Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Eve Online Incarna test on Duality

Duality, the still new test environment for Eve Online, is once again open for a new round of testing, and, as before, we get to try the new Incarna feature 'Captain's Quarters'. Yesterday I spent some time on it, and while I am happy to finally see more of Walking in Stations Ambulation Incarna, it doesn't look like it's finished yet.

On the first login, my avatar was awkwardly positioned with his arms wide. Walking didn't work, he more or les slid over the floor. Logging off and on fixed this!

The second session proved to be better, as my avatar worked as expected. As I walked towards the bridge, I noticed an issue with camera movement. Usually, in other virtual worlds, the camera moves with you (the avatar), meaning that if you turn to walk in a different direction, the camera point of view also automatically moves. The camera is, at all times, automatically looking in the direction where you (the avatar) is moving or facing. That doesn't currently happen on Duality! This makes walking a bit awkward, until you manually switch the camera point of view again. I wonder if this will be fixed when Incarna goes live.

Visually, the whole environment looked distinctively grainy. It was like watching an old color tv, at times! An other tester advised me to set the graphics setting for the interior environment to 'low', and this indeed fixed it. With the grainyness out of the way, I have to say the captain's quarters themselves looked better than the previous test run. There was more light, and more little details that made it look like someone was really living there: random stuff strewn here and there in the room. And, compared to the previous Duality test, the ship sizes in the hangar have been adjusted. Even a frigate is now a real presence in the ship hangar.

Eve Online: Incarna - the ship...

Very nice: the holograpic menus which appear when you click on the holographic ship models. We've seen similar menus in CCP trailers for quite some time; good to finally see them playable on Duality:

Eve Online Incarna: new menus

One of the other things I noticed, is that the Duality client is quite the memory hog. I am using an ATI HD Radeon 3800 series GPU on a Windows 7 machine with 2 GB RAM, and the Duality client maxed out at 995 MB RAM.. mainly because I simply didn't have more RAM available. Other testers reported seeing memory usage of up to 2 GB. I know very well that the current Duality release is not optimized yet - as CCP has repeatedly stated - but if they want to release this on June 21st, they have a lot of optimizing to do in this regard.

Finally, there's still some work to do on the avatar themselves. Especially in the neck and face, sometimes the textures show. It may have to do with a memory shortage though.

There's real progress visible on Duality today, but CCP still has a lot of work to do. Incarna should be released on June 21, which is in about three weeks.. My guess is some CCP devs will be burning the midnight oil before then!

All snapshots of this second Duality tests can be found on my Koinup page.

No comments: