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Chronicles of a New Eden - What I Expect From Fanfest

Steven Messner Posted:
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EVE Fanfest is now exactly a month away, and for those of you who might be unfamiliar, it's one of the biggest weekends all year for EVE Online. Between Fanfest and EVE Vegas, which I covered extensively last year, both gatherings are a chance for CCP to shake hands with their players, talk to them about upcoming changes, announce new projects, and then get blindly drunk. It's a pretty good time.

Last year, EVE Vegas cemented itself as more than just the lesser of the two conventions when CCP came out swinging with a huge amount of information regarding the update to Citadels, which would be upending null-sec space in a big way. People were really surprised, and being in the audience and seeing all that information being revealed was a lot of fun.

But the question remains, can EVE Fanfest match the bar that Vegas set? Already it seems to be at a disadvantage considering that a flight to Vegas versus Iceland is the difference between a new gaming console and a used car. And while I've only had the opportunity to attend Vegas once, I can't help but wonder what Fanfest will be like. So here's a list of what I'm expecting.

Project Legion 2.0

Sadly, Dust 514 will be closing down on May 30th, which sucks because I know the game has cultivated a pretty diehard fanbase. But in its ashes a new PC shooter is being born out of the CCP Shanghai studio, and I, like everyone else, am extremely excited to see what the heck it actually is.

All we know so far is that this new shooter is a spiritual successor to Project Legion. But seeing how Project Legion never came out, that doesn't give us much to go with. Since Project Legion always felt like a spiritual successor to Dust 514, my hope is that the same foundation is present in this new shooter, just not chained down by the measly power of the PS3.

If CCP games can find some way to better weave this new shooter and EVE Online together, that's even better. Dust 514 always felt like it had the slimmest connection with the EVE universe, but now that both shooter and MMO will be on the same platform, I think the potential is a much bigger.

One thing I've always thought would be amazing in the EVE universe would be the ability to infiltrate spaceships during a battle. If you could sign up as a mercenary with an EVE player and have them launch you onto an enemy vessel that you then battle over for certain debuffs during the fight in EVE Online, that'd be really cool.

More hands on time with Valkyrie

I've been lucky enough to play Valkyrie a few times, but each one was the small demo from last year that only featured about 5 minutes of dogfighting before an Avatar warped on field and blew everything to high heaven. I've been hearing that there's a much bigger demo out there, which also gives a better understanding of exactly what EVE: Valkyrie is, which is exactly what I'm looking for.

Though I'm definitely excited to play Valkyrie when it launches, I'm still confused as to what you're doing when you're not actively killing people. Is this a more arcadey shooter like Rogue Squadron? Or do things have a bit more attention paid worldbuilding and pacing like Freelancer?

I'm not sure if any of these questions matter, to be honest, because the moment to moment dogfighting is a ton of fun. But I'm still curious to know what kind of game Valkyrie is shaping up to be.

A sneak peek at EVE Online's next big update

Okay, this one might be a little bit foolish to wish for, considering the current Citadels update hasn't even been pushed out the door yet. But I am hoping CCP gives us some idea of what we can expect in the next year from them. Now that they've moved back to the (much better) development model of pushing out big content expansions with smaller ones to fill in the gaps, I'm hoping we see much more drastic changes to EVE Online. So forgive me if I'm just a little excited to know what's next.

Really, really expensive beer

I talked to someone who had been to Fanfest in the past and asked them what I should expect, this was their response. If you also plan on attending, maybe keep this in mind. I heard it was almost $20 a bottle. Yay.

Anyway, those are some of the things I'm really hoping we get to see more of at this year's Fanfest. Of course, getting a microscopic insight into all the changes that CCP is doing is also fascinating, but I've always been a big picture guy. That said, if you're attending Fanfest or plan on following it closely from home, what are some of the things that you're looking for out of the event? Let us know in the comments!


Steven Messner

Steven is a Canadian freelance writer and EVE Online evangelist, spreading the good news of internet spaceships far and wide. In his spare time, he enjoys writing overly ambitious science fiction and retweeting pictures of goats. Speaking of retweeting, you should probably drop everything and go follow him on Twitter @StevenMessner