Tuesday, 29 March 2011

OOC: Captain's Quarters & Incarna

I haven't seen anything that puts together what we learned about CQ and Incarna at Fanfest. I attended the Character Creator presentation, the Captain's Quarters Presentation and the Character Creator Round Table, as well as the keynote speech and CCP presents. I'm not sure there's anywhere I could have gone to get more info, but some people probably did!

Here we go: Captain's Quarters.
  • In the summer expansion, we get Captain's Quarters.
  • These represent the transient Captain accommodation you get free with your docking fee.
  • There will be one per race, and which one you're in depends on the controlling race of the station you're docked in (no idea about lowsec player stations, as I don't know how they work).
  • The existing UI is still present, and will load ahead of the CQ, which essentially replaces the ship + hangar view you have at the moment.
  • You will lose the ability to ship spin. It may come back later.
  • Initial features include an Agent Finder (new functionality), Corp Search (revamped existing functionality, including an ability to insta-join the recruiting channel for the corp, or insta-convo an online recruiting agent), a holo screen that shows news and a (configurable) market ticker, a "Planetary Control" screen (no info), a ship fitting thing (no info) and a door that leads to character re-customisation (i.e. clothes, tattoos, hairstyles etc + portrait taking)
  • You will be able to move around freely and sit down, and the camera will move under your control.
  • The reason for this (somewhat limited) functionality is that under the hood, it's quite a lot - ambulation of your character, controls, environment building, interaction with the environment, rendering of your character in game, etc. It's clearly focussed on the new player, though the holo screen is kind of cool for everyone.
  • The CQ at this point is basically entirely client-side, with no communication about your movements or anything to the server.
Iteration #2 of Captain's Quarters will include:
  • The ability to upgrade your quarters to bigger ones.
  • The ability to invite people over. (The technical bit with this is the interaction between characters, because not only does it require swathes of animation, but now the two clients need to talk to a server to communicate this interaction)
  • Possibly some limited customisation of CQ..
Incarna (read "at some point in the future") will include:
  • Establishments. Both NPC and PC controlled establishments, customisable with layout and with corp logos.
  • To go with this: a change to boosters (essentially revamping them entirely), the removal of NPC customs agents and the putting of customs checking into PC hands - essentially, you'll be able to scan people down and, if they're carrying contraband, flag them as smugglers. As a result, trading of illegal goods will be possible in hisec stations but only on a face-to-face basis.
Character Creator Changes:
  • More hairstyles, clothes (in collections) and accessories. Asset creation is actually quite hard, because they really want it to look good.
  • It is intended that it will be possible for there to be limited customisation of clothing, possibly including colour changes (within a limited palette) and putting corp logos onto jackets, etc.
There are some issues about tradeoffs between quality and flexibility that are still very much in flux (see: Height issue). 
The further you get down this list, the more the "will include" has the word "hopefully" and "maybe" attached.

All things that are resellable will be destructable. So, you will be able to sell your jacket, but probably not your tattoo (ouch). (Note: in this way, micro-transaction bought clothes might be regarded as one way mini-plex). There was not much talk about what will be micro-transaction and what will be free and what will be isk-buyable.

There. That's about it. Feel free to ask any questions while my memory is still fresh.

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