Three hours before dawn, the weather for the third day of the summit was the worst so far, with strong winds and light blowing snow. The marathon nature of the proceedings has definitely been taking its toll, with only three members of CSM8 up early enough to enjoy the hotel breakfast. Most of us agreed to head over to CCP a little earlier than usual to allow time to fight the weather.
Once we arrived, we discovered that CCP itself was having some trouble waking up. The office is normally pretty busy by the time the summit starts at 9am. Not today! Most of the windows were dark and it took a few minutes to find someone who would let us in and a few minutes more before we could make our way to Trinity. Once things were running though, the rest of the day went very smoothly!
Session Sixteen: EVE Leadership. No, this didn't have anything do with in-game leadership. Instead, the focus was on the current state of the EVE development management and executive team. It's no secret that the job of Executive Producer for EVE Online has been open for a good long while now and this session was partially devoted to the continuing search for a replacement. But there have also been some other personnel changes in the EVE leadership team -- some public, some not -- that CCP wanted the opinion of the CSM on. CCP Pokethulu was the key player and he took lots of notes! We also got a glimpse of something that was announced at Fanfest this past year with great fanfare. It is looking amazingly good! I'll let CCP announce exactly what it was, though, which should happen any time now.
Session Seventeen/Eighteen: EVE Community. This was a double session promised by CCP Guard, CCP Manifest, CCP Dolan, and others, for the key players in CCP and the CSM to go over the many community-related fiascoes that have taken place since the Summer Summit. You know the list by now. ;-) There was a lot of discussion about how CCP should handle support for community fan-sites and other organizations that serve and assist the community. In the process, the discussion turned to a lot of other related topics like the TOS, EULA, GM team, et cetera. A pretty wide-ranging discussion!
Session Nineteen: Future of Big Fights. I got permission from Dolan to release the name of this session since I've been making it clear for a few weeks now that it was going to happen. The CSM specifically requested CCP to bring a large team together to answer the following question: how the hell is the development of the game going to address the large and growing size of the average fight in EVE? The first half of this session was spent "defining the problem." Specifically, this meant making sure everyone knows that a "big fight" in EVE seems to be doubling in size every two years or so. Since that's clearly not sustainable on a single node, the rest of the discussion was about things CCP can do about it...
Session Twenty: Team Space Glitter. This was a "getting to know you" sort of meeting with a new team formed to address a specific problem with EVE development. I can't talk about what that specific problem is, but the CSM urged the team to write a dev-blog to introduce themselves to the player base at some point soon and talk about this team's short- and long-term goals. After that was done, the rest of the session was spent mostly on the long-term goals and the CSM's opinions of them.
Session Twenty-One: New Player Experience. Another new team has been formed to address this long-standing problem with EVE: how to get new players to understand the EVE experience better and make it more likely that people will turn trial accounts into paid accounts? The new team has a new -- and very interesting! -- approach and the meeting was spent discussing how this approach can be specifically implemented. This was kind of an abstract session, but the ideas this team has show promise.
Session Twenty-Two: Art. Finally, we met with the art team who showed us some of the ideas they have for the summer expansion and beyond. They didn't get to spoil specific features of the upcoming expansion this time since they went last, and this made for a nice relaxing close-out for the Winter Summit.
Following the last session of the day, there was a brief close-out chat with Dolan, then the CSM adjourned to our hotel for a bit of relaxation time before the closing dinner. As with the summer summit, this was held at a quite nice restaurant in Reyk with all seven of the CSM plus a good mix of the EVE development team. One difference from summer was that only one person from what I would consider EVE's management team attended so discussion was actually a little less casual and personal than the summer dinner, and more focused on spaceships. I myself was at a pretty significant disadvantage because the acoustics of the room weren't all that great and people ended up having to talk pretty loudly in order to be heard at all. This caused everyone else to speak even more loudly and before long I couldn't hear all that much. ;-)
After a very long three days, CSM members collapsed in reverse order of age and unfortunately that means your humble narrator was among the first two to bow out (along with Malcanis). The two of us made it to the end of dinner before heading back to the hotel at around 11:30pm or so. The rest including most of the CCPers headed for the bar afterward. I'm told the youngest members of the CSM lasted until 2:30 or 3:00am... I myself was asleep five minutes after the door to my hotel room closed and didn't wake this morning until well after nine.
It turns out the winter summit wasn't done quite yet, though, so I'll cover that in a brief Day Four post, followed by a Winter Summit wrap-up from Iceland.