Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Blog Banter #74: The Most Important Reveal at Fanfest Was......

So when this Blog Banter goes live Fanfest will be over. Hungover geeks from around the world will be departing Reykjavik after a five-day binge of important internet spaceships and partying. Whether you were there in person, watched the streams or read the dev blogs on your mobile hidden under your work desk there was probably something in there that gave you a "nerd-boner". What for you personally was the most important thing to come out of Fanfest 2016?
If the last post was the nice response, this is the nasty one. If you don’t want to read angry/whining/rude posts, please don’t.

This is your warning.


So, I’ve been staring at this blank page for the last 2 days. I couldn’t find a way to describe my problems with the Fanfest. I have, at last, succeeded.


A Blog Banter of two halves…

I have a question for those of you who watched/attended Fanfest.

What new content/development for Eve was announced?

I’ll give you a moment. It took me some time too.
Got your list ready?
Yeah, a bit bloody short, isn’t it?

For those of us who didn’t watch or attend, here’s the answer:

CCP announced only two three new pieces of content for Eve at Fanfest: 

1) Faction Capitals

2) CCP Ghost’s announcement cum TEDtalk cum statement of intent. 1

(Careful reading of multiple blogs has led me to discover that CCP did announce another thing)

3)A mining barge rework (details vague and undefined)

Sometimes it’s hard to say why you’re uneasy. It might be the attitude of the waiter, the decoration, or the other customers. Maybe it’s the stench of excrement that’s wafting from the kitchen. All you know is, something’s wrong.

And so I found myself after Fanfest. Initial hype (Wow, NASA) and initial pessimism (RIP Moonmining, RIP Titan safety) had passed, and yet I was still troubled. Unlike last year, which brought us the fantastic “Emergent Threats” trailer, the stunning initial concept art for Structures, and so many other things, this year brought 3 Faction Capitals, a guy with an impossible brain, a mining barge overhaul and a boat load of “Like we said, we’ll be doing this”.

Let me get into that, actually. A fitting name for this Fanfest would be “Confirmation Central”. We got all of the following confirmed: AoE links, capital changes, all of the new structures, new taxes and, most importantly the long-awaited Rorqual rework!3

But almost nothing new.

This attitude wasn’t just limited to Eve content. Many of the previously “Must Watch” fanfest sessions were reduced to question-and-answer-only, and what had previously been a exploration of CCP’s war against the black art of RMT-ing2  was completely absent.  I am reliably informed by multiple blog posts and player reports that most of the round tables were 100% similar to this, which is a change from the “looking for feedback” attitude roundtables are meant to espouse.

This absence of substance wasn't a short term thing: CCP’s “the players are everything” approach could be seen in the dearth of substantive CCP presentations and the explosion of player presentations. If, as Nosy pondered, CCP likes player presentations because they learn things from them, I'm not sure whether to be worried or pleased. If it’s just because CCP has given up, I know it’s the former.

All of this leads me to my final issue. I’ll define it with two quotes:

“CCP Seagull trotted out the same graphic, again, and everyone cheered, again”

“I’m pleased to gather that we’re now on a stylised double helix instead of four parallel lines”

The march of progress along an undefined route to an undefined timeframe continues apace. Progress is apparently being made, but we have neither the ability to measure it, nor the ability to disrupt it.  We, the blind, have only the guide, who tells us “just a little further to go, just a little more”.

One wonders what we don’t see.


I was going to talk about Neville Smit’s “Occupy New Eden”, but it deserves its own post, which will come…soon™.

1 CCP’s now caught up to a ~2013 blog banter. Once again, the players beat the developers by many, many months.
2 Whether that’s because CCP doesn’t want to step on their best story for many years (Lucas Kell's CCP = RMT theory), or because Team Security is just not doing much, we don’t know.
3 As this was announced (?) in the CSM minutes, I wasn't sure to include it as a new thing. 

1 comment:

  1. Another thing to add to that list is the Bumping changes.