The idea that EVE Online is just spreadsheets in space is one I’ve heard hundreds of times since I started playing EVE five years ago. I always try my best to explain the breadth and depth of the EVE experience as being much more than that. Today however, a new update to the game has forced me to throw in the towel: EVE Online now officially has a “spreadsheets in space” mode.
A new optional feature added to the game’s test server allows players to completely remove any 3D visual components from the screen, and only render the text UI overlay. Usually, the game looks like this:
But the update changes it to this:
This feature is intended to reduce the graphical load on player PCs during EVE’s large player battles, which can see over 6,000 individual players in the same area. By being able to quickly remove the 3D scene, EVE players will be able to make sure that they’re not losing any performance when it matters. This will be especially helpful for players who “multibox” the game, or run multiple clients on the same PC at the same time during battles.
CCP Goodfella, EVE’s Brand Director, told Kotaku about the reasoning behind the introduction of the new UI-only feature: “With war in EVE reaching a tipping point, now is a great time to add the ultimate ‘boost performance’ option—a frequently requested feature by our hardcore players. Obviously this option is meant for only the most extreme situations, but as we all know, EVE is all about extreme situations and with war raging, every frame counts. We look forward to being surprised by the creative ways in which this feature is embraced by our community!”
Extreme situations are something that EVE creates on the regular, so this new UI-only feature is sure to see some use in the coming weeks and months. Two of the largest player-run factions in the game are in the middle of a massive war, which should be coming to a head in the near future. The UI-only mode was put onto the test server today for players to experiment with and test, and should be put into the live game in the coming weeks.