Incarna: That Puzzle Piece From a Different Box?

I was reading a post on Casiella’s blog (Will Incarna be another NGE? | Ecliptic Rift), and it made me think about how everyone calls all of the features in EVE optional. I find that to be funny. Nothing in EVE is optional, everything has to work together as a cohesive machine for the game to function, you’re just paying someone else to do the dirty work.

Think about it, you’re a pirate flying that swanky T2 cruiser that you bought with isk you ransomed off the Hulk pilot who mines the minerals that produce the T1 cruiser that is used to make your T2 cruiser and the BPC was invented in a lab using datacores from the research alt where the T3 cruiser was used to grind the L4s for research standings that was made from reverse engineering sleeper technology in the worm hole, and then moon goo from the null sec POS that is defended by the alliance who has sovereignty there was used in the reactions of your T2 cruiser that was fueled by the PI of the guy who is doing planetary interaction that was (eventually) defended by mercenaries hired in DUST514 to defend your structures…

Ok, you get the idea. Over the years, CCP has been adding and adding into the framework more “stuff” that works together into a cohesive unit to form the universe that is EVE Online. If you take away any part of the puzzle, the chain will fall apart and no one will be able to play the game any more because your kid ate one of the puzzle pieces and now it is a sloppy soggy mess and it no longer fits because it expanded from the saliva and you try to jam it in to make it fit but just make it even worse in the long run because really you needed that damn piece in the first place, so what can you do?

And then along comes Incarna.

Don’t get me wrong, I am actually really excited for Incarna, it has been many years in the making, I am happy to see they are going to be doing an iterative release schedule, like Incursions (which also don’t really fit into the puzzle, but the storyline works), instead of just throwing it all at the player base at one time. But where does it fit?

I guess this is the one problem I see with the direction CCP is taking at the moment with EVE. The current CSM, 5, has done a wonderful job of helping with communication between us, the players, and them, the creators, but the lid on Incarna is definitely tight. We have not seen an actual direction for it, we do not know where it is going, we do not know where it is going to lead us.

Garheade, from Evecommune, has been talking a lot recently about how Captain’s Quarters(CQ), and anything else that helps to remove the steep learning curve from EVE and introduce more players into the game.
(we have all seen this picture:)

I think that is wonderful, as well. The more people in the game, the more successful the game is, the longer it will be around, but I just want to know where Incarna fits into everything. What is going to be the purpose of being able to walk in a station when you are in some backwater low security system and there aren’t any other pilots in system, let alone in station? Is it going to forever be the bastard red headed step-child that gets stuck at CQ because no one ever makes use of it, or is there a definitive direction that CCP has laid out for Incarna to integrate it into the rest of the game, to make it a part of the cohesive whole so everything works together properly, like the huge Rube Goldbergesque machine that EVE is?

Fanfest is coming up soon, and hopefully CCP has just been playing it close to the belt to make a huge announcement then, but at the moment, I am not holding my breath.

I love EVE, even though I don’t get to play as much as I would like. I love the community, it is probably the single most passionate community surrounding a video game that you will find, i just hope that the folks at CCP will show us what their full vision is, and bring that to fruition, so we can all experience it.

  • Incarna facilitates player-driven socialization — that’s where it fits. Sort of like Local, but better. I have another post in draft about that, you may like it. (And thanks for the link!)

    • I understand the need for player-driven socialization, and can see definite possibilities for socialization and interaction amongst players, but it just doesn’t work, at least in my mind, with the cohesive whole of the game itself. Especially since we have not seen the full direction CCP wants to take it in.

      I’m still excited for it, and I really do hope that it helps to bring the full sci-fi experience together. i don’t think it is going to be Second Life or Playstation Home in space (even though I tweeted that, I just thought it sounded funny), but with all the time and effort they have put into it, it just damn well better go somewhere.

  • Rayzth

    I should start out taking about your post, but that picture just gave me flashbacks of my childhood, drawing “who knows how many” stick figure side view action scenes. Mostly military fighting. I really wish I would have saved them…of course at that time the Atari was the most advanced piece of technology we had in the house..or maybe it was the laser disk.

    EVE is very complex but that it what is great about it. I have been playing for over a year and haven’t even come close to experience everything it offers. I look forward to the future of EVE.