With a full course load and a bunch of online writing to do, EVE Online is one of the few MMORPGs that I have time for. Skill training progresses in real time (even when the player is logged off,) which allows for advancement with a (relatively) small time investment. This allows players to step back and take a break from the game while still feeling like they’re moving forward in EVE’s sci-fi universe.
An interesting mechanic that’s the developers have implemented is a robust API system which allows players to use a number of utilities. As the player earns money and trains skills, the API updates and allows these utilities to stay up to the second.
Aura is an app that takes advantage of that. After inputting a character’s User ID and Limited API key (provided by CCP, the game’s developer,) Aura will sync up with the player’s skill queue and assets. At the moment, the app will only display skills and money; there are plans for timers to be added for the progress of things like manufactured goods being processed.
This is useful for an on-the-go player like myself, and allows me to keep tabs on when my skills are going to be completed. It also represents a growing group of apps that are developed for extremely niche audiences that are well-polished, functional and inventive. I give the developer my props on this one. The only problem I had is that you can’t access specific skill pages (like the middle screenshot above) or add them to a skill plan queue when your SD card is mounted to a computer. Even though my app is installed on my phone’s memory (not my SD card) it seems like that database data is stored on the card. Any way, I’m not going to nitpick about that.
Another large part of the app is both the item database and fitting simulator. These are recently-added updates, and aid in perhaps the most important part of EVE Online: planning. Similar to the skill queue, the fitting simulator allows you to choose individual ships, fit them with different weapon/armor packages and compare overall statistics. Supplementing this is a robust item database, which allows for searching and comparison as well. While you can’t access market data for any of these items (due to the region-specific nature of searches), this is an extremely good way to kill some time.
Props to developer Aideron Robotics; I’m looking to see where Aura goes, and its future impact on the world of EVE.
Matt Demers is Droid Life’s app guy. You can find his posts every day on this site. You can get ahold of him via Twitter or his Droid Life e-mail; he doesn’t bite.
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