I first realized that my trip to the EVE
was going to be light on EVE
and heavy on Vegas when, while seated at the Baccarat Bar in the
Bellagio, my newly-minted CEO Zapawork began instructing me in the fine
art of whorespotting - how to distinguish the seemingly ubiquitous call
girls from the merely tarted-up. It was a Thursday night. By this point
we'd already discussed potential business ventures, downed a dizzying
array of frighteningly expensive drinks, and stayed up until 3 AM
waiting for our favorite Russian space-oligarch, UAxDeath - leader of
Legion of xXDeathXx - to arrive on his red-eye flight from New York.
Yet not a word had been breathed by either of us about spaceships, and
I dimly realized through the alcoholic haze that I was committed to
bashing out a column full of 'spaceship words' - preferably exciting,
feature-laden ones - about an event that seemed to be devoid of
anything of the spaceship variety.
Friday was no better. The first official event of EVE Vegas saw fifty
people or so jammed into a dingy upstairs conference room in that
dingiest of Strip casinos, the Imperial Palace. Its claim to fame was
that it had the least expensive rooms on the walk, and it showed.
Having wallowed in the splendor of the Bellagio all Thursday, the
Imperial Palace added a dose of architectural whiplash to the mix of
things already clouding my brain - alcohol, column dread and
the crepes we had for lunch. This three-hour 'meet and greet' had a
cash bar that was substantially more expensive than the downstairs
casino bars, resulting in frequent expeditions back and forth. This did
not augur well.
Attempting to break out of the clique I had arrived with, I noticed a
table full of goons hanging out with Avalloc. I approached, announced
something like "And who do we have here?" only to discover that I'd
blundered into the developers - Oveur, Alli, Soundwave, Navigator and
the 'Mystery Dev', an as-yet-unrevealed CCP employee on the game design
team. As my jaw dropped, I recognized the Mystery Dev as my old bete
noir Seleene, infamous former leader of the Mercenary Coalition and for
many years a staunch foe of the Swarm. I had staggered onto my first
source of spaceship words, and found it extremely awkward.
However, through the magic of me drinking a lot, Seleene and I managed
to hit it off famously. I have no idea what his incomprehensible "Dev
Name" is, but I did learn that he had a significant hand in the design
and conception of the wormhole space which has revolutionized PvE in
EVE. Better still, he's working on a major reform of supercapital
ships, coming up with multiple new superweapons in an attempt to
deemphasize doomsdays on Titans and give motherships a purpose besides
being just a bigger carrier.
After the meet and greet, we headed to dinner en masse. I sat down
across from the devs, but rather than extracting spaceship secrets from
them like a proper gaming journalist would, I joined in the group as we
occupied our time shouting imprecations about Darius Johnson's peeling
face down to the other end of the long table. We also speculated about
the extent of Navigator's poker winnings and kvetched about
seven-dollar macaroni and cheese. Navigator eventually joined the
group, $500 dollar richer from winning his tournament. We moved on.
After 10 PM on Friday - time for some serious drinking. The party moved
to the Rockhouse bar in front of the Imperial Palace. Expectations were
in the gutter - this place was lame, the crowd listless, the space
cramped. Then the organizer of EVE Vegas put our ticket money to good
use, acquiring bottle service in a private booth for the group, service
provided by a cage dancer - in a booth directly behind said cage. As
soon as the Grey Goose was poured, a go-go dancer began swinging on a
tire chained to the ceiling. I don't remember many more details besides
the drinks being excellent and a significant amount of speculation
about the exact wording of our server's partially obscured crotch
tattoo - was it 'The High Life'? 'The Good Life'? 'Restricted Access'?
Reports varied wildly. It probably didn't involve spaceships.