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...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Summit Day Two

Welcome to the hardest day of the summit!  The schedule was really weighted hard to this day with a lot of the toughest expectations on CSM8 packed into this Thursday.  Primarily, day two was about meeting individually with members of each of EVE's four "feature teams" as well as the fifth team working on the EVE-DUST link.  Throughout the day, Trinity was often quite full of people.  Instead of a person or two presenting a specific topic, the bulk of each team appeared and anyone we needed to talk to was available to clarify points and answer questions.

On the very positive end, this gave us the opportunity to do quite deep dives into winter expansion features that we wanted to dig into a little more or that team members wanted our opinion on.  On the challenging side, it made day two mentally exhausting.  I've learned there is a bit of a running joke in CCP: which CCP dev can talk enthusiastically about spaceships continuously for the longest time?  CSM8's abilities on this front were tested.  It made for a really long, involved day...

Session Eight: Team Five-O.  This is the team that CSM8 is the stake-holder for so happily most of us were quite familiar both with the features this team is working on and with the people on the team themselves so we could jump right in.  Obviously I can't yet speak about what those specific features are but they are working on four major projects, two of which were discussed much more in-depth for an hour each during sessions nine and ten.  I think players are going to be very happy with what this team is working on.  One in particular will cost me a bottle of brandy for the CCP dev implementing it, but it will be worth it: it's something I (and lots of players in my constituency) have wanted in the game for a long time.  I myself have been begging for it since April 26 or so... can't wait!

Session Nine: Project 1.
Session Ten: Project 2. 
These were in-depth discussions of two of the four areas where Team Five-O is concentrating their efforts.  One will be a major center-piece of the winter expansion, one is set-up work for next year.  I think players will be nearly universal in their approval of both, and the CSM was too... with one tiny little baby exception where we gently tried to nudge the devs off their chosen path.  I believe and hope we provided a lot of valuable feedback on how to make these features better.

Session Eleven: Team Superfriends.  This session was a bit challenging.  I think Superfriends has drawn the most difficult and the most potentially contentious features for the winter expansion.  I also think it's fair to say that the CSM expressed deep concerns about their approaches to two of them.  On the positive end, I think we were very successful at expressing those concerns and further discussion of them will be moving to the CCP-CSM internal forums.

Session Twelve: Team Game of Drones.
  On the other hand, I think Game of Drones lucked into the "easiest" feature set for winter.  The CSM was very enthusiastic about both the features and the direction this team is taking them.  Even better, the team is well along on their implementation, so I and others on CSM8 made a case for them to make their plans public as soon as possible to draw mass player input.  I dearly hope this happens so I can start writing about this team's work in detail soon because I think it's really important.

Session Thirteen: Team Kuromaku.  This is a new team, formed from a merger of two other feature teams and as a result is both currently the biggest feature team and the one with the most expectations for winter.  CCP Seagull herself presented for this team, I think because she gently started with a sad announcement that a feature that I had considered a major cornerstone for the next couple of expansions is being pushed back due to its complexity.  I think Seagull was arming up for a torch-and-pitchfork attack from CSM8 but I think we were really understanding.  What this team wants to do in 2014 is completely awesome, but it's going to be damned tough.

I want to briefly expand on this topic and this is a good place to do it.  I've been impressed over and over again by one aspect of having Seagull at the tiller.  I think she's struck a perfect balance of wanting to do crazy cool stuff in EVE over the next three years but is also very realistic about what can be accomplished at each step in the process.  In particular, the entire leadership team is aware of the pitfalls of Incarna and understands that at each step when you're doing crazy cool stuff, players have to be respected and cool stuff to do in space has to be delivered.  It's really refreshing!  Onward.

As a result, things segued smoothly into what this team can actually deliver for winter and I think this session was one in particular where the CSM provided a lot of insights and good feedback.  In one case, four different teams including this one are working aspects of the same feature and because of this I had to give my suggestions for the feature four different times (to the point where during this session, another of the CSM said "Jester, give your WXYZ speech again" -- I'll explain what that means when I can talk about it).

Session Fourteen: Team True Grit.
Session Fifteen: EVE-DUST Link.
  These two sessions merged into one super-session on the EVE DUST link and we had a good portion of the Council of Planetary Management with us to help talk about it.  It was also another session where I think it's fair to say that both the CSM and CPM are a bit concerned with the direction being taken.  The good news is that team is ultra-realistic about the real-world failures of the current EVE DUST link.  The bad news is I believe most of the CSM and CPM don't feel like True Grit is being given the resources to attack the issues boldly enough.

A few more general notes about the day...

I mentioned yesterday that CSM8 had a minor miss during our session with the art team: we were so impressed with what we were shown that we completely forgot to make the case for optional high-definition textures that can be downloaded with the rest of the client.  This was something that lots and lots of players have begged various CSM members to continue making the case for for those players that want it.  The good news is that we had a follow-up session with the art team today and were able to deliver that message.

In addition, when meeting with all of the feature teams today, CSM8 gave a bit of a "sales pitch" for expanding the stakeholder relationship across additional CCP teams.  We had 11 out of 14 CSM8 members available for much of Thursday and I think this did a lot to show the commitment of this CSM and the expanded number of potential active participants that can give feedback to team members.  We also made the case for more CCP devs to join our Skype channels for times when they want instant feedback about issues they're considering.  By the end of the day, Trebor Daehdoow, Mike Azariah, and Ali Aras were adept at delivering the pitch.  ;-)

All in all, an exhausting but productive day!  Most of the CSM adjourned to Nora's after hours where we were met by eight or so CCP devs.  I'm pleased to report that a stout is back on the menu at Nora's -- perhaps they read this blog and got the tap running again to make me happy?  Conversation again stuck to mostly very casual topics and it was a relaxing way to end the day.  On to day three!


  1. I really like your reports Ripard, and it makes me glad I voted for you.

    If only you were able to go into more specifics about what is being discussed. Curse that NDA!

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  2. Let's hope the Winter expansion turns out to be an actual expansion, rather than a patch, which is basically all the last few expansions have been

  3. you are a horrible horrible tease and i hate you and your NDA

  4. "I myself have been begging for it since April 26 or so... can't wait!"

    I went back through the archives for 26 April 2013,2012,2011.

    The closest I could find was a reference to Jester asking at fanfest: "While Crimewatch is fantastic, I've explained it to literally hundreds of new and returning players who don't quite get it"

  5. But i want to know...

    *reaches for a torch-and-pitchfork*

  6. One more thing Ripard... so the CSM now know the theme of the Winter Expansion are thay alowed to use that knowledge for market manipulation ???

    1. Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, CCP audits CSM members to make sure they're *not* doing this. This cost a past CSM member his post a few years back.

    2. Yeah, but CCP does not audit all their friends in the same economic cabal. The CSM member just tells his friends what to buy / sell, and voila, instant trillions.

    3. Your comment only shows that you have no clue how to do audits. Hint: Hidden alts are harder to find than friends.

  7. One thing I would dearly love for CCP to come out and say is if there is any new content for Incarna coming in the next three years.

    I'm personally sick of participating in threads to show that there is indeed support for more stuff to do with our flesh puppets.

    I just want to get back to playing the game, knowing that there is something to look forward to in the near to mid term future.

  8. Quote from "Fanfest Day Three: Close quarters" April 26th

    "A CCP dev made it said there are higher resolution skins for most ships but they haven't wanted to release them because of concerns about client size. When he asked "If these were optional downloads, how many of you would download them?" virtually every hand in the room went up."


    1. This one is directly referenced in this blog post so you can logically conclude it isn't this.

      Trust me, when the feature I'm talking about here goes public I'll have a bit of fun writing the story about how it came about.

  9. I love these kinds of bosts Jester, but holy shit if it isn't extremely frustratingly teasing in its nature. All the neat stuff you CSMs get to help shape that we don't know of yet!

    F R U S T R A T I N G

    I want to know now!
    But you and the other CSMs have got my trust that the game is being directed with your help to become even more awesome then it is now, speaking as a 6 year player.
    Good work so far and keep it up!


  10. Great work, Jester! Keep it coming!

    Two notes though;
    "One in particular will cost me a bottle of brandy for the CCP dev implementing it, but it will be worth it"
    If its that great, at least give this soul a Cognaq not just "a Brandy" ;o)

    Secondly, and more serious, the one thing I can't see here as of now is anything on iteration. Yes, the rebalancing and reasonable things on Friday (today), but so far I get the feeling that the next 6 to 9 months will focus on new features and iteration is sent down the list of priorities?

    1. 1) I've left the exact particulars open to the dev in question.
      2) I don't think you have much to worry about.

    2. Nice to see that Jester has acknowledged that the game designers are bribable. Now, I wonder what a null sec cartel can get built into the game for some serious coin.

  11. We need more CCP Seagull ! While I do appreciate the information received from the other Devs at a more dialed in part of their work (details are cool!) But I would like to see more from CCP Seagull as the overall view for the game evolves with each expansion.

    Can't get enough 'big picture' stuff.

  12. Ripard, after hearing so much about what ccp Can do, do yo think the CSM could draw their (CCP's) attention to making it possible forthe corp ceo to kick out a member instantly without any timers? I understand that previously the issue was that it would make the kicked player be neutral and concord the attackers. Now however, with the limited engagement timer, can this be made possible??

  13. I think the biggest problem with the Eve/Dust514 link is that CCP (and the CPM/CSM) doesn't understand the Dust514 core gamer player base and what the analog players are on the Eve side.

    A big part of the distortion is that CCP and the Eve side is only talking to Eve expatriates, many of whom were always bad at Eve too.

    Dust core gamers are/were hardcore pvp'ers, they pvp like Eve players only dream about pvp'ing all day long.

    Why would the Eve/Dust link be oriented around matching those players up with Eve industrialists via planetary farming mechanics?

    Even the "best" ideas I've seen suggest some halfass link that some of the big nullsec zergs might want some day. This isn't going to make Eve a compelling addition to Dust players motivations.

    As a thought experiment - What mechanics would have to change/be added in Eve for Rooks and Kings to want to partner with a top Dust corp for a ganking?

    Anyway at this point I think most of the serious players I know are either already gone or just waiting for Planetside2 etc on PS4.

    After a year of overall really atrocious alpha version of Dust514 I don't know anyone that has much interest in seeing how the "5 year plan" (where CCP has put basically every worthwhile or interesting Dust feature) pans out.

    If the integration with Dust514 is any indication of the level of thought that CCP puts into how it adds games to New Eden I have little or no hope that Valkyrie will be worth more then a giggle when OculusVR hits next year.


  14. Your supernatural blogging ability will earn you a seat on any future CSM that you choose to participate in as far as I'm concerned. Keep up the fantastic work!

  15. Its a shame that it looks like the eve-Dust link might take a LONG time to do anything really interesting that players will be hyped for. On the other hand its great news the devs understand the problems that have gone before and don't have their heads up their arse.

  16. Ha! April 26th! I can just look up what you mentioned on the blog on that day and... volia! Instant-NDA-break!
    Oh. Fanfest.

    Well played, Ripard. Well played.

    1. It's almost as if I started talking about something to devs right after I learned (on the 25th) that I was on CSM8...

    2. Yeah, obvious in retrospect. Still got my hopes up momentarily. :P

  17. As a guy who cannot even play the game due to the real-world issues of not having a computer, unable to afford one due to saving for a car, and likely not being able to change any of these facts until well after the Winter expansion launches, I really wish I could just bully you into divulging what you know so I can live from her onward with a big silly grin on my face until I am able to finally log in...

  18. "The bad news is I believe most of the CSM and CPM don't feel like they're being given the resources to attack the issues boldly enough."

    Just to clarify, is it the CSM/CPM that aren't being given the resources, or Team True Grit?

    1. True Grit. The CSM doesn't have resources in this fight as such.


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