Due to the excesses of the previous night, I was a little worse for wear and failed to mobilise in time for the first few roundtables. This was a shame as I was looking forward to meeting Zapatero at the EON Magazine roundtable. Before launching EON, he used to be Richie Shoemaker of PCZone, a cancelled magazine that I have only just come out of mourning for. Only now could I consider committing to another magazine subscription.

PVP Finals
When I finally shambled into the conference centre in the early afternoon, I headed for the darkest corner where I nursed my sore head whilst watching the PvP finals. I watched with a vague interest as some coloured squares moved around on a giant screen whilst tiny ‘x’s whizzed about. Occasionally there were some flashing lights, then somebody won. I just don’t think EVE works as a spectator sport with the current camera tools and, unless the commentators actually commentate about events as they happen to make up for the visual shortfall, it’s a fairly confusing and meaningless viewing experience. Congratulations to the winners though, especially on winning those spoofy Alienware notebooks.

CCP Presents
Whilst waiting for the doors to open, an ad-hoc fansite fleet gathered at the entrance to the main hall and a plan was formed to obtain some good seats for the most anticipated presentation of the Fanfest. Song Li and Marcel Devereux were the lightfooted interceptors who would block either end of one row and light the cyno, allowing the bigger, slower ship classes to jump in. Apparently I was bait and had to hold off the baying hordes at the gate to buy everyone else time, thanks for that fellas. It was an effective tactic and we got the fourth row, right behind VETO corp. We were starting to feel like real paparazzi with Crazy Kinux, Quivering Palm and Luminus Aardokay, Manasi, Keith Neilson, Boris Hotch, and Alexseyev Kardde all joining us. We’ll be forming a union soon.

The presentation itself went on for two hours but was very entertaining with a number of comedy video skits. The NVIDIA vice president made reference to a joke made yesterday about there being knives under the chairs. Now apparently there were under a few and whoever found them would win a high end graphics card. Congratulations to Luminus Aardokay who was sitting two seats away (I’m not bitter). We say some very sexy looking technology allowing the EVE-client fitting window to run on tablets and mobile phones, all thanks to NVIDIAs new Tegra Two technology apparently.

The real pay-off came at the end with a blisteringly, awe-inspiringly epic teaser trailer for the EVE/Incarna/Dust514 link-up. It was so good that when it had finished, a sole heckler who demanded that we see it again was instantly backed up by an agreeable rumble from the entire audience. CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson questioned whether there was time, but said that we’d have to stand up and give him three “fuck yeahs” for him to consider it. This was an odd juncture for me; up until that moment, I had been attempting to maintain a degree of dignified distance from the fanaticism surrounding EVE, but right then I would have stood up alone and bellowed his expletives at him. However I stood and bellowed, not alone, but in unison with everyone around me, every voice filled with the same joyous determination. So the mob got it’s wish and high-priest Hilmar looked genuinely moved (or possibly terrified, I can’t be sure). The comparison of the EVE community to organised religion is one that fascinates and worries me, but I’ll discuss this another time.

Dinner at Hressos/Impromptu Podcast
The Fansite Fleet headed into town to cogitate and masticate. Alexseyev gave us a preview of a some parody songs produced by his colleagues from Noir. Mercenary Group for his Declarations of War podcast. It was difficult to hear in a noisy restaurant, but it sounded promising, kind of a Weird Noir Yankovich. Alex promised that they were being made available to the EVE community soon, so keep a look out.

Given that our dinner party comprised a high concentration of podcasting talent, we decided to something needed to be recorded. Song Li had a high-gain mic attachment for his iPhone so we headed back to the Freebooted hotel room, broke out the rum and recorded some thoughts. Watch out on Song Li’s Missions Collide page for news on this.

Party on Top of the World

Due to hosting the podcast, it was nearly 9 o’clock by the time everyone else left, at which point I needed to shower and change. I eventually got to the gig at gone 10pm, by which time I had missed RoXoR and Permaband. However the atmosphere was electric and the party was on a much larger scale than I expected. There must’ve been thousands there, including the local public. And I finally got to meet Zapatero.

Podded by Fanfest
It was the last night and some of us weren’t prepared to let it end. CK, QP, (a slightly unwell) Lumi, Alex, Manasi and I headed back to Olivers. It was a great way to finish a great night. Just a shame I lost my wallet and passport. I still can’t quite figure out how.