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...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer Summit Day Three

Welcome to day three!  In terms of weather, this promised to be the nicest day of the summit, ironic considering that an impressive storm is gathering to hit the north side of the island this weekend.  By afternoon, it was incredibly windy and hail kept falling noisily on the proceedings.  But the morning walk was quite nice and we soon settled into our accustomed chairs for the day's work.

Day three was mostly about smaller teams, smaller projects, and side issues facing EVE Online development environment for the next six months.  As a result, we were able to relax a bit more and the day lacked the frenetic pace of day two.

Session sixteen: Sales and marketing.  The first session of the day was marred by all sorts of technical problems with the video conference hardware.  As a result, we only got about 35 minutes to talk about this important topic.  Unsurprisingly, a lot of the focus of this session was around the (undeniably awesome) EVE Collector's Edition that was announced and shown off at Fanfest.  CSM8 was shown an "unboxing."  The USB Rifter is in-cred-ible -- much larger than I was expecting(1) -- and between that and the golden pod might alone justify the cost.  The CSM listened to the pitch around this product then made several suggestions on how to make the Collector's Edition even better.  Unfortunately, there wasn't time for much more.

Session seventeen: Reasonable things review.  This was a focused session with game designers from a number of teams looking over the top-rated items from the CSM's reasonable things initiative earlier this year.  As they have on the Skype channel, CCP expressed enthusiasm for a number of proposals.  Even more important, they provided good communication for why a number of the proposals are not as "reasonable" as they might appear.  It's a good bet you'll see some of the list in future expansions...

Session eighteen: PvE.  This session was a little bit disjointed because a number of CSM members have strong feelings on this topic, myself included.  The CCP team also had no presentation ready to go.  This was actually common throughout the three days and allowed discussions to range into lots of different areas where devs wanted feedback.  This session was a great example of that.  It resulted in a stream-of-consciousness discussion that ranged all over the place.  At the end of the session, the devs involved made it clear that they found our feedback valuable and discussion on this topic continued into both lunch and (I believe) dinner.  I joked that Mike Azariah gets to write the minutes of this one, and it'll probably be the hardest part of the minutes to write.

Session nineteen: Project 3.  This one is another NDA'ed project likely to be announced very soon.  In principle, the idea is very very cool.  I'll have lots to say about it when it gets announced.  Until then, the CSM were mostly asked for feedback on how the project should be announced, how it should be managed, and ways to prevent it being exploited by that most wily of gamer, the EVE player.  In other news, by this time the issues with Trinity's video conferencing had been completely fixed.

Session twenty: User Interface.  The UI has obviously been... ummm... less than one of EVE's strengths for quite some time.  I would forgive you for just getting excited over the fact the name of this session wasn't NDA'ed.  Representatives from both the UI team and teams connected to it brought us a quite good presentation for both a short- and medium-term plan to address this weakness of the game we love.  This session drew feedback from virtually every CSM member and discussion was animated.

Session twenty-one: Language support and the CSM.  Short version: this was a plea for the CSM to be more friendly to the languages where EVE has a localized client: German, Russian, and Japanese.  We accepted the input, then the members of the CSM most affected by this topic provided advice on how CCP can improve in this area as well.

Session twenty-two: Launcher and web teams.
  This was a session requested by the CSM and was our chance to really dig into the meat of the integration of the launcher and a couple of other NDA'ed priorities for the winter expansion.  CCP has a specific strategy for development of the launcher and this was also an opportunity to discuss it and for the CSM to provide feedback.  We also had a couple of suggestions for the web team, one of which would be quite difficult to implement but would be a vast improvement to EVE's web presence.

Session twenty-three: Hilmar.  This was a shorter session than the others, and mostly an opportunity for us to meet Hilmar.  But we also took the opportunity -- using a trio of leading questions -- to hear Hilmar's vision for EVE's branding and identity across its three products for the next year.  I think CSM8 came away quite satisfied with what we heard.

Session twenty-four: Valkyrie.  Let's just say that when Valkyrie was announced, the CSM was quite insistent on doing everything we could to ensure our feedback was used to make this the best possible product of this type that could be produced.  Clearly, the best way to do this was to do some heavy duty product testing.  ;-)  No, more seriously, we were interested in hearing if there was any way we could help with this, though one very lucky CSM8 member did get to try it out (no, it wasn't me).

After the last session of the day, the CSM and a large cross-section of developers met at a local restaurant for dinner, with conversations ranging from the serious to the ultra-casual.  Several CSM8 members -- including myself -- used the opportunity of a final get-together to plant the seeds of ideas in the heads of willing devs.  But it certainly wasn't all work.  Good food and socializing played an important part and CSM members and devs got the chance to learn about each other's hobbies and interests.

After that, a subset of the dinner participants adjourned to Nora's for continued chit-chat.  About 11pm, we were called outside for a really glorious display of the aurora borealis -- reportedly one of the best ever seen in Reykjavik city limits.  It was really something!  After that, CSM members adjourned back to the hotel in roughly age order, oldest first.  ;-)  I myself called it a night about 1am.

All in all, day three was interesting, productive, and not quite as exhausting as the second day, with a lot of important ground covered!  There will be one more wrap-up post where I look at the summit as a whole, along with some final random notes.  But for now, time to prepare to head for home! 

I want to express my thanks to all of the CCP developers, employees, and leadership that met with us!  Your hospitality and openness made this summit a terrific experience.  My thanks also to my fellow CSM delegates that attended both in person and over the video/audio link.  We've got a lot of work ahead of us preparing and presenting the minutes of this marathon and I think we're all eager to continue our work.

(1) That's what she said.


  1. How do you report spelling mistakes and odd grammar?
    My all-time favourite is:
    Waffen des Tages des Jüngsten Gerichtes aka DDD

  2. Well crap, sad panda that I didn't get to say the catchy sexist phrase before you did!

    Now, I'm very glad to see that some work is being done with the UI and hope to see improvements in the short to medium range of time. Four years of that thing could crack anyone, I know it managed with me! Hell I'm pretty sure the aggravation level of handling the overview plus PI plus dscan (while in wspace) in regards to a recurrent RSI is only comparable with Diablo and its sequels.

  3. looking forward to some very detailed minutes of Session Eighteen.

    Since the castration of Incursions, the chorus again sings of the evil Level Four. I love the argument, either they earn too much or I must be doing something wrong. (heads I win, tails you lose).

    I guess after playing chess for 40 years and not earning my GM - I must be doing that wrong too.

    (as in both games) Some of us just play for fun. I fly drunk, (a bit too much). I chat to folk in a friendly channel. And I slouch my way though Angel Extra in just an hour without the final pocket. The coin the phrase "it made me happy".

    Never did understand the risk vs reward rhetoric, if I wanted RvR would I play on Wall Street - not Eve Online. Effort vs reward is my yardstick; and right now I am happy with how L4 play and pay.

  4. USUALLY your footnotes are useful, provide good references, or invaluable pearls of wisdom...

    That was my favorite footnote ever.

  5. So with you on the CSM,I'll put you down for writing half the minutes by the end of next week. Everyone else will get 1 done. Trebor will get 2-3 done. Mike will still be working on the PVE section. 3 weeks after you all turn in your first draft CCP will get back with the second. A month later, we will see them. Half the notes will be outdated or already talked about in dev posts or dev blogs. le sigh. hope I'm wrong. Thanks for these quick posts.

  6. re. PVE: Is solo high sec on their radar at all? People have been rescuing the Damsel from Kruul for ten years now. The whole galaxy is covered in a thin film of Kruul's DNA. CCP is going to shake up mission running soon, right? Right?

  7. PvE is tricky, some people and sometimes, just don't want that intense involvement. Make it harder and risk losing players.

  8. From http://mikeazariah.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/csm-gallente-green/
    "On the last day the Rote Capelle representative ‘appropriated a better seat’ from the sessions moderator, slyly."

    Do tell :-)

    1. Oh... heh heh heh... I'd forgotten about that. I'll add it to the summit wrap-up.

  9. That is what she said.

  10. Thanks for your coverage, I feel like my vote did something good now ... a really weird feeling ;)

  11. hopefully pve will be improve around winter

  12. Well I'll be interested in hearing about Session eighteen: PvE... Incursion wise the the Mini-dreads' description sounds like it'll throw Maurders out of Assaults & HQ's but possibly make them the kings of Vanguards.
    Possibly more unbalanced then the old legion fleets.

  13. I want to add my thanks for your daily updates during the summit. It will make the wait for the full release of the minutes bearable because we sort of have a pretty good idea already of what will be covered. Please spearhead the effort to get them out before the end of October even if it means hitting CCP over the head to get them off their asses when they drag out the approval process.

  14. Do you CSM people not have cameras? Geeze. Words, words, words, words...that's all we ever get.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.