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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Summit Day Two

Very light partially frozen "wintry mix" made the darkened streets of Reyk a bit treacherous to navigate for the morning of day two. But fortunately, our walk to CCP is very short and we made it without any falls or incidents.

Lots of NDA'ed sessions as part of this day! So unfortunately this update is going to be a little bit light. Many of the sessions spoke to the very heart of what the summer release is going to be about. As a result, we're not going to be able to write about these sessions until the feature set for summer is announced. This is a side effect of the summit this time being a bit further from the summer release date. By the time of the summer summit, a lot of the intended features had been announced. This time, that isn't the case. So I apologize for all the NDA'ed summit titles below.

From the "credit where credit is due" file, Korvin joined us for virtually every session today! So we had 13 out of 14 CSM members participating throughout the day with a good volume and mix of opinions. Still no Kesper North, though...

Today was definitely the heavy lifting day of the summit, with a lot of core discussions taking place...

Session Nine: 2014 Plan Echo. The first of four topics today where the topic title was NDA. I almost changed them to single words for each one, but "2014 Plan Echo" is what CCP Dolan called this one so I'm going to leave it alone. It at least tells you that it's something that will almost certainly happen in 2014. ;-) Other than that, I can't say a thing about this one except CCP basically came into the room, sat down, asked us for ideas on a project, and wrote down everything we said. I can't recall anyone from CCP saying "we're thinking of doing X" and asking for comments. It was all "what should we do about X?". Kind of refreshing!

Session Ten/Eleven: Feature Discussion Foxtrot/Golf. The second of four NDA sessions today, this one focused on the major deliverable for the summer expansion. Again, I can't say a thing other than what I saw very nearly made me squeee. ;-) The common reaction of several of the CSM to these two sessions was SHIP IT. MONDAY. Sadly, that ain't gonna happen but I'll be quite happy when it's in place.

Session Twelve: Discussion Hotel. The third of four NDA'ed sessions, this is a speculative idea that CCP has been throwing around the office that they wanted impartial feedback on. The idea itself (and therefore the session minutes) may never see the light of day. It's safe to say that the CSM was of mixed opinions on the idea, with some being hugely enthusiastic and others being hugely not so much. I'm really pleased that the devs in question felt that they could trust us to listen to a speculative idea and provide feedback without expectations. It's the very thing we promised them we would do when we took office. What they say they're gonna do? Fair game for follow-up. What they say they're just thinking about? We'll leave 'em alone.

Session Thirteen: Ship Balancing. There will be ship balancing for the summer! Amusingly the session started with a series of yes/no/maybe questions about specific ideas being batted around for specific ships. mynnna jokingly called this "ship balancing by show of hands." Mike Azariah worried that it wouldn't provide sufficient accountability to individual CSM members and how they voted but I'm not overly worried: all the votes but one were pretty one-sided one way or the other. Discussion then moved from specific summer plans to more generalized discussion of ship balancing topics. It was a good session!

Session Fourteen: UI. The UI team continues with the work they showed us in the summer and brought us a status update on how that's going. You can read about that part on page 58 of the Summer Summit Minutes. However, the bulk of the session was spent on specific UI changes and fixes that the team is either ready to deliver or is working on for summer. Several of them had CSM members saying "thank you!" or "yes, please!" so there was some really cool stuff here. I brought my directional scanner range slider mock-up and promised the next embroidered hoodie to the dev that made it happen. There was some interest shown in collecting. ;-) Another good session!

Session Fifteen: Feature Plan India. Finally, the fourth NDA'ed session of the day was a continuation of a CSM-requested session from yesterday. I have no idea why the title of this one is NDA'ed. It shouldn't be since the CSM requested it. I'll talk to Dolan about that today. That said, the session was very productive -- maybe the most productive session of the day! -- with spirited discussion back and forth across both sides of the table. That made four really productive sessions in a row. The CSM is earning their keep!

Here and there during the morning, CCP Fozzie brought out a CCP tool for internal metrics of EVE and shared the data with us, then asked for specific requests as to data we'd like to see. It was almost like having the QEN back for a few hours. ;-) I'm not sure if I can share what metrics I asked for so I'll be safe and not say. That said, they were things that I was curious/worried about and Fozzie agreed enough with my curiosity to oblige me and work up the graphs. Overall, I was pretty happy with what I saw except for one metric which was very slightly worrisome. I'll ask if I can share the metrics that I requested and their results. If the answer is yes, I'll put them in tomorrow's update.

After the session, dinner at CCP was quite good! All of CSM8 then adjourned to Nora's later that evening where Fozzie and CCP Guard joined us. No business that I can recall was discussed; it was just a casual evening spent chatting. Things wrapped up for most of us relatively early. As I said, this session is much more intense than summer was and several CSM members claimed the need for sleep...

That's all I can think of for now. Day three awaits!


  1. It sucks that Dolan wants to NDA everything. While I know that he claims he will release the minutes after the NDA period, we still haven't seen anything of the Dust session from the last summit. He even said there wasn't really anything NDA in there it just needed to be sorted out.

    On the other hand, if this means CCP are talking to the CSM about ideas earlier, then thats a good thing.

  2. If you get to talking about the new deployables be sure to ask about the comically low use of the Deployable Cyno jammer from that last CCP blog.

  3. Would be NDA to ask whether PvE was discussed for the summer?

  4. An in game KM *and* AU display on dscan? Thank be to CCP

  5. I must say, CCP Dolan has truly come into his own with a true Eve player solution to the minutes problem: just NDA everything.

  6. He brought out a CCP tool? Huh, I thought Sreegs was outta there.

    (P.S. Please accept my apology for the uncalled for snark in my comment yesterday re. the gifts you brought to the summit for your hosts. It costs nothing to be nice and if I was in your shoes I'd probably consider doing the same thing.)

  7. Thanks a ton for these daily updates, Ripard. I'm drawn to them like fat kids to cake! : D Dilligently reading the blog this week.

    1. Same here Yonis.

      The funny thing is that I know I probably won't go back to EVE, but I can't stop reading these summit remarks about features I'll only get to watch in pictures and videos, and you know, read about.... Btw Hilmar, I hate you...

  8. Jester,

    Please do tell CCP to shove all these deployables up their collective arses, and get on with fising Sov mechanics and POS's.


    1. I read this comment, mentally inserted a "t" and thought "They're already did that to Sov mechanics and POS's"

      Honestly though, screw deployables, fix sov is no different than screw rebalancing, fix highsec ganking or screw James315, fix TMC pagination. If you don't like something in Eve, asking Jester to tell CCP to GTFO isn't the answer. Be creative, share your ideas, spellcheck...


    2. I have mixed feelings on the deployables. On the one hand they do provide for some novel and interesting gameplay mechanics. On the other hand they seem a bit gimmicky; things that are easy to do and can be invented to do just about anything at all. It's not Flying In Space, it's Deployables In Space.

      I feel the same way, although not discussed here per se, about the notion that Faction Warfare -type mechanics are the solution to everything, including 0.0 issues. One size does not fit all, and FW should be, by design, a pale shadow of the rich and complex world that is nullsec space. In other words, 0.0 has to be re-done so that it's better than FW currently is. A tall order, but just forcing the FW model onto 0.0 doesn't seem very imaginitive or creative. Not after 5 years of trying to figure out what to do with it.

  9. balance changes should not be NDA

  10. Ship balancing by a show of hands. No, the null sec cartel's stranglehold on the CSM won't have impact on high sec players at all. No , not at all.

    I really have no idea why I read this shit. Every day, I just get more angry with the smugness of the CSM as they dismantle high sec, for the benefit of the RMT cartels.

    Frankly, I don't even know how you keep you food down when in the presence of fozzie.

    1. Well, to be fair, us null-sec guys at least have the advantage of flying more than one ship...

  11. Can you please tell them to fix Capitals Online?... N3/PL will only bring capitals with supers on standby to 9/10 timers. There's practically noone who can do anything about that.

  12. Nice d-scan mockup, it makes the game so immersive and beautiful. I dunno if current GPUs would be able to handle it tho, but it would suit well as a demo platform for the Oculus Rift. Also, not so fast, "slider" and "AU unit" are two *separate* features. To be fair give CCP at least a year or two between each.

  13. Ripard, I think I've mentioned this elsewhere (maybe on Eve-O forums):
    Your D-scan mock-up needs one more feature to push CCP on:
    The sliders should be logarithmically scaled so you don't have a 2-pixel margin of error when setting the difference between, say 5 degrees and 15 degrees.

  14. C'mon, when are we going to get better tools for hunting players with negative sec status in high sec?

    There should be some advantage to have a high positive sec status, like the ability to kill negative sec status players in high sec without a sec status penalty nor incurring Concord's wrath.

    How about a high sec bubble, which only works on negative sec status players? Or a module which makes them easier to scan down and lock faster?

    You want high sec players to get a better taste of PVP? Well, here you go.

  15. No more null sec only features, please.

    If anything that CCP shows you is prefixed by "only works in null", veto it.

  16. What is the point of the NDA on new features, anyways?

    Is CCP seriously afraid that Star Citizen is going to steal their ideas and launch with them before the next EVE expansion? Who exactly are they afraid of? WoW implementing space ships?

    Please point out that by publishing the proposed features earlier, CCP can get more feedback from the player base *before* the devs waste a lot of time coding something that isn't going to work, or isn't going to be well-received.

  17. Could you ask some feedback from ccp about the eve store if or when there is gonna be other item than clothing?

  18. I'll just say a word as someone who changed from "bittervet" to "unsubscribed" not long ago.
    Talking about something without telling the subject is extremely irritating. More ever when you say "everyone will love it". Cause people will think it's things they really want, and will be disappointed later, seeing it's either a little things that is nice but didn't care much about. Or worse, that it's something that for them is NOT nice. In a sandbox you can't have something that please everyone... except maybe big UI tweak (ex : new drones UI - but still some people don't use drones, or new "21th century" overview and target box - but some will say they don't like it...)

  19. Hmm. No update for Friday yet, guess Jester got drunk ;o)


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