Technically Feasible

Playing with Incarna in EVE Online

Likeness of Michael Oldroyd
Michael Oldroyd
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Although my online gaming time has been sparse recently, I thought it would be good to take some time out and look at the new features coming to EVE Online this year. After reading the devlog post that Incarna functionality was being tested on Duality, I decided to take a peek. After spending quite a lot of time crafting my character, I was quite happy to wait an hour to grab the Duality client (4GB+) and take my avatar for a spin.

Interface #

You have access to most of the game windows through physical objects within the Captain's Quarters. There is a small screen on the "coffee table", and a weird ship-like object which allows you to access the fitting and ship hangar. I'm sure that the tutorials will clarify what you can interact with (and how), but I didn't initially realise how you interacted with these objects. You right-click to access a context menu.

Tutorials #

I haven't had a chance to preview the new user tutorials yet, so I can't really comment on them. These are available to try in the Emrayur system, read the devlog post for more details.

Performance #

I was quite surprised how well it rendered on my ageing hardware. I usually average around 25-40 FPS in and out of stations with everything on high and 2x anti-aliasing and no bloom, though that's across dual wide monitors. I can't compare this as you have to turn of AA to test Incarna, though I was getting around 25 FPS with the required settings.

I don't have my machine spec's to hand so I'll have to update with these.

Interaction Issues #

As advertised, the experience is a little clunky. I got stuck on two occasions; once on the steps leading down the the lowered floor section leading to the "screens", and again outside the captains quarters leading to what seems to be the docking area. If you make your character walk to an inaccessible area (such as behind the central screen), they will continue the walking animation on the spot. The only other thing I found was that when you "sit" on the couch, you squat in front of it.

Whether you love or hate the idea of the Ambulation / Walking in Stations / Incarna functionality coming to EVE online, it will provide an extra level of interaction with the game once it's introduced. I'm quite excited by the idea of it and can't wait to see what's coming down the line, though I am on the fence regarding how much it will add to the overall player experience for the majority of subscribers. It's got to be more interesting than ship spinning though, surely?

Bear in mind that it's not complete, and that CCP have been kind enough to give access to the test server in the first place. The best thing you can do is to provide feedback on issues if you decide to test any pre-release software.

Incarna on the Duality Test Server #

This isn't my video, just one recommended by a friend :).

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Michael Oldroyd

Michael is a Software Engineer working in the North West of England.