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??!!'

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