At E3 this week, CCP released a new game play video for EVE Valkyrie. I’ll embed the video so you can watch it.
There is nothing new in this video, at least from an overall game play perspective. There are a lot of graphical enhancements though. Overall the graphics are a lot crisper and elegantly refined. We are flying around an orbiting station now. It isn’t simply two squadrons flying at each other from carriers. The cockpit is beautifully rendered and I swear I can read the flight instruments. The action of the mass drivers (that’s what a machine gun in space is called BTW) is well done. Lock-on and missile flight has also gotten some love. They appear to have reduced lag across the board (thanks to Oculus VR’s awesome technology) and created an experience that looks very twitch. There has been a lot of work and love put into this version and it shows. One detractor, I’ve never seen that many asteroids around a station. I hope they will remove those in the game. That’s not what New Eden looks like. But overall, EVE Valkyrie is shaping up nicely and I still plan on playing the game.
As I was watching the video though, I couldn’t help but see the first comment on the YouTube page. It was from someone most EVE bloggers know. It was from Titus Balls and I’ll quote,
“OK so in probably around 1/2 budget, 1/2 time and gone through two engines – CCP have still made a better space game than Star Citizen. I feel sorry for all the backers who threw money at it, they better make something good.”
This is the part of Star Citizen Titus is talking about.
Have you had a stroke and lost the portion of your brain responsible for logical comparisons Titus? Seriously, how can you even say Star Citizen lags behind EVE Valkyrie? You seem to feel Arena Commander is what Star Citizen is all about. That is an incredible misconception. If you really want to make a valid comparison, you should imagine EVE Valkyrie integrated into EVE Online. That is a far better comparison, as such an integration is the goal of Star Citizen. What you see with EVE Valkyrie is what you get.
When I played EVE Valkyrie at EVE Vegas last year, there was a simple point system based on how much damage you did to the enemy. I am certain CCP will expand on that limited scoring, but that is about all you’re going to get from EVE Valkyrie. It is a space based first person shooter (FPS,) and there is only so much you can do with an FPS. CCP will wrap some achievement oriented game play elements around it, add Katee Sackhoff’s voice to it, and perhaps develop a tournament mode, but that’s likely all they’ll do. At best you’ll get the first Wing Commander updated to the 21st century and Internet multiplayer connectivity. EVE Valkyrie will still be an awesome game, but Star Citizen will be a full-fledged MMO with a persistent universe, and Arena Commander is just one element of that future game. The only thing persistent in EVE Valkyrie is your score.
Currently, no one gets to play EVE Valkyrie except at very tightly controlled conventions like E3, where CCP has direct control over the entire game system. You get exactly what they feed you. Arena Commander is at least in alpha testing where Roberts Space Industries (RSI) can identify and iron out the bugs, of which Scott Manley comments on not a few. Check out Scott Manley playing Arena Commander in his YouTube video (starts about the 2:30 mark.) That’s not even possible with EVE Valkyrie. EVE Valkyrie was assertively labeled PRE-ALPHA, and CCP is the only one play testing it. As we all know, developer only testing often results in released products full of bugs. And since EVE Valkyrie is a 3D only game, and playing it depends on the release of Oculus Rift as a consumer product, forget about any open beta testing to ensure that doesn’t happen. Oh, did you miss the announcement by CCP that EVE Valkyrie will be a 3D only game; playable only through Oculus Rift? You can hear that revelation starting around the 2 minute mark in this YouTube video. So I suppose you could claim that EVE Valkyrie is a better 3D space FPS than Star Citizen, but that’s as far as you can take it Titus, because EVE Valkyrie won’t be playable with a standard monitor – ever.
So please Titus, try to think before you start the fan-boy wave. There are many, many things that will be great about EVE Valkyrie. It will be an exciting and highly playable computer game for those who can afford the Oculus Rift, and who don’t get nauseous viewing 3D. Side note: that’s a lot of people BTW. Read this PLOS One article. It’s very interesting. I must quote the conclusion because it is so compelling from a 3D game development perspective.
“Viewers reporting some sickness (SSQ total score>15) were 54.8% of the total sample after the 3D movie compared to 14.1% of total sample after the 2D movie. Symptom intensity was 8.8 times higher than baseline after exposure to 3D movie (compared to the increase of 2 times the baseline after the 2D movie). Multivariate modeling of visually induced motion sickness as response variables pointed out the significant effects of exposure to 3D movie, history of car sickness and headache, after adjusting for gender, age, self reported anxiety level, attention to the movie and show time.”
In the study, over half the people reported some nausea and one in ten felt so sick they wanted to puke. That’s serious, and it’ll limit sales of EVE Valkyrie. Whether that’s substantial or not is anyone’s guess, but EVE Valkyrie will certainly sell fewer copies as a 3D only game than if it supported 3D and 2D. It is still on my must play list though. I am not one of those who suffer from vertigo, motion sickness or even sea sickness. I’m lucky that way, though I’m digressing a bit now. Here’s my tl;dr, people need to stop comparing EVE Valkyrie with Star Citizen. The games are in completely different genres, and I certainly do NOT regret contributing to Star Citizen – so stop feeling sorry for me. You cannot compare oranges to tennis balls. If you try, bloggers will write about your comments and question your mental capacity. So let’s all wait to see what these two game developers come up with, and then let’s enjoy the hell out of their hard work! Kthanksbye.
He’s been around the block a time or five. With over 15 years of MMO playing under his belt and a memory that reaches back to pencils and dice, he offers his insights into the not so virtual reality we call Eve Online.