Easter Egg change in Retribution 1.1

CCP has changed an existing easter egg in Retribution 1.1. It was seeded as a gift for capsuleers during the holiday season:

Key Pass to Open The Door
Key Pass to Open the Door
A very special and valuable key pass that uses some of the rarest elements known to humankind in order to create the most secure access card possible.

These passes are so rare and valuable, they are only ever used by capsuleers, to protect their quarters on board stations where they are docked. Without one of these keys one would likely not have a chance of getting in, or out, of a capsuleer’s private quarters.

The description now reads:

Key Pass to Open The Door
Deactivated Station Key Pass
At the end of YC114, station managers across New Eden were surprised and shocked by the accidental delivery of station key passes to large numbers of pilots due to an inventory error in the InterBus central database. With recall next to impossible, the recommendation of veteran station manager Scotty, now consulting with the SCC, was to simply send out a general deactivation order and replace the master key passes used by station staff. The mistakenly delivered passes are now nothing more than souvenirs of an odd but ultimately harmless incident.

So, all my rambling in this post about possible opening of the door was… Well… Pure, baseless, unfounded speculation. By the way, it seems that our Docking Manager friend Scotty has got himself a new job.

Flag mechanic changed for remote repair in hi-sec

Today CCP has deployed a client update #2 for Incarna 1.1.3. In the patch notes we can find:

Client Update #2

  • To benefit the EVE community at large, a small change has been made to game mechanics in regarding criminal flags and how they are inherited in high security space. If a pilot is remote repairing, or otherwise assisting, another pilot who commits a criminal act then the repair module will now disengage. In order to continue repairs the module will need to be restarted and a message will appear warning of the criminal flag and possible consequences.
  • 67 Alliance logos have been added

A lot of players are already concerned about the change, because it was one of the ways to disrupt the Incursion fleets and was used by many griefers and wanna-be pirates. How does it work?

An Incursion fleet often consists of people who don’t know each other. Some elemental trust is required to fly in one fleet with people you don’t know. But unfortunately Incursion fleets rely on spider tank, as no local tank can withstand the DPS dealt by the Incursion NPCs. Remote repair used to have one disadvantage: if the repaired target is flagged (be it agression, war, or global criminal), then the repairing party also becomes flagged. At first, griefers would join an Incursion fleet, let themselves be repaired and then they would attack someone else in the fleet, becoming instantly flagged with global criminal flag. In high-sec that meant both the griefer and the repping party got Concordokkened. CCP promptly fixed the issue, but players quickly found a workaround: the criminal mechanic. A neutral character would steal from a container, becoming flagged for the corporation, who owns the can. Then the neutral pilot would join a fleet and let himself be repaired. The criminal flag would then be passed to everyone who repaired the neutral pilot, just as if they had stolen from a can, too.

Why is this flag mechanic broken? Because when someone else is flagged there is no visible sign of that flag until its too late (notification becomes available under the top left agression countdown, but you have to explicitly hover your mouse there to check who are you flagged against – normally it will be just Sansha NPCs).

Summing it up: this flag mechanic was flawed (GCC), it was exploited by people looking for an easy kill and it got fixed. Players then found a workaround for that fix and started exploiting it, too. Today CCP has fixed it for good.

PS. You can always gank Incursioners if you hate them so much.

PS.2 Thanks to @Mara_Rinn for spotting a mistake in my post!

UPDATED: Hilmar Veigar letter to the EVE community

Hilmar Veigar aka CCP Hellmar, the CEO of CCP has published a long and sincere letter for the EVE Online community. My first thoughts about it are very positive, but let me tell you why.

It takes a lot to admit ones mistakes, and to do it in public takes much, much more. I deeply respect that, and I don’t know many people with enough courage to do such thing.

Some will say ‘bullshit, it’s just words’. I tell you, it’s no bullshit. Hilmar Veigar is a real person, a public figure. A respected CEO of big, international gaming company. He can’t give his customers bullshit, or else he is out of business. Simple as that.

Some will say ‘it’s long overdue’. I tell you it’s not. Community needed to calm down first. The knowledge of human psychology is very important, even though we are not consciuously aware of it. If this letter was published during the ‘monoclegate’, many players would discard it immediately without even reading it. Moreover, CCP has acted before they spoke, which backs up what Hilmar says in his letter.

Some will say it’s just PR. So what I say? What difference does it make if this is PR or a personal letter from a businessman to his customers, as long as things get done? I keep my fingers crossed for Hilmar and the CCP.

Second part of the letter points to another dev-blog by Arnar Hrafn aka CCP Zulu. The amount of work to be done is quite extensive, but more less sums up the things that most players asked for:

  • Hybrid weapons balancing /signed, /signed and triple /signed
    as a true Gallente pilot I can’t say otherwise.
  • Factional warfare
  • Assault ships
  • Capital ship balancing /signed
  • New T2 modules
  • Starbase logistics management
  • New EWAR-Drones
  • T2 Rigs manufacturing

Additionally, the list contains four features already mentioned last friday:

  • Ship spinning aka pre-incarna Hangar interface
  • New font
  • More captains quarters
  • Time dilation

And yes, Hilmar also said new ships are coming – more spaceships is probably one of the best news for internet spaceships.

Dear Hilmar,

I really respect you sir, for what you did and said today. I have been watching EVE grow for the past 6 years, and when new CQs and ship spinning were announced on 30th of September I have regained my hopes for EVE. Your words today have reinforced this feeling. I felt it back in 2005 when I started playing EVE: being excited about EVE and unable to wait for what’s coming.

I wish you and your company all the best. Keep up the good work!

New Cyno effect on Singularity

I know I have missed one very important feature mentioned in this devblog here, which will be coming in the “October patch” for Incarna. I am talking about the: *drumroll here* new cynosural field effect. New stuff has been available on Singularity since last friday, but I wanted to get some screenshots pretty enough to please the public (and do the new cyno justice: it really looks much better than the current one).

Okay, enough reading, let’s see *it*:

Animation is a bit slower than the one in the current effect, and textures’ resolution has been bumped up a few notches. The new capital jump has been improved as well, but I couldn’t get a good screenshot of it: it seems to only look good when animated.

But wait, what about the engine trails? Are they coming back?

According to a very well informed person (CCP_Fallout), the answer is YES. Unfortunately, there is no schedule, so we will just have to wait.

UPDATE: Racial Captain Quarters on SiSi

Yestarday CCP t0rfifrans has posted a dev-blog about racial Captain Quarters being already available for testing on the Singularity test server. If you can’t wait to see them before your client is patched to the Singularity level by the trusty SiSi Launcher, feel free to watch this youtube movie. All CQ’s reflect their races distinct culture and style: Caldari are cold and “made from steel”, so their quarters have a strong utilitarian look. Gallenteans value freedom and pleasure, so gallente CQ are IMHO the best looking ones at the moment. Amarr, the most religious race, have many statues and other religious accents in their quarters. And of course you already know the Minmatars: rust and duct tape (as if they don’t know how to smelt stainless steel, even though they are able to fly in space. It might have something to do with the legendary strength and durability of Minmatar duct tape).

T0rfi also mentioned that the inital spawn point after docking has been moved, so you can immediately access the ship’s console, rather than having to turn around and walk towards it. Oh, yes, you will now be facing your ship when you dock. And no, it does not work on Singularity yet.

Eve Sans Neue
Eve Sans Neue

One thing not mentioned in the dev-blog is the new font. It looks just like on the screenshots in this dev-blog (or on the screenshot on the right).

And yes, ship spinning is back, too. Just click on your ship in CQ and select “Enter Hangar”. The ship spinning UI is almost the same as it was before Incarna, but it seems not to be the final version: Station Info panel on the right is missing.

I've broken it
I've broken it

Unfortunately I can’t get on to Singularity thanks to this nice red error on the left. This is why I don’t didn’t have the usual bunch of screenshots from the current SiSi build – I am was stuck at accepting EULA. Hopefully CCP has published a few screenshots so I will link them below instead. And I won’t give up trying to get it working.


Reinstall of the Sisi client did not help. My guess is, since I’m running polish version of Windows 7, EVE tries to find polish version of EULA. It fails, and cannot load its contents, so it becomes stuck on EULA window. Bug reported #117055. Here is the solution: how to get past the EULA window.

PS. I consider moving from my quiet home system to a new one with a Gallente station. Why? See for yourself.

What players (really) want

Pattern Clarc has written an excellent post on EVE Online forums regarding how players would like to see the solution for the current issues in EVE. It is a “fake” dev-blog, which adresses all of the below issues players see in EVE:

  • Players know that CCP is currently developing two other games: Dust 514 and World of Darkness,
  • Thus, the amount of manpower available to develop EVE has been reduced,
  • Players also see lots of known issues, which are not being addressed (hybrids, dreadnoughts, COSMOS, etc.),
  • Instead, players see new, mostly unwanted content (100+ pieces of clothing, aka space-barbie),
  • CCP not being transparent to the playerbase – resulted in the ‘monoclegate’

Post is really insightful, and the general feedback in the forum thread is rather positive. My opinion is no different – Dear CCP, listen to this guy; or even better: hire him to write dev blogs for you. By the way, the Tick-Tock approach mentioned in Clarc’s post has really worked well for Intel.

The Door.
The Door.

Personally I think we should listen to Zulu’s statement for now, and see if CCP keeps their word. CQ/WiS is not bad in itself, it just lacks the usability of the ship spinning interface (takes time to load, no context menu on ships, no way to open Ore bay/Fuel bay/Corp Hangar/Ship Hangar without opening “Ships” window first; no drag and drop from hangar to ship; no doubleclick on the ship to open cargohold). Another thing is lack of environment: instead of Walking in Stations we’ve got Walking in One Rusty Room. I’ve got a paddle, and a bucket but there is no sandbox to play in – there is only a big mysterious door instead.

Seismic Stan's hat by Rixx Javix
Seismic Stan's hat by Rixx Javix

PS. Dear CCP, we want a new ship for christmas; snowballs and launchers will work, too. AUR and clothing is a no-no, unless it’s a classy, black pirate hat:

Thousand more free AUR coming your way

If you are an EVE Online player that is. When logging on this evening I have noticed my account now has 1000 more AUR than it had yesterday, meaning another share milestone has been reached on eveisreal.net and CCP rewarded players with free currency to buy clothes for avatars. Two sharing stages have been unlocked so far, yielding a total of 2000 AUR per account (1 PLEX equals 3500 AUR, so CCP gave away an equivalent of half a PLEX so far).

Congratulations, EVE community!

PS. The next step will unlock 1500 AUR, so if you want some premium stuff for your avatar for free, keep sharing.

Ship spinning will be back soon(tm)

CCP Torfifrans has released a dev-blog about what is coming to EVE  in the nearest future.

Ship spinning is back!

Ship spinning is back!
Ship spinning is back!

This is one of the most important news, as most players have complained about loading Times of Incarna’s CQ and worse usability of its interface (no context menu on ships, no way to access fuel bay, corporation hangars, ship maintenance bays, no doubleclick to access cargo). There will now be a toggleable option to load either CQ or ship hangar (game will remember your preference). Additionally, Captain Quarters will receive some graphical fixes. To quote a few:

  • Fixed the incorrect specular behaviorFixed shader texture gamma issues
  • Implemented a new specular glossiness model
  • The specular reflection is tinted by the color of the light
  • Added diffuse and specular fresnel
  • Added specular light from indirect light (spherical harmonics)

New turrets look cool on the ship, but their icons in UI are too small. Thus turret icons will be reverted to the hand drawn versions before Incarna. Of course preview of turret models will still be available. Last news is the new cynosural field effect, which will make it to Tranquility in work-in-progres state without sound.

Unfortunately, most anticipated by some EVE vets (including me) engine trails will not be included in this update.

EDIT: CCP Punkturis has published a second dev-blog about the new font for EVE Online. IMHO it is a bit too compact and could easily be a bit wider. Readability is indeed better than the original font. Will need some getting used to.

Hidden content in Incarna 1.1.1

A new patch has been deployed to Tranquility today between 9:00 and 12:30 UTC in order to address the issues introduced with Incarna 1.1.

Patch notes have been released and are available here.

I don’t know why the said patch notes say nothing about a hundred or so of new clothes introduced in this quite big (102 MB) package. The code fixes mentioned in the patch notes should not take more than 15-20MB.

New women clothing in Incarna 1.1.1 White 'Sterling' Dress Shirt Men's 'Form' Camo Shirt

I do understand that this content will not be available right away, because CCP decided to make clothing available in staged releases. Still, the patch notes should reflect it, at least as “new Incarna content prepared for staged release”.

Incarna 1.1 on the horizon

CCP has been working on the Minmatar CQ while pushing forward with the development of the remaining racial quarters. CCP Fallout also mentioned that CCP is working on establishments (my second name is Quark and I wanna have my own space-bar). Incarna 1.1 will bring some improvements to the existing CQ, and later this year CCP will bring the remaining racial quarters as well as established.

Compared to space-barbies, space-bars might actually be quite interesting (I am definitely going to try this out).

Incarna 1.1 patch will be deployed on Thursday, 1st of September.

Beasts of the field (c) CCP 2011
Beasts of the field (c) CCP 2011