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...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

CSM8 status update: Week four

CSM8 has now been in office for a full month!  The time is really going by fast.

With Odyssey's scheduled release only a few days away and with all of the interesting problems over the last week culminating in a very eventful Sunday in Iceland, the CSM hasn't had a whole lot to do.  Our stake-holder meetings are now officially wrapped up for this release, though as a group we continue to be extremely active in giving CCP our feedback about the final few tweaks in all of Odyssey's new features.  I want to give a great big shout out to Ali Aras, who without question has been the CSM8 MVP this week.  She and mynnna have done an outstanding job staying on top of the changes to exploration and the new hacking mini-game and its rewards.  But Ali's the true genius at this stuff.  She's teaching the rest of us about it.  Without treading on NDA territory here, I think it's very fair to say that their input is being taken very seriously and that again as a group, the CSM is hearing and communicating your concerns about this feature.

That said, I also think it's clear enough that CCP wants the new hacking mini-game and its associated rewards to emphasize group cooperation.  At the end of the day, this is an MMO...  I'm also completely convinced that you min-maxers out there -- you know who you are -- will find ways to optimize the rewards you get out of these sites.  You wouldn't be EVE players if you didn't do that.

I had three official duties this week.  First, I officially announced the date and process for CSM8 Town Hall #1, which will be two weeks from today, June 16 at 1900 EVE time.  Once the EVE Online servers come back up, you can find all the details in this thread on the EVE-O forums.  Needless to say, I expect this will be a pretty busy town hall and I hope to chat with a lot of you there!

Second, we had our first official "meet and greet" with CCP Seagull, the Senior Producer of EVE Online Development.  She was good enough to share with us her thoughts and goals for the next few months and a bit of information about where she wants to go with the game in the next couple of years.  Though of course the specifics are under NDA, we've asked permission to share with players the process Seagull hopes to follow in defining the theme for the two expansions that will fall under CSM8's purview as stake-holders.

(Incidentally, I'm still waiting on word of whether the NDA itself is under NDA.  Don't worry, that ball will not get dropped.)

Overall though, this was a terrific meeting and a lot of good high-level information was shared with us and we were able to share with Seagull both our backgrounds within the game and our goals for this term of the CSM.  It's clear that she values the participation of the CSM in the process and that isn't going to change with all the new faces.  So definitely some good news there.  We'll be meeting with her again, obviously.  And I didn't call her Sunset once.(1)  ;-)

Finally as I've already mentioned, I had a great interview/fireside chat with Neville Smit, EVE University's Teaching Manager.  This is a really great guy who sought me out at Fanfest even before the CSM election results were announced and asked if I'd be willing to come to E-UNI and be interviewed in this manner, covering my work as an EVE-related blogger if nothing else.  I was happy to agree and he gave me his card and a very nice EVE University lapel pin, both of which made the trip back from Iceland with me safely.  (I was wearing the pin all day Fanfest Saturday, in fact, including at the Party at the Top of the World.)  As I've already said, I'm really pleased with how this interview went and Neville is a superb interviewer.  If you're interested in CSM-related topics or blog-related topics, I encourage you to go give it a listen.  There are also a large number of other interviews as well in case you're looking for something EVE-related to do...

The other CSM members continue to be busy with their own CSM-related projects and goals.  Ali's had four?... five? Space Hangouts so far, and I might have another fun CSM-related project being run by two other CSM members to announce in next week's update.  Trebor Daehdoow, our intrepid CSM chair, has also been quite busy working on back-end CSM documentation including a clever way for us to keep in contact and define our goals for the term.  Hopefully before too long, I'll also be able to announce the date of the first CCP/CSM8 Summit.  Usually, they're the last week in May or the first week in June.  I think I can safely say without breaking NDA that's not the case this year.

Finally, the CSM-CCP private forums continue to be quite active with last minute suggestions and begging for Odyssey, as do the CSM-CCP Skype channels.  I also hope to announce the date for the first "Features and Ideas" CSM meeting this week as well as kick off the T2 Manufacturing Round Table.  I also need to follow up on my promise to get CSM8 member blogs listed off to the right of this one.  I intended to do one of those this week, but a nasty flu bug intervened.  What can I say except we're all human!

(1) Though I did during the EVE University interview, just for fun, then quickly made it clear I was joking...


  1. Loving your CSM8 update posts. It feels like the broken light bulb in the cold, damp, dark CSM room has finally been replaced by a bright new illuminating one. :-)

  2. I don't really like the way the loot mechanics in exploration penalise you so heavily if you're slow or if you haven't brought someone else.
    Also, people multiboxing with a couple of screens will have an advantage here.

    1. Strange as it may seem, you are no worse off with the new system than with the old if you're solo. The difference is that now if you bring a friend they will have something to do that actually brings in money.

      I'm for this as far too much of EVE's content is done solo when it probably wasn't really intended to be because less people = more profit for each person. This change will be a slight inconvenience to my corp if it works as I understand it to (because we're in w-space and a second person on cans will reduce the rate at which we can clean up the loot).

  3. The NDA is not under NDA. However, revealing that the NDA is not under NDA is NDA.

  4. Dinsdale PirannhaJune 3, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    This new hacking mini-game is another idiotic concept.
    You want group play? Fine. There are tons of ways to play this game in groups.

    Exploration is not one of them.
    I did not sign up for yet another twitch game where my reflexes are more important than my brain.

    And the fact that you are being an apologist for this stupid, stupid mechanic is truly sad.

    1. Reflexes have nothing to do with it; it's turn based.

    2. EVE will never have reflex-based activities.

      The UI was never designed for it and the player base is made up of too many old drunken farts, whose reaction times are measured in minutes, not milliseconds.

  5. To be fair, it's kinda nice watching seagulls during the sunset. I think they would both agree.

  6. Jester, while absolutely loving your blog, I can't help but notice the changes in your language when you write about CSM. The subtle, but important differences in how you choose to compose your messages, give the CSM-related post a somewhat unnatural, corporate/political spokesman-like feel. I simply feel my level of trust diminish when I encounter such lingo.

    It may just be my experience with large corporates that skews my perspective, however i just couldn't resist pointing this out.

    1. I think its an interesting point you bring up and i think i would be interesting for Jester to address the different apporaches he takes when writing a regular post versus a CSM related post.

    2. True, there is a distinct lack of analytical criticism, which definitely existed before Jester became a member of CSM.

      Jester, remember that you are NOT a spokesperson for CCP; you are an elected representative of the players. You are there to provide us with some much needed transparency, into the things which are NOT working right in CCP and CSM. We don't really need to hear only about what is working right, now do we? We can't see what you see and we can't read your thoughts, so you need to tell us, explicitly. Good, bad and ugly.

      For example, what really happened with the new launcher? Was it improperly or insufficiently QA'ed before release? Does QA need more qualified staff (many companies wrongly seem to think QA can be done by any minimum wage worker off the street, with no training)? Should there be more lead time for testing before release? Do we need to get more players banging on these things on Sisi? Should it be made easier for players to install and run on Sisi?

      You deliberately have swept the launcher issue under the rug, and you should not have done so. The launcher debacle created a problem for many players, made CCP look bad, and is indicative of the sorts of things which can be fixed, with a minimal amount of effort/cost. One good thing that came out of the launcher incident was the free SP as compensation - it was a smart customer relations move by CCP, cost them nothing to do, and absorbed a large part of the sting. This type of behavior from CCP is the sort of improvement we should expect the CSM to push forward, rather than wasting time on details about specific ship stats.

    3. "With Odyssey's scheduled release only a few days away and with all of the interesting problems over the last week culminating in a very eventful Sunday in Iceland, the CSM hasn't had a whole lot to do."

      That's akin to an employee turning away from his computer full of work-related tasks and saying "gee, If only I had something to do around here."

      If you choose to ignore the Features & Ideas and Test Server Feedback forums, then yes – surprisingly the CSM doesn't have a whole lot to do.

    4. Watch out Jester, the 1.700's called, and they want their olde small corporate-talk back.

  7. Do you know if CCP has had any discussions at all about Faction Warfare? Or do they believe that with the changes in Retribution they have 'fixed' Faction Warfare for the time being. Challenges are still faced by all militia when it comes to farming alts.

    These massive swarms of barely trained, cloaky, stabbed alt toons, still heavily impact the warzone. Instead of sticking with a militia and waiting for the tier zone to rise to acceptable levels after Inferno, now they all simply migrate between the Militia with the highest tier level and farm it all to the ground.

    Measures to chase off these hordes are rather limited. You can chase them off while your active but the horde permeates all time zones. My alliance brought down the sov level of our home system by 15-20% in the course of 7-8 hours. During our inactive cycle which lasts about 4-5 hours all the gains we had made had disappeared. And this was in a HOME system. Any system that is taken out of vulnerable is immediately set upon by the horde and quickly farmed until vulnerable again.

    Another thing about the alts is they were not even our opposing Milita the Gallente. They were all Minmatar milita taking advantage of that Militas high tier, but Amarr had heavily defended space that was unplexable, so they moved to Caldari space to farm us instead.

    The worst thing about it is that many Milita Leaders from all four Racial Militas have been BEGGING for the simple changes to counteract these alts. We recognize that limited developer time would be given to us after the changes in Inferno, but we are talking about very SMALL changes.

    Timer rollbacks so that when a defender chases someone out of a plex it rolls back to a neutral time without the defender having to babysit it. Further ruining the hour/ISK ratio of farmers. Implementing a cap so that only the Max sized ship in a plex can count down the timer. People go through on medium trained combat alts blow up all the rats in a systems plexes then leave it to be farmed. With the change one could no longer capture a Large with a Frigate, but would have to be in a BC or larger. Making ships with stabs unable to enter plexes or a ship with both a cloak and a stab combo unable have been proposed. But with CCP's reliance on the sandbox that seems to be just a pipe dream.

    Ultimately most people would like to see a change in the tier system. All it does currently is punish the winner, because they have to sink their own LP into bunkers while attracting the farmers who reap the rewards of the winning people in the Milita who are actually DOING something. And the rewards for actually upgrading a system are rather minor when compared to the LP increase when going up a Tier. But since CCP would probably want to focus the efforts on something that hasn't received any attention lately (0.0 Sov, Noob Experience, etc)most of us recognize these changes could be a long way off.

    These issues and the turning of Faction Warfare into an LP Farming, ISK Whoring crap-shoot has led to many of the old guard in all Militas to just pack up and leave. DnD left Gallente, pretty much everybody who isn't an alt corp for a CFC alliance has left Caldari, including my own alliance. And with my limited time on the forums CCP hasn't responded to our problems at all. Hans seemed to have thrown up his hands after all the complaints and said 'CCP Fixed FW, I'm not taking any other opinions otherwise' towards the end of his term. Any CCP reply to the continued plight of FW has been either limited or non-existent, mostly the latter. Without a member of FW on the CSM we have no one to champion our requests, something Hans seemed to stop doing about halfway through his term anyway.

    Could you ask CCP if FW will receive at least SOME iteration? At all? Please? Were begging for a bone here honestly.

  8. New CSM been in power a month, Eve crashes twice. WTF are you doing? ;)

  9. The first rule of NDA is: don't talk about NDA. :-)

  10. Thanks again for agreeing to speak with us, Ripard - my interviews are only as good as the quality of those being interviewed, so all the credit goes to you.

    We're looking forward to co-hosting the CSM8 Town Halls on the EVE University public Mumble server, too. I want to commend you for the proactive and thoughtful way that you are organizing the CSM8 communications plans with the player base - much appreciated!

  11. Do you know if wormhole mags/radars are being changed like empire sites? At face value, they're worth 200+ mil, and 1.1-1.35 bil with quad escalations in a c5, quite a bit of money for a site.

    Also, what have you to say about the new geddon not being able to fit a full rack of neuts+tank and mwd? Do you see that as balanced, as I see it as a limiting factor. Even the Ashummu can't fit a full rack of neuts+ 1600mm plate, and mwd without a PG mod/rigs. Do you see that as right? I find it annoying.

  12. Hi Jester i listended to your interview with Malcanis on Crossing Zebra's and you mentioned an interesting thing in regards to CSM officer roles and i'd like you see addressed further/expanded upon.
    You mentioned that you see the role of the chair as externally facing towards the players and the vice chair are internally facing, sort of the CSM whip.
    But from all other snippets of information i have gathered so far its seems like currently those roles are reveresed.
    I see mention of all the work Trebor is going to get CSM members up to speed and organized, and very little reaching out to the player base because he's busy with those items.
    I see you reaching out to players like organizing the Town Hall, going on interviews and consantly updating players via your blog.
    Is that something you see as temporary or different direction undertaken as you get into your grove?

  13. T1 hauler rebalancing. Promised, not delivered. When? Ask the question, please.

  14. RE: the hacking mini game
    Last month CCP Affinity said it wouldn't be implemented in Incursion hacking sites which do have NPCs one has to worry about, but in last Fridays DEV discussions about it a different DEV said we would have to do it in Incursions(w/o loot cans ): ?!?!?!?! Any way we can get a confirmation or just wait until tommorrow?

  15. Please keep these up, it's really good to know what CSM is up to!

  16. Seems to me that you guys are already failing at the job.

    The latest dev blog from Ytterbium pretty much proves the fact that Rise didn't actually listen to any significant part of the player feedback provided on the changes to T1 battleships and their cost. From his original post, *very* little was ever changed, excepting a few minor stat tweaks - his original concept of how we, the players, should be using battleships was set into concrete from day 1.

    The overall design orientation towards "fleet use only" is just abominable. Many of the original BS hulls were ideally designed for solo and small gang work, but no longer. The higher cost and role-specific design pretty much commit them to alliance fleet use.

    Are you folks in the CSM8 actually onboard with CCP's "fleet use only" mentality? If so, then WTF - I'd like to move for a recall election.

  17. Ok, so a bunch of us just got screwed by yet another launcher-related problem, where we got disconnected by the server, then could not log back in, because apparently our characters will still logged in and hanging in space, without warping off. Go check the GD forum, if you don't believe me.

    Petitions filed. CCP had to disconnect our characters from their end. Many of us found ourselves floating in pods, or back in station in new, implant-free clones.

    So, tell us all yet again why the new launcher isn't really a major player problem?

    I'm docking in station until next week. Perhaps CCP will have the launcher bugs ironed out by then (or introduce more of them with Odyssey). In the meantime, maybe you CSM clowns can stop wanking off, patting each other on the backs, and find out what the hell is really going on.

    And, just FYI, there was no DDoS attack. So, we were lied to by CCP, as well.

    1. "And, just FYI, there was no DDoS attack. So, we were lied to by CCP, as well."

      The onus to prove your claim lies entirely on you. Another game I play (Torn) is also undergoing an unclaimed DDoS. Coincidence? Maybe, but it does make me even less likely to believe CCP lied on this one.


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