What I think: Fanfest 2014

As some of you may have gathered from my twitter feed (or due to the complete lack of Miner outrage) I was, once again, unable to attend Fanfest in person. Much to my chagrin I might add.

I did manage to watch/listen to a lot of the twitch stream from the office (I am a terrible employee, and I regret nothing).

Here’s my ultra-brief summary on the whole thing.

The Good

For starters, I am heavily in favor of an Industry-themed expansion. I don’t know a single freaking thing about industry, but I do know that a lot of the “game design” in this area is a decade old and terrible. This expansion is taking a whole bunch of awful legacy design and updating it to new, better, systems on which CCP can build in the future.

This is a direction CCP needs to keep going towards, “awesome” jesus-feature expansion are nice/awful and all but the only way the game will stay fresh and functional, and the only way the next jesus-feature will not be a disaster is if all of EVE’s core gameplay is brought out of the darkness of the last decade. The new release cycle is quite obviously based in an Agile development philosophy and should also naturally encourage more iteration from CCP’s side. This is a Good Thing.

The brand new Prospect is in my eyes (as a big Venture fan) an excellent little ship. It provides a great stepping stone from the already-awesome newbie Venture to a vessel even more attuned to it’s role. I hope the Prospect’s capabilities will encourage a whole generation of new Capsuleers to be Bold and go steal the gas/Arkonor of the wealthy nullsec and wormhole dwellers.

The new Prospect frigate

The new Prospect frigate

I hope the success of the Venture (and doubtlessly the new Prospect) will encourage CCP to keep creating ships that are so wonderfully fit-for-purpose.

The new Mordu’s Legion ships look pretty swanky, but since we have no stats on them yet it’s sort of hard to say anything about them beyond “I like kitey-missile-y ships”.

Naturally, no fanfest is complete without a spiffy trailer, and the wonderful trailer-people at CCP did not disappoint (they rarely do, really).

I really hope there will be some additional info on what the fuck is actually happening and where this mysterious uber-gate leads. Preferably presented in a format where those of us who never PvE can enjoy it. (hint hint: CCPers, gimme a few Chronicles on this)

The Bad

As ever, the quality of some of the presentations was wildly variable, which is fine; not everyone is an amazing speaker. I just can’t shake the feeling however that the selection of what is “main stage” style content could be better. While I find server and platform information very cool, it’s such a niche interest it belongs on the side show.

While CCP has moved forwards with updating an old segment of code/game design in the Industry corner, some stuff still remains broken and dumb beyond belief. I think it was 4 fanfests ago someone promised there would be a new POS system. Nowhere to be found. Deployable deadspace? Nowhere to be found. I realize there is a limit to the amount of labour that is available but come on guys…


The Ugly

Dust/Legion. I don’t even have words to describe what a PR clusterfuck that keynote was. Even considering the rather grim message that needed to be sent there, THERE ARE WAYS TO SAY THINGS PEOPLE.

Nervously trying to slither around the facts when you are not nearly capable enough as a speaker to do so convincingly worsens the impact.

If you ever need to bring this exact news again, try this:

“Dust, as you know it, will end. In time it will be replaced by Legion and we will engage ourselves to make sure you guys can transfer over your characters into this exciting new game instead. We love all you guys, but our options on the current platform are too limited to continue developing on it. So we’re taking all we’ve learned, and all you’ve taught us, and we’re building all of you a better game.”

Or something to that end. It’s not so hard, try writing down your speech before hobbling onto a stage and telling a whole bunch of people who flew to you island to hear about the game they play that “haha it’s fucked and we’re not sure you can migrate later lel”


In closing

I personally think that the direction we’re seeing this Fanfest is a good one, a more agile release schedule plus (at long last) the realization that without fixing a lot of legacy systems we’re never truly moving forwards with jesus-features is a hopeful thing to see.

I look forwards to seeing which of the many dusty old features will be brushed off and made shiny next.

3 thoughts on “What I think: Fanfest 2014

  1. Whmm

    We discussed this earlier. The whole Dust thing was a total bust. Well done on the report!

  2. Eric Nielson

    Hallo, Dis is Ghazi. I’ll be in The Netherlands sometime in late August. Any chance you are going to be around for me to cash in those video card beers you owe me? 😉 ericnielson@gmail

    • Helicity Boson

      yes it is.

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