Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Screaming Leporids and Dust 514 corp UI

This week saw the creation of the DUST University 101st 'The Screaming Leporids'.

Not an elite battalion. More a volunteer force to represent D-UNI against select corporations. Players who want the challenge that these opponents will give us. But more importantly than that, it will provide a pool of disciplined Merc's willing and able to pass on what they've learnt in corp matches to the rest of the UNI in the pub games and the soon™ to be arriving Training Room.

But Dust 514 doesn't make this easy to do.

At all.

I am by no means an expert in Eve Online Corp UI, and buried in amongst the menus and sub-menus, right clicking and window collapsing might be the means to do we want to do in Dust and more. But even my inexperience tells me an important fact.

This Eve corp UI shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Dust. Ever.

We have seen little in the way of what to expect in terms of a finished UI in Dust or even where they are goings with it. That's not surprising, CCP have rightly been showing of the shiny in the gaming press and let's face it, OB's are just cool to watch. But as fun as the game play is, as cool as OB's are to watch this isn't what's going to make this game a success.

The Eve/Dust link is what will sell it. Well, duh I hear you say. Thanks for that pearl of wisdom Captain Obvious!!!!

But the UI controlling that link is notable by its absence in the Dust Client. It. Just isn't there. The crux of the matter is this. EVERY feature that a CEO in Eve has at their disposal must be at the finger tips and joypad of a CEO in Dust. EVERY feature that a Merc needs to exist in New Eden, marketplace, ISK transfer, contracts, contacts, mailing lists, email, etc etc needs to on the PS3.

CCP Nullabor, a man who I believe truly understands what's needed in a Dust UI, tweeted me a few weeks back in answer to some of these concerns that Dust's corp UI needs to be 'less clumsy than Eve'. Well that's true. But first of all it needs to be there in the first place.

The longer our wait for an improved corp UI and Dust/eve link UI in the PS3 or even a glimpse of its then the more likely my nightmare scenario will come to pass. What is that scenario?

An 'Eve-lite' PC client or a app on iOS, Android or the Sony failVita just for corp use.

Because it means that the Eve/Dust link is a fail at birth. Even if its just a 'stop gap', Dust is already dead if this happens. CCP may as well pack up Shanghai and go home.

CCP needs to start getting proactive in this matter. We need dev blogs, videos, imagery, anything that will tell us SOMETHING of what to expect. They need to start doing all that now. It's two months to Fanfest and nearly two since the Chromosome build. Operating a 400+ member corp in Eve with its clumsy but working Corp UI is not easy. Operating one with a truncated UI..... well, as Sandy B says to Keanu after he punches a hole in the fuel tank 'What? Were you feeling you needed another challenge or something??!!'

Friday, 8 February 2013

So days shy of month since joining TQ....

And as of last night DUST University has 315 Bunnies..


I'd like to thank all off them for showing faith in D-UNI and what we hope to achieve in the future.

As to the speed of that achievement, well that's up to CCP.

Running a corp of such size is a second job with the tools one has to use at the moment. I'd like to delegate a bit, I really would. But as a couple of recent incidents prove, corp theft is going to be as much of a problem in Dust as it is in Eve.

It's not that I don't trust anyone you understand. But with DUST University being the sister corporation of one of the more famous and respected corporations in New Eden I feel a great sense of responsibility to do this right.

I want Personal Officers to accept applicants when I'm not able, without making them a Director, Be be able to send a corp mail from my PS3 without messing up everyone else's mail inbox. And I'd like to do it all from my PS3 without the need of firing up my laptop to use the Eve client.

We now have the return of the Player Corporation forums on the official Dust 514 website. This is a start in the right direction but serves as a reminder of how much further we have to go.

But we'll make it. I'm sure off it.