Monday, February 2, 2015

Blog Banter 62 - The Incarna Hot Potato

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 62nd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Niden (@niden_GMVA) tweeted this: "It's not cool to want walking in stations, right?"
That tweet got a few positive agreements, but on the other side of the coin we have Xander Phoena of Crossing Zebras being mentioned in the current minutes: "Xander said that he would officially like to be documented as protesting any art time going to avatars instead of spaceships."

What is and/or should be the future for walking in stations?


I did a blog post following the Tweet here last month. I make no secret I want WiS. Now before you all undock with your pitchforks and burning torches, please hear me out.

As I said before, most people wanted WiS before CCP flamingo'd up. Yes, one of the suspected main reasons was WiS was a testbed for World of Darkness. Now that has been stopped there is only Eve. No "18 months". No development with one eye on another game. Just Eve. Some limited WiS has the potential to bring more players into the game, get CCP more money which is also good for the game and help move us forward to the future vision of Eve. More on that leather-clad arse in a moment.

Here is why some limited WiS would be good for Eve:-

1. More Players
There are people out there who want an avatar in their games and the possibility to interact with others. It doesn't have to be meaningful gameplay. Remember the cantinas in Star Wars: Galaxies. Just a place to chill with your friends during lulls in gameplay? Lets face it, for many players thats something Eve has in abundance. CCP did do some consumer research way back and found out there was a portion of gamers out there who were put off Eve by the lack of an avatar. More players would be good for CCP. Basically ship spinning is so last season. Incarna bars could be the new hanger!

2. More Money
How much have you spent in the NeX store? Not a lot I bet. There is no point. I have used the NeX store a lot... on the test server. When doing questionable artwork for my fiction I use SiSi to get the shot.

If we had the ability to meet other players I think people would spend more on vanity items. Whats the point now? When was the last time you clicked on a person and brought up their full body portrait. More money for CCP will be good for the game.

3. More Retention
Customisable housing apparently aids in player retention. Skyrim, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: Galaxies.... (OK bad example) and I hear even WoW is getting in on it? Something about barracks or something? More retention is good for the game.

4. More Immersion
Remember the Eve Future Vision by CCP. Remember that arse in tight leather trousers? Who doesn't want to be able to follow THAT down the corridor.

Now I fully expect that many players couldn't give two hoots about immersion. Many of us do. Its amazing that so many people think they are all that matters in this game whether they are high-sec carebears or null-sec overlords. There are a huge number of player styles in the sandbox and people need to remember that. CCP need to cater for as many as possible.

Here is how CCP should do it:-

1. Small team with a simple vision.
We don't want to take resources away from FiS, remember what happened last time. However I am pretty sure there are a ton of Incarna resources already finished. I think it was September before the plug was pulled was there are probably assets ready to be finished off. We don't want much - bar, corp offices and customisable CQ's. I think a lot of the work has already been done on these. Hell, bars were supposed to be coming only three months from when WiS was pulled. They probably have most the work done.

2. It doesn't need to be complex.
If there are issues with too many people in one place at one then turn the bars into instances. Once there becomes too many, open another. Make it possible to choose a bar and name it so you can meet your friends. Celtic Cross at Fanfest anyone?

3. Sit back and see what happens.
There is a lot more that can be done with WiS than the above but we don't want to go balls-deep. Get the bars and the corp offices up and give it a year. How many people use them? How does it effect NeX sales? Do people make use of their avatars or just continue to spin ships?

So lets have a little bit of WiS on the side of the rest of the FiS goodness we've got over the last few years. Who knows, it might be very good for the game.


  1. Your welcome to WiS as long as it has absolutely no effect on FiS development or those that aren't interested in space Barbies as far as I'm concerned.

    1. Ahhhh.... the Space Barbies Fistards speak... EVE is a Sandbox... even Drack knows that and it is not just YOUR game or game play that matters.

  2. Your suggestions sound reasonable. There are a lot of characters (traders and industrialists come to mind) who never (or almost never) FiS. Walking down the hallway to hang out in a station bar doesn't seem like it would be game-breaking.

    1. I had not even thought of that aspect... but yes, one more good reason for Human Avatar based gameplay in EVE...

  3. I want my space barbies. Want 'em bad. However, I'm not kidding myself into thinking that today's smaller CCP, who barely seem to be building out EVE anymore, has any spare devs to work on avatar play.

    Personally, I would gladly forgo quite a few more half-assed enhancements for the chance to walk around in the game.

    1. This... but not "Space Barbies"... that is not what it is about... What it it about however is this...

      the What…
      Exploring Sleeper Stations…

      the Why…
      On The EvE of Contention…
      On The Bone of Contention…
      On Getting Back in Contention…

      the Dream…
      Worlds and Stations...

      It aint 'Space Barbies' if they are shooting you in the face... unless calling them that is WHY they are shooting you, which still works for me.