Sunday, March 15, 2015

Space Environment Interactions

Hi, folks!

It’s been a while.

First of all, I want to say sorry, I have been absent for so long. Dear God, I haven’t blogged since May 31st last year?! Well, there is an explanation for that. I was just busy. Oh, and I did not post anything about the New Year 2015?! Well, I gotta say that it started really well and I feel that its energy is rich and gentle. May it be a really good year for all of us!

The whole summer of 2014 I spent working as a night security guard, keeping a restaurant garden. And I gotta tell you that night jobs are not for me. I used to come back home in the morning and sleep until late afternoon (around 14:00). Then when I finally got up I used to feel very tired through the day and not in the mood to blog, because nothing really compensates for a good sleep during the night. When this job season finished in November, I quit and started making up my plans for the future.

Then suddenly I got this call - a chance for a new, really well payed job, with working hours during the day, with lots of young people around me and so on. I applied for it, there was two months of education and now I am in the 6 months trial period that will determine how well I am going and if I do well enough I will get the position. Nothing is certain at this point, but I have spent two months already, retouching photos in Photoshop, so things are pretty much in motion. Will see how it goes.

While during these two months I was really focused on doing it right at work and did not have much time to dedicate on blogging, I am now adapting to the new schedule I have and I feel more comfortable to go to the draft board again and finally resume the Voyager Spirit journey. Plus I hope to finally get a steady subscription to EVE. 

I noticed that I keep getting follows in Twitter, no matter how rarely I post something and I gotta say *Thank You*, guys, for all the attention, I am really happy that you like the ideas in the blog and my humble artworks, this means a lot to me. Will do my best to show you more.

Today’s post will be about Environments. And more precisely - Space Environments.

At this point in EVE there are a few places where we can interact with the environment - some specific missions, asteroid fields, gas clouds, data/relic sites and of course the Sleeper Cashes and the Wormhole effects. Well at least that is what I know. I see that steps in this direction are made by our devs, so now it is time to share some ideas for the next possible steps.

Space Weather

Yes, there is “weather” in Space. It is a lot different that the weather on planets, but it is safe to say that space around us has lots shifting conditions, anomalies and so on. In general space weather comes in the form of radio blackouts, solar radiation storms, geomagnetic storms, caused by solar disturbances from stars, electromagnetic storms of unknown origin, different space objects flying by, gravity disturbances, massive fields of space that have various properties, gigantic gas clouds, some of which very hot and so on. Actually, as I see it - Space is really abundant and there is a lot to see out there. What I would really love to see and experience is some form of a better interaction between us capsuleers and the space environments, with some rich variety and extended field of options to explore.

First of all, it would be nice to have various environmental effects that affect ships and space structures. While our space vessels are really resilient, they should be more or less able to experience the space weather and adapt to it, and even take advantage of it. The main idea around this is the fact that everything in space is in motion and various conditions should change from time to time - some more drastically and some slowly and gently shifting. This would bring a new level of immersion in our realm. I will do whatever I can to give examples, but I don’t feel really informed in that field. Any suggestions are welcome!

System Wide Anomalies

Next step is the size of these Space Weather anomalies. Present time we have asteroid belts and gas clouds that are actually tiny spots, compared to the system they are in. But would it be nice to have space anomalies that represent a big part of the solar system? It is a known fact that here in our own Sol solar system, there is a vast asteroid field, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is so large that it could be noted as a ring around our sun. Though this asteroid field may not be very dense, there are probably billions of rocks out there. I think it would be really cool if we could have similar asteroid anomalies in our solar systems, of course with a dedicated UI system/modules etc. that would help pilots navigate through them. Well such anomalies may not have to be as large as the asteroid field around Sol, but they can occupy a significant part of a system and providing new gameplay. And they can be not just asteroids - maybe gas clouds with various conditions - some explosive, others too hot to be visited without some special equipment, some sporting a good amount of harmful radiation, some other space anomalies like the ones we often see in missions/factional warfare spots etc.

Constellation Wide Anomalies

Yes, why not? There is no limit of dimensions in Space. Some gas clouds can be large enough to form vast nebulae as we see them everywhere. And there can be tons of ways we can interact with them. Some pilots may decide to hide their stations in a dense field of such gas clouds, no matter how dangerous and unstable these fields may be. Others may find it lucrative to harvest parts of such clouds and use the resources for their industry activities and so on. Others may find it fun to race through such anomalies. Constellation wide anomalies may bring lots of pilots at the same place, meaning that new gameplay and content can be created.

Region Wide Anomalies

Same here. Some regions may become famous with their vast anomalies, that provide various conditions for specific gameplay. Some groups of pilots may even fight for these specific anomalies and make them their home, no matter how harsh the conditions in them may be. I am really out of examples here, but such anomalies may not be represented only by asteroids or vast gas clouds. They could be some energy fields, solar storms, ice fields and who knows what else.

More Signatures to Scan

Going back to local spots in systems, I feel that we need something more to explore. More types of Signatures. For example it would be nice if we could find local dense gas clouds, like the ones that we find in missions, you know - where NPC pirates hide, the large snake-shaped asteroids, the sparkling blue lights that we often see in factional warfare places and maybe there should be new ones - with specific properties and conditions, providing new interesting gameplay. Yes, vast anomalies would not need to be scanned, but the tiny ones that may rapidly move and shift through space, should be scannable - providing more content for explorers.

Natural Environments and Ones Caused by Pilots

As well as purely natural space anomalies, there might be ones that are caused by capsuleers and their activities.Well, we may not be able to create them as vast as the anomalies described above, but they could be really interesting to explore. For example if a large fleet of titans is destroyed, there might be some gas or energetic fields that emit from the debris and slowly spread several AU across the system. And maybe someone would come to harvest these fields or hide something in them.

Another example of this might be when large alliances decide to build something and then hide it in an artificially created gas cloud that is spread some 2 or 5 AU across the system and so hazardous that only the bravest of pilots would be able to enter it, again with the necessary equipment. Of course scanning such cloud would be done with some specific modules and the results may not be as accurate as some would like, meaning that whatever is there may remain hidden for a long time.

Environments Should Affect Various Ship and Structure Attributes

Yes, this could be essential. When interacting with Space Weather, the attributes of our ships and structures should be affected more or less, providing different gameplay in different areas.

For example there could be vast hazardous gas clouds that have massive lightning bolts discharging all across them. Some spots of these clouds could be harvestable. In order to reach them pilots should warp deep into the cloud and use special shields to resist the environment effects. In addition there should be some areas that don’t allow direct warp, meaning that sometimes pilots must fly manually to the harvestable spots, risking their ships and lives. These special protective shields should also affect some ship attributes, for example reducing some of their resistances and thus making them vulnerable to specific attacks. There are many options here. In some variations of these clouds firing a specific type of weapon should trigger some destructive event that would vaporize the nearby ships etc.

In some other areas, such as vast energetic fields, there might be conditions that affect capacitor usage. In some of these fields the capacitors should deplete quicker, while in others they should recharge more rapidly, providing plenty of energy. In some of these fields cap transfers might not be possible, or they should alter the sensors of the ships, so they can lock slower or faster.

Similar to the wormhole system effects such environments should provide a nice and rich gameplay.

Moving Anomalies

Some anomalies, like solar radiation storms or electromagnetic clouds etc. should be slowly moving across systems and constellations. This would provide ever changing conditions and bring more people close to each other if they decide to “chase” these anomalies for valuable resources while meeting new people on their path.

Ways for Manipulating Certain Anomalies

In some cases we should be able to manipulate certain anomalies in our favor. There might be modules or even special ships that would allow us to do so. For example if someone has traversed deep in our mining gas anomaly we could use certain modules to make the gas unstable and explosive, so the miners should get away or stop mining if they want to survive. If they have scouts they may notice our intervention and attempt to take care of it with their supporting fleet and so on.

Environment Adaptation Modules

Yes, there should be a whole new line of ship modules that would allow us to survive in various environments. All with their pros and cons. Well there might be a need of new types of slots for these modules in order to keep our favorite fittings, but sometimes sacrifices should be made in favor of better survivability in certain areas. I won’t go in details or example here, you already get the idea.

All in all if we have options to interact with the environment around us, there will be better and more immersive gameplay.

I would really love to brainstorm around these ideas, so I may continue the topic in later posts.

What are your thoughts?


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