Kirith Kodachi wrote up a post here on his blog: http://www.ninveah.com/2011/01/incarna-razors-edge.html, and as always his posts are recommended reading for anyone who plays Eve Online.
So, after reading his viewpoint on Incarna, its pretty easy to wonder what CCP has in mind when they finally roll it out next week. You don’t exactly spend time and money developing the best character render system on the market without a plan to use it more than walking around a station. And I don’t personally believe that its just a nice little present from the developers of CCP’s other projects.
I agree with Kirith that is pretty brave to introduce something like this, that has no “declared” use into a Space Simulation game, however I disagree that they are walking a “razor’s edge”. At worse, it will be an inconvience, though I could see them making it a fun and useful inconvience if they were clever. The problem I see is CCP making it really good.
Think of it this way: If CCP makes the “Walking in Stations” part really fun by having distracting Mini-games, pilots may not get out of station as much. True, Incarna will likely bring in more new players as well as more female players.. but Eve Online doesn’t exactly have a lot of content. If new players come in, they may be less inclined to move from the fun-loving mini-games found at a station to the deep, dark recesses of Eve Space.
On the flipside, Incarna really has the opportunity to bring to life some aspects of this game, to give it a more “real” feel (yeah, I know the irony). Even if some of those options take a while.. and perhaps even feel like Eve is stealing some “ideas” from other games, it would definately allow for some interesting aspects to the game, as well as some interesting options later (task-specific clones anyone?)
Now, what do I want from Incarna? How do I think it would work best in the game?
First off, I want housing.. a place to call my own. And I want options for housing, not just one size fits all. If I’m rich, I should be able to afford a huge place.. if I’m starting out, a smaller place is in order. Or if I am dead broke.. guess I live in my ship for now, until my fortunes change. I also want to loot possible house decorum from rats I kill, build art/furniture from things like rigs, invite friends over, buy decorations from LP store, etc. And because it needs to be an isk sink.. the rent needs to be appropriate.
Second, Missions should be available there, and maybe not just from Agents. I know this will tick off quite a few players, but I think it is entirely appropriate that I should have to get out of my pod, and physically walk and talk to my agent.. until they get to know me well enough that they have no problems offering missions over comms. However, I am in agreement that I shouldn’t have to run half way across the station just to find my agent.
Third, Stations should feel big and appropriate.. and random. There should aways be certain things in station.. big conference rooms, HUGE waiting lobbies, storefronts (player owned), seedy areas, religous places, etc. I want to see what a huge, curving ceiling would look like on a Gallente station, how strong the columns look in an Amarr station, the chaotic placement of windows in a Minmatar station, and the pure functionality of a Caldari station. Those are things I not only want to see, but FEEL as well.
Some other things I would like to see expanded through Incarna too: Better Markets.. I want to go to a face and a place to buy. If my trade skills are high enough, then sure, it can be delivered to the hanger.. but sometimes I want to paruse.
In the end, I would hope that CCP has a pretty extensive plan they want to impliment with Incarna bringing alot of color, lore, and personalization to Eve.