In this post I will be sharing my experience with attending the EVE Online fanfest, where players from all over the world gather for the annual event held by CCP. It’s known as an outlet to show off what is in the pipeline for the year ahead for EVE Online, through many presentations and round tables. This year it was held at the Harpa concert hall in Reykjavík, Iceland.
I have been wanting to attend fanfest in the past, but this time I made the effort. Over the past year I have attended EVE Amsterdam and a couple of the EVE London meetups. This inspired me to seek out the largest EVE Online event.
Having an interest in Photography gives me a secondary interest in visiting Iceland with its unique landscape.
My Eve History
The theme for this years fanfest is Eve Online’s 15th birthday. At the start of each presentation the presenter would start off with their first experiences of the game, which is far more interesting than mine.
I have been playing the game off and on since 2004 and I have only been doing PVP since joining Krypted Gaming in January 2017. My early years were mainly PVE/high sec with some wormholes and null sec. PVP was mainly being the victim of a gank. These days I take part in PVP on a regular basis, 9-4 being the biggest battle I have been in. Along with industry primarily producing tech 2 items.
Planning my Trip
The Fanfest event was on from Thursday till Saturday. I decieded to get to Iceland a day early, so that I could see some of the landscapes and other attractions. I ended up flying into Keflavík International Airport on Tuesday evening and leaving Sunday afternoon.
There was a selection of flights I could have booked, I opted to take the flights where I would arrive during the day to allow myself to travel too and from home on the same day. Other options were to take off like 6 AM or late at night, both are impossible to catch using public transport and I was unwilling to add extra cost with booking hotels to allow me to take those flights.
I pre-booked coach transfer to Reykjavík bus station a couple of days before I arrived. I had filled in the party bus spreadsheet but I had not seen any communication from CCP if they were going to provide transport too and from the airport. Apparently, there is a kiosk in the airport where you can buy tickets, although I don’t know if there is a price difference.
From the bus station, it was a 10-15 min walk to the B&B. Google maps does not show hills, it turns out Reykjavík is a hilly place. The walk made me realize how out of shape I am, pulling the heavy suitcase around made it even more taxing.
Seeing Iceland Landscapes
Iceland has a few couch tour companies who offer trips with the “Golden Circle” being the most popular that visits many iconic Iceland landscapes including a few waterfalls and erupting geysers.
I decided to go on the “South Shore Adventure” which I thought to have more photographic opportunities. A trip I feel was worth the £76.
When I go on photographic trips I like to spend my time at the location as a solo activity. With only having a day available, a coach trip is the best way to see multiple locations. All without having to hire a car. Not that I would be comfortable driving in a foreign country not used to driving on a different side of the road.
If I do visit Iceland again, and I hope to do so in the future then I would think about hiring a car, now I have a better feel for the country. The tour guide also shares stories and facts about the country as you travel around which is interesting and entertaining.
Harpa was open earlier in the week to allow people to get their passes and gift bags prior to the event. I arrived too late on Tuesday, and came back late on Wednesday, so I wasn’t able to pick them up early.
I made sure I was one of the first in the queue so I wouldn’t spend too much time waiting if I had arrived later. Not wanting to carry a fair amount of stuff around all day I had time to return to my room offload before the keynote started.
I won’t talk about the presentations, they are all YouTube. But being in the room does add an extra element that you cannot get from watching on a screen.
Presentations that stick out are the improv group who know nothing about the game try to put on a brief show by getting clues from the audience. This was something you had to be in the room to appreciate.
I have seen comments on Reddit how this was a terrible idea, when not seeing it from the start you would miss the introduction taking it out of context. Seeing a group of people making something out of nothing on the fly is impressing and I admire them for trying. I don’t have the skills or confidence to try anything like that.
CCP held a live game show on stage called “CCP CCP Games” which was pure genius and entertaining.
The new expansion called “into the abyss” sounds interesting with introducing a new PVE mechanic along with new ships and modules. I will want to test it out before making judgment.
Fanfest would be nothing if not meeting up with fellow players. Although I was the only one from Krypted Gaming that attended, there were many others from GOTG that was great to talk to.
We had a group dinner for 40 – 50 people which was interesting. The menu included horse, puffin and whale. Everyone I talked to enjoyed whale which if I were blindfolded would say was steak.
I own a revolut card which is a pre-paid credit card that I can manage from my phone app to add funds on the fly and have the ability to change money into local currency to avoid extra charges. With Iceland, I just used the card in my local currency of British pounds as the kroner is not supported. This card is also contactless that I used for all my spending. The only local cash I used was from when I converted USD cash I had left over from a previous holiday. Otherwise, I could have just used the card.
Iceland is well known for many things including on how expensive it is. Most evenings I had the main meal in a restaurant, typically a burger, fries and a Pepsi which was around £20. The quality of food was excellent but In the UK a similar meal would be around £8-12.
Lucky I’m not a big drinker as beer is like £8 for a “pint” / can. I paid £5 during a happy hour.
During the day I visited supermarkets for sandwiches and bottled drinks which was quite reasonable, close to what I would pay in Tesco. I can see staying in a self-catering place and buying from supermarkets such as Nettó and Bónus with cooking your own food to be a good way to be eating at a reasonable price.
Reykjavík does have a few 24/7 grocery shops but those are more expensive.
I’m sure that CCP host charity events at all Fanfests, but what caught my attention was a water tank where a tennis ball would trigger the chair to drop the victim into the cold water. What was clear is that eve players cannot throw, even when the line is brought closer! Or at least for CCP Gaurd & Jintaan. Someone just pressed the button and when Jintaan was showing off that no one could hit the target, it just gave way dropping him into the tank.
I had a great time and would love to come back in the future, whether that’s for another fanfest or just to enjoy the country.
Iceland has many options for accommodation, while I chose a B&B that had shared facilities to keep costs down. It could be a good idea to try and find people to share an apartment with.
While my expectations of seeing the northern lights was low due to the forecast. Being cloudy for most of the time I was there. I managed to see them on the last night I was there, walking back from the CCP Harpa party.
I was going to take another look at the metal boat sculpture just up the road from Harpa and the way to my room, Looking up to the sky I just saw a streak green appear. It was brief but got my attention, I quickly made my way to the sculpture and after a few attempts I captured the below photo. While its not as strong in the photo its better than not seeing it at all.
Airport to Reykjavík – https://www.re.is/flybus/
South Shore Adventure – https://www.re.is/day-tours/south-shore-adventure
Iceland guide by CCP employee – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NlHACxlUWFj7dWneROQ1a9jeqUEu6CyNTtzWAS5gouM/edit?usp=sharing
EVE Online 2018 Youtube Playlist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TovqTzHoa-s&list=PLQvKSs1k6DLN9X2XYVcVDOvIbnIeFvpPn
Revolut card – https://www.revolut.com/