First, let's address the elephant in the room: is voting on crowd-sourcing a waste of time? Mittens says yes. Trebor says no. On this one, I agree with both of them. Is that inconsistent? Very well, I am inconsistent. I contain multitudes.
Let's start with why it's not a waste of time. It's clear that CCP periodically reviews this list for "quick things to do." There are too many items either on this list or that have been on this list in the past that have been completed, or folded into other fixes (18, for instance). Hell, at the very, very least, some of these items CCP has looked at and said they're not going to do (144, for instance). That's progress, too. It's too bad this the list wasn't edited to remove some of these items.
So CCP does at least take the list seriously.
Given that, it's a shame that only 4552 accounts voted this year. That's about 1.5% of the active accounts in the game. And as a result of such a small population voting, there were some goofy results.
Four out of the top-ten vote-getters related to the corp user interface, which very few EVE players actually use. As I said when I posted my own votes, yeah, I get that the corp management interfaces are annoying. But say you put the top ten vote-getters in the crowd-sourcing into a list that every single EVE player had to vote on before they logged into the game? I'll bet you anything those four would be at the bottom of the ten.
Changing the mechanics to make docking games harder topped the list, and yeah, I get that docking games are also annoying. But the proposed cure -- a timer based on the mass of the undocking ship -- is worse than the disease. Do you really want to be forced to wait two minutes if you undock in your battleship, then remember that you forgot to do something before you undocked? Yeah, didn't think so. But that's what 1179 accounts voted for. I'll bet a sizable proportion of them don't realize it.
A thousand accounts voted for the "War dec mechanics" change, which is equally flawed. All of the proposed "solutions" to the "problem" are poor. To take the first proposed solution, if you require victory conditions (such as amount of ISK destroyed) to continue a war, every war-deccing corp is just going to set their victory condition as "destroy 1 ISK." And then, even if the war-decced corp stays 100% turtled up, the corp declaring the war is going to "win" it (and continue it) by destroying a frigate that they give to their spy in the war-decced corp. The other proposed solutions are equally flawed. 39 people voted against this one, and I was almost #40. It's really badly written.
And yet, if you put the top ten vote-getters in the crowd-sourcing into a list that every single EVE player had to vote on before they logged into the game, I'll bet the "war dec mechanics" proposal would win.
Which brings me to the reason why the crowd-sourcing is a waste of time: EVE players are -- surprisingly -- pretty terrible at proposing new EVE game mechanics. ;-)
We all love this game, and want to see it made better, but almost all of us are not very good at seeing the downsides to our fixes for our particular pet issues. We're all outstanding at exploiting the holes in EVE game mechanics, which makes it all the more ironic that we can't see the holes that we ourselves would create. ;-) As a result, to my mind, the crowd-sourcing proposals that are about changing or fixing existing game features are much, much superior to the ones that propose new mechanics.
I'll grant you that they're often not as sexy. The crowd-sourcing proposal I feel most strongly about (Corporation bookmarks) came in 13th, with only 733 accounts voting for it. But they make more sense, and they're often easier to implement.
It'll be interesting to see which of the items from this year's vote CCP chooses to pursue.
EDIT (2/Aug/2011): EVE University called for their members to up-vote seven of the items on this list, which is the cause of a lot of the skew that I was seeing. The seven items each received 500+ EVE-U votes and 1400-1500 "points" each. They were:
|143||545||1,503.72||92.84%||War-dec mechanics (CSM)|
|28||540||1,489.60||91.99%||Corporation and Alliance tool overhaul (CSM)|
|34||538||1,478.09||91.65%||Docking games fix (CSM)|
|91||533||1,470.55||90.80%||Remote repping and aggression (CSM)|
|82||527||1,458.16||89.78%||Overhaul of roles and grantable roles system (CSM)|
|54||522||1,439.51||88.93%||History of who added/kick character from Corporation|
|76||507||1,403.69||86.37%||More Control Over Medals (CSM)|
The results without EVE University are now also available.