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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Friday, April 26, 2013

Newbies and champions

I'm going to make this really, really quick.  Tomorrow at this time, I'll know if I'm on CSM8 and chances are I won't feel comfortable writing this post then.  So I'm gonna get it out today.  If I'm not on CSM8 myself, whomever is on CSM8 is probably going to have to deal with it.

As we've heard, CCP Unifex will be stepping down from his Executive Producer role in about two weeks.  In terms of championing the cause of the CSM's stake-holder position, from an outsider's perspective, it feels like the list of people who are doing this within CCP currently -- in order -- are Unifex, then CCP Dolan, then CCP Seagull, then CCP Xhagen, then CCP Ripley, then "everyone else."  Now again, this is an outsider's perspective which might be totally wrong, but that's the impression I have right now at CSM8 Day Minus One.

Xhagen is also leaving his current position.  Dolan is brand new to his job.  Seagull is new to her job.  And Ripley is in a project management/personnel management position, not really a game design decision-making position.  CSM's champions are looking remarkably like newbies...

The question I have is will the new Executive Producer be a champion of the CSM stake-holder process in the same way that Unifex has become?  This single question probably defines the overall chances of success of CSM8 as a whole.  The good news is that during several presentations and round-tables on Thursday, the CSM was listed as an input source for the teams involved.  The bad news is that sometimes it was pretty low on the list...

Now again, my outsider's perspective might be very wrong.  But from a corporate politics perspective, suppose you're Seagull.  Your new boss is indifferent to the CSM.  Are you going to make the case for them when you're new to your job?  Or are you going to go with the flow, support your boss, and protect your new position?

So when CCP finally announces the new Executive Producer, I'm going to be watching very closely what he or she has to say on this subject.


  1. I'd say your chances are significantly worse after the CSM leak.

    1. You sir, make no sense. Thank you for this gem of nonsensical blabber. You, sir, is why we dont have nice things in eve.

  2. CSM is essential for making EVE working. CCP can't afford another Incarna and they know that.

    Only CSM can save them from that, they need the CSM, that's why it's still here. Nothing forces CCP to have a CSM, no other game has. They know that they need the CSM and will act accordingly.

  3. While you are at it would you please debunk the unfounded whisper that CCP Falcon is in fact ~The Grey Eagle~ the defacto head of CCPs Internal Affairs Department over-watching the the new mineral seeding process...
    Seriously, it is important for you to know.

  4. You seem to forget (?) that whoever takes Unifex' seat will also be new and guided into the job by... Unifex? I HOPE ccp will be smart enough to appoint a new executive producer that will provide as much continuity as possible, and thus hire someone with a similar mindset?

  5. Given that the new EP will come from outside of CCP it is very likely that the CSM will be new territory in dealing with customers on such an intimate basis.

    Thankfully, the task of ensuring the new EP is fully aware of how important a stakeholder the CSM is in the development process does not fall on just one or two shoulders - CSM8 can and should be part of this process too. CCP Seagul strikes me as being very shrewd and intelligent and certainly not someone that would pull punches. Coupled with CCP Dolan's boundless enthusiasm and CSM input, I think the new EP will be given a deep insight into the benefits that the CSM provides.

  6. Don't look at this as a binary state, ie. yes or no, white or black, is or is not a stakeholder. As with most things, white and black do not truly exist... only shades of grey.

    CSM is a valid part of the feedback process, between CCP and its clients, but only one part - just like the forums, Fanfest, GMs, Sisi, etc. On some matters, the CSM's input weight will be paramount; on other matters, it will be insignificant. But, you should expect this to vary widely, depending on the subject matter. And, trust me, if CCP found no value in the CSM, they would not expend the funds to maintain it.

    But, keep in mind that anyone who believes that the CSM can or should be the final arbiter and sole representative of all things related to the EVE players is, quite frankly, either a simpleton or a fool.

    You are neither, so don't go there. :)

    1. That comment hits the mark better than all the others put together. CSM, frankly, is just a feed back channel for CCP. If the feedback they get is worth it, they will take it under consideration, if not, then we can hear the CSM bitching and moaning about it in the forums. That is why I always believed the CSM should be a varied bunch (People from all sec regions and time zones) rather than just the representatives of large alliances. That way the feedback provided can more accurately reflect the condition of EVE better.

    2. The question that needs to be asked is this: In light of the CSM chat log leak, will CCP ever again trust the CSM? This question becomes increasingly relevant when you take into account the new executive producer.

      Think about this from the new EP's perspective. You have never worked with, or even met, the CSM. All you know about them is that one or more of them has broken the NDA and leaked a ton of long-term plans and upcoming features to the public. What would you do in that position?

    3. @hambeast - the CSM log leak is not important, nor particularly damaging. It will not affect, in any way, CCP's relationship with the CSM.

      CCP isn't stupid and has long known that such leaks are possible and indeed likely, esp. with a group of people who have no vested (ie. financial) stake in CCP. In the case of the CSM, the NDA has limited effectiveness - the only penalty that can be legally enforced is banning the player from the game, and that's really not much of a penalty, if someone is particularly disgruntled and does not care about the banhammer.

      The information shared with the CSM, at large, therefore, is always of a non-critical nature, such that leaks would be annoying, but not crippling.

      This isn't a matter of a lack of trust in the CSM, btw, but a simple recognition of human behavior and a smart business practice. And, ofc, individual members of the CSM may be taken into greater confidence, as CCP folks determine whose discretion can or cannot be relied upon.


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