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).
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.
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.