Dominion

With Dominion just around the corner, we’re looking at how that’ll affect EVE Metrics. Other than the market getting a few things shaken up as is usual for expansions, things should be minimally impacted. API services will probably be down for a week knowing CCP’s track record of breaking the API ‘just in case’ it affects Tranquility, but apart from that things should be fine.

We have got some things in the works for Dominion, and we hope you’ll find them useful; we’ve not had much time to work on EVE Metrics, and we’re being distracted by another project at the moment, but we’ll have more time to work on EVE Metrics in a few weeks time around Christmas. I’m still evaluating what we’ll spend our time on, though, and we’d like to get more feedback via the feedback button on the site– you can vote for other people’s suggestions, so please do so!

Other than that, not much to report. We’ll have Dominion items loaded into the site by release day so you can start using the site straight away with the new items. We’ve been so far very successful with some performance improvements on the site; this has mostly been tuning our database server and working on improving the performance of queries through better indexes, clustering indexes, and so on. Hopefully you’ll notice this in the form of improved page responsiveness and less ‘slow loading’ pages. Enjoy!

EVE Fanfest(feed) 2009

Well, that fateful time of year comes along again- thousands of EVE Online players meet for fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland. And I can never make it. This year, my studies conspired against me; except they didn’t. While unknown until hours beforehand, I actually had no work and a lecture on basic packet switching keeping me in England. Doh.

Anyway. We got a lot of fluff, this year. Aside from further elaboration on stuff already announced, there were actually no major announcements made at fanfest. We did have some interesting info about New Eden, CCP’s EVE-Online-Online website. And there was some evidence (gasp!) that CCP were listening to third party developer suggestions at the API roundtable.

There was almost enough minor stuff announced to make it worthwhile. We did get a release date for Dominion – 1st December 2009. But no New Eden with the launch. And knowing CCP we’ll probably not get API changes till a bit after that. What’s really awesome though is that we will be getting new APIs. I’m just hoping they’re useful APIs…

Anyway, while I was sitting at home being mostly bored, I decided I’d had enough pressing F5 on the Twitter search page, and put together a website (ff.mmmetrics.co.uk – it’s down now) to grab EVE fanfest feeds from Twitter and Flickr. This became popular enough within a few hours that we had to rip it off the server and give it it’s own Amazon EC2 virtual server, as it was in danger of crashing ISKsense and EVE Metrics. Doh. A wild success, in any case, for a simple but handy website. What the website did make us realise is how little headroom we have on our current server. We kinda knew that already but it did make the point quite well.

EVE Metrics 2.1 has launched mostly well but we’re still having issues with the API processing code. Makurid has been working hard to pin down the cause of the problems and destroy it while I’ve been fixing up servers and moving sites around, and we’re getting a bit closer to having a complete fix. We’re not there yet, but we will be soon with any luck.

Blog Banter 12 – Mobile EVE

Welcome to the twelfth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s banter comes to us from CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: First there was the MMO on the PC, and now with the recent announcement of DUST 514, EVE will soon be moving onto consoles. But what about mobile? Allow your imagination to run wild for a second and describe how you would see EVE being ported to mobile devices, whether the iPhone/iPod touch, Blackberrys or Android-based devices. Dream the impossible for us!

No.

What do I mean, ‘no’? What I mean is, I would actively dislike it if CCP decided their next project was iEVE. Why? Well, it’s quite simple, really. It’s immersion. It’s partly why CCP won’t let people write UI addons in the style of WoW. EVE is very distinctive, and extremely immersive. It’s part of why it’s such a brilliant game. You just simply can’t replicate that immersion on a mobile platform, no matter the technology involved. I guess what I’m saying is that EVE shouldn’t be played on a mobile device.

If we did get anything for mobile platforms, then obviously EVEmail and other information would be what you’d want. Some people would argue skill training should be accessible from outside the game. I’d have to disagree with that one, again on the grounds of immersion. You’re doing something very much tied to the game there, and it should remain in the game.

Of course, the optimal way to do all this is just to open up some APIs and let people get to work on it. Look at the current offering of mobile apps- there’s loads out there and some (Capsuleer) are of an exceptionally high standard. Why should CCP try and replicate all this effort in-house when they could just open the appropriate APIs to developers? If CCP wanted to really fuel development of certain tools, they could take on the popular third-party devs for given platforms as contractors and task them with developing the features full-time, thus leveraging existing apps and talent while getting exactly what they want. It’d be good for the 3rd-party developer ecosystem and better for CCP, who get what they want at vastly reduced effort, cost and so on.