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The art team has been working on many art assets recently and there has been talk of the "Caldarification" of Eve related art. Recent examples have been the WIP images of the Thrasher class destroyer redesign and the citadel. Do we need to keep the lines between the races designs clear cut or is some blending of more generic sci-fi styling a good thing? Should Matari be flying/floating scrap heaps? Should Gallente be 'all about the bass'? Or is a bit of generic sci-fi styling needed to bring new life to our important internet spaceships even if it leans a bit to Caldari?
Once upon a time the art team decided, in their quest to constantly update the ships we fly, to remove the wings/frills from the vaunted Vagabond. This did not sit well with a certain friendly neighborhood blogger named Rixx. And so he began a campaign to bring this wrong-headed decision to the attention of the art team. On Twitter, on his eve-zine (as The Mittani recently called it), and in-game. Protests were held. Eventually, the art team realized their mistake and quickly rectified it. The Vagabond remains properly frilled.
You might guess, from this story and others, that I take the design of Eve rather serious. Which is the truth, I do. It is, after all, the thing that drew me to Eve in the first place. And after everything, it is the foundation that keeps me in the game. Spaceships being the biggest part of that pie. Spaceships are what Eve is all about. As we've learned from other protests over the years, you do not mess with our ships. We get surly.
One of the most interesting bits about Eve however, is how it continues to evolve and grow. This is something that most of us way back when never considered. Eve didn't die. In fact, it continues to chug along. Now we have more spaceships and more "stuff" than ever in space. And that curve is only going to continue, with more structures soon to be added to player control. It is amazing to watch and be a part of. Eve continues to evolve.
And so, one must consider, does New Eden. As we've seen recently with the Drifters and their attack on the Amarr Empress, things in New Eden are not static. They are also changing, evolving, and moving along a path of their own. This is fantastic and lends an air of authenticity to the universe. It also means that there is growth. The universe is not a static place. Things change.
I am especially a fan of that being reflected most obviously in the changes to Minmatar ships. The MInmatar are getting better at building things. The ships are better. (I digress, but am I the only one who finds it weird that every single Minmatar ship's rust is in the exact same place?) This makes sense. Minmatar engineers are actually learning, y'know, like real people do. The work is getting better over time. I like that.
Throw into that mix the Sisters of Eve, and the myriad other new comers to the world of ship building. The pirate factions. The growing mix of things that make New Eden tick, and you have yourself a vibrant, complex, and ever-changing world. One in which things are evolving and changing all around you.
Ok, so what does all of that mean? It doesn't mean that the Thrasher WIP model we saw was actually a Thrasher, because it wasn't. That was a step too far. The races need to maintain their unique and visually distinct style, even in the face of ever evolving and cross-pollenating technology. What the art team needs to find is that "next" step for each of the races in Eve. What does an advanced Minmatar ship look like? Whatever it is, it isn't Caldari. That much I know. Spaceships need to maintain that lineage. They can advance, they can change, they can evolve - that is only natural. But Minmatar, Amarr, Gal and Cal need to keep their own unique voices.
As for other things in space like the upcoming Citadels? I personally like the designs I've seen. They don't feel as much Caldari to me as they do "generic" science fiction. A "universal" standard if you will. And I'm ok with that, as long as it fits within the context of how those structures are presented to us within the universe. Which is something we don't know yet. How do they come about? Where do they come from? And how do they get explained to us?
Someone once said, "I don't know what Art is, but I know it when I see it." I feel the same way about new ship designs in Eve. They either ring true or they don't. The new Dominix for example? Perfect. It still looks like a Dominix, only much better. Most of the updates work that way. But when they don't, when they feel out of place, you just know it in your bones.
The art department is batting on a really high average. That is remarkable. But they should always know that we are out here watching them. No one is perfect. And we'll be out here to remind them and help them when they swing and miss.
For other opinions on this subject check out this link.