Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Buy the book, buy the book

OK, I've finished my first read-through of the CSM Summit Minutes.  And sure enough, I'll probably have a lot to say about them.  Still, some first impressions of the document as a whole seem warranted.
  • Timeliness is important.  The entire document feels a little dated.  Much of its thunder has been stolen by CCP interviews, dev-blogs released since the Summit, changes in direction, and talks given during the Alliance Tournament interstitials.  The next set of minutes simply must be produced faster.
  • What about the much-vaunted expanded transparency?  My first impression is that it's a net positive, but only just.  About 20 pages in, I literally stood up from my computer and said to the screen "Must I read about every cough and sniffle?"  Situational humor is only funny if you're in the situation.  If you're reading the situations two months later, the jokes fall flat.  But by 50 pages in, I wasn't seeing the transcript style as as much of a problem.  100 pages in, I was used to it.  So again, overall net positive.  But next time, do one more editing pass.  This document should have been about ten pages shorter with all the irrelevancies removed and would have been a stronger document for it.
  • The minutes confirm no "Jesus feature" for winter (and do so in as many words).  More troubling, most of what Mittens would call EVE's "sucking chest wounds" -- moon goo, boring mining, the flattening of sov, POSes, super-caps -- aren't going to be addressed this year.  Hell, super-cap proliferation doesn't even come up on the radar as a problem for this CSM.  The contrast there with CSM6 is very striking.
  • More troubling than that, what is on the table for winter strike me as a series of updates to the game that most players are going to look at and say "And?  What else?"  The biggest piece of work facing the devs is something they're calling player-to-player contracts, which I suspect the bulk of EVE players won't have a use for at all.  It seems like a system that's written too broadly, when what's needed is a finer touch (that would also be less work).  Anyone remember the old "Freeform" contracts?  Me neither.
  • It was also interesting to me how little members of this CSM stood up when something was asked of them and said "I'll take that one."  Even volunteering to do stuff that affected them directly, like rebuilding the CSM White Paper, was allowed to pass them by.  I'll have to re-read the doc, but I can't remember even one instance of a CSM member taking a "to-do" out of this Summit.
  • I'll have to re-read to confirm this one as well, but I believe I was the only EVE player not on the CSM mentioned by name in the document.  And I'm mentioned twice.  Hee!  Thanks, guys.  ;-)
  • Two step is a bit of a whiner when he doesn't get his way, isn't he?  ;-)  I kid, I kid...
  • Well done to Hans Jagerblitzen and Alekseyev Karrde for attending virtually all of the sessions remotely.  Nice dedication, guys.
  • Every time a CSM member said players are too rich, losses aren't a problem, or something similar, I wanted to reach through the screen and hurt someone.  And they said it a lot.  You'd think Kelduum Revaan would have said something about this but he didn't.  It finally fell to Dr. EyjoG of all people to remind the CSM that not everyone in EVE is super-rich, pilot age and ISK do not go hand-in-hand, and a lot of players were bent over the fence because of how much things cost due to the speculation earlier in the year.
  • There was a lot of focus on new players, player retention, and cross-over EVE players from DUST 514, which I appreciated.  I'm glad to see that CCP is taking this subject seriously and planning for it in advance.  Now we need them to take it more seriously.  Devoting one small team for only one month, as I've already said, is not a good approach to this problem.  And the stated long-term goal of removing the tutorials entirely?  Oi.
That's enough for now, I think.  I suspect I'll be farming this one for four or five blog posts on specific sections of the doc.  Stay tuned...  In the meantime, thank you to all of the CSM members and CCP employees that put in a lot of hard work to put this document together!  It's much appreciated!

36 comments:

  1. Working on getting space rich since the only good way to play the game (for non-industrial) seems to be "have a wallet fat enough so you only need to login for the fun bits".

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    Replies
    1. What exactly is considered "space rich"?

      I'm a relatively new player (about 4 months), so I've only got about 2 billion ISK. Most of my mates, who have been playing for about 1-2 years, have between 50 billion to 100 billion ISK, and a few have more than 500 billion ISK.

      Ofc, I can't afford a Titan or Super Carrier, but since I can't fly them yet, it doesn't matter much. But, I can afford anything I can fly, fit it as I like, and don't care much if I lose it doing something stupid, while I'm learning to play the game better.

      Isn't this the same for most of the players?

      Delete
    2. I would say you're a lot 'space richer' than most new players. But I'm rather non serious about how much money I have. If I start running out, I just get some more. :P

      Delete
  2. I sat down and read 90% of it (some of the newbie tutorial stuff I skimmed through). It was interesting to get the TL;DR version, then go through and actually read the discussion.

    What makes me the happiest is the lack of Incarna-era hyperbole from CCP. What was said on the variety of topics came across to me as very down to earth, realistic, and as you've pointed out, what wasn't said can be just as important. Due to my own ignorance on certain things, bloggers like yourself happily fill in the void where my own expertise was lacking (see: the issue of ship loss being meaningful with regard to old, phat cat alliances).

    Overall, a lot of good things to look forward to, starbases, ring mining, all that good stuff has me looking forward to eve's future in sharp contrast with the "meh" surrounding Incarna.

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  3. "Every time a CSM member said players are too rich, losses aren't a problem, or something similar, I wanted to reach through the screen and hurt someone. And they said it a lot. You'd think Kelduum Revaan would have said something about this but he didn't. It finally fell to Dr. EyjoG of all people to remind the CSM that not everyone in EVE is super-rich, pilot age and ISK do not go hand-in-hand, and a lot of players were bent over the fence because of how much things cost due to the speculation earlier in the year."

    So much THIS. For Pete's sake, one would think that voting major alliance candidates should be forbidden. They bathe in so much ISK they forget that there are people that are spacepoor. And not everyfreakingbody is in their alliances, to profit from their SRFs.

    Sheesh. Seriously now, people, get your heads out of your collective CSM places where the suns don't shine!

    I would've thought that Hans would have something to say too, as FW is a ship munching thing, you lose ships like there's no tomorrow there.

    Facepalm. Three times facepalm.

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  4. Yeah, I was very disappointed at a couple of the CSMs (cough.. Elise.. cough) who scoffed at prices, and was even more shocked when Supercap proliferation wasn't even mentioned. Very Sad situation.

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  5. I had a nice long chat with Darius III after he blew up an alt of mine at a FW site.

    He was actually proud that he had nothing to do with the minutes.

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  6. I slogged through the entire thing. Am unimpressed about the amount of time spent on crimewatch, but not surprised about that at all seeing as the majority of the table doesn't give two damns about highsec.

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  7. I read the whole thing. All in all, some good things. And some glaring, class 12 black holes. Most aren't space rich. The progression toward top tier ships/equipment/whatever isn't spoken of and proliferation is indeed a worrisome problem. Why fight when you know you will be blaped to death by enough supercaps/titans to blot out the sun? Would be nice if some kind of fleet tactics actually mattered other than gathering a large ball of drakes/tengus/whatever and teasing the enemy into engaging so you can hot drop your super fleet.

    There are a lot of things that could be done with the noob experience that have been done well in other games and it seems that CCP just can't seem to get their head around adapting them. They seem to be a constant stream of what can't be done instead of asking how.

    Same thing with arena PvP. You are wired into a ship, what keeps you from being wired into a combat simulater to do pick up fights? How do they train people for the intense mental skills needed to not go insane as pod pilots anyway? I just can't see years of Zen meditation or Jedi training academy.

    Why would it be so hard to allow newcommers to learn a lot of the new player stuff in that very same simulater environment? Give them the choice "Hey, you can do missions and tutorials and risk your money and ship or you can jump into this here simulater and we can start learning by doing risk free. Note, the only thing you will get in the simulater is skill training and practice, no money or ships. Which will it be pilot?"

    Honestly, how is this so damn hard for people?

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    Replies
    1. It isn't hard, it's just really stupid to add instances to Eve. Now the question is why do you want risk free pvp in Eve?

      Delete
    2. I like your idea actually. Something like this would fill a void that the game lacks. This game does very little to attract the type of player who wants to log on for an hour and jump strait into the action. The only way to get close to this currently is RvB but even that is limited.

      "Honestly, how is this so damn hard for people?"
      - I've wondered the very same thing for 3 years now.

      After 5 years of this game and 100sp in pure combat, I let my account run dry last week for the first time. I just don't have the interest anymore to keep it going. I'm not rage quitting nor do I have a huge grudge against some aspect of eve, rather I just don't see much coming out in the next year to keep me interested.

      This game could have been great but I think CCP's other games are killing it. Too many programmers developing Dust and for a time WoD. One year after the Jita riots, there hasn't been enough content added to Eve to keep me going.

      Delete
    3. "It isn't hard, it's just really stupid to add instances to Eve. Now the question is why do you want risk free pvp in Eve?"

      It's stupid to provide a better training path for noobs? It's stupid to provide an outlet for people to jump in, waste 30-60 min and have a guaranteed fight or two when they can't log in and really spend time in Eve? Seriously? Are you really dense enough to think that anything that provides a reason for someone to stay logged into Eve and doesn't cause them to go nuts from boredom is bad?

      Maybe you are a great pilot, you have a great computer and a great connection. So what? You log in, without someone to shoot, you are wasting time. Now, imagine you went somewhere, paid some ISK/hour to log into a simulater, got the trademark "gud fite"s with others and didn't have to have the associated 3 hour gate camp, the 2 hour assembly because someone forgot something and the invariable whelping since your noob DPS got out of position because it obviously wasn't you since you are l33T PvPer. Now imagine you did that with betting on your results, reputations on the line, maybe even implants and so on that you could use to be better in the simulater.

      And just for you, since you ASSume that a simulater must be rish free, how you if you get podded, you get podded because the feedback kills your clone, implants and all? People in real life want to fight, they go to a boxing/MMA/whatever club and do it with less risk than the street. That doesn't mean there is no risk.

      I assure you that there are ways to make it as down and dirty as regular Eve without the hours of waiting.

      Oh, and anything and I mean absolutly ANYTHING that gets more noobs to stay longer, have a better new player experience and keep playing the game longer is a good thing. Hell, a whole noob server would be great if you could do it with like 10 systems in it mirrored to Tranquility and then on reaching like 30 days in, you are moved over. You could move over earlier but it would be one way trip.

      Anyways, enough blather, seriously, grow up and stop assuming things that haven't been said.

      Delete
    4. uh oh...risk aversion? now THAT sounds boring. oh wait, it's called "test server" i'm on it actually right now. course, why would i want to play something that isn't persistent? well, if it had zombies in it maybe

      Delete
    5. "It isn't hard, it's just really stupid to add instances to Eve. Now the question is why do you want risk free pvp in Eve?"

      Why not? Risk free pvp would allow timid players the opportunity to try pvp without a huge loss. Can you not understand what this could do for Eve? So many players who decided not to play the game because its too intense could pvp and get familiar with combat without being scared off. This could bring in so many new pilots to eve. It would not take over real risk pvp because real pvp earns rewards like gaining space and loot.

      Before you talk about sisi, test servers arn't the same thing. New players are not drawn to test servers for games they just installed. You have no guarantee your going to find a player willing to fight you fairly on the test server or even fight you at all.

      Eve needs new players. New players is what keeps CCP driving content. If Eve doubled in subscriptions, don't you think CCP would push content harder to keep that growing rather than spend time and money on other sources of revenue aka Dust/WoD?

      TBH I fear for Dust. Eve is an ever "growing" game that's been around for almost a decade. When was the last time you saw a first person shooter last more than a few years? I fear that Dust will one day become a ghost town and just one more sucking chest wound that is attached to eve in some goofy planetary bombardment scheme. I don't want Eve's fate tied to the success or failure of Dust.

      I wish Eve players would swallow their elitism and do whats best for the game and for everyone. More players, more subscriptions, more money in CCP's wallet is a very good thing. By the way, if Dust becomes a big success what do you think CCP will do? Spend huge amounts of cash on Eve or try to repeat the success with another console game? Eve must make money for itself or CCP will never give it more than half a thought. CCP is no longer a single game shop and Eve will suffer for that. "Honestly, how is this so damn hard for people?"

      Delete
    6. "uh oh...risk aversion? now THAT sounds boring. oh wait, it's called "test server" i'm on it actually right now. course, why would i want to play something that isn't persistent? well, if it had zombies in it maybe"

      Another pro-elitist who would rather Eve stay "elite" and die a slow boring death instead of introduce some mechanics that would attract more players.

      Delete
  8. Chribba was mentionned p137

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    1. Awww... you're right. I am disappoint.

      Delete
    2. Mittens was mentioned too... I think he didn't make the CSM this year, for some reason

      Delete
  9. The overly specific transcript-like nature of the minutes cry out for a TL;DR, however it's vastly superior to the way last year's minutes were presented. I'd rather have too much detail about who said what, than too little. The current format nicely highlights that two step is an idiot.

    Nevertheless, CCP continues to drag their feet on a lot of important issues. There is nothing in the upcoming winter expansion that excites me. Absolutely nothing. What's passing for new content seems like the work of maybe a dozen people.

    Set sail for fail as more and more people decide paying for a sub or buying PLEX just isn't worth it for a stagnant and stale game.

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  10. tl;dr would be nice... a simple list of dot points at the beginning of each section with the key points... read the transcript if you *really* care...

    still will blow my evening reading through everything. Tried reading it on the train this morning on the iphone and i got a headache..

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  11. mining boring? what you guys do in null is BORING. oooo another roam zzzzz let's Dscan down some ratter zzzz some carrier pointed 30 jumps away. zzzzz. let's camp some sucker in his station for hours?? oh weeeeee zzzz. incursions give me hives, and i'm just as allergic to missions. omg freaking shoot the damsel in distress and put her out of her misery. lulz.

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  12. Unsurprisingly, without someone competent and driven like Mittens at the helm, this CSM will be consigned to almost total irrelevancy.

    Also unsurprisingly, without someone willing to put the game before his own interests like Mittens at the helm, the CSM is quite happy to use this opportunity to line their own pockets and improve their lot in the game. This CSM has no problem with Supercaps Online because the chair's power is based on supercaps.

    CSM7 wont kill the concept of the CSM, but it has significantly weakened its position.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I'm confused, are you talking about the same Mittens that was the head of the CSM last year?

      The guy who shows more Narcissism than Tony Stark?

      Wait......and you think he put the game before his own interests?

      Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..... sorry didn't mean to laugh, just came out....

      Are you a goon by any chance?

      P.S I think Mattani did a great job as CSM chair, but don't believe for a second his own agenda did not steer his position....

      There are no saints in this game, and a Goon is least amongst them.

      Delete
    2. The distinct impression I got is that the CSM's are out for themselves & thier own... I think this is exemplified by this quote:
      "UAxDEATH would like to know how any of that related to null sec,"

      Delete
    3. To be fair to UAxDEATH, that comment was made during a session that was supposed to focus on null-sec and wasn't.

      Delete
  13. I was going to say thanks for reading them so we don't have to but I see from the comments that a number of other players have also read the entire thing.

    It's to Eve's credit that people would sit and read 100 pages of committee minutes about it.

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  14. The money thing upset me, oh boy did it upset me with all the huge sums being thrown around casually as if they were nothing.

    It upset that I only saw anything about capital proliferation twice. Once while discussing the Drake. And once when they briefly discussed mechanics to add capital warfare to Faction Warfare. Both times it was taken as a forgone conclusion that capitals are a good thing.

    It upset me that the flattening of 0.0 was only taken as a joke when Seleene and one of the devs were talking about the good old days before jump bridges when people actually had to travel through 0.0.

    It upset me that one moment they are saying the conflict driver of 0.0 was hate, and in the next moment they were talking about laughing on comms with the other side about how the fight went. It strikes me as disingenuous. From an outside observer it looks like the only reason to fight is to fight and the rest is just political posturing because they don't actually want any changing of game mechanics that grossly over rewards their chosen style of play.

    And, I can keep going for awhile. This CSM does not interest me what so ever. Neither does the Winter Expansion.

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    1. Halcyon said:"It upset me that one moment they are saying the conflict driver of 0.0 was hate, and in the next moment they were talking about laughing on comms with the other side about how the fight went. It strikes me as disingenuous.From an outside observer it looks like the only reason to fight is to fight and the rest is just political posturing..."

      That is the way politics work, these alliance leaders (similar to real world politicians) don't hate each other. They just go through the motions to inflame their base into hating each other.

      Listen to a typical SOTG by Mittens, all the over the top rhetoric he uses can't be genuine (unless he is somewhat "touched") he simply says it to feed red meat to the more gullible members of his alliance.

      The days of emotion driving conflict are long gone. All of the long term players know each other too well for that. Its nothing to get upset about, its just human nature.

      Hopefully, elements are introduced into the mix that drive conflicts, if not don't depend too heavily on the old guard and their grudges, they have been defanged through the long association with each other.

      Delete
    2. New elements won't be introduced because CSM has a long history of side stepping it. Every time things are brought up that could induce conflict the hate answer dutifully marches out and takes a bow.

      Meanwhile in this same document the CSM is trying to get world shaping to take place so NPC Nullsec can have less of an impact on Player Nullsec.

      So, they don't want changes that could upset their little hegemonies and are actively campaigning to remove things that do.

      Meanwhile a key part of the POS update is the introduction of many many more buildslots to help make 0.0 more autonomous. Don't get me wrong, I'm for that. But when taken with everything else, it starts to look like they want to out highsec highsec.

      0.0 is supposed to be about HTFU.

      Delete
  15. And there was me thinking that come Winter I'd see EVE as a whole new game ! Guess I'll be biting DUST for a while come Autumn.

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  16. The POS improvements sounded very exciting, until they commented that they wouldn't be seen until 2013 winter expansion (read, January 2014)

    Yikes !

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  17. I'm still head shaking at the fact there are so few teams actually working on core eve features.

    A recap for those that live in null:

    - POS revamp is barely in the conceptual stage, and is rife with utterly retarded ideas like jump drive enabled starbases
    - Moon minerals have had a slight pass in the form of alchemy, a very quick bandaid fix.
    - Ring mining isn't even in the conceptual stage
    - There is not even a hint of bottom up income generation changes for alliance finances
    - They're spending 4 month periods balancing 1-2 classes of frigates

    These minutes are a lame duck, as is the current crop of CSM delegates. Null is going to remain stagnant for the next 12 months at least. All that good will they did last winter seems to have been taken for granted..

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  18. Miss the Mittani yet?

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely not.

      He is the main cause of the attitude problems of the current CSM ("I only care about *my* part of the game and *my* players") and the block voting method which has resulted in a disproportionate number of PVP-only players and large alliances holding CSM seats.

      Thanks to Mittens, CCP now has a completely skewed view of what makes up the majority of the player base and player activity, resulting in too much emphasis on pew-pew and less on fixing the other major non-PVP aspects of the game, such as mining, industry, exploration, WiS, etc. - all of which are necessary parts of a sci-fi MMO game. Too much focus on PVP and you just end up with yet another silly FPS.

      And CCP really wonders why new sub numbers are dropping off? It ain't just the NPE, folks. There are plenty of better PVP-only games to choose from.

      And, for the record, trying to address ganking (ie. PVP) issues of mining barges doesn't fix the fundamental problems with the overall mining mechanics....

      Delete
    2. Subs aren't really dropping, but for a long time now I have the impression that the average number of accounts per player is rising steadily and not so many actual new players. The sandbox is slowly getting bland.

      Delete
  19. "Everyone is so rich that the losses hardly matter. Winning is like who get to be first in line of a all-you-can-eat restaurant. Perhaps what we need is to cut income across the board."

    The nerve! Perhaps what we need is another occupy jita. No, not against CCP.

    ReplyDelete

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