their patch cycles, it’s kind of hard not to come back to see what’s new. This based on the sheer simplicity and smoothness of updates (LINK – you can thank my OCD for not wanting to leave that statement unverified).

What do you think of CCP’s choice to offer this stuff, and heck, all their expansions, for free? Are they missing a great opportunity to increase revenue or using the subscription model for what it was meant for?

Incuring a Facelift

The colored dots are where Sansha has invaded.

I’ve been out of EVE the last week as a sick daughter (aka – Baby Vomit Dragon) has required gaming time with, to be blunt, people I don’t care about. It’s far easier to go /afk and disconnect a game of LoL with strangers than it is to suddenly bail on a fleet of corps-mates while doing a lo-sec roam. But, the last two nights, I’ve been able to put my daughter to bed at night at her typical time, and feel comfortable that she’ll stay asleep, and not vomit everywhere. So, when back in the game the VERY first thing I noticed was that the new character creator was implemented, and I had to update my portrait. The very second thing I remembered is that I never put together a video of the footage I took doing this. Self-condemnation set in, I’m a bad blogger. However, I’ll try to make amends for that a bit here, and may actually get around to editing that video in the future. Isn’t it nice how I can lie to myself like that? 

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Art by 2sad-eyes

Art by 2sad-eyes

I finally got the whole Champions Patcher thing working. There were plenty of problems, but Cryptic did a great job of working hard to fixthem. I still contend that it was beyond foolish to provide only one avenue of distribution for a large percentage of your players, particularly since many of these are people that pre-ordered. Options are a good thing, and providing the customer with choices makes the consumer feel empowered and happy.

Of course, there was much screaming and gnashing of teeth on the forums over a horrible launch, and what idiots this company is, /quit, blah blah blah. Which I found humerus since, technically, it IS still a beta. If it was the live game, there would not have been nearly the issue, since the bulk of the info would be on the disk you have in hand. But the industry has evolved, and modern technology has come leaps and bounds from such primitive information delivery systems, and with it, a whole new list of complications. Either way, I don’t hold any frustration with Cryptic in regards to the patcher issue, other than their short-sighted distribution. No, I continue to loathe Fileplanet, and all organizations of a similar nature.

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