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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Monday, December 16, 2013

CSM8 Status Report: Week thirty-two

Let's see if I can say this without it becoming a full-on rant.

There are almost certainly not going to be any minutes published in 2013. Over the last few weeks, the CSM was repeatedly assured that the minutes would soon(tm) be ready to go, and we were given today as an absolute worst-case scenario for when they would be ready for publishing. Not only will the minutes not be published today, the CSM has not even received a draft of the changes that CCP would like us to consider for minutes which we put on their desk months ago. What we have been told about what changes we could expect in such a CCP-edited draft is so discouraging that I don't even like obliquely referring to it.

And if that were not bad enough, not only have we not received any drafts, not only have we not received any updates on any drafts, we have not received any updates on when we can expect to receive updates for ten days now. Nor do we expect any soon: by the time you're reading this, it's a good bet CCP Dolan has started his holiday vacation. Don't get me wrong: he deserves it. But it means that nobody's going to be pushing on this until he gets back. That means 2014 at the earliest for minutes, more than four months after the summit.

I'm going to stop mincing words now: This. Is. A. Disgrace.

Absolutely granted, I'm sure the Community team was busy setting up the PLEX for GOOD stream last weekend. And that was a great success, and I'm thrilled for CCP for it. Absolutely granted, I'm sure more and more of CCP are heading out on their holiday breaks. That delays things because the very people that need to approve the minutes aren't there to do so. Fine. But at this point, I am personally done accepting excuses. Many of the rest of the CSM feels the same way. This should have been completed weeks ago. The fact that it wasn't means that someone -- somewhere -- is purposefully sitting on the minutes hoping we'll just give up and forget about them.


*cough* Onward.

As I said, more and more of the Reyk office is emptying of CCP employees as they head out on their holiday breaks. Although we have a stake-holder meeting scheduled this week, I personally don't expect it will happen. With the exception of a few devs here and there chatting with us, Skype and the forums have gone pretty much dead silent and I expect that to continue through the next couple of updates. CCP Fozzie stopped in for a while and gave us some info on his EVE Down Under revelations. CCP Rise was on today to chat about some stuff. And a few CSM members had a good chat with a few members of Superfriends. But overall? Not a lot going on.

I mentioned last week that if you're thinking of running for CSM9, now's the time to start laying groundwork. I'm pretty sure that prompted this post from Neville Smit of EVE University. Don't get me wrong: Neville would make an outstanding CSM delegate. But reading his post, I'm reminded of one of my favorite lines from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
Kirk: Don't mince words, Bones. What do you really think?
Hee! Neville, you running or not, man? You're never gonna get anywhere with a CSM run if you won't stake a position on something. ;-)

And I think that's all for this week. Not much, but there isn't much going on. Expect next week's update to be even shorter...


  1. Neville's post was either edited after you wrote this or you didn't read the end -- he's not running! :)

  2. I think at this stage we need some transparency about the process for getting minutes approved. I'm guessing it goes something like this.
    CSM gives draft minutes to CCP Dolan
    CCP Dolan has to send minutes to the head of each team for approval.
    Every week Dolan nudges team leaders for a response and gets ignored.

    But we don't know.

    I think we should ask for transparency as this is important and is clearly failing in its current set up.

    I'm also going to say something really radical - if CCP just gave Dolan a list of what not to reveal and trusted him to use his common sense would it kill Eve if something got leaked that shouldn't?

    But I very much suspect that the guy taking all the flak isn't the source of the holdup.

  3. Funny this post comes right after I read:
    Jester is one of my fav bloggers in EVE....only thing I can really fault him on is his fawning admiration of CCP. Sometimes it borders on extreme sugary sweetness and is a bit too much for me to stomach.

  4. Jester, I think that you missed part of Neville's post. Concluding it, he says that "I honestly do not think I am willing to make that kind of commitment. At least, not yet. I won't be on the CSM9 primary ballot. Maybe I'll be ready by the time the CSM10 elections roll around. We shall see." He notes that he will need to contribute to the community by blogging, developing resources, and helping EUNI.

  5. I'm confused by this comment:

    "...What we have been told about what changes we could expect in such a CCP-edited draft is so discouraging that I don't even like obliquely referring to it."

    Discouraging how? If you're permitted to say, that is. "Discouraging" in the same sentence as "CCP-edited draft" gives me flashbacks to Incarna.

  6. "purposefully sitting on the minutes" really? I'd wager ineptitude over maliciousness.
    Having said that this is the one barrel CCP can really put the CSMs back out on. You know this.

  7. How much of the delay is likely to be down to Soundwave leaving the company? Didn't you lose a pretty big advocate who could expect people to do jump to do stuff when he asked them? Dolan just doesn't have the same clout because of his junior position which is not his fault at all.

  8. It's common to just commitment but the actions that underpin it. If someone tells you they want to lose weight and you find them munching a cake - you won't believe their truly invested.

    CCPs commitment to getting out a biannual CSM minutes is a clear demonstration of their commitment far beyond their words.

  9. My response to this would be to press CCP to release such minutes as have already been reviewed and for all missing sections simply put "CCP refused to review the minutes for this meeting".

    Then hope for community outrage that makes this important enough that the attitude within CCP changes for next time.

  10. Now they will punish you for complaining.

    What they have done, have said or promised will be irrelevant.

    Only your actions will be judged.

  11. What the fuck is in those minutes that they're trying to bury them?

  12. So it took you 4 months to climb up on your Bully Pulpit?

  13. are the minutes even relevant this late?

    seems like most of it was posted already

  14. The minutes process is somewhat disgraceful.. but I think it is born out of the INCREDIBLY verbose minutes we've been getting in recent times. I mean really. These things are a snore fest.

    How many *thousands* of words are you asking CCP to pour over to rip out any potential commercially sensitive bits? Could these not have been distilled into a handful of pages and just pushed out a week after the summit? surely they could have.

    Seriously, the recent minutes have been a joke. And I know people have worked hard on them and whatever. And I truly appreciate that. But can't we just get down to simple minutes again? the kind of thing you can read over a morning coffee? The kind of thing CCP could have edited over a morning coffee even?

  15. The déjà vu is crazy strong. NBS. Losing your religion in 5...4...3...2... ? :P

  16. The csm minutes are so out of date now it will only be used as an election tool to see who spoke towards what.

    No minutes undermines the csm and all the hard work they do. Everything cpp wants the company to be is destroyed by the lack of minutes.

    At this point any interesting information will be redacted or have been developed further that a much more informative realest could be done on a given item.

  17. Why don't you just publish unofficial minutes sans any NDA'd information?

    "Hi CCP 'ccp.employee.name', we will be publishing 'these' minutes of the CSM meeting on 'date'. If you want to make any comments before that time, we'll be very happy to amend the meeting minutes we currently consider for publication. Thanks!"

  18. Jester, this is ALL by design son.

    When you Joined the CSM you were all a-flutter excited, looking forward to the new possibilities. Now, more than 1/2way through you realize exactly where the CSM ranks for priorities at CCP.

    You are a tool, a propaganda piece, a speed-bump and punching-bag for them., You get to catch all the arrows and eat all the shit. Pretty cheap insurance on CCP's part for a trip to Iceland no?

    Your readers....we know this. And for months now we're watched you, well, yer making a fool of yourself. You aren't taking this the right way...the correct way.


    "Oh I'm sorry, NDA?...NDA this!" *Grabs Balls*.

    There comes a point where you have to realize what they are doing and the *only* thing these dipshit Icelanders react to is a swift kick to the balls. Publish the minutes, kick off a firestorm. When they ask why?...*cough*, point at elapsed time frame and tell them that you are there for them, but to your FANS first...which is the Demographic they want.

    Seriously dude, Just have a computer accident, have Garth gain access to the files...Just publish them then let THEM realize what happens when they, yet again for the umpteenth time drop the ball. All that I have learned about CCP in 3+ years is their Management sucks, their PR sucks and their game is slowly circling the bowl.

    They need you and your fans more then they will ever admit. You are making a fool of yourself for an unpaid position over shit that is, at best, irrelevant in the next several months.

    Publish it, the fans will back you, Fuck their BS NDA shit.

    Either the CSM has some sort of say and position in this and is "supposed" to have some power...or ALL of you are fucking pawns..roll the dice and lets see which it is. CCP can Ill afford more pissed players....

    1. +1 to the "dipshit icelanders" part. CCP Dolan isn't an Icelander, however. And violating a legal NDA is never a good career move. Willfully doing that will destroy any chance you might ever have in the future of getting someone to trust you, and that goes for a shitload of RL situations, not just agreements with some pissant gaming company. Totally not worth it.

      I do agree it's all by design.

    2. I would love to see him give CCP the finger and release the minutes, but it would be the wrong thing to do and he is too smart for that (at least I hope he is)

      Really all this shows is how internally CCP is still a mess. I always assume they lack any decent management. trying to get anything done must be like herding cats. they all think they know best and spend time pulling in that direction. So we end up with hundreds of half finished projects and very little getting released.

      I still think this is why Unifex was moved to the mobile division. His vision based on themes (War, Industry etc.) didn't sit with enough people at CCP. Seagulls very vague vision was enough to get support because everyone projected onto it their pet project and bought in. It WILL end in disaster though when they start trying to thrash out the details.

    3. Sorry have to disagree. First off the NDA, while violating it is a black eye of sorts, I sincerely doubt a "real" employer would hold this accountable. Its a fricking game...that is unless of course you guys put your EVE accomplishments on your resume,,,,No?

  19. Don't worry Jester. The majority of the podcast community won't forget about it either!

    Yes, this is a disgrace. Bad form, CCP.

  20. "I've made it clear that I'll be adding him to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security No-Fly list if the minutes aren't published before then."

    When can we expet the mugshots of Dolan as border patrol grabbs his ass?

  21. I look at management for the failure on the minutes. Also the current terrible launcher.


    I was really hoping to read about how much better the launcher would be in the future. Somewhat serious about that actually.

    At least you keep us updated about the nothing going on.

  22. Since I forgot to upate my prediction for the publication date (to post-December-2013) I'll just go out on a limb here and say the minutes from the 2013 summer summit will NEVER be published. Disband the CSM.

  23. I believe Neville made it clear he was not running, due to the expected workload.

    As for the summit notes, are there any revelations in them that has not already been released / leaked by CCP already? At this point, do they have any value, and to who? I mean, it sure sounds like we are looking at notes coming out 6 months after the summit itself, given that you have not even see a draft yet. CCP will have released Rubicon 1.1 (which I am lead to believe has a significant change), and will be starting to give hints about the summer release by the time the notes are officially released.

    So ultimately, who cares anymore about the summit notes. All this delay proves is that CCP really does care much about the CSM as a whole, and only listens to specific individuals (I remember you posting something about mittens through back channels has virtually daily input for CCP, whether they listen or not).

    You guys want to establish some credibility?
    How about this? Issue an ultimatum to CCP. If the summit notes are not released for public consumption by Feb 1, the whole CSM resigns. However, if the majority of the CSM does not think this issue is not a big enough deal to quit over (I doubt very much the goon reps would, given how much they make off of inside information), then I suggest that you stop posting about these notes, and let it die a quiet death.

  24. Ok, bit of a CSM8 rant here:

    Forget about running for the CSM, why should I even vote for CSM next time? I doubt we'll get the summer minutes before the winter summit at this point. All that screams to me is a complete lack of respect and regard for the all the free work that CSM does for them.

    I also don't get the sense from CSM8 that its a big deal. All I hear is a mild, "whelp" any time I hear it mentioned. I read blogs, listen to podcasts, and even Ali's space hangouts. That's all I hear.. CCP has them.. whelp.

    At this point, will anything other than very public beration of Dolan, who has obviously completely failed in his job here, make a difference? Have you gone above Dolan's head to his boss and complained to him about his employee slacking off? This isn't college anymore, its a real job, he shouldn't be allowed to procrastinate like this. Being a good employee isn't just spending time doing the stuff you enjoy, its also putting your nose down and getting through the shit part you don't like.

    Since it has dragged on so long, I can only assume that his bosses don't really give a crap about it either. Certainly not enough to order him to just get the shit done already. This is what is really depressing about the whole ordeal. Its no longer about Dolan being shit, its about management at CCP apparently not giving one either. To me, that speaks volumes about how CCP really feels about the CSM as a whole, and the work they do.

    So sure, there might be a few devs (mostly the former players) who find the CSM a valuable resource, but CCP as a whole still has that whole "CSM is a great PR stunt and that's about it" mentality about them.

    Am I wrong here?

    I've voted in every CSM election to date, but if the minutes aren't out before the next summit, then why should I give a shit and vote if CCP doesn't?

    If they aren't out before the next election, and I doubt they will be at this point, then fuck CSM8 to be honest. For a lot of non bloc voters who don't listen/read podcasts and blogs and town halls, the minutes are their best insight into how the people they voted to represent them, are "actually" representing them.

    1. CCP Dolan isn't slacking off. He's doing exactly what his superiors want him to do. He'll get a raise for this when all is said and done. No other explanation makes sense.

    2. Dolan doesn't have the status/authority to make anyone progress the minutes.
      Now if Hilmar was to back him up, then things might happen.

    3. What Lei Merdeau said ^^.

      Isn't Dolan simply the middleman between CSM and the teams who attended summit sessions--and who all have to review/edit/approve the sections of the Minutes for their sessions? If so, then Dolan isn't entirely...maybe not even much...to blame for the delay. Would like to hear more about how the process works internally on CCP's side these days.

      Has Trebor chimed in on this issue anywhere? If so, can you link where? I'm quite surprised not to see a blog post from him about it. His last blog post was FOUR MONTHS ago. Really?! WTF.

  25. This wouldn't have happened under Jon Lander's watch

    1. This is pretty true. Jon was a big believer in the CSM. Even if he didn't handle them right all the time.

  26. Go full on rant. They need to get smacked and hard. Unless they are working up to something amazing in the next expansion, I can't see how work on this one caused the delay. They seriously need to own up and step up.

  27. And here I was thinking you'd progressed to the facepalm circle of CSM.

    I admit I've already gone through the rage section of the 'stages of grief' over the CSM minutes a while back and into acceptance.

    Keep your chin up Jester, it won't get any better.

  28. "But reading his post, I'm reminded of one of my favorite lines from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
    Kirk: Don't mince words, Bones. What do you really think?
    Hee! Neville, you running or not, man? You're never gonna get anywhere with a CSM run if you won't stake a position on something. ;-)"

    Are we reading the same post? I thought when he said "I will not be on the CSM9 primary ballot" that made it pretty clear he's not running.

  29. i suspect the entire 'detailed minutes' took CCP by surprise (as it usually does because they haven't ever shown an ounce of common sense...i should i say 'eve sense is lacking in them as a whole')

    We're a social experiment in their minds, whenever they do try to take the idea of players' opinions seriously.

    This whole NDA and redacted minutes is just kinda insulting, since i doubt they are ever honest, and even if they are being honest it's usually pie in the sky wool gathering.

    I'm really not interested in sneak peeks into some hair-brained scheme some stupid developer has come up with, as much as seeing which CSM member pushes an agenda i would like to see...and which issues that CCP brings forward that the CSM as a whole doesn't address something that reflects my agenda.

    THAT is what fascinated me in the last minutes. Couldn't give a flying fuck about CCP "dev roams" ...because, really, overpowered bags of hot air that go out with a bang for no ingame strategic or tactical value for us or them, is a waste of my goddamned time.


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