Captain’s Quarters

I know I’m a bit late to the party discussing this but I thought I’d leave it to settle a bit and see how things developed. Although I’m playing on a Macbook Pro, and have the option of disabling CQ, I’ve kept it running on both accounts. Here are my impressions a couple of months or so in.

Performance:

This isn’t bad once it loads. The real problem is loading takes forever. I can have docked, waited out the session timer, changed ship and be ready to undock whilst waiting for CQ to render. Once its up I guess its ok performance wise. Moving around is smooth and fluid. I’ve recently started using OS X Lion dual-boxing on separate screens. This causes its own issues with CQ. I have to make sure to either dock both chars at the same time, or get one of them safe before docking the other. There is a point, just before it renders, that the whole machine becomes unresponsive. Not fun if the other toon is in hostile space.

Quality:

This is an odd one. I can’t run CQ on the lowest settings without getting some rendering artefacts around the clickable areas. If I load the high quality version everything looks peachy. It takes longer to load though (see above) which doesn’t help gameplay.

Usability:

This is an odd one. You would have thought, having spent such a lot of time getting just the one CQ out, and the limited functionality, that CCP would have got this spot on. They haven’t. One bug bear is navigation, why can’t we have forward, back, turn left, turn right? I find the current key setup difficult. Likewise clicking to move has its pitfalls. The big screens get in the way, especially if you are going from the hanger area into the quarters. A slight mis-click and you’ve loaded PI. I’d like to be able to customise what goes on the panels, and maybe only accept clicks if I’m close to it rather than as far away as is possible.

The second issue I have is ship control. The hologram looks nice but shouldn’t the menu that pops up related to the ship that you are in? Prior to CQ I could just right-click on my ship to open fuel bays or corporate hangers. Now I have to open the list of ships and right click there. Wouldn’t it be more immersive to have them as options on the holographic menu?

All in all its not bad, but a little underwhelming considering all of the hype.

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