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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Polls and monitor mumblings.

There were 61 responses to the poll. Thank you to everyone who participated and special thanks to Grimmash, Hooligan Youth Reviews and James who left comments. I admire those who go the extra mile to make something better. Thank you.

On to the poll! These results are by no means definitive as the sample size is far to small to be statistically significant. However, the results do say something to me. Of those that responded, 65% play on a single monitor. Some of those monitors are large format to be certain, but a 42" HD monitor is still only 1920x1080 resolution. Most affordable computer monitors typically only give 1920x1080 resolution. That's the HD 1080P standard. It's good for Myth Busters, but it sucks for EvE.

While 1080P may seem a lot of screen real estate, it really isn't. Though the screen is big on a 42" T.V., you can still only put 1920 columns by 1080 rows of pixels on it. That is the same as most 24" monitors. All you've actually done is make everything bigger. This can actually make the fixed fonts in EvE unreadable and reduce your overall satisfaction with the GUI. More screen size does not give you more display capability.

I run dual 21" monitors which give me a total 3200x1200 resolution. Though I have to overlook a two bezels in the center, you'd be surprised at how fast the human brain can ignore that separation. And, for the price of one 24" monitor, your can buy two 21" monitors! All modern gaming video cards I know of and all laptops by nature support two monitors. It will make your EvE experience far better IMO. But don't take my word for it. How many monitors do the CCP developers have? Check it out for yourself.

"Yes, but THEY are ART developers," you say. To which I reply, "Yes, and you display the SAME ART... and they have pallet choices, etc. on the other screen and you have targets and fleet windows. There is not much difference there functionally."

I put most of my open GUI windows on the right side monitor. I have a couple smaller windows in the lower-right and upper-right corner of the left hand monitor. Here is a representative screen shot (caution, it is wide.)
The right side is busy but informative. Since this screen capture, I have swapped the d-scan and asset window. It's better to have d-scan next to the overview. The left side is open, retaining the beauty of EvE and available to transitory windows like market, PI, probing, etc. Notice I have placed most GUI windows in a vertical orientation including the new UI window. EvE is lists: lists of objects in system, lists of capsuleers in local, lists of assets in locations, and now lists of inventory in containers. It has never been an icon oriented game outside the tactical display. Icons are not the best tactical display for ancillary information; just ask the Air Force - any Air Force.

If you already have a small monitor consider adding a matched monitor instead of buying a bigger monitor and replacing it. You will get better functionality. Trust me, it's what I do RL. I am constantly having this discussion. The default configuration of new computers throughout my company's 10k PC network is now dual screen. If it's good enough for business...

Lastly, I noticed that a majority of people marked they liked the new UI. Considering the ruckus over it, this surprised me. However, now that I've had a chance to use it on a small 11" laptop screen away from home, I find the UI window too large to easily manipulate. The tree is actually too long on this 1366x788 single screen. It is in fact, far less usable on the single small monitor. However, I still don't see a performance issue on thie 2-year old Nvidia mobile graphics chip in this laptop. Nevertheless, I welcome any performance improvement CCP can wring out of it and look forward to seeing how it does tonight when I update.

Lastly, I just have to say this. The new UI isn't about making EvE easier. It is about making EvE harder - for bots. The UI is a coup against those who see Internet spaceships as just a way to make a real world buck. They don't care about the game and they don't care about us. I will accept a crippled inventory system (and let's be clear, the new UI is far from crippled) if it means the botters shed glorious tears. If you'd like to read a few, I recommend The Nosy Gamer. This blog is a fascinating read into an area of EvE with which I hope none of you are familiar.

Fly careful.

OOC: There's been a death in the family. Posts will be sparser for awhile. No condolences please: 97 years is a grand life. If you like, lift a toast to LTC Al Saunders. He preferred bourbon, neat.


  1. People will line up to complain, they will rarely take the time to offer compliments. Many people simply don't like change and I think that those people took the issues that do exist with the UI and blew them out of proportion.

    I use a dual monitor setup. Monitor 1 has EvE, monitor two has something to make EvE less dull. Maps if I'm on a roam, movies or a blog I'm editing if I'm missioning, guides if I'm learning something. I'm never playing EvE without two monitors again.

    Congratulations on a life well lived, thanks for his service, and some whiskey I bought on the trip home from Iraq for your family member.

  2. I think the new UI is basically an effort of the GUI team as they try to justify their jobs, and one or some of them are amazing salesmen to be able to sell the turd to their superiors. I have yet to see how any bit of gameplay is improved by it, pretending of course that the window resets and lag are magically absent, at this time (which of course they aren't).

    To claim that the new inventory somehow stops macroers and botters dead in their tracks for anything other than a few days shows a rather large lack of understanding of how the apps work. Anyone interested in seeing exactly what you are up against with bots can easily download trial versions to educate ones self. They operate on simple principles, which is what makes them so adaptable and so easy to modify. Dragging the contents from one container to a list item instead of another container, is a simple thing to change when the window resolutions and sizes and locations are specified. Only the naive would think, or believe CCP, that the bots can't adapt. Don't confuse "haven't done it yet" with "can't".

    Having spent 3+ decades in and with the military, there is no general rule that some arm of the military use lists over graphics. If your organization liked lists, that's fine, but it's far from universal. The human brain recognizes, remembers, and processes graphics faster than words. If people like lists, they also could have displayed EVERY container's contents as lists under the old inventory too, and then drag window contents from one window to ANY OTHER simply by dropping the items on the TAB. I assume you already were aware of this. I have no problem with change as an improvement, ANY improvement. This is just change for some fucked up sense of change, and all the GOOD change that was done improving memory usage and game speed, was completely rendered null and void by this piece of shit inventory. Back to lag square one.

  3. @Pointy Sticks I remember a while back a comment that updating the UI was a chore because they'd replaced all the old UI people, the code was outdated, poorly documented, and generally a hassle to maintain. Assuming that's the case I think it's more a matter of "Well we can replace the 2004/2005 stuff with *THIS* for just as much work as it would take to make a small update"

    Yeah they have to do work with the new code, but at least they know where to work on it.

    And I never had an officer that wasn't more impressed by shiny graphics than useful content. Then again Artillery officers tend to be permanently concussed.

  4. I really recommend against downloading a bot and playing with it in game. Strongly recommend you don't do it. I've read bot users report that they have had an account banned when all their character has done is sit in a station for a week. Team Security is using technical means to detect people running botting software so I wouldn't risk it, especially if you don't know the difference between OCR and injection bots. Getting caught with an injection bot could be a permanent ban.

    Also, it makes sense that if CCP is really serious about combating botting then they need to revamp the interface to make life difficult for bot devs. If you look in the Captain's Quarters you can see where CCP was trying to do that. Too bad they made the content so bad that not only did it perform poorly but it set people's video cards on fire. Things like the unified inventory won't stop the good coders, but the poorer ones will drop out of the market. That is what happened with RoidRipper last year. The required skill level went up and the dev just wasn't good enough to continue. Kick in CCP Sreegs targeting RoidRipper botters and bye bye bot.


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.

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