CCP Seagull continues to release dev blogs bundling up what is coming in the next release. This week was not limited to just her dev blog. Several blogs where released for Rhea as well as topics discussed.
I’ll again point to the fact that the UI changes are live on Sisi. There are some known bugs such as the fact that the right click menu can be invisible on lower video settings. CCP is not going to maintain the old UI in line with the new UI. While they have started beta testing and giving players the ability to opt out of features, this is not going to be one of them. There is a transparency slider in the works. The testing is also being based around the minimum specified graphics card abilities. What is not popular is the limitations to the color schemes. The ones listed are pretty for those who care for them. However, a broad pallet of UI themes are used by people for many reasons and removing that bit of personalization takes away from a player's experience. This is anger making for some and they have expressed their frustration.
Speaking about graphics, the new PBR (Physically Based Rendering) is incredible. Amarr is gold again or at least the gold parts are. Currently, the Minmatar textures are missing from the test server. Some of them are startling enough of a change to look like new skins.
The first dev blog for the week was about new sleeper sites and polarized weapons. They were once ‘blighted’. I’m pleased with the name progression. There is another aspect of these sites. They can pod you so I feel that its best to make sure people pay a little bit of attention to them.
CCP Fozzie released the detailed dev blog about Thera. It can also be directly reached on the test server through a special move channel. Many words have been said about Thera. What has come to me in my CSM capabilities is a general dissatisfaction on the focus on armor frigates in the small ship shattered systems. It seems a missed opportunity for some new type of small ship play. I agree. I love my shield frigates.
When I saw that CCP was adding keyboard flight control I felt a bit faint. This is a topic dear to my heart. It is not that I have been on the WASD bandwagon. I have complained for quite some time now that how to pilot in space was not explained anywhere in the tutorial. While it still is not, being able to use the basic movement keys is good. I hope that they opt in new accounts to the beta test to see how they handle it. I expect that they will naturally use the keyboard to control their ship and we will wind up with an interesting generational gap in the future. Yesterday it went live on Sisi. I have tried them out myself and they feel very good even with the tick. I had amazing control of my interceptor as I wove through the station. You will have to choose your keybinding. I chose WASD but for those that have any of those keys for other uses, they can choose another set. This video done by Nonoce from a Reddit thread shows off manual flying nicely.
There are other goodies in the coming soon. CCP is freeing up six million trial account names. If you have a beloved trial account name that you stare at fondly and point out the creation date, you may want to subscribe it. This is the first time CCP is doing a name purge like this.
Rhea launches in three weeks but Phoebe is just past us. I’ve noticed a vast change across low sec. Everything is changing. Behaviors are changing. Ships that would never have been undocked in a Phoebe world are heading into battle. Local groups are clashing with other local groups and the face of low sec is changing. I don’t think that is for the bad but I’m hovering over it anxiously and watching and listening. Capital bouncing has come up in discussion. I see it as a problem.
Another side effect of Phoebe is that exploration sites are escalating into high sec. This did not make me happy. Watching those delicious sites run off into the land of faction police was rather unhappy making. This has been addressed and should be corrected in one of next weeks patches.
I do not have any updates on module, recon, or Rorqual rebalancing passes. Sorry!
Outside of that, there has been a lot of conversation with CCP over different things. Skype has been busy. A few forum posts have gone up. Various concepts are being discussed. Meetings have happened. The productivity is high. People are more sold now on the release schedule. Now there are complaints that there is to much change, to fast.
I’m starting discussions about war decs. What they are. What we want them to be. How they work and all of that fun stuff. I want to hear opinions and thoughts about it. I’ve received a lot of feedback that war decs should be more objective based. What objectives and how that functions while covering the spread of things war decs do? It does not feel as if it addresses enough things to me. Why am I doing this? War decs are a topic that people often bring to me. I speak to everyone from the player in high sec who is deced to those who work as mercenaries and enjoy trade hub camping. I’d like to see what we come up with.
Yesterday I had my Open Q&A. Corbexx and Asay came along for the first session and then Corbexx again for the second. I also got Sion to drop by for about ten minutes and answer a few questions about null sec that came up about twenty minutes into the session. The evening session went well. As happens each time they are vastly different from each other in flow, feel, and questions. One topic was the reluctance to post on the forums due to the environment. I do understand that but I also do appreciate those who close their eyes and post anyway. It is still read, even with the negativity around it. There was an interesting suggestion to allow parallel threads for when people want to escape the main thread but still wish to be constructive. Currently, the forum rules cause these threads to be shut down. This also led into a discussion on how to reach out to a wider Eve audience for helpful programs such as Eve Uni's classes which are open to the public.
It has been suggested that I run these talks on weekdays because people have to many commitments on the weekends. I have no idea how that will work out for people's schedules. I have an abnormal work schedule and always have. I have no idea what is convenient and picked the weekend because it is a relatively neutral time. I’m aiming to have my next one the weekend of December 15th.
A wormhole subreddit has also opened. Good luck to them.