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, May 17, 2013

Quote of the Week: Themes and tag-lines

shit pops up
you go find it
things happen
the actual tagline for odyssey 
-- CCP Rise (the first three lines) and CCP Fozzie (the last line)
This exchange is reproduced with permission from the CSM-CCP Skype conversation.  ;-)  I just love it.  And it's the quote of the week.

From time to time here, you'll hear me make reference to the old-fashioned "theme" that was a hallmark of U.S. education when it came to teaching kids how to write in the 1950s and 1960s.  It eventually morphed into the "formal essay" form that I believe is still used today.  But one of the key elements to the old-fashioned theme -- particularly relative to today's more stream-of-consciousness writing styles -- is that kids were taught that anything that didn't fit the theme should be cut.

And that's kind of what's happening to Odyssey right now.  As we get closer and closer to the release date, some features are being postponed from the Odyssey release.

EDIT (17/May/2013): I'm an idiot.  I could have sworn I saw that Personal Storage Arrays weren't going to be ready in time for June 4, but Fozzie reports that they are.  So I've deleted the reference to them not being ready on time.  I apologize, and I regret the error.

Why pick that feature to delay rather than something else?  Themes!  This is how EVE development is going to work for what is likely to be the next three years:
  • step one: a lot of potential and suggested features build up into a big pile;
  • step two: CCP devs (with the help of the CSM) collaborate and decide on a theme for the next expansion;
  • step three: features are pulled out of the big pile that seem to fit the theme;
  • step four: if one of those isn't a big signature theme feature, then a big signature theme feature is brain-stormed and chosen;
  • step five: devs work in sprints on the chosen features;
  • step six: as the release date gets closer, features that aren't going to be finished in time are put aside; and,
  • step seven: release date.
I'm not giving up CCP's secrets here.  This stuff was covered during sessions at Fanfest this year, notably at the opening Retribution Review session on Thursday, which turned out to be quite a good overview of how project management is done at CCP.  In particular, when evaluating a list of features for the next expansion, CCP uses a system nick-named "Moscow" to decide what will stay and what will go.  It's actually an acronym: MSCW, standing for "Must, Should, Could, Won't."  For a given feature, the devs decide "Is this feature a must?  Or a should?  Or a could?"  Each gets tagged and the "M" features get worked on first.  Stuff tagged "W" doesn't get worked on at all.  Stuff tagged "C" might get worked on or might get cut or pushed back in favor of "M" and "S" features.  Those new anomalies?  "M".  The new scanner?  "M".  Probing changes?  "M".  They're a direct part of the theme.  See the tag line above.  ;-)

But don't forget step eight: those features that didn't get finished in time for release date are pushed back to point releases.  This is what happened with dueling in Retribution.  It didn't get finished in time for Retribution 1.0, but it made it into the game eventually.  So "keep calm and carry on", I believe the saying goes.  The features that match the theme will be in the game first.  But the other stuff will make it in too.  We might just have to wait a few weeks since they don't really fit the theme...


  1. This has to be one of the shittiest blog posts. You do some topics well, but man, this isn't one.

  2. haha... way to get your new bosses pissed at you for spreading unverified lies

  3. Tweet from CCP Fozzie: Want to make it clear that @RipardTeg is entirely incorrect. Personal Hangar Arrays are in Odyssey and are on sisi right now.

    Methinks you may have misunderstood something?

    1. You'd think a CSM member, of all people, would check SiSi for stuff first before waffling about it on the internet, right?

    2. Want to vote me out for screwing up? Want me to stop blogging over it? You can't write 500 blog posts a month without getting something utterly wrong from time to time. When it happens, I admit that I was utterly wrong and own up to it as quickly as possible. This one bugs me though because I specifically remember seeing a thread about this feature being delayed. Now I'm wondering if I was having a nightmare where I read such a thread. ;-)

    3. "You can't write 500 blog posts a month ..."

      Or even comments. Not even you can write 500 blog posts in a month. :)

  4. I guess the theme of exploring doesn't quite fit with the action of spending a crap-ton of time digging through thousands of items in non-personal corp hangar to try to find what you're looking for.

    Exploring, I guess, isn't the same as searching.

    Perhaps having new corp mates 'exploring' through your stuff inside the WH because you can't segregate personal gear is a feature they want to keep.

    I hope it comes sooner rather than later.

  5. INteresting, and may even postpone some of the`BUT YOU PROMISED!`rage.

  6. Thanks Ripard! You are awesome! I know you're just communicating and explaining things but that is exactly what we need. Before we just heard about things not making releases and everyone got in a frenzy.

    Now we can be better informed and know what's happening and then STILL go into a frenzy. lol.

    Seriously man, thank you for taking the time to inform, explain and keep us updated.


  7. What about personal SMA'S?

    1. Private SMAs are not coming with Odyssey, and there's come questions whether they'll be coming at all. Fozzie was very careful about guaranteeing anything for the point releases.

    2. I think this is what Jester was initially thinking about-- iirc personal SMAs have been bumped.

  8. The 3 Ms for Odyssey are complete s***. I started playing a few months after Apocrypha came out because of exploration. It has been good to me when my main income source is disrupted, despite already having undergone several small nerfs these last few years. Now it's going to be complete BS. I hope new players find it interesting. I am SO glad I didn't train any probing skill other than Astrometrics to 5.

    Here's something you might ask about... over the years I have developed a hypothesis that EVE's random number generator isn't working properly. Maybe you could ask CCP to open up that one small part of their code to outside inspection? I'd love to be proven wrong on this, but I've seen too many things that don't seem to be quite right, and all of them can be explained by a crappy (pseudo?) random number generator.

    1. http://hg.python.org/cpython/file/2.7/Lib/random.py

    2. Eve uses Stackless Python running on Windows. Source code is:


      It's an implementation of a Mersenne Twister - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mersenne_twister - I've not checked the code, but presuming they've not screwed up the port it should be good enough.

      It's also possible to get real random numbers, which (in Eve's case) is a call out to CryptGenRandom - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptGenRandom - again which should be good enough for the game.

  9. Great insight into how things work, keep it up


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