There were 61 responses to the poll. Thank you to everyone who participated and special thanks to Grimmash, Hooligan Youth Reviews and James who left comments. I admire those who go the extra mile to make something better. Thank you.
On to the poll! These results are by no means definitive as the sample size is far to small to be statistically significant. However, the results do say something to me. Of those that responded, 65% play on a single monitor. Some of those monitors are large format to be certain, but a 42″ HD monitor is still only 1920×1080 resolution. Most affordable computer monitors typically only give 1920×1080 resolution. That’s the HD 1080P standard. It’s good for Myth Busters, but it sucks for EvE.
While 1080P may seem a lot of screen real estate, it really isn’t. Though the screen is big on a 42″ T.V., you can still only put 1920 columns by 1080 rows of pixels on it. That is the same as most 24″ monitors. All you’ve actually done is make everything bigger. This can actually make the fixed fonts in EvE unreadable and reduce your overall satisfaction with the GUI. More screen size does not give you more display capability.
I run dual 21″ monitors which give me a total 3200×1200 resolution. Though I have to overlook a two bezels in the center, you’d be surprised at how fast the human brain can ignore that separation. And, for the price of one 24″ monitor, your can buy two 21″ monitors! All modern gaming video cards I know of and all laptops by nature support two monitors. It will make your EvE experience far better IMO. But don’t take my word for it. How many monitors do the CCP developers have? Check it out for yourself.
“Yes, but THEY are ART developers,” you say. To which I reply, “Yes, and you display the SAME ART… and they have pallet choices, etc. on the other screen and you have targets and fleet windows. There is not much difference there functionally.”
I put most of my open GUI windows on the right side monitor. I have a couple smaller windows in the lower-right and upper-right corner of the left hand monitor. Here is a representative screen shot (caution, it is wide.)
The right side is busy but informative. Since this screen capture, I have swapped the d-scan and asset window. It’s better to have d-scan next to the overview. The left side is open, retaining the beauty of EvE and available to transitory windows like market, PI, probing, etc. Notice I have placed most GUI windows in a vertical orientation including the new UI window. EvE is lists: lists of objects in system, lists of capsuleers in local, lists of assets in locations, and now lists of inventory in containers. It has never been an icon oriented game outside the tactical display. Icons are not the best tactical display for ancillary information; just ask the Air Force – any Air Force.
If you already have a small monitor consider adding a matched monitor instead of buying a bigger monitor and replacing it. You will get better functionality. Trust me, it’s what I do RL. I am constantly having this discussion. The default configuration of new computers throughout my company’s 10k PC network is now dual screen. If it’s good enough for business…
Lastly, I noticed that a majority of people marked they liked the new UI. Considering the ruckus over it, this surprised me. However, now that I’ve had a chance to use it on a small 11″ laptop screen away from home, I find the UI window too large to easily manipulate. The tree is actually too long on this 1366×788 single screen. It is in fact, far less usable on the single small monitor. However, I still don’t see a performance issue on thie 2-year old Nvidia mobile graphics chip in this laptop. Nevertheless, I welcome any performance improvement CCP can wring out of it and look forward to seeing how it does tonight when I update.
Lastly, I just have to say this. The new UI isn’t about making EvE easier. It is about making EvE harder – for bots. The UI is a coup against those who see Internet spaceships as just a way to make a real world buck. They don’t care about the game and they don’t care about us. I will accept a crippled inventory system (and let’s be clear, the new UI is far from crippled) if it means the botters shed glorious tears. If you’d like to read a few, I recommend The Nosy Gamer. This blog is a fascinating read into an area of EvE with which I hope none of you are familiar.
OOC: There’s been a death in the family. Posts will be sparser for awhile. No condolences please: 97 years is a grand life. If you like, lift a toast to LTC Al Saunders. He preferred bourbon, neat.