For the last few weeks I've been indulging myself in the glorious visuals of the Singularity server. Within hours (and probably by the time you read this) the visual feast will spill over into New Eden proper.
The breathtaking beauty of the nebulae backgrounds has been well documented elsewhere (Interstellar Privateer), however it is the revitalised Caldari and Gallente ships that I wanted to focus on. As part of their ongoing V3 project, CCP's art department is in the process of reworking every ship skin in EVE Online. It is my understanding that this will enable custom skins in the future.
In many cases the difference between the new textures and the old are subtle, being a reworking of a two-tone colour scheme to make the different colours more distinct. In the following screen-caps I have attempted contrast the old with the new by taking this last opportunity to compare with the old Version two textures.
The new-look ships, already framed by the stunning starscape, are further enhanced by the impressive new shading and lighting effects. This serves to increase contrast, enhancing colour and picking out detail whilst allowing for menacing silhouettes and atmospheric vistas. Read on for a small selection of examples.
[Note: Where old and new versions are viewed from the same angle, the ships are in the same system at precisely the same point and attitude in space. The only visual difference is the textures and lighting.]
The Caldari Raven
Perhaps the most eye-catching change is the Caldari Raven battleship which is not only sporting new skins, but an entirely reworked model. Whilst staying true to the original design, the hull has been subtly re-worked, elongating the shape and streamlining the once clumsy chassis. Whilst still asymmetrical, it now looks far more like a menacing weapons-platform and less like a plucked robot turkey.
Significant structural differences can be seen in the Command Section, with the forward observation deck no longer being quite so exposed.
Conversely the aft section has been extended, allowing for more prominent thrusters.
More attention has been given to the upper observation towers, with the rear V2 block being replaced by a far sleeker design and the starboard tower being made less fragile and exposed in appearance.
The Raven Navy Issue and T2 Golem have also been reskinned. Personally, I'm not a fan of the pixelated urban camouflage livery of the Caldari Navy, but then taste and style has never really been a Caldari strong point judging by the ship designs of yore.
Another in a long line of exceptionally unattractive Caldari ships, the Osprey has been significantly improved with the addition of bolder, dark panels. As with most of the re-skinned ships, note the Faction livery.
The Tech II Basilisk variant sports the new paint-job of its Lai Dai megacorporation creators, having done away with the desert camouflage effect for a simpler black-and-brass colour scheme.
Another visual improvement is the inner glow of the thrusters, complete with heat shimmer. Although not an effect exclusive to the Osprey hull, it is as good as any model to show it on.
The Caracal, already one of the more appealing Caldari designs, has found further style and panache amongst its peers with some more refined colour schemes. Shown below with old and new Caracal skins and new Cerberus skin.
The Ferox battlecruiser has long been overshadowed by the tougher, more effective Drake, might now find new respect on the battlefield in light of the new hybrid buffs. Even if it doesn't, it certainly looks the part.
The Tech II Command Ships; the Ishukone Vulture and the Kaaliakota Nighthawk have the new livery of their manufacturers also.
The Federation Navy Comet
Sadly, the blue police light and US cop-car black and white is gone, breaking the hearts of sham CONCORD officers across the cluster. Perhaps a bootleg blues-and-twos kit will be available on the NeX store one day.
The Gallente Myrmidon
Much bolder and more distinct colours are the order of the day for the Gallente colour scheme. Gone is the washed-out and faded scheme with the new shaders casting the Federation vessels in a much more attractive light.
The Rookie Ships
Even the freebie crap-buckets have got some love. The Ibis is still the mobility scooter of New Eden, but it's nice that the Caldari State have finally admitted ownership.
The most powerful (lol) of the Rookie ships, the Velator, is now a much slicker looking hand-held appliance.
The Impairor, one of only two Amarr ships that got V3'd (the other being the Apocalypse battleship which doesn't look much different), is the only Rookie ship that doesn't look crap, and now it's got blingy headlights to top it off. Shame its thrusters and belly got covered in soot though.
The Gallente Shuttle
Once a shining happy sunshine bus of interstellar joy, the Gallente shuttle has gone all morose and thinks it's a ninja CovOps ship. Maybe it is, why don't you try it?
Guristas. F#*k Yeah!
Everything else, as cool as it is, pales into lukewarm insignificance when you look at the Guristas faction ships the Worm, the Gila and the Rattlesnake. It's just a simple addition (the skin has also changed but not noticeably), but that little rabbit-eared skull is my kind of ha-ha-bonkers-menacing.
Oh yeah, come to Daddy. Still the baddest-looking ship in the cluster.
And good work art dudes. You are legend.