I seem to be getting later and later with these reports. My justification this time was getting back from Reykjavik on Sunday and trying to squeeze a few days in with my family before heading offshore again. I am writing this from a very cold train winging its way to Aberdeen before heading offshore tomorrow morning. I’ll do my damnedest to be on time for the next Report and what with being offshore, there are less demands on my time out there ironically.
The Summit is now complete and the Minutes are with you. Huge kudos and thanks goes to CCPs Leeloo, Falcon, Manifest, Logibro and Seagull for all playing their own part in the turnaround. I guess the only negative I have heard from some quarters is a little of the detail is lost when compared to a full or near-full transcription. I think a little loss of granularity is probably a fair price to pay for a set of Minutes that are still very detailed but are with the Community in less than 24 hours.
My own experience in Reykjavik was interesting. It’s a very different beast when there aren’t an infinite numbers of nerds running around with spaceship decals in every shop window and Eve billboards around every corner. I’m not sure which I prefer actually. What I do know is that I am desperately in love with Reykjavik. It does this amazing thing of feeling very ancient and grounded on the one hand while being super hipster and young and trendy in the other. I spent much more time simply exploring the city this time than when I was back there for Fanfest in 2013 and I’m glad I did.
Before I pick and choose some of the key sessions from the Summit itself, there is one thing I’d like to discuss and it is something that has grated me over the past week or so. There may be an occasion where you approach a CSM with an idea you feel strongly about, that Council member agrees, puts it to CCP in the relevant session and CCP makes it clear that they won’t act on that plan because ~reasons~. Don’t then take your anger out on that Council member. Just don’t. Feel free to express your disappointment but don’t try and blame them. It’s a dick move. It’s especially a dick move when you didn’t vote in the election in the first place.
In the above scenario, there are four real ways it can play out:
1 – CCP has no intention of implementing said idea irrespective of any argument from the CSM
2 – CCP is open to discussion on the matter but were not persuaded by any argument from the CSM
3 – CCP is open to discussion on that matter and were persuaded by the argument put forth from the CSM
4 – CCP has already decided they were going to implement said idea before CSM even before the CSM brought it to the table
In my experience from the Winter Summit, 1 and 4 are rare. 2 and 3 makes the assumption that any given Council member isn’t only debating with CCP on an issue but also potentially with one of more other of the others on CSM. It’s important to me that players feel they can come to me with ideas and I will do my best to represent those ideas on their behalf. (For example, I had no particularly strong feels towards input automation when elected onto CSM9. A number of players approached me and showed me why I needed to think about this a little more and after some discussion I went out of my way to attack the subject with vigor despite some reluctance from some quarters.) It’s also important to understand that the CSM has no intrinsic power to change anything in the game. If CCP don’t want to listen to CSM on a particular subject, they don’t need to.
Now for the record, I felt very listened to during the Summit. I feel almost all of the sessions were productive and engaging and that the developers in question were genuinely invested in what we had to say both as individual Summit attendees and as a collective. From the very first introductory session with CCP Seagull, there is a real internal buy-in to the CSM process from the very top level. Does this drop down to every member of every team below her? I’m not so sure about that but everyone who met with us seemed keen to hear our feedback. It was very empowering.
What was interesting to me is how different an experience the Summit is in person to attending remotely via video like I did during the Summer Summit. Physically being in Reykjavik makes for an entirely different experience. It becomes easier to follow the flows of conversation between players and developers and finding the right opportunity to get your point across becomes much more organic. When videoing into the Summit, it sometimes feels like you are snooping in to the entire experience and that’s despite the fact that the Lync setup CCP has is excellent. Also, it also goes without saying that much of the conversation from various sessions does spill over into the bars in town on the evening and that’s impossible to replicate from home.
Of course, some of you will want to know about the details from some of the sessions. I’d imagine a lot of people reading this want to know about the new sovereignty system we now all know CSM9 have been shown in some (as yet, far from locked-in) detail. I can’t give any specifics on this yet and I certainly won’t try to speak on the behalf of other CSM members other than to say there was a wide spectrum of opinions from those in attendance. I am pretty happy with what we were shown. Some of the details may need to be tweaked here or there but I am of the opinion that it’s way better than the Dominion mechanics we have grappled with for ages. It solves most if not all of the common complaints from the community I have heard repeated over and over with what we have to deal with currently.
I’d have liked the Ships and Modules session to have been two hours long with hindsight. As you can see from the Minutes, we spent a lot of time discussing the obvious candidates – bombers, Ishtars, Tengus and supers and that didn’t leave an eternity to go over the recently started module tiericide project. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe CSM told CCP a lot they didn’t already know about the current staleness of the 0.0 meta. They know what is wrong, they have some idea of how to fix it and it’s just a matter of time. CSM did make it clear that bombers still aren’t in anything approaching a ‘fixed’ state and that rolling back the initially announced nerf for them was arguably a bad call. With regard to supers, I’m a little nervous to be perfectly honest. I think something fairly drastic is going to need to be done to get them where they need to be. What that something might be, I’m not sure. I can certainly sympathise with CCP’s reticence to simply delete them all together and refund SP/ISK but they have some work to do there.
I’m sure some of you will have more detailed questions about the Summit and I’d be happy to answer them. Either drop a comment below or send me an Eve mail.
We now know what is coming to Eve in the next update Tiamat from CCP Seagull’s latest dev blog. There shouldn’t be too many shockers in there by this point. The Svipul is simply gorgeous and I am deeply in love with it. I love seeing CCP constantly iterate on NPC AI, an area of the game that was deeply in need of some love. Some of the killmails already generated from roving Ciridian Seekers are just delicious. Taking people outside of their pre-ordained comfort box is a very good thing in a game such as Eve.
Friendly fire is now an optional thing for corps meaning highsec awoxing is more or less dead as a profession / play style. Lot of people have complained to me about that. I mentioned it at Summit but the key argument for this is the retention of new players. Few other graphics and sound tweaks but yeah, I think it’s fair to say this is another smaller patch. Expect things to ramp up after Tiamat though…
Longest entry in a while and maybe the most important one I’ll do this year.
Tags: csm, csm9, tiamat, winter summit
The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.