Fanfest 2017 Review – Part 1: LARPing at H4-RP4

For any Australian (or CCP employee coming to EveDownUnder), the trip to Iceland is painful at best – nearly 24 hours on three planes, and thats not including the stopovers in-between.

But it is a pilgrimage that pays off.  The feeling of being surrounded by so many spaceship nerds at once is indescribable at best – you merely walk into a bar and soon the cry of “spaceships” can be heard, telling you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

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Spreading Love…and by Love, I Mean Lasers

As is true with nearly every Eve meet I’ve been to, its the player interactions that make or break the experience you have (funny how that kind of parallels the game itself really).

From the many gatherings at Nora’s, breakfasts at the Laundromat, delicious subs at Nonni’s and the (infamous???) hotdog stand, not to mention all the magnificent people I finally got to meet face-to-face, so many fantastic memories were made over the last two weeks…and thats not withstanding the actual Fanfest event itself.

And so it was that the LARP event (with ann-game location more cringe-worthy than a Fozzy Bear joke) worked as a fantastic way of getting capsuleers interacting with one another – especially for those like myself who normally would rather sit in the corner and watch from a distance – and working together towards a common goal.

The situation over the last few months had become dire for the citizens of New Eden and this inquest had the potential to fundamentally alter to future of the galaxy.

Inquest Propaganda
Inquest Propaganda

From the introduction of “Ret Gloriax from the ‘Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriax'” you knew you were in for a ride.  Everyone involved bought into the act (even if it took the first day to kind of work out how things worked), cheesyness and all.

Running missions for each of the factions had capsuleers running around spreading rumours, taking discrete photos of suspected targets and generally working together to solve the puzzle of developing a cure for the Kyonoke Plague.

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Spreading Rumours for the Greater Good (The Greater Good)

Throughout the event, pieces of information where gradually uncovered, to be brought together for everyone to analyse to search for clues as to what was really happening.  It added an extra layer to the event and I do hope that CCP provide a summary/copy of everything that was unearthed during the event.

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The Space Pope Finds a Clue

However it was the little details that went unnoticed until the very end that made me realise the depth to which everything had been developed.

At one point I had attempted to speak to the Gallente Pleasure Hub hosts (who may/may not have been covert agents for the FIO) who insisted I follow his dance moves.

And down, up, left, left, and right.

At the time I thought it was just some nonsense I had to do to get the mission card, but it wasn’t until the closing ceremony that it clicked that the dance moves were actually the combination to the lock on the case containing the antidote.

Funnily enough, the mission I actually obtained from the guy tasked me with covertly photographing a person wearing yellow.  While we weren’t aware of it at the time, the fugitive survivor of the Kyonoke antidote had disguised themselves as a scope camera operator, all of whom had been wearing yellow.

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Covert Gallente Operation – Photograph someone in yellow

Of course it was also fun to sit back and just watch the interactions that took place throughout the event.  Whether it was the Amarrian priest really getting on the nerve of the Caldari Officer-in-Charge or the Female Gallente Hospitality Host (who responded to his endless surmons by drowning him out with loud techno music).

And there ther were the capsuleers who really got in on the act – for example a number of the Pheonix Naval Systems boys getting dragged out of the Minmatar Research Facility after asking whether there were any more “slave missions” to be had.

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“Do you have any more slave missions?”

Nor could I forget to mention the snatch and grab by Xenuria, who managed to take off with the stockpile of vote tokens (giving himself away by their distinctive clink as he fled the room).  Alas he was soon nabbed in what could only be described as an image of meme-worthy proportions.

But all of this paled in comparison to the effort of my fellow ‘Strayans.  Needless to say I think all of AUTZ would not be welcomed back next year after this stellar performance by a bunch of scrubs.

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AUTZ Represent!!!

Of course, right at the very end, the ultimate goal was achieved, with the missing survivor, Akira Kasaras, found and the antidote synthesised from her blood.

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Akira Kasaras – Safe at Last?

There are still a number of questions to be answered following the event, and I do hope that CCP keep this storyline open for some time.  The presence of a clone jacker should have everyone concerned, as well as the potential for Kyonoke to spread to capsuleers (even with a cure, to quote CCP Falcon “its scary shit”).

I’m even more curious to see how this may tie into other upcoming developments that were teased over the course of Fanfest – to which I will put my tin foil hat on for next time.

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