CSM 14 Update – Week 47

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

May 15th, 2020

Discussed ideas for new player retention & new player issues

Extended discussion of new concepts with Ecosystem Team

Dunk’s Corner

A bit of a lull in news before two big things kick off.

With the abandoned structure state coming into the game with the next patch, I think we are on track to see some glorious explosions and interesting loot reports. While it’s not a perfect solution to citadel spam, it’s a good start in the direction of making citadels less disposable and making assets more at risk.

As someone who does alliance logistics, the last few weeks have been busy with discussions about what’s worth fueling and preparing for the change. A bit of a headache for those in the game that do this kind of thing, but in the long run it should lead to more fun and a general house cleaning of New Eden that is long overdue.

There will likely be some sad stories of players returning after extended break to find their assets gone in some locations. Active players will have plenty of warning about what’s happening, but those that are truly AFK or haven’t logged into their spy alts, may sing sad songs in the future.

Also imminent is the next phase of the Triglavian invasion. I think people will be surprised about exactly what CCP has up their sleeve. I will be exceedingly vague about this, but I do hope that the developers have not underestimated the energy that players can muster to create chaos & havoc.

I think it will be good fun and hopefully I can get my space work done soon so I can participate more fully in the next phase of the Triglavian saga.

Overall, there’s lots to do in EVE right now. We are seeing fights all over space, people yeeting in and out of regions, and continued new PVE experiences. Doesn’t feel stagnant to me.

Snooters stands guard over her Empire of Dirt

CSM 14 Update – Week 46

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

May 8th, 2020

Discussed development cadence

Reviewed the DDOS attacks

Reviewed CSM elections and prep for CSM 15

Discussed the on-going login & celebration campaigns

Dunk’s Corner

The Plex Market on the EVE Portal app is now public and available.

Due to the CSM meetings, I’ve known about this for some time. But in that time, I’ve never been able to figure out who exactly is going to use this feature. 

For those that don’t know, the Plex Market on the app allows trade on the Jita 4-4 market only.  You cannot choose another location for the trading.

In buying & selling Plex there are few major use cases:

Plex traders – People who buy & sell Plex as a commodity, profiting by the arbitrage in buy & sell order and price trends.

People converting Plex to ISK – People who spend real life currency on Plex via the New Eden store and then sell it to get ISK in game

People “Plexing” an account – People who convert ISK to Plex to allow them selves to subscribe to EVE with Plex instead of real world currency.

There are a few other cases, like players buying Plex to pay for SKINs from the New Eden Store, but their are fairly minor in comparison to the other use cases.

In recent years, much of trade in Plex moved to player owned structures with lower tax bases. At the scale of value in Plex trading, even a single percentage of lower taxes has significant benefit. 

With all Plex Market trade occurring in the Jita 4-4 market, a player is looking at being at a serious financial disadvantage by trading on a comparatively high tax market in Jita 4-4 as opposed to a player structure market.

So the question is, “Who will use the Plex Market on the Portal app?

There is no way serious Plex Traders will use it.  Every fraction of a percentage point matters, and they will always choose the most economically profitable method, which remains in-client at player markets.

The person selling Plex to get ISK is going to want to maximize their return, which means using a market with lower taxes, which isn’t Jita.  Maybe they are in some sort of rush to get the ISK for some immediate need?

The Plexing an account person might try it, with the use case of not having a market character in Jita.  Seems like an edge case, but who knows. Maybe you realize while sitting on the toilet that your account is about to go alpha and you want to keep it Omega, but are stranded because you are out of toilet paper?

CCP obviously put a lot of effort into this feature, but I’m just not clear on who is going to use it and if it will affect the Plex market in any measurable way. If you have some thoughts, I’d love to hear.

Snooters thinks the type is kinda small in the app

CSM 14 Update – Week 43 & 44

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

Here are the two most recent CSM Meetings:

April 17th, 2020
Review of upcoming CSM election plan
Extended discussion of the EVE ecosystem

April 24th, 2020
Continued discussion of the EVE ecosystem

Dunk’s Corner

One of the least helpful CSM updates, but know that a lot is being discussed about how ISK moves in and out of the game.

The changes to structures have been announced with the Forsaken Fortress update.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a good compromise in terms of reducing structure spam, managing development time, and creating reward for destruction. Solutions like this take a while to craft and refine, but I’m hopefully this a good step forward for structures in space.

Yes, there are some issues, like a few people losing things while they are long term AFK from the game. These are compromises needed to try to keep moving forward. Rather than being paralyzed by trying to solve for every possible situation, the changes are a good step forward that will give players new things to do.

Players are good at looking for the holes in new changes, and they are going to find some. In a game as complex as EVE Online, it’s impossible to make perfect solutions. Going forward, there will be more changes that are compromises between the “perfect solution” and doing nothing. Prepare yourself.

Back to abandoned structures, logistics folk in New Eden are probably doing a lot of planning about what to scoop, fuel, or simply ignore.

Personally, I’ve got some fueling to do, but look forward to some interesting explosions and scams…

Snooters says: “Maintain your chill”

Lychton Kondur

Lychton Kondur was a force of nature.

Sometimes a powerful wind to push you out of the doldrums forward. Sometimes a hurricane that smashed your ships to bits against the rocks.  Always a constant force that brought some well needed chaos to New Eden.

Lychton was an Army Ranger, serving combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, who always led the way.

Helping to found Brave Newbies, literally on the first day of it’s existence, he helped set the tone for not just Brave, but for an entire generation of EVE players, who stopped worrying so much about killboards and started to focus more on having fun.

A tumultuous tenure as CEO saw amazing twists and turns, from the creation of an entirely new coalition to an infamous coup. Life with Lychton was never dull.  He brought a joie de vivre to the game that is hard to describe.  An infectious enthusiasm for simply going out and doing things, foolhardy or not.

He relentlessly worked to make life in New Eden better for the newer players.  During the coup, when people in Brave were picking sides, he messaged me “We need to hold it together for the newbies.  They don’t have anywhere else to go.” 

When a bit of stability was needed more than chaos, he handed off Brave to Nancy Crow to lead.  But those that flew with him, will never forget his laugh and readiness for adventure.

For those that never had the pleasure of knowing Lychton, here he is, speaking at Fanfest.

May his lust for life live on among all of use who knew him and were influenced by his work.

7o

Regarding CSM 15

tl;dr – I’m not running for CSM 15

The last year has been an honor as a CSM member, but I will not be running for election in CSM 15.

Life has gotten steadily busier at my work, with 40+ people added to my staff and having to lead our technical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am stretched thin these days.

Also, I am concerned to not become cynical about CCP and EVE Online.  Once you see how the sausage is made, it is easy to lose confidence in the developers.  That’s not to critique CCP, it’s just the reality that the way things get done in any business is messy and you’ll hear a lot of things that make your eyes go wide.  It’s a normal reaction to anyone that’s ever been ‘brought behind the curtain’.  It’s better to step away without becoming pessimistic.  

More importantly, I don’t want to get cynical about the players, the very people I was elected to represent.  EVE players can be harsh and it’s normal to feel antipathy toward someone that attacks you. I don’t want those personal attacks to guide my CSM efforts with my feedback to CCP.  Nor do I want to see player’s reasonable complaints as “the same old thing” and ignore them.

I have tried to listen to anyone that contacted me and present their concerns to CCP, even if it wasn’t something I agreed with, and will continue to do so until the end of my term.

Hopefully my regular communication about the CSM has been helpful in some understanding of what the CSM is doing and how it operates.

It has been an honor to represent the players and discuss the issues with a wide array of people from all over the world with many different playstyles.  Thank you for your time and input!

Special thanks to CCP for their support and patience with my ideas and comments.  The trust,  faith,  and spending you put into the CSM is appreciated and a huge sign of your commitment to the players and their concerns.

Regarding the next CSM election, I differ from some of my fellow CSM, and believe that new CSM members can help invigorate the process and do not require years of being on the CSM to be useful.  A certain amount of cynicism builds up over the years and is counterproductive.

I recommend choosing representatives that understand the being on the CSM is basically about being in many business meetings, being able to present feedback in a detailed and non-threatening way, and to respond to the wider player community directly.

See you on grid. 7o

P.S. CCPlz T2 Salvage Drones

Snooters says:
Have Fun. Stay Classy. Be Brave.

CSM 14 Update – Week 40 & 41

Real life has been busy, so I missed a meeting report, so the last two meetings are combined.

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

CSM Meeting – March 27th, 2020

Discussion of 2nd Quarter Announcement

Discussion with Ecosystem Team Brief review of the recent MER

Ship Balance discussion

April 3rd, 2020

Review of Development Team plans

Discussion on CSM Summit Minutes

Review of CSM Election plans

Discussion of future CSM Summit plans

A uncomfortable amount of anime talk

Dunk’s Corner

There’s a lot going on these days with the new quadrant plan ramping up.

The ship re-balance was released today with is a good step to help increase the chances that no one moonwalks out of a fight without a bloody nose. The changes aren’t perfect and don’t touch a lot of areas, but I do think they push toward having more destruction in fights. We will see if the changes to sub-capitals have any change on the dominate meta. I would like to have a bigger shakeup, but this is a good start.

The changes to moon ore extraction and reprocessing have gone into the game and a lot more information has been released from the Ecosystem team. Hopefully people have a better idea of what the path looks like.

I do have concerns that I have bought up with the Ecosystem team. There’s a bit of disconnect of messaging that is going to players. As an example, there are changes promoting the use of battleships that literally encourage their explosion at the same time as the ‘starvation’ mining mechanics go deeper into play.

I haven’t done the math myself, but as I understand it, mining an entire Colossal Anomaly doesn’t provide enough ore to build a single battleship. As an industrialist, I see the base minerals/ore going up in price and making myself and other industrialists make choices where to use them best.

It’s not a matter of choosing whether to build a supercapital or multiple battleships. It whether to choose to focus on ships that don’t rely as heavily on base minerals overall. Building Tech 2 and Tech 3 ships, especially cruiser size and below is far more efficient in terms of usage of minerals.

I expect fleet doctrines to begin shifting to take this kind of thinking into account, which means a move away from larger battleship usage, an idea that CCP is actively trying to promote. This seems to counterintuitive.

With the grids of New Eden already full of HACs and Kikimoras, it’s hard to see this behavior not reinforced. Why bring ships that are difficult to replace when you can bring ones that are as effective and don’t have their building supplies in “starvation”.

Add in the new changes to capitals & supercapitals, it’s my concern the groups will be more conservative in their use of larger ships, contrary to the goal of more ship explosions. Rather than leading to more war and destruction, my worry is that it will lead to groups conserving their resources and “turtle-ing up”, only sending out lower cost roaming fleets.

The cost of war is high and almost never a smart economic move. I want more war in EVE and remain concerned that it’s much easier to haul in materials from Jita than to have a war with your neighbor and THEN have to mine the conquered space. That’s what the spreadsheets say, at least…

I hope you are all doing well in the quarantimes. Call your loved ones, they want to hear from you.

Snooters watching over her empire of dirt

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 keep 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.