Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Captain's Quarters - Potential Never To Be Realized

Way back in 2012 I posted an imaginary backlog overview for Team Avatar about the future direction of the Captain's Quarters had the Summer of Rage had not occurred and scuttled CCP's plans for walking in stations:

Story #22317 - Sharing Space
Description - As a user I want the ability to invite another user into my captain's quarters.
Conditions of Acceptance - Provides the other character is in the same station and online: a user can send an invite to them. If accepted, they appear in the user's quarters (transition method can be immersion breaking for now).

Comments - I know there are some technical hurdles to overcome but social interaction in a shared space is fundamental to Incarna and its pivotal we get there even in a baby step. If we can have the new character walk in through the door, that would be awesome, but I'll settle for a teleport at this stage.

Story #22318 - Sitting Down With Other Character
Description - As a user I want to be able to sit down on a couch that another character is sitting upon.
Conditions of Acceptance - I can sit on a couch that already has a character sitting on it.
Comments - Would be nice if the couch in captain's quarters had two-three sitting spots you could pick from, and you can't pick a spot currently occupied by someone else. This is story is to allow players to have their avatars look comfortable while socializing.
Story #22319 - Add prototype Tic-Tac-Toe Minigame
Description - as a user whose character is sitting on the couch, I want to click on the holoscreen and choose to play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe (our prototype minigame for testing and development purposes)
Comments - This story is to develop the infrastructure for launching mini-game interfaces. Assume the user can pick from multiple mini-games.
Story #22320 - Allow two players to participate in Minigame.
Description - As a player with a visiting player, I want to play the minigame with the visiting player instead of against AI.
Conditions of Acceptance - The resident player (i.e. the player who owns the captain's quarters) can start a minigame and allow the second visitor player to take the position usually played by the game AI. The player avatar names are listed indicated who is who on the minigame interface, and the winner is obvious in a screenshot.
Comments - Once we have two people in a captain's quarters and a minigame interface, it makes logical sense to allow the two players to play again each other.
Epic Story #22321 - More Minigames
Description - As a user I want to have a choice of multiple minigames
Conditions of Acceptance - Mulitple minigames are added to the interface to choose from.
Description - This epic is going to be broken down into stories for each of the minigames we are developing such as Sec Wars, Jita Hold 'Em, and Rogue Drone Invaders.
Story #22322 - Gambling
Description - As a user playing a minigame against a visiting player, I want the ability to wage bets on the outcome.
Conditions of Acceptance - The bets can only be in ISK at this time. There must be a confirmation after both players have made their bets and hit OK so that they can make sure they were not cheated in the betting by a last second edit by their opponent. The winner wins the total pot of the bet. A draw will see the bets returned to the players. A forfeit through quitting or logging off will count as a loss and thus the other player wins the bet.
Comments - Eve players love to gamble, let's give them the ability to. NOW Incarna will have the compelling content to encourage players to use it.
* * * * *
We're way beyond what we can fit in this release (and maybe the next!) but let me through up the future epics to give you an idea of where we are headed.
Epic Story #22323 - More Visitors
Description - As a user I want to be able to invite and host up to 5 other players in my quarters.
Epic Story #22324 - Persistent Quarters
Description - As a user I want to be able to rent a permanent Captain Quarters in a station such that I can decorate it and furnish it as I see fit.
Epic Story #22325 - Upgradable Quarters
Description - As a user I want to be able to upgrade my quarters to a larger and more luxurious model so that hosting 5 other players does not feel crowded.
Epic Story #22326 - Furnishings In NeX
Description - As a user I want to be able to purchase furnishings for my rented permanent quarters,  to decorate it to my tastes.
Epic Story #22327 - Establishments
Description - As a user I want to be able to leave my captain's and go to a station's public establishment where other players docked in the same station might also go.
I really believe there was room in the EVE universe for this vision or something like it where gameplay, even just of the casual sort, could exist for players NOT in a spaceship. I say 'was' because today CCP announced they were retiring the feature entirely to save on maintenance effort:

The Future
Taking usage metrics and development time need for maintenance into account, along with the fact that captain’s quarters uses older middleware and technologies that slow down or block discussion of future engineering efforts, we have decided that the time has come to retire captain’s quarters with the August release.
Retiring captain’s quarters frees up a significant amount of development time that can be used elsewhere to focus on preparing the EVE Online client and the graphics technology used within it for a long and visually stunning future. This allows Team TriLambda to dedicate more of their time to the core of gameplay in New Eden – spaceships, and space.
Bringing captain’s quarters up to a standard that would reflect current graphics technology would take roughly 6-8 months of development work, which we feel for the percentage of players utilizing the feature, is not a sensible investment of development time that could be used on furthering the visual side of core gameplay in New Eden.
As explained earlier, the current condition of captain’s quarters means that the underlying infrastructure would need to be stripped out of the client and rebuilt from scratch.
 In other words, we fucked up the initial implementation so bad while ignoring space gameplay that players got mad so we stopped all development and support for new features for years and thus players didn't adopt it so we have no reason to continue supporting it. 

At least they recognize that they assassinated their own stillborn child and at least have the decency to bury it.


  1. If CCP had to remove everything that requires development time and is used by less than 3% of players, half of EVE would be gone. Whole new features are added with a potential target of less than 3% of the players.

    CCP, it's just the way it is.

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  3. I can understand the management rationale - but I'm also sad to see it gone. It was useful to create a number of illustrations, even if nothing else.