Friday, CSM6 had a second meeting with Senior Producer CCP Zulu. The contents of the meeting are under NDA, but the CSM went out of their way to put out a statement. Here it is in full, and you can also find it on the new EVE Online forums.
The CSM met with EVE Senior Producer Zulu for a second time to discuss the current issues confronting EVE Online. We got more details of CCP's plans to address community concerns, some of which we agree with, and some of which concerns us. However, no final decisions have been made at this point.Something about this statement bugged me from the get-go. The CSM had a meeting with CCP Zulu last week, and put out another statement saying much the same: they'd had a meeting, they were briefed on something, and then CSM6 decided to halt the media campaign that was just getting geared up before it even began. Two step said of this on Failheap:
CCP Zulu intends to publish a devblog next week to outline CCP's plans and solicit feedback from the community.
I find it amazing the sorts of crazy conclusions you guys are willing to jump to, but you haven't yet figured out what the obvious one is. You have been given 2 pieces of information:Now, the "media campaign" that was gearing up was heavily based on the development time being spent on Incarna vis-à-vis the actual benefit that CCP was getting out of Incarna from actual subscriptions and players logged into the game. And indeed, Two step also let slip that the first meeting with Arnar was specifically about "resource allocation."
1) We met with Arnar
2) We stopped our media campaign
I would have thought you guys would have figured it out by now, tbh...
Couple that with Mittens being unbelievably smug (even for him, hee) in the last week or so about wanting people to dismiss the CSM as being powerless, then saying:
Whatever. Soon the season of "suck it bitches" - where I rub what CSM6 has wrought in the faces of the doubters and paranoids of this forum - will begin. Ship session change timers, TiDi and the return of the hangar view/ship spinning (despite the 'mandatory' Incarna) is only the beginning.That was the 15th, the day before the second meeting. That post and Two step's post are both in a truly awful FHC thread about CSM6 activities, by the way. I read it every day, but I'm embarrassed for a lot of people posting there. There's some normally smart people there, and yes, there's a few intelligent posts, but mostly... not so much. Just skim it for CSM6 member posts and you'll be happier. Or don't.
Instead, let's go back to the CSM statement. As I said, it bugged me right from the start. I specifically tweeted:
Is there a reason for saying "We met with CCP people who we are elected to meet, but we can't say anything about it."? #csm6I got a bunch of responses from Trebor and Mittens. I'm not going to bother to repeat all of them. But one jumped out at me, from Trebor:
@RipardTeg These kind of #csm6 meetings with Arnar are unprecedented, actually. I look forward to your analysis and predictions b4 devblog."The fuck?" I thought (yes, I did; Garth must have taken over my brain briefly). "Analysis? There's nothing to analyze. To do analysis, you need data," I thought. And then I said so, on Twitter. And got this enigmatic little response, still from Trebor:
@RipardTeg You see, but you do not observe.Then he went out of his way to make sure I understood that he'd written the statement. That sent me over to my e-mail, to ping an old friend for some advice. I don't know Trebor. Never met the man. And sometimes in communications -- a lot of times, actually -- you need to know the man to understand the message. My friend does know Trebor, and she informs me that Trebor delights in word games, hidden messages, and references to movie and book quotes. My friend makes it clear that she wouldn't put it past Trebor to drop a little coded message into the statement. Great. That sends me back to the statement.
The middle sentence jumps out at me:
We got more details of CCP's plans to address community concerns, some of which we agree with, and some of which concerns us.And on second reading, that's unclear grammar at best, and poor grammar at worst. The verb tense changes at least three times. Very unlike Trebor, that. I didn't notice it in my first read-through because the statement appeared to say nothing, so I took it for saying nothing. Weird as it sounds, if you're going to refer to a set of "plans", you do it in the singular. A set of plans is singular, not plural. "We got more details of CCP's plans, some of which concern us" is the proper grammatical way of writing that sentence... except that it's not, because "got" is past tense. "Concerns" is present tense(1), and so is "agree".
But Trebor wrote the statement. And Trebor enjoys word games. Let's assume he meant what he wrote. Let's assume he knows the grammar is unclear, written that way. That means we need to know what the definition of "concerns" is. If the plural "concerns" is meant, then "us" has to refer to something plural: a group, say. Deconstructing the sentence further, you'll note that it begins with the word "We". "We" here is "the CSM" (it's their statement), and therefore so is "us". Parse the sentence down to just those two clauses, and you get:
We got more details of CCP's plans, some of which concerns the CSM.Which means the full sentence is actually saying:
We got more details of CCP's plans to address community concerns, some of which we agree with, and some of which concerns the CSM.Other than the verb tense switch from past to present tense, that sentence is grammatically correct. So, Trebor? You wanted analysis? Fine, there's some analysis. It still depends on what the definition of the word "concerns" is: do the plans bother the CSM, or are the plans about the CSM?
Predictions, though? Pah. I'm already pretty far out on a very thin branch here. But I will say again that Mittens has been smug even for Mittens lately. And the CSM has dialed back their media campaign about CCP's resource allocation concerns. And resource allocations are presumably CCP Zulu's job, as a game company Senior Producer. Hmmm...
Very well: one small prediction. The devblog early next week will announce that CCP is changing their resource allocation for 2012 back toward "flying in space" projects, and will ask for player base feedback on where the best places to start are. And the CSM finally gets some public credit for getting CCP to change course.
Or, I might have just hit the brown acid again (as another member of CSM6 said of my tin-foil hat post). ;-) This whole blog post might be a castle built out of sticks that one Angry Bird could destroy. You be the judge. We'll know for sure when the devblog comes out.
Also, Trebor, you referred to CCP Zulu without his "CCP" in the first sentence after using it correctly in two other places. But screw you: don't ask me to figure out what that means. ;-)
(1) For those really interested in communications topics, "concerns" when used as a verb is what's called "third person singular simple present" tense. But hardly anyone cares about the use of language these days.