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EVE Online: Odyssey Preview Part Two – Exploration Rebooted?

CCP Games have been sprucing up the cockpit and adding twinkly lights to the display panels and its not even Christmas.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

Those hoping the Odyssey expansion would give EVE Online’s user interface a visual shot in the arm might find some joy in the new radial menu and the hypnotic sensor overlay.

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In the continued updating of EVE’s venerable UI, both of these elements contribute to creating a more tactile and stimulating way of interacting with the game client. I have played with both on the Singularity test server and I don’t mind admitting they make me smile.

The radial menu is slick and has a nice feel to it, although its application and usefulness will require more development time and a period of acclimatisation before I can pass fair judgement.

A Revitalised Frontier?

The all-encompassing visual sensor sweep is beguiling as it floats across the field of view highlighting distant points of interest in 3D space. It is an appealing experience, adding to the sense of wonder as you undock by drawing your attention to the stars with a sweeping digital gesture as if to say, ‘look at all this… go explore it’.

Long-time New Eden explorers will certainly welcome the polish and refinement to the existing exploration interface, but the new visual elements and some nice quality of life tweaks aside, the core interface still relies on dull-but-functional spreadsheets to display the information efficiently. The directional scanner interface remains untouched.

As for the actual exploration content, it is difficult to judge exactly what is out there – but that’s kind of the point. Of course, there is the new hacking mini-game, which suggests an interesting new approach to in-game content design. But beyond that, if CCP told us what there was to discover, it would ruin the central conceit of the Odyssey expansion. However, the expansion website does offer this teaser:

“No corner of space is now safe from your scrutiny. You will discover ancient relics and remnants of long forgotten civilizations previously concealed from the prying eyes and covetous hands of capsuleers. Their untold riches are almost within your grasp, but you will need to earn the right to usurp these treasures.”

My cursory attempts to explore did result in the discovery of what appeared to be one of the Terran ships as seen in the new cinematic EVE video, so this suggests some tectonic shifts in the underlying lore of EVE Online.

Next: Polish, Tweaks and Balances

  

EVE Online: Odyssey Expansion Preview

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Image of Mat Westhorpe
Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.