I'm writing this from a hotel in Boston and won't get home until sometime this afternoon. But I thought I should write down some final impressions of Fanfest 2014.
First, the convention seemed anti-climatic. I think that was due to two reasons. The first is the flood of industry dev blogs released right before the convention began. That drew a lot of interest and then we were just digesting news during the convention. Usually, part of the energy is learning about new things. I didn't feel like that was the case this year.
The second reason is the people. I had a lot more interaction with people before the convention. Fanfest actually resulted in me toning down the socializing in order to track down news at the HARPA.
I think Fanfest 2014 closes EVE's run of 10 years of steadily climbing subscriptions. I say that because no one was celebrating the new, higher number of subs. I'm doubly convinced with the lack of the release of the CSM election results. Not only is no dev blog published (as of the time I write this) but I looked on the forums and I only saw a player-created thread with the results. Even when the dev blog is posted, I doubt we will see any data that will allow players to assume the number of subscriptions has increased.
I've stated before that the industry changes were necessary before the vision of s-space beyond the gates we build is possible. CCP Seagull in the EVE Keynote address spelled out that not only industry, but stations and structures (that includes POS), corporation and alliance structures and roles, and sovereignty and sov warfare all need a revamp before players can begin constructing their own stargates.
I also think that moving to a 6-week release cycle is potentially a good thing. Not only does that follow what is a growing practice in the industry, but I doubt CCP could implement the needed changes in core systems to enable players to build star gates if they didn't abandon the bi-yearly expansion development cycles. Of course, CCP needs to adapt to that development cycle like ArenaNet has done with their every 2-week content release schedule.
Speaking of building, I found out at the Vision panel that EVE of Destruction is not just a mixed-martial arts event. CCP Scarpia, the new lead game designer for EVE, would like to make everything destructible as well constructable. Since CCP Seagull was sitting right next to him, I'll wager he's not going off on his own. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that vision to occur soon.
On the server front, CCP Veritas and Team Gridlock look like they are making progress on improving server performance. The rewrite of the Dogma code should do that. With any luck, Team Gridlock will get the code in a state that they can release it onto Tranquility by the end of the year.
I think the security teams, both InfoSec and Team Security, will get very interesting this year. The new guy always wants to come in and make their mark. That means CCP Bugartist, who played EVE for 3 years before getting the job, could start trying to tighten the screws on botters and those selling illicit ISK even more. Changing the rules so that getting caught buying illicit ISK results in a seven-day ban for a first offense and a permanent ban for the third is a nice start. I can't wait to watch the presentation on YouTube. I think I missed a lot by actually watching it in person.
As for EVE: Valkyrie, I don't really care. I don't like combat flight simulators and that's what Valkyrie is. But a lot of people do, so I hope CCP is successful with bringing the game to market. And before anyone asks, I did try the game.
Finally, about DUST 514. I've watched SOE close down games like The Matrix and Star Wars: Galaxies and the following player gathering in Las Vegas turned into a wake for the game. I don't know how I would feel to take a trip and get the impression that the game I came to celebrate was now either dead or about to die. Especially if I spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to attend the event. Not cool.
I had planned to attend the DUST Keynote, but got tied up with the Security roundtable. That keynote is another session I have to watch.
I know I missed a bunch of other things, but I'll try to get around to writing posts with that information later. I really can't avoid doing so if I want to write about the industry changes. But those aren't really specific to Fanfest and I just jotted down the highlights of my experience in Reykjavik this year.