On Transparency II

As I mentioned in my recent weekly report, I’ve been trying to catch up with the Eve media circus that traditionally plays out for those taking part in election season this time of year. We recorded a new episode of CZ with Endie and Manny, I have appeared on Eve Radio and finished my Cap Stable interview. One interview I particularly enjoyed was with the guys over at Legacy of a Capsuleer. We covered the expected topics such as CSM9’s performance, the concept of visibility and transparency of the CSM process and the overall development of the game. Tyrant and Shadow asked a lot of pertinent and tough questions. The day before I sat down with them, they interviewed CCP Falcon and CCP Leeloo in a marathon two and a half hour podcast that covered a wide arrange of issues, starting with some questions from the community and then digging deeper into some of the recent controversy surrounding CSM9. I highly recommend checking this recording out to get a feel of how recent community and CSM issues have been viewed from CCP’s perspective internally. A portion starting around 1hr 49 minutes into the interview caught my eye/ear and given some of the accusations recently pointed at me, I wanted to transcribe it here. Tyrant opened the section with a question on recent accusations from some CSM members about others being inactive or only being there to bolster their own media presence. Leeloo’s response is as follows (emphasis mine):

CCP Leeloo: So let me answer the first part of the question regarding the accusations as they are. There are not only accusations regarding inactivity there are a lot of accusations regarding NDA breach, regarding the wrong communication style – God knows, you know – and most of the time, I mean, I don’t mind people fighting, especially before the elections start so it was gonna happen regardless. What do we say and how do we look at it – if the reputation of the CSM as a whole is not damaged and if our communication is not damaged I don’t mind people having a good healthy fight.

I mean when somebody says ‘hey, you’ve been inactive’ that person can always defend themself if they were active. They can go and say like ‘hey, I’ve posted this many blogs, I made this research, I did this, I did that’ – they can always defend themselves if they were really active. If they weren’t then you know, players are going to see them and they are not going to try and defend themselves.

And in a lot of cases where people accuse each other of being inactive it doesn’t really require any sort of defense. It’s obvious who has been active, who has been inactive just from public stuff that people put out there. And for me it’s like you have said as well.

And regarding the NDA breach accusations, this are is something I am super unhappy with because literally the only side that can blame someone for breaching NDA is us and it is usually done by our lawyers. It isn’t me going out and saying ‘hey, you breached NDA’. It’s gonna be like, you know, an official thing from our legal department saying that ‘your access has been removed and here is what possible legal action we are going to take against you for breaching NDA’. And, you know, that’s a serious thing – you don’t just go out there and accuse somebody of having breached NDA just cause you felt like it. So this is something we are trying to work on and I really kind of ask people not to, you know, accuse each other of something they didn’t do especially with something this serious because, you know, a lot of CSM members they’ve put out their real name out there and, you know, this is a serious thing that can affect their lives. And this is not nice, seriously.

Tyrant Scorn: Can I take away from this that there hasn’t been an NDA breach?

CCP Leeloo: There hasn’t been.

Tyrant Scorn: Ok, that’s clear. I guess because you know, I was a little bit worried that if that were the case and that person wouldn’t have been kicked off that creates a whole different situation so I am happy you could clarify on that.

I think it’s important to note that as far as CCP is concerned, there have been zero NDA breaches during CSM9’s term. There is no ambiguity in the above statement – it’s a categorical denial of any NDA breach. I’m genuinely sad that so much of the time devoted to this election campaign so far has surrounded certain controversies during CSM9’s term as opposed to the issues surrounding the game itself and the massively important term facing CSMX. I’ve tried at every juncture when interviewed in Eve media in the past week to steer the conversation towards the latter but unfortunately people like to hear about drama. This I had to directly address however because the original allegations towards me were incredibly serious as CCP Leeloo confirms above. Thankfully, what she also confirms is that they are a complete fabrication. It’s such a pity that a politically active community had to waste so much time on this drama when it was all based on lies. So when you hear someone stating that NDA breaches are rife, consider the above quotations from CCP and consider also that CCP seems to be incredibly unhappy that people are making those accusations. It does make you wonder what else people are saying that is false as well as what damage these fabrications may be causing. It certainly makes me very excited about making the CSM process more transparent going forward.
Tags: csm9, CSMX, transparency, tyrant

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.

  • GrouchyOldGamer

    Transparency II isn’t as good as On Transparency 1 – then again sequels never are.

    • Niden

      Didn’t we pay you off with that Ishukone Scorp? 😉 Joking aside, I agree, but it’s a worthwhile thing to put out that a) CCP confirm in no uncertain terms that there was no NDA breach, and b) to point out that it is very unfortunate that so much of the CSM debate has revolved drama rather than the for nullsec monumentally important CSMX term.

      • GrouchyOldGamer

        I understand why Xander wants to make it clear that CCP have confirmed no NDA breach has taken place, and Lilo’s point around real World reputations is well taken.

        However; I do think the drama has masked the real issue with the CSM – that it is becoming progressively more nebbish.

        The tenth CSM election is almost here and I don’t see anything
        monumental about it. Whether you are a lonely independent player who carefully considers each candidate’s position or an F1 bashing monkey who votes for whomever you’re told to here is a tip. If you really want CCP to listen to you boycott the CSM election.

        Force CCP to talk you; their customers.
        Here are my five reasons why you shouldn’t vote for the CSM:

        1. Only nerds interested in ‘the meta’ really care. The so-called meta-game in Eve is either: spreading gossip, manipulating your friends or exploiting your enemies’ gullibility. The people invested in the meta-game need you to vote because it generates content for the Eve Offline game they want to
        play. Don’t vote and you blueball them.

        2. The CSM is CCP’s best excuse to do nothing. Whenever the community has a legitimate grievance that CCP don’t want to deal with it they punt the issue to the next CSM summit and refuse to discuss the topic until then. This tactic was
        utilised during the recent Somer Blink fiasco. After CCP scheduled it into the next CSM summit they told the community ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’.

        3. You can speak for yourself. Social media has transformed how businesses talk to their customers and the Eve Online player base have created the most comprehensive, interactive and diverse social networks found in any gaming community. CSM candidates will tell you that CCP doesn’t have the time to trawl through social media, blogs, podcasts and the forums – that’s what CSMs should do. It’s simply not true, check out any of the official dev blogs’ feedback threads and you’ll find CCP developers getting direct feedback from the player base and responding to it. In this hyper social World why do you need secret back door channels like the CSM?

        4. The NDA. The mission statement of the CSM is to act as the
        representative of the players. Yet the NDA prevents the CSM discussing many issues with the player base, until CSM make those changes public. It isn’t a consultative process it’s an echo chamber in a CSM skype channel. Given the rapid release cycles CCP are delivering they are releasing details of design
        changes much earlier to the community and it is the direct feedback from the player base that is influencing CCP. The recent changes to jump mechanics is a case study in how CCP reacts to this direct feedback. When CCP heard the collect screams of null-sec logistics teams they responded.

        5. You’d be in good company. The majority of Eve players don’t even bother voting. After ten years voting continues on the downward trend. Even a change in the voting system couldn’t entice more players to vote. The problem wasn’t how players expressed their votes it was what voting is a pointless exercise.

        The CSM’s time has come, CCP should really put it out of its misery and kill it off. CCP are now on a much more aggressive release schedule, they are exposing the community to more of their design strategy earlier and listening to the feedback we give them. This crowdsourcing approach is far more effective
        than a small coterie of players giving feedback based on their narrow individual experiences.

        As a subscription based game CCP already have the most effective voting process to judge their customers sentiment regarding their product; you resubbing every month.

        So act like a free thinking anarchist – don’t vote; it only encourages them.

        Ooops this has droned on a bit … sorry.

  • Angus Adalwin

    Wow, that completely answers that question. I’m not sure what better evidence we could look for than a straightforward, official statement from CCP that there have been no NDA breaches in CSM9.