CCP shuts down VR department

VR hasn’t become the success CCP was hoping for apparently and it’s closing down 2 studios related to VR development. The timing is a little odd, in september there was still a presentation for Valkyrie at Eve Vegas.

The press statement also stated that ‘Eve development won’t be affected by this lay off’. But strangely enough even CCP_Logibro, a name even I recognize is laid off as well. He might be a community manager, who probably isn’t typing C++ every day, but to say Eve is not effected when 100 of your 350 employees are fired is a little odd.

Does VR still have a future ? The uptake is very low if we have to believe the Steam hardware survey (0,12 % with the oculus rift being the most popular). The price and the need to have a good video card doesn’t exactly help. Furthermore I believe that most people don’t really want to be lost in a game, completely shut off from your environment. Also the heavy device on your head doesn’t look very comfortable to me. Anyway, we’ll see what the future brings, don’t think VR is my cup of tea, but maybe I am just getting old ;).

Links :

Eve goes a little Free 2 Play

Announced in a devblog on august 31st, Eve will get a free 2 play component. The regular subscription accounts will stay though, the free 2 play accounts will have limited access to the game.

The Alpha Clone State is the new base state for all clones and it will be available to any character in New Eden at any time. Clones in the Alpha state will be able to train and use a specific set of skills including tech one Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers for your faction along with essential weapons and modules. Alphas will also train skills at a reduced rate compared to Omegas.

That is pretty much stuff you do in the first few months of the game. Doing missions and mining in a frig or cruiser. From what I read above any specialised ships are out, so if you want a real mining vessel or go out exploring in a Buzzard, you’re out of luck. But I am sure it’ll bring in some new players who can play longer now without having to spend money on a subscription, but how long they’ll stay I don’t know.

This seems very similar to what other MMOs do, for example you can play World of Warcraft all you want for free, up to level 20. There are restriction just like the ‘Alpha Clones’. You can only earn 10 gold and talk in /say or wisper your friends. This is of course to limit abuse for gold farming / selling etc. Since Eve is a very different game focused on PVP there are of course dangers in free throwaway accounts. The ancient gaming noob is going deeper into that. Since Eve players are very creative, I am sure they’ll come up with more loop holes CCP will have to fix ;).

There’s also a big thread on this on reddit, you can find it here.

Citadel

As we speak Eve is updating to Citadel, the new expansion that will bring the new POS like structures, or maybe as POS were originally intended Winking smile. You can get your Medium, Large or XL structure blueprint at the moment and a select number of modules. I can imagine the sub components needed will sky rocket the prices in the market, but things will settle down eventually as they always do.

 

Meanwhile Blog Banter #74 is going at the moment. It’s about Fanfest and what people thought was the biggest reveal. Well I didn’t notice any. So I decided to not dedicate a post to it. But I felt obliged to post this here though, since I usually love the blog banters.

The official announcement blog post is over here.

Great guide can be found here : Citadels the ultimate guide

Blog Banter 72–Road to nowhere

Blog Banter 72 – This is the Road (map) to…..

This month’s suggestion comes from Jakob Anedalle.

“What do you think about using Sugar’s recent blog post as a kickoff for a Blog Banter. I think it’s a great open-ended topic:

http://www.lowseclifestyle.com/2016/02/your-ideal-roadmap.html

I am writing just as the  new dev blog is causing a bit of a shit storm over at reddit and the official forum. Anyway, I feel a bit like an outsider looking in, as I haven’t been actually playing, but I look at this subject as someone who’s still following the game and reading about it. What would draw me in again ?

Judging by that latest dev blog, CCP is a little desperate to get people back in. Granting amnesty for people who bought ISK in the past. I am afraid, they don’t have any money / staff at the moment to pull off something big, that would bring in new players and pull back in, those that haven’t played in quite a while.

First of all we got the skill injection thing so returning / new players can ‘catch up’. I think what would bring back in those players CCP so desperately wants is a new big expansion. Something like the Wormhole expansion, Apocrypha. All these sprints and little improvements / new ships are all nice, but they aren’t creating any new headlines. A new hyped up expansion that would add a new PVE element that’s actually fun to do (solo and in a group) would be nice.

road-to-nowhere

So I’d put that on my roadmap. What exactly would that be you might ask ? I have no clue to be honest, I am sure some smart people can come up with something. Bit of a bad roadmap this, come to think of it Winking smile.

Also 0.0 space would need some love and they way it’s conquered.All you ever read about the sovereignty rules are complaints, so that needs (yet another) rewrite.

I do realize my roadmap is a little vague, but the point is that CCP needs to come up with something big otherwise Eve will just bleed out and slowly disappear. Is this going to happen ? I am afraid not, I don’t think they have the resources at the moment.

Other participants can be found at the main blog banter page over at Sand Cider and Spaceships !

Blog Banter 68–My Rig

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 68th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 66

This is my Rig, There are Many Like it…

What do you play Eve on? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours! Are you pew-pewing on a laptop? Plotting universal domination on a 12 monitor set up? Mining away on a 50″ TV? Is your set up located where your other half can speak to you or do you lock yourself away for hours in your Eve themed shed? How do you play your important internet spaceships?

 

My main PC, is an I7 3770 with an nVidia 770 and a bunch of disks, in a big case under my desk. The L shaped desk is in my own little corner of the living room. On my desk is also a Marantz slimline receiver to power my  audioengine A2+ speakers. The two rear speakers are two cheap Berenger speakers that make quite a bit of noise.

Got 2 consoles also hooked up to the receiver, I usually prefer to sit in my little corner, instead of on the couch to play games. My PS4 is hooked to the TV still, play it every now and then but not too often. Also got another PC hooked up, AMD 8320 with an Asus R9 290. You’d think I’d prefer that to my PC with the 770, but I only used it so far to play Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition.

Since I also like me some racing games there is a Logitech DFGT next to my desk. It’s very easy to just hook it up and drive a bit. Be is Assetto Corsa or ETS2. The pedals are always under my desk on one of those bathroom anti-slip rugs so they don’t slide away Smile with tongue out.

not-my-rig

The best purchase I did this summer was an LG 27” 1440P monitor. I love the thing. At first when it arrived I thought it was too big and had to move some things around, but now I love it. Much more desktop space, games look great and in racing games you can see more and it’s more immersive to boot. I got another screen on my desk usually showing some Twitch stream or another, with another tab in the browser for Tweetdeck.

Another thing that might be worth mentioning that’s on my desk is the Rode NT-USB mic. I used to have a whole mixing desk with XLR mic setup to record my youtube stuff, but it was a bit of a hassle so I figured I’d just  buy a good USB mic.

Oh and on the wall behind me are two big Eve posters, the one that shows the sizes of all the spaceships and one extra wide one that I got with the Eve mag, if I remember correctly.

Well that’s about it Winking smile. You can read other contributions at Sand Cider and Spaceships !

Skill points for sale

Well folks, it’s time for drama again. The forum is up in arms, and it’s a devblog once again that did it.

To be honest it’s a little fuzzy:

We also discovered that the vast majority of complexity involved in character sales goes away if you make them more granular. Rather than requiring that characters be sold whole, we could allow them to be broken up and sold in chunks. This means that buyers get to retain all the individuality associated with their characters and sellers can make some money off their training mistakes or unused skills without having to part ways with an entire character.

What does this mean ? I can sell off some skillpoints I never use and sell them for isk ? I guess so. And to add some fuel to the fire, you can buy these with aurum as well. If it wasnt available for Aurum, you could buy some plex with real money, sell them and buy the skill point thingies anyway…

It looks to me that CCP is trying to retain the newer players by letting them buy skill points on the market. It does take away some of the Eve core values (for lack of a better word) though. In eve the older guys always had more skill points, now some one rich can buy whatever skills he wants. So 100+ million skill points won’t mean any thing any more. I don’t really like the way this is going …

Blog Banter #65–Attributes

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 65th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter #65

This months Banter was suggested by Jakob Anedalle

“I liked the discussion on The Neocom’s recent “Tinfoil Factory” on the future of attributes in Eve. Perhaps piggyback on that and invite those folks into the banter as well?
http://theneocom.com/2015/06/21/the-neocom-presents-the-tinfoil-factory-pilot-attributes/

Attributes and Skills
Does Eve need attributes? It’s been discussed a lot recently. Unlike other MMO’s your characters attributes don’t make a difference in day-to-day gameplay. They simply set how fast you train a skill. Is it time to remove attributes from the game or totally revamp their purpose? Do they add a level of complexity to the game that is not needed? If you really need to use a 3rd party application to get the most from it should it be in the game? Should they be repurposed with each attribute adding a modifier to your ship? Are attributes a relic from the past or are they an important part of Eve – You make your decision and deal with the consequences?

Banter on!

 

What I remember from creating my first character is that I had no clue what I was doing. Which probably sounds familiar to a lot of people. I thought intelligence sounded good so I went with a somewhat balanced Caldari character. I gave some more thought towards the next characters, they had more perception and willpower so gun skills and the like didn’t take as long.

Anyway, I think the system seem to be outdated now and it needs a revamp. It would be nice to keep in a little rpg and replace it with something else instead of getting rid of it altgether.

I was thinking something along the line of damage (dps), damage reduction (tanking), logistics (healing), learning (to speed up skills marginally, to keep a little bit of the old system in this new one) and tax reduction (for the merchants among us). Maybe some sort of discovery attribute as well for a scanning / loot bonus ?

That would just about cover it all. You can even keep the current attributes even and give them a new meaning. This would also be nice for alts, you can specialize them a little bit.

Of course these would all be somewhat marginally better, otherwise you get into the situation where you must have a certain spec to do something and I would think you would want to avoid that as a game maker.

So those are my thoughts, you can read more here :

Cloaky Bastard – Useless Attributes
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Attribution
Eveoganda – My Brain Hurts
Notes from New Eden – At Rebukes
The Ancient Gaming Noob – Not for Attribution
Torchwood Archives – Attributes and Skills
Sand, Cider and Spaceships – Useful Attributes
Target Caller: BB65 – Easiest One Ever
Lexx Jonlan Tweets. I don’t think he gets the BLOG Banter bit!
Low Sec Lifestyle – Blog Banter #65 – What is Interesting?
Crossing Zebras http://crossingzebras.com/a-farewell-to-attributes/ and also http://crossingzebras.com/cz-minutes-attributes/
Jakob’s Eve Checklist – Attribution Needed?

Eve True Stories

Never heard of it before, but the comic Eve True Stories is part of the new Humble Gamer Comics Bundle. You can pay what you want in order to get it, as it’s in the Tier 1 selection.

Tier 1
Artbook: The Art of Remember Me by Aleksi Briclot
Comic: EVE: True Stories by Daniel Way
Comic: Fallout: New Vegas – All Roads by Chris Avellone
Comic: Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon by Paul Tobin

Tier 2 Beat the Average
Price: 6,94€ | Price may change over time
Artbook: The Art of Bioshock Infinite by Julian Murdoch
Comic: Halo: Initiation by Brian Reed
Comic: The Guild Volume 1 by Felicia Day
Comic: Valve Presents Vol. 1: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories by Various Artists

Tier 3 Beat the Average + $5
Price: 11,45€ | Price may change over time
Comic: Dragon Age Volume 1: The Silent Grove by David Gaider
Comic: Mass Effect: Foundation Volume 1 by Mac Walters