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blankseplocked Updating EVE's Environments, Immersion (CCP Keep an eye on this)
 
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Jehkt Wuhn
Posted - 2007.12.26 10:16:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Jehkt Wuhn on 26/12/2007 16:59:44

Originated from this thread.

Well we all know that CCP are working hard on updating effects for the next big patch. But after that environments are going to be getting an overhaul, this thread is for intelligent thought, speculation and suggestions for this update. I hope that CCP take close note, I will be monitoring the thread and keeping the Summary post at the bottom of the OP updated with all the best ideas as the thread continues.

Keep in mind that a majority of the following is CLIENT SIDE and will not lag the servers or anything of the sort. A couple of suggestions may or may not strain the servers a little more, but in many cases there is a workaround. Make sure your ideas are the same, lets focus more on the client side of things and what you think would make the game experience more engaging. Don't think too big, CCP has a lot of manpower, but we don't need suggestions that involve months of work. Lets have a look at what we have and see how we can rearrange and scale it.

* * * * * * * * *

Often people fail to connect the importance of game visuals to the gameplay experience. Obviously better graphics often leads to an increased sense of immersion, but there are also other contributing factors including the scale and placement of objects within the game world. Now in reality, space is very boring, but if the focus is on nothing but realism, we end up with a boring game. Eve is a Sci-fi game, there are four races that don't exist, as well as propulsion and projectile technologies that have yet to be discovered. Eve needs to be interesting, it needs character so I am talking about the following.

1. Asteroid field placement.
- Scale
- Shape
- Density

2. Planet and Moon enhancements.
- Graphics
- Scale
- Day/Night cycles
- Planetary rings

3. Station placement.
- Orbit distance
- Surrounding emplacements

4. Backgrounds and lighting
- Contrast
- Dust and Nebulae
- High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDR)

* * * * * * * * *

1. Asteroid fields

There is no denying that mining in general needs a revamp, but that can wait for later, right now we need to fix these boring asteroid fields that revolve around an invisible point in space. Instead, the scale of these asteroids needs to be increased, the visuals need to be revamped and they need to stretch off for miles. Dramatic contrast should be present if the asteroids are far from a light source, perhaps only lit by light reflected by a nearby planet or moon.

Something else that is missing from asteroid fields but is present in almost every other Sci-fi title a swell as being a project that NASA itself is currently working on. This would be the presence of mining bases. I believe that there should be racial asteroid mining bases scattered throughout some asteroid fields. In these asteroid fields there would be fewer rare minerals and more Veldspar and the like, as the base would have mined much of the valuable material already.

Now the kicker, the density of Asteroid fields, this needs to be increased severely, this goes hand in hand with scale. An asteroid field in itself should be awe-inspiring, this is needed in low security to make the need for a supporting gang more necessary. As finding time to line up for a warp from a field may take longer as the player needs to search for a clearing in which to align. This goes hand-in-hand with the tactical environments thread.

Jehkt Wuhn
Posted - 2007.12.26 10:17:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Jehkt Wuhn on 26/12/2007 15:16:27

2. Planet and Moon enhancements.


At the moment these are uninspiring spheres hovering in orbit around another sphere and so on. Space is boring, so we really must make what we do have to populate the vast nothingness look as real and awe inspiring as it should. Have you ever played X3: Reunion 2.0? The planets look amazing and really do inspire a sense of awe as you fly by them. Planets are huge, they really are, the surface of the planet tells a unique story that can span billions of years. The surface of the planets in EvE need a huge revamp, these are the major deterring factor in EvE for me and I'm sure for many others as well. I know there will be a day where we can enter atmospheres and interact with the planets, but until then, the least we can get is an update, or a stepping stone of sorts to bring EvE up to speed with every other space sim out there.

Day/night cycles are another idea I had. With populated planets we could perhaps involve as system whereby the darker side of the planet is lit up by city lights or volcanic planets are lit up by flowing magma. Either way I think this dynamic would add a little more depth to the environment and give EvE a little life. This can be done client side and fairly easily as well, especially with the new, updated engine. Yes I am assuming that the planets will be spinning.

Jehkt Wuhn
Posted - 2007.12.26 10:17:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Jehkt Wuhn on 26/12/2007 16:36:59

(cntd)

Planetary rings, okay this would need to be server-side. But the idea of exploring planetary rings really does get me excited and would perhaps be another environment in which to mine. The “asteroids” would be a lot smaller but a lot more dense and dust would also be present in a majority of the rings. Much of the material that makes up these rings is ice, so perhaps this is a good opportunity for ice miners and a start to fleshing out mining. This is not high on my list of additions however, this is actually right at the bottom of the list.

3. Station placement.

This is only a short blurb, with a simple message. Move the stations closer to the planets, I know there is the whole “outer orbit because otherwise stations will fall into the planet” thing. Well I'm sorry but that's bull, none of the stations in this game are large enough for this to have any huge affect. These are stations, not small moons, lets move them a little closer to make things a little “prettier.” Lets say that gravity does suck these stations closer and closer to the planet, well fair enough, but I'm sure that with the advances of technology displayed in EvE that they would have found some way to counteract this.

4. Backgrounds and Tactical Environments.

Remove them (backgrounds), black space full of stars looks a hell of a lot more better than these colorful boxes we are flying around in now. Our environments could still be a lot more interesting though, we could have systems with dust clouds in them, not just in instances, but at gates, stations and asteroid fields as well. In fact I think this goes well with the mining base idea, where we could have large dust clouds in areas where there had been a lot of mining due to impact and disturbance of the asteroids surface (many of which are covered in a fine dust). This is a must in my opinion as it goes well with the tactical environment thread whereby the range on all modules could be reduced or even rendered completely useless in some cases. The effect itself would be client side as usual and not cause any server side problems. Dust color would vary on exposure to the sun and what the main mineral in that system is. So nebula could act in a similair way, perhaps there is a thick, green haze to the system you are in.

Now contrast is another big issue for me, when the star that illuminates the system is at a far distance and everything is still reasonably lit. I want to see a larger contrast between illuminated and shadowed environments. Not only does this look much better, but is actually a lot more realistic than what we have now. This feature would be great with planets that spin on an axis and have a day/night cycle. Lights on aforementioned mining stations could illuminate asteroid fields that sit on in the shadow of another cosmic body. Likewise the lights on our own craft could illuminate the surrounding environment and other player's craft.

HDR should come into play also, when a bright planet fills most of your window, then the stars should dim as the light from the planet disturbs your eye-sight. As you look away from the planet into deep space, then stars are more visible. If you stare at the sun, then everything other than the sun should be harder to see. This is a fairly simple addition to the existing premium build HDR shader.

Discuss, keep it clean.

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.26 10:37:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: Jeremiah Kane on 30/12/2007 04:10:08
Edited by: Jeremiah Kane on 29/12/2007 16:58:19


Reserved for Thread Summary

I'll keep this post updated as the thread evolves.

Covered in OP
- Increased detail on Planet/Moon surfaces & Atmospheres.
- Increased detail on Asteroid surfaces.
- Increased size of Planets/Moons.
- Increased size of Asteroids.
- Increased size of Asteroid Fields.
- Increased density of Asteroid Fields.
- Increased contrast between lightened & shaded areas.
- Move stations closer to planets.
- Alter the shape of Asteroid fields.
- Add mining outposts to some Asteroid Fields.
- Add NPC miners for mining outposts.
- Add dust clouds and/or nebula to some systems.
- Add planetary rings that can be visited.
- Add HDR effect to planets that affects view of the stars.

Community input (click for description)
- Update the warp tunnel effect & modify warp path to avoid large bodies.

- Add radio chatter between NPCs, station chatter, police chatter etc.
- Some good points on Belt size and movement.

Franga
NQX Innovations
Posted - 2007.12.26 14:20:00 - [5]
 

Edited by: Franga on 26/12/2007 14:20:53
You forgot mine, get rid of the stupid screen shake when initially getting into warp. It's wrong ... my version is the following:

- get rid of the 'warp tunnel' per se and replace it with just a 'debris flying past at incredible speeds' effect. This effect would also include pieces of said debris hitting the shields and causing slight irregularities in the shield (similar to the dapple effect of a drop of water hitting the surface of a pond? Yeah, are you catching my vision here?) as it careens along to its desitnation.

And love the description of asteroid fields as described above by the OP and his skitzo self. Like, seriously, love it. Awe inspiring kind of stuff. Things, that because of their scale and magnitude, just make your jaw drop.

/signed, totally and utterly to everything the OP listed.

EDIT: spelling

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.26 15:33:00 - [6]
 

Edited by: Jeremiah Kane on 26/12/2007 15:34:14
Originally by: Franga
Edited by: Franga on 26/12/2007 14:20:53
You forgot mine, get rid of the stupid screen shake when initially getting into warp. It's wrong ... my version is the following:

- get rid of the 'warp tunnel' per se and replace it with just a 'debris flying past at incredible speeds' effect. This effect would also include pieces of said debris hitting the shields and causing slight irregularities in the shield (similar to the dapple effect of a drop of water hitting the surface of a pond? Yeah, are you catching my vision here?) as it careens along to its desitnation.

And love the description of asteroid fields as described above by the OP and his skitzo self. Like, seriously, love it. Awe inspiring kind of stuff. Things, that because of their scale and magnitude, just make your jaw drop.

/signed, totally and utterly to everything the OP listed.

EDIT: spelling


To be honest I think there needs to be some sort of effect other than debris. Not so much a tunnel though, I do like the idea of things just passing really quickly, perhaps the engine flare could be somewhat more magnificent and there could be a sort of shockwave effect, so that when the ship enters warp there is a large disturbance in the area caused by the warp engine initiating.

This thread is dedicated more to the discussion of environments and CCP has already begun working on new game effects. We'll just have to see what they come up with.

Haididio Sieren
Posted - 2007.12.26 15:45:00 - [7]
 

signed.

Druadan
Syrus Speculations
Posted - 2007.12.26 18:34:00 - [8]
 

(copypasta)

/signed like a signing machine designed and constructed by Mr Signing, Third Earl of Signington, having graduated from the University of Signed with a doctorate in Signedonomics.

Eve space feels more like I'm in a submarine than a spaceship, and people are dropping paint depth-charges into the water to add colour.

Malverious Prime
NQX Innovations
Posted - 2007.12.26 21:45:00 - [9]
 

I share Frangas enthusiasm on the ops post.

I share most things with Franga; laughs, date scones, a nice walk on the beach, and on special occasions, bodily fluids.

Your revamp on warp tunnel is quite cool. The current visuals are very dated. Getting rid of the 'warp tunnel' altogether poses some questions about mechanics though. I havent read up on the fiction, but dont the warp drives work by harnessing worm holes and eintstein-rosen-somefulla bridges? Where they travel at mad distances by not increasing speed but by reducing distance?? Which may also not necessarily be in a straight line... (maybe the warp tunnel could be curved through space!, traveling a bee line to get to point B). Wait, its only curved to an observer, to the warpee it would be straight. Weak.
SO, by doing away with warp tunnels, you maybe messing with more than just visuals, but the suspension of disbelief.

Anyway, good ideas... keep 'em coming. Should be on tonight Frang, see ya then.

PS If you post corrections on my spelling Franga, I WILL EAT YOU!

Spoon Thumb
Khanid Provincial Vanguard
Vanguard Imperium
Posted - 2007.12.26 23:27:00 - [10]
 


I want tactical environments and indeed strategic environments, something to differentiate each planet or gate or part of a system from other parts, to constellation from constellation and region to region.

So say a general theme for effects per region (e.g. propulsion effects) then each constellation has a different effect (e.g. propulsion slowing), and within a system there may be say areas of different effect density (so say -20% velocity on 1 gate but maybe -10% on another)

Silver Bird
EmpiresMod
Posted - 2007.12.27 00:01:00 - [11]
 

Edited by: Silver Bird on 27/12/2007 00:01:11
The way warping is perceived in game would be much cooler if it distorted the size of space around your ship, instead of just making your ship look like its moving faster.

Spoon Thumb
Khanid Provincial Vanguard
Vanguard Imperium
Posted - 2007.12.27 00:10:00 - [12]
 


but I've been saying for ages that Eve needs more widgets and fuzz and scenery around the edges and in the middle, really fill it in

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.27 02:31:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Spoon Thumb

I want tactical environments and indeed strategic environments, something to differentiate each planet or gate or part of a system from other parts, to constellation from constellation and region to region.

So say a general theme for effects per region (e.g. propulsion effects) then each constellation has a different effect (e.g. propulsion slowing), and within a system there may be say areas of different effect density (so say -20% velocity on 1 gate but maybe -10% on another)



Goes well with the dust and nebula ideas (tactical environments). But with these effects we must take into account that perhaps we can give the advantage to an attacking or defending player.

Traeon
Posted - 2007.12.27 03:02:00 - [14]
 

Edited by: Traeon on 27/12/2007 03:06:03
X3 Reunion has indeed very nice backgrounds and planets.

X3 Reunion Screenshots

Would be great if EVE had those huge, authentic looking planets.

Part of X3's trick is to have backgrounds , either dark ones or in opposite colors to the planets, as to create a nice contrast.

Vemille Kechov
The Arrow Project
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2007.12.27 06:01:00 - [15]
 

I completely agree with the poster on all his suggestions. I've always been underwhelmed by the EVE's environment, especially the planets. Those things ought to be huge. Same with the moons; the starbase I'm basing out of right now is approximately the same size as the moon it orbits(!?). And please, please, please, stop warping my ship through them. Please.

Something I'd like to add, or elaborate on, is darkness. EVE is waaaay too bright right now. Space is dark. Very dark. After getting more than 10 or so AU's from a system's star, it should barely be distinguishable from the others; it should be the lights from my ship lighting it up, not the star. This would add some much needed immersion to the game. Imagine how much more intimidating a 'thron would be if it were not totally visible, but rather, key points were lit up by it's windows and lights. Much more ominous. It shouldn't be the hull of a ship I see from the distance; it should be the lights. This would also put a much greater use to Trinity's new lighting engine.

I also agree on the asteroid belts. Those things should be at least 500 km long; basically, I don't want to be able to see from one end to the other, nor should I be able to see a ship on my overview if I'm on the opposite end. Of course, said asteroid belts would be much more believable if they had collision, and it was actually viable to use piloting skill to block shots, but that's for an entirely different threadVery Happy.

WhiteTigersGod
Posted - 2007.12.27 07:34:00 - [16]
 

Your idea about revamping the asteroid belts so that they all dont orbit around an invisible spot is great. I would love to see actual belts that we could mine from that span real far in two directions like you see with current ice belts. This would give the Rorqual a little more use of its tractor beam range. I mean whats the use of giving it a massive range if the majority of miners dont mine ice in 0.0 space, and the ore miners dont require the large range. Because for the majority of the fields they are within 30k range of warp in point, and dont require the capital tractor beam in the first place. As for the look of the asteroids i dont think there is anyone that doesnt agree that they all need to be redone. Their current looks are very blan and boring. Mining anything is a pretty boring job and not having anything interesting to look at just adds to the boringness.

Traz Chortnik
Posted - 2007.12.27 09:47:00 - [17]
 

Get rid of all these dang nebulae in the background. CCP needs to read up on surface brightness sometime.

Missy X
Posted - 2007.12.27 10:08:00 - [18]
 

Black space is all I want. Anything else is a bonus.

Koyama Ise
Caldari
Posted - 2007.12.27 10:51:00 - [19]
 

Yes black space... and if you added the starts of the actual universe in there... Cause I hate this funny colour space all over the place...
P.S. Yes colour Cool

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.28 10:54:00 - [20]
 

Was hoping this thread wouldn't Bomb, some good suggestions all around and thanks for supporting some of the key ideas. Seems like the background topic is a hot one.

Franga
NQX Innovations
Posted - 2007.12.28 13:09:00 - [21]
 

Bump.

Tal Nok
Amarr
Fusion Enterprises Ltd
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2007.12.28 13:58:00 - [22]
 

Wouldn't mind hearing more chatter in space...

Sometimes in station, or by a stargate you can hear bits of chatter, but then its gone.

If theres a stargate/station, theres a lot of people that are required to run those things, and especially at stations. Docking/undocking requests, general concord/faction police talking back and forth.

Ofc make it so you can turn it off and on, but I wouldn't mind the ability to "scan the airwaves" and pick up on some random staticy chatter once in a while while I'm camping YARRRR!!

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.29 07:05:00 - [23]
 

Originally by: Tal Nok
Wouldn't mind hearing more chatter in space...

Sometimes in station, or by a stargate you can hear bits of chatter, but then its gone.

If theres a stargate/station, theres a lot of people that are required to run those things, and especially at stations. Docking/undocking requests, general concord/faction police talking back and forth.

Ofc make it so you can turn it off and on, but I wouldn't mind the ability to "scan the airwaves" and pick up on some random staticy chatter once in a while while I'm camping YARRRR!!


Something similair to Homeworld 2's radio chatter? Relic did an excellent job with radio chatter between units :)

Franga
NQX Innovations
Posted - 2007.12.29 12:15:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: Tal Nok
Wouldn't mind hearing more chatter in space...

Sometimes in station, or by a stargate you can hear bits of chatter, but then its gone.

If theres a stargate/station, theres a lot of people that are required to run those things, and especially at stations. Docking/undocking requests, general concord/faction police talking back and forth.

Ofc make it so you can turn it off and on, but I wouldn't mind the ability to "scan the airwaves" and pick up on some random staticy chatter once in a while while I'm camping YARRRR!!


I like that one.

Snowcrash Winterheart2
Gallente
Concordia Discors
Posted - 2007.12.29 13:45:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: Franga
Originally by: Tal Nok
Wouldn't mind hearing more chatter in space...

Sometimes in station, or by a stargate you can hear bits of chatter, but then its gone.

If theres a stargate/station, theres a lot of people that are required to run those things, and especially at stations. Docking/undocking requests, general concord/faction police talking back and forth.

Ofc make it so you can turn it off and on, but I wouldn't mind the ability to "scan the airwaves" and pick up on some random staticy chatter once in a while while I'm camping YARRRR!!


I like that one.


Same here, if you sit for a while you'll often pick up on some chatter, but its random and lasts for a few seconds after warp in... so there is already a mechanism in place (plus drones chatter to each other, zoom right in when they're idle) it just needs expanding.

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.29 16:59:00 - [26]
 

Originally by: Franga
Originally by: Tal Nok
Wouldn't mind hearing more chatter in space...

Sometimes in station, or by a stargate you can hear bits of chatter, but then its gone.

If theres a stargate/station, theres a lot of people that are required to run those things, and especially at stations. Docking/undocking requests, general concord/faction police talking back and forth.

Ofc make it so you can turn it off and on, but I wouldn't mind the ability to "scan the airwaves" and pick up on some random staticy chatter once in a while while I'm camping YARRRR!!


I like that one.


On the list.

Selene Le'Cotiere
Amarr
Farlight Council
Elitist Cowards
Posted - 2007.12.29 19:17:00 - [27]
 

Excellent posting here. Most definitely "/signed".

One thing asteroids field need it be is huge expanses. Create them to actually form a whole system wide belt, much like our own asteroid belt between the inner and outer planets. A couple of points to go along with the idea, would be:

1) Keep it rotating around it's parent sun.
2) Set a dozen or so generic "warp to" points around the belt.
3) Allow the roids to be warpable to, so you can do mini jumps along the belt so you can claim your own bookmark/claim in an area away from the general warp in points.
4) the belts need to be hundreds, if not thousands, of KM deep. Allowing you go exploring deep into the belt for some ore goodness.

On the same train of thought as above, making use of the same points above, but on a relatively smaller scale, planetary rings.

By keeping these "mega" belts moving, it would allow for a continual resupplying of materials. While the blank areas move along to be replenished as normal now, during DT.

Another thing that has come up in other threads is to provide for the binary companion in our systems. Including binary systems where the stars are relatively close to each other, creating a cosmic stream of matter flowing from the smaller star to the larger. As I referred to it in one thread, "a primordial nuclear umbilical cord".

PieOmega
Posted - 2007.12.29 20:12:00 - [28]
 

MM yes Smile HUGE belt. Probably only one or two per system, varying in size and content depending on which system it's in. It would probably mess up the farmers a bit too, especially if the respawn rates were altered and the belts filled with barren (unmineable) scenery as well as the good stuff ..

Artazzo
Posted - 2007.12.29 20:25:00 - [29]
 

how about sunstorms/flares ?

it looks awesome and create some nice views :)

perhaps it's even cooler those solar-systems will be flagged as dangerous environment,
so you when you fly through it you might get hit by the storm and will get a damaged ship.
dunno if it's possible but concorde and such might have to close those systems for a while.

Jeremiah Kane
Merch Industrial
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.30 04:13:00 - [30]
 

Originally by: Selene Le'Cotiere

On the same train of thought as above, making use of the same points above, but on a relatively smaller scale, planetary rings.



Planetary rings, whilst at the bottom of my list in terms of what I want, are still something that would balance the whole mega asteroid field scenario. If we are to knock down the number of Asteroid belts in a system, then we can replace those point of interest with planetary rings, so that people who rat aren't cut short on locations.


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