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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I’ll Learn to Live With It

Well, Carnyx is live.  And with another release comes yet another slew of things we all have to relearn.  This time, we need to learn all about the new names for a bunch of old favorite modules, and try to figure out why a mobile depot is attacking me.

After a while, the novelty of new patches starts to become outweighed by the work it takes to just play the game.  New module names and stats means I need to check all my fittings and adjust them accordingly.

For instance, it took me a moment to reorient myself to the 5mn, 50mn, and 500mn MWD name changes, which really make a lot of sense.  But I always flew with meta-4 MWDs, so now I have to go back and change all of my MWD-fit ships to T2.  That’s a hauling job, albeit an easy one, as well as a close review of each fitting to see if I have enough grid and CPU to fit them.  Yet another tweak that can render an individual fit worthless and, unless I catch it in the first pass (which is never 100%), can result in me being unable to use that ship on a given night.

I largely fly with T2 modules; the exceptions are the usual ones: neuts, energy vampires, scrams, tracking disruptors, sensor dampeners, and jammers, all of which provide better overheating with equal stats to T2.  And none of those have been touched yet.  Yes, I’m aware I’m going to likely be having a rough summer as those categories come around.

Then there are the icons.

On one hand, some of the icons are great.  I had an immediate, positive reaction to the new station, sun, and wormhole icons.  They all seem intuitive and capture the essence of what those objects are about.  Simple, yet effective.  Well done, CCP.

The ships and deployables, though, are another matter entirely.  What a mess.

I can tell you now, I’m never going to remember many of these.  For God’s sake, CCP had to create a cheat sheet for them, they’re so convoluted.  Some ships are rounded, some are pointed.  I get that the rationale was “ships that can attack you”, but I’ve seen battle skiffs before.  Capsules and corpses and small asteroid and ice belts… they all look the same.

For the moment, sure, it’s an annoyance.  And yes, I will adjust, but I’m never going to remember some of these icons, and that will cause a response delay, if ever so slightly.  Why do this?  Do we need different icons for each different deployable?  Does a medium ice belt need a different icon than a large one?  Do we need nine different icons for drones?  Wouldn’t “attack”, “utility”, “fighter/fighter bomber” do?

Someone went a little whack-a-doodle with these overview icons.  The result is needless differentiation.  “A distinction without a difference” it is.

I just feel back for folks returning to the game after a year or two.  Someone should keep a running list of changes since each of the different releases.  Something like a, “What was the last expansion you remember?” option, with a list of changes since then.

That’d be a great addition.

I like the idea of further differentiating cruisers from destroyers, battleships from capitals… that’s all a great plan.  But this is a bit too far in the opposite direction.  Let’s just implement an idea that isn’t so whack-a-doodle and random, hmm?


  1. Oh pish and tosh Tal... “One man’s needless differentiation is another man’s fascinating intricacy.”

    I for one definitely feel that being able to know at-a-glance what this ship, that drone, etc IS from all the others will be very good for gameplay, especially in the fast paced adrenaline rush that is EVE PvP… and I'll bet quite a bit that any player as detail oriented you will eventually pick what icon is which... whether you want to or not.

    But on the other hand I can definitely see just how cluttered and confusing it will all ‘seem’ to be… at first.

    Until we all settle down and reach the 'acceptance' phase of whining... and learn the new system to the point where going back to the old icons would raise a far greater hue and cry than anything we will hear over the next few weeks…

    So, there is, IMHO, great useful and real utility in this change, change that is not whack-a-doodle and random... and I can also understand where the butthurt and whining is coming from

    But as I said on my blog... in the end I see the one winning out over the other in time… cause diis gratias ago quod, “utility > butthurt” is still the way things work in our shared ‘verse.

    "whack-a-doodle and random" is that really how you see this???

    1. With the ship icons, no. They're growing on me, actually. I still don't like having some domed, some pointed. The division is arbitrary (battle skiffs, anyone?) and just adds another "style" people need to keep in mind.

      But having so many deployables, different images for each asteroid and ice belt, etc. creates a lot of "clutter" that people can mistake for the icons that really matter... things that can kill you. If you take an extra second to warp to one asteroid belt vs. another, that's not so critical. If you mistake an assault frigate for a mobile depot or a TCU... that extra second can mean the difference between surviving and death.

      Meaningful variation is one thing. But I don't need 9 icons for different drones, for God's sake. Three would do: 1) attack drones, 2) fighters/bombers, 3) utility/mining/repair. Do we really need small, medium, and large ice and asteroid belts taking up 6 icons? Or different overview icons for POS batteries than we have for POS guns? Come on...

  2. I think the icons are ugly and they don't improve anything. I hope CCP will admit their mistake as they did with the minmatar weapon model changes.

    1. I doubt it. But as I recall, the original purpose of the overview icon changes was to provide meaningful differentiation among frigates, destroyers, cruisers, BCs, BSes, and Capitals so players - especially new players - could better understand the extent of the threat they faced.

      So, I'd say we keep the ships, but scale back the deployables and objects... they just create extra clutter that, when compared with the ships, causes confusion and hesitation.

      And to those who say, "You'll get used to it," don't forget about Eve's new players and returning vets. This complexity is real (albeit at first), relates to something everyone sees and uses, and creates just another barrier that pushes people away.

  3. I have an actual new player living in my house and I can tell you she thinks the new icons are the best thing ever. It took me about five minutes to get used to them and now I love them, they make glancing at the Overview so much easier and immediately see what is what. The ships, drones, and other things you are mentioning don't only exist as icons (granted that would be confusing) but they still exist as they always have as much more than that. And those things haven't changed at all.

    I like it. It works as intended. And three months from now no one will remember the "way it used to be".

    1. "And to those who say, "You'll get used to it," don't forget about Eve's new players and returning vets. This complexity is real (albeit at first), relates to something everyone sees and uses, and creates just another barrier that pushes people away."

      Yes, the complexity is real... but you are looking at it from the aspect of 'it's a change'... for new players and even returning vets it's the way things work... period.

      Don't want a cluttered overview? Fly in small gangs, dunt anchor a bunch crap and dunt use droans... =P

      That this backs up Rixx and Mrs Rixx is just the cherry on top... =]

  4. I have seen a website linked on reddit where it actually does exactly what you say about tracking expansions to a t. I dont have the faintest idea of what the name was but I'm sure it is around here somewhere.

    1. If anyone knows it, or if you find the link, let me know and I'll do a whole article about it. It'd be a great resource to communicate widely.

    2. Here is the best site for it currently;
      Unfortunately the one being maintained on failheap is no longer being updated but it is still useful for some people who have been gone a long time.

      Hopefully that helps consolidate that info for anyone returning and trying to catch up to all the changes.

      P.S. Love the blog keep writing, you were my inspiration to get into solo pvp.

    3. Great! Thanks very much for finding that site, and for reading. I'm glad it helped!

  5. Oh no I haz to learn new icons!

    I'm not generally in favour of changing icons for change's sake, but this isn't one of those times. The new ship icons are great. No, they aren't the old red crosses, nor are they the white blocks. They are better. They let me know that those battle cruisers over there really are cruisers and vice-versa.

    The shapes, well, they don't thrill me, but I don't dislike them either. For some, the aethetics of the new icons is icky and that's legit. But it's not hard to learn them. Have the cheat sheet up and refer to it.

    When I joined the army, I had less than a day to memorize the rank insignia of all three services. With an open mind and a willingness to learn, getting these new icons burned in one's brain is really not that much of a chore.

    P.S. One thing I wish they would do it return to having ful wrekcs show up bright white again.

    1. Taken in isolation, yeah, it's not a big deal. But now, you could have an icon cheat sheet up. And Dotlan. And Eve-kill. And a market tab to check the strengths of each ship you come across. And the map to check recent activity. And Teamspeak. And Jabber. And Fraps. Static Mapper for wormholes. And your second account for boosts. Or the other stuff you're doing (which includes all the spreadsheets, charts, and programs you use to track that).

      It's yet another thing you need to translate before you can actually play the game. For us, yeah, we'll get used to it. I'm already getting used to it. But my immediate negative reaction occurred when I was already in love with the game. What about those who have been living without it for years? I don't see the value to 9 drone icons that 3 couldn't accomplish. Take that across multiple categories of icons, and you have a lot of unnecessary variety.