What an evening of Patch Day that was! I spent pretty much all day yesterday thinking about the expansion I would have to download, and all I had to satisfy my urge to play EVE was the blogs that I could read and a text copy of the patch notes. I had done a little testing on Singularity but very little, but only just enough to find out that the Tornado met and even exceeded my expectations. I had only seen the new nebulas around 6-something in Syndicate (whatever happened to FD-MLJ anyway?) and I hadn't even tried the engine trails. Yes, my gaming time sucks these days!
Yesterday I got to leave work a bit earlier; not because of EVE but the timing couldn't have been better. Got home, put supper into the oven, start downloading and hit the EVE-O forums. Ah the forums... this place has more trolls than the entire army of Mordor! "Waaaa new font!". "Waaaa Naga doesn't shoot missiles!". "Waaaa you broke cloaking!". "Waaaa you broke interdictors!". Trolls: please do not feed them, or if you do make sure the food is heavily spiced :)) But I knew that what little I had seen on Sisi and what I had read about in the patch notes was more than satisfying to me. But once I was finally able to log in the tune changed quite drastically as everybody I had in my various channels was singing the praises of this new EVE. For the first time in as long as some of the oldest players could remember, CCP had finally hit a resounding homerun. The only scratch on Crucible's paint would be the missing fuel block BPO's but this should be fixed soon. And for what I think is the first time ever, nothing that was working was badly broken. If there is it's not something that affects me. Haleluia to that!
So my first impressions on a few things:
The engine trails: having not really seen them on Sisi, I never thought I would like them so much. You see, the majority of the time whether it's for PvE or PvP I play with my camera view zoomed way out. It was one of the reasons why I felt the new turrets didn't excite me much. So with my ship being only a few dark pixels in the middle of my screen sometimes it was hard to see where I was in space in relation to other stuff, but now with the trails manual flying has become tons of fun. I spent almost 15 minutes doing "aerobatics" in my Malediction, giggling like a 10 year old boy! It's only a little thing, but damn is it good!
Auto-jump, auto-dock, loot all, etc: CCP Soundwave, you and Team BFF clearly deserve a medal, a bigger Xmas bonus, a holiday, or all of the above! I have always complained about the tediousness of playing EVE, but by making things easier to manage more time can be spent on more important things. As always, there is still the danger of misusing the auto-pilot, and I simply can't wait to read reports of haulers killed within spitting distance of the Jita undock with ungodly amounts of loot. But I'm sure someone heard my prayers of having the fitting browser and the market interact together seemlessly; in case you didn't know (I found out this morning before leaving for work), you can now drag a saved fit to the market window, and this will create a group from which one can buy the needed modules. It's not the 1-button "buy all" I had suggested but it's a step in the right direction. Less time spent buying and fitting means more time out in space. Awesome!
Nebulas, warp tunnel, ship textures, etc: space started to look better (to me at least) around Apocrypha, and then a bit better in Tyrannis. But now, it's simply breathtaking. I'll have to take a long roam to appreciate the differences between systems, constellations and regions, something that will happen this weekend. I read that Letrange found the region jumps to be a bit jarring, but previously you would have a few jumps were you'd go from blue nebulas to red nebulas in the same constellation. I also liked the much cleaner scanning view. The warping effect though... this has never looked this good! Warping to a star or through a planet is something worth seeing! Not dealing with cap ships these days I will be a while before I see the new cyno effect but from what I've seen in videos it must be great to see in-game. I was really impressed with the new ship textures; they make some truly horrible looking ships (ie: Caldari) better to look at, and some ships that were already nice looking really spiff. I was surprised by one ship that wasn't mentioned in the changes, at least that I know of: the Firetail's new dark brown paint job makes it look A LOT meaner :)
And that's about all the time I had for yesterday. I did give quick spin to one of my Taranii by killing a few Angel rats. Hitting for 200+ while afterburning at 1300 m/s is great, but for a real test I'll have to go up against capsuleer-flown ships, both in consensual PvP and in Surprise ClownSeks. You may have noticed I haven't talked about the new battlecruisers. I'm just not one of those rich tards willing to spend 200+ million ISK to be one of the first to own a new T1 ship. I'll let the dust settle a bit and when my T2 large lasers are ready I'll probably buy all 4 at once. I already have BC V so I should have fun :)
And there you go! For the first time since I started playing the game in January 2008 I REALLY want to play EVE, and talk about it, and try to get people to try it, and maybe even get some Bitter Old Vets to come back. Is Crucible good enough to bring back someone like Teadaze? Is it good enough to make a certain Virginia resident regret her decision to give away her well-known character? I can see where these two can be bitter as they spilled blood, sweat and tears over this game at a time when the developers were... what's the term... misguided? But I'm pretty sure that if they came back strictly for the game itself, they would like the brand new New Eden that was delivered to us. I can't wait to have some good quality play time :))
Fly. That's it. Just fly!