when I change the view with the mouse, the motion is sometimes blocked because of what I suppose to be gimbal lock. I have to take a slightly different path from the one I was initially willing to take. I assume this is because of the internal use of Euler angles.
In the context where there is a sensible “up” direction, for instance in the ship view of the fitting window, or the full-body view of a character, it makes some sense. But for others, like the view in space or in planetary interaction, it doesn’t. Especially for planetary interaction : moving around a sphere with Euler angles is cumbersome at best.
Now, is it a big deal? No. Does it prevent us to play the game? Nope, otherwise more people would complain about it.
But to me, it breaks immersion. In space, there is no “up” and “down”. I suppose that CCP initially used Euler angles, and thus decided an arbitrary “vertical” direction, because it was much simpler to implement, but not having updated this ever since seems lazy to me.
Part of the reasons I’m into space-sim games (and video games in general), is that I like to be amazed by their technological achievement. So computer graphics matter. Otherwise we would not use textures and see everything with dots and wireframes. Hell, I bet we could play the game with a completely textual interface.
I understand that using more advanced math (like quaternions, geometric algebra or whatever) to position and orient objects and cameras in space would require a deep rewrite of the game engine, and thus a lot of work for a relatively small payoff, but until then, every time I experience a gimbal lock I either roll eyes or even find myself deterred from parts of the game (gimbal locks are one of the reasons I don’t bother doing much planetary interaction).
Euler angles have to go : they’re awful.