CSM9 Report: Week Two

I can’t believe a week has passed since last committing digital ink to digital paper. I am writing this from an oil rig and the past seven days has been a blur of change, evolution and education. Between the preparations for Zebra Corp’s transition from Gents to The Bastion and the fine tuning required as a CSM for Kronos as well as, you know, ‘work’ I’ve been an incredibly busy bee. The first thing I should address was something I hinted at in last week’s report. To quote: ‘…we were made aware of something that is being considered for Kronos. This was the cause for some genuine debate and discourse for the first time in our tenure, both with CCP and in-between ourselves. I’m very interested to seeing the player base response to this given that a) I personally consider it a very wise decision and b) it’s something CCP may need to do again in the coming year. I’m pleased CCP are looking at this path via consultation with ourselves. I hope the player base understands and agrees… I have faith in you guys!’ Well now you all know exactly what I was hinting at – the industry part of Kronos is being held back around six weeks for the following expansion, Crius, on 22nd July. My first thought on this was ‘man, you guys pushed this as an industry expansion hard with those six dev blogs before Fanfest then throughout that weekend as well’. But then I realised that clearly players with far more experience of industry than I have given their feedback to CCP and they listened. CCP came to the realisation that these huge industry changes players have waited years for need another six weeks in the oven to cook. And while a few people stated they were disappointed, the almost universal feedback on Eve-O, twitter and article comments has been ‘we’d rather it was right first time’. I was right to have faith in you guys! This is a perfect example of the new development release cycle in action for the wider good of the game with the concept of two major expansions a year dropped to around 10 smaller updates over the same period. A year ago, there would have been far more pressure on CCP to push this out the door rather than potentially waiting another six months. Instead, a six week period is entirely reasonable given the feedback loop available to CCP via players on SiSi and forums. And for those of you suggested there’s nothing left in Kronos now? Yeah, not so muchMoa1920_EVE_KeyNote One recently announced and released feature that was extensively discussed in Reykjavik was tooltips. A number of you have contacted myself and other members of CSM9 regarding problems with tooltips making the UI less functional due to the delay in accessing contextual menus, modules and suchlike. This is compounded in the tidi experienced in large fights such as the one in Daras a few days ago. This has been discussed with CCP – they are aware of the issue and looking into it. It shouldn’t shock you that Rise and Fozzie continue to keep us busy running passes on fitting statistics for various ships. As hinted at by Seagull in the dev blogged linked earlier, Freighters, Deep Space Transports and Blockade Runners are all being balanced for the newly announced addition of rigs in the case of the former and role-definition in the case of the latter. The first pass of Mordu’s Legion triumvirate has lead to some very exciting initial fits and remain utterly gorgeous. There is also been some discussion of a new feature that I am sure FCs will be delighted to see if it makes its way onto Tranquility. Mangala, Core and PGL all seemed very pleased about this one. I’m not an FC (or at least, I do FC on occasion and I am absolutely horrible at it) but even I think that such a simple little tweak will prove incredibly useful for fleets of any size. Carrying on from last week, Leeloo continues to hit the ground running arranging meetings over the next fortnight. Following on with the groundwork laid by CSM8, we will be meeting with (at the moment – the number keeps rising) ten different CCP teams including such luminaries as Gridlock, Five-0, Game of Drones and Super Friends. Ali has described this almost as a mini-Summit in terms of sitting down with so many dev teams in such a concentrated period of time. Not only will it ensure that time at the actual Summits is better spent without the need for introductions, it also indicates how strong the internal buy-in is with CCP at the moment for the whole CSM process. Factional_05 (Cute wee aside – we were given updated NDAs to print out, sign and physically mail back to CCP in Iceland. I did this before leaving for this trip offshore and it got there fine. Steve Ronuken was rather distraught to see that, despite ensuring the address was perfectly printed out on a label, his first signed NDA ended up in Ireland as opposed to Iceland. God bless the Royal Mail.) We have an ever-increasing number of channels to attend to in Skype with one or two srsbznz/no chatter channels with specific dev teams, a new CSM/CPM channel (that one has been interesting in the past few days you will be shocked to hear) and an official CSM9/CCP channel – we are no longer squatting in the old CSM8/CCP one. The handover between the two CSMs is now more or less complete. CSM8 finished in the same way they went about their business over the entire last 12 months being incredibly helpful, informative and professional throughout. (Apart from Mike obviously. Mike is a pot-stirrer. He keeps baiting PGL and Mynnna into fights. Some of information in these parenthesis may not be true.) And I think that’s all the big stuff from the past seven days. I’m sure my fellow Comrades will correct me in the comments below if something vital has been forgotten. A very busy week two and it shows no signs of abatement in the near future with our meeting schedule. Keep on asking questions, making comments and letting us know what you like and what you don’t – just keep it constructive.
Tags: csm, csm9, industry, kronos, mordu

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.

  • Howard Treesong

    It’s profoundly gratifying to see CCP interact with the CSM in such exemplary fashion. That’s why I’m actually nervous about the CSM doing a good job of representing the player base. You guys are getting invaluable developer time to interact with the people making the game. It’s impossible to overstate what a privileged position that is. Do us proud, you hear!

    This is the first time I read about the industry features being delayed. I’m surprised and delighted because although that’s clearly not the desired result, it does show why the consecutive, shortened release cycles are working as intended. A 6-week-delay is not the end of the world, and it will allow CCP to get it right the first time.

    There should be enough new content delivered to tie us over for the release 6 weeks later.

    All that good work will yield a much better experience and a far better game.

    I’m looking forward to it.

    • xanderphoena

      Of course we are lucky to be interacting with CCP on this level but remember, we are working very hard too, trying to provide them with the best feedback possible! But yes, CSM9 has got off to a great start and a lot of that is down to how open CCP are being with us.

      • Howard Treesong

        I believe it is largely due to CCP understanding they are, by and large, dealing with an extremely knowledgeable player base that is no too shy to share their point of view when they disagree.

        Also, they are dealing with the people who are ultimately going to have to work with their product. If they get to hear, ahead of time “yeah, that’s a great idea you had there, too bad it won’t work in the ‘real world’ because :reasons: that is a big help for them because it tells them where to focus their efforts and it pre-empts an avalanche of support tickets for an issue -you guys- helped prevent.

        For this reason I am a great supporter of the CSM because it helps CCP make a better product faster and it is accountable, up to a point at least, to its constituents. More importantly it gives me a great universe to ponder over and devise my nefarious schemes.

        The fact that it’s a lot of work I readily accept but I don’t care: you wanted the job and now you’re stuck with it. So go do it and enjoy the process. You are a flesh and blood representative of players in a virtual world. If I had to state a greater example of a first-world-problem off the top of my head, I would not have a ready answer to that.

        With which I do not at all mean to disparage your efforts and ambitions because I really don’t. I want all of you people to do a great job and enjoy it on a personal level.

        And be careful on that oil rig.

  • Gigan

    Great update Xander. The reason I gave you my #1 voting spot was because I believed you would do a good job taking over for Ripard in relaying the week-to-week activities of the CSM…and if you keep up with these well written reports that you’ve been putting out I won’t be disappointed!

    • Saint

      ^^ this

  • TheRobotDevil

    Thanks for the updates! I enjoy reading what you guys are doing and it helps the community see what that the CSM is important and involved. I do wish the NDA wasn’t so prohibitive but I understand. I was thinking about what could be done to improve voter turnout and I thought that maybe a CSM button on the NEOCOM would help. Have it flash whenever a CSM blog or announcement is released. If a a pilot doesn’t like it then they can hide it. I don’t know if it is something that would work but I though I would pass it along. I feel like my vote was well spent with you and keep up the good work.

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