Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fanfest day two: Incredibly busy!

OK, let's roll the clock back to day before yesterday, Fanfest day two. Before I do, though, I want to mention a couple of items I forgot to cover from FF day one. First, during the Economy session, CCP Dr.EyjoG revealed that titan construction has been proceeding very steadily for the last six or seven quarters, averaging 60 to 70 per quarter. Second, CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise revealed that at some point in the future -- they didn't say when -- all of the meta mods will be reset such that every meta item has a use for something. The example he used was beam lasers and said that one meta might have slightly better range, another meta slightly different tracking, et cetera.

As a result, at some point in the future that will shake up the entire market for meta mods. I have no particular doubts that after this announcement was made, some entrepreneurial soul bought up hundreds of low-value meta mods with an eye toward profiting on the few particularly useful ones in the future. Kind of a long term investment but it should almost certainly be profitable at some point!

OK, on to FF day two.

If choosing sessions on Thursday was hard, choosing sessions on Friday was damn near impossible to do without making sacrifices. Here's what I eventually ended up with:
1100 From Evidence to Bans
1200 Null-Sec 2 Round Table
1300 DUST 514 Keynote
1400 CSM Preview of EVE: Valkyrie
1500 Future of EVEsports
1600 PvP Tournament room
1700 EVE Online Keynote
1900 Alliance Panel
2000 EVE of Destruction
The major sessions that I missed that I would have liked to have attended:
  • the Q&A session on Security and Bans (this one conflicted with Null-Sec 2);
  • the Fleet Warfare Roundtable at 1400 (this one conflicted with my trying Valkyrie on Morpheus);
  • the DUST 514 Vision Update at 1400 (ditto); and,
  • Coaching Them Up in New Eden (I really wanted to attend this, but EVEsports are one of my things).
As I believe I said for day one, if I had a hard choice to make between a session in a RT room and a session in one of the main halls, I chose the RT hoping that I'd be able to catch the main session on Youtube at some point in the future.

From Evidence to Bans. This was the new CCP Security Director, CCP Bugartist and four members of his team talking lots and lots of varied topics relating to EVE security. NoizyGamer has covered what was discussed in better detail than I could, so by all means check out his piece for the summary. I myself came away feeling pretty good about the team after the departure of CCP Stillman.

Null-Sec 2 Round Table. This one was really interesting! I don't have a whole lot to write about it because I was mostly there to listen to the players, not jump in myself. The singular moment of this session for me was CCP Greyscale asking at one point: "How many of you think sovereignty is working?" Nobody raised their hands. "How many of you think it's not working?" he asked then. Every single hand went up. Greyscale did add that the team is hoping for some small tweaks for the sov system this winter but said that no major revamp was in the cards. He joked(?) that even a bad set of tweaks would at least be "bad, but at least different" from the current "bad, but the same" state of sov. There really isn't that much more to say about this topic.

DUST 514 Keynote. I've already written extensively on this one and don't need to cover it further.

CSM Preview of EVE: Valkyrie. This was the one and only perq to being on the CSM and at Fanfest this year (other than, you know, being there): the Valkyrie team graciously offered to allow the CSM to try out Valkyrie on the Project Morpheus headsets. For regular FF attendees, the opportunity to do this was offered on lottery (and congrats to Aideron Robotics, who won three of the seats). So needless to say, I showed up early for this opportunity and we were escorted way up into the rafters of Harpa to do this. I've already recorded my impressions. An animated GIF exists of Trebor playing the game but I will not reveal the link...

Future of EVEsports. This one was CCP Bro and CCP Gargant talking a topic near and dear to my heart: EVE tournament play. I've covered my thoughts on this topic any number of times so I'm not going to repeat myself. Still, it was really great to get a full group of tournament nerds together in one room to argue potential ways to increase player interest in tournaments. We had Namamai (and technically myself?) from SCL, HaartSp and Garmon of HYDRA RELOADED, a couple of members of Team Liquid whose names I didn't catch, and lots of others. The room was pretty full, happily! Needless to say, the question of player access to tournament tools was raised, as was a new suggestion: a player volunteer team to help run tournaments similar to the operation of ISD. There was also a lot of discussion about how well tournament play "fits with EVE." I think I'll write my impressions of this topic sometime this month.

PvP Tournament Room. There were a number of sessions I missed to do a stint in the PvP room but I was not leaving Fanfest without shooting at least one spaceship. I had also been told that CCP was giving away skinned haulers and pirate noob ships so I definitely wanted some of that action, too. And as it turned out, hitting the room didn't hurt me that much in terms of sessions: The Art of Valkyrie session was being displayed on a big screen in the room. So I got to see a bit of that.

Still, the highlight for me was joining the queue for the PvP room and finding myself next to HaartSp and Garmon. We got to chatting about tournament topics, notably following up on several threads from the EVEsports session and they graciously invited me to fly on their PvP team. Getting Garmon's insight into the tournament process is really valuable; he and I last spoke about it a couple of years ago so it was really cool getting his thoughts on the developments since then. The PvP itself was very casual, following the same model used successfully at EVE Vegas: 5v5 matches using T1 cruisers and T2 AFs with a max of one T1 logistics per team. And needless to say, we absolutely ripped the team facing us to shreds, 5-0. Sorry about that, guys...

EVE Online Keynote. I've written about this one already as well.

Alliance Panel. I confess myself disappointed at this one. After a nice casual presentation by Neville Smit of EVE University, the remainder of the presenters were very tame. And frankly, CCP Dolan kinda dropped the ball here. Instead of proactively seeking out a variety of alliance leaders that could present on a number of diverse topics, he instead announced the Alliance Panel on the forums and then ran it as a first-come-first-gets-to-present basis. The end result was... OK. Nobody stood out, nobody was memorable. CCP is probably feeling "once bitten, twice shy" about this for some reason...

EVE of Destruction. Sooooo much cheese, hee! I'm not much of an MMA fan and what I know about Brazilian jiu-jitsu might be able to fill a Post-it Note. Still, this was quite entertaining to watch and very funny. I came away impressed at the wide range of athletes working for CCP. From a novice's point of view, a couple of the guys did quite well against Gunnar Nelson, I thought, though of course it might have been staged. Dolan did get his comeuppance for not being more proactive about the Alliance Panel: Dolan was literally turning blue thanks to a well-performed choke-hold by Nelson. And watching CCP Xhagen quite literally descend from the skies was quite a treat.

And that's it! Fanfest day two was really really busy and fun! No doubt you're picking up on that given that it took me three days to write everything I wanted to write about it. ;-) On to FF day three!


  1. "...all of the meta mods will be reset such that every meta item has a use for something."

    And T1 modules will remain useless for everything, except for building T2 modules.

  2. No changes to sov mechanics? I would have thought this was fairly high up on the backlog ..

    1. No, Mittens asked them to leave things alone for now, while they move industry to null-sec.

  3. Sounds like they have completely given up on the 5-year roadmap they laid out for nullsec a few years ago. Nothing about a nerf to force projection? What about off-grid boosting, any updates on that? It's almost as if they've put EVE itself on maintenance mode. There doesn't seem to be much passion and love for the game coming from the devs these days.

    1. They wrote 10.000 lines of code to "fix" Industry, they no doubt wrote 10.000 lines of code to "fix" Crimewatch, and I think they will write 10.000 lines of code to "fix" corporation/alliance management.

      All that is soon™ left will be fixing Dogma, fixing POS, fixing SOV, fixing that closed door and 10.000 lines of code to make Drone AI smarter :)

      Regards, a Freelancer

      PS: I just thought of a way to "fix" the gap between hi-sec and lo-sec, use the Drone AI code to improve Concord and allow Capsuleers to Duel the Space Police for practise :p

    2. The awesome Prophecy / "future vision" fanfest trailer says they have lots of love for EVE. I know you are talking about developer work, not concept art... but it energizes developers as well as players. It is like throwing your hat over the wall. Now you have to figure out how to climb over the wall, to get it back.

  4. "And frankly, CCP Dolan kinda dropped the ball here."

    Color me surprised. No wonder CCP is going down the s**thole, when they are stupid enough to think it is a good idea to hire incompetents like Dolan.

  5. Force projection was discussed at the nullsec panel with Fozzie, Greyscale & Rise

    tl;dr: it's a question of exactly what mechanism rather than if it's going to happen

    Also Greyscale is working on sov ideas as his "20%" project.

    1. Why? Jump and bridge range is the obvious answer.

    2. The solution to force projection will like as not never happen, as the playerbase shrinks they'll become too dependent on the only game left in town the vocal Null sec players and the PCU will continue to drop as the subs fail.

      If Starcitizen stops being vaporware it won't hurt EVE it will kill it stone cold dead.

    3. It seems that finally Greyscale is getting a chance to implement some of the huge amount of player data collecting he did, covering all areas of gameplay, in 2011.

      Big game design challenges seem to take 2-3 years...


  6. The opportunity cost almost certainly isn't worth buying lots of meta modules now. However much you spend, you could almost certainly make more just by trading the money before some nebulous 'eventual' rebalancing happens.

  7. I enjoyed running in to you those past few days, especially at the ESports panel, you brought a good flavor to the conversation.


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