EVE Evolved: What to expect from EVE Fanfest 2016

Ask the average gamer what he knows about EVE Online and after the word “boring” and a spreadsheet joke or two, he’ll probably talk about stories of massive scams, colossal space wars and savage politics. Though EVE is well known for its cut-throat in-game universe, the shared struggles of players have created some very close-knit communities and enduring friendships over the years. Those online communities and friendships bleed into the real world for a few special days each year when the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik plays host to the annual EVE Fanfest. In-game rivalries are set aside, mortal enemies buy each other beers, and everyone celebrates their shared love of internet spaceships.

Fanfest is an opportunity for CCP Games to interact directly with the game’s most dedicated fans, and is usually packed full of reveals, roundtable discussions, and player-run talks. EVE Fanfest 2016 kicks off in just a few days on Thursday 21st April and runs until Saturday 23rd, and Massively OP will be on the ground again this year to get the latest information on EVE Online, Valkyrie, and even some brand-new projects. The event schedule has been released, and it looks like there are also some fantastic player talks, panels on recent and future changes, and feedback-gathering roundtables. As usual, there will also be plenty of opportunity for interviews and posing questions to CCP and players.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the EVE Fanfest 2016 schedule and see what there is to look forward to this year. If you have any questions you’d like to be posed to CCP or even other players, let me know in the comments!

astrahaus2Citadel expansion and beyond

CCP revealed the broad details of its impending structure revamp at last year’s Fanfest and filled in the fine details of the Citadel expansion at EVE Vegas 2015. The actual expansion is due to launch on April 27th, so we’ve already seen everything that’s coming in it. The recent Citadel mass test on the test server even demonstrated a full-on fleet fight over a colossal Keepstar citadel. After the Fanfest opening ceremony on Thursday are the Updates on New Eden talk and the EVE Online keynote speech, at which we’ll probably get a summary of what’s in Citadel and what comes next after it.

fanfest-2Valkyrie and brand-new projects

CCP’s virtual reality dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie was first unveiled to the press and general public at EVE Fanfest 2013, and every year since then it’s had its own dedicated demo section. It’s been fascinating to watch the game develop from event to event, but this year will be special as the game officially launched less than a month ago. There are a few talks on Valkyrie throughout the event, so we’ll likely get a summary on its launch and future plans and also some hands-on time with the current release.

The most interesting item on the schedule is the Chaos Project Room, in which CCP plans to show off some brand new projects it’s been working on that could be VR-related. Last year we saw the formation of a new VR Labs division within CCP and got to try out four interesting tech demos, one of which was later polished up and released as Gunjack. CCP has since secured a $30 million investment for VR, so there’s sure to be some more VR demos to play this year. I’ll also see if I can get an update on the DUST 514 PC reboot codenamed Project Legion that we learned might be in development limbo last year.

fanfest-3Player talks and roundtable events

This year’s Fanfest schedule seems to focus quite heavily on player-led panels and feedback-gathering roundtable events. The Friday slots are absolutely packed full of hour-long talks from players who are experts in various topics. There’ll be presentations on life as a fleet commander, wormhole space, the new player experience, the mysterious drifter faction, the economics of war, tips for Valkyrie pilots, and a lot more. Of particular note is Thursday’s presentation from EVE historian Andrew Groen, who has recently released his kickstarted book Empires of EVE: A History of the Great Wars of EVE Online.

A series of roundtable events will be running throughout Friday and Saturday, giving EVE and Valkyrie players a chance to voice their concerns and pitch ideas directly to the developers. I always make a point of attending some of these as they aren’t streamed and often contain useful nuggets of information that aren’t revealed elsewhere. They also give a good sense of what players are thinking and what direction CCP is going to go with certain features in the long term. The capital ships and nullsec roundtables on Friday are likely to be packed and extremely interesting given the activity in EVE‘s recent war, so I’ll definitely try to make it to those. Saturday has roundtables on everything from wormholes and PvE to the new player experience, so some of those will also be well worth checking out.


EVE Fanfest 2016 is just days away, and we’ll be on the ground to get the latest on EVE Online, Valkyrie and CCP’s brand new projects. If you aren’t able to attend, you can tune in to CCP’s official livestream from home when it begins, and you can follow our coverage at the EVE Fanfest 2016 tag here on Massively OP and @nyphur on Twitter. If there’s any specific talk or event you’d like to me to check out while I’m there or a particular question you’d like posed to developers or players, let me know in the comments!

EVE Online expert Brendan ‘Nyphur’ Drain has been playing EVE for over a decade and writing the regular EVE Evolved column since 2008. The column covers everything from in-depth EVE guides and news breakdowns to game design discussions and opinion pieces. If there’s a topic you’d love to see covered, drop him a comment or send mail to brendan@massivelyop.com!
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