One of the things I dislike most about EVE Online is the time it takes to travel from one system to the next. Spending an hour getting from Jita to some far-flung system in New Eden can be a chore sometimes, especially if you live on the outskirts of HiSec like I do (I've started to make my home in LowSec to do some piracy lately). One major reason why this always felt dull was not just the time it took, but also simply the animations going from one system to the next never really inspired much.
For those who have never played EVE Online, jump tunnels before were a simple animation to essentially hide a loading screen. It felt right out of 90's sci-fi - a simple, muted kaleidascope of color that looked like a warp tunnel from Stargate SG-1 or a show like that. It wasn't bad - but it never felt compelling to me. And, after seven or eight jumps in a row, it started to get downright mundane.
However, with the recent Reign quadrant update to the MMO last week, these animations are a whole lot better - and it also feels as though the time to travel between systems has been, thankfully, reduced.
Now, instead of your ship simply disappearing into the void only to pop out at the other end of a stargate, the camera dramatically flies you into the first stargate, making you feel there instead of just an onlooker through a screen. The new warp tunnel around you feeling like an actual tunnel instead of just a shimmering light you're heading towards.
What makes the new jump animation even better is you actually see your ship traveling through it now instead of your screen simply being taken over by the animation. Watching my Gila fly through the tunnel, the momentum of the ship as it hurtles towards the exit point really adds a lot of immersion to the experience, at least to me.
Finally, the time to jump between a system like Jita to Perimeter felt much shorter than normal - a blessing if it's the same across all of New Eden. Traveling between systems is one of the main things I really don't like doing in EVE and try not to go on long journeys, especially if we're streaming it for the site. The last thing I want is for 20 minutes of an hour-long stream to simply be getting to the point we're trying to reach. These new animations take some of the tedium out of the long travel times - and even shorten them altogther.
I'm sure over time these will even start to feel a bit routine in time, but right now I'm enjoying traveling in EVE - something I never really thought I would say. It adds a lot to the experience, and while it may not seem like much to the casual onlooker, as someone who has played this MMO for about five years now, it's a nice change of pace when doing the mundane in New Eden.