CSM Update – Halfway

CSM Meeting – January 24th, 2020

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

Coordination around the Spring CSM Summit.
– Travel Planning
– CCP wants to hear more from the CSM and requested to think about potential topics for presentations

Brief review of current game issues

CSM Meeting – January 10th, 2020

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

Brief coordination around the Spring CSM Summit.

Brief discussion of game system performance questions. 

Extended discussion about possible changes to the economy and specific types of PvP combat.

Dunk’s Corner
We are basically halfway through CSM 14 at this point.

So far, the word to describe the first half is ‘tumultuous’.

The CSM and I have tried to bring a small amount of order to the chaos underway when we started this term.

Seems like we have some positive momentum and the community growing again.

As a CSM member, one privileged is having more knowledge about CCP’s direction than EVE players & pundits do.

Personally, I try to listen to as many points of view as I can on shows, podcasts, articles, forums, and Reddit.

My only comment is that sometimes I hear concerns about ‘the meta’ and how things are ‘broken’.

Valid concerns, but I think people should remember that CCP is going for a much more regular cycle of releases, both big and small, during the year. There are many, many more releases to go this year and CCP is focused on trying to adapt more quickly to imbalance.

That’s no guarantee, but it should be kept in mind that CCP has stated repeatedly that they want surprises and they want to keep the meta shifting. You may not like surprises, but that’s not going to stop CCP.

Lastly, EVE Fanfest is coming up and and it’s a wonderful event to attend. If you have the means, I strongly suggest you try and come. Meeting people in real life is fantastic, even for you introverts, and opens up many doors in game that you never knew existed.

Due to the lack of shareable information, here is a picture of the ever patient CCP Dopamine listening to the CSM when he should really be out having a Friday night cocktail.

CSM Update – Week 24

CSM Meeting – November 29th, 2019

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

The group discussed the announcement of the HyperNet Relay and the release of the CSM Summit minutes.

Brief discussion of future CSM meetings and the Spring CSM Summit.

Introductions and discussion around some of the changes to how the Development teams function at CCP.

Detailed talk on the design timeline of a specific item.

General chat about upcoming system tests and what information the tests are planning to surface.  

The CSM brought up a few issues to discuss in more detail with the appropriate teams.

Dunk’s Corner

The news of Hypernet Relay is now public and being discussed. EVE players should know what I, as a CSM think about the feature in detail and with clarity.  Some will not agree with my viewpoint, but it’s expected that I present it plainly.

I am in favor of the Hypernet raffle and think many players will enjoy it.
While I do have a few concerns, I agree with the overall plan and support the implementation. 

Somer Blink, IWantISK, and other raffle sites were hugely popular with players until they were shut down. I think HyperNet Relay will be popular with players as well.

First, let’s discuss legality. I’m not a lawyer with specialization in national gambling laws and video gaming policies. in short, I’m just not going to get into discussion and arguments about this aspect. While there are many that think they can google their way into a law degree, I don’t share that opinion.

In thinking considering a new feature, I look at it in terms of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ 

On the Pro side, I like the idea of high value items getting back into circulation, the opportunity to make some ISK, the fun of raffles. and CCP making some more revenue. 

On the Con side, there are risks with children and people with addiction problems getting sucked into spending ISK and money that they shouldn’t.  

From what I read, there seems to be a basic divide between those that are generally against gambling at an ethical level and those that are fine with it. A lot of the dispute seems to arise from this. I’m not going to bridge that gap. People on the internets do not often change their mind by reading an essay.

Personally, I think the downsides can be managed and this will turn into a popular feature that is well regarded, much as abyssal mutaplasmids did.  I think CCP has given this a lot of thought and is prepared to manage the situation if problems arise.

Obviously, some will not agree, but EVE players deserve to know my position on the topic.  

Snooters stands watch to make sure no neuts enter our home system

CSM Update – Week 20

CSM Meeting – November 7th, 2019

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

The group reviewed the community’s reaction and sentiments to the various presentations at EVE Vegas.

There was discussion of some Security related issues.

Plans for the ‘Winter’ CSM Summit were locked in. (seems like it’s always winter though in Iceland…)

Brief discussion of player activity and economic trends post-Blackout.

Progress on several features in development was reviewed.

Dunk’s Corner

EVE Vegas revealed many of the plans and discussions that the CSM was a party to previously, being made public.

As several CSM members had publicly said they were ‘cautiously optimistic’, I hope you can see why. A quick response team with 2 weeks sprints is ambitious, but a good plan to enable CCP to react to game needs in a more timely manner while longer term efforts aren’t derailed.

Clearly there remain significant concerns in the community about several major topics.

Hunting – Many ‘hunter’ playstyle people were very frustrated with the end of Blackout and weren’t happy with the overall gist of announcements at Vegas. This is understandable. For many, Blackout was invigorating, and it’s loss just as demotivating. I’m hopeful that CCP will continue to try to serve up good things for the hunters without overall negative effects. While I am personally cranky over moving Ansiblexes, I hope that it serves up the fights that people are looking for regularly.

Umbrellas – The prevalence of supercapital umbrellas remains a significant issue of discussion within the playerbase. There is no clear player consensus as to what should be done, nor does there appear to be a change on horizon that radically changes this meta level strategy. The issue remains a topic of discussion between CCP, the CSM, and the wider playerbase. This is a tough one to solve in a way that won’t lead to Blackout style disinterest in logging in. I believe that change is possible, but expect to be more a series of smaller changes rather than singular dramatic change. But who knows, there could be more chaos in store…

Big Vision – The drumbeat for a roadmap remains strong with many players. CCP presented a middle ground of a series of quadrants with themes that get’s rolled out over time. We will all see how it goes. Long term roadmaps have been an issue as the game and priorities change rapidly and that makes sticking to long term roadmaps difficult.

T2 Salvage Drones – There is widespread dismay that these still do not exist yet. Extraordinary measures may need to be taken to get attention on this critical issue.

I’m probably not covering your specific concern here, so feel free to contact me directly if you want, my contact info is here.

Snooters dressed up and ready for the weekend.

Cycling at EVE Vegas

On Friday morning of EVE Vegas, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, and I will be riding the Red Rock Canyon Loop in Las Vegas. If you are a cycling enthusiast, you are welcome to join us!

This isn’t a hard ride, but you need a road bike or gravel bike. A beach cruiser or small folding bike isn’t going to be a reasonable choice.

When: Friday, October 25th, at 8AM – we are hoping to clip in and ride

What: It’s a short loop of Red Rock Canyon. Slow grade up for the first half and a sweet decent back.
Here is the route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31240188

Where: We will meet at the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center in the parking lot.
Address is 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161

Caveats: Several things have to go right to pull this off, and if something unforeseen happens, this may get called off at the last minute.

FAQ:

Q: I have more questions.
A: Email dunkdinkle@gmail.com

Q: My beach cruiser is awesome, can I bring it?
A: No.

Q: Why isn’t is a longer ride?
A: We looked into a longer ride, but herding a group of people through Vegas morning rush hour traffic that haven’t ridden together before seemed like a idea likely to end in tears.

Q: Can I rent a bike somewhere?
A: Probably, but I’ve never rented in Vegas before. You’ll have to research on your own. Sorry…

Q: Why is is called Red Rock Canyon? I thought Las Vegas was a desert.
A:

Mrs. Dinkle & I on a previous ride, note the red rocks.

CSM 14 – Week 16

CSM Meeting – October 11th, 2019

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

There was a long discussion about the forward looking plans for the game and how those ideas should be presented.

The rest of the meeting was focused mainly on the planning for EVE Vegas and some details around it.

Also, secret stuff was discussed.

Dunk’s Corner

Not a lot to really dive into here since my last post. You can stop reading now if you want.

I do think it’s worthwhile to point out that players should let their voices be heard when they feel strongly about a topic. Additionally, players should speak when they feel that a topic is being overblown.

The CSM and CCP is listening and lurking, trying to get a variety of viewpoints. From the EVE Forums to blogs to Reddit to podcast to streaming shows, the opinions and ideas of players are critical to helping build a better plan for the future.

You always won’t get a response, but know that people are reading and hearing what you think.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want, my contact info is here, to the right.

Snooters waits for EVE Vegas to begin

CSM 14 – Week 15

CSM Meeting – October 4th

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

The meeting covered some high level topics, like long term vision and improvements to the development process.   Not much more can be mentioned due to confidentially, but hopefully these topics can be explored more publicly by CCP.

There was discussion of the upcoming EVE meet-ups, mostly concerning EVE Vegas.

The CSM followed up on the status of a few announced changes to understand timing of the development and deployment.

Dunk’s Corner

Since the CSM Summit Minutes have been released, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion in the community about it.  I’ve tried to respond where I can.  Here are some of the common points/questions that I’ve seen and my responses in a single space.

Q: What do you think about the future of EVE Online after leaving the Summit?

A:  I am cautiously optimistic.  As I have said before several places, CCP has a lot of great ideas and good people that can put those ideas into action.  The question is on prioritization and execution.  CCP has some tough decisions to make (like every company does) on how to best use their resources.  The future will rest on how CCP makes these choices and what they give focus to develop properly.

Q: No, seriously Dunk, do they fucking get it?

A: Yes, they fucking get it. CCP clearly sees the wide array of issues facing the game. In the formal meeting room and outside of it, there was lots of honest, straight talk about the challenges facing the game. They get it. The real issue is deciding how to best allocate people’s time and energy to work on solving problems and introducing new things.

Q: I didn’t read much about [insert concern here] in the Minutes. Why didn’t you talk about [insert concern here]?

A: Going into the summit, there were two huge issues to address on the plate, more significant than others. Those two issues were new player retention and the effects of Chaos Era (blackout) on player activity.  These were the two topics that needed the most discussion and focus. Unfortunately, many other important topics did not get much time they need to plan significant changes.

Yes, the CSM knows that there are big concerns all over EVE, from faction warfare to small gang PvP to low sec in general to structure spam to [insert your primary concern], but the truth is we cannot go deep on all of these subjects when CCP’s focus in elsewhere.

Lastly, the Summit Minutes are a rough approximation of what was discussed.  They are not detailed transcripts, are heavily redacted, and don’t cover any of the side conversations that occur during the week. Many ideas and concerns were discussed that are not represented in the minutes. I am hopeful you see some results for those unreported conversations in the future.

Q: Seems like the CSM is only representing Null Sec concerns in the topics discussed.  Why aren’t you representing all players?

A: Right now, CCP’s focus in the Chaos Era is shaking things up, specifically with Null Sec, so it is the focus of a lot of the discussion.  The CSM is adamant that player activity and engagement is a key issue across the board, in every area of space.  This point was reinforced repeatedly n the CSM’s ask for a clearer vision for the game that all players can hang their hopes on for the future.

At one point, the CSM is asked if their are personally in favor of removing Asset Safety and several CSM raise their hands in the affirmative. When asked if it is in the best interests of the game overall, no CSM raise their hand.  This is just one example of putting the wider game ahead of personal or ‘null sec’ interests.

I’m not going to be able to convince some that I and others on the CSM aren’t working on some personal agenda to benefit our groups specifically, but it is the truth.

That said, I am openly advocating for T2 Salvage drones and a new role for the Primae. If you disagree with those priority issues, you are simply wrong. 🙂

Q: Why didn’t the CSM demand/force/make CCP fix things immediately?

A:  The relationship doesn’t work that way.  The CSM is there to provide player input into the design process.  The best way to do that is in a healthy, respectful relationship, not in an antagonistic way.  The CSM can’t make CCP do anything.

CCP is the CEO & FC of the Summit Fleet.  CSM are like the scouts and recons helping them find a good path. 

The CSM has a lot of passion for the game, but realizes that if that passion is channeled in a negative way, it can have a detrimental effect on the game. 

Q: But the data, statistics, and graphs clearly show that…

A:  “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” ― Mark Twain

The truth is that the data released, like the MER, are helpful to get some understanding of what’s going on in EVE, but they do not paint the entire picture.  People tend to interpret data to fit their existing bias, so care must be taken that to keep that in perspective.

As an example, there were several that put forth the idea that player activity losses during Blackout were mainly from botter accounts and that actual players leaving was compensated for by other players returning to the game.  Others argued that player losses were mainly due to people leaving the game completely.  To determine this from the data as a fact, is nearly impossible. 

There were many factors at play during Blackout: login events, WoW Classic release, in-game wars, summer for the Northern Hemisphere, etc., all affect the numbers.  Which numbers to look at?  Daily Account activity versus Monthly Account activity versus in-game player counts versus PvP losses versus PvE metrics all are involved and it’s not possible for the players at home to draw hard conclusions from them.  There are some basic trends that can be shown, but even those require a lot of interpretation. 

Good game design cannot solely rely on statistics. They can be one of several guides, but they cannot be the sole driving factor.

Q: The CSM is a waste and should be abolished! They don’t get anything done and don’t represent me!

A: You are welcome to this point of view, but the CSM has value and is interest in your point of view to convey it to CCP. My contact info is on this page. Feel free to reach out with your comments or concerns. I can’t promise that I will agree with you or that CCP will change anything, but I will listen with an open mind.

I’m available on Discord, via email, and in game to chat. Or see me in person at EVE Vegas!

Instead of my dog, here are my bees.