Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An Industry UI For The 21st Century

I know the title of the post will annoy roleplayers who will insist we are in the 2nd century (or 23rd millennium, depending on how one counts these things), but I'm glad that CCP has updated EVE Online's industry user interface to compete with games developed in the 21st century.

The old industry UI harkened back to the time in which EVE was developed.  Many may not realize that CCP was formed back in 1997 and its first successful product was the board game Hættuspil.  Back when EVE Online was conceptualized and developed, Everquest was the king of the MMO world, using third party sites was frowned upon by both developers and many gamers, and presenting information in table form was not only acceptable, but what many gamers had grown up with.  Is it any surprise that with the amount of information needed to play the sci-fi game that EVE quickly earned a reputation as "spreadsheets in space"?

But times change.  I don't play a lot of Wildstar, but one thing I like about the game is the crafting user interface.  Everything is nicely laid out, with the information presented in an accessible format.  I was able to get into making items quickly.  I'm glad to say that after playing with the new industry UI last night that CCP has taken that clunky late 20th century UI and created a new one that compares favorably, if not surpasses, one from the latest AAA MMORPG.

Making Tech 2 Ammo

First is the manufacturing UI.  I like it.  No more having to flip between two windows.  I can select my blueprint, see what materials I need if I don't have enough, and see what I will output.  I can even change the number of runs and watch the materials needed change on the fly.  The interface is really convenient as I can read off the materials used on the screen, enter them into my spreadsheet that stores the amount I spent purchasing the materials, and quickly calculate the price.  I can then figure out how much to charge.  The above example is for tech 2 ammunition.  Remember I said I planned on doubling down on low sec Monday?  The graphic above was the first batch of Barrage S I'm producing in a low sec station.

Searching For Researched BPOs

One thing that used to drive me crazy was getting my researched and non-researched blueprints mixed up.  Just because I'm a casual industrialist doesn't mean I want to waste material by building something with the wrong blueprint.  That should never happen again.  The UI shows how much, if any, a blueprint is researched.  As the graphic above shows, I did pretty well with my material efficiency research, but horribly with time efficiency research.  With the new UI, I can easily tell which blueprints need some research love.

Finding Station Activity Levels

One concern I had with the new industry system and the removal of industry slots was how to determine if a station is really busy or seldom used.  Turns out that the information is displayed graphically in the "Facilities" tab.  The information doesn't give numbers, but a tooltip will pop up that displays a bar that shows the system cost index.  The shorter the bar, the less the service costs.  I think each notch on the bar is 10%, but I'm getting old so I'm perhaps reading the display incorrectly.  But I like the display as a way to quickly tell the favorable and unfavorable stations apart.

Testing Invention Outcomes

One of the nice features of the system is that one can experiment with outcomes, even if a player doesn't have all the items.  In the above example, the UI lists the possible decryptors and meta items that can influence the success and output of an invention job.  No more having to find a third party site to get the information.  Just play around and when I find a combination I like, just click on the "Start" button.  Of course, in the example above I'm running the maximum amount of jobs my skills allow, so I'll have to wait until a job finishes.  Did I mention the UI remembers the inputs if you accidentally close the UI?  Or if you need to wait for a job to finish?  That is very nice.

The industry changes only went live yesterday, so the jury is still out on how the whole industrial revamp will eventually turn out.  But I really like the UI changes that came out with Crius.  I wish we had this five years ago when I first started playing.





11 comments:

  1. I'm glad you like the changes. As a past Eve industrialist, there is really nothing in the interface that I couldn't already lean from Eve Isk Per Hour. I'll agree that it was slightly difficult to keep track of which BPOs were fully researched, but I solved that with two cans (Finished, Needs Reserach). For me the negatives of this release greatly outweighed the positives. Not saying that everyone feels that way, obviously.

    I'm glad you still enjoy the game. Keep writing.

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  2. 13:35 Eve Time on a Wednesday: 21, 263 pilots online.
    Even for summer, a low number.

    Yes, the UI is an improvement.

    But let's see how you and so many others feel 30 or 60 days in and the null sec cartel industries start shutting people out or profitable production lines.

    I have stated many times the full effect of handing null sec all these gifts won't completely trickle down for weeks. But the PCU indicates a lot of people have already had enough.

    regards

    Dinsdale

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    Replies
    1. "have already had enough"

      You mean, people have already had enough doom and gloom by folks who are guessing as to what the full effects may be.

      I doubt very much that folks have 'had enough' when the changes were mad his week, and the effects won't be felt for a few more weeks.

      Maybe folks are getting turned off by the effect of constant chicken-little whining and are tired of hearing the same sad droning noise?

      I don't care that eventually someone will be correct with "the end is near" Its a given that at some point it will be true. Standing on a box on the town hall steps in sandwich board whining through a megaphone was never an effective way of causing change. It devalues intelligent conversation, it weakens the position desired, and paints others who may have broadly similar views with a common brush.

      This constant "I told you so" and "the end is near" stuff isn't good. Its not helping, and it may be making things worse.

      Delete
    2. The time of your current logged on snapshot is at 13:35 which is only 2 hours after downtime. Which is right after lunch is EU TZ and morning in US TZs on a Wednesday. Contrary to popular belief there are Eve players that have jobs:-) I'd be much more interested in a snapshot on Saturday at 13:35...

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  3. "... the jury is still out on how the whole industrial revamp will eventually turn out."

    Then, you haven't been following the Crius issues thread on the forums. The jury says that this is the worst release in years, in terms of design, implementation, and testing.

    The whole point of this new "more releases per year" system was to ensure that features which were not ready to deploy would not be deployed prematurely. And, what did they do? They released a major revamp to industry that was admittedly not completely thought out, not yet finished and not fully tested.

    Let's see what Greyscale had to say: "it's technically by design but we just revised the design". This is the sort of stupidity that happens when you ignore player feedback from Sisi.

    Industrial players numbers are falling. It has only been a day, and about 10% of my corp mates in the high-sec industrial corp have already decided to call it quits; about 50% have already decided to take an extended break, from which they may not return. We're hearing the same sort of thing from other industrial corrps.

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    1. "Then, you haven't been following the Crius issues thread on the forums. The jury says that this is the worst release in years, in terms of design, implementation, and testing. "

      ... and this is why you have to pretty much ignore the forums right after a patch. Every patch.

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    2. This release is an embarassment for CCP. The issue list is already growing faster than CCP's ability to fix before the next release.

      With the new 6 week release cycle, they will just be adding more and more issues to fix with every release, and never be able to catch up.

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    3. Just because its a 6 week cycle doesn't mean u will see new features. Hell the next one is pry all fixes for this one

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    4. This release was already a clean-up release for features that were supposed to be in Kronos. CCP is going to end up in a bad place if half their development work for every 6-week cycle consists of fixing things from the previous release.

      IMO quality control is more important when you're on a 6-week release cycle because you don't want to be dragging an endless list of necessary fixes and tweaks around with you that drag down your development resources. CCP has never embraced quality control or assurance. The barometer for this is how they deal with issues reported on SiSi. They've been ignoring most of those for several years and continue to do so.

      Delete
  4. Things i am having trouble with:Finding the teams i am bidding in.
    In simulating possible Jobs i can not seem to adjust stations and or me/te.

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  5. And the dumbest dev of the year award goes to.... CCP Greyscale!

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