The problem with immersion

It’s been a while since any talk of walking in stations, so I thought that I’d stir up the riverbed.

The problem and fix, in CCPs esteemed opinion, is that players think of their ship as their avatar, and to fix that they’re going to give us all 3D avatars of whatever characters we made at the beginning of our respective careers, presumably wearing the same face that you see in profile, which should lead to some interesting in-station conversations with someone constantly looking to your right.

Anyway, I’d like to say that walking in stations is a horrible idea in any way it could be implemented, but I’m confident that CCP has thought of something I haven’t and everything will work out. Based on the information I have currently, however, I’m fairly certain Incarna is going to be horrible.

The first, and most glaring issue I have is the trade system. Currently, you dock and whatever items you wish to buy or sell are magically sold and/or bought, the moment you dock.


In a walking in stations world, you would have to leave your ship and walk to the market, and perhaps stop by the gift shop on your way out. This will only serve to add another step to the buy low, fly somewhere, sell high process, alternatively the buy at high prices, go off and get killed, buy another damn ship process. I think that the twitchy ADD sufferer in all of us will agree that adding more steps to any process that must be accessed several times a day will become irritating.

Alternatively, CCP could visualize the mountain of complaints from the twitchy people and make it so that you wouldn’t have to leave your ship for trading, ensuring that 95% of the people would never leave their ships, since the only reason they docked in this station out in the boondocks was for the cheapest vexor in the region. Considering this would be the equivalent of hiding all the work they’ve been doing on this project for who knows how many years under a black tarp,  I’d guess that most of the designers would stick their hands in icelandic/russian/shanghai beehives (second and third varieties exceptionally painful, bees that can make hives out of metal and ice sound scary as hell)  before not making us notice the work they’ve been doing.

After watching the minute twenty second section of CCP talking about walking in stations last fanfest(@ 53:00), I was filled with more doubt. On the first point of running your own establishment:


If you want to sell something, you make it as visual and as available as possible. In Eve, this generally means logging in every few hours, cancelling your sell orders and relisting them as .01 ISK less than the jerk who undercut you by .01 ISK. You do not bury your stuff inside a station and make someone walk there by themselves when they are already trying to buy that nanite paste and get out as fast as they can. Now, if they used the establishment as, say, a trophy room, that could work.

Hunting NPC outlaws:

With what? Will my gunnery skill translate into a pistol? Will I have five hobgoblin IIs following me wherever I go?(If so, walking in stations is going to be BADASS). Or will I use some sort of diplomacy to convince someone with a bounty on their head to turn themselves in? Again, either it’s not as profitable as ninja salvaging or something else that a new char could do, and no-one does it, or it is more profitable and people do it and complain about how silly it is.


That Eve poker thingy. Already have it. Alternativley, this might actually work, assuming there’ a craps table that has billions of ISK in liquid form for when that rich dude finally wins.

I admit, the option to walk around gleaming steel and see others walking around, maybe talk to them, and possibly have to walk to the clone bay will be pretty immersive, but again, all it’s doing is adding unnecessary steps to the standard processes we use today. I’m open to walking in stations being a good plan but it seems less and less likley the closer it comes.

10 Comments on “The problem with immersion”

  1. Trixie says:

    Ummm…. when did they say they were gonna use walking in stations as a way to use the market ? I think you are reading way to much into what has been made public knowledge so far. And for the record, not everyone plays the .01 isk game, which leads me to my next point, infact you are taking extra steps by playing the .01 isk game instead of setting a reasonable price and letting it go, so to me it sounds like you are willing to take extra steps but just not the steps of “walking in stations”.

    Love the blog

    • miningzen says:

      I’m not a marketeer, but those I know describe the .01 isk game frequently. If they were to not integrate the market system into walking in stations, 95% of players would enter a station once, utter “huh”, then go back to internet spaceship land. Comparing 45 thousand “huh”s to whatever ungodly amount of time they’ve spent working on this concept, they’re gonna want for players to experience more than that “huh”.

  2. Chris says:

    LOL wow talk about only picking on the negatives dude.

    Trade: first of all CCP has already said the current interface for market, and agent interaction etc will all remain for those that perfer the less interactive verison, and im sure that most people that just do station/region trading will use that method.

    Incarna isn’t for the traders or the bounty hunters (yet, as its rumored that down the road we may get the ability to open up a can of whoop ass on bountied players in stations, though im sure their will also be concord-agents patrolling the hauls.

    Also they have also said that not ALL STATIONS WILL BE INCARNA’d. Just key stations…

    As for the gambling im sorry but come on we’re not talking some crappy poker, or some crap liquid lotto, we’re talking PLAYER RUN CASINO’s with your own tables and stuff bought off the market etc.

    And here is the final problem i see in your analysis your seeing incarna as “unnecessary extra steps”, their not unnecessary steps, their currently missing steps from an otherwise emersive world. Will it slow certain things down, yes but will it improve the overall feeling, hell yes… Got 15 minutes of down time due to getting concorded in space, walk over to your corps bar and listen to some music while playing a game of poker with some friends that are also afk.

    Incarna is to replace the whole “station spinning games”.

    Maybe instead of a market window, your avatar in incarna can sit at a table and pull out a flatscreen/pda and do his market orders.

    Incarna, from what i see it as isn’t extra steps, the problem is we’re too used to the overlord omni-present view of eve as it is. Imagine a new game experience where your not thrown into space in a ship and told “figure it out” but you awake in a station and actually have people around to talk to, and help you out, ya theirs that giant help window, but its different when theirs faces to put to the discussions.

    It’s not gonna be perfect, its not gonna be a instant switch over ,many will stick with just using the basic controls, but for the NPE, and the Role players, and the people that find them selves often spinning in station, Incarna will be a godsend, and i know for damn sure a lot of us have had that 20-30 minutes window where you dont really feel like going out and doing something eve-sized, and u just sit their chatting spinning the ship.

  3. Wow, do I agree with you here.

    Any time they take to develop avatars and walking in stations could just as easily be spent figuring out how to make the problems already in Eve go away. I will be MEH to the whole idea if they retain the magic hangar buttons in the docking screen and provide another “leave your ship” type button to access the walking in stations.

    I heard rumor that the real push behind walking in stations was to test the avatar engine for their next MMO. I believe that is more likely.

    I guess we will see how it turns out.

    But they better have pleasure hubs!

  4. Cailais says:

    CCP have already stated that everything you can currently access on your HUD / UI you can access whilst walking about – so no it wont add any additional steps to say trading.

    What we might expect to evolve is some form of ‘furnishings’ market (kinda like Ikea 😀 ) – maybe a rare artifact found in W Space as a centre piece of art for your corp office?

    Is there a ‘game’ in that concept? Arguably not, but then ‘games’ like The Sims, are almost entirely based upon such gameplay: purely the idea of “looking good” and showing off your epeen with fancy items even if they have no statistical impact on game mechanics (luxury opal yacht anyone?).


    • miningzen says:

      That’s the best case scenario 😛 Mind citing your source on CCP saying they weren’t gonna integrate the trading bit? Again, if the station bit was just a thing like the sims, that’d be great, it just seems like they’ve spent much more time on this than just that.

  5. Valarie Rikeen says:

    CCP has specifically stated that walking in station will not be required to perform any of the actions that you can currently do in Eve. That includes trading, etc. Entirely optional, It’s all about making something different to look at, and as was stated above, “the sims” in space. At least in station, you can show off your “opal luxury yacht” without getting suicide ganked 😀

  6. A general ‘what if’ concept that comes to mind is an exceptionally potent idea that CCP may eventually use Incarna (walking in stations) to further the links between Eve and Dust 514 down the road as a way for players to visually interact with each other between the two platforms. Of course there is no hard evidence to support that conclusion, but I wouldnt doubt its on their minds.

    Typically I think that Incarna is and will be a primarily aimed at creating a socially/visually pleasing atmosphere which the current Eve lacks in context to virtual communication. Though Eve is in no way a failure in terms of an MMO, looking at the success’ of other avatar based games and the way players interact with each other, its certainly not a bad idea to ‘woo’ new potential gamers.

    Whether or not Incarna will be a successful expansion to the game is a barfing guess, sure. But I’m all for the opportunity to do such things to be there, overall adding to any experiences I may wish to consume to help enlighten my gaming experience.

  7. EVE is full of weird people. In fact, there probably aren’t any “normal” people in EVE. There are those that shoot players all day long, those that shoot NPCs all day long, those that shoot ‘roids all day long, and those that shoot prices all day long. I can’t see a reason why there wouldn’t be people who shoot craps all day long, or shoot the breeze, etc. etc.

    And one thing you may be overlooking: The inside of the hangar is pretty, but 10 minutes station spinning waiting for the “launch” command from my FC is enough to make my diminished brain dribble out of my ears! If there is a way to pass the time without seeing the same square meter of wall flash past every few seconds, then I’m all for it! Especially if I can earn an ISK or two rolling dice in those 10 minutes.

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