Lately I find myself actually looking off into space while I'm flying around in New Eden. For the last three years space was mostly the same dark inky place, much better than when I first started playing ( heck, just a month ago I would've sworn it was cool!! ) but still... I mean, just look out of your window!
We all get that. We've seen the purty nebula, the stark contrasts, the deep blacks, the crispy color, the sharp defined edges, the new shaders, models, and other unexplained something or others that make New Eden post-Crucible just friggin awesome to look at. We get it. It sure is real purty.
But there is something else going on here. When I'm looking off into space now, I can see home. It is over there. And it keeps getting smaller and smaller the further I fly away from it. And the place I'm going for nefarious purposes? Why, it keeps getting closer.
For the first time EVER New Eden is an actual place. You can drive thru it and kinda tell where you are headed. And where you've been. Somewhere out there in the twinkly stars is the one star you call home. It used to be those stars were like a randomly generated background not much different than the old Atari Star Raiders star-field. ( And yes, Star Raiders is the direct ancestor of Eve, but that is actually the post for tomorrow! It has been sitting in the dust bin unfinished for long enough. ) But now, even though they still might be randomly generated, they don't feel that way.
One of the biggest reasons is the new wonky Star Gates. They tilt, lean and generally point DIRECTLY at the next Star! In fact you can watch the Gate thingie shoot your disassembled and suddenly incorporal mass directly to the destination star, which is all big and twinkly in the path of said beam thingie.
What an odd and unexpected thing. A sense of place in this vast and virtual universe, a place we like to call home. Huh.
The other day whilst out on a roam, the nebula were all around us. Off in the distance was Cloud Ring and other still un-named ( to us anyway ) nebula. Back behind us though was the one featured in the post image above, which is my own home system of Hevrice. It was much smaller and more distant than when we started the roam. It was actually far away. Really far away.
My point is this. I think the impact of this perception goes way beyond the purty pictures and sense of time and place. In fact, I think this single little thing might very well become the most significant and important change to come out of Crucible. Over the Summer CCP held a contest/event called "Eve is Real" in which players were asked to contribute things that made Eve seem real to us. But we had no clue yet how real Eve could potentially be, how much we were missing this sense of place. You can't miss what you don't know you don't have. Cause we thought we had it. But we really didn't.
And now we do. It sends chills down my spine.
I could almost navigate New Eden without using my map now. Simply look off into the steller distances and see something that interests me... and head in that direction. Like our Fathers before us, navigating vacation without GPS and Navigation Systems, sure we'd get lost every so often. But on those trips getting lost was sometimes the best part, the discovery of the World's Largest Ball of Yarn, or the Weird Hole, or Gravity Hill.
New Eden. One of those twinkly stars is my home.