The second formal CSM meeting happened last week. As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.
The new CSM members are still getting to know who’s who at CCP and this was more introductions and high level chat. While I had known some of the basics previously, it was good to put faces to the names.
Obviously, there was discussion about Blackout/Local Chat. Without getting into any details, be assured that multiple playstyle viewpoints were brought up to CCP.
This wasn’t a long meeting with only a few more topics briefly discussed.
The fall CSM summit is planned for early September and will be when the most detailed discussions will occur.
Here’s where I’ll update with my personal views on recent changes and what I hear being discussed in the community. This reflects only my views and not the other CSM members
Blackout & Perfect Intel – “Begin with the end in mind”
There is quite a split in player viewpoints on the effect of Blackout. Anecdotally, we are seeing both more PvP pilots undocking and more PvE pilots not logging in.
If you think fun PvP is five assault frigates killing a ratting Vexor Navy Issue, well, you’re in heaven, but that’s not what many EVE players enjoy.
If you think quietly mining your moon is enjoyable, you are probably not having fun.
What I have heard is proponents of the Blackout are looking for:
Making null sec less safe
Breaking up the industrial strength mining & ratting in null
Getting rid of ‘perfect intel’
Additionally, there is new discussion of delaying or getting rid of killmails in the hope that this will also lead to the above goals. Elaborate discussions around this elimination of ‘perfect intel to create a ‘fog of war’ and make EVE riskier.
I’m sure this doesn’t cover everything, but it’s majority of what I’ve heard discussed in Discords, podcasts, and chats. Despite the uptick in interesting killmails, I don’t think the Blackout will lead to these outcomes.
I’m not against change, but I believe in making change that leads to the outcomes that are desired.
Already, the larger groups are developing methods and tools to replace the old local chat based systems. Zkill going black for the initial weekend is simply encouraging the large groups to return to running their own killmail tracking systems and discuss opportunities to share data between the larger groups.
Without going deep into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’ll simply say that people will work together to protect themselves and move into situations where they can be protected from undesirable situations. It’s human nature.
In EVE, the Blackout leads to more clustering and grouping, not less, for security and strength. The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.
The idea of that EVE will return to an era where the ‘fog of war’ is the general case is naive. It’s not a realistic outcome. Large groups will develop their own methods, and again, have an advantage over smaller groups.
Large groups all have Polaris-like coordination systems and these would all be adapted to take in new input sources to empower fleet commanders and leadership. Again, the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.
Blackout is not stopping Rorqual mining, it is not stopping capital responses to cynos, it is not stopping FCs from knowing what fleet comps they are facing, it is not leading to the elusive good fight. It is not having the desired outcomes.
The proposed idea of getting rid of Asset Safety is getting discussed as well. Similarly, that change would simply help the strongest groups, those being able to defend and evacuate if necessary, while hurting unsubbed and IRL AFK players only. Yet again, smaller groups without jump freighter logistics and large capital fleets would be the ones getting hammered, with stuff getting blown up, never the big coalitions. The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.
To create more chaos in EVE, there either needs to be a change in either giving people something to fight over or changing the terrain to allow different metas to playout.
Right now, most large groups have little reason to attack other large groups other than lulz and bragging rights. I’m no game designer, but having something something else to fight over might stir things up.
As far as “change the terrain”, imagine regions where cynos don’t work or supercapitals aren’t allowed. Or regional rotation of incursion-like effects that hit entire regions, encouraging new metagame options.
Players are right to want something to change in EVE, but I just don’t think Blackout is going to give them what they want in the end.
OK, you can yell at me now. 🙂