I never considered attending Eve Vegas as Willow. While I blog as her I do not see her as my main character. Willow has no real connections to any player base and it would have been a rather lonely visit. My main is in a large corp and it was a great way to meet them in real life.
I did not have any expectations when I landed in Vegas. I didn’t think that I would experience anything groundbreaking. As I suspected the meeting is more of a socializing event. While people do have the chance to interact with the devs (which all were incredibly nice and open, quite surprisingly considering how much the /r/eve community likes to shit on them).
The meeting also allowed me to meet some Eve celebrities: Chribba (most trusted man in Eve), Steve Ronuken (CSM member and terrific contributor of various Eve tools, owner of a majestic beard), The Mittani (Goon leader), Graygal (founder of Redemption Road), Neville Smit (long time Eve blogger), Myxee (Signal Cartel CEO), Johnny Splunk (Eve Scout CEO). The list goes on. It was funny to realize how much the image I head of these players differed so much from reality. I blame the avatars.
I don’t drink so the pub crawl was kind of wasted on me. I am also not a huge gambler so I did the only thing a dad does when he is alone in Vegas: I laid naked on my bed, with a huge pizza on my belly and watched TV. Don’t judge me, my wife would have done the same. I asked her.
I attended some of the round table discussions and the most interesting to me was the one addressing the New Player Experience. I did not expect many people there but the room was full and we did not have time to go through all questions. For me this is a good sign, telling me that Eve veterans still care about this. A cynic might say that taking care of new players is their way of making sure that their beloved game lives on.
It will take some time for me to digest what has been discussed during that round table. I have some thoughts which were not really shared by the others but I still would like to write them down.
One huge disappointment was the Eve Merch store. The fact that CCP tends to neglect their opportunities to make money selling Eve merch is an ongoing joke in the community and what I saw there only reinforced that. Nothing really exciting and everything rather expensive. I was especially annoyed by their (very limited) t-shirt collection and had a discussion with the CCP employee in charge of merch. He was open to suggestions but I suspect that this was not more than a polite way of telling me to fuck off.
Was it worth attending? Again, I did not expect anything so everything I experienced was pleasant. I am not sure yet, whether I will attend again next year but I wouldn’t rule it out.