A Tale of Two Cities
Iceland's capital of Reykjavík is an interesting experience for me. It's big, it's busy and, as a result of being a convenient place to get most anything one needs, it can be a bit expensive; much like any other major metropolis that has over a hundred thousand inhabitants. It's a place with a little too much hustle and bustle for me.
Often times though, I do have to travel there. For example, if I find myself needing a new bicycle, I know that the stores in Hafnarfjörður simply don't have the same stock as the ones in Reykjavík. Therefore I hop on the bus and go through the pain of entangling myself in the fast-paced lifestyle and traffic congestion of the capital (we do have some bus priority lanes, which is cool).
I can't really complain since it's my own decision and I'm going back to Hafnarfjörður with a spanking new, albeit overpriced due to run amok inflation, bike. *ring ring*
What really grinds my gears to a halt is that I can't go visit my sister in Mosfellsbær without first going through the traffic-congested Reykjavík. If only there was a way to go around Reykjavík...
Where was I? Oh yes.
We have a similar problem in a little space game called EVE Online. The Jita system is a lot like Reykjavík. The biggest playability issue with Jita (if you don't count the lag and spam) is that people sometimes have no choice but to go there for various reasons:
- When navigating through this region of space the autopilot sometimes wants to send you through Jita.
- There is a constellation you cannot reach without going through Jita.
- There are some agents in Jita that new players sometimes have the misfortune of working for.
- Agents sometimes send you on missions into Jita.
We are (finally, I hear you scream) fixing all of these issues.
We have a new feature in place that allows players to set a list of systems, constellations and regions that the autopilot should never send them to. This list is preconfigured to avoid the Jita system.
This works the same as the current "avoid pod kill" feature; the autopilot will act as if the system isn't even there and will rather return no path at all than a path that takes you through the undesirable systems.
What this means is that you can happily navigate all around the Forge region on autopilot without having to worry about getting stuck in the Jita blackhole for the better part of a Sunday evening.
Figure 1: Autopilot avoidance turned off
Figure 2: Autopilot avoidance turned on, with Jita on the avoidance list
Figure 3: A new map mode showing your avoidance systems
This is a completely general system to avoid any number of star systems, constellations or regions. You will therefore be able to use this to avoid that annoying faction that keeps shooting you or that constellation that has those pirates in it.
There is a constellation called Ruomo which is famous for being a place where you cannot go unless you go through Jita. Citizens of the constellation have finally rebelled and gotten themselves a spanking new hyperspace bypass, courtesy of the Interstellar Bottleneck Bypass Initiative (IBBI for short).
Soon you will never have to go through Jita to reach any other system.
Agents & Missions
Agents in Jita have finally had enough and are hauling butt out of there. Jita will be completely agent-less soon.
Also, agents outside Jita will never send you into Jita to complete a mission for them.
When will we get it?
This system will be implemented incrementally but you should see this start to trickle in soon. Not the CCP soon(tm) mind you, but very very soon.
This is being implemented at the same time as we're aggressively optimizing our software backbone to provide a smoother playing experience in Jita. That is, however, outside the scope of this devblog.
Our goal is to create an environment where players don't have to go to Jita unless they want to. This is very important to the overall player experience.
Together, these two avenues of attacking the problem should provide the EVE denizens with a much smoother and more consistent playing experience. It's not a silver bullet, but every little bit helps.
Now, if only the Reykjavík Transit Authority would do the same...
By the way, "A Tale of Two Cities" refers to Reykjavík and Jita. Clever, ain't it? Jita isn't even a city... Hilarious!