My Thoughts after Fanfest

The Fanfest Board
HUGE version of Fanfest board available for download


As many of you may remember my Fanfest experience last year was not a good one. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have attended, my life at the time was still pretty dark and that didn't help things. In addition, sitting in roundtables hearing the same old excuses repeated for the umpteenth time also didn't help. After last year's Fanfest I returned home angry, sad, and rather bummed about the whole experience. Not the best time to write a scathing article for Crossing Zebras, but that is what I ended up doing. It was a train wreck. And while I don't regret anything I said, it was the truth at the time, I do regret writing it in that frame of mind.

This year's Fanfest was the polar opposite of that experience. Not only is my life in a much, much better place right now - but I also purposefully decided to decline any and all responsibilities for once. This year, my Wife and I would attend as simply tourists and attendees, with zero agenda, no goals (other than to have a good time and meet people), and with a bag full of thank you swag to give out. If they had a Eve Store roundtable I would not attend. Turns out they didn't have one anyway. And the only time I entered the Eve Store section was to pay for the Incarna print I bought for charity. And Hilmar showed up and we had another great conversation. So even that worked out.

Fanfest was awesome. Warp Core Stabs are banned from FW Plexes, a goal I've been working on for a very long time. Once again I managed to affect change in the game by using good natured humor, memes, and activism and not by angry trolling. In addition, soon Logistics will be included on killmails as well, so that is yet another goal that we've managed to accomplish. This Fanfest was already looking up before it even started. Except for the fact that I had 400 printed Ban WCS stickers! I still gave them all away. During the Faction Warfare and Low Sec roundtable the CCP employees attending were sticking them all over themselves. It was good fun.

Which is how I think all things associated with Eve, CCP and the community should be - good fun. 

While it was obvious that some of the air from the recent layoffs still hung in the atmosphere, it was also obvious that something had changed from last year. Perhaps it was seeing CCP Mimic and nearly crying when I saw she was pregnant. Or talking with Seagull about Weegull. Or having dinner out with CCP PointyBits and hearing him sounding a lot like myself when I was his age. Or the conversation that happened after I told Hilmar that I was the owner of the Incarna key art and why I selected that one. Which is a good story, so let me tell you.

Incarna was not when I started playing Eve, I started back in 2008 right before Empyrean Age. However Incarna was when I started really playing Eve. On all fronts. That was the Summer of Rage for many Eve players, but for me it was the summer of activism. That's when I started putting hats on Avatars. (Another Eve in-game accomplishment - hats!) That's when I started trying to affect change, when many of us tried, by activating the community towards one goal. Beyond just more ships, or balance changes, but towards more lofty goals. Perhaps, together, we could change more than just the things inside the game. Maybe, just maybe, we could change more. Which I think any sane person, looking back over the past seven years of Eve would have to admit worked. Lots has changed.

The other side of that reason has to do with failure. Something I am personally familiar with. It's funny how many people fear failure, or see it as a weakness, when the opposite is true. Without taking risks there can be no reward, and whenever you take risks you risk failure. The cool thing about failure is that you learn more from it than you do success. And those lessons stick with you. To me Incarna was a a giant failure, a misstep, and a very valuable lesson. In hindsight it is obvious that mistakes were made and that CCP had stepped off the path at some point. But instead of quitting, they managed to pull themselves back onto the right path and re-commit to making Eve better. It is no mistake that the game itself, and the community around it, are both stronger now than we were before Incarna.

So that's why I wanted the key art. And why it will be hanging on my wall here shortly. A constant reminder.

I had a lot of conversations at Fanfest. And all of them were positive. There are some things I cannot share with you now, but I can tell you that I am optimistic and encouraged. CCP is clearly invested in Eve's success long-term, perhaps Eve will live forever. I think that is actually something that people are clearly considering right now. CCP is also trying to focus on making games and finally admitting that perhaps other people can be allowed to do the things that they shouldn't be doing. This is the reason why Eve-NT will be handling the AT this year. And they should be. Nashh and his team have worked their asses off for this opportunity. (Nashh in particular as you saw during CCP Games Games!) And perhaps this direction will lead to other things down the road.

Personally I'm excited about the new Triglavian space and the mutant modules that will come from it. There is concern that "enchantment" could get out of control, so we'll have to keep our eyes open - but that is a concern for the Devs as well. So we're not alone in that concern. The space excites me because it is a playground for new technology and a preview of sorts for the next level of Eve itself. Eventually all of Eve will be re-built using the technology that is being developed in Triglavian space. And that is exciting to think about. Intelligent AI, atmospheric effects, and more will be on display and tried out. Potentially, down the road, this could lead to line-of-sight, improved navigation controls, and much more.

As I've said before they could seriously stop making improvements to Eve and I'd still keep playing. I'm good to go. But I understand that is not a good business decision, so constant improvements and changes are a fact of life.

After this Fanfest I'm more excited than ever about the direction that Eve is headed in. And more confident than ever in the people driving that direction.

Onward and upward.



Fanfest 2018

o7Show
On the o7 Show Set, I miss the o7 Show
Liz and I are leaving this week for Iceland so the blog will most likely be quiet until we get back. This is will be our third trip to Fanfest, and as I quickly learned back in 2015, blogging from Fanfest is not for me. I will of course be active on Twitter at #tweetfleet and various other places with photos, updates, stories, and tales from the 15th Anniversary of Eve.

The last two times we arrived slightly before Fanfest and stayed a few days after to see more of Iceland. This time we decided to arrive a week early and get all of our sightseeing in before all the drinking, talking, standing, and handing out of swag. I think this plan will work better. But we shall see.

Last year I printed 1,200 postcards and several hundred stickers to hand out. This year we went with the stickers. I printed enough so that 1,200 Fanfest bags will have a sticker in them from me. In addition I have more to personally hand-out, along with a few hats, and a selection of custom printed t-shirts for the A Band Apart Alliance mates that will be there. Another year of us giving back to the community, along with everything else we do during the course of the year. This community stood up and helped us when we truly needed it, and we won't ever forget that.

Liz is extremely excited because she managed to snag two tickets to see Bjork's dress rehearsal for her new concert while we are in Iceland. It should be incredible and I'm also looking forward to it, seeing her in a small venue in her native Iceland is a once in a lifetime chance. So that is very cool.

We plan on seeing even more of the Island, places we missed previously, or places that we want to explore more. We're taking a GoPro with us this time, so I'm hopeful that we'll capture some awesome video as well as our usual photography. The snowmobile trip on the glacier should be a highlight and I'm personally excited to finally get a chance to ride one. As a motorcycle rider it has been a lifelong dream, so I can't wait.

I also have Eve reasons for going. Obviously the 15th Anniversary and the new stuff that I'm sure will be announced. And meeting all of our friends again, or for the first time. It is getting harder and harder to imagine not going to Fanfest each year. 

We miss everyone. And we're looking forward to seeing everyone again. Old friends and new ones.

Look for us and do not hesitate to come up and introduce yourself. Please.

Until then...



WCS Banned?!?!?


From CCP Fozzie:
Hello spacefriends and happy Easter!
 Today we are excited to begin gathering feedback on a change we have planned for release in one of our upcoming Q2 2018 releases. This change specifically impacts factional warfare and the restrictions around entering FW capture complexes.

Warp Core Stabilizers are an extremely powerful tool for evasion, which can sometimes have a place in a game like EVE. However since the proper functioning of the Factional Warfare capture system requires pilots to trade a certain amount of risk (spending time at a spot in lowsec with a system-wide beacon making you easy to find) for a reward (FW warzone control for your faction, LP and opportunities for enjoyable PVP for you) we believe that warp core stabs skew that balance too far in the direction of reduced risk. These modules are also a significant part of the strategies employed by botters in FW space, which provides increased motivation for us to put some extra restrictions on them.
Our current plan is to disallow any ship with a warp core stab fitted from passing through a FW capture complex acceleration gate.
We are also considering the option of disallowing ships with a cloak fitted to pass through as well for similar reasons (we believe that cloak restrictions would have an even bigger impact on botters than stabs), but we’re less sure about extending these blocks to cloaks and we’re very interested in your feedback on that option.

We are aware that there will still be ways for warp core stabs to be used in FW even after these changes (including using them at the unrestricted large complexes and refitting with a depot inside the complex). We will not consider these sorts of uses to be exploits, but we do reserve the right to make further changes to restrict them later if they prove to be a problem.

We are very interested in hearing your feedback on this concept, so please let us know what you think below.

If this is an elaborate April Fools Joke then, well played. Fozzie has certainly trolled me before, so I wouldn't put it past him to do it again. But on the surface this doesn't feel like a typical CCP joke post. So let's take it at face value for now.

First of all this is the exact step that I discussed with Fozzie and Masterplan back at Fanfest in 2015. An "easy" first step towards mitigating the negative impact that the module is having on Low Sec. Since 2015 that impact has only worsened due to the addition of Alpha accounts. Just last week I encountered 20+ Jackdaws during my roam, each of which was sporting WCS. While this has always been a problem, it has only gotten worse in the years since. Lately it is more than likely that the ship in that plex has WCS fitted.

As you all should know by now, my BAN WCS Campaign was never about getting rid of the module, but only in fixing it. There are certainly legit reasons for using the module in non-combat scenarios. Although I would also argue that, as a legacy module, it could certainly stand some upgrades. But that is beside the point today.

Keeping them out of FW Plexes is a simple fix to a more complicated issue. Changing plex timers would be yet another simple fix that would go a long way towards making Low Sec more vibrant and combat based. Instead of avoidance based, which it sadly is now. Timers should re-set once abandoned.

I've been at this a long time. Hopefully, if this post is true, we could all see the beginnings of the changes I've been lobbying for in-game. That is a HUGE deal.

And while I appreciate the Maulus Navy Issue (thank you Fozzie), it alone has not been enough to temper the waves of risk-averse Alpha accounts that have flooded our shores.

This is a historical first step. Or I've been trolled yet again.

Either way I'll be in Iceland here in a few days.  :)