CSM Summit – March 2020

The CSM Summit occurred several weeks ago, but due to getting thrown into the deep end of planning part of my company’s work from home effort, I haven’t had the time or energy to get this written up. A few of the other CSM members have been on shows/podcasts or posted a few comments. Here’s my take on things.

First, much of what I wrote about what does and doesn’t happen at the Summit still holds. 

No, we didn’t get into your very specific and nuanced concern about that thing you do/hate/like.  The CSM Summit is a much higher level discussion for the most part.

Hopefully the meeting minutes will be released soon and you can read at your leisure what we discussed over 4 days of meetings and nightly mixology lessons.

Here are the big takeaways:

CCP learned a lot from the Summer of Chaos and has made several major changes

There has been a significant reorganization of how CCP does game design and how teams work together.   Without going into the confidential zone, CCP took a hard look at how they were making EVE and made a lot of changes to refocus their energies to find a better balance of improving gameplay, making money, and continuing to recruit new players.

These changes are tough on any organization.  CCP bit the bullet and reoriented their processes in a way that allows for better communication with the players while remaining flexible in the actual deployment of features. It’s a fine line they are hoping to walk. 

We are seeing more regular deployment of new features and better discussion of the future than we have in a few years. 

The focus on new player engagement is working

CCP is seeing strong, measurable progress in acquiring and maintaining new players to EVE.  Many older players look at the subtle changes and scoff at them as useless, when they are creating new cohorts of players that look to become the core players of the future.

The phase that Hilmar used the most during the summit, “survivor bias”, is most apt here. All of you reading this are survivors of a much more arduous path into New Eden, and it’s hard for you to see the roadblocks that many others ran into and simply quit the game.  You are the people that walked over the roadblocks and barely noticed them.

There are a lot of new things and changes coming

After seeing the roadmap of the year, it’s going to be interesting to watch player’s reactions as the news drops when plans are announced. There were several “OMG, that’s freaking cool” moments.

There are things coming that some players will love.  There are things coming that some players will hate. My advice is to kept doing what you like to do and don’t get stressed about the other changes around you.

The changes are all over them map from cool events to interesting new ‘things’ to changes to basic mechanisms in the game.  I’m being vague here, as I can’t really give any detail.

CCP is listening

Overall, the mood of the meetings was open and positive. Very little acrimony.

The CSM members got to present several sessions to the Dev Team to give them insight into how the players play the game and how the players think.  CCP has data, but data alone is not enough.  Understanding the factors that create the data is essential to making a good analysis.

The tone of discussion was much more interactive and convivial that the Summer Summit, which was adversarial at times.

Dunk’s Corner

So what do I think will happen?

The biggest topic on the plate and part of almost every session was the ecosystem work.  The Ecosystem Team has been publicly announced and they have made few rounds of the show & podcast circuit to get their ideas out there.

What they are trying to do is ambitious. Mind bogglingly ambitious when you start to dive into the details and fractal effects of tugging on one part of New Eden’s ecosystem.

Not to overstate the plan, but it is a fundamental rework of how ISK and material enters the economy and how time and effort is valued in the game. 

I stressed how the Dev Team was up against thousands of the most hardened min/maxxers in video gaming and that it only took one of them to find a tiny loophole or trick and within 24 hours thousands would be flying freighters through it. 

It will take a long time to execute what is planned and players need to be prepared for a long ride. 

There aren’t always going to be good answers. There are going to be angry threadnaughts.  There are going to be optimistic white knights with overenthusiastic imagination about what is happening behind the scenes.  There are going to be players whose ‘playstyle’ disappears or is fundamentally changed and quit. Some groups will shatter from the changes while other appear and grow to fill the cracks left by the earthquakes of change.

I have no idea how it’s going to end up, but I’ll be along for the ups and downs of this rollercoaster year.

Snooters in non-Icelandic weather

Industry Discussion on CSM Discord

The Spring CSM Summit is approaching, and I want to be able to discuss the manufacturing side of industry in a knowledgeable way.

While I do a fair amount of structure, standup modules, capital modules, and T2 ship construction, there is far more to know about industry in EVE.

If you are an EVE industrialist, I would love your input on the topic.

Consider joining the CSM Discord and join the #industry channel.

Thanks!

CSM Update – Week 33

CSM Meeting – February 7th, 2020

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

Coordination around the Spring CSM Summit

Extended discussion around the EVE ecosystem and ways to change player behavior

Dunk’s Corner

I’m not going to go on an extended rant.

I disagree on CCP’s approach to address changes in mining at a fundamental level.

The “all stick, no carrot” approach is not going to resonate well with players, nor is it going to achieve the desired results.

I’m sure there will be a contingent of “Yay! mining nerfs will save EVE!”, similar to the “Blackout is fixing EVE” crowd from the summer.

Blackout didn’t turn out as planned, and my feeling is that these mining changes won’t turnout as desired either.

Hopefully, I’m wrong.

CSM Update – Week 32

CSM Meeting – January 31st, 2020

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

Brief discussion around skillpoints and player concerns

Extended discussion of on-going DDOS attacks and mitigation efforts

Brief discussion of game system performance concerns 

Discussion of concerns over violations of ToS rules by players
    
Initial planning for CSM 15 elections
        
Coordination around the Spring CSM Summit

Dunk’s Corner

I’ve stared at this page a few times trying to decide what to write. Nothing simple or interesting comes to mind. Sorry, I know you all were waiting for my amazing wisdom to drop on the interwebs, but this time you are going to be disappointed.

Real Life is consuming a lot of my brain cycles (in a good way). That leaves my free time in EVE to be more focused on the calm & relaxing aspects I enjoy like industry spreadsheets and fueling structures. And killing structures of the bad guys. 🙂

The ongoing DDOS attacks are problematic for just about everyone. Can’t really say much about what is exactly going on, but I can say that CCP fully understands how significantly this negatively impacts the players and are doing as much as they can to resolve it.

Over the last few weeks there’s been some apparent CSM drama has created a lot of speculation about what’s going on. Maintaining confidentiality, I can say this.

Each member of the CSM is truly working to make EVE a better game and is passionate about doing so. Our methods vary widely, and we don’t always agree on the methods and messages of other CSM members, but we all are focused on helping push CCP to improve the game.

The upcoming CSM summit is in less than a month and hopefully the minutes will be released soon after and provide some clarity on what’s being discussed and worked on.

My bee colonies are looking forward to Spring.

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.