I’ve Got Great Big Rocketship

By Jim Rossignol on January 21st, 2010 at 11:15 am.


But just how big? Well, I’m glad you asked, because CCP have released a bunch of videos showing off the 3D hangars from Eve Online, which I’ve posted below. They’ve done it by race, so you get the full spaceship-porn effect of the various visual themes. What you don’t really get is the sense of scale for these things, so I’ve posted a Garry’s Mod video in which some bloke has dropped scale models of the Eve ships into the G-Mod sandbox. It really does give you a sense of the enormity of the really large Eve ships that you see in the hangar videos, as they disappear off into the Source engine clouds. (Header image from Eve comparison chart.)

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72 Comments »

  1. Jakkar says:

    The problem with EVE is that these sizes, though impressive to the imagination.. Will mean nothing until we gain a real sense of scale. The ability to interact with these ships, to feel a sense of contact with them, of relative scale. Pod-control is something, but I feel like I’m controlling a 3d model more than I feel like I’m flying a ship..

    • Bananaphone says:

      Agreed. I tried EVE once years ago when I mistakenly believed it to be a bit like the X series. Didn’t last more than a few minutes after logging in for the first time and seeing that it the same old MMO point and click controls and third-person viewpoint. Didn’t feel like I was in control.

    • Meat Circus says:

      @Jakkar:

      I know what you mean, actually. Eve zooms out in such a way that when you’re not in a fleet, your ship always feels roughly the same size however big it is.

      You only get a sense of scale when you’re flying in a fleet so you can cock-wave with your fleeties.

      @Bananaphone:

      Apparenly, in the future, there will be COMPUTERS, and we will use them to control things like giant spaceships. Who knew?

    • Premium User Badge

      Dan Milburn says:

      Meat:

      And in that same future, the computers could probably also automate all the mining, combat, trading and whatever else it is you do in Eve. Wouldn’t make the game fun though would it?

    • Bananaphone says:

      Er, that’s nice, what’s your point?
      I’m not knocking the game, it’s just not for me, I hadn’t expected it to have the same interface as more traditional MMOs. For space shooty-bang-bang I prefer to be able to sit in the cockpit and have direct control.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Eve is not an FPS. Fleet battles are not won and lost on who has the fastest mouse tracking speed. It’s all about the high-level strategy. Choosing targets, distances, managing drones, fighters, bombs, missiles, torpedoes, lasers, webs, scrams, bubbles, cloaks, scanners, cyno-jammers, probes, gang assists, ECM, ECCM…

      In a first person view all you can do is point your gun, and shoot. Which is a bit simple compared to the astonishingly flexibility and complexity that EVE’s high level view of the battle offers you. Simplicity is no bad thing, but EVE is not aiming for simplicity, as anyone who has played it knows.

      Looks like maybe Black Prophecy will be the pewpew space MMO you’re looking for.

    • kedaha says:

      Um, you could do all those things from a first person perspective. Or even a bridge perspective.

      I-War?

    • Meat Circus says:

      I’m not sure you can. FPS view robs you of your high-level tactical view of the game, and makes it more action-oriented.

      That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to playing Black Prophecy or Jumpgate Evolution, but I won’t be expecting them to be anything like EVE, more like Planetside in Space (which I admit sounds fun).

    • kedaha says:

      According to who? Based on what?
      Current warships/flagships use a bridge/CnC room perspective, it seems to work for them!

      To be honest, I’d suspect lack of resources and laziness led to using the external view more than anything

    • Meat Circus says:

      I’m fairly certain modern battleships aren’t controlled by one person from a first person perspective.

    • Bananaphone says:

      Yeah, modern battleships are actually controlled by one person from a third-person perspective.

    • Meat Circus says:

      It’s never quite made clear, but I think it’s implied that EVE ships have a full compliment of crew, following your capricious orders. You’re floating above the fray like some cybernetically-enhanced god.

      Anyway, my point is not to say that EVE’s way is better or worse than Planetside in Space, just *different*. In practice, I’m sure I’ll play both.

    • alm says:

      I find EVE online fiddly beyond belief, and I managed to break the tutorial which didn’t help. It’s a game I’d love to get into but it’s too infuriating for me.

    • Meat Circus says:

      You need a good corp to teach you. You need RPS Holdings.

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      Maltose says:

      Uh yeah, I’d love to play EVE in first person. I get to sit in a commander’s chair and look at TV screens in game, in first person! :O Who needs all those pretty explosions anyway?

    • Jakkar says:

      Aye, there’s the way to make me happy; Let me sit at some controls, walk down a gangway to get to another station, take a high speed elevator down to another deck to change some settings.

      But it’s too much to ask; what I’d love from EVE would be too much of a change to the core gameplay; what I want from EVE is co-operation with a crew on a single ship, not just to be a floating metal avatar.

    • Noc says:

      ARGH I lost a big ‘old post. Lets try this again:

      @Meat: Player-controlled ships in EVE are piloted by one guy in a sensory-deprivation pod with their brain hooked up directly to the ship. This is why your skills affect ship operation directly (since you’re doing everything yourself) and why they restrict what modules you can equip (because more advanced equipment is harder to operate).

      It’s also why you play the game in third-person view, because you’re hooked directly into your ship’s sensors. There isn’t a cockpit, and there aren’t screens and displays and whatnot to look at, and you aren’t looking out any windows. The capsule is also what lets you reincarnate in a clone when you die, because it’s hooked into your brain and can quickly scan it and send the information off when the pod gets breached.

      Only players tend to be capsuleers, though, I think, so NPC ships tend to be flown “conventionally” by a full crew.

      . . .

      And I think we’re on pretty solid ground when we say that direct control of the ships is in full-on “Talk to the monsters” territory? In that it’s not something that got “left out” of the game, it’s something that belongs to a path of development that EVE diverged from a looong time ago.

      Like, lets look at turrets. In actionly space games, turret coverage is a deal, as is things like it’s tracking speed and projectile speed, which determine how easy or hard it is to hit faster targets. So if you’re in a ship you’re zipping about trying to find blind spots and stay ahead of the turrets, while if you’re in a turret you’re trying to anticipate the guy zipping about and lead him properly to get a shot in.

      In EVE, all ships have 360 degree turret coverage, and the rest of that is handled by maths. Weapons have a “resolution” and a tracking speed, and the game calculates the chance of hitting and damage based on comparing these values to how small the ship is and how quickly it’s zipping around.

      So the same sorts of stuff is being handled . . . in a different way. Firing a shell off and seeing if it collides with anything is mutually exclusive to “firing a shell” and doing some maths to figure out if it hits or not. Real-time control of turrets (like real-time control of engines and such) isn’t something they didn’t include because of “laziness,” it’s something they didn’t include because they’re designing an entirely different game from the one you think they were.

      . . .

      (I DO think that the interface is clunky and poorly penetrable and something that needs more options and ways of displaying things, which’d likely include the ability to look out from your ship instead of at it . . . if only because that’s sort of a relevant perspective, and figuring out what’s going on spatially in busy fights is one of the difficult bits of the game.

      The problem here is just that learning to handle the interface and collate its clumsily presented information into a picture of what’s going on when there is (in a PvP fight) invariably too much stuff going on is part of the learning curve . . . so streamlining the UI and making it more moddable invariably provokes an outcry of “but that’d make it too EASY!” from people who’ve already gone up the curve and pride themselves on being “hardcore” enough to master the system.

      But I think that’s a slightly different issue than the direct control one.)

    • DrazharLn says:

      @Noc

      I used to lose all kinds of posts to internet capriciousness, but there’s an add on for firefox called Lazarus that saves all your form entries for pretty much everything. I’d recommend it.

  2. TooNu says:

    Nice series of links Jim and thanks for doing this :) more EvE for the EvE god!
    Will you play again? are you going for Dust instead?

    • Meat Circus says:

      Jim has been elevated to the status of official prophet of RPSH and LOLLI. If he were to return to our Universe, he could start his own religion.

  3. Sunjammer says:

    The sheer nerdiness of the narrator of that gmod video blows my mind way more than the size of the ships.

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      Oh god yes; I found myself nearly screaming through that video. Surely video editing software isn’t that hard to find for free on the internet? Save the 30 minute lecture on how you found the right blow up tool! Cut the parts where you’re getting scientist models into position! Do another take when you scaled a ship into the ground!

      Anyway, apart from that, thanks for those videos Jim! I know I just whinged about the last video, but it was informative.

  4. Mr.Bigglesworth says:

    The size is not important its the armament that counts and how you handle your ship ;D

    Am i right, guys !?

  5. Meat Circus says:

    OH MY CHRIST.

    CCP are awesomesauce. I love this game so much.

  6. Meat Circus says:

    “enormity”

    You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • Zerotime says:

      Is it like irony, but… big?

    • Antsy says:

      Nothing wrong with his use of it. Or were you just looking for an excuse to quote The Princess Bride? :P

    • Meat Circus says:

      INCONCEIVABLE!

    • snubz says:

      @Antsy:

      Meat Circus is (likely) referring to the fact that enormity really means “great wickedness,” or a “dreadful immoral or criminal act.” It expresses both the scale and horror of something.

      Language changes, though, and more and more people use enormity just to mean “friggin’ huge.” All well and good, but there really is no synonym for enormity, so purists weep. The “correct” noun form for enormous would be “enormousness,” which is admittedly awkward.

      For the record, I rarely use enormity correctly, so I’m not one of the weeping purists (it’s just dust in my eye, I swear!).

  7. Meat Circus says:

    One day, we shall have a succesor to Incarna, and we will be able to walk around inside the stupidly large ships, and only then will we truly have a sense of their vastitude.

  8. Premium User Badge

    mpk says:

    That Proteus build looked like some sort of kick ass anime motorcycle. Do want!

  9. daypitoum says:

    What a full load of session timers

  10. sana says:

    By the way, my own testing showed that the converted GMod ships aren’t properly scaled. In GMod, the smaller ships are about the size of three players, yet the textures show windows that, while supposed to be viable for humans, were about the size of an arm.

    If even the smallest ships in the game are that huge, Titans must be utterly gargantuan.

    • Azhrarn says:

      The frigate on the video thumbnail (a rifter) is roughly the size of a 747 according to an old post on the forums (link: http://www.wanoah.co.uk/Rifter_vs_747.png), the average titan is about 10 miles long, so big is an understatement. But you don’t get that sense of scale when you’re alone, only when you are flying with others can you really appreciate the sense of scale the game offers.

      flying in a small ship along a busy trade lane works too, an interceptor or shuttle feels positively tiny compared to a Freighter.

    • Meat Circus says:

      The races of EVE have a long way to catch up with The Culture. They have GSVs the size of continents, with billions of passengers.

      Now that’s a ship.

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      @Meat Circus

      The thought of GoonSwarm in charge of Culture level weaponry scares the bejeezus out of me.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      @meat:
      Sir, I’m gonna ask you to step out of the comment thread. Keep your hands off the keyboard where I can see them. I’m putting you under arrest, there were several reports of you “raping” this comment thread

    • Azhrarn says:

      @Meat: Culture level starships in the hands of the (on average) utterly ruthless EVE-players would be messy, to say the least.

      Alliances with GridFire capability could wipe out most of high-sec in moments just for laughs, it would look spectacular though, but after a couple of hours of non-stop anti-matter explosions I don’t think there would be much in terms of assets left for anyone in the game. =D

    • Tei says:

      Re: The Culture

      I am fall in love to how the Culture name his ships.

  11. PixelCody says:

    I love concept galleries in general, but this one takes the cake.

  12. Hirvox says:

    Well, if we have to talk about big things, there’s always Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which uses galaxies as shurikens. Now that’s a mecha.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Wow that is big, and to think how proud I used to be of my Rupture, which now looks like a puny little fly by comparison.

  14. H says:

    I’m not gonna trawl through every post to see if anyone else has posted it already or not, but their chart is just like this one:

    http://www.merzo.net/

    Which is also quite funky.

  15. Psychopomp says:

    Just want to point out that those really tiny specs in that comparison chart are the size of your house.

    • Azhrarn says:

      A bit bigger than that Psychopomp, in the lower left corner of the chart is the Eiffel tower on the same scale. The average cruiser is larger than the tower is, a frigate is already several times bigger than most houses, a lot closer to a sizeable chunk of a street in fact.

  16. elyscape says:

    Is it just me or does the Phoenix look like a great huge shotgun?

    • Azhrarn says:

      It indeed does a bit, although the “barrel” is the stern of the ship in this case. =)

  17. MadMatty says:

    I love Eve and play it, i just hate the bullshit physics… everything from the sound of explosions, to the continual firing of the ships engines to lack of maneuver jets indicates that ships are actually moving thru AIR! why does the ship stop when you turn off the engines? is inertia nullified, or is the ship using AIR-BRAKES!
    Im sure astrophysics sounds a bit heavy for a non-specialist computer game, but the actual fact is things are actually SIMPLER in space (less variables), but it is also DIFFERENT.
    Seeing how David Braben pulled off an eminently playable Elite 2 and 3 with accurate physics, i can only label CCP´s design as lazy.
    I has a lot of goodness in other parts of the game, so i still play it- but it suxx

    • MadMatty says:

      Whoops, well i forgot Elite 2 & 3 still had audible explosions in space. Even David Braben couldn´t do a game without that.

    • Jon says:

      Although Elite II was “eminently playable”, it was criticised for it’s realistic physics for having confusing and less fun combat in comparison to Elite 1. Eve is a bit of a niche game as it is, and I don’t think that they need to loose any more players by incorporating realism.
      I’ll admit that I’m still waiting for a space game with relativistic physics myself, but Eve isn’t really about physics; like most Sci-Fi, the science isn’t the main focus; it’s the Social issues space travel raises.

    • MadMatty says:

      Yes iv´ve developed a taste of the years, for basically niche games, and i am a niche gamer.
      But i think mainly the bigger group of gamers, the semi-to-casual crowd, who provide the big bucks for the industry, are being cheated/cheating themselves many times.
      So after your description of the playstyle in EvE, which i agree on, i´d say that would equal the term “Soft Sci-Fi” in the neighbouring book and movie industries, like say the series “Battlestar Galactica” VS “Hard Sci-Fi” such as the movie “2001″.
      I´d much prefer something like a game version of 2001 , as it lends the authenticity to the experience, and because i like the serene beuty of space with all its particularites.
      You could, say, try to add some automated aids to the space navigation, or to tweak some of the parametres which made the enjoyable but hard, and, granted, initially confusing combat in Elite 2.
      Hell, Braben is one of the few that even developed games along those lines (and Derek Smart with Battlecruiser ?)
      If more people wouldve worked on it, instead of doing the space-car thing, im sure finer iterations and more enjoyable variants could be developed.
      Even Asteroids had inertia.

      I think its partially because im also at the:
      A. opposite end of the “instant gratification” spectrum, in which the majority belongs to. Im even willing to read manuals :O
      B. Don´t find Space confusing, only logical.
      C. Autopilot rulez

      As for the alien/human interaction thats all fine with me… Id just have the Hard Sci-Fi parts in aswell.

    • MadMatty says:

      Hard Sci fi focuses heavily on the theoritically possible advances in Science, and scientific accuracy, to present new ideas or entertaining situations.

      Soft Sci-Fi is rarely scientifically accurate but emphasizes the play between characters, and aliens, and their feelings as the main theme. Also: often explosions and crap

  18. Bhazor says:

    Anyone know the name of the last ship in the G-Mod video? Trying to find it on the comparison sheet but he didn’t show it in profile.

    • Azhrarn says:

      Judging from the profile of the ship, I’d say that’s a Megathron. It’s a little over a kilometre in length.

      The ship has lots off odd angles and extrusions and nooks around the hull meaning that it’s not exactly easy to recognise unless you’re viewing it from the side, which gives you the view on the chart.
      It’s in the lower right quarter of the chart, at the top, next to the rather lopsided Dominix and above the Moros class Dreadnought.

    • Bhazor says:

      Looks about right.
      Ta.

      Boy howdy, it’s only medium size compared to the others. Eve does not muck about with it’s shooty bang bang ships.

    • Azhrarn says:

      It’s still among the largest ships any normal player of EVE will usually fly in his or her carreer.
      The capitalships are restricted to low- and no-security space and are usually deployed by large alliances for territorial conquest. Most of those are several kilometers long, but battleships are all around 1-1.5 kilometers.

  19. Anthony says:

    God I love the Hurricane. No the biggest, not the fastest, but holy shit does it look badass.

    Actually, I’m more or less a Minmatar whore so the Rifter is awesome too.

    • Anthony says:

      Actually, having not played the game in ages and related to my general love of Minmatar, did they ever fix Mr. Vertical? He was so badly gimped in comparison to the other Titans.

    • Azhrarn says:

      It’s still a dreadnought, but yes they’ve changed a few bonusses making it less awful, whether or not it’s actually fixed I wouldn’t know. =)

  20. Miss B says:

    beware my rifter chaps, beware

  21. Meatloaf says:

    Now we just need to combine EVE and Shattered Horizon. The FPS junkies can do all the boarding/breaching from ship to ship while the EVE players control the ships themselves.

  22. Harlequin says:

    Thank you for posting this! I don’t play EVE, nor do I have a real desire to, but it’s really cool to see all of these ships regardless :)

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    Kelron says:

    Interesting to see ships moving around the stations, but disappointing that the environments are the same old ones I see every day. I was hoping for a demonstration of the station interiors from human perspective.

  24. Gopher says:

    Its not a battleship, its a minnie frigate, rifter I think

  25. Meatloaf says:

    Well call me a dried soup, Dust 514 sounds downright lovely. Now we just hope for a PC confirmation.

  26. Azhrarn says:

    http://go-dl1.eve-files.com/media/corp/SFC/EVE-ships_large.jpg

    That’s the proper EVE ships size chart, including everything from the smaller frigates to the titans, and it’s a decent way to understand the scale of some of the vessels on it.

    Give it some time to load though, it’s 4200×8000 pixels

  27. arash mohebbi says:

    can I break out with a revolutionary thought and say I think all the EVE ship designs are ugly as all get out? Gimme the Homeworld ships ANY DAY. Also, any idea when Frontier is finally going to make a modern Elite? I really can’t get into the world of EVE – it felt less space captain-y and more like Space Accountancy. Eurk.

    • Azhrarn says:

      EVE’s ships are beautiful in their own way, with clear “racial” aesthetics for each of the factions.

      But I’ll give you the fact that the Homeworld ships look amazing. =) Very utilitarian, no nonsense combat designs.

      EVE’s ships also need to represent the look of the race they represent next to their, making them fancier and less utilitarian (with exception perhaps of Caldari design).

    • schmunkel98 says:

      Actually, the Amarr ships are quite nice looking in my opinion.