Our informal monthly EVE Online conversations are rolling again with CCP Swift and CCP Zelus.
LARPers | Applause | Faction Wars - EVE Online Interviews (July)
Our monthly EVE Online conversations are back! This is the first time we've spoken to the team since EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik in May, but as you may have noticed we've been publishing a lot of great EVE Online content instead... like our Space Pope interview, our EVEsports chat at 40,000ft with StarFleetCommander, and the continuation of our Stories of EVE series.
But now we're back in action. This time, instead of Saemmi and Bergur, we've got some equally charismatic chaps and icons of the community, both with encyclopaedic knowledge of the EVE scene. We have Community Developers Peter Farrell, aka CCP Swift (formerly Elise Randolph), and Aiden James Harvey, aka CCP Zelus (formerly General Stargazer).
Having watched both of their speeches at Fanfest, we knew exactly where to start...
We're returning to expansions and that high impact cadence.
Was Fanfest everything you wanted it to be after such a long wait?
CCP Swift (Peter): It sure was. It was absolutely amazing and completely weird to be at Fanfest as a CCPer. I was trying to be in a million places at once because I wanted to be everywhere. But man, it was just amazing to see the players after so long. Seeing all my EVE friends face to face was truly special. Some people were excited about the game announcements, some people couldn't care less about the announcements and were just excited to see one another. Either way, you could feel how super-amped everyone was, it was palpable.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): It was very much the same for me. The main event is Thursday to Saturday, but people arrived from the Monday! So we just started early; it was so good to be able to sit around a table, have a conversation, share a beer, and catch up. And, of course, that carried on after the official event ended too, the arena doors may have closed but the pub doors certainly didn't.
I wasn't ready for the pub by Sunday. What were your personal highlights?
CCP Swift (Peter): When we did the Invasion World Tour, we hit basically every continent and it was of course, international. But what makes Reykjavik super special is you'll just be walking down the street and you'll see or hear EVE players. You'll be like, "Oh my whole city is now just an EVE meet." It's not just in the arenas and conference halls, it's all over the place! I was literally just walking to dinner and happened by someone I had met playing EVE six or seven years ago. Instantly we just had a chat. It made me late to dinner, but it was amazing. Being able to have that happen is truly special.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): I had a few funny moments, the high spirits of karaoke included. Though I think one of the funniest, just random highlights I had -- and I was hoping I would have -- was seeing a bunch of individuals in their LARPing outfits zooming by me on e-scooters. Just seeing this small squadron of EVE players all dressed up flying by was one of the most hilarious things ever.
The Microsoft partnership announcement got the biggest round of applause I saw at the event. How have the player-base been receiving the other announcements?
CCP Swift (Peter): The Microsoft Excel one definitely got people wondering "Is this an old April Fool's joke or what?" The fact it's real is really taking people off guard. I think that's the one people are most excited for because it means you can do all sorts of tech stuff without having separate web developers, browsers, and monitors. Long story short, it will allow EVE players to do a lot of very complicated things a lot easier.
CCP Swift (Peter): For the most part, players at Fanfest took really well to all the announcements and understood everything. There's a big advantage over being at home because you can just go and ask a developer to clarify after their talks. Moving from keynotes to roundtables to discussions to restaurants and pubs is a great way to get your EVE fix. I think, whether they were faction warfare fans, Nullsec veterans or whatever, getting that really firm understanding really builds into the excitement.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): I'd echo that as well. A lot of my play history was faction warfare and so naturally so are a lot of my friends. They were ultra-pumped to hear the big faction warfare announcements, asking me "What about this?" and "What's this going to mean for that?"
Are the Faction Warfare updates the announcement you've been receiving the most questions on then?
CCP Swift (Peter): I think there has been the most curiosity around it. Faction warfare was incredibly popular when it was introduced way back in the day, and it's morphed through the years. We knew players have been calling for a major update to it, and at CCP we've always agreed it deserved more than the occasional tweak. We finally have the chance and resources to really commit to some nice changes. And those changes won't only affect faction warfare players but the overall game. Coupled with the learnings we had through Invasion and other massive events, we're going with this narrative led design that players can really get involved in. I think it's going to be a big one.
CCP Zelus (Aiden): I think the narrative interaction has been a big thing. So many people have approached me asking "Is this happening?", "Is this the thing?", and I've just got to reply "You've got to wait and see."
I guess you're going to give me the same answer?
CCP Swift (Peter): That's one of the annoying parts, right? Well annoying and exciting for me, because I know the whole story give or take. I know where players will be able to screw with it and what directions they'll be guided towards. But I just have to sit on my hands and clench my teeth when people are speculating -- desperately feigning ambivalence.
What about CCP London's FPS project? Or is that being kept under even tighter wraps?
CCP Zelus (Aiden): It's a tactical FPS shooter, but that's really all we can say. We're obviously very excited to share more when we can, but right now all we have is the concept art you saw on stage.
That concept art teaser certainly fulfilled its purpose. Are players responding positively to the move from Quadrants to Arcs?
CCP Swift (Peter): I'd say so. People have very fond memories of our big expansions. And when we had Quadrants it all became difficult to keep track of. When you looked back at the last 12 months holistically, you're like "Oh wow, a lot has happened." Yet because they happened incrementally, it doesn't feel like all that much has changed. So now, we're returning to expansions and that high impact cadence. It's more exciting when these big moments happen, you can look forward to it and plan around it. And players really like that change, especially when it's something different and they can theory-craft around how to tackle it.
August's EVE Online conversation will dive into the proxy wars taking place in New Eden, EVE's in-game photography movement, EVE Evolved, and much more. Stay tuned for the second part of our talk with Aiden and Peter in the next few weeks, or browse our catalogue of monthly EVE Online conversations.