Fang Talks

Life is a team sport

A neat little trick some software does, but it may not always be beneficial.

Apparently Eve Online has a feature enabled by default that causes the game to only download resources (like models and textures) when it first needs them. This is nice in the sense that it helps new players get into the game quicker. They no longer have to wait for an atrocious twenty GB download, and can just jump into the game straight away. Whenever a resource is needed for the first time, the game will request it from the server, and download it once like in the old process. Except it’s bite-sized! Not to mention, it saves disk space (but none in the long run) by not loading resources you never bother seeing.

Now this is nice for the reasons mentioned above, but it has a rather significant downside. There’s folks on low-bandwidth connections playing the game. This means it’ll take a whole long time for the resources to download, and if that happens in-game, they’ll likely see there’s an entity, but have nothing to look at for a while. Then after a few seconds of waiting, it’ll pop up all of a sudden. Not the prettiest user experience eh?

That said, you can disable it to work around that issue. I’m doing the same despite my high connection, since I have all the disk space required anyway. All in all though, I’d say the method is a nice solution to the problem of “holy shit, ten hours of downloading before I can play?”

Because nothing’s worse than demotivating your players right away.
~ Fang

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