Fanfest & Covid


From left to right back row - Lufax, Watson Crick, Corvus Onzo, Rixx Javix - Front row - Katia Sae, EQ, and Thane. Saint Michael Soul is missing since no one saw him at all on Thursday and Insidious Sainthood was busy volunteering. But otherwise this is our small gang! Overall A Band Apart had 18 people at Fanfest 2022, which is the most we've ever had. We even made the list this year.

Normally it doesn't take me nearly a week to write about a Fanfest, so you know something had to go wrong. You may have already heard, but I managed to bring Covid home with me. Despite testing negative on Saturday and being allowed to fly back to the States, it really hit me first thing Monday morning. Even before the test, I knew I had it. At last count over 50 Fanfest attendees caught Covid and I think those numbers are probably very conservative, I know a few more people who just recently tested positive. Luckily my own case has been pretty mild so far and I am already feeling much, much better. And in other good news my Wife continues to test negative. So that is, to be honest, even better news.

A bunch of our friends got stuck in Iceland until they can get a negative test. So hopefully that happens soon and everyone can get back to normal life again. All I really care about now is that everyone recovers and gets back to being healthy again.

Despite Covid it was great to be back at Fanfest and to have a chance to meet everyone in person again. And while writing that sentence I realize that it sounds ironic given what happened, I want to be very clear here. Current Covid restrictions make no sense at all. So if we are all going to live in this weird world where we pretend Covid isn't a thing - then we need to get on with it. The airports and planes were full of people not wearing masks and yet you still need a negative test to fly. This is stupid. We traveled last Summer for almost two weeks in Iceland without any problems because everyone was wearing masks and still taking precautions. You can't have it both ways. My rant is over now. 

I'm exhausted just writing these words.

I think the reaction to what we heard at Fanfest is also exhausting. I believe many players have forgotten we live and play in a sandbox. I'm encouraged by the knowledge that 60% of Eve players have started playing in the last four years, maybe this new crop of players won't be so damn annoying. But for me, and for many others, this was the first Fanfest I left happy with what CCP had announced - because it was finally time for Faction Warfare to get some attention! Something I've been vocally advocating for over a decade now. And while I don't care about taking credit, or any credit, all I care about is that it is finally happening. And finally those Null Sec players who always get some shiny new thing every Fanfest now know what us Low Sec players always feel like. So pardon me if I don't have any sympathy for your angst.

I didn't mean that to come out as spiteful as it probably sounded. I have Covid.

And Alliance logos on ships. And structures. So there.

I like the idea that future expansions will be revealed inside of story arcs, I think that is awesome. In fact we are already seeing the early days of that inside of the game. Will CCP be able to fully deploy massive in-game changes and updates this way? Will the promises made during Fanfest translate into actual, real, content in-game? I dunno. I sure hope so. As always I'm sure us players will be standing by to remind them and hold them accountable for their successes and failures - as always. For my part I am encouraged, but not totally sold. I remain positive, but I also have to admit that I was expecting something to be announced for the immediate future - like in a month. New ships maybe? New content possibly. Something.

Instead we got a lot of promise. And there is nothing wrong with that, unless they turn out to be empty. And given the recent price increase (as needed as it might have been) those promises are important to the long-term stability and growth of Eve Online. I've long said that Faction Warfare is the engine that drives PvP inside of Eve Online and that message seems to finally be resonating inside the walls of CCP, every Dev I spoke with spoke that language. That is encouraging.

Enough writing for one day. I'll be back with more later.