Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A big pile of stuff with a cover on it

OK, let me start by saying something obvious.  If you've been reading my stuff for more than a few days, you know that if I don't like something, I don't keep it a secret.  When people do something that I like, I am very public and generous with my praise.  When people do something that I don't like, I'm equally forthright with my opinion and why I hold that opinion.  I'm not shy about telling people at any level in this game that I think that they are being dumb or short-sighted.

Know what?  The new inventory system doesn't qualify.

Is it perfect?  No, it definitely is not.  As a matter of fact, what we have with EVE's inventory system is something that has advanced from 1998 to 2002 in terms of UI functionality.  We've gone from Diablo (the first one) to Windows XP.  An unsearchable big pile of stuff has given way to a semi-searchable hierarchical tree view.  You are a well-informed EVE player and you knew this was coming.  I've blogged about it a couple of times, and encouraged all of you to get used to it on Singularity so you'd be used to it when it hit Tranquility.

And you did that, right?  ...Right?

OK, you probably didn't.  But that's OK.  Because chances are that you're already familiar with the hierarchical tree view because you use one every day to organize your files in your OS, whatever it is.  Folders within folders has been the structure that all of us have become familiar with for sorting virtual objects.  EVE has joined that parade, and that is a good thing.

Let me repeat that for those who are too busy screaming at CCP to hear me: that is a good thing.  So, please stop whining and please stop yelling.  You're hurting my ears.(1)  The old inventory system isn't coming back, and good riddance to it.  You were warned that this change was coming, and not all change is bad.  I'll grant you that this change is not start to finish awesome, but the good things about it far outweigh the bad things about it.  I don't ask people to HTFU often, but this is one of those times.  HTFU.

Change is scary.  I understand.  Here, have a cookie.  Now sit down and look at what's been gained.

Let's start with what you didn't lose.  If you insist on the ability to have fourteen different item windows open, you can still do that.  Click the Inventory button.  Find something that you want to open in a separate window like the old days, like your Ships window.  Shift-click on "Ships".  There it is.  Want the cargo hold of your Sleipnir?  Shift-click on the Sleipnir underneath Ships.  Want to drag ammo from Items to the Sleipnir cargo hold?  Click on Items, click and drag from there to the Sleipnir cargo hold.  Done.  Easy.  Don't you feel better?  You haven't lost anything.

And you've gained a ton of new features.  Again, a hierarchical tree view isn't ideal.  It's still a half-decade or more behind the times, and I don't think I'll personally be giving up JEVEAssets just yet.  Still, the drag-and-drop functionality is very well implemented.  Access to both personal items and corp items is streamlined, and I love the fact that containers are basically now being treated as sub-folders.  That was very well done.  Rote Kapelle has started training for AT10, and one of my duties has been fitting out dozens and dozens of ships.  The combination of the new inventory system and the recent new feature that lets you drag ship fittings into the Market Quickbar has allowed me to fit literally hundreds of ships in an hour or less.

How?  Filters.  The filters in this new inventory system are excellent, and can only get better.  Rigging 20 ships at a time?  Filter out everything but the rigs.  Use the "Fit" button to load up the other fittings, but with the uncluttered rigs filter, I only see the rigs that need to be dragged onto each ship's fitting to fit them.  When I run out of rigs, I immediately switch to an ammo filter.  Now I can very rapidly shift-drag and drop ammo into a large number of new ships.  I'll probably end up writing a guide for the Inventory filter system, because it's pretty bad-ass.

Again, the new inventory system is not perfect.  Multi-touch didn't come to operating systems en masse until 2007, true, but EVE still doesn't have "multi-drag" yet for dragging blocks of several different types of ammo into a ship or several blocks of stuff to sell to the market.

But it's pretty clear now that stuff like this is coming.  The UI team is thinking about their game in terms of the new millennium instead of the old one.

So get off their backs, OK everyone?  The new inventory system takes some getting used to.  I understand that.  But we're smart people and we'll figure it out.  Change is not automatically bad and this is a very good change.  Well done to Team Game of Drones for its implementation!  Keep the faith, guys.  You've done good work here.

In the meantime, though, do please put our active ship back on the Ships pane in addition to the top left of the hierarchical tree.  Please?  Thanks so much.

(1) And you're delaying the AT10 slot lottery, which is worse.


  1. When I read your post about going on Singularity to test it, I though "Oh no..." but logged in today and found it only took me a few minutes to familiarize myself with the new system. I wasn't a big fan of having 10 windows open trying to figure out where everything was. Now that said you do have a point about it not being perfect... :P

  2. Complete +1 here. The rage I'm seeing about the change in the inventory system can be more or less boiled down to "OMFG something changed!"

    My biggest quibble with it is that in my home system, when I click the inventory icon I get to watch a spinning wheel for 10-30 seconds before something is finally available for me to interact with. I hope that they figure out ways to improve this with time.

    Also, thanks for the pointer to JEveAssets!

    1. Consider spending 30 seconds in a pos and get back to us.

  3. Personally, I don't mind the new inventory system but I think the old one was more intuitive and easier to use, even though you needed more windows open.

    What they really need to do is add in contextual presets that people can edit to their needs. For example, loot windows go here, with the tree and filters minimized, and in it's own window while you're in space. Or, station container windows go here with the tree view minimized but filters expanded.

    Let people set it up the way they want whether it's closer to the old way or the new way, or anywhere in between.

  4. +1. I spent all day telling alliancemates to just give it time.

  5. I like the new system in highsec. POSes are making me cry.

  6. I have mixed feeling about the new system. I really dislike how long it takes now to open a window, but I can live with the rest. I think the real problem is while it's good for some tasks, it makes others much harder. Salvagers have written up how the new window makes their lives hell and it does sound bad. Before you could click on the cans in the overview and the widows all would stack, then just loot all each can and the window closes. Now, it sounds like a mess.

    But I really would look forward toward a guide on how you use it. I know I was one of those people who had some items like ammo, rigs, guns, ect. in station containers. Now with the tree view, those are still there, but I wonder if it would be better to now just have everything in the hanger and use the filters instead? The ship fitting window still does not "see" inside the cans so if I put everything in the hanger I could use that. Yet I'm not sure I trust the filters yet. Sounds dumb, but yea.

  7. Sorry, I disagree.

    It's a crude clone of a Windows explorer window. Granted, nobody will have problems using it, sure, but there are so many things wrong with it I could go on for hours. Just imagine drag+drop to a container which is currently out of view. Surely if I hover at the top of the tree view it will start scrolling up, right? Nope. Hotkey to cargo will always open cargo, right? Nope, opens last window state. Why can't I use commands like "Forward" and "Back" on the mouse? They revamp the Inventory and search still can't look into cans?

    The filters sounded exciting at first, but I find myself using only the text search field and we had these for a while now.

    The whole thing is just unfinished and not ready for prime time.:/

  8. agreed with 1744 anonymous, it showing the lasers and everything under the pos is brutal

  9. Except so often I feel that modern UI design starts with the /assumption/ that old = busted. The "one window" paradigm is as self serving and pointless as "one mouse button". Both absolutely work in many situations, but past a certain level of complexity they are completely and utterly useless.

    People being able to figure it out is not even remotely a good justification. People figured out old systems in eve that were even more broken than the inventory system, but no one is going to defend the corp management system "because people have figured it out"

    I would much rather Eves UI designers not worry about keeping up with what's trendy in whatever millennium and spend more time trying to cater to /actual/ usability, which includes /flexibility/ because "one size" does not fit all. Opening multiple windows *does not work* because the implementation that we have is an absolutely superficial "there! are you happy now?" throwaway without concerns for it's use cases. Simple example: Open the inventory, shift click ships hangar and drag it off to the side, close the main inventory window. Now click the inventory button on the sidebar, all it will do is toggle open and closed your "ships" window because the actual context of the window is completely ignored. The only way to get a full inventory screen available again is to take my ships window and expand it back out to full size.

    Comparatively if CCP had just added filters to the old system they would have been heaped with praise (and the new system still doesn't have anything that gives the functionality of multiple hangars) Treeview is a tool that needs to be used when appropriate, not a cure-all "modern" UI convention. I do worry that we're just headed for an entirely new era of broken frustrating UI, where we gain and lose in equal amounts and have very little net improvement. And I'm absolutely terrified at what's going to happen when they start trying to integrate more "eve trailer" type UIs like the mess they started in the CQ.

  10. This is like you say an overall good change for EVE, but there are some glaring problems with it. #1 on that list is trying to manage a POS right now. It is terrible, and I feel for anyone who has to do more than just the shifting of manufacture, research, and PI goods that I do.

  11. Stupid changes IMO. I understand the old system wasnt perfect and you had to dig through alot of windows. The most annoying of which for me is that the fit button didnt take items to fit my ships from the cans the items were in. Im pretty OCD with my organization and dont like a clusterfuck of shit in my main inventory "bag" on each station.

    The new system does make my OCD more easily able to do what I already did before, but the old system wasnt broken. So why fix it?

    1. Because the old system was archaic and outdated and inadequate. Read the post again. Look at the old system. Look at the new system.

      Like jester said, you can still have all your old functionality. Meanwhile, the rest of us can be relieved to know that going through our stations full of ships and cargohold full of items is going to be a little bit smoother, cleaner, and all around easier.

  12. I live in a WH and work out of a pos with a 15+ "folders" in the inventory menu. I dont mind the changes except it takes 20+ sec to load every time i open it (after leaving pos and returning). Huge pain in the ass, which the positive changes no where near outweigh.

  13. FK CCP! Ok, now that's out of the way. Well alright the missile effects are great! When it was first mentioned that hangar views would get a hierarchy system. I was under the impression that this would come about as a tab system very close to a corp hangar view. I thought cool I can manage stuff in the hangar and minimize the use of station cans. This is a mess. Just like with Incarna (had to bring it up). Put it in the game and don't give them an option to turn it off. Heck even in Windows XP you could customize or turn something off. I want my ships back! On the side on separate button. Really though the thing I can't stand is looting and salvaging. Does a jet can really need a filter system? It's a frikin' wreck. I can see if one is living out of a GSC at a POS but a wreck? I think we all liked the 'loot all' button when it was added. Good thing they added it. It is definitely needed now. But for christ's sake make it simply a box like it was and have it close when looted. Poor bastards hauling at a mining op with or without an Orca. 900+MB download? Wasn't the game just as fun (albeit not as pretty) when the whole thing was less than 700? LOL
    P.S. 18000 players on usually my current home system (until i eke out another 100k Lps) is like 20-30 ppl.
    It's been 70-80+ all evening. Maybe they wanted to see the new missile effects too but I'm guessing. Level 4s instead of Incursions anyone?

  14. Jester, open an sma on a pos with guns, 6 sma's and 6 corphangers. You have no idea what your talking about.

  15. "Change is scary. I understand. Here, have a cookie. Now sit down and look at what's been gained."

    Amen! The new inventory is *such* an improvement.

  16. The new inventory UI is as bad as it gets.
    It's a halfbaked feature, CCP never gave the feedback a second thought that came from SiSi feedback treadh.
    Was a change needed in the old system? Yes, prob.
    But the old is still way better than this current one.
    If its not broken, don't try and fix. And if you are going to fix it, make it better. That is a pretty general rule in development cycles. To CCP decided to disregard it.

    I dont know if you read the replies from the dev's in the feedback treadh regarding the new UI jester?
    But i seriosly think you should, and while you are at it, try managing a pos. If that doesn't change your mind, you are a lost cause.

  17. Jester you do realize that the system simply DOESN'T WORK. It's bugged to all hell. Set up your multiple windows, undock, what's this? They're all gone? Couldn't be! Jump through a gate - gone, dock - gone. Not to mention about a million other issues.
    Here you go, I did your job for you, read through this blog post and watch the video, THEN you can come and tell us how everything is well and good, because all of these "features" are still there, on TQ: http://blog.beyondreality.se/shift-click-does-nothing
    I usually enjoy your blog posts but you didn't do any actual research on this one, did you? Shame on you.

    1. You're freaking out about a couple of bugs that might live a whole 36 hours.

    2. Problem is that they where detected on SiSi along with a bunch of other ones aswell. But still they where ignored.

    3. Those bugs have been there since the initial implementation on SiSi, no fixes were done. Just saying.

    4. Krixtal IcefluxorMay 23, 2012 at 7:36 AM

      They've lived over there on Sisi for over a MONTH desopite all our literal yelling. THey are not going away. They listened to NOBODY about ANY of it. CCP is just terrible anymore. Awful.

    5. I dunno about you guys but my hangers do at least retain their position when I dock and undock even if I have to open them again. And my ship's cargo was staying open when I jumped too. It already is a damn good improvement from SiSi.

      And 1.0.1 now makes them stay open in station too...looks like they got it all sorted now.

      Besides, how can you say it was ignored? The lack of instant change doesn't mean that they were working on planning and designing and re-factoring code for that whole month. Several devs did pop in and post in the SiSi feedback thread saying "don't stop, this is good feedback, we have a list" and yesterday they even did a dev blog regarding changes they were putting through BECAUSE of that feedback.

      It was only out on TQ for one day, ya know what that means? It means that the dev blog has probably been written and edited several days in advanced and almost ALL of the feedback regarding that blog was from SiSi.

      CCP is still is a company that needs documentation and has its own procedures and these take time. Personally if I ever get into CCP I'll make sure that if I start any official feedback threads I'll keep updating the OP so that people know what I've collected and they know I haven't had the chance to act on any of it yet so they don't think I'm sat on my hands over there :D

      If there's anything I've learned from game communities is that keeping projects updated with the community is just as important as with your boss :P

  18. Anyone try to open your inventory near a POS (Deathstar). You lag out due to all guns being in your inventory overview, even if you dont have the rights to it.

    Inventory in Space is disfunctional, it lags like hell. Looting, Mining is now hell with it.

    CCP, as always, try to invent something their own instead following UI guidelines. Sorry, but it sucks.

  19. First of all I love the new inventory UI.

    But what I really cannot understand is the way CCP pretty much always releases something they KNOW is in some way broken. Or they just did not use their product at all or neglected to read sisi feedback. Windows have to stick where you need them for POS and mining operation and for pvp it's completely unacceptable to only see your inventory each time you have a session change...

    Can I have my money back for the next 2 days while all these stupid bugs are being removed? No? Then why were they released in the first place?

    An audit of CCP quality management might produce some interesting results for them to improve upon.

  20. SHIFT-click again and again and again and AGAIN and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and ..

    BTW even Microsoft had the brains to still leave the old folder/window functionality in 95 .. the door.

    Can´t believe you´re actually defending them on this. Especially with CCP again taking the easy way out, making a haphazard, blatant and UNPROFESSIONAL copy of the file explorer from win95.

    So much for the new "Space UI", it has now turned into an even worse version of Spacedos95.

  21. Ok - the new inventory is ok in concept. However the implementation is just awful. As Teut says - live in a POS and see just how awful life just became. Go and salvage a large loot field and life became too terrible to put into words.

    I understand the new inventory system takes a bit of configuring, much like the overview. But configuring the overview is a necessary evil to make the game much more enjoyable. This new inventory system is just evil.

    So, great concept, terrible implementation.

  22. I did a wee bit of looting earlier with the new Inv system, and I don't understand what has people all upset. I click the little "open box" icon, and whichever wreck I'm clicking for puts its inventory in the inv window. I click "Loot All" and move onn. It's just as easy as it ever was.

  23. So you're one of those blaming everyone who is complaining simply being too coservative for this change? This is a cheap blanket accusation!
    "Not all change is bad" Noone said so. We're complaining because very specific and constructive feedback (from those who were testing on Sisi) has been disregarded once again.
    Feedback from people who were anxiously waiting for an inventory revamp!

  24. I like the new concept. A lot.

    There were a few birthing issues, like windows closing on dock/undock (that have already been fixed) and there still are some (most have already been commented on by CCP as 'going to hotfix them soon').

    The most crucial issues relates to POSes. But CCP is already aware of that (if you do not read the issues thread, go there! they are asking about the best solution to this).

    Yes, they could improve (and likely will) some smaller stuff (scrolling while drag-hovering, etc.), they've already hotfixed in some small improvements.

    But overall, its a big step forward (except for POS guys, and you will have a fix soonish, not tm).

  25. I guess flipping out over patch changes isn't unique to WoW after all... So much angst...

  26. Krixtal IcefluxorMay 23, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    Sorry, Ripard. THIS is the Proverbial straw for me.

    I check on the progress all month on Sisi of this monstrosity, and in the entire month not one change suggested in over 25 pages of Dialog was implemented.

    I understand fuly how it works. That's not the issue. It is a Complexity that has now made many tasks, especially around thing like POSes and Orca's next to frustrating. I don't want to be frustrated while playing. Things are now a 'pain'.

    I'm not going to list all the bad in this thing. If one cannot see how terrible and restricting and time wasting this thing is.......well, there are always 2 sides to every coin.

    And this coin is flipping 4 accounts over to some other game. EVE is just not for me anymore at all after 2 1/2 years. And this 'thing' was merely the Proverbial straw. My reasons are a lengthy list behind it.

    1. awwww.. can I have your stuff?

      seriously, the proverbial final straw for you was an improvement to the inventory system which makes it far easier to use than ever before? You must be trolling.

  27. The "one window" paradigm is an artifact of cell phone interface design.

    Cell phone interfaces are compromises caused by very small desktops. They are not superior to the GUI standard of one window per opened object.

    I'm pretty sure this was designed by some dumbassed kid who grew up with a text-message cellphone in his pocket.

    This interface is very bad for anyone who lives in a POS, or has to deal with containers or large numbers of opened objects on a regular basis.

    An adult needs to back this off and make it a user option, and not the default. Until that happens, I'll leave my subscription off and just update training until they run out.

    If it does not get corrected, then I will have won EVE, I guess.

  28. change is scary. I like the new inventory system. It has grown on me. The chat bug though...yeah...its messing with my groove when I'm trying to roam.

  29. The level of entitlement players think they have these days amazes me. The number of so-called 'software developers' who come out of the wood work and claim they could do better. The number of people claiming this is worse than Incarna.

    Full disclosure: i live in a wormhole, in a POS. Inventory for POS isn't perfect, but its not terrible either. And we're already getting promised fixes which should go a long way to reducing the problems.

    This is the nature of iterative software development, especially on major refactoring work such as this. You get so far, you ship what you have, you start working on improving it.

    But no, the people who think because they wrote an excel macro once come out of the woodwork in droves and bitch and moan about problems.

    Inventory *is* awesome. It was long overdue for a change. The major problems we are seeing wont survive the week. Stop being a bunch of whinging bitches and appreciate that CCP is improving their game. Oh yeah, Their game. Not yours. Theirs. Don't like the change, you are welcome to find another game to play.

    +1 for the post Jester. A shining beacon of reason in gloom of pointless vitriol.

    1. I live in a wormhole.

      The new interface is a piece of shit.

    2. Kristopher:

      I highly doubt you live in a wormhole - or have bothered to open the interface and try it out. You are a keyboard warrioring troll. Your claims about the one window paradigm and cell phones above is hilarious.

      We wont miss you - but please can I has your stuff? (just click the "valuable items filter" and contract that to me...)

  30. I'm finding that, yes, it's kinda ugly in a POS, although it hasn't been so bad. I do more or less what I did before: find the thingy I'm after (research lab, corp hangar, or what not) and click the "open box" icon.

    For other things, though, the new inventory system is all win. I'm finding it much easier to move things between cans now than it was before, with the tree view making things available without having to clutter my (not terribly large) interface window up with lots of overlapping and/or tabbed windows. And, the filters are quite nice.

  31. I just don't like it....and I'm entitled to my opinion :-)

  32. CCP need to seriously hire someone who knows wtf they're doing with UI design. There's no consistency of behaviour: some things leave tabs on the Neocom bar, some don't, sometimes there are multiple tabs with the same title.

    This isn't people being overly conservative, this is them being annoyed at the increased friction in performing tasks they had no issues with before.

  33. Troll crap like this "Change is scary. I understand. Here, have a cookie. Now sit down and look at what's been gained." is uncalled for.

    Here's a basic test the inventory system fails. I open my ship cargo in a separate window (which is possible, but not explained up front in the UI). I pull it to an out of the way corner so that I can see it while I fly around space. I finish up in station close the big inventory window leaving me with the ship window, but... wait. I forgot my ammo. Oh... now I have to drag the "ship cargo" window back out, re-enlarge, reopen a separate ship cargo window, etc.

    Also, the most useful function would be to manage the inventory NOT IN MY CURRENT STATION. Something it completely fails to do.

  34. Man, I don't know what half of these commenters are smoking.

    Ok sure, maybe POS management needs looking into. But goddamnit people, it's like you're asking us to go back to windows 2000 because "it worked". Technology marches onward. The old system may not have been broken in any sense, but that doesn't mean you let it sit there and fester, ignoring any attempts to improve what you already have.

  35. Jester.

    I spend a lot of time salvaging in a wormhole. Yesterday, the exact same procedure I've been doing for months took about half again as long for no reason other than interface lag from the new inventory.

    Also, perhaps you can explain something to me: How do I split stacks of items within the same container?

    I normally nod my head in agreement as you chastise the screaming masses for hating the New Thing, but in this one instance you're way off the mark. The new inventory is legitimately broken.


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