Incarna thoughts 02

Two posts in one day…

I was reminded by one of the recent “A Day in EVE” blog posts that Incarna was something I have been looking forward to for many years.  I think the concept is good and the approach is the right one for growing the user base of EVE.  This initial iteration, while a little limited, has promise and is heading in the right direction.

Why then if you read the EVE forums at the moment are you finding the majority of the feedback is full of bitterness and complaints, especially from older players?  After spending more time in the game with multiple accounts, I believe the problem is that while CCP might have moved the game forwards, they have moved the Game Client noticeably backwards.

I have one of the earlier i7 920 CPUs, a GeForce GTX 460, and run 32 bit Windows 7 (my rather expensive scanner doesn’t have 64 bit drivers).  It would probably be middle ranged now.  Looking at the systems load with the new client is rather illuminating:

Generally
. Running E-Mail, Browsers, Office Apps and Remote Desktop
. CPU Utilisation under 5%
. CPU Temps 40 to 45c
. ~1.7GB Ram Free

The following figures are with running the same set of applications, plus…

Two Incursion Clients
. CPU Utilisation under 9%
. CPU Temps 43 to 48c
. ~0.9GB Ram Free
. No performance issue with system or other applications

One Incarna Client – in Captain Quarters
. CPU Utilisation 12-14%
. CPU Temps 55 to 60c
. ~0.6GB Ram Free
. Some stuttering or refresh issues with other applications

Two Incarna Clients – both in Captain Quarters
. CPU Utilisation 22-30%
. CPU Temps 60 to 62c
. ~0.3GB Ram Free
. Noticeable delays swapping between applications, system nowhere near as sooth

Two Incarna Clients – One in Captain Quarters, 1 in Space
. CPU Utilisation 10-15%

Two Incarna Clients – 2 in Space
. CPU Utilisation 5-9%

Two Incarna Clients – Docked but with station environment turned off
. CPU Utilisation 6%
. CPU Temps drop to around 50c

So – I went from being able to run 3 EVE Clients without any impact on my desktop, to running 2 EVE clients and finding it running noticeably slower.  It impacts the way I can play the game – I can’t just leave an industry or price check alt logged in for hours while I work, playing 0.01ISK wars or watching a contract, as it impacts the desktop too much.  Oh – but I can turn off the station environment.  And then I find myself wondering how EVE’s latest upgrade has in fact turning out to be a downgrade.

There are also a growing list of annoyances and bugs – such as finding if I sit down on the couch, my character will then stand again, but will refuse to walk anywhere until you re-dock or re-log.  Or how if you are opening windows and moving assets around, you keep finding 3D menus jumping up in the background as the mouse crosses hot spots.  What I really want right now is the option to have my old station environment back – where I can see my ship, spin it around to my heart’s content, and not have it impact the running of my desktop.  I want to go into Incarna when I have a reason to – and not be forced to all the time.  If you ran multiple clients on an even lower spec’d computer, you would be screaming about now…

I’m not raging, I am not cancelling my accounts, I am not hating CCP.  I don’t however want to run the current Incarna Client.

 

Incarna thoughts 01

. Patch took longer than scheduled.  CCP, it looks better to quote a higher outage time and deliver early, than to do the opposite.

. The animated splash screen at login is rather odd.  The position of the cruiser as it does a flyby is down low on the screen and half obscured.  It is also somewhat slow as it crosses in front of you.

. I must admit I had a slight amount of trepidation as I put in my main characters password and pressed enter.

. The very first load time into the captain quarters was very slow.  Perception subsequently however is that it adds a maybe 4 or 5 seconds to your first log in, and maybe a second or two when re-docking.

. My first unexpected hurdle – after standing there and looking around for a few minutes, was how the hell do you move?  Turns out it is double click.

. Interacting with objects is kind of logical (you click on them or hover your mouse over them and options pop up) – but it seems to take into account distance, so I could click on the couch, select sit, and nothing would happen. I would have to move a bit closer and try again.

. It is not as immersive as I first thought – the station, hanger, ship, local overlays etc can make it seem just like an animated background.

. Too slow to move around – especially when you dock up and find yourself outside of the quarters.  It would be nice to have the option to walk fast instead of stroll.  Maybe even an option to run…

. The position of your character kind of makes sense – standing when you first log in, out on the hanger gantry when you re-dock.  Moving around however is so slow that I can see myself simply ignoring most of the features.  Would be nice to be able to select a default starting point – mine would be sitting on the couch.

. Character texture is rather unnatural and not as high quality as I expected, and the turn movement is too jerky.

. Is there a way to spin your ship in the hanger?

. It was a nice touch seeing your pod parked below the quarters, although you can’t seem to approach it.

. Last of all looked at the Noble Exchange and fell off my chair.  A PLEX costs around $17.50, or 320 to 420M ISK.  Each PLEX can be converted into 3,500 Aurum.  The items in the exchange cost between 1,000 and 12,000 Aurum, with most around the price of a PLEX.  The initial offerings were slim and frankly less than inspiring.  Who set such a ridiculous pricing point? Who would pay that much for a pretend skirt or Jacket!?  I had two PLEX put aside to buy some Aurum, but based on that initial view I cashed them out for ISK.

So – I am glad to see it finally here, and I look forward to when there are corporation and public areas to visit.  It seemed to work ok, although I suspect as I mentioned above, I will just regard it as an animated background and ignore it.  (Being able to start myself in a default location might change my view a little.)  This was of course just my initial view.  I’ll have to go back and look more closely at things over the coming weeks.