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 :

Blog Banter 80 – Only a pawn in their game

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 80th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banterpage.
Blog Banter 80 – A Voice for All Players?

CCP Seagull ecourages you to get involved in CSM12 and put your name forward to be a Space-Politician. On his blog Neville Smit noted that CSM11 had done a good job with minimum of drama. However he said he’d not be covering CSM12 like he has in previous years as he sees no point. The power-blocs will vote on who they want and unless Steve Ronuken manages to get on CSM12 it is almost certainly going to have every seat taken by the big null-sec blocs.

Is Neville right? Is the CSM moving more and more into just a voice for 0.0? Is this a bad thing? Are the hi-sec, low-sec and WH players going to lose out badly or is it really not an issue as its the same game? Could a totally null-sec dominated CSM 12 give a balanced voice for everyone?

Ever since the CSM was introduced, I always thought it was not much more than a marketing ploy. ‘Oh look in our game the players have their own council etc.’. And in the course of time (11 installments later), not much has changed my mind on this.

One could argue that this backfired with various scandals, although Eve being what it is, this was hardly surprising, and might have attracted more publicity. And there is no such thing as bad publicity ;).

As stated above,  at the moment only power blocks from 0.0 seem to get a seat in the CSM. Is this a bad thing ? I would say yes. A lot of players don’t play in 0.0 or in one of the big alliances. But hardly anyone cares for the CSM any more. And if only 0.0 blocks get voted in, than it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as people don’t see the point of voting any more, since their vote doesn’t matter anyway. All in all a sad state of affairs.

Contributors:-
Jack Jomar – BB80 – Is CSM Worth it?
I Care A Lot – BB 80: A Voice for All Players?
Neville Smit – Blog Banter #80: A CSM for All?
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – BB80 – Voices.
The Ancient Gaming Noob – BB80 – Oh That Crazy CSM Thing
Jakob’s Eve Checklist – BB80: Is it feasible to have a FW representative on CSM 12?
Eve Hermit – BB80 – Who is Listening to Who?

Blog Banter #78–The Big Reset

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 78th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page. This months topic comes from Talvorian Dex.

Blog Banter 78 – The Big Reset

Just for a moment engage your “willing suspension of disbelief”. Imagine that CCP, at downtime today, reset everything in Eve Online. Everything! When you logged in you were in a starter system with your character… but now with less than a million skill points, a mere 5,000 ISK and a noob ship (now with civilian afterburner!). Markets are pretty empty other than a few seeded items. All Sov is gone. All player structures are gone. All PI infrastructure is gone. No corps or alliances exist. Nothing remains. New Eden is suddenly a completely level playing field and the next great goldrush is on? Or is it? What happens now?

Banter on…..

As far as I know, the Big Reset has been at least once in an MMO and that was the infamous NGE update in Star Wars Galaxies. It’s still referenced to, for example I found this on an elder scrolls online forum. In case you want to know more here’s a nice write up, albeit a little long.

What it came down to, the game changed so much, due to a new combat system that a lot of gear and skills were worthless over night. What made people really angry though, was that the whole thing was extremely buggy. Mobs would move at twice the speed, you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with your guns etc etc.

reset_button

Besides the bugs, a reset is the last available ultimate tool an MMO developer has to try one last time to revitalize interest in their game. It comes with a lot of press attention, and probably a lot of new players who want to see what the hype is about, and who want to seek out new opportunities. In eve’s case, maybe that piece of 0.0 space you always craved for. On the downside, most of your old veteran players will leave. And they wont leave silently, they’ll make a fuz. They’ll camp Jita and suicide gank etc etc. You get the picture Winking smile. It would be interesting though, everybody mining for trit in a simple cruiser or frig, running level 2 missions for a few isk. Though it would be a bit much for people who have already gone through the whole thing.

So the reset would only happen if CCP would be extremely desperate and they’re about to go under. I assume we’re not at that point just yet Winking smile.

Contributors:-

Eve Hermit – BB78 – THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Jack Jomar – BB78 – The Great Reset
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Blog Banter 78 – The Big Reset
The Ancient Gaming Noob – BB78 – Can The Slate Ever Be Made Clean Again?
Ghost of Eve – BB78 – The Big Reset
Space Cadet Online – BB78 – What if EVE was Reset?
SCASS – BB78 – Worse than Brexit

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.

Blog Banter 75–Dust revisited

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.


What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?

bf1943-2

First of all I have to say I am a little surprised CCP is even trying to take on this project. After DUST I was expecting them to do something different, but I guess they didn’t want to waste all the experience from DUST and they want to give FPS another go. I tried to like DUST but I never really got into it. The incredibly hard to read text and awkward menus (maybe that changed later) didn’t make a good impression from what I remember. The gameplay was so so.

So first of all to make any sort of good impression, the game needs to have solid mechanics. First impressions are what count, people don’t have a lot of patience these days, so that has to be good right from the bat. Second it needs vehicles Smile. I love vehicles in these games. Well to be honest the FPS I last played somewhat regularly was Battlefield 3. I am not getting any younger, so you need to rely on street smarts and well tanks and helicopters to get your kills, not so much on reflexes.

bf1943-1

From what I remember I loved Battlefield 1943 on the Xbox 360. You could fly planes and also drive around in tanks and jeeps it was awesome. Not sure which game came up with that first, but I remember that game for doing it right.

Will it have to tie in with Eve somehow ? DUST tried, but it was never really implemented well. Not sure they should even try this time around though. Eve players don’t really want their game influenced by a bunch of Free to Play players (assuming it’s going that route ?) or whatever that hardly know what Eve is.

cod2_4

Anyway, I don’t think just solid mechanics and ‘fun’ will do it though. They’ll have to come up with something  special to get people’s attention. It’s a hard market to break into, but it’ll be interesting to see what they will come up with. If the project will actually will see the light of day …

You can find the other participants of this blog banter at http://sandciderandspaceships.blogspot.nl/2016/05/blog-banter-75-what-does-project-nova.html

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 …

Fanfest 2015

In case you missed it (yeah right ;)), it’s that time of the year again, it’s Eve Fanfest 2015. For those not able to go, CCP has provided a live stream over on twitch. Of course you should also follow #tweetfleet and / or #evefanfest on Twitter :). Don’t forget about reddit either !

Here is the program for the coming 3 days:

Fanfest 2015 FREE HD stream schedule

Thursday 19th March 2015

10:45 Warm up for Fanfest!
12:00 Welcome to Fanfest & the Future of VR
13:00 Sovereignty 5.0
14:00 Game Design Panel
15:00 Meet the Valkyries
16:00 Bro, Do You Even Test?
17:00 Eve Online Keynote
18:00 Eve Symphony orchestra performance from Fanfest 2013

Friday 20th March

10:45 Stream goes live!
11:00 Concept Art Live Session
12:00 Make Eve Real – Creating Planetary Civilizations
13:00 Survival Guide in Legacy Code
14:00 Ship & Module Balance
15:00 CSM Panel
16:00 The Future of Spaceship Rendering
17:00 World’s Collide Tournament: Tranquility vs Serenity

Saturday 21st March

10:45 Stream goes live
11:00 UI Modernization Panel
12:00 Art & Graphics Panel
13:00 Future Vision of Structures
14:00 Using Science to Help Newbros
15:00 CCP Security – Better Safe than Sorry!
16:00 Valkyrie Tournament Final
17:00 Closing Ceremony

 

Killing is just a means

Lyrics:

It’s been a long time my friend, a long time
Yet it seems to have gone by in just a flash
A lot of you shooting me, a lot of me shooting you
And Concord kicking everybody’s ass

We have ignited violence on a massive scale
Scrambled those, who tried to warp away
Nothing says I love you like a kill mail
So don’t be surprised if I send you one today

Chorus:
Killing is just a means of communication
Killing is just a means of communication
Some say it’s more the trip than the destination
Killing is just the means…

Friendship grows from seed into a flower
Blossoms in this starlit wonderland
We’re doomed to fight for resources and power
So if I shoot you in face I’m sure you’ll understand

For ten years now we’ve sat and watched explosions
Dancing to the rhythm of our heart
Killing and dying still stirs up emotion
New Eden is a world where dying is an art

Killing is just a means of communication
Killing is just a means of communication
Some say it’s more the trip than the destination
Killing is just the means…

Some say it’s more the trip than the destination
Hey, girl, come fly with us…that’s an invitation
Don´t be afraid of a little death and exploitation
Killing…it´s just a means of communication

Killing is just a means of communication
Killing is just a means of communication
Some say it’s more the trip than the destination
Killing is just the means…