Sunday, March 01, 2009

Apocrypha: Probing Update Part II

Good news! The visual cues are back in the latest patch. Blue spheres, red circles, and the red/yellow/green dots, much to my approval. You can't currently warp to anything you scan down right now but I'm sure that bug is being fixed. :P

Now all those crusty old forum whiners crowing about going back to the good old days when probing took "skill" (and was, coincidentally, as boring as watching cows crap in a field) can go back to bitching about how Eve is being "Wow-ized" all the time just because the interface drags itself into the 1990s in terms of capabilities.

Listen old farts, you want a space game where you have to do most of the math? Knock yourselves out.


  1. Anonymous11:03 am

    Honestly, I don't see how the old way took more skill than this one, and in fact I suspect this way requires more actual thought. Before, other than maybe a few "awkward" solar systems, you generally just dropped probes at every planet more than 4 AU from the previous one and hit ANALYZE over and over until you got a hit. This looks much more interesting.

  2. From my experience on sisi the last week or so its more complicated now than it was before, lol. Don't quite get what ya mean that it was based on skill. Skills that you train? In which case most of us now need an extra lvl in astro so that's not easier or skill in finding things? That was always very easy and required no skill whatsoever just a basic understanding of what button to press and when. Math? Never needed any to probe or scan. As for boring, what was boring compared to now? You launched them, you scanned, same now.

    As for the interface, yes I guess the 90s would cover the monstrosity this the new UI. Bloated, cynical, complicated and has shoulder pads :) personally I am always against taking a backwards step in usability just to give a few more shadows and blinky lights but then again I'll take content over glitz and day.

  3. Typos abound in the above post! Sorry :(

  4. Biomassed, there could be confusion so allow me to explain.

    First there was probing the old way before exploration came around. I'm not familiar with it but some crusty old vets (friends of yours? ;) ) claimed it took player skill to master.

    Then there was the current probing method released, sometime in the past year or so, I can't remember when exactly. It uses the method of dropping probes and analyzing and finding items based on strength, deviation, and a random roll. Used for both ship probing and exploration as we are all aware. Apparently less player skill oriented than the "original".

    Next we had what I'm calling Sisi-1 for the purposes of this post. It took out the random element and introduced the visual cues of blue spheres, red circles, and red/yellow/green dots. It also uses triangulation to narrow in on the signal and supposedly requires at least 3 probes but usually 4 to get a hit you can warp in on. This is the version I used to right my probing preview posts a couple weeks back.

    Then the devs rebuilt the map and the visual cues were removed in the process. Call this Sisi-2. Old timers in the forums were hailing this as an improvement because they felt it made exploration harder and requiring more player skill to master. I call bullshit really on that because I think it requires more work but is not harder to master. Any child can play hot and cold once you explain the rules to them.

    Then this past weekend we reverted or rather bugs were fixed to bring back Sisi-1 type probing.

    * * * * *
    One could argue whether the visual cues are needless glitz or not all day, or whether the probing without them is actually harder or just more labourious. As long as something works on March 10th I'll be happy. ;)

  5. Nice discussion. You have NO idea how much that made me laugh :P

  6. I definitely agree that the visual clues make probing more fun, compared to just randomly moving probes around to see if the signal strength improves (doing things at random takes no skill), you actually have to sit and think about which probes to move, where to put them and what range to set them at for a given point - *that* is a skill.

    Sure, it might be a fairly easy skill to learn - I'm willing to bet that it isn't as easy as people think to *master*.

    I haven't been able to do any more probing since my first main session, the size of the sisi patches caught up with me and the current 2.6GB I felt was a little much (especially considering that there will almost certainly be another soon!)

    Thanks for keeping us updated though, I'm really looking forward to March 10th!

  7. Anonymous7:11 am

    I'm with you on this. When I have a powerful computer sitting next to my desk fully capable of calculating such user interfaces in the present I would expect nothing less of a computer in a futuristic spaceship.

    Why make the user do the hard work when we designed computers precisely to do it instead of us?