Posts Tagged ‘Fanfest 2013’

Large fleets, impressive but stagnant?

While I was at Fanfest I had the fortune to actually be seated on the front row during the ship balancing round tables, watching the interaction between CCP fozzie, CCP Rise and CCP Ytterbium, was great, each of them are very different people with differing opinions, the three of them together I feel are going to give us the most well thought out ship balancing I think eve has seen.
The Grid

The Grid

I could go on for some time about the many topics that came up but one particular area interested me: Fleet Boosters. I should say from the outset that I am pro boosting ships being on grid, I feel that no role should be so dull or easy that it should be done effectively afk. I suspect this will get me flack from the many people who like to fight solo (even though they are fighting with at least two ships); I even enjoy flying solo myself, but Eve at its heart is a mmo, if you want to fly solo that’s great, but in general flying with friends is what makes this good game great.

That personal opinion aside one of the ideas that was floated was that boosting ships could be changed so that they effectively boost ships within a sphere around them (kind of like a hictor bubble), this would mean that the pilots of these ships would require actual flying skills to place themselves in the correct places and large fleets may even require multiple boosting ships, it would also mean that your average grunt would need to check their position relevant to the boosters as well as the logistics.
This to me sounds like if it was implemented that we may actually end up in much more dynamic mobile fleets where actual flying skill would be needed. It would mean that highly skilled pilots (or budding pilots) would be able to aspire to roles within fleets that could make or break an engagement, reliant on their flying skills.
This however started my evil mind turning and led me to have a conversation with the CCP devs after the meeting finished and here I will outline where my evil thoughts went…
Boosting Radiance Ships? Maybe not...

Boosting Radiance Ships? Maybe not…

As some people who have read my posts before may have noticed I do not understand why most random events in eve are positives, some of the most interesting stories are about when an unforeseen event has occurred and how people have managed (or not) to cope with them. All this talk of ships creating bubbles of “ship boosts” had me wondering, would it not be fair to have ships that do the opposite?

My thought was if CCP want more people flying command ships and for it to be a much more active and responsive role then surely the obvious way to make this happen was for there to be something for them to have to actively counter? At the moment there is a class of ships post tiercide that only has a single ship in it: The Battleship disruption line, and in it the scorpion. This currently has a bonus to ECM burst modules, what if this ship was changed to create a Hic like bubble of effect around it with an ECM effect and balanced against  sensor strength boosting command ships? Suddenly you would have pilots of these two ships attempting to counter each others effects, the command ship defensively while the disruptor would be attempting to fly his ship so he didn’t impact his own fleet but not so far forward he was out of range of his own support, suddenly fleet and even individual positioning within a fleet become more complex, dynamic, responsive and even rewarding of flying skill, not just skill points.
At this point you can expand on the idea, if you stick with current racial ewars then a how about an area effect tracking disrupting Amarr ship? A area effect sensor damping Galente ship? ( think of the effect on logi) How about an area effect target painting Minmatar? (that could mess with AHacs).
I think that if you gave people the opportunity to fly these ships that could negatively impact enemy fleets you would actually reward pilots with the experience and ability to fly well with a whole new class of ships that would really bring something new to fleet combat and that would then have the knock on effect of making command ships much more interesting, responsive and fleet combat much more dynamic. Each Disrupting ship would require a different command ship to counter.
And this idea carries on again, currently bombers have only two forms of ewar covered “lockbreaker” and “void” seems to me that some are missing here but I think you can all follow that idea on to a logical conclusion, I suppose here is the point to say what the devs had to say about the suggestion.

Press F1 for help

The idea was met I feel with guarded interest and support, it appears that the main issue that is holding up what they want to do with command ships (and by effect potential disruption ships) is a system issue. Currently bubbles are a problem, interdiction bubbles work because when a ship attempts to enter warp a single check is made by that ship “am I in a bubble?” if the answer is yes warp fails. currently ecm burst, lockbreaker and void bombs send out a single pulse and ships in the area are effected once. The problem with what they want to do with “boost bubbles” is that the server would need to know which ships at any given time were being effected by positive (or even negative) effects from one moment to the next and as fleets get larger the number of checks on this gets larger as well and can rapidly become a large resource hog, it is something they are looking at a solution for apparently but they could not say anymore at this time.

Personally I am very pleased that they are even looking in this direction and I am hopeful that they will find an elegant solution so that soon we will see much more interesting fleets flying in elegant shoals of death responding to each other in much more dynamic ways than the current “everyone anchor on x at 10km, follow targets and hit f1 in time. I can but hope. [Editors note: even worse. “Every one stop your ships and assign drones to XXXXX”]

EVE: Conquests (EVE the board game)


It was the first day of Fan Fest 2013, we had just finished collecting our passes and picking our Quafe t-shirts when Hark runs off like a kid who’s had too much candy, he had spotted “EVE: Conquests” in the store. Hark has wanted “EVE: Conquests” for a long time, but due to the fact that if he had bought it from the “EVE Online” store it would have cost him more in shipping than to buy the game itself, he had restrained himself. So before fanfest had even ended, we found ourselves in a hotel room giving the game ago. As many of you will have seen the game set up in the “Games Hall” at fanfest: I would like to tell you a little something about the game:


EVE: Conquests is a strategy board game for 2-4 players set in the EVE Universe (It reminds me of “Risk: the game of global domination”), where the board is made up from regions in EVE Online connected together in the same way they are in game, the players choose to play as one of the four main races in EVE, as you should all well know they are the; Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar (We will skip over the fact that there’s a fifth race in EVE online, the Jove as it’s not in the board game)

In EVE: Conquests you can set the winning conditions for the game so as to try to control how long the game will last, but going by the few time we played the games will last around 2-3 hours when you know how to play, here’s the kicker though “knowing how to play”. The rulebook is a bit complicated; some say so complicated you need a PhD in rule book reading to understand it. But once you have figured it out the game is good fun, I shall try to summarise how to play.

First you pick your race (doesn’t make a difference which apart from preference) and you choose where to place your “HQ” station, this location can not be taken by any other player, you can then lay down 5 or 6 “unit tokens” (Not to be confused with Agent tokens, which are the same item placed in an enemies region!).

These can only be placed in a region which you currently neighbour). Don’t confuse Unit Tokens with Agent tokens, they are the same physical item, but a token in your territory is a Unit Token, but a token in enemy territory is an “Agent Token” (Did I mention the PhD?). To build an “Outpost” you have to control the region and have a token (agent or Unit) in all joining systems (outposts are very important, but we’ll get onto them next).

Once you have a unit or an agent in all region connected to the one you plan on building an outpost in you now have to pick which type of outpost you wish to build, Logistics, Development or Production; and receive the equivalent resource token.

EBG turnsEBG Calendar

I should point out that the game does not follow a linear turn based rotation, oh no nothing that simple for EVE! Turns are decided by a calendar, on which each player has a Logistics, Development and production marker. Each of these Markers represents a different type of turn for the player, which when completed moves further around the calendar (an amount based on how upgraded the “resource” has been by the player using points resource tokens gained by building outposts).

This means that depending on how you upgrade your turns, you can sometimes get 3 “goes” in a row and then have to wait ages for your next turn or have each one of your turns spread out amongst the other players turns. This can also get tactical as you attempt to co-ordinate your defences and counter attacks with the optimal gaps in your opponent’s turns. During these turns you are can do different types of actions. For example a development turn will let you capture a new region or place an agent in enemy territory. Where as a production turn allows you to build units.


As with EVE online you can fight over the control of the regions (albeit in the 4 main factions rather than the Capsular ones). These fights are determined by dice roll and the number of dice each player has is relates to the number of units each player has in the attacking and defending region, so if player 1 has 5 Units and player 2 has 4 Units they get a dice for each unit they have. There are three types of dice; attack, defence and tactics. Attack and defence are fairly self-explanatory (damage and mitigation) but tactics dice are a bit more interesting, they can be counted as either attack or defence depending on the player choice, so depending on the roll he might need more defence to protect his units or more attack to kill enemy units. To Offset this flexibility you will never get as many points on the dice using tactics as opposed to a dedicated defence or attack Dice. Attack dice are a d10 with Three Blanks, Three 1s, three 2s and a single 3 pointer. Defence Dice are d10’s with four Blanks, three 1’s and three 2’s. Tactics are also d10’s, but have five blanks, four 1’s and a single 2. To initiate an attack, the player must declare where is his attacking from and two (which must be adjacent regions), count up the Unit Tokens for each and decided on their dice.

However EVE wouldn’t be EVE without spy roll he might need more defence to protect his units or more attack to kill enemy units. To Offset this flexibility you will never get as many points on the dice using tactics as opposed to a dedicated defence or attack Dice. Attack dice are a d10 with Three Blanks, Three 1s, three 2s and a single 3 pointer. Defence Dice are d10’s with four Blanks, three 1’s and three 2’s. Tactics are also d10’s, but have five blanks, four 1’s and a single 2. To initiate an attack, the player must declare where is his attacking from and two (which must be adjacent regions), count up the Unit Tokens for each and decided on their dice.

Hark and Arian having a discussion on who will win the Amarr or the Minmatar, little did they know it was going to be Lore and the Caldari

Hark and Arian having a discussion on who will win the Amarr or the Minmatar, little did they know it was going to be Lore and the Caldari

As the final twist of complication in combat, players can use cards purchased with their Logistics turns to manipulate the outcome.’s and metagaming, so the player with the most agents in the enemies region picks his dice second, and can ask the other player either “how many attack dice are you going to use?”, “how many defence dice are you going to use?” or “how many tactical’s dice are you going to use?”. Giving him the chance to adjust his dice to counter his opponent. Every fleet needs a scout.

Now we get on to how to win the game, as I said at the start of the post you can set the winning conditions (I can’t remember all of them), the main way to win is to get points from capturing certain regions which are determined by 9 cards set up in a 3×3 grid; representing  a slice of the galaxy. Only 7 of the cards are showing at any one time and are captured by building an outpost on two of the indicated regions, in either a single row or column (represented by numbers and letters . you get the points shown on the two cards you capture towards your victory points total.

If you have managed to follow and understand that rambling and brief explanation of EVE: Conquests you are doing very well indeed. Certainly it took us a lot longer to get this far, and there are far more nuances and fringe case rules to learn yet. The game is fantastic and although it is complicated, it benefits from the complication rather than suffering it. Once your group has gotten the hang of it, it certainly provides a lot of interesting situations and tactics.

Hark looking longingly at the rule book hoping it would become more understandable

Hark looking longingly at the rule book hoping it would become more understandable

[Guest Post] A Blog Widows experience as a Sister of Eve.







You may have heard me mentioned in a couple of Harks post, but let me introduce myself. I am Harks non-gaming girlfriend who has been known to ask questions that inspire him to discuss certain topics in the blog. Over the past couple of years, I have learnt that the EvE universe exists and have been exposed to much more of the complexities of the game than I could ever possibly need (except perhaps for helping me write this post). So when Hark decided to attend FanFest for the first time this year and asked me to come along, I have to admit my first thought was “do I really want to go hang out with a ton of geeks talking about EvE for 4 days?” But I do love spending time with Hark and his friends and the idea that I could share his first FanFest experience tempted me to go. The deal maker was when he explained there was Sister of EvE (SOE) excursion and that I’d get to go 4x4ing on a glacier. I was in and after the event, I do not regret it. In this article I hope to capture the essence of the SOE excursion for those SOE you may be trying to persuade to come with you to FanFest next year and for those of you just wondering what it was like. It also touches on my thoughts on being a SOE, what is a SOE and my non-gaming impressions of EvE.  Enjoy.

I am sure I was not alone in feeling excitement as I reached the Harpa on the SOE day to see a long line of stretch 4×4 cars out front. That pretty much set the scene for the day – excitement and fun.
We embarked in a convoy heading to the South west of Iceland. With a car full of 8 women and 2 men, the radio feed of the guide from the first car was often impossible to hear over the discussions of parents’ desperation for grandchildren, LARPing and penises. One thing that was not mentioned in the conversation was EvE. Luckily for us, our driver acted as a very good guide, as did the only other man in the car (yes there were also about 5 male ‘Sisters’ of EvE on the tour), who had previously lived in Iceland. Our first stop was Thingvellir – UNESCO world heritage site. Here we stood on the edge of the North American tectonic plate and stared across valley to the Eurasian plate. Driving through the valley, the rift was more evident in the cavernous clefts in the lava fields, where whole sections appeared to have just dropped away.
Next stop was Geysir hot spring area. Sadly Geysir, the original geyser that all others were named after, was not erupting; but the nearby geyser Strokkhur was sending up massive gushes of water about every 10 minutes. It must have known we were there, because at one point it erupted twice in a couple of minutes. Many photographs taken (it was amazing how many photography buffs there were on the tour), we retired to the nearby Geysir hotel for a fantastic all you can eat buffer lunch, with roast pork so delicious that I just had to go for seconds. The room was filled with laughter and chatter with even an occasional mention of EvE. Typical of any event with lots of women, there was a queue for the desserts and the loos.
We then headed out towards the glacier. This gave the drivers the chance to go a bit crazy off road, which was exhilarating if a little scary at times: Competing against each other to get to the front of the convoy, our car dived down a rocky slope, accompanied by AC/ DCs Highway to Hell on the radio, darted under a bridge and mounted a bank so steep, I ended up parallel to the ground in the front passengers seat.  Once the freestyle rollercoaster race was over, we set out onto what we thought was the glacier, a mass of snow in between snow covered mountains. After we’d been going for a while, the driver informed us that we weren’t even on the glacier yet, this was just a road, demarked by the yellow posts almost buried in the snow. eventually we reached the edge of the actual glacier and could get out and walk around. This was not like the ice and crevice filled glacier I had hiked on during my last trip to Iceland, or if it was, it was covered by at least 2 feet of untouched snow, which extended as far as the eye could see. It felt so peaceful to be in a place of such unspoilt beauty. Everyone seemed to have a smile on their faces, even the ones who ended up on their backsides in the snow. The cars moved forward onto the glacier, so we had to walk to reach them. Not a problem for most of the girls, but I did observe one girl in a pair of stilettoes out there: Well I suppose they would have worked as makeshift crampons. Getting the cars turned around and off the glacier was to prove more challenging than getting on. The drivers were very skilled in getting such big vehicles moving in the snow. Unfortunately for our car however, not quite quickly enough when black smoke started billowing from the engine. The drivers did not show any concern, but set about trying to work out what the problem was to get the car going again. Meanwhile we entertained ourselves by debating if we’d fit in the other cars and who we would eat first if we were stranded. My eyes started to scan the horizon for the Skidoo School we had seen earlier, with visions of pulling a James Bond like move; knocking the driver off and taking the skidoo to safety. Luckily it was not necessary as we shortly got going again and headed to Guilfoss. The dual layer waterfall looked stunning, with a rainbow above it, giving the top of the falls a yellow green hue, that perhaps explains its name, the Golden falls. After a short hold up (as we lost a SOE), we then headed to Fontana spa. I think for many this was the highlight of the day, while for me it was just the perfect finish. First we tasted the rye bread, which we were shown was baked in the ground using the geothermal heat. Then we were let loose in the spa which had multiple warm pools, a jacuzzi and three steam rooms filled directly from hot mud below. It was wonderful to lay in the warm water and look out across the stunning view of the nearby lake, special SOE cocktail in hand.

Finally it was time to head back to the Harpa. The mood in the car was very relaxed and relatively quiet as people reflected on the day.  I got the impression from the smiles on all the faces that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. I definitely did and wouldn’t hesitate to join another SOE excursion in future.

I don’t know what I expected the sisters of EvE to be like prior to this trip. They couldn’t easily be grouped into a stereotype: coming from all over the world, with different careers, opinions of the game and differing relationships to their respective EvE players. There were even SOEs who played EvE themselves or worked for CCP. What surprised me was the abundance of strong confident women. Perhaps it was just that only the stronger personalities were willing to go on a trip like this. But I wonder whether this is because it takes that strength and self-confidence to compete with EvE (which some felt was the other woman in their partner’s life) or that with strength and confidence, a relationship develops the space for the individuals to dedicate themselves to a hobby or interest guilt-free. In my case, I believe the latter is applicable. I was surprised by how many of the EvE players were waiting to see their significant others off and were there to collect them, full of smiles and hugs at the end of the tour, a sign of the softer side of these space warriors. Clearly CCP in organising the SOE excursion understand the contribution / sacrifice we significant others make for the sake of the EvE universe and ensured that throughout the day, we were made to feel very special and have the experience of a lifetime.
So am I happy to consider myself a SOE? Well from a selfish point of view, I love Iceland and my favorite restaurant of all time is in Reykjavik, so having an excuse to return there for FanFest was excellent (and delicious). But more importantly as a non-gamer, I find the idea of this alternate universe with all the politics, economics, conflict, races, classes and careers fascinating. The idea that so many people out there have alternate careers in this universe which they dedicate real time to in order to succeed, is amazing to a workaholic like me. But I can clearly see that there are benefits to the players: Belonging to such a large community creates bonds and friendships all over the world. It brought a tear to my eye in the CCP keynote, when Hilmar choked up after players requested Vile Rat/Sean Smith’s name be included on the statue, evidence that one person has the ability to touch thousands by their actions in and surrounding the game. I recognise that EvE can be used to develop abilities useful in real life such as communication, planning, tactics and organisational skills. It requires intelligence. EvE is not merely for those who can shoot fast or learn the cheats / patterns to win, it is constantly changing; challenging its players and requires dedication and commitment. The fact that CCP appreciate the input of their players into how the game should progress, also make it stand out. Where else could you get a say in shaping a universe? Being the partner of someone so interested in EvE that he chooses to write a blog about it, has meant the past two and a half years have been a second hand journey into EvE for me too. A journey I have been fascinated by. I am by no means going to start playing, but I am happy to be a SOE.

Suicide in public areas is strictly prohibited

And there goes another month. Between some Real life issues in early April and Fanfest consuming Late April, it’s gone by in a breeze. Although Fanfest was great fun, its not all been great though. I get my monthly playtime logged by Raptr and in the past have hit weekly averages of around 35-45 hours. This month not so much.
Last month I averaged 18.5 hours of games per week with 2 hours per week in eve itself. The issue is that my areas of eve are either dedications of large chunks of time, or being on call for short notice operations. Being out of the country or having work done on your house doesn’t exactly play well with that. I’m making excuses really, but the long and short of it is that its no wonder that my corporation has told me the ship up or ship out.
This week I have chosen the former. After chatting with my other half I got permission to be “on call” whenever I am at home, dedicating myself to being able to respond to fleets all the time. Which has resulted in a quite few fleets this week, including my involvement in the Flight of 1000 Rifters. I hope that I have already secured my continued service with my corp, but never taking things for granted I intend to keep up with the high availability thing for the rest of the month (i.e. how long I was given to shape up). Already I have scored a good 17 hours in eve during this first week of May.
In other news the CCP marketing campaign has worked, and after hunting around a bit I managed to secure a cheap PS3 with which to play some Dust, so expect some Dust posts on here in the next few weeks as I get used to the game and form some opinions. First impressions have been excellent, although there is clearly some room for improvements. But that’s a detail for another post.
Not all that much to write about this month, at least not that hasn’t already been posted in the Fanfest and CSM sections of the Blog.
Fly (and walk) as much as you can

CSM of my Heart

Well here we are, with the Dust (pun intended) settling post Fanfest, one of the realities we must now face is who we have voted into CSM for the next year. The results ballot has been out for a few days already, but I have heard a rumour that there are still some surprises in store yet. Firstly I have heard hints that Ripard Teg Finished way higher than anyone expected (especially not The Mittani). Secondly it was picked up by our radar like ears is that there was a very close run between a few candidate places. All this was picked up through hints and whispers, and as such is totally unsupported, but interesting none the less.
Before we go any further we should first take a moment to thank and congratulate every candidate for the CSM. Just caring about out little game to run for CSM is enough to earn my respect. I look forwards to listening to you again next year.
Without further ado, here is the full list of CSM8. I have highlighted in green the candidates I put on my ballot:
–          Ali Aras
–          Chitsa Jason
–          James Arget
–          Kesper North
–          Korvin
–          Malcanis
–          Mangala Solaris
–          Mike Azariah
–          mynnna
–          progodlegend
–          Ripard Teg
–          Sala Cameron
–          Sort Dragon
–          Trebor Daehdoow
[8/14] placed
Looking at that list, I think I should be pretty happy (and well represented) with and by CSM8. It’s worth noting that despite the chest beating of the CFC and the HBC (helped in no small part by the political engine that is, only 4 HBC and CFC candidates made the list, although the list is still very heavily Nullsec weighted (as it should be :P).
It’s worth point out first though that my ballot was based purely on who I thought best represented me (alongsidea few other factors), that does not mean that my ballot was my dream council. As there are 14 seats on the council, and 14 STV positions for each voter, it’s easy to equate a STV positions to “whished” council seat. This is a false assumption.
My ideal CSM is one which is made up of a fair representation of good candidates from all of eve demographic (which I believe we got). My ballot on the other hand was concentrated at ensuring that mydemographic was represented correctly.
I think I have really already discussed the candidates enough through my Impressionableposts in the last few months so I won’t go into any details on my feelings about candidates here. The people in green have had my support from the get go. However for the people not marked in green above, for the most part, I would like to say: you may not have been who I voted for, but I marked most of you as good candidates who didn’t represent me. My congratulations to you all.
Finally a few messages:
Ripard – As the first choice on my ballot, I am really pleased you got in. I met you briefly at Fanfest alongside Roc (who is also a stand up gent), and you confirmed the impression you give through your blog of a well-thought, well-spoken man. If the whispers I have heard are true, double congratulations are in order for your stunning position on the CSM.
Mynnna – At the very beginning it would be fair to say I was lukewarm towards your run. However since them you have done nothing but build yourself in my standings. I am very pleased (if not at all surprised) that you made it on. I offer you too my congratulations.
Trebor – Another candidate I met at Fanfest who turned out exactly as expected (a gentleman to the highest standards). I am very pleased you were dragged back into the council (kicking and screaming as I understand). You’re a needed connection to help build the new relationship for this CSM and the CSM of tomorrow. My congratulations again go out to you.

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.