Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My SciFi

My SciFi will hopefully become a weekly update on the SciFi games Ive been watching/playing, and general news about them and things related to them or just things I feel soun ds related.

This Week: EVE Online: Odyessy, Star Citizen, Oculus Rift, and Isaac Asimov.

EVE Online

So we are EXTREMELY close to the release of the Odyssey Expansion for EVE Online. Let me tell you. I am very very excited about it. Mainly for two reasons, 1) The War on Loading Bars 2) Navy Cane.  

CCP Soundwave has undertaken a war on loading bars. You know. The silly little bar that pops up when you are undocking or jumping into a new system? Yea. It’s annoying and kind of kicks you out of the game mentally. So to improve on the immersion of the game itself, they are trying to replace the loading bars with animations. Blinky lights when your undocking and an AMAZING new jump effect. Like legitimately, it is nerdbonerific. I’m so glad that they decided to do this. Small things like that make the experience all the more better.

The second thing is the navy Battlecruisers. Now when I started playing in Feb of 2012, I fell in love with the Hurricane. I spent weeks training to fly it and fly it better. InstaCane was my dream. Little did I know the Cane was dead center of CCP's nerf crosshairs. And had been. Well, by the looks of it, they are apologizing for ruining the cane, by releasing the Navy Hurricane. This is basically the old Cane with a new paintjob and a shiny pricetag. I will be buying a couple after release without doubt.

I know I said there were only two things, but one cannot discuss Odyssey, without briefly noting the Great Skill Changes. Now, I’ve taken a look at the changes and read the dev blogs and such about it. I am happy for it. EVE is a complex world as we all know, but this is making it ever so slightly less complex. Less training for certain ships, more training time for others. I really don’-t have a problem with any of the changes (though that may have something to do with the fact that none of them affect me in the near foreseen future).

Star Citizen

I know I've touched on this game once or twice but I feel the need to do it again. Star Citizen is a Space-Simulation game in development by Chris Roberts, the guy who is responsible for games like Wing Commander and Freelancer. There are a lot of reasons why you should be interested in this game. 

1) Sandbox. I love video games as much as the next guy. However, there is no one single thing that will get me hooked on a game like a sandbox environment. it was what lured me into EVE, and is what has me stoked about SC. A game where I can do anything and be anyone without visible boundaries in the game universe.

2) Constant Updates. Most online multiplayer games are updated every couple of months. So for two whole months your playing the exact same game with no changes at all whatsoever to how the game acts. Which isn't necessarily bad, and it has worked for many games. However the SC team is planning on keeping updates to every week or two. That’s every couple weeks something new is introduced to the universe that you can go find ways to break and abuse.

3) Making Your Mark. There are a lot of games that promise that the things you do in the game universe will affect the overall game. Few actually manage to keep up on that promise. Usually it ends up boiling down to whether or not NPC characters view you as 'Evil' or 'Good'. EVE Online introduced sovereign space and Faction Warfare to help the players feel like they were making a difference. However Star citizen is supposed to take that to the next level. Instead of opening the whole universe at release they are only opening part of it. It is up to the players to explore and find the rest of the universe. Star systems can be named after the character who discovers them. Content in the game will be pushed out based on actions of the player base. All these things that help you feel like you are an important part of the universe as a whole.

4) Free To Play(ish). Every other MMO style game requires a monthly payment to be made to keep the account active. SC will not. You will pay for the game itself, and that’s it. Expansions and continuing to play will not be a pay to play ordeal. They are talking about including micro transactions into the game if you want to spend money on it, but you are not required to.

5) Realism. SC has put a lot of effort into making the physics of the game as real as is possible for this game. The mass of your ship, the speed of your ship, your trajectory and angles are all formulated and effect how your ship functions and behaves in space. Thrusters placed at different locations around your ship will help you maneuver through tight spaces, you will have to factor in how much room is on your ship before deciding if you want certain modules installed. or how heavy it is.

6) No Publisher. SC is not funded by any publishing company. Cloud Imperium Games is developing and pushing this game out by themselves, with funding from the potential player base. This means a couple things. a. Costs are lower. Making the game is cheaper because they can focus their funds on directly developing the content. b. More focused player base. Publishers are all about getting their games out to the masses. To the casual gamers and the really really casual gamers. SC isn't like that. The player base will be a little smaller as its not catering to that as much. Its more focused on making SC the way a Space Sim is supposed to be made and not trying to get all the 10-13 yr olds from COD to play it too.

7) Manual Control. One thing I've heard a lot of EVE players complain about is the click to move system that is in place. All MMO games are click to win. You click the ground, you move. You click an enemy, you attack them. SC will have the manual ship control that a lot of EVE players want. Dog fighting won’t be about who has the best guns, or the best shields. It will be about who can handle their ship better in combat. Who is the better strategist and pilot. Battles won’t be won by the person with the biggest guns, but by the person with the best plan.

8) Modding. PC games are best known for their ability to be modded. Many games are alive way past their expected lifetime because of mods that the game community has built for them. An example being Team Fortress 2. Chris Roberts has announced that not only will he support modding of the game but will actually open up private servers so that modders can play test and make their mods easier. Players can even submit their mods to be included as part of the game itself. Neat right?

Oculus Rift

Every gamer ever has dreamed of being inside the games they play. Instead of controlling a character who moves around in their virtual universe, they ARE the character inside that universe. Well a company called Oculus VR has been taking steps in that direction. Just recently they released the Developers kit for their VR headset, Oculus Rift. Now this isn't the first of its kind. VR headsets are out there, but unless you have a butler to wipe the crumbs from your Doritos off your gold plated keyboard, you couldn't afford it. The developer's kit which is basically a prototype of the consumer version which will be released at a TBD date is only $300. A lot of game companies have jumped aboard this project. All the way from Doom 3 (which will be the first game to have full Rift functionality, to EVE Online, who is developing a fighter combat section of the game (called EVR) specifically for it. CCP announced this at Fanfest this year and you can watch the youtube videos if you haven't already. The thing is pretty cool looking. I will be definitely throwing my money at it when the consumer version is released.

Isaac Asimov

So I just recently finished reading the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. This is the first time I've read any of his works, but a friend has been pressuring me to do so for a while. Well, My mind was blown. This guy knows how to write Scifi. I will warn anyone interested though that his writing style is a tad unconventional, and may be difficult to understand at certain parts, but totally worth it.

Thanks For Reading my ramblings. If there are any SciFi games, or simply Scifi related news or stories you want me to talk about, let me know I'm always interested in hearing and learning about new exciting adventures!

Fly Dangerous
Ceddy Cyanide

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