Header art by Smultar
Fanfest 2018 is kicking off today, April 12, and will continue through April 14. If CCP’s hype is to be believed, the celebration of EVE Online’s 15th anniversary will be nothing short of show-stopping (in more ways than one), and filled with some fantastic announcements and events.
The Pre-Ceremony Experience
The scheduled start of the stream and ceremony, 10:45 and 11:00 UTC respectively, came and went. The hype in the stream chat grew exponentially. Reddit exploded. CCP was late, as technical difficulties seemed to have struck. A new start time of 11:15 UTC was posted. We waited… and waited. Then, suddenly it happened – A giant still image! The tension was palpable, then there they were! CCP Guard and Bjorn Bee! The presentation could now begin.
The introduction was mostly about what Eve Online is to the people who play it. The Mittani’s article ‘Blurring the lines between Eve and life‘ was one of the elements mentioned during Guard’s presentation, and we got an insight into CCP Guard’s early life as a GM in Eve.
The key element throughout this opening section was one of friendship and how the bonds developed between Eve players could transcend boundaries. For Guard, these bonds are a huge part of keeping the game going. BjornBee and CCP Guard certainly showed that as they moved an Orca with 100 ‘Friend Ships’ in cargo through to Tama. If you are tweeting about Fanfest this weekend, the 2018 hastags are #EVEXV and #EVEFANFEST.
The discussion then moved on to what attendees can expect to experience and find during Fanfest. A large 15 year timeline has been set up for people to go and indicate where they appear on it and there is a Capsuleers’ Chronicle Exhibit that can be visited. Andrew Groen, author of Empires of Eve was mentioned, too. He has a new kickstarter running now, with the intention of financing the ‘Empires of Eve II’ history book. By the end of the Ceremony, the kickstarter campaign had been fully funded.
The Caldari Corporation Cup will be a team competition for players, with the chance of wining prizes from Nvidia and Razer, as well as additional PLEX prizes, and there will be a Charity Evening which will help raise money for the Icelandic children’s hospital. Attendees can also visit and admire the artistic studios of Eve Online, meet the graphics artists as they work on new spaceship designs, and maybe even end up with a drawing of themselves – although if they look anything like the pilot pics that were posted at the start of Fanfest, it might be best to avoid their attentions.
Even as they spoke, a ‘CCP dunk tank’ was announced as being under construction and CCP Guard said he would be one of the people who ended up in the hot seat – again, all proceeds to charity.
The CCP Games CEO, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, also made an appearance, and one of the first things Hilmar mentioned after greeting everyone was that the future of the Serenity Eve server was looking strong, which I am sure will come as a great relief for the many players (and botters) out there in China.
The adventures of CCP’s late VR department were addressed, with Hilmar stating that existing titles would continue to be supported into the future, although there would be no further work in that area for the time being.
As another major announcement for CCP Games, Project Aurora has now been officially named as EVE: War of Ascension. The mobile game is CCP’s first foray into the mobile gaming space, and will be published by Kongregate. Additionally, the M4.5 release will be available free for all Fanfest attendees, giving Eve players the first public hands-on experience with the game.
After a short look back at Dust514, Project Nova was announced as a PC game at launch. It will be a unique first person shooter (FPS) and is intended to provide players with a totally new experience. Initially it will not be connected to Eve Online, but currently the Nova roadmap plans for the two games to be brought together, starting with a social connection, then a trading connection and then even further. Basically, watch this space.
Finally, the attendees cup winner was announced. CVA came 5th with 19, Pandemic Horde 4th with 23, just pipped by Pandemic Legion with 25 and in second place were TEST Alliance Please Ignore with 36, but the overall winners by a massive margin were… yes, you guessed it, the GoonSwarm Federation (GSF) with 60!
Overall, once the opening ceremony had overcome the technical difficulties that hit it both before and during the event, it came across clearly as a warm, friendly gateway into life in Iceland for the next three days. We also learned that friendship is what matters and that there are an awful lot of Goons in Iceland. Better make good use of those Rorqs while Goons are away, guys.