Did Fanfest 2017 kill my engagement with Eve?
Will Fanfest 2018 revitalize it?
Yes, yes, not dead yet though an observer could understandably think so given that both my last blog post and my last killboard entry occur in June 2017. How could that happen? I just got back from FanFest, wrote a couple articles for Crossing Zebras about it, and even appeared on the MindClash podcast. Exciting stuff, right? The kind of thing that carries your enthusiasm for the game forward for months!
Fanfest 2017 was famously low on new announcements. Quite deliberately CCP did not make a big reveal that only FanFest attendees would hear (and capitalize on) first. The Kyonoke Inquest was pretty much the venue where something new and interesting was happening, and there was a lot of excitement about what it might mean for the in-game universe. The answer was: pretty much nothing.
After Fanfest I returned to the action in Faction Warfare, except there wasn't much action in FW itself. As I wrote in May 2017:
In my smaller corner of cluster the Gallente Militia have moved on to attempt to invade the Amarr side of factional warfare. This is pretty much entirely because the Caldari suddenly disappeared from the war in any effective sense. When I last found that my interest in Eve was waning I took a vacation in my Stratios. I came back because there was of the sudden rush of the Caldari against our war zone, and I felt motivated to help defend my friends at arms in the militia. Now as I look at how things are moving in terms of content it seems unlikely that should I go on another vacation there will be a new content source such as that to pull me back.
And pretty much that was true. The Gallente forces went on to invade nullsec due to the lack of any legitimate FW opposition. If you're reading this blog you probably know all about that, but if not check out Galmilistan: The Accidental Empire on CZ. Despite training into capitals that might actually make sense to use in null, I found I never really had the energy to have my stuff shipped off to nullsec to join the action there.
Fanfest 2017 brought something else into my life that has probably been the biggest challenge to my Eve time: photography. Iceland is beautiful, and I spent a week seeing it before Fanfest got started, trying to capture some of that beauty with my old, entry-level DSLR. There was a reddit thread from two years ago or so where someone mentioned going to Iceland and renting a camper, intending to do a tour of Iceland and then go to Fanfest. He never made it to Fanfest - Iceland was just too amazing for him to stop traveling and seeing the incredible geography to want to go sit in the exhibition hall with his internet spaceship friends. I completely get that.
Photography has taken up a lot of my spare time and money since then. Taking classes and going to workshops. Learning how to better use my camera and how to edit photos. All this from a guy who is an engineer by education and a manager by profession, now looking at learning things that a freshman art school student probably already knows. Yeah, I'm not challenging Rixx Javiks on the art front. At night if I'm sitting down at the computer and have two hours or so until bed, do I want to edit photos, read about photography, or browse other people's work for inspiration? Or do I see if there is a roam that is going to run around the Gal/Cal warzone to see if there is any content to be had or (seems as likely) log off having found nothing more than a single gank? How much do I want to anchor in a Machariel, suck up some void bombs, and see anyone is going to defend this timer from us?
Don't get me wrong - Fanfest 2017 was a great experience. I enjoyed meeting all sorts of players and Eve "celebrities". I enjoying covering the Kyonoke Inquest for CZ. There wasn't much from the CCP presentations, yeah, but it looks like they learned from that given Eve Vegas. I'm still following Eve podcasts like Declarations of War, High Drag, and Mindclash (though not as regularly). I'm interested to see where Ash's new Eve Universe podcast goes. From that Eve meta I hear that just maybe there will be some big reveals at Fanfest 2018. Are we finally ready to have more from the Drifter storyline? Are we going to be able to build stargates? Is CCP going to do something that will revitalize Factional Warfare?
Hah hah, yeah okay, that last one was a joke. No, CCP isn't going to do anything for FW.
But I'll be listening for Fanfest 2018. My subscription expires at the end of April. Maybe I'll futz around as an Alpha from time to time after that. Maybe Eve will continue to fade away. Or maybe, just maybe, something will come up that changes my mind.