That went fast. Very fast.
I was sitting there in the big auditorium with Nosy Gamer and Dire Necessity and Mynxee and Johnny Splunk as CCP Guard and CCP Falcon said from the stage that EVE Vegas 2017 was over and I think the reaction among several of us was, “Wait, it’s done? That’s it?”
It seemed like too short of a weekend. Still, a lot happened.
CCP expanded on some of the things they were talking for the upcoming Life Blood expansion. We already knew the Guristas were going to get a shipyard in north null sec, a mirror of the Blood Raiders in the south. We learned that there would/could be up to three Guristas shipyards up at once as well as the capital ship blue prints they would drop; they include a faction version of the Phoenix dreadnought and Leviathan titan, which both can launch fighters in keeping with the usual Guristas theme.
There was also some updates on the new moon mining structures, how they will work, and some video of them in action.
But I think High Sec got a lot more attention than in past presentations. There were, of course, the Guristas and Blood Raiders outposts, mini versions of the shipyards to find in empire space.
Then there was the announcement that moon mining would be coming to high sec with the new structures. It will only be available in 0.5 sec status systems, and only deliver ore and not moon goo, but you can still get supercharged rocks out of it that boost yield for your mining op.
There was also the update to The Agency, which is slated to be the all-in-one place for finding PvE content. It won’t just be for events any more.
But I think the big thing for high sec will be Resource Wars. That is a new, co-op PvE system where you can join in, but don’t have to fleet up, to either mine or kill pirates to help your empire gather resources for rewards. Semi-sorta public quest-like in nature, it touches on the three things I was going on about with EVE Online PvE. They will provide progression of a sort with some meaning (akin to missions), have predictable return on investment, and are somewhat on demand through The Agency interface. I want to try them out when they go live.
In the grand tradition of the game, I am sure somebody will be complaining about all of this. CCP can’t add anything to the game without some people saying it isn’t enough while others bitch that it is too much focus on somebody else. I just see new stuff and am happy.
Then there was the expansion of Alpha clones, which created what might be called an “Alpha Plus” or “Alpha Prime” class of players. That will need its own post, but there is an article about it up at PC Gamer. (Also, I briefly met Steve Messner, the author, and got to thank him for linking to one of my posts last month.)
And, in addition we got updates on Project Nova and heard about the new Project Aurora (which some people got to play), both of which represent CCP figuring out that maybe they should team up with other developers when they make something in an arena they have not mastered.
Anyway, there are many other articles on the presentations and I will probably do posts about individual things later. Suffice to say, much was learned about upcoming releases and plans going forward.
EVE Vegas always features some player presentations, and the ones I saw this time around were all excellent. These are the ones I managed to sit in on.
Mike Azariah of A Missioneer in EVE spoke about finding your own path to “win” in EVE Online.
Eveline Vos and Keskora Yaari talked about the nature of life and conflict in wormhole space which, as an outsider to that corner of New Eden, was very interesting.
Emmaline Fera, a friend from Twitter, gave a simply awesome presentation on EVE Online leadership skills and how they transfer back and forth to real life. I would love to see this again or at least get the presentation.
Matterall gave an hour long presentation that followed the experiences of a single NCDot player from the OTEC era through to today. This was especially interesting as my own time in null sec started just before OTEC (I came in during the war against White Noise) and closely paralleled the story, only on the other side of every conflict. Addendum: Somebody recorded it off of the Twitch stream.
Debes Sparre (who used to comment here now and again) and Elise Randolph gave a presentation about building fleet doctrines that was very good. I liked that they framed as a parallel to ship fitting. As you pick modules for your ship, so you pick ships to fill out your doctrine. They also promised to put their presentation and final fittings up on the web.
And then there was the usual Max Singularity presentation. This time around his New Eden Physics Class 101 developed a consistent tech lore as to why ships in New Eden behave the way they do. This was, in part, covered by his submission to the Frigates of EVE book, but he gave us the expanded, one-hour presentation as to why our ships work they way they do. I can only hope that this all ends up some place where we can reference it at some point. Anyway, now I have to buy that book as well.
Demos & the EVE Store
CCP had the usual array of demo stations and such setup in another room.
I went and tried out Sparq for a bit. It is interesting, but perhaps not as accessible as Wii Sports, to which it has been compared. The VR aspect of it is cool and immersive, but I still had problems just getting my hands to go exactly where I wanted them. I don’t know if I’m just clumsy (high probability) or if the PlayStation 4 VR just isn’t as precise as I expected it to be. Also, I could never quite get how big the shield on my hand was for deflecting shots. It looks tiny from your own perspective, but you can see your opponant’s shield and it looks much bigger. The fact that you cannot have local matches is probably the biggest hindrance to the game. (Unless your friend brings over their PS4 and VR headset to play.)
EVE Valkyrie: Warzone was on display of course. Oddly though… or perhaps not… there were no VR headsets with that demo. They wanted people to play the non-VR version, with stations setup to use keyboard and mouse and others with the XBox controller. I didn’t try that out, but I bought a copy on Steam, so I’ll have a post about that later.
And then in the same room was the EVE Store, which finally had some decent items available. And I mean simple things, like a T-shirt that just said EVE Online, that should have been there by default last year. Also a year late was a Warp to the Dance Floor T-shirt.
Of course, it isn’t the EVE Store without some sort of screw up. They were supposed to have EVE Vegas 2017 pins, but they were delayed so didn’t make it to Vegas. I was told I would have to order them through the online store. But the online store was completely failing to work with my phone browser, so I figured I would just order one when I got home. But they were apparently only for sale during the event, so I missed out. Bleh.
I did buy my daughter a Permaband T-shirt. Her response was very “meh.”
There were many. Over a thousand. I did not speak to nearly enough of them.
Nosy Gamer, Dire Necessity, and I went to Holstein’s over at the Cosmopolitan where, once again, Dire order the shake with the comically large addition. Last year it was a whole slice of pumpkin pie. This year it was pretty much a whole ice cream sandwich in his cookies and cream shake.
I also had a great dinner with Debes Sparre where we did the usual thing that long timers in the tech industry do; exchanged work horror stories.
The Linq hotel was a strange bird. I couldn’t quite place my finger on it until somebody pointed out that it used to be the old Imperial Palace hotel, the one-time cheapest place to stay on the strip. Caesar’s bought it and spiffed it up, but it was still a matter of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. So I had a room with very nice decor, but the hot water system isn’t of the recirculating type typical of nice hotels, so you have to wait for the water to warm up.
And nothing screams “high class” like soap dispensers attached to the wall in an otherwise very up scale shower.
There were also not enough elevators. The main set were slow, heavily used, and glitchy. I got in one that insisted on going up on every other stop, which made getting to the lobby a 10 minute ride. The elevator car of the dammed. And this situation wasn’t help by signs like this.
There was an elevator four doors down from my room with this sign, so I didn’t use it on the first day. Later I discovered that it would put me on the second floor about a dozen steps from some steps and a door that put me on the casino level, which is where you need to be to get anywhere. Those elevators were never busy. So, I guess technically there were enough elevators, but the hotel was scaring people away from some of them.
Also, I got lost at one point, as all three towers… or districts… connect on every floor so I ended up going to a room with almost the same number as mine.
So it wasn’t the Bellagio, but I have to admit that the room prices were pretty good for what you got. Of course, it probably helped that CCP didn’t book the event during Halloween again.
The party venue was like the Chateau of previous years on steroids. Bigger, better, and many more bars to serve up free drinks.
CCP Guard and a few other got up and sang some of the Permaband numbers, though Killing is Just Another Means was left off the play list due to recent events in Las Vegas.
Not being the party person I was 30 years ago, I went back to my room and went to bed after that. But there were many after parties and some people looked the worse for wear the next day.
Of course there were things to pick up, both from CCP and players, as part of the event.
CCP had a goody bag that came pre-loaded with some items, including three SKINs.
I redeemed them and immediately activated the Megathron SKIN on my main. I left the other two unredeemed wondering if I should send them to my Gallente Alpha alt, since he actually has the other two ships.
I have to send a special shout out to Dirk MacGirk who gave me one of this year’s Open Comms show T-shirt featuring the show advisory on the back.
I wore the T-shirt from last year at the event, as it is one of my prized EVE Online possessions.
There were other nice items, including a Signal Cartel card and poker chip from Mynxee and an event T-shirt featuring one of the new moon mining structures. I tried to sum that all up in one picture.
That star on my badge is from Mike Azariah certifying that I have “won” in EVE Online.
Blade Runner 2049
I went to the charity showing of Blade Runner 2049 that CCP hosted. No spoilers, but it helped to have seen the original… or the director’s cut I suppose, if you want to be technical…, it didn’t feel like 168 minutes sitting there, and you probably want to see it on the big screen.
A good time was had. I would do it again.
I haven’t covered nearly enough of what I saw and heard, and I am nearly 2,000 words in. More for further posts I guess. I am sure I have forgotten something major I wanted to mention.
And, naturally, after a weekend of EVE Vegas I feel like I need another weekend right away just to get back in my day-to-day stride. This no longer being young stuff sucks.