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.


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.


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