Its Sunday morning in the US and I get only trickles of news now from my friends who were able to fly to Iceland for the Fanfest. Mostly these newsflashes start with “owww, my head” indicating that party was a good one and that people have tried to lose enough braincells to be recruited as a valuable nullsec player. (just kidding of course).
But I have been watching lots of the Fanfest on the stream that was – with a few glitches – well executed and professionally done. The quality of the panels and presentations show just how much EVE has matured but also how much they have staid the same – an ambitious band of dreamers with the means and the will to attack really big themes and succeed one step at a time. As a friend of me said, “damn, thats my kind of company, that where I would have liked to be at the beginning” (paraphrased). And who wouldn’t? But wait, we are here, with CCP. We are part of the company, EVE is as much our creation as theirs. Sure, our subscription pays their salaries but it is our stories, our engagements, our drive that makes their work possible.
Some random thoughts – no particular order.
- Congrats Ripard to CSM 8. The only candidate I actually cared about made it. Well deserved and we will watch with suspicion if he succumbs to the CSM disease of blaming the NDA for not communicating.
- CCP seems to have the balance right between vision and dreams. CCP Seagull had a very clear definition of that (5 year – 1 year – tactical) that is pretty much industry standard and has proven doable. So, I have faith that they will iterate on the ideas that we see but they will execute.
- Incarna Gate. My advice to CCP – stop talking about the damn door and whether it opens or not. You are doing FPS-style fights on planets, you are letting avatars directly interact, you are even planning to have DUST mercs fight in spacestations (and ships). You have opened the dor; its called DUST. Enough already, stop feeding the Troll with his ugly chinbeard.
- The Americans presenters on stage came across as bullshitters, using way too many superlatives to describe the game or specific game mechanics. The audience that they talked to not only plays the game but spent tons of money to get to Iceland. They drank the Kool-Aid. Stop selling. Stick with Vikings or Brits, they represent the hard, understated but determined attitude of CCP better.
- DUST 514 appears to be a success. Mind you, this could have been another Incarna, fizzling out. But the shooter they made looks at least as rich and as immersive as Planet Side 2 and a heck of a lot deeper. Whether players want that depth is a different story but damn, its a good start. I hope CCP has the funding for a loooong marketing push.
- Alliance panel. Man, cringe worthy. It was depressingly bad. Could not finish it, it was so painful. Note to CCP – next time, audition some guys / gals who can actually speak.
- CCP as a company seems to have matured – one should hope that they can grow up in their business practices and execution but retain their juvenile drive, passion and arrogance to keep making great content.
- On content, I like the focus on exploration a lot – how could I not, I live in WH space and while sufficiently vague, the mindset of the developers seemed to be in the right place. Resource balancing, I think they are making changes to minerals – I don’t understand those. A few rebalanced and re-skinned ships. Cute. Oh yes, they are shoving a POCO into the POS as a means to store stuff for players. Dumb idea but hey, its something.
Overall – it seemed a relaxed and well executed Fanfest without major surprises and hickups. I would have loved to fly out and drink with my friends but content wise – I think I got enough through the stream. I just hope my friends all made it back safely and without too much vomiting in aircraft bathrooms (I have been on intercontinental flights with hangovers – its the worst).