CSM9 Report: Week Thirty

 
Been a very interesting week this week with one special event that I would like to spend some time talking to you about in particular.

The Isboxer Issue

One of the most oft-heard sentiments about the CSM is that as a body it achieves nothing. This is reflected in recent election turnouts that can best be described as poor. From speaking to CSM members over the years and now being inside myself I can understand to a degree how this misconception arises. CCP can bang the drum about how important the institution is but it appears to make little difference. Much of what the CSM does is non-specific and ill defined. It’s important work but it’s often difficult to articulate in a succinct and sexy way to the player base. It’s a ‘hm, I’m not so sure about that’ to a dev when an idea is shared or a ‘I really think you should drop the velocity by say 10 to 15%’ during a rebalance. It’s hard to give tangible examples of changes to Eve Online that can be definitively attributed to CSM. This, of course, makes the CSM a lot trickier to ‘sell’ as an institution to potential voters. And here’s where a certain forum post on input automation and changes to the rules regarding third party software enters our story. Isboxer has frustrated me and certain other CSM members for some time. Specifically, the thing that irritated me about Isboxer was that you see one man bomber wings packed with alts able to simultaneously launch bombs with perfect timing and one mouse click. This has always struck me as being horrendously unfair. Yes, yes ‘Eve is unfair’ I know but this doesn’t even seem logical within the ‘unfair’ network of rules Eve has. When I was elected to CSM9, I made a mental note to ensure it was discussed at the Summer Summit. I also went out of my way to ensure you guys knew I would chase down CCP on this point. And so it came to pass that we had a meeting with the relevant security devs during the Summit. You can read the session in question and you should go and do so if you haven’t already – it starts on page 100. Let’s just say, CCP didn’t seem too enthused with the idea of going for input automation in a big way. We got a ‘we’ll look at it’ but I wasn’t personally optimistic. Following the session at the Summit, conversations continued all of which are obviously NDAed. Then four months after the Summit, we have Falcon’s forum post and input automation is to be banned as of 1st January 2015. Now it should go without saying that I am over the moon about this. I should also point out that I am delighted that people using Isboxer for uses such as CPU optimisation when running multiple clients can continue to do so. I am not trying to suggest CSM is solely behind this change. I am also not trying to suggest that CSM used any new or different angles or arguments to the ones commonly thrown around previously. Without knowing exactly what previous CSMs discussed with regards to input automation is forever lost to the annals of NDA – the Minutes are never a perfect beast in looking back at this information either. What I know definitively is the following: 1) CSM9 pushed hard to ensure there would be a session to discuss the issue at the Summit 2) CCP gave assurances that the subject would be discussed further but gave no promises on a solution and clearly made arguments both for and against during the session in question 3) In the ensuing weeks, conversation between CSM and CCP continued 4) On 25th November, CCP Falcon confirmed that input automation would be banned from 1st January 2015 What makes this change in policy isn’t just that it makes Eve a better place – it clearly does and anyone trying to argue that input automation should have been allowed to continue is frankly silly – but it also gives a clear, tangible, defined and documemented view via blogs and Minutes at how the CSM can make a good change to the game. The only other example I can think of recently was Ali Aras’ amazing piece on TMC from her CSM8 tenure on the SMA loot drop change and for that I know she had to get permission to release certain parts of her story. Here we don’t need to – it’s all out there in the public eye because CCP were so open in the Minutes this time round. So next time someone says CSM can’t do anything, consider this change. If you agree that it was good for the health of the game, tell people when it comes to voting time this year. The CSM is helping all the time to make your game a little bit better and while it’s often hard to prove, this time it isn’t. It’s all laid out for you.

Confessor

It’s now seeded on Sisi with the stats for all to see which are as follows: Amarr Tactical Destroyer Bonuses Per Level: 10% bonus to Small Energy Turret damage 10% reduction in Small Energy Turret capacitor use 5% reduction in heat damage generated by modules Role Bonus: 95% reduction in Scan Probe Launcher CPU requirements Additional bonuses are available when one of three Tactical Destroyer Modes are active. Modes may be changed no more than once every 10 seconds. Defense Mode: 33.3% bonus to all armor resistances whole Defense Mode is active 33.3% reduction in ship signature radius while Defense Mode is active Propulsion Mode: 66.6% bonus to maximum velocity while Propulsion Mode is active 33.3% bonus to ship inertia modifier while Propulsion Mode is active Sharpshooter Mode: 66.6% bonus to Small Energy Turret optimal range while Sharpshooter Mode is active 100% bonus to sensor strength, scan resolution and targeting range while Sharpshooter Mode is active Slot layout: 7 H, 3 M, 5 L, 6 turrets , 0 launchers 3 Rig Slots, 400 Calibration Fittings: 80 PWG, 190 CPU Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 600 / 800 / 750 Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 0 / 20 / 55 / 75 Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 50 / 35 / 43.75 / 60 Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 800 / 300s / 2.667 Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / warp speed / align time): 280 / 2.15 / 2,400,000 / 4.5 / 7.15s Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0 Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 45km / 350 / 7 Sensor strength: 13 Radar Signature radius: 60 Cargo capacity: 400 Gorgeous ship and the stats ‘look’ right to me but I’m no ship fitting expert. It’ll be interesting to see how these are used and what their niche ends up being. I am particularly interested to see how these shake up faction warfare and what plexes they are allowed into.

Lore

There seems to have been a huge uptake in interest on lore within Eve recently. It’s been discussed at length in some superb pieces here on CZ and more and more conversation is occurring on #tweetfleet and elsewhere. Whether this is tied into the likes of the success of Eve Source or something less concrete, I don’t know. CCP seems to be aware of this however and quite a few people of late have noticed a very bright star has appeared in New Eden that for the moment is unreachable. I am not and never will be a lore/RP geek but I am enjoying watching the community respond to this astral appearance. I wonder what it could be…?

CSMX

It’s closer than some people think because of Fanfest being earlier in 2015.  Cap Stable continued my work from the CSM8 elections with a great series of interviews with CSM9 candidates and have already put out an all-call for those of you considering stepping up for CSMX. CCP Leeloo will be accepting candidates from 30th January 2015 and the elections will begin on 25th February 2015. If you are thinking about standing and are unsure as to what the experience is like or what is entailed, feel free to drop me a line. I am still undecided whether or not I will be campaigning also. Sion, Corbexx, Sugar and Steve have all confirmed they will be standing for election while Asay, Mangala and Funky have all ruled themselves out. That’ll do for this week. Longer entry and I think an important one. 
Tags: confessor, CSMX, input automation, isboxer, lore

About the author

Xander Phoena

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.

  • Kamar Raimo

    Way to go Xander. I am very happy with the ISBoxer policy decision of CCP because I was seriously afraid that they would otherwise nerf bombers into the ground just because a minority is auto-multiboxing them. That would have been *really* unfair.

  • No premature celebrating young man! The policy isn’t in effect yet. That said, I’m interested in how this will all unfold come January.

    • xanderphoena

      To be fair, in the article itself…

      ‘Then four months after the Summit, we have Falcon’s forum post and input automation is to be banned as of 1st January 2015.’

      I just want to chase down this ‘CSM does nothing’ attitude that seems to be eternally omnipresent.

  • Saint Michael’s Soul

    Personally I had no interest in the Lore after I started playing …up until the Hydrostatic Podcast started. Those chaps know their stuff, are able to tie the lore back into what we’re seeing everyday and expose interesting ideas and thoughts around the things I’m flying and doing everyday. They’ve got a terrific podcast going over there that fits nicely into an unexploited niche.