It feels a little insane to be writing another one of these. The calendar confirms it has been seven days since I last sat down to update you on the goings on of our motley band of 14 brave comrades but it feels like it was yesterday. Between my real life job, running this website, in game responsibilities and CSMing, time is a precious commodity and it slips through my fingers alarmingly quickly at the moment. Anyway, time for a rundown of what has been eating my time this week in my CSM work.
The first thing to mention is a multitude of introductory meetings with different CCP dev teams. We have had at least one such virtual gathering every day this week which speaks volumes about CCP Leeloo and the fantastic job she is doing as well as how keen the different teams are to work with us. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend many or indeed, any of these meetings due to a) them all happening during my working day and b) my rather tenuous internet connection out here 150 miles from the nearest land. Thankfully, I’ve been able to attend most of them with varying degrees of success. My audio was a little dicey and sometime Microsoft Lync would spit me out but broadly speaking, I got the gist of most of the discussions. I think the lowest attendance of any of the six meetings this week was six or seven of us. Leeloo recorded all the meetings and we had a link emailed to us to download the .zip file of each one within an hour or two of it’s completion for those who couldn’t attend – an incredibly fast turnaround.
All of the meetings so far have taken a fairly light, meet-and-greet tone and there’s two reasons for that. Firstly, only six of CSM9 are incumbent so the majority of us needed to be introduced formally to some of the devs we didn’t know and who didn’t know us. Secondly, most of the features of Kronos are now locked in place with the industry stuff held back for Crius and some minor tweaking to ship stats here and there. At the moment we have four more lined up for next week but I wouldn’t be surprised if that number were to increase. I am reliably informed by the incumbents such as Ali and Mangala that these 10+ meetings in two weeks is unprecedented. This ‘mini-summit’ should allow us to hit the ground running much more quickly in the Summer Summit when it happens.
One of the things that has been discussed at great length during our discussions with various people but especially Fozzie has been the freighter changes. A lot of CSM9 were a little uncomfortable with the permanence implied by using rigs only to modify the class. We had a preference for using low slots due to the flexibility they provide but of course, that in itself would pose a lot of problems in terms of PG and CPU. In the end, a solution was found and the results can be seen here. A number of CSM members were at the forefront of this one including Ali, Sugar and Steve but a particular shout out needs to be made for Mynnna who pushed real hard to make the numbers work.
The final solution is still a bit of a nerf to JFs but that was always on the cards. The fact is that if you triple extender fit your JFs (and let’s not beat around the bush here – a lot of you haulers will), you get a cargo increase of around 1-2% but you are a lot more vulnerable to ganking. Of course, I have some gankers complaining that the haulers will tank fit and be much harder to kill. While that may be the case, they will have substantially less cargo space and will need to make more trips. So while your targets may require a Cata or four more to take down, there should be more of them out there. I’m personally of the opinion that what we have come up with is the best scenario possible while striving to keep freighters balanced in terms of gameplay.
Mordu’s Legion Ships
There are now seeded on SiSi and they look gorgeous. I can’t play with them myself yet personally as I am stuck offshore d unable to undock but I’ve seen the screenshots and they look even better in the flesh. I’m a little surprised at just how ‘stealth fighter’ the art department went with these but it really works aesthetically. I am huge fan of some of the recent directions the art department have taken between the SoE and Mordu ships. They look unique, distinctive and just outright cool. I’ve never been one to get all that excited about ship models but I am starting to be swayed the other way…
Power Projection / Warp Animation / Neural Remaps
I’ve lumped these together because I don’t have an awful lot of specifics on any of them. What I will say regarding power projection is it has come up in conversation in the past few days and I get the impression that the level of discussion on the topic will be ramping up in the coming days and weeks. CCP seems to be interested to hear our thoughts on the subject.
Regarding the new warp animation, PGL has pointed out an issue internally that he is picked up on. The new warp animation makes it a lot harder than previously to visually track where a target has warped to when they leave grid. It goes without saying that all the little visual cues in Eve that give PvPers that small edge over one another are vital. This has been brought up in the main Eve-O forums also and CCP has responded that they are looking into it.
One of my fellow Zebros dropped me a mail asking me about neural remaps and the lack of them. Now as far as I can remember, officially you only ever got one remap per year but CCP were quite generous at handing out extras at Christmas time and such. I personally can’t remember the last time a ‘free’ remap outside of the standard annual one was given out and planning a skill queue for 12 months ahead can prove rather tricky. I’ve proposed increasing remaps either to a flat two per year or even keeping it at one but dishing them out on special occasions – Fanfest, Christmas, Eve Vegas, whatever. We’ll see what they come back with or if there is some reason I haven’t considered why it shouldn’t happen. Someone even suggested buying remaps for PLEX but I wonder if that isn’t a little too ‘Pay2Win’.
…has been a busy little bee of late. He recently posed the following question to me in the comments of CZ43:
Xander, since you were one of the outside people keeping a close watch on the CSM, perhaps you can answer a question. What do you think were the 5 biggest accomplishments of CSM 8? I’m really curious to know.I answered here and since then, Nosy has opened up the question to the wider Eve community. Someone in the comments to Nosy’s post suggested I was rather vague. On first glance I can see why given the key words I used for each of my answers. If you actually read what I wrote however you will see many concrete, detailed specifics of why I thinK CSM8 did great work. That said, Malcanis’ reply to the comment in question was spectacular. As he referenced, concrete examples of the work CSM8 put into improving Eve don’t get much better than Ali’s superb TMC piece detailing the process for reintroducing loot drops from SMAs.
Anyway, I highly recommend taking the time to answer Nosy as it’s a pretty useful thought exercise. In detailing a lot of the things I feel CSM8 got right, I’ve set the baseline template by which CSM9 will rightly be judged by.
The other thing that Nosy has been up to is putting together this rather interesting site which tracks CSM member blogs and forum posts. It’s a little bit basic in terms of presentation but it does pull together a lot of very cool information. We have our own site set up – CSM9.org – which Steve has been pulling together and should be added to in the near future. In the meantime though, Nosy’s site is a little more comprehensive if you want to find out who has been discussing what.
And no, I had nothing to do with ‘One Team, One Dream’. Blame Funky.
And I think that’s about us. There are probably things I have missed but the great thing about having so many active bloggers on CSM9 is that someone else will fill in any blanks with their own unique perspectives. We continue to work hard and talk to you about what we are doing. Return the favour by sharing your comments, concerns, questions and feedback. It all matters!
Tags: csm, csm9, freighters, kronos, mordu, remaps
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.