Distilling the act of decanting

Ten Ton Hammer (just one of many) posted a recap of the press event CCP hosted in the aftermath of leaked documents and player unrest. I’m not bitter, upset, or planning to cancel my account as you may note from an earlier post I made on the subject; I just wanted to vomit my opinion about the ship spinning/captain’s quarters issue and I’m using the Ten Ton Hammer article as my source.

From the Ten Ton Hammer article:

CCP has made it clear that their current strategy involves forcing players to dock into the Captain’s Quarters, performance permitting. Can you explain the reason behind that strategy? More specifically, will Incarna-only gameplay and incentives not be enough to get people to use it?

CCP Zulu: “So: forcing players to dock into the Captain’s Quarters. Yes, that is a form of what we actually wanted to get through, which was making Incarna a seamless part of the EVE Online experience. It’s not so much about forcing people to dock into the Captain’s Quarters or forcing people to use features. It’s more about making it a fully-integrated, seamless part of the world. I think throughout discussions with the CSM last week, we sort of came to a very agreeable understanding of how to give people back the option of having the ship spinning, of having this intermediate stage that still fits within this seamless, fluid transition between flying in space and the Incarna bits. So that’s something that we’re going to expand on a bit through design and iteration over the next month, and hopefully implement some time soon.”

I like the captain’s quarters. I like that I can see my avatar — it gives me a more personal connection to my character.  I like that I can walk around and [someday] interact with the environment. I like that eventually I’ll be able to interact with other avatars in a larger environment.

I don’t like what it’s done to the lore; I’ve gained in one aspect of immersion only to lose in another. We’ve been told for years that capsuleers don’t often leave their pods — that it’s a disorienting or even traumatic experience. Even the earlier Incarna trailers lend credence to this back story. So why make decanting an automatic process?

A follow-up question and answer from the Ten Ton Hammer article:

So we will dock our ship and then get out from the ship and into the Captain’s Quarters?

CCP Zulu: “I don’t really want to comment on specific design at this point since we haven’t really done it. The important part is that the entire world feel seamless and integrated, that’s not a toggle switch in your settings or something that you actively select when you dock. We’ll of course make design ideas available whenever they become available.”

I don’t know that I understand CCP Zulu’s reasoning, but it sounds to me like he’s suggesting you shouldn’t have to take some action to decant from your pod and enter your quarters once you’ve docked; I think that’s ridiculous.

Decanting is essentially the act of flushing yourself down a toilet; as you’re flushed out, you lose the ability to control a starship, it’s weapon systems, defenses — you become impotent. You’re covered in pod ‘goo’. You’re weak from the process. You’re practically naked. You need a shower and some clothes.

If docking a ship into the station is the ‘easy part’ for the capsuleer and we currently have to take an action (select the station and click dock) to do that, why should the ‘hard part’ be easier (or automatic)?

In no uncertain terms, what I would like to see is a two-step process to arrive in the captain’s quarters. The first step would be docking; the result would appear much like the old ‘ship spinning’ interface. The second step would be decanting into the quarters. This, to me, would be closer to ‘seamless’. Shifting from pod directly into the washed, clothed, well-styled avatar requires a pretty substantial suspension of disbelief.

It seems like this would solve the issue for everybody but CCP. It would seem to resolve the performance complaint. It would resolve the lost functionality complaint. And it would resolve the ‘this doesn’t fit your story’ complaint — which is actually the one of the three I don’t feel has at all been addressed yet.

At the end of the day, it’s not a deal-breaker to me. For all I know this is already the plan. I generally like where things are going and I’ll be glad to be around when they get there.


~ by paritybit on 2011/07/06.

6 Responses to “Distilling the act of decanting”

  1. Hmm.. ya know.. I sort of agree with you on that. It is rather frustrating to see the “Loading” screen, when all I want to do is switch ships.

    That being said, I can see them doing that later too, after you actually have a reason to walk around in the station. Right now, its just to show you how shiny you are.

    • Yeah. Honestly I have a difficult time understanding CCP Zulu’s comments — he may be saying exactly what I’m saying, or he may be saying something completely different.

      It was this that made me think he’s saying something different: “that’s not a toggle switch in your settings or something that you actively select when you dock.” That and all of Meissa Anunthiel’s posts on the forums about this subject.

  2. I like it. I like it alot. In keeping with the canon while allowing options for people leaning in either direction… hope CCP listens on this one.

  3. I appreciate what you are saying, as my first thought on seeing my empty pod was how I got out of it, showered, and changed when all I can see is a set of metal stairs.

    However, I don’t think EVE needs more mouse clicks to get things done, but rather less. I would like to see an option to leave your pod, otherwise defaulting to stay in it to simply switch ships, once we can get to other parts of the station, but until then there isn’t really a need to add an extra click, or window, or navigation option. Then again, until we can exit CQ and interact with others in the station there really isn’t a need for Incarna.

    • I agree with you in principle: EVE could do with a lot less mouse clicking.

      I also agree with you that until CQ is something more, there really isn’t a need for it — at least as far as veterans like us go.

      For now, CCP has already agreed to do “something” to address both the performance issues and the loss of functionality. It might as well be something good for the long-term and benefit people like me who have an RP interest in this.

      But I can see it from your point of view too.

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