EVE Incarna is only three weeks away from now, and another public beta was just deployed to Duality.
On fanfest 2011, the Devs have announced a long-awaited overhaul for gun turrets. Hee they are! All turret models have been remodeled, have their animations updated, and their icons are actually pretty renders now (just like ships). You can easily tell the difference between Tech I, Tech II and Faction just by the look at it – their models and textures look different. Turret animation has also received an upgrade: most guns will now hide, when the ship starts aligning for warp. Fear not, they will pop back out the instant you begin to target something. If you switch targets, turrets will smoothly move on to it, as if they were really there. Once a target has been popped, guns will smoothly return to their resting position.
* small side note: gun icons are not being cached in the current Duality build, so every time you open a hangar full of guns, it will take a while to load all icons (the game is rendering them one-by-one).
Players asked and CCP listened.
The initial feedback about Incarna was that there is no obvious connection between the avatar and the ship – the missing link in the chain is what makes pod pilots different from other mortals – the capsule. Now every time you dock you will have it just behind your back, so you know where you came from.
The ship placement inside ship hangar has been changed, and now depends on the ship size. Frigates are parked just next to “the balcony”, while battleships have their place much further away.
Performance still isn’t perfect.
An old GTS 8800 does just fine in Full-HD scenes in space (up to 90 fps all the time, 60 with 4x FSAA), but Incarna pulls it down by three nothches – down to 27 fps (22 with 4x FSAA). Personally I feel no problem with Incarna mode being slower than in-space, because it has no impact on the main gameplay. Loading times, however, are not much longer than currently existing station environment. Mainly because there is a placeholder texture which is displayed just after docking, and before the station environment fully loads. Dear CCP: please change the “Docking…” window from modal to a normal window, so players can immediately start interacting with the client, without the need to wait until avatar and CQ completely loads.
The animation on the logon screen is just perfect. A ship exits out of warp into the lower left part of the screen, slowly prowls before the camera, when suddenly its turrets pop out like claws and start melting something in the upper left corner. Great job, Devs!
*) did you notice the ship on the wallpaper is unlike any known Amarr ship? Looks a bit like a redesigned Sacrilege, but fires lasers. Curious, isn’t it?