On the New Dawn Quadrant

CCP released the From Extraction to Production Dev Blog last Friday.

I have spent a lot of time on the test server, listening to other industry/economy players, and trying to map out how players might min/max.

These are my thoughts from this brief look over the weekend.

tl;dr
Opportunity exists for more resources to hit the economy, but it creates negative effects
Increased time/effort of resource gathering runs counter to making resources less ‘scarce’
The basic ISK/hour metric for most players in resource gathering appears to be going down
Mix of good changes are included alongside the highly controversial ‘nerfs’
These changes will not make the average player feel a “new age of prosperity”

FWIW, I tend to view EVE Gameplay in terms of enjoyable time/effort. In other words, “am I having fun or find the playstyle I enjoy rewarding?” Does playing EVE hit those dopamine triggers that keep people coming back?

You might have your own metrics, but IMHO if EVE does not feel rewarding, it is failing to achieve it’s purpose.

It has been argued that CCP needs to make these changes to put in the ‘handles’ to be able to adjust the game economy as needed and these are necessary pains.

Here is an allegory to consider:

Many have heard the story of how to boil a frog. You put a frog in a pot and slowly increase the temperature until the water is boiling and the frog doesn’t notice the slow change.

CCP’s recent approach is to first boil a pot of water and then throw the frogs in.

When the frogs complain, CCP says “oh, is that too hot?” and wait a long time before turning down the temperature.

What we are seeing with anger and protest are frogs not wanting to be placed directly into boiling water again.


Let’s break down the large Dev Blog into several sections:

Resource Doubling

This is one of the main positive aspects of the changes. Increasing the amount of raw materials available is always welcome. Resources are not ‘dynamic’ yet, but this is a positive step toward allowing more wealth to find it’s way into the wallets of players.

However, the addition of Waste and Lossy Compression reduce the overall availability of resources significantly.

The changes are complicated and there are many conflicting changes that don’t make it simple to say how this is the “end of Scarcity.” For example, my friend Angry Mustache reminds me, the elimination of minerals from R4 moons, makes them basically not worth mining and continues to increase the logistics needed to move minerals like Pyerite from high sec to other places.


Reduced PI needs

One of the oft-voice frustrations with the New Industry changes regarded the use of Planetary Interaction (PI) materials. The inclusion of bulky P1 materials (water) was a particular point of pain.

The new plan reduces the dependence on PI materials, but it is difficult to predict whether this will bring the construction price of capital ships down significantly. With such a large, multi-variable change to all resource gathering, it’s not possible to make accurate calculations. It’s reasonable to expect the build price down somewhat, but to what degree is unknown. For example, the reduced P4 costs may be offset by increased Pyerite costs.


Industrial Subcapital Ship Holds

The addition of specialized hangars to allow easier hauling of resources (gas, ice, & moon ore) are welcome changes. Commonly used in short hauling runs where freighters are impractical, this change rounds out the industrial line and makes life just a little easier for players.

My beloved Primae now has an excited future ahead!

Kudos on getting this done.


Compression Changes

Lossy compression is not a bad idea in itself, but the complexity is a bit overwhelming.

I don’t mind complexity and do T2 & T3 industry for fun, but even I was a bit baffled on how it worked.

Over the weekend, I spent many hours on the Test Server, actually doing compression in-game.

Lots of mouse clicking

For Orca & Rorqual compression, the process itself is frustrating. Move from ore or fleet hangar into cargo bay, load module, wait for module to complete, move compressed product out, move more into cargo bay. Doing this for a while is a lot of monotony.

Besides the clicking, the time durations are painful. People are going from instant compression to this and waiting several minutes for each cycle. It’s repetitive ‘micro’ clicking and hangar moving, clearly based on the existing ammo loading mechanism, hampered by this limitation, as it feels like a jury rigged system to avoid writing to much additional code.

At scale, it becomes unrealistic to do the straightforward task of mining a moon and compressing it. Asteroid ore, gas, and ice will likely be done in Athanors to avoid the time and risk, unless someone it living in exceedingly safe regions.

The variety of different compression modules is daunting. For the Orca there are 28 different modules, for the Rorqual there are 38. Even if you want to bring along some variety to refit, they are 1,000 m3 each. Lots of frustration just on choosing how to fit the ship.

The overall take is a lot of complexity and time spent with a high risk for a ‘simple’ task like compression. The simple change to lossy compression is a hard enough pill for most to swallow, adding the elaborateness of the actual in-space compression process might make it an unused feature by most miners.

Learned I could compress in complete safety inside a POS

Again, if there was some reward or payoff mechanism it might be received differently. Like occasionally the compression module spat out another ore or item or some kind of slot machine payoff as something “found in the compression process” it might induce players to do this kind of thing. Compressing Veldspar and occasionally a small chunk of compressed Spodumain or Pollucite pops up as a reward to the compressor, for example. Variable ration/variable reward mechanisms motivate people very well.

The skills map to the modules, but again, those are a lot of skills to train. Million SP trains are not fun. Several of them are fist clenching. Unlike the capital production changes requiring Science V skills, these are skills that are difficult to share responsibility. Putting Rorquals on field these days is risky. Expecting multiple Rorquals to be coordinated to spread the skill training needs, be fitted properly, and flown together is something only a small handful of the largest groups could pull off.


Mining Waste

Mining waste is not a bad idea, but the end result is counter-productive to getting lower SP players involved with mining and getting more people in space.

EVE players are min/maxxers and the proposed design leads to natural path of basically excluding as much waste behavior as possible. This means the rich get richer and the poor get kicked from mining fleets as the Tech 1 modules low SP players use simply waste too much of the valuable rocks.

Waste is ore offered to Bob

The change to make all mining drones create waste is a huge impact to players in industrial support ships and again, reduces the ISK/hour of resource gathering as in many groups, mining waste will be anathema, and the time it takes to gather resources increases significantly.

The idea of offensive ‘waste mining’ fleets is raised, but it seems fairly unrealistic we are going to see this becoming a common tactic. Mining ships are so paper thin that this kind of fleet would be more a meme fleet that a serious economic attack.

The entire waste paradigm needs to be flipped in some way so that the rich & high SP players can’t simply get more ability to dominate resource gathering.

Again, an opportunity to create variable ration/variable reward mechanisms is something that should be considered. Having a chance for a lucky waste roll to pop out something valuable would do a lot to soften player resistance.

Combining lossy compression and waste in the mining general case (T2 modules + Athanor compression) easily turns the 100% increase in resources to maybe a 50% actual increase in resources. This doesn’t consider the additional changes to mining ships that realistically increase the amount of time spent in the act of mining, lowering the ISK/hour.


Mining Ship Changes

As has been hinted previously, the Porpoise, Orca, and Rorqual are not going to be mining ships going forward. This is tremendously frustrating to those players that invested a lot of effort into flying these ships to see them be purely support ships. Besides providing mining command bursts and the newly changed compression modules, these ships are high cost ships with low value to the pilot flying them. The idea that a Rorqual is going to save paper thin exhumers from a Blops Drop is laughable. Everything on field will die.

Saddling these billion+ ISK ships with the mind-numbing task of sitting on field to compress materials painfully while a command burst cycles endlessly is just no fun at all. If fielded, a huge target for hunters, with no realistic way for the ship to earn its way into profitability.

Players who own Orcas/Rorquals are owners of ships that don’t justify their build costs. Only the safest and wealthiest areas in New Eden will see these fielded, further pushing the player meta to join only the biggest and most powerful groups, reducing diversity in corps and alliances.

So, if a player owns a Rorqual with Excavators, suck it up buttercup, you are SOL. Might not feel like the “new age of prosperity.”

I don’t Rorqual mine, but I do have one that’s used for logistics purposes. That usage appears intact. A kind of Poor Person’s Jump Freighter.

The most used mining ship in null sec, the Procurer, is nerfed. It’s role as bait with the capability to fight back removed almost entirely.

Why mess with the Procurer?

Eliminating the gas mining bonus for Ventures again removes a good way for low SP players to earn ISK. It has to be asked, why? Isn’t getting new players into space flying around to huff gas a good thing? Why was the Venture deemed too overpowered and harmful to the gas economy of New Eden?

The rest of the mining ship changes are a haphazard mix of tank buffs/nerfs/bonuses that make a halfhearted attempt to get players to fly expensive Exhumers into harm’s way. It’s like a wheel of change was spun and the random result chosen instead of a serious look at why players use the mining ships that they use.

The more I looked at it the less I could get a clear picture of what is trying to be achieved other than “don’t mine so much stuff” which seems counter the theme of New Dawn.


Condensing Reprocessing Skills and Mining Crystals

These changes toward the end of the Dev Blog are welcome and even reduce the complexity of mining a bit.

With Reprocessing skills and mining crystals previously specific down to the ore type, these changes make the training of skills and crystal usage simpler to understand (once we learn the new terminology like “Supreme Ores”) which is a good thing.

For those players with perfect refining characters, it’s actually a skill bonanza as there’s the possibility for several million unallocated skill points to be gained.

The mining crystal changes again simplify the game a small amount and offer some options not previously available. While avoiding waste in sovereign space is a big issue, if I’m on a high sec mining character and just want to spend 45 minutes running asteroid belts, the higher yield, high waste crystals sound pretty good. My corp mates aren’t going to be angry if I dumpster a few belts in unowned high sec space with waste.

These changes exemplify what CCP should be doing, making changes that mix good improvements, with options that appeal to varied playstyles.


So what’s next?

I think the Dev Team is taking the community reaction seriously and trying to listen to the concerns. This is a good thing. We have their attention.

The ball is in their court as the CSM and players can offer a look into how the denizens of New Eden would use or abuse the current design.

Personally, I was hoping for more information on the mention last July about “Rework of the industrial index including greater choice over the distribution of resources” which is important to my group. But we need to get through New Dawn first.

My ask of the Dev Team is to remember that players want to enjoy EVE and feel rewarded for their effort. If that gets lost, nothing else really matters.

Thanks for reading to the end of this write-up. There’s a ton I didn’t cover, mainly because the interconnectedness of all the changes make it difficult for even an experienced industry enthusiast to keep in their mind at one time.

CCP’s Dilemma

As we begin 2021, CCP faces a dilemma on the future direction of EVE Online.

At it’s core, the appeal of EVE Online is it’s ability to provide a sandbox where players can create their own stories, rather than simply following a storyline created by a game developer to guide you between elaborate cut scenes.

Whether it’s the solo player looking to achieve their own goals in industry, the PvPer that wants to rise on the killboard, or the large group looking to crush opponents and steal their star systems, EVE Online allows those stories to be written.

More recently, the CCP Dev Team has been more focused on directing action in the sandbox than they have in the past.  Specifically, the Ecosystem team has been trying to “fix” the economic resource balances in the game and reduce the ability of the wealthy players and groups to project as much power. 

This comes into conflict with some of the core marketing needs of EVE Online that are used to attract new players.

“If it bleeds, it leads” is a core tenet of attracting attention in news organizations, and CCP’s marketing relies heavily on bloody conflict to create headlines and stories that circulate on gaming sites and social media.  

Popular articles about EVE Online are invariably about large scale conflict, mass destruction, world records, and personal conflicts that spin out of control into wars.  Occasionally something like Katia Sae breaks into the news cycle, but the vast majority of eyeballs are drawn to gigantic fleets slamming into each other and expensive wrecks littering the field.

Rarely do you see an article about some small gang battle in a random system popping up on Kotaku or Polygon.  No one is writing articles about achieving Mastery levels in manufacturing or mining quietly in low sec for Crokite.

There is no book of “Small Frigate Fights of EVE”. 

The server-spanning, empire-crushing, tens-of-thousands-of-players wars are what get books written about and are the stories told for years afterward.

Unfortunately for CCP’s Marketing team, the game design is pointing in a different direction currently.  The continuing changes to resource availability, reduced ISK generation, infrastructure investment, and capital ship gameplay are basically disincentives to the exact kind of conflict and battles the are the lifeblood of CCP’s ability to get attention.

While these disincentives are frustrating to most players, they show no sign of effectively stopping “capital proliferation” or large scale empire power projection, some of the stated goals to justify the “starvation” that players are dealing with currently.

The frustration continues unabetted with no public design targets, timelines, or tangible “carrot” for players to be looking forward to besides “weaponized inconvenience”.

The on-going server spanning war is completely player driven conflict.  The war has nothing to with the economy or scarcity, and is based on a combination of grudges and existential threats that go back years. 

While the current war has been helpful in generating headlines so far, the future is not so bright for new headlines.  The debacle of the second fight in M2-XFE effectively ended the possibility that we will see a record breaking battle of that scale again. The lesson learned was that “people tanking” is a thing, and that pushing the server too hard is tactic.   Leaders will avoid the situation of being humiliated in a battle due to the game itself falling over.

The Dev Team response to M2-XFE gave no sign that the situation with player numbers in fights would see any improvement in the future, further dampening enthusiasm for these kinds of titanic battles. Not that there is an easy solution here, but the game meta has changed significantly due to M2-XFE.

Beyond that, once this conflict is over, we are faced with a game system that pushes large groups into the most economically rational decision; turtle up, generate resources, avoid losing powerful ships as they are hard to replace.  For smaller groups, the protection of the larger groups and defensible infrastructure becomes more attractive, reinforcing the conclusion that the smart move is it be part of an umbrella.

Once this war is over, the likelihood of large scale, newsworthy stories drops precipitously.

War is not profitable.

Generating resources, ISK, and ships in wartime is painful and frustrating.

Even the victors in war need time to rebuild their wallets. The losers, even if they are eager for revenge, will be far away from striking back.  Considering the direction that game design is heading, all sides will need even more peace time to regenerate strength.

CCP is committed to the current design path with economy for the foreseeable future, creating quite a dilemma.  Continue to reduce the rationale for war and ability to create large scale conflict, or enable conditions that create the events that make headlines.

Which way will we tip?

Not an easy one to solve.

People play EVE Online as an escape for the humdrum and horrors of real life.  They will endure some inconvenience in the game, but their willingness to grind in a system that is literally working to make their time less valuable has limits. 

I don’t have any answers on how to solve this, but CCP is going to have to grapple with this dilemma at some point, sooner or later.

When this war ends, many players are going to be taking a hard look about how much they log in and are willing to grind.   It’s one thing to endure frustration, while striving to support The War Effort, but another to see it as the New Normal.

The next six months will be interesting to watch, as CCP begins to reveal their plans for 2021 and which path they intend to walk.

On the ESS

The revised ESS system was released this week into New Eden.  As a former member of the CSM, I was aware of the basic idea for a long time, but now feel free to comment on the actual final design outcome.

The ESS posed some difficult design problems that have been addressed by fairly strict limitations on the environment in which players can interact.

Stepping back, it’s safe to say that EVE players are some of the most dedicated min/max gamers around.  They will relentlessly test, iterate, and hone in on ship fittings and tactics to master specific environments.   

Much of the hardest PVE content in the game has been mastered in this way, to the point that a player faces no real difficulty.  Burner missions, 10/10 escalations, and Abyssal space are intended to challenge players, but due to min/maxxing, they pose no real threat to players with the information on how to beat them.  They have become ISK printing machines, not challenges.

PvP is quite different than PVE, but even in PvP we have seen this same min/maxxing lead to optimal fits and tactics with little room for variation.  Abyssal PvP encounters rapidly became only run by a limited group of players due to their mastery of the specific fits and tactics there were basically optimized for the environment.

The live events team has done a great job with the Abyssal Proving Grounds, where the environment is rotated through to keep interest levels up and prevent long term stagnation. Even so, optimized fits rapidly emerge and dominate the environment. 

Which brings us to the revised ESS system. The environment has been very strongly controlled to remove many options from ship tactics to attempt to “force” good fights to occur.

The issue is whether completely optimized fits and tactics will appear for the “robber” side or the “defender” side creating a situation that is not fun for players.  

The fewer the tactical options due to the environmental restrictions, the simpler the task of optimizing is for theorycrafters.

We are still early in the ESS Era, but watching the ship doctrine choices in ESS encounters will be telling on whether players will be able to master the ESS, as they have every other limited environment in EVE.  

Only time will tell, but I’ve learned to never bet against on the hive mind of players to solve any puzzle placed in front of them.

On the Ecosystem Changes

I am occasionally on EVE talk shows and tweet about my feelings on the game. People sometimes ask why I am “against change” and “refusing to adapt”.  Here’s a slightly longer explanation about my views on the Ecosystems work for clarity that doesn’t fit well onto Twitter, Reddit, or Twitch.

Why am I frustrated?

My frustration with the Ecosystem changes over the last year is simple, they are dull, boring, weaponized inconvenience with nothing exciting for the average player.

Let’s compare to other major changes in EVE.  Each of these changes were radical and changed fundamental aspects of the game at the time.  Whether you like them or not, there is something about each change that created excitement, enthusiasm, and gave players significantly new things to do in EVE.  We can argue if they were long term good decisions, but it is inarguable that players were hyped and enthusiastic about the innovative changes.

Capital Rework – 2015

Near complete rework of the way Capital ships operate – introduction of modern fighter mechanics and creation of Force Auxiliaries.

Result: Entirely new fight dynamics for capitals ships in almost every situation. New roles for pilots, new escalation metas, new PVE opportunities.

Aegis Sovereignty – 2015

Complete work of null security space sovereignty system

Result: New war strategies, increases involvement of sub-capitals, new entosis strategy & doctrine, significant redrawing of the null sec map.

Upwell Citadels – 2016

Replacement plan for POS (Control Towers)

Result: New fight dynamics, new avenues for industry, un-coffined supercapital pilots, new choices for structure placement and use.

Athanor Moon Mining – 2017

Complete rework of moon mining process

Result: New shift in revenue streams from passive to active, allowed wide involvement from many pilots, created open trade in moon materials, created high risk locations for fights.

Again, you don’t have to think all of these changes were great, but in each cases they were new, enticing activities for players that created enthusiasm and new emergent gameplay.  Many will argue the pros & cons of each major change now in hindsight, but there is no doubt that the changes brought out excitement and enthusiasm in the players.

Now consider the changes to resources in the Economy work

Resource Redistribution – 2020

Resources are harder to acquire.

Result: Mine in other places. Haul more. Stuff costs more.

No new ships
No new incentives
No new strategies
No enthusiasm

Even the most positive comments are “It won’t be that bad…”.

The most enthusiastic players have pinned all their hope on some great, unannounced future feature set that will make all this “eat your vegetables” talk worth it.  

Imagine for a moment that it was the Aftertimes, and CCP was presenting at Fanfest or an in-person meetup and that the big keynote message was “Nocxium is in low sec now!”

Do you think there would be cheers? 
Do you think this would create excitement in the room?

Of course not. 

As I have said before, this is all stick, no carrot.

More “The beatings will continue until morale improves!” than “Here’s cool new ideas!”

And all this Ecosystem change is about getting to ‘Healthy Ecosystem State’, a state that has never been described, never been detailed, and worse, never explained to the average pilots why it matters.

Players are told “Trust us.”, which is code for either “we don’t know” or “we don’t think you are smart enough to understand”, both of which are terrible.

In previous large changes, explanations were simple: “Large Slowcat carrier fleets are basically invulnerable and have no counter, they gotta go. Capital ships need to blow up a lot more often.”

Most frustratingly, we see innovation from CCP sneaking in around the edges. Filaments, EdenCom ships, Proving Grounds, and Space Weather all have generated recent excitement, but that excitement continually tempered and diminished by the overwhelming wet blanket of the Ecosystem changes repeatedly smothering enthusiasm. 

Players need incentives
Players need excitement
Players need innovation

That’s not what players are seeing, they see harsh tweaks to force players to act in very specific ways, which in the sandbox universe of New Eden, is about as un-EVE as it gets.

On the Quantum Cores

Yes, structure spam is an issue.

Yes, bashing structures is painful with little reward.

Yes, as a former CSM member, this was a topic brought up to CCP and discussed.

That said, I feel that the announced change will not get the desired results of more sustained conflict.

tl;dr: They are burning down the house to kill the spider.

The change will cause corp & alliance logistics team headaches, leading to some consolidation of structures in a familiar form of “weaponized inconvenience” that we have seen with Ansiblex relocation and Abandoned structure states.  People like me who do this kind of work will complain, but much like the other changes, the job will get done and the organized groups will continue on unscathed.

I’m not against change or some version of the Quantum Cores, but the proposed implementation is unlikely to create the results expected by the Dev Team.

Personally, I’d rather spend alliance ISK on blowing ships up rather than on paying a retroactive tax on maintaining the status quo as most larger groups will do.

The change will lead to fewer structures in space and further incentivize players to concentrate in space and travel less.  Again, the optimal strategy will be to join larger groups for better protection from attack.

As we have seen with other major changes intended to create conditions for conflict, this will likely fail to do so as well.  Scarity has failed to create conflict.  Nerfs to supers and capitals have put fewer targets in space, reducing the ability of “hunters” to find prey, continuing to reduce people fighting in space.  Mining has moved in dramatic fashion to minimal risk High Sec space.

Boom

Yes, for the first few weeks there will be an orgiastic spike of destruction, much like the Abandoned Structures change, but once that is over and areas are purged, there won’t be many new structures being put up to replace them. 

If you couldn’t defend a structure from getting blown up the first time, you certainly aren’t going to anchor a new one in it’s place to get blown up for a second time.

Industrialists will likely see structure construction wind down to a trickle. Between the great unanchoring of citadels pre-Abandoned change and new consolidation, the stockpiles of structures and standup modules will be significant.  I’ve built over 200 citadels myself and don’t expect to build many more in the future.

Structures consumed a lot of P4 material in the past, so we will likely see increased supply with lower demand leading to further prices drops, accelerating price declines. Besides having less to build in this area, smaller industrialist will likely find fewer places to build and those will likely have higher indexes.

I’m not a High Sec person, so I can’t speak with any authority, but based on what I saw during the first weeks of Abandoned states, I wouldn’t want to be a high sec structure owner that can’t easily form 250 person fleets for defense.  Bob help the structures in High Sec if the Null Sec powers decided to ‘farm’ them for Cores rather than buy them.  As The Mittani clearly showed in Niarja, the force that can be brought to bear from large Null Sec groups is extreme and outstrips any typical High Sec group capabilities.

As I mentioned in my time as a CSM member, there is a disconnect between how the Dev Team thinks players will react to changes and how players actually adapt to change.  We have repeatedly seen design changes that do not work in creating conflict and getting more players going more places, just in creating speedbumps for people looking for fun.

If it wasn’t for the purely ego and grudge driven conflict we see in the current wars, New Eden would be fairly dull place with small groups filamenting around hoping to catch a ratting Myrmidon (if they are lucky).

Don’t chase kitey bullshit.

See you on grid.

Her Majesty

What I learned on the CSM

Being on CSM 14 was an honor and a privilege. I got meet many people and I learned several things.

Here are three things I’d like to share:

CCP is a business

Players can easily get caught up in the subtle nuances of their playstyle niche, but CCP looks at EVE Online development with two key goals in mind: bring new players into the game & generate revenue.

CCP is a business and they need to continuously grow. Whether players want to hear it or not, catering to the person who has been playing for 5+ years is not CCP’s primary goal. Development is always going to prioritize work that directly influences the new player pipeline over other needs in game. We are seeing a balance in development currently, but bringing new players into the game is almost always going to be prioritized heavily.

Monetization can be a dirty word to some players, but without generating revenue, there will be no EVE Online. Some monetization ideas are non-controversial, like ship SKINs, while other options, like those involving skill points, are highly controversial. CCP will continue to look for ways to make money, and players should expect them to do so.

You cannot please all the players

Being on the CSM opened up my communication with a large number players with various viewpoints. Even on topics I expected to be non-controversial, I heard from players with serious concerns, some with serious vitriol.

Every change to the game will be faced with criticism by someone. As I have previous described, “CCP could cure cancer, and some players would complain that they are putting doctors out of work”.

Trying to make all the players happy is a fool’s errand. You cannot ignore player concerns, but you have accept that someone is going to absolutely hate a change with fist clenched anger, regardless of the benefits other players might see.

EVE is more complex than you can imagine

After playing EVE for over 12 years, I thought I had a good understanding of most aspects of the game. I could not be more wrong. The deeper you look into any playstyle, the more strange and byzantine it gets. Esoteric missions from the first days of the game with significant rewards that the developers have no idea how they were created. Obtuse ways to calculate the industrial production across the universe. Use of PVE oriented modules to influence PvP success. Elaborate manipulations of high sec crimewatch and war dec mechanics. Endless attempts to predict and force wormhole behavior.

Yes, as you read this, you think to yourself, “naw, I know about all that stuff”, but you are wrong. There some crazy ass shit that goes on quietly behind the scenes that the CSM discuss among themselves and even stranger stuff you hear from the developers during late night drinks in Reykjavik.

The intensity of thought and persistent effort that players put into EVE to gain an edge is unmatched in video gaming. I was continually surprised by information discussed on the CSM as to whether a complex and convoluted action was simply innovative gameplay or abuse of the game. No single player knows it all. No developer knows it all. It’s simply to much for any one person to grok.

Part of the continuing allure of EVE after all these years in the mind numbing complexity and the impossibility of truly mastering the entire game. There is always something new to learn or white rabbit to chase.

Snooters, maintaining her chill

War

War is likely coming to New Eden

For most of Brave, this is not due to a grudge or animosity.  It’s about blowing stuff up.

There are a lot of grudges between other groups in the game, but those aren’t a prime motivating factor for Brave.  Our pilots want to have fights and get a chance to use their big toys. 

It’s been almost a year since the end of our last serious war effort, and the familiar internal discussions of pilots wanting something ‘serious’ to do has continued to increase.

War is hard and will likely tax the energy of everyone involved.  Bonds will be forged and memories made that last far longer than the conflict itself. EVE is about making stories, and stories will be made.

We will not underestimate our opponent.  They will care as much about protecting their home as we would about ours.  The true deciding factor will be maintaining morale and the will to fight.  I have no idea how that will go.

War will bring glorious memes and shitposting, as is tradition in EVE.

I, like many others, have good personal relationships with players in every large coalition, even those that have attacked us in the past.

Brave is pushing our members to keep attacks in-game and not resort to personal attacks against individuals.  We are all part of the spaceship nerd community IRL, and 2020 is hard enough without being personally attacked.

We look forward to good fights, laughs, looting the field, the butterfly effect, and inevitable betrayal.

See you on grid.

-Dunk Dinkle
Electromagical Majordomo, Brave Collective

P.S. Wear a face mask

P.P.S. As an industrialist, in an anarcho-syndicalist collective, I will likely get filthy rich as a war profiteer.

CSM 14 – Final Update

June 13th, 2020

Yesterday, the results of the CSM 15 election were announced.  Congratulations to all those elected.

The next few weeks will be a transition period as CSM 15 members sign confidentiality documents, get accounts to access CCP systems, and receive a basic orientation on how the group meets and interacts with developers.

For a short period, there will be a overlap of CSM 14 & 15 members to discuss the transition and pass on any ongoing work and answer questions.  By early July, the change should be complete and my term as a CSM member will be over.

CCP has gone through significant changes over the last year, and the next year looks like significant change for EVE Online as long term plans are designed and implemented. The role of the CSM to reflect player desires and concerns remains an important part of the design process.

The last year has been a privilege to serve as a representative of EVE players to CCP.  Meeting so many new people at meetups and online was wonderful.  Being entrusted with people concerns & hopes with the desire to improve the game was an honor.

I did my best to provide regular updates on what the CSM was doing, clearly state my positions on various topics, and earnestly try to answer every convo, EVE mail, Discord message, email, and in-person request with my full attention.

While I didn’t always agree with what players asked for, I tried to reflect their concerns to CCP so that their voice was heard.

While I won’t be on the CSM, I continue to play EVE and remain a part of this amazing gaming community. I remain available to anyone that wants to chat or has concerns, to share what I can.

Snooters gatecamps at the fig tree

CSM 14 Update – Week 50

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

June 6th, 2020

Discussion of upcoming game live events

Discussion of new in-game features

Discussion of CSM transition

Discussion of game client changes

Dunk’s Corner

Don’t have a big topic to write about this week. 

There’s a tremendous amount going on in New Eden lately. 

The Triglavian Invasion is a big draw for all kinds of players, showing up for lore, PvE, and PvP action.  Plenty of activity and action all over these systems.

Toss in the abandoned structure Spring Cleaning and people have plenty to do daily.  I’m usually too busy with space logistics to do bashing, but the structure bashers seem to be having a great time with a minimal amount of looting drama.  Many items returning to circulation after years of being forgotten in out of the way hangars.

Upcoming are the new EDENCOM ships and events.  This kickoff will surely lead to a nice industrial race to build the first ships and get them into combat. 

The addition of more needlejack yeet filaments into the game continues to create impromptu fights and surprises in every region. 

Caldari militia are systematically flipping Gallente systems. Hail Tibus Heth!

Alongside all these events, there large scale fights occurring all over the map.

If you think New Eden is stagnant, you simply aren’t logging into the game.

Feral queen bee caught – who says you can’t control the Goons?

CSM 14 Update – Week 49

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

May 29th, 2020

Extremely detailed discussion of upcoming new design

(that’s astoundingly vague, but it’s all I can really say)

Dunk’s Corner

Today is the start of voting for CSM 15.  Many groups have recommended ballot slates, but I encourage you to make your own decisions.  The CSM is there to represent YOUR views, which may differ from your group.

Here are my suggestions on what you should look for in a CSM representative.

Ability to listen – A CSM member needs the ability to listen carefully to both CCP and players.  CCP has a plan and roadmap.  A CSM member needs to be able to listen to the plan and take the time to understand WHY it is seen as important by CCP.  Rather than defaulting to an immediate reaction, a CSM member needs to gather the information first, consider it, and then give feedback.

Similarly for players, a CSM member must be open to listening to players who have wildly different agendas and different perspectives.  Ideally, the CSM member can present the concerns to CCP in a constructive way that ensures CCP is hearing a wide range of feedback.

Ability to compromise – A CSM member needs to be able to work well with the rest of the CSM and CCP in a positive way.  This often requires compromise and ‘politics’.  A CSM member that creates acrimony or cannot adapt to the concerns other CSM or direction of CCP, will find themselves unable to get much done.

Finding creative and workable solutions that navigate between the various points of view is no simple task, but progress is often stopped until consensus can be reached. 

Understanding of complex dynamics – EVE Online is a complex game with complex issues.  There are no simple fixes.  Most changes can have impact outside of the target problem and a CSM member needs to be able to understand the complex dynamics of the game.

Specific expertise can be important, but if a tight focus on one area of gameplay is the only lens a CSM member looks through, they will often miss the effects of a proposed change in an unexpected area.  Being able to understand how others play the game and being able to think from an ‘opposing’ point of view is valuable in reaching good decisions.

Lastly – The person has the commitment to do the job – The CSM election can be seen as a popularity contest and in many ways is.  Being a good member of the CSM requires a lot of time, focus, think skin, and persistence.  History has shown multiple players being elected and then basically going AFK from their role as CSM when faced with the workload.  If a candidate is running because they think it will be ‘fun’, they probably won’t be a good CSM member.

Snooters, chillaxing in her sov space, sniffing for intel on neutrals…