Since I still do not own a laptop, or an iPad which seems much more convenient for these types of things, I’m writing this all well after the events. I’ve been more sloppy in my note taking this year, so sorry if I forgot anything obvious. Also, I’m only writing this now, as I needed some downtime after returning home. It’s like one of those vacations after which you need another vacation because they were so intense. Loved every minute of it though, and want to go back right now. Only a year and less than a month to go!
Tuesday: Travel, settling in and kicking things off
Started off with a delayed departure, which left me little time to change flights in Copenhagen. I was supposed to meet Adrian Schultze there, but we only met up once in Keflavik airport. A friend of his, Damir Delon, was kind enough to give us and the other arrivals — Mashie Saldana and Eomar — a ride over to Room with a View, the apartment hotel where the ‘Veto blob’ traditionally stays at.
After settling in we went to the Kex hostel for food and drinks. Really nice place, love the atmosphere and the food is great as well. There was a live jazz band playing, but as it was just too loud and erratic, we settled for something a little more quiet and had a nice night of drinking and socializing at Islenski Barinn (my favourite!).
Wednesday: Lazy day, chilli and beer
Ouch, alcohol resistance has greatly suffered under the fact I don’t tend to drink — save the occasional glass of wine with food — unless I go out / am with friends, and that had been a while again. No real hangover, but slept in until past noon. After enjoying a few hours of doing nothing (read: reading on my Kindle) I decided it was a good day to go and stock up on groceries, so Eomar and me went shopping.
Having paid attention, I knew about the awesome that is Skyr, and decided this was going to be my breakfast for the rest of the week. Excellent idea. Seriously, if you have not yet tried it, do it next time you’re there, or consider splurging on export stuff (US and Scandinavia gets it). It’s a kind of yoghurt, with a different texture and taste, and I think it may just have overtaken Greek yoghurt for me. Too bad it’s not yet quite as popular that it is available where I live.
In retrospect, it is good that I decided to relax and catch up on sleep, because a busy schedule was ahead in the evening. We returned to Kex for a big chilli dinner, and after that attended the beer monologues, an entertaining and informative show about beer, which of course included sampling beers. Learned that Iceland has some really fine white beer (Einstök Ölgerð), which the host managed to tell us is something that originates from Belgium (whoo!). Right up my alley, this beer stuff.
Having done our cultural duty, we set off for the Celtic Cross to join in on the #tweetfleetmeet. Tweeps represent! It was packed again, though unlike last year, we didn’t drink the bar empty. At least I think we didn’t. The end is a bit blurry again. I do remember talking to some Goonfleet people, alas didn’t manage to get a squeeky bee again. However, I did hug the lovely CCP Punkturis. I think she even knew who I was. Mission succesful there. Noticed Diana Dial from EveTimeCodes around as well, though I didn’t properly say hello to her. Probably a lot of other people as well. May order a t-shirt for next year, in order to properly stand out.
Thurday: Fanfest day 1
Since things started later on in the day, and people needed whiskey, Jinx Denton drove us to a shopping mall, after which we went for hamburgers. The important things sorted — food and drink, that is — we set off to Harpa.
What an excellent location! It does really look like a station, except with too much glass to actually work out in space. The downside of the new venue being so new is that decoration was limited, from what I heard being due to Harpa not knowing how big this was going to be and thus not wanting to risk damage that decoration may leave to the property. Considering the theme was going to be Minmatar, I can imagine they wouldn’t be amused by fake rust everywhere.
The first presentation I attended was Crimewatch. Not just because CCP Masterplan had insisted on Veto — which by extension includes me — attendance the day before, but also because this stuff is really interesting to me. While I’ve been laying low on the piracy due to various reasons, any changes to this are a must-know in my book, not only for when shooting other people but because they form the very backbone of stability within the game. Turn it off and you will have complete anarchy within minutes, I’m sure. Very interesting to get an insight in the current workings, and after seeing what a mess it is, I am pretty amazed it just works and so well too. I like the simplified flagging system, buying sec status, simplified travelling rules (so no more need for -1.9 to go into Jita, just be above -5) and of course UI improvements. I suppose sec status to +10 through ‘anti-pirating’ is also worth mentioning, as this could lead to it becoming a proper playstyle.
Then I moved over to the Crucible Roundup. Since there is no recording of this, the specifics escape me (I probably did some tweets about it, but :effort: to dig those back up), but suffice to say it was indeed a great expansion that came at the right time, and that it is a trend they want to continue on with. Also, CCP Soundwave mentioned how he rage-implemented the corp bookmarks. Later on during Fanfest, he did get called out for that, as it can be seen as developer favouritism. I personally think it is a tale that might have better gone untold, but it sure is a handy feature to have.
Since another CCPer, GM Radiance to be precise, insisted on attendance, I made my way over to the Ladies with Laz0rs roundtable. Got to meet up with Sindel Pellion, who I know from the #tweetfleet, but didn’t manage to catch at the Celtic Cross the day before. Also was nice to see Matariki Rain there, who I know from roleplay and blogging, as well as Tsumei Meyren, CEO of GIRL. Everyone got a chance to introduce themselves and talk a little about what they do in the game, which was nice to see how very diverse it gets, and how both old players as well as very new ones were attending. The general oppinion was that ‘women on the internet’ is slowly but surely becoming more accepted, although some still had horror stories to share, and others admitted that they sometimes took advantage of the situation. It is EVE after all, so if people want to give you ISK for that, why not.
And then, the Dust 514 keynote! I can see myself sitting on the first row, which while a bit of a strain on the neck was the best spot to be seated at that time. Especially because of seeing this. Hate or love what CCP is doing, but the whole orbital bombardment is just way cool. For me, and possibly for many others, that was the time where it really dawned on me that barriers are being broken here. It is one thing to have something like EVE Gate or the API to use other devices to interact with EVE, but these are two distinct games sharing one world. I got goosebumps.
Excited by what we had seen, we went out for dinner, passing on the Alliance panel. With the whole ‘Mittanigate’ incident, kind of glad I weren’t there, although that really spun way more out of control than it should have gotten, but was correctly addressed by CCP in the end. Most of the guys went for whale and other seafood, but I joined the smaller group that opted for Kex instead. I know it is totally acceptable in Iceland, and I tried a small sampling last year, but I wanted something a bit less controversial (by my ethics) on my dinner plate.
As there were two more days to go, the evening was spent leisurely watching movies and enjoying the drinks we had bought. Whiskey for the guys, and gin & tonic for me, as even after trying the quality stuff it seems I just ain’t a whiskey person.