Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Heading To EVE Vegas 2017

By this evening I should find myself unpacking a few things in a hotel room in Las Vegas. For the third year I'm travelling to Sin City in order to attend EVE Vegas. The city isn't a place I would normally travel to, but with the largest collection of EVE players in North America each year why not?

Today is a travel day. Normally, I wouldn't worry, but with President Trump visiting Las Vegas in the aftermath of Sunday's horrible shooting from Mandalay Bay, who knows what might happen. With my luck, I'll get stuck on the tarmac for an hour or two waiting for Air Force One to take off before anyone can depart. Perhaps I should just hope he stays overnight.

On Thursday I only have two planned events. The first is to walk over to the Cosmopolitan for lunch. One of the restaurants makes delicious alcohol-laced milkshakes. I'll need a big meal to prepare for the second event. At 6pm, Dirk MacGirk, Dreydan Trovirr, and a whole bunch of others will broadcast the Open Comms show on their old day. I'll have to find out where the broadcast will take place.

On Friday morning, I plan to attend the Talking In Stations breakfast. For those unfamiliar with TiS, it is a podcast that records live on the Imperium News Twitch stream on Saturday mornings. In the interest of full disclosure, I have appeared on the stream/podcast a few times. I'll need to locate the restaurant on Thursday because I have the feeling I might wake up late and need to rush in order to get seated with the group.

After breakfast, I think we are all going to go to the registration area and get our badges. Apparently we get some discounts at local bars and restaurants, so we will indeed need our wristbands and badges.

The first three events I think almost everyone will want to attend. The first session at 2pm is a welcome session hosted by CCP Guard and CCP Falcon. Next comes the EVE Online Keynote at 3pm which will give attendees a look at what's coming up in the Lifeblood expansion in 3 weeks. Of interest is who will give the keynote as Executive Producer CCP Seagull is on maternity leave. Closing out the day's presentations is a session called "CCP Presents". If the session is like the similarly named sessions at Fanfest, we'll get to hear all about CCP's upcoming virtual reality products. If we're really lucky, we might find out the future of CCP's planned follow-up to DUST 514. I remember seeing job postings for the Reykjavik studio that suggest CCP is working on a new game. Whether that game is a new FPS game or something else gives me something to look forward to hearing.

Saturday's lineup of events looks better than what I've seen at Fanfest the past couple of years. At 10am CCP Affinity and CCP Vertex will give a 30 minute presentation on Resource Wars, a feature coming in Lifeblood that I look forward to giving a try. At 10:30, Mike Azariah takes the stage to talk about why the end game of EVE is so elusive.

At 11am, CCP Burger will give an hour-long presentation titled "Shipyards & Future PVE". I get the shipyards part as CCP is still rolling out structures. But future PvE? My curiosity is peaked.

We don't break for lunch until 1pm, which means Matterall will give his talk on Continuum of War to a crowd that may want to eat something. The Talking in Stations host will cover warfare from the Battle of Asakai to today.

When I originally looked at the schedule, I considered not coming back for the afternoon sessions. But the 2pm session on Upwell Structures is one that could prove extremely interesting. The speakers are CCP Fozzie and CCP Nagual. We may get some more concrete timing on what CCP Burger discusses in the morning. If anything, the description of the talk mentions the structures roadmap. I think for that alone I need to attend.

I don't plan to go to the 3pm sessions, but I might go and listen to CCP Rise discuss balance issues at 4pm. The title apparently is a bit misleading.

On Sunday, I think I'll sleep in a little and make CCP Punkturis and CCP Sharq's presentation at 11pm the first one I attend. I do want to find out the future of The Agency, and the presence of CCP Punkturis suggests we will get a lot of information about an improved user interface. Also, pink cartoon cats.

At noon, Max Singularity (aka The Space Pope) will give another lecture on the physics of spaceflight in the EVE universe.. Max contributed to the Frigates of EVE book and will explain more about how ships are powered. Max's lectures are must attend events at EVE gatherings.

I might take a long lunch on Sunday. But if I don't, I'll show up at the EVE Lore Q&A. I do like the lore so hearing the lore hounds pepper CCP Falcon and CCP Affinity with questions could prove enlightening.

The next two sessions are player presentations running 30 minutes each. The first is by Emmaline Fera titles "Leadership Lessons From EVE Online". Considering Emmaline works in the tech business, listening to her insight might make me laugh. She can get just a little sarcastic.

The final session before the closing ceremony is Elise Randolph and Debes Sparre discussing how to build doctrines. I figure by the time 3:30pm rolls around on Sunday, I won't feel like getting up to go anyplace else.

For those interested in the event but unable to fly out to Las Vegas, CCP will stream all three days on Twitch. As usual, those at the event will probably know less of what's happening than those at home. Considering Las Vegas is one of the few places on earth more expensive than Reykjavik, the ability to order out while watching saves on money also. As for me, I plan on treating Las Vegas like Chicago this year and take a little extra care walking around. Not only do I plan to stay safe, I might wind up saving a little money at the same time.

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