Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Eve Overview Improvements

The tide of the battle is turning. Hostile ships are crumbling, the battle is turning in your favor. It's the breaking point in the battle where a smart FC on the losing side tries to get as many ships out alive as possible, understanding defeat. Calls to spread points fly across fleet chat, secure as many kills as possible, stop those hostiles from escaping. Garbled 'I have a point on the dr---' or 'point ca--' fill fleet comms, it's utter chaos, and more than 3/4 of the remaining enemy fleet makes it to warp despite being in scramble and disruptor range from more then enough points to do a full lock-down. It's sometimes followed by muted silence and then utter amazement on how in the hell all those ships got out.

'Must have all been fitting stabs' - Chuckles follow that. But the FC isn't happy, there were more kills out there, but it doesn't matter now.

"Spread points"

This is thee most ambiguous command in the Eve FC's dictionary, this basically means, put points on everything in range, top value stuff first, to secure the most expensive kills. In reality, it's left up to fleet members to look at the tactical situation and figure out what to put their point on. In reality, while the blingy t2 cruiser might always get pointed, it gets 10 points while everything else gets none.

What I mean to say is -

I guess all of this is a long route to get to the simple point. Unlike in countless other MMO's where current effects on a target are called out by status indicators under the mob or player. In Eve we only have a system where we show our modules and their effects on the target. I think the UI team should take a close look and figure out a way to indicate if a target is being jammed already, if he already has a TD on him, and more importantly, is there a point on that guy?

Too much detail could cause a huge amount of clutter on the UI, but just a few indicators could be important. Something like a single icon or a nested icon showing how many of each module type is active on a target would be hugely useful, not just in a "Spread Points" scenario, but also in a pitched battle where ewar teams are doing their best to spread their trade around the entire enemy fleet.

To implement, it would be hard to represent these items without adding a lot of clutter to the UI, but I would like to see perhaps "ghost" images of a warp scrambler icon or EWAR icon under the target if someone else is already engaging that target with EWAR or whatever. In my opinion gun icons would be ridiculous in almost any non-solo battle, but the ewar and warp scrambler icons would actually be very useful.

Imagine if you were able to tell at a glance what one of your targets had or didn't have points on them. Spread points would no longer end up with all but the most doomed targets escaping. Flow of pointing would be a different meta, allowing FC's undedicated the command "Tackle on primary" and instead allow the fleet members to coordinate points on their own.

Warp bubbles could have their own icon or just show as a warp scramble effect on targets inside the bubble. (for you 0.0 readers who don't worry about tackle unless they are in a dictor/hictor). Let's keep moving forward with a better, more intuitive, UI.


  1. I would really love to see this type of thing added, I hate hearing "spread points"...for just this reason.

  2. I think it'd be nice to have additional information available for other ships, but like you say, going too far and having information clutter and overload would be an easy step to take.

    The idea that came into my mind is that if you click on a ship, but don't target, maybe after half the time it takes to target you could see the effects on the ship, but nothing else - no health, for instance. The idea would have to be refined, and it may cause too much complexity (how many of these can you have? what kind of code would have to be created to handle it?).