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  • Eve Online Incarnated


    The Second definition of Immersion is stated simply as, "Deep mental involvement." But what does this mean to us as gamers? To me it means that developers have to push the envelope in ever increasing ways to "Immerse" us in their games. To bring their worlds to life, make us care about them and make us feel like we are truly involved in something grand. In no other game has this principle been re-defined and shown in spades, then in Eve Online. That's what we're here today to talk about, one of the largest expansions to the world's leading space MMO and largest online universe. Lets get started shall we?

    "The First Step"
    The first step in this process was the addition of a full-body avatar creation system that launched several months ago. With this system players had the ability to still select race, gender, and bloodline as they had done before..but to move forward and create a real avatar was something new, something grand. With a designer the likes of which the industry has never seen, fidelity that was near realism, and the ability to "Morph" any part of the avatar by simply holding your mouse on that area and dragging it around, well suffice to say it was a most welcome addition.

    However with all things new there is resistance, especially when the developer is still iterating and creating content for the new system. Though it's become widely accepted lately and CCP Games has continued to iterate and expand on the "Carbon Creation" system. Still CCP Games has added to, refined and made this new character creation system into something to be proud of and something that is beyond anything on the market currently. With new clothing styles added in each iteration, the ability to add body modifications such as tattoos, piercings and scars the new Incarna character creation system allows players to truly create a personality all their own. Something that others will see, remember and associate with them.

    Below is a short video that attempts to showcase some of the features of the creator, not all just some. I would recommend you watch it in HD if you can. In this video you'll see a glimpse of the Race Selection screen, that shows off a short intro video to each race as you select it. Then the bloodline screen which allows you to choose between the 3 bloodlines of each race and a gender. Then we move into the creator itself and showcase the drag manipulation, clothing, both male and female avatars and body modifications. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it. Now lets move on to the next step in the process of Immersion and what's been brought to us with "Incarna".



    "Captains Quarters"
    Captains Quarters is step two in the Incarna Immersion process, bringing us a full blown avatar environment and experience like nothing we've had before. A brand new UI known as the "Carbon UI" built from CCP's Core technology base has brought 3D UI elements that bring yet again another layer of immersion into the system. With this as one walks around their quarters and other areas when they are released, 3D buttons and UI interfaces will pop up from hologram projectors. This along with a great dynamic lighting and shadowing engine and an animation system that brings life like movement to each character has made this a welcome addition to the Eve Universe. Though as it stands it's a single player environment only. Why is that you ask? Mainly because CCP was rolling out the largest technology upgrade to Eve Online since the Trinity Expansion rebuilt the graphics engine and they wanted to test it step by step. Even though there's only one race's quarters and no multi-player "Yet" there will be. How do I know this? Stay tuned for an interview with CCP Soundwave, Lead Designer for the space section of Eve Online and his partner in crime CCP Flying Scotsman the Lead Designer for Incarna. Below is another video showcasing captains quarters features, I'd also suggest viewing in HD if at all possible. The video is roughly eight minuets long and shows off the basics of what I've written about so far.



    What else has Incarna brought us?

    As this picture shows a complete rebuild of all the turrets in the game, absolutely lovely aren't they? Now they say pictures are worth a thousand words, and this one speaks volumes. As CCP is prone to doing, the art department needed a way to view the turrets animating in a 3D space. As it stands they used this piece of code slash technology to allow us to see the turrets in an in-game preview window. The same as the way we preview ships in the market browser. It's a fantastic little addition that has no real baring on gameplay but serves to continue down the immersion road. The more we can see, the more we can view and understand scale, size and scope of the universe the more it pulls us in. Along with the animations and new models we have new weapons fire animations as well. Below is yet another short video that shows this all off, I think it's fantastic. Enjoy,



    Now you're more then likely wondering "What about Missile launchers?" and I can tell you that you'll have to listen to my interview to get the answer, trust me you wont be disappointed with it. I know I wasn't and there are tons of other additions, upgrades and gameplay feature revisions coming this winter when the second leg of Incarna launches. "What are they?" you ask, and I can tell you plenty of juciy things for those of us that love this game. Some re-balancing to Super Capitals, mainly Supper Carriers. The other 3 racial Captains Quarters and Establishments which will be our full blown multi-player environment. Now incase you're wondering what Establishments are, I can tell you everything we were told we were getting. Bars, Corporation offices, etc. Though there wont be tons of stuff at the start you can rest assured that CCP wont let us down and will bring much more content.

    Before we end I'd like to inform everyone that reads this that TG has an active presence inside Eve Online, not with in a single corporation mind you, but still active. Don't forgot to stop by the Eve Online Forums and introduce yourself! The forums are Moderated by myself, so don't hesitate to ask questions, ask for help, or just PM me with anything Eve Related.

    Below is also the latest trailer for Eve Online entitled "I was There":



    Now for your Listening pleasure the interview I promised you with CCP Soundwave and CCP Flying Scotsman, enjoy!


    Feeling Immersed yet? I know I am.
    TG-18th Damion Rayne
     

     
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      BTW can someone tell me why tactical gamer deleted every single line break in my post?

      I'd make a joke about suspecting them of making unfavourable posts hard to read, but sadly I suspect I'd be taken seriously and branded a nutter if I did (if the attack post calling everything I said untrue when... oddly enough it's all completely true and right there in Incarna, is anything to go by).
    1. DamionRayne's Avatar
      DamionRayne -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wizardling View Post
      BTW can someone tell me why tactical gamer deleted every single line break in my post?

      I'd make a joke about suspecting them of making unfavourable posts hard to read, but sadly I suspect I'd be taken seriously and branded a nutter if I did (if the attack post calling everything I said untrue when... oddly enough it's all completely true and right there in Incarna, is anything to go by).
      No such thing was done to your post, nor would we do anything like that. We do not censor nor attempt to destroy posts that are "unfavorable". As for the content of the posts in general, we do not tolerate the very typical "flame, troll, I hate this game for no reason, complain to complain" style of posts that are more then prevalent in the Eve Online community forums. As for anyone "Attacking" you directly I did not see this nor would I allow direct attacks on any person TG members or not. What I saw was people requesting proof of your accusations and the only proof you provided was the very stereotypical "Rant!" and a single picture. Nor was your post constructive by any means at all. If you want to be taken seriously my friend, post in depth exactly what your issues are and give real feedback on how to fix these issues. Oh and "Remove it, it sucks" is not real feedback.

      As for the majority of the things you have had issues with, I again will state that I started playing and have been playing Eve Online since January of 2006, on the 9th to be exact. I've loved this game since I started playing it and I still love it. Anyone who states that CQ/Incarna brings nothing to Eve has a very narrow and shortsighted view of the universe and would have to be utterly blind in order to not see the potential changes to the game when CCP continue to iterate and update this content.
    1. DamionRayne's Avatar
      DamionRayne -
      This guy seems to be running the game just fine, and yeah..looks good to me.
    1. l2apt's Avatar
      l2apt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wizardling View Post
      BTW can someone tell me why tactical gamer deleted every single line break in my post?

      I'd make a joke about suspecting them of making unfavourable posts hard to read, but sadly I suspect I'd be taken seriously and branded a nutter if I did (if the attack post calling everything I said untrue when... oddly enough it's all completely true and right there in Incarna, is anything to go by).
      TG did not delete your line breaks, the internet did. HTML only recognizes tagged line breaks, everything else is BUHLETED!
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      Ah, thanks for that info :-)
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      Well, I'm sorry, but if you play Eve as you say you do, you know the new turret icons are utter crap. You know the new turrets only show when you're zoomed in past the point 99% of players play at. You know CQ is a poor replacement for the old Docking Bay's functionality. You know movement and camera controls in CQ are a joke compared to the controls of any other MMO released since 2004. You know CQ does not look or run as well on even better hardware that older games like EQII and Vanguard run well on. And you know nothing about Incarna improved established gameplay features.

      My question is: why is this being ignored in the above article? And if my being unable to see how slow, ugly, and clunky one-room CQ fluff that doesn't even fully replace the docking bay, isn't an improvement, then I guess I do have a "very narrow and shortsighted view of the universe" :-) And I'm proud of it. I signed up to play an internet spaceships game. By all means tack on WIS if some people - mainly the devs - want that. But it should be optional, or just like The Door, you're giving a massive finger to your established players who want to fly bloody internet spaceships. Not walk awkwardly around tiny virtual spaces to do the same stuff the old UI did ten times more efficiently.

      But hey, I'm just a troll - right? :-) Likewise the massive number of people who have spoken out against Incarna. All ranting trolls... funny how we're the majority on any forum that matters.
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      Yes? It's CQ that looks rubbish. The in-space graphics have looked ok, though certainly not spectacular, on high end machines for years now.
    1. Cor Synn's Avatar
      Cor Synn -
      >>My question is: why is this being ignored in the above article? And if my being unable to see how slow, ugly, and clunky one-room CQ fluff that doesn't even fully replace the docking bay, isn't an improvement, then I guess I do have a "very narrow and shortsighted view of the universe" :-) And I'm proud of it. I signed up to play an internet spaceships game. By all means tack on WIS if some people - mainly the devs - want that. But it should be optional, or just like The Door, you're giving a massive finger to your established players who want to fly bloody internet spaceships. Not walk awkwardly around tiny virtual spaces to do the same stuff the old UI did ten times more efficiently.

      But hey, I'm just a troll - right? :-) Likewise the massive number of people who have spoken out against Incarna. All ranting trolls... funny how we're the majority on any forum that matters.<<

      I already covered this, almost the same way, but with several *detailed* suggestions for improvement in my first post.
      So yes, you are just trolling now. Perhaps you don't understand the meaning of the word "constructive".

      I also signed my name, and put a link to my e.mail address and personal portfolio to back up that i believe in my perspective.
      For all we know you, wizardling, desktop, and all of the anonymous and unverified comments on the ten ton hammer site are the same person creating a "majority". And it's this mentality on the official EVE forums, that may yes, have some valid points, but are the reason people like me usually don't post. And perhaps the reason the EVE Devs haven't heard the possible solutions in the muckraking.
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      Jamie Kahn Genet
      Kiwi professional geek
      jamiekg@wizardling.geek.nz
      (Google my above details to see I've been around online since the '90s)
      Feel free to email me for IM or even Skype details, to have a chat on why Incarna is Eve's worst and most pointless expansion ever. But really I'd only be repeating myself above - CQ look and run like crap, CQ doesn't even manage to fully replace the old docking bay's functionality, and The Door sure as hell doesn't, CQ and WIS are utterly irrelevant to flying internet spaceships, Incarna improved no existing features in any meaningful way (sorry, but new turrets you can only see if your spaceship is big enough that you can see nothing else, don't count) when many have been in need of attention since their initial release, the new turrets icons are muddy blobs hard to see or distinguish, that would be more at home in a low quality Genesis release from 20 years ago, the MT store was a joke (and if you don't get that you're really in trouble), CCP's Incarna-related PR has been a massive disaster, and well, like I said - I'm just repeating myself now.

      But at the risk of repeating myself to the point of becoming irreversibly boring, I still wonder why this article glossed over how crap and irrelevant Incarna is to most long time players. That's wonderful a couple of you have addressed this in your posts (though amusingly response to the first negative post was "These kinds of comments are not needed" - talk about avoiding the reality of the situation...), but it's the article that really matters and is read by most people, and it reads like pure CCP PR (when they actually manage not to !@#$ up).

      I'm not saying gaming journalists need to be bitter vets and constantly negative, or crap like that. I just can't understand how this particular author can gloss over so much that's blazingly obviously wrong with Incarna, when it's no secret (more in your face slap you around kind of obvious). It's not just supposed cranks like me writing 'nasty' forum posts. It's almost every other serious article and blogpost written by respected MMO journos and bloggers since Incarna's release.

      Eve players like me are being given a giant finger by CCP, and you wonder why articles like the above get us steamed? And you have the nerve to try and paint us as forum trolls? Ha! You don't half make me laugh.

      Edit: my line breaks were replaced by a space. Weird and weirder...
    1. Cor Synn's Avatar
      Cor Synn -
      >>>=Wizardling;1635366]Jamie Kahn Genet Kiwi professional geek jamiekg@wizardling.geek.nz (Google my above details to see I've been around online since the '90s) <<<

      Okay. I'm not trying to start a debate here but thanks for distinguishing yourself from the horde. Some of the points you're making are not invalid, i'm just asking you to *contribute* something to the solution. All you've got is pointing out the problems, which is what the moderators of this board have been trying to say isn't welcome here. It is the very definition of a flame, and you putting them to task about this over and over is the very definition of trolling. They're not validating your argument, because it just feeds the fire. Journalists in this vein aren't going to take the developers to task either, because the Devs have been gracious enough to give them actual time, allowed them to record and distribute the conversation... and that interview my friend answered a lot of questions i would have asked personally. I know. i've been a journalist. And this article, and interview are awesome. Other industry webzines are referring to it at this point, because its full of good information.

      I however am not a moderator nor am i associated with this website so i don't have to be as gracious as they have been. Still I have tried to say nicely a few times that i'm about done with the mindless negative rant that doesn't include anything constructive, its become a regular of the EVE forums and it doesn't get us anywhere.

      con�struc�tive   [kuhn-struhk-tiv] adjective
      1. constructing or tending to construct; helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement ( opposed to destructive): constructive criticism.

      We all understand there are problems with INCARNA. And now here are some more *constructive* comments: I personally think they jumped the gun and could have had a better rollout, but i explained HOW they could have had a better flow to the system.

      1. Personally i think INCARNA looks fantastic, on my system it has way more detail, customizability of character, more natural animations, and way more realistic lighting of even *recent* games such as say RIFT (which i beta tested as well)... which is the point on CCP taking this direction and slowly. Yes, the camera and controls need a bit of tweaking. Its just a baby step to a MUCH bigger picture, which is what every expansion of EVE has been. Something to be iterated on.
      2. I think forcing us to unpod was a bad idea as it doesn't fit within the LORE they presented with the awesome original trailer they gave us, and have offered a simple solution on that as well. (it also would have given them more time to iterate before everyone checked it out)
      3. I think the fact that we aren't facing our ship in hangar when we dock to station is a problem, and the console doesn't make much sense, and a *further* way to discuss the *solution* is like this: think about that console as our new hangar system (with the option to dock without unpodding at all) and one that has to have an interface for everything with our fingers because we're not plugged in anymore. Don't take away the existing interfaces that are easy for us to use. Just make that console the physical embodiment of all those ship/hangar/fitting/station interface buttons. There are only a few functions missing, maybe add a screen to it showing what us capsuleers would usually do in our heads. Don't make us turn around, walk to it, then walk to an undock button. Docked facing it. Bleep bleep bleep. Ship refit. Undock. Lift brings us down to our pod. Simple.

      New players will know their quarters are there cause thats where they started. Old players will know it's there because of this current non-sense and they'll appreciate it more because it's not forced. Simple.

      We all know there should have been more options and better communication on the NeX. Did you listen to the interview? The Devs know it. Personally i don't give a crap until i can walk around the rest of the station, and even then am fine with most of the current options. We all know that some people hate the new turrets. Personally i dig them. I used to zoom in on the turrets just to watch them track stuff, and now they just look like they really exist and fit on the ship that much more.

      Debate over. Contribute constructively something someone hasn't already said please.
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      Well, there we go yet again - my line breaks removed/not recognised/whatever is happening. What kind of forum software is this? I press the return key, I expect a line break. I'll try it now: *return key*

      Here's hoping this sentence appears on it's own line...
    1. Wizardling's Avatar
      Wizardling -
      Cor Synn - I agree with the points you make, and you're right - you are being more constructive than I am, in pointing out ways Incarna could be better, as opposed to just pointing out it's faults. Though I do wonder why CQ looks so good to you (for one thing it's lighting makes no sense - seriously - take a look at the light sources and shadows some time), when to me CQ looks worse than old Vanguard on it's highest settings (which runs ok on my system), yet CQ is a massive drain on my computer's resources. But perhaps that's down to hardware differences - I'm using an older ATI Radeon 2600 HD Pro, but I still expect a single tiny room to run smoothly on any GPU put out in the last few years.

      Nonetheless I do like you're saying - especially regarding unpoding being made an option. I might not mind it so much then, and certainly that would make some sense 'cause I can't imagine getting out of my pod for every 60 second stop at a station. It might be nice to un-pod when I'm just doing some chatting or trading in-station. It would be a change from the old ship spinning which got old real quick.

      If I had my way a new and improved docking bay would be instituted that - when you leave your ship - becomes the view (from a different perspective) you see when standing at the railing in the CQ. Many have expressed similar wishes on the Eve forums, and elsewhere, so it's not an original idea of mine, to say the least.

      I also think it might be cool if CCP eventually implement a system whereby your avatar in CQ mimics your actions in the GUI, e.g. I open the market window using the old GUI, and my avatar in CQ walks over to the screen in my quarters, and brings up a market display there. Or I add some drones to my ship's drone bay, and I see my avatar interact with the holoprojection of his ship and surrounding controls.

      I don't know if that would work, as there would be some delay as your avatar moves about, while you're using the old GUI much faster. But regardless I think very strongly that I should always have the option to do stuff more efficiently with a 2D GUI, rather than have to do anything in the clunkier (no criticism implied - it's simply that all 3D interfaces are clunkier than 2D GUIs, which is why 3D UIs like we see in movies occasionally never come to fruition, e.g. Jurassic Park) 3D CQ interface. If in the future CCP ever forces me to use CQ as a UI I expect that will be the last straw so far as I'm concerned.

      Anyway, I hope you see I can be constructive, but really that was never my point. I was unhappy with this article glossing over all the things wrong with Incarna. Yes - I get this site can't savage CCP in return for an interview (or not if they hope to get any more), but other respectable sites manage a balance between being respectful of interviewees, and respecting readers by telling it like it is. This article just felt way too much like a puff piece for my tastes, and pointing that out was my original intent.

      See ya starside!
    1. Cor Synn's Avatar
      Cor Synn -
      Wizardling :

      Thank you so much. Thats what i'm talking about, and some good ideas here.

      I as well would love to see at least some small animation gestures even like a point, or a wave of a hand when interfacing the 3d GUI. You're right that it probably wouldn't be able to quite keep up with our rapid relay of interactions, but even the implication of it would put us a bit more in the scene. I like the fact that they are talking about addding emotes at some point but want to find a way to make them make sense. Id rather they take their time and craft the mood of the world than rush and it ends up "dancing elves on mailboxes" like someone else has put it.

      It sucks it doesn't look good to you, and is definately odd the lighting isn't working right for you. And yes, is strange and annoying that one room is eating up so much of many peoples system resources, but is part of the reason they're starting small here. To see what works and what doesn't on the wide variety of systems in real world play. The attempt is to get a super-detailed realistic world vs. the very cartoonish feel of most mmos. On both the systems i've played on it looks very detailed and moody, and the lighting really works well and most of the sources looked right to me, but next time I'm on I'll probably scrutinize it a bit more. Both are laptops, and on the VIAO it is a bit better looking than the other. It's very Bladerunner, which is what they were going for. I'd love to hear some ambient sound and perhaps even music changes to finish out the feel, but obviously there are much greater issues at hand first.

      Honestly, i think they were proud of their work and wanted everyone to see it which is why they forced the unpod. Unfortunately it doesn't go with what they had already laid out there, and is making people resent the changes by not giving us the choice to pod/unpod while docked instead of appreciate the first iteration. I liked the idea of "this is my flesh it feels strange, but its what i have to do to get the job done". Now it just needs to be backed up. What job can i do in station that i can't do from my pod in space? Bartending? We will need some interesting station missions at some point.

      Here's hoping we see some of these fixes and more content soon.
    1. Vulcan's Avatar
      Vulcan -
      Quote Originally Posted by DamionRayne View Post
      Thank you Plyn, this is the sort of feedback we like to see, constructive without being hateful. Besides people come here and have issues with us, not understaning that while we have a working relationship with CCP Games, I don't have a red phone that I can pick up and demand they change something because someone posted it here. There is a difference between rants, trolling and "Constructive Feedback" people. The typical "THIS SUCKS I WANT IT GONE BECAUSE IT"S JUST GARBAGE!!! RAGE!!!" style comments aren't helpful to anyone. What we want is "This feature has some issues in my opinion, and here is what I think should be done ot fix them and why and here are said issues". Thanks for the post and the look.
      Negative feedback is constructive too. Just because someone doesn't like the game doesn't mean it isn't constructive feedback. He pointed out quite a few key mechanics that cause problems.
    1. DamionRayne's Avatar
      DamionRayne -
      Well let's just agree to disagree Vulcan.
    1. andretmzt's Avatar
      andretmzt -
      Since when was this an article discussing how to improve Eve? I thought it was an article detailing some of the new features and what people think of them.

      Personally I think they're a massive waste of time. I very rarely zoom in far enough to see the guns on my ship and even then there appears to be no clear method to distinguish different modules within the same size/class. For example, how do the 75/125/150mm railguns compare to each other? Are there similarities between them with the major differences being the barrels? Not really, it seems completely random. Does the 1400mm Howitzer look like it fires a 1400mm round? Considering it is barely bigger than a 425mm railgun, not really.

      Having a 'more realistic' character creator is also pointless I find. What do I see when flying around? The same as before, just people's faces, albeit looking a lot better. The customisation options are also pretty disappointing. Instead of being able to create a diverse set of facial characteristics, I just end up with a bunch of characters that look pretty similiar (for the same problem check out Fallout 3). The clothes are what I would call 'modern' rather than offering an option to use something more traditional. Now everyone seems to be wearing a T-Shirt. Even the head of the Gallente Senate wears a T-Shirt. Also don't forget that he looks like he's in his mid-20s, pretty young wouldn't you say?

      I don't really care for the CQ. Sure it's a nice addition if your into that stuff but compared to some of the images you can see (or imagine) in other science fiction I think it is incredibly poor. It also lags my system like hell when I've got two clients running.

      Admittedly I have only recently resubbed so I've missed quite a few new things but as expansions go this would only be a 5/10 for me. Aesthetically pleasing, but hasn't made a single bit of difference to how I play the game.

      If you want a discussion on how to improve the game, take it to the forums. You also have to be a bit odd to think that only positive feedback can be constructive.
    1. USN_Squid's Avatar
      USN_Squid -
      Interesting apology from CCP here:

      "The estrangement from CCP that many of you have been feeling of late is my fault, and for that I am truly sorry. There are many contributing factors, but in the end it is I who must shoulder the responsibility for much of what has happened. In short, my zeal for pushing EVE to her true potential made me lose sight of doing the simple things right. I was impatient when I should have been cautious, defiant when I should have been conciliatory and arrogant when I should have been humble.

      Somewhere along the way, I began taking success for granted. As hubris set in, I became less inclined to listen to pleas for caution. Red flags raised by very smart people both at CCP and in the community went unheeded because of my stubborn refusal to allow adversity to gain purchase on our plans. Mistakes, even when they were acknowledged, often went unanalyzed, leaving the door open for them to be repeated. You have spoken, loudly and clearly, with your words and with your actions. And there were definitely moments in recent history when I wish I would have listened more and taken a different path.

      I was wrong and I admit it."
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