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Closing Fanfest 2013

I think we have ended our spate of posts from Fanfest now, and I guess its tie to try and sum up my feelings for the event, as well as its comming effect it could have on the game. The event itself is the easiest bit, it was great. We all had an excellent time and cant wait to do it all again.
To elaborate further the event was pretty much what I had imagined  based on the live stream from last year and my trip to Iceland in October. The presentations were great and the round tables were very interesting (as were the people we met). The venue itself was very interesting, nestled on the shore in among the rocks and jetties; and for the most part it served it purpose well. My only complaints were that the larger round tables could have benefited from a microphone system (for CCP and the questioners), and even better, an electronic “Hands-up” system. It seemed to me that asking a question was at the mercy of the eyesight and vocal ability of the devs. But lets face it, that’s a pretty minor niggle.
For us as the players part in the round tables the community needs to learn some patience and politeness. I lost count of the number of grumblings I heard about people not getting asked a question for a long time (yes it annoyed me too, but there is no need to start swearing about it). Worse were the one question wonders: People who seem to turn up for a round table and ask a question, then disappear of to do their next thing. Seriously if you care enough  about a section of eve to want to make you opinion heard, maybe you should put in the effort to listen to others who care as much as you? Instead of sperging your load over the Devs before running off to try and correct another part of the universe. Worst of all were the  people who spent an age telling CCP how to fix the game and then not even bother to listen to the response.
Needless to say I did meet as lot of very interesting and informed people during the round tables, as well as hear some perspectives which I found new and interesting. So enough of my whining, let talk about the presentations. Starting with the Dust 514 Keynote: I want a ps3 now, if only it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Enough said? No? Ok well it was a pretty good presentation which gave a good idea of where CCP is going with dust and how they intend to make it popular. Certainly. As a side note I managed to sneak past

a cordon at one point and try a Dust with a Razer keyboard and mouse for a few seconds before I was politely turfed out. I was pretty amazed at how good it felt tbh. This was pretty important especially as any hope I had of getting it on PC were dashed with the announcement of dust mobile on the psp vita. It looks like Sony and CCP are getting pretty far under the sheets together (as evidenced by the PlayStation logo all over Fanfest), and I really doubt Sony would appreciate a competitor to Planet Side from a partner.

How about the eve keynote then? Well first off I was enthralled by the history lesson from Hilmar. I did a little light research on the games history back when I wrote this piece on an alternate vision of eve. Hearing it from Hilmar was great however, and it really told me two key things: CCP has never really known how far the rabbit hole goes, and that the people who run the company are not all that many miles from me or you.
In terms of actual content, I feel like we have a mixed bag. Lets say upfront that the new gate animation is sexy as hell. Soundwave prefaced his demonstration of it but telling us we were all about to get nerd boners, and he wasn’t wrong. Even having seen it the day before at the art panel I was amazed by it. Sure gate animations aren’t the most important thing in the world, but its just a little thing which makes the world more immersive more tangible, more real. Loading bars break the immersion; and when you have to jump 10 or 15 jumps to a destination your going to spend less time immersed than not with just a loading bar between gates.  So good job on that one.

The exploration mechanics were also pretty awesome. We saw in the prototyping session that the original idea was to give the mechanic to miners who could increase their yield by being active and catching rocks while mining. But i think its been well placed in the exploration area as well. I certainly intend to give it a go at some point post release.
But the fact of the matter is that I was really hoping to see more to shake the nullsec snow glob. The resource rebalance is a great start, but really I don’t think its enough. I could be way out on this, I think we will see some jostling between the CFC and HBC to gather up a roughly even value of R64 moons, and then they will get back to swimming in cash ala scrooge mcduck. It will be an interesting proof of who was telling the truth about why Nullsec is quiet at the moment. With no changes being made to structure grinding if we do see major combat for a prolonged period of time: it will prove that the “Why fight when you can just collect cash?” camp was right, and the “Structure Grinding is to hard”/”We have perfected Sov warfare” camps were deluded or lying.
The final keynote was the CCP Presents session, which was apparently another name for “Dust 514 Keynote Part 2”. We spent far to much time listening to Dust stuff which would have been far better placed in, well, the Dust keynote. I seriously don’t get the whole expansion, wait 1 week, then go live with another patch thing. Why not put all the features together, label them uprising then go live with the expansion at the same time as releasing the game all on the 5.14 date they clearly wanted so bad?  I just don’t get it. In all honestly, if I didn’t know better I would have said they were filling time. After what felt like hours of intricate details about Dust stuff we could have guessed (well golly gosh CCP you released a Minmatar and Caldari pistol and you intend to release a Gallente and Amarr one too? Strike me down I didn’t see that coming! You’ll tell me your releasing all the suit sizes for all the races next!) CCP Seagull came out and pretty much said “all that stuff we told you yesterday is still true and still mystic, woohoo”. I guess its pretty hard to follow an hour of facts about a release, with just the incorporeal plans for the next 5 years.
The merchandise stuff was pretty cool (if presented with a good dollop of American cheese). I did feel that they left the biggest question unanswered which was “can I upgrade my main character to a collectors edition?” I’m guessing so as he hinted it was all done through codes (but 150 Euros is a lot of money to gable on a guess). All the books and comics sounded great, I will certainly be trying to sneak a copy of eve Source onto our coffee table, or failing that into the magazine rack in the bog.

Our coverage wasn’t exactly how we expected it to be. We were hoping for some more Round Table video, as well as some chats with Devs along the way. Sadly although we secured all of these things on a HD video camera, some kind of overheating or firmware issue caused it to corrupt all the video we captured. Needless to say that recorder will be going back to the shops some time soon. We did we some pictures and video via a camera phone, and I cant thank Lore enough for putting the effort in to pull us out of the fire. But with the best will in the world, a camera phone will never quite match a proper HD recording device. Still I believe what we got was very worth while.

Well its almost touch down time now so I’d better sign off. In closing Fanfest was great fun, and I cant wait to go again. I’m still pretty disappointed with Odyssey, not so much for what in it, but more for what is not. Lots more to talk about resulting from this so expect a fair few more posts from us soon (although maybe not at the rate we have been chucking them out). Without the pressure on to get things out as soon as possible, we may even start proof reading out posts now (did we ever?).
Fly home,

CSM Panel

EvE Second decade trailer

Here is the EvE Second decade trailer as shown at Fanfest 2013 – CCP Presents. It is missing the first few seconds.

In this trailer you can see the ship’s that were part of the exodus in to new eden and are now part of new exploration sites that you have to salvage / hack to get the loot instead of the generic cargo can (tho the millennia floating in space have not been kind to them). These ships were also mentioned in Harkonan’s post on Odessey art sneak peak: wow

resource rebalance round table

This is just the first step
Choice on where you produce
Advantages and disadvantages to null vs high
Refining arrays changing too, although not sure how yet
Should be better than an npc station
With the changes highsec can no longer produce all the isotopes of eve
Previously produced 800% (4 belts)
Now 80%
Null and low can produce 500%
Ring mining concept still alive, these changes are a platform for the next step

Fanfest 2013 Eve Keynote (odyssey preview)

Filmed on a video phone so the quality isn’t great, but still well worth a look. Seriously. Watch it. Now. no stop reading… watch.

eve keynote notes

Moon changes
R64 and bottle necks
Ice belts into anoms
New inflight controlls
New radial menus
Station hangers and undocking events
Capital rigs
Pod and death transitions
More sense more cinematic less loading bar
Sec status for tags
More scanning modules
probe formations
Sigs and alnms found through a scan sweep
Re vamp of hacking and archology into data and relics
Mini games to unlock
Scattering contains quick grab them
After odessey
Next several expansions will have a single theme
Players taking over from empires in areas
Stargate construction
Eve devs have been working on a space sim using oculus
They have a demo tomorrow

Odessey art sneak peak: wow

Crucifier redesign
They have built some impressive animations on the hull, but that may not come yet.
The ship changes shape when you warp or lock targets

Apoc redesign
New ship or war barge show? Going to be in the keynote
Looks industrial
Old ship, archaeology, likely linked to the exploration

New hacking structure
New star gate effects, they look like living dynamic item
see the vid at the end to see this! its amazing
New jump effect
Goes through a animation
No more black screen
Sexy as hell
New comorose

New hud items, some kind lf scan or arrival
Scanner appears on the ui
Can see where they are in relation to you
Looks like loads of ui work
Hacking minigame

Conceptual work
Station interiors
No more station window icons on the hanger
Good feel for the next expansion,  lots of exploration stuff

edit: cant get the vid up now, but trust me the new stargate effect is awsome. thing stargate and slider :p

End of day one

We trailed off posting today after the second presentation as the rest of the day was round tables and the Dust keynote. It was really hard to take notes in the packed and hot round table reviews: but the notes I did make you can find below. The Dust keynote was awesome and makes me want to play (on the pc) but I am really not qualified to post on it in any great lengths; except to say that the corporation war in Dust was jaw droopingly amazing, go find a dust blog now now.
New warp effects in the keynote?
“Space will be more interesting to be in’
Capital tweaks – archon?
Capital rigs mentioned
Fozzi aims for the following during rebalance: linear damage for exponential cost
There are Long term plans for supers
Fozzi :Supers are not increasing they are down in numbers slightly
Two quotes of the day (both from players):
On wormhole nebular
P1: lets face it wormhole nebulars look like goatsy
P2: i cant un-think that now…
FemalePlayer: if we get a new ship it should be a space pussy; because we have so many cocks already.

Eve game design & Remixing eve

Remixing eve
All about the arcade machine made downstairs
Interesting precedent for games within eve
R type game made entirely in the trinity engine
Does show how great the python language is, seems very versatile esp mixed with c++
This really does sound like good mews for games in captains quarters and mobile/mini games. Still a long ways off though.
Eve game design
No pandas comming to eve
There are a few rules to game design in eve
  • No game should be more complex the it absolutely need to be
    • i.e placing a bounty
      • Its not dumbing down eve if you make 1500 people a day die
  • A good feature can be based on positive or negative interaction, neither is inherently more valuable
  • Other players will always be more interesting for longer than designed experience. Give players to tools to maximise the variety and impact of their decisions.
    • Incursions
  • Every systen should affect and be affected by the wider world
    • Butterfly effect
    • The old fw didn’t comply with this. The new one does a bit more (faction kit prices etc)
  • The social experience is more important the practical system balance; the interaction between winners and losers is more interesting than mechanical equality
    • One person standing in a cupboard is creepy, two is kinda interesting
      • Belt Mining is against this as your often alone
      • Better to have 1 big belt than 20 tiny ones
      • Should be more about reaching out and touching people, less about spread sheets and numbers
  • Players are not entitled to success. The most aspirational goals are converted by many but reached by few.
    • We must let people dream
    • Some will make this
    • And thats ok
Sounds like bounties might be removable by the placer
Feels that ccp feel they are better now at scalability, i.e. Proliferation
They never would have belived this many people have titans when they were build
Talking about enforced limits on numbers of powerful items
Not happy with the number of super caps
Ccp not believe that they should push all people to nullsec anymore. Do what makes you happy.
Wants a better tool before they replace local
Talk about an awesome scanner could this be a covert reference to the discovery scanner?
Exploration can be about finding players
T2 changes comming in odyssey announcement tomorrow.

Ship balancing past and future

  • Plan
    • Pirate and navy ships becoming slightly more specialised
    • Tech 2 improving
      •  were as good as navy, now between navy and pirate
    • End of ‘bombardment’ line of ships, they now fall into combat or attack
    • Balanced a quarter of the game
    • Adding another 15 present this expansion
  • Battleships
    • Armageddon drone change (was almost the apoc)
    • Lots of going over stuff already on the forums
    • Looks like a good line up, some big changes
  • Navy ships
    • Great changes, all pre announced in the forums
  • Future
    • For ships they release things which have a good plan to the forums instantly
    • Command ships
      • Highest priority t2 ship
      • Link bonus all around
      • Good damages all around
      • One ship per races weapon system
    • Electronic attack ship
      • Massive buffs to bring them past t1 frigs
    • Heavy assault cruisers
      mobility rests and damage bonus
    • Black ops
      • More combat roles, more relevant bonuses
Fozzie says no t3 bs for now, references other t3 just no bs
Pirate bc’s being consider
Thoughts that links might help dictor pilots not die
Maybe a second set of warp cloaked blobs next pass