Next Step Beyond Skins

My Police Comet
I fly Comets a lot. It has become my "go-to" ship for general Yarring around Citadel/Black Rise and it serves very well in that role. Until ship skins came along I never spent any Aurum on anything, so I had a nice little pile of it available and bought some skins. My first purchase was the Police skin for the Comet. Since it is the best skin available in Eve. Not only is it an awesome skin, but it comes with Police Lights!!  And ever since that day I've been naming my Comets after famous television Police, Detectives and the actors or actresses that played them. My currently undefeated Comet is named Jack Lord, the actor that played Detective Steve McGarret in the original Hawaii Five-O.

Yesterday I asked about the way in which we all name our ships over on Tweetfleet and here on the blog. I got some amazing answers, formulas and strategies from everyone when it comes to naming conventions for their spaceships. Not surprising to me. I expected it, our ships are important to us. They are, after all, the extension of ourselves inside of Eve. They are our vessels in more ways than the obvious. So it is only natural that we all take ownership of them and want them to reflect even a small part of our own personality.

So the natural extension of all this is the following question, "Is there anything else that can be done to express that personality?"  I already mentioned yesterday the idea of having names attached to saved fits so that the newly fitted ship holds onto the name it has been given. I also like the idea of ship names showing up on kill-mails, to preserve some individuality and personality long after our ship goes boom boom. Neither of those two things seem all that difficult to implement. But again, my knowledge of what it would take to do so is less than zero.  But, if I've learned anything during the last eight years, it is this - if you don't ask, you won't get.  So it's worth asking.

Ok, so how about ship names actually being printed on our ships?  We have some reason to believe that Alliance Logos will eventually be appearing on our ships someday soon™.  If that is possible, then would it also be possible to have the name we've given our ship also appear?  Now I'm going to go right ahead here and assume that it is probably impossible to constantly update thousands of ship names that can be changed on a whim at any time.  That seems like a good assumption.  So what if we tie the saved fit name into a permanent feature?  Once fitted the ship name can no longer be changed?  As long as that ship is alive it is stuck with the name it was given?  That would cut down the sheer amount of information being asked of the server, wouldn't it?  Would it be enough to make the idea fall within the realm of possibility?

Would you be willing to trade the ability to re-name your ship at anytime for the ability to have said name displayed on the hull of that ship?

I honestly don't know if any of this is possible.  I'm just asking the questions and pondering the possibilities.  I'd be willing to trade extreme customization on ship names, which is a relatively useless feature, in order to have more permanent ship names emblazoned on my ships.  But that's me.  And I'm weird like that.

How about you?



9 comments:

  1. Hm, I've had similar thoughts yesterday when you've brought up ship names. And I've come to the conclusion that putting the name on the hull is probably not feasible. The name can currently be up to 20 characters long - so one (the art department of CCP) would need to find a space on the ship that could possibly display the string "abcdefghijklmnopqrst" and still be readable. Not to mention any ASCII-Art people might put in their ship names.

    I'd rather have longer names, the "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" (Songtitle from Dimmu Borgir) or the "March of the Swordmaster" (Rhapsody of Fire) are still waiting to be named and undocked :) One can't even name a ship "Never Gonna Give You Up" without hitting the character limit
    Though I will admit naming a ship "Under Pregnant Skies She Comes Alive Like Miss Leviathan" (Cradle of Filth) might be a bit excessive :D

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    1. I agree it is probably unlikely, but as I've learned over the years, asking these questions gets people thinking in very creative directions. What if, just as a hypothetical, it only applied to Capital and Super Capital ships? I'm fairly certain something like this will be available for Citadels, so why not bigger ships perhaps?

      Just a thought. And yes, longer names would be great!

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    2. One way I can see CCP could in increase the "ownership" of ones ship would be custom decals (in addition to the alliance decals that are without doubt already in the pipeline *hint*hint*). Decals that would stay with a ship and are destroyed (or dropped) upon the ships spontaneous disassebly, unlike SKINS which are a one time purchase for all ships of a certain type.

      There should certainly be a market for "Grr Goons","Fedo on board","If you can read this, you are webbed" or "We break for nobody" stickers that players could put on their ships :)

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    3. Battle Honors for ships. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_honour

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  2. The client already needs to query the name of every visible ship on grid, so the amount of information transmitted between the server and the client would be roughly the same. The additional information would be stuff like font name, font size, color and place. Kind of like corporation logos, which are assembled from pre-approved assets. Of course, the fonts would have to include a lot more than just a handful of icons; Eve is played all over the world, and people can currently use their own native alphabets everywhere else in game. So the selection of available fonts that have all those Unicode characters and fit into the New Eden visual aesthetic would probably be limited.

    It is possible to have a dynamic texture that is built from current ship name and the parameters given. It would even allow players to keep changing their ship names on the fly and have the new name appear on their ships. But CCP has to think of the worst case: A fleet of previously unknown ships arriving into the grid. That's a lot of textures the client would have to start generating on the fly, which would appear as a dip in FPS.

    Pre-baking those textures on the image server would reduce that performance dip, and it is already used for corporation and alliance logos as well as character portraits. But in that case the client would have to retrieve a lot more data from the image server, and the names would appear on the ships at an unpredictable rate.

    A lame solution would be to fetch that name texture only when targeting the ship, which would work fine for small-scale encounters, buy would reduce the wow factor of flying past an unknown ship.

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  3. I would trade the ability to change the name for it to be on the ship, i would imagine that there would need to be some kind of character length limit per ship due to the size of the hull

    V

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  4. I like the idea of having ship names displayed on the hull. It is an excellent idea and seems like an easy way for pilots to personalize their life in New Eden a little more. However, losing the ability to change ship names on the fly would mean sacrificing a rather important counterintelligence technique used frequently by wormhole dwellers.

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  5. love this debate and see many possibilites to it as well. Would love to see the old World War II fighter and bomber nose art be available in some form on the ships in game.

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  6. Thats fun, my comets usually use the police skin and on of them is named TJ Hooker

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