EVE Online Fanfest 2011 roundup: Day 2

It's day two of CCP's enormous party at the top of the world, and Massively is right here to find out what the future holds for EVE Online. In yesterday's day 1 roundup, we covered a fantastic presentation on Incursion by CCP Soundwave, an enlightening question-and-answer session with EVE's Council of Stellar Management, and the hilarious (but absolutely not work-safe) alliance leader panel. Today has been similarly packed with activity. We've seen some great presentations on what's to come in the summer expansion, and the keynote speech discussed some very exciting developments due to hit EVE in the near future.

Highlights of today included a video of Incarna's "captain's quarters" that we'll be getting as part of the summer expansion, details of massive server upgrades heading to Tranquility, and details of some awesome quality-of-life changes coming soon thanks to Team Best Friends Forever. There was so much awesome information to share that we unfortunately had to miss the chessboxing match to get it out in a timely manner. We missed Icelandic game developers punching each other in the face to write this up, so I hope you find it interesting!

Read on for a roundup of what happened today at the EVE Fanfest, along with detailed explanations of a few personal highlights from today's festivities and what we can expect to come later.

Friday's events

As I mentioned in yesterday's event roundup, CCP uses the Fanfest to gather critical feedback from players on a wide range of topics. Today's round-table discussion touched on the topics of Public Relations, the new player experience, nullsec, PvE, science & industry, content development, PvP, unconventional gameplay, the economy and the ISD volunteer programme. There were also special round-tables for German players, Russian players, and anyone who plays EVE on a Mac.

Today's series of talks and presentations began early in the morning with two Dev Track events for EVE tool designers and app developers. Participants discussed developing websites to take advantage of special features in EVE's in-game browser and the regular static data dump. There was a short presentation from each of CCP's sponsors and partners, who contribute technology that helps make EVE what it is today. There were further talks on the Incarna captain's quarters, the war on lag, the EVE economy, and content. The big features today were, of course, the keynote speech and the chessboxing match.

Personal highlights: Captain's quarters presentation

Incarna has always been a hot topic in the EVE community. We've gotten so used to EVE being all about internet spaceships that any change in development focus feels almost like abandonment. The community is split, with some players looking forward to getting out of their pods and others vehemently insisting that it's a waste of development resources. Today's panel on the topic was enlightening, and it really showed the direction CCP is planning to take with Incarna.

This summer will see the first release of Incarna, which is being rolled out in stages in a similar manner to the rollout of the Incursion expansion. In this first release, the station hangar screen will be replaced with a new captain's quarters interface. Consoles and other objects in that environment will give easy access to a new set of tools, such as a new corporate recruitment interface, planet management and a market ticker.

Those worried that actions might take longer in the captain's quarters than through a standard interface can also relax. The standard neocom and station services panel are all still there and are all still accessible. Docking to switch ships won't take longer with captain's quarters than without. The captain's quarters won't be customisable in the initial summer release, with each race instead getting one option. CCP's plan is definitely to include customisation options later, as the team wants players to be able to personalise their in-station homes.

Below is a video we snagged of a current work-in-progress version of the Minmatar captain's quarters.

Personal highlights: Keynote speech

If you didn't catch the keynote speech on the live stream, you really missed something great. Led by EVE's Senior Producer Arnar Gylfason (CCP Zulu), the keynote served as a way to wrap up everything from a number of previous presentations and really give players an overview of what CCP has been up to this year and where it's headed in the next few months. We saw some impressive stats on recent server upgrades, with developers revealing they'd be the first company in the EU to own a new unannounced $50,000 IBM server using a new unannounced Intel processor. If that's not cutting-edge, I don't know what is.

We got a first look at some incredible new turret effects and got some new information on the tattoos, piercings and scars coming to the character creator in the near future. The ultimate goal with the body modifications is allow players to place them anywhere, rotate them, scale them and even build up full-sleeve tattoos. Also in the keynote was a list of several really awesome quality-of-life changes coming in the next few months, courtesy of Team Best Friends Forever. Head over to our dedicated keynote roundup post for the full details of all the new information released in the keynote.


The lack of information on DUST 514 leads me to believe that it's a long way from completion. Developing an MMOFPS is a hefty task, and with CCP's ambitious plan to link DUST with EVE, I wouldn't be surprised if the game were still years away from completion. In tomorrow's "CCP Presents" event, CEO Hilmar Petursson and a series of guests will be discussing the future of EVE and of CCP as a company. I can't imagine this event passing without something being said about DUST 514, and we'll be there to find out what that is.

We interviewed EVE's Senior Producer Arnar Gylfason today on topics ranging from Sansha incursions and CCP's vision for Incarna to CCP's new NPC tools and what is being done to tackle botting in EVE. I found that Arnar's refreshing vision for EVE is shared by a lot of players. We'll be publishing this interview shortly after the conclusion of Fanfest.

If you'd like to know more about the captain's quarters and how the new feature will affect the way you play the game, tune in to the EVE Evolved column this Sunday!

Shawn has been snapping photos of the Fanfest festivities and has rounded them up into this handy gallery. We'll be updating the gallery with new photos all throughout tomorrow and on Sunday at the conclusion of the event.
This article was originally published on Massively.