Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oceanus First Impressions

Oceanus is not much of an expansion.  It adds very little new for anybody, and I am no exception.  Still, it is an expansion and not a glorified patch as some have said.  And all of what it does add is welcome.  So here's my first impressions of it, after going out last night for my standard round of hunting.  (I got a kill!  But that's another story.)

First, the things I have not tried: new burner missions (nor older ones for that matter), French, pasting in fits, new notification system, any rebalanced ships or modules.

So what I have noticed so far?

Oceanus is pretty.  I am not used to the new wormholes and wormhole backgrounds yet.  That is, I still cannot just look at a wormhole and know where it goes (other than C1/C2).  But I think this should be possible, so under that assumption it is good.  I think I already can look at them and tell the small wormholes from the others.  (Penny has a new post showing many of the new wormholes, similar to her older guide to wormhole appearances.)
And speaking of pretty, the new cloaking effect and the new cloaked appearance are both super cool.  Yes, these are nearly meaningless graphical improvements.  (Nearly -- the cloaked display does make it easier to see which way your cloaked ship is pointed.)  Still, since I spend about 95% of my playing time cloaked, and you uncloak and recloak every wormhole jump if not more often, I see the new effects all the time.   They are pretty, and when you stare at something as frequently as I see my ship cloaked, pretty matters.
 There is also an addition to cloaking that I did not expect: there is a cloaking sound that is quite evident now.  I think there was a very subtle one before.  Now it is not subtle.  (I may dial it down, actually.)  Because it is not subtle, I get feedback that I actually did cloak successfully.  Also there is a similar uncloaking noise, which is also nice.

I knew going into Oceanus that there would cooldown timers displayed.  I sort of thought that meant cooldown for micro jump drives.  And it does, I hope.  (Have not checked.)  But what it means for me is "cooldown" of cloak modules, which is very important.  It's a real nuisance when you want to recloak to be sitting there hitting cloak every second since there is no way to know when to recloak.  Now you can see it.  Very nice.  I am comically happy each time I go to recloak after firing probes.  This will fade.

It does seem a bit daft to be so thankful to CCP for this.  I mean, they should have done this years ago.  Literally years.  It is very helpful, and it is just client graphics; there is no server-side at all I should think.  The client already had this info, which is why it could tell you how many seconds left via the pop-up message.  All they had to do was display it.

I noticed one other thing.  It seems to be easier to see that cloaking is on via the greenish-pulsing of the cloaking module.  I can find nothing in the patch notes about this, so maybe I am imagining it.  But I don't think so.  It used to be very hard to see the pulsing greenish display unless the background was almost black.  I used to routinely rotate around my ship so as to find a patch of black background to make sure cloaking was still on.  Now you can see it pretty well up to about half-white.  This is an improvement.

One final thing I noticed today, when making the screenies for this.  CCP seems to have fixed the bug where you get a delayed cloaking effect when you raise the system map before or when cloaking.  (This bug was still there on the first two days of Oceanus.  I noticed.)  I have had a number of gasp-no! moments over this one.  So I am glad it is fixed, assuming I am not just misunderstanding how it is triggered.  [UPDATE: no, still not fixed.  Come on, CCP.]

1 comment:

  1. CCP aren't calling them 'expansions' any more. At least, it's true for Oceanus. CCP Someone called out a redditor for saying the content wasn't much for an expansion.

    I like the new wormhole nebulae. W-space actually feels like space now. Making my guide has also trained me to recognise system class by sight already, so the colours are distinctive enough. The aurora for the frigate wormholes is also nice and obvious, making a tiny K162 easy enough to avoid without having to fiddle with info panels.

    The cloaking is excellent too. One problem I used to have was seeing where my cloaked ship was in space, and the new effect completely remedies that. A small benefit, perhaps, but very welcome. The effect itself is just icing on the cake, which reminds me that I really ought to dig out my Widow to see how a battleship cloaking looks.