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The Obscure UI

Eve is confusing. It is very, very confusing. It is often very, very confusing in really ridiculous ways.

Buttered Scone is my Rorqual.

So cute!

His main point in life, beyond being adorable, is to make clones. However, I had never made a clone before. My first interactions with Rorqual's was Ender's when he game in back when I was a newbie and purchased Babymaker 2000. I fell in love with this great, industrial beast and it became something that I wanted. I was gifted with one recently and frankly, just owning it has been a satisfying experience.

However, the Rorqual has one main purpose for most of us. That is to make Jump Clones. The jump clone system in Eve is standings based. This sucks. It sucks a lot for people who do very little PvE which will give them standings. It means that to get jump clones you will have to go and grind a PvE missions. The standing system is poorly done but that needs another more thoughtful post.

One of my corpmates had asked me to make clones for him and I admit I was terrified. I did the sensable thing whichw as run to Ender and beg him to explain to me what to do. He petted me and told me that I'd be fine. I can dock with the clone bay vat activated. If anyone were to land on me I'd be okay. Hug the station and make the clones.

Okay. I'mThe real question was, how to make clones? If one were to look at the Eve Wiki Page:
Before a pod pilot can clone jump to the Vat Bay they must first store a clone inside it. In order to do this the pilot of the Rorqual or Titan must activate the Vat Bay whist in space at a cost of 1 unit of Liquid Ozone. The pilot may then invite other pilots within 5km of the ship to store a new clone. In order for this to be successful the pod pilot must have sufficient funds to pay the 500,000 ISK CONCORD fee. They must also have sufficient level of Infomorph Psychology trained to allow them to create the clone.
Once the clone has been stored the pod pilot may clone jump to that clone whenever they wish, provided that the Rorqual or Titan is in space and has activated the Vat Bay.
It is important to note that once the Vat Bay is activated the Rorqual or Titan will be incapacitated until the activation timer expires. The only exception to this is that although unable to move a Rorqual will still be able to dock if in range of a station or outpost.
That information is not helpful. My question was, what do I do? It took a search for the same question from 2011 to give me my answer in a thread titled Rorqual Clone Vat Bay Manual.
Here's a brief summary on how to do it:
1. Have pilot in a Rorqual in a Low/Null Sec System with a Clone Vat Bay Module Fitted and some Liquid Ozone in the Rorqual's Cargo Hold to power it when you decide to turn it on.
2. Be Fleeted up with the person that wants to Install a Jump Clone in the Rorqual. Obviously have that person physically fly to the Rorqual (shuttle or some other small and fast ship).
3. When there are no Hostels around, have the pilot fly up to your Rorqual (if memory serves they need to be within about 3km of the ship).
4. The RORQUAL PILOT then activates the Clone Vat Bay Module. The Pilot then RIGHT CLICKS on his Ship and SELECTS "CONFIGURE SHIP".
5. This opens up a small window with TWO Tabs. 
a.) The First Tab shows some information about the ship, and has a Clickable Check Box that allows fleet members to use the Ship Maintenance Array to swap modules, and to dump items into the Corporate Hangar. Corp Members can Deposit AND Withdraw based off of the same Hangar Tab Permission's as a Corp Office rented at a npc station. Non-Corp members will be able to DEPOSIT ONLY into the Corp Hangar. This Checkbox is to allow Non Corp Members usage of the ships facilities.
b.) The SECOND Tab shows the Clone Vat Bay Information. As long as the other pilot is within 3km of your ship, and is fleeted with you. You will see their name to select after you click on the button to 'Install'. Highlight them and click the button to send them a Confirmation Window asking them if they want to Install a Jump Clone into the Ship. The GAME charges a nominal fee of 100,000 Isk for this(jump clone installation), and it CAN NOT be changed. BTW, this is the same for installing a Jump Clone anywhere in game as it's 100,000 Isk everywhere.
c.) After the person is sent the confirmation window and clicks yes, you'll see their clone installed in the ship via that window. They'll also see it on their Character Sheet where Jump Clones are listed. The Location Description will be YOUR SHIPS NAME.
There are some things to remember here about the Clone Vat Bay Module on a Rorq:
1. It has a 5 Minute Module Timer, BUT you can dock with it active. So it's safe to activate it outside a station. DO NOT confuse this with the Industrial Core Siege Module as with that module YOU CAN NOT DOCK WITH IT ACTIVE!!!! BURN THAT INFO into your mind. Just one mistake activating the wrong module can cause you to loose your ship to a gank squad.
2. For the Pilot to Clone Jump to your ship you: Must be ONLINE, In the Ship, In Space, With the Clone Vat Bay Module ACTIVE. 
3. When the above is met and the person Clone Jumps to your ship, they will appear IN SPACE, AT A SAFESPOT, IN THEIR POD. This would be an excellent opportunity to bookmark a free safespot. Wink
That is a simple guide. Simple. All that. It was good and it helped me actually find the buttons to use. For you see, I had to click on the ship itself in space and find the option, select the menu, select invite, and then the clone is installed. Without the information above and my talk with Ender how long would it have taken me to figure out how to use the module? 

The usage of the clone vat bay is obscure. It reminds me of my tear soaked exhaustion learning how to set up a manufacturing process at a POS. The pieces are all there and utterly undocumented except in old posts on the old official forums or developers blogs from when the items were released. I often find myself frustrated with finding information that I know how to look for. How irritating and frustrating it be for someone who doesn't know what to look for?

I was chatting with someone about the Eve User Interface and I mused that maybe there wasn't a dedicated UI team for some point in time. A lot of it with its graphs and tabs and menus buried under menus don't speak of concentrated UI planning. If someone owned a project the UI might have come along with that project for a while. It would be one of many legacy issues that we have had to get used to as being a part of Eve. It also makes it yet another thing that CCP will have to clean up.

However, my clone vat bay activation was successful! I can now make clones to my and other's hearts content. As long as they are ready to remove them from the Rorqual. They only hold but so many. Yay for new things!


  1. "I had to click on the ship itself in space and find the option"

    The right-click menu you get from clicking on your ship, you can also get by right clicking on your capacitor. It's a bigger target to click on and easier to find, so I'd recommend it. 'Reconnect drones' is my most obvious use for it...

    1. I thought about that but I was to flustered trying to find the actual command and make it work while worried that I'd not be able to dock.

      The capacitor right click menu is another one of those unintuitive things.

  2. A lot of the UI implementation--I wouldn't call it design--seems to follow two rules:

    1) a window for every database select, and a database select for every window (with cached information shunted in as appropriate);

    2) when a new feature is implemented, wire it to a right-click menu somewhere. Don't bother disabling it if it doesn't apply; because of convention #1, th UI doesn't know whether something is possible until the user attempts it.

    This is not design. This is the absolute minimal amount of effort necessary for a developer to present any interface at all. I can't tell you how happy I am that CCP is moving away from this.

    1. Yup. One at a time they are chewing through them. I wish I liked the radial menu more but I can't seem to like it.

  3. Estel Arador deserves a shout out:

    If you don’t like standings grind and lack Rorqual access they provide a great service. Been a few years since my last use but everything went perfectly back then and they have continued collecting rave reviews since.

    Special Note:
    Hi-Sec mercenaries often war dec them so keep your Estel Ardor stint short and don’t lollygag around in big slow boats while placing jump clones.

    1. +1 for those who don't mind dropping corp temporarily. My alt(s) use Estel and it's as easy as pie.

  4. This is why I am in favor of removing the standings requirement for JC. Missions too.

    Eve is supposed to be the "grid-free MMO" yet you have to grind a ton of missions to enjoy JC services, after grinding a ton of low-level missions to be able to grind the level 4s.

    Would it break the game to remove standings from JC? Would it break the game to allow the player access to any level of mission or locator agent from an NPC corp? I can't see how.

    Death to NPC corp standings.

    1. No, it would not break the game - but it would annoy the crap of a lot of people that bothered with the standings to be able to JC. Other than the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth over the POS anchoring change - I have not seen any adverse effect. Standings also impact Sales Tax, Refining and the reaction of the Faction police. (and Faction Warfare?! - but I have no experience there to comment). At what point does it stop? Removing it all might unravel the fabric lore of the game and the need for discrete NPC Empires.

    2. I kinda turned this into an entire topic. TL;DR I don't think standings should go away but they should matter. They are so damn random and just there

  5. you have to remember that without standings requirement for jump clones, noone would need that player corp "Estel Arador" ... more importantly, it would remove the very few motivations for players to join player corps

    1. a more subtle point would be that rorquals provide an option for players who don't want to leave their current corp nor worry about forces player interaction and cooperation.

      of course, hardly any n00b knows anything about the mystery of clone jumping in the first place and little to nothing about skill clone location options...just another silly mystery in the learning curve


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