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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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Two great tastes that taste great together

Hopefully by now, you've had a chance to read through the CSM "guest dev blog" that was published on Thursday.

As you know, one of my major goals as a CSM member during the election cycle was to reestablish a coherent process for players and the CSM to put player ideas for changes to the game in front of CCP in a manageable way.  This is something that was done very successfully during CSMs 4 and 5, in particular, and it was something that I wanted to bring back for CSM8.  During CSMs 6 and 7, Trebor Daehdoow did a great job with "prioritization crowd-sourcing."  While it was a good idea in a vacuum, it had two problems that would tend to cause even good ideas raised by it to lose momentum:
  • there was nobody inherent in the process to champion the good ideas, so unless a particular CSM member or CCP dev took an interest in a particular idea, it tended not to go anywhere; and,
  • from a CSM accountability stand-point, it was completely neutral.  CCP found out what some of the individual players wanted but there was no inherent system to get CSM members involved in the process (other than Trebor, who was running it).
The latter was a big strength of the voting mechanic from CSMs 4 and 5: you saw very clearly who was in favor of what and who was opposed to what.

But voting process itself from those CSMs was not without flaws: it was incredibly labor-intensive from a CSM member stand-point.  The "discovery" phase, in which each CSM member would bring ideas into the process, took a lot of effort.  And while many of the proposals that came out of it were relatively easy to implement, others intruded on game design.  In practice, the best proposals tended to be the ones that (and I keep saying this over and over) stated issues with the game without delving too far into possible solutions.  But it struck me as a superior solution overall to crowd-sourcing.

One of the nice things about the CSM is how a lot of things that the CSM does turn into collaborative efforts.  Many past CSMs have had this advantage; CSM8 adds the advantage of lots more people and ideas in the mix.  I'm not sure who brought up the idea, but when I started pushing voting and Trebor brought up crowd-sourcing, someone said "why not combine them?"  And from that moment, we've been driving down that track.  Trebor deserves the most kudos here, pulling ideas from a lot of CSM members and writing the final dev-blog.  I don't think it's a perfect solution, but it has a couple of tremendous benefits over either of the previous solutions in isolation:
  • It improves the voting mechanic by out-sourcing the labor-intensive discovery portion of it from several dozen hours for each CSM member to a fraction of an hour for hundreds of EVE players.  Sorry about that, but there are way more of you than there are of us.
  • It improves the crowd-sourcing mechanic by producing a manageable number of ideas, each with a clear focus and each with a clear slate of CSM members who can potentially champion it.
So overall, I'm hugely enthusiastic about this process and so far it looks like you guys are, too.  The thread of ideas is up to 33 pages and is going strong.  Thank you to all of you that have contributed, and for those who haven't yet, phase one of this process runs for another ten days.

The process, of course, is not without its cynics.  People right up to previous CSM chair The Mittani have dismissed this kind of effort as a waste of time.  There's only two pieces of counter-evidence to these claims.

First, the process is proven to work.  Go back to the proposals voted on by CSM4 and CSM5, and you'll quickly find that a huge number of them are in the game that you're playing right now!  (long breath) Logistics ships warp speed changes, corp book-marks, expanded watch lists, self-destruct that produces kill-mails, in-game events advertising, improved destroyers, faction items on the market, reconnecting to lost drones, neuts/NOSs on screen, and aligning to bookmarks and more, more, more are all issues that CSM4 alone voted on and all of them are in the game now.  In fact, you'd be relatively hard-pressed to find suggestions on those lists that aren't in the game now, except for the big POS-shaped one, of course.

Second, when I first came on-board into a Skype channel in which I could talk to CCP Seagull about this idea directly, she was very enthusiastic, said that there would be dev time set aside for addressing player-suggested issues, and has now made this position public for all EVE players to see!  So be as cynical as you want about this process, 'cause the lady calling the shots is behind it.  ;-)  Thank you so much, Seagull!

So again, I encourage you to participate in the thread, or at the very least, give some "likes" to the ideas that you find favor with.  Thank you to those of you who have posted something already, and thanks in advance to those of you who will do so between now and the 24th!  And as Trebor has already pointed out, the idea that CSM members can be swayed to vote on your proposal because you bought us a Titan or a tournament ship or contracted us your high-sec dreadnought is absolutely ridiculous.


  1. Doth protest level: too much

  2. Let's be clear here. The CSM is dominated by null sec cartel members. Any changes to the game will be for the benefit of null sec, particularly to the detriment of high sec (bye bye T2 industry in high sec).

    Now that CCP has abdicated any role in the game's direction Eve will very quickly shed any pretense of fairness and balance between the different sectors of the game, and the whole thing will be geared to maximizing the RMT income for the cartel leaders by the 2014 summer release.

    It is actually quite something to witness though: The complete subversion of a corporate entity by a small group of its own original customer base.

    To see such a coup develop before my eyes is quite something. Bravo soundwave, mittens, mynnna, et al. Bravo. And the language being used by Seagull and the CSM, its exquisite. Makes it sound almost democratic.

    1. Why do you play this game? I'm honestly curious.

    2. Proof or GTFO plztnx

    3. pish - I counter your flim-flam with one name; Mike Azariah
      Who could not have been more alienated from the dynamics you've sketched from the outset, but whose tirelessness and civic mined duty keeps rouges like Ripard and Trebor on-track.
      Thanks gods for dreamers and role-players, their insights are the future.

  3. Trebor has not been active talking about the process you guys are using up till the end of the input period. Might need its own thread.
    Are you guys skimming/ pulling the results from the thread now and just adding additional posts later as they get added. Will you be pulling the suggestions from the last little things thread people have been posting over there in the format you requested as well.

    3 days to ask for devs feed back on issue size seems ambitious.

    What format will the voting be in will it be by number like last time or will a formal voting site like the CSM vote.

    Its a great idea and I have been active putting in suggestions. we just need more info about process.

  4. Whats up with the CSM8.org web site have not seen any updates it it in about 2 weeks.

    1. That's a good point. I'll follow up with the guys working it.

  5. I frankly refuse to suffer the eve forums anymore, but basically, one word: INCARNA.

    I don't think its an unreasonable request to have it further worked on and for stations to be fleshed out.

    1. Neither small nor medium.

    2. One of Jon Lander's last public statements on the matter is that there's almost nobody left in CCP that has any interest in working on Incarna.

  6. Since FW doesn't really have a representative on this CSM, despite having ~5-10% of the Eve population involved, and because you're the most accessible of the non-Bloc CSMs, I figured you're the best person to try and recruit to make sure this change makes it onto the final ballot.

    Faction warfare really needs one simple change to bring back the significant cruiser and up engagements that have more-or-less completely died out in the Minmatar-Amarr zone. We need defending iHubs to mean something. I suggest that if you successfully defend an iHub that has been pushed into vulnerable, instead of pushing contestation back down to 99.6%, you push it down to 70% or so.

    Since no one really wants to change the see-saw, forever war feel of the current warzone mechanics, implementing any sort of timer system would be terrible. However, if the defenders want to take on the attackers in the timezone where the attackers have the manpower to push a system to vuln, it ought to mean something.

    Also, to prevent this mechanic from being abused by alts pushing a system vulnerable and immediately flipping it back, I suggest that iHubs, once pushed into vulnerable, remain vulnerable for two hours no matter what. This allows plenty of time for form-ups but also only requires a reasonable amount of time from the defenders.

    Thanks kindly,

  7. The constant assurances (by everyone, not just you) that CSM members cannot be bought off is getting really weird. It started as a joke, then got serious, now it's going past that and I'm starting to believe that people actually want to be bought off. Is there some joke I'm not getting?

    1. It's just a rolling troll. I think we're all secretly jealous of Mittens, who made tens of billions of ISK from being a CSM member by scamming people.


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