Blog Banter 57: The Wrong Question?
Duncan Ringill

instruction01Kirith Kodachi nails up a Blog Banter on the subject of failfits and the prevention thereof.  To his credit, the direction he’s heading concerns the responsibility of the senior player in the education of the junior.  Granting that newer capsuleers’ undocking in suboptimal fits is a problem–for those new players if for no one else–sure, an experienced EVE hand can do a lot one-on-one to train someone who is just entering the game.

I submit, however, that this is akin to a driver’s education class in which the instructor talks about the latest Fast And Furious movie he’s just seen.  It’s sex education via dirty jokes when we could be using Ken and Barbie dolls or better.  Why tell another player how to fit, if the game were developed in such a way as to allow showing instead?

Yeah, in the game we have, you can share a particular fit through chat.  What you can’t easily share are the accompanying stats, or the logic you used to pick particular modules and rigs.  What can’t be shared trivially is the science of fitting itself, and it is one of the fundamental skills for survival and prosperity.

Give us an in-game fitting tool, CCP!  Shove it into the menu right down there next to ISIS, or (better yet) integrate fitting into ISIS.  Make this thing part of the tutorial, with samples engaging players on Day One in the basics of cap, grid and calibration with AURA as guide talking us through examples as she offers tips.  Enable stare-and-compare for the various modules and the sharing of fits within corps and alliances so that other players slip neatly into AURA’s place.

The old hand in EVE can sit virtually with a brand-new player; they can open ISIS at the same time, and talk or type their way through more advanced fittings.  Don’t force the teacher and the pupil to leave the game and communicate on forums about third-party tools that may not be interoperable.  Keep ’em logged in and socializing.  Build a schoolhouse for Kirith Kodachi; make it a place of learning whose products are fun and better killmails that we can share with a proud smile rather than a sneer.

Give the teacher tools, and bring enough for the whole class.

Duncan Explains It All: The Prophecy Trailer
Duncan Ringill


A few thoughts crystallized today on the heels of Kirith Kodachi’s excellent tea-leaf analysis (go read it now) of everyone’s favorite new trailer, and I am ready to tell you what it all means.

I’d been looking at the trailer in the wrong light, so to speak.  No doubt it is a vision of the future; how could it be anything else, with EVE, DUST and Valkyrie toons working together?  That’s the usual rah-rah, as Kirith notes, and its realization is coming Real Soon Now, along with WiS.

What it isn’t is a story waiting to be told.  This isn’t a picture of those new stargates everyone’s going to be constructing next year.  Oh, no–commence primary illumination!  This is an event which has already happened.  That new space we as players know we’re going to get access to?  What we see in the trailer was the first large-scale attempt to access that space, over a year ago.  The action tells us that that first gate experiment was a failure.  Or, as the engineering world has it, a qualified success.

The professional robe-wearer and utterer of gnomic prophecies wasn’t just repeating sonorous nonsense.  Let’s posit that the prophecy is more or less on the money, in that vague way that the best foretellings have of being.  What is “more primordial than the elements themselves” that could also be described as a storm?  The Primordial Soup, that’s what.  The ultimate chaos in which everything and nothing existed.

The Theology Council and the old Empire were manifestations of order, and this superduperprimordial chaos is exactly the sort of thing that mature, bearded and robed men who utter prophecies professionally would despise and fear.  It would be the ultimate heresy, and the immortal people who tried to activate this gate were therefore the ultimate heretics.  The Amarrian fleet didn’t hot-drop in to seize control of the gate, but to destroy it.  A key to new worlds, and therefore riches?  Power blocs everywhere would want to own it…except for those tied to dogma forbidding it.

Fast-forward one year.  Records have been analyzed.  Survivors of the gate fiasco, or its architects, have determined what went wrong.  This new space can be accessed safely if the theories hold up, but new tech is needed to do it, tech capable of withstanding the most powerful force ever thought to exist.  That means new research conducted in secret.  That’s right; I’m talking about the ghost sites.  Not only are they training us in how to crack relics and explore space.  They are our means of getting there, or will be when those scientific and engineering projects conclude.  By then, the knowledge will be too widespread for any one fleet of Amarrian fundamentalists to stop.  No wonder we capsuleers were warned away.

Other capsuleers have opined or implied that the new space is a way back to Terra.  I don’t know about that, but if other prophecy can be believed, the journey will be costly (“the appetite of nothing expands over the world”).  Perhaps this Prophecy trailer showed us that fourth event.  If Terra is in our future, we won’t like what we find (“the little brother makes the final sorrowful steps home; he is not welcome”).

The possibility of Terra interests me less, I think, than the space we would traverse to get there.  I like to think that CCP will take the opportunity to introduce a multi-shard architecture that doesn’t require the Band-Aid of Tidi.  A mass player emigration (or Diaspora, maybe, if the new gates are as ultimately destructive as prophesied) would be the time to rebuild the game.

The “entity” of the prophecy?  I think it’s the Soup, but I also think that it’s only a barrier to our entering the space, and one which we are going to breach next year.  You veterans of Odyssey who took seriously that expansion’s call to learn the art of exploration are almost ready.  You will map the new space that the battle-fleets, diplomats and industrialists will tame.