146 Minutes

CSM 9

I will apologize in advance that this post is going to be very long and literally stream-of-consciousness. I have included a TLDR section at the top for people who may not want to go through it exhaustively, but have left the complete rambling intact below for CSM watchers, members, and maybe the occasional random dev.

First, my congratulations to CCP and CSM 9 for getting these out two days early (unheard of!). You can get the CSM 9 summer minutes for yourself if you want to read the whole thing.

TLDR Key Takeaways

  • The minutes can be done on time. Sorry CCP Leeloo and CSM 10, now it’s an expectation.
  • Sugar and Mike were the stars of the minutes from my perspective, not that this should shock anyone. I was very pleasantly surprised by Sion’s contributions and how evenhanded they were – his campaign suggested someone very different. Corbexx (with some help from the just-minted Asayanami Dei) did an admirable job of representing the wormhole population in all the right spots. All the attendees were a positive force once again this year.
  • The minutes suggest that wormhole space didn’t change much (positive or negative) due to the changes in Hyperion. So it’s still a failure, just not a catastrophic one.
  • Suggestions for the Dev & CSM Teams:
    • General
      • New players need acceptable semi-passive income sources (salvaging, PI and datacores used to fill this slot)
      • Redeem in space? Yes please!
      • Would buy headgear. Especially the old Minmatar breathing mask.
      • You desperately need more trailers. Only two in the last year, if you count The Prophecy.
      • I am not a fan of a boosting destroyer. We have too much boosting in EVE already.
      • I love Sugar & Funky’s desire for Lowsec as a mobile area of space. Couldn’t agree more.
      • CCP Fozzie says “AFK cloaking is an entirely social form of power. To me, it is the equivalent of posting on the forums until someone stops ratting.” Yes yes yes!
      • When working on the removal of intra-corp aggression, please consult with EVE University as well. They use this extensively for common good with new players.
      • The briefly discussed idea of a stock market would be amazing.
    • CCP Affinity
      • When Papparazzi is ready, please make the key NPC characters distinct and similar to the Chronicle art.
      • I love your 20% project on updating things.
      • I hate standings. I truly hate them.
    • CCP Fozzie – Please respond to the Hyperion jump thread. Even if it’s to say “we don’t care any more”. Publishing the findings and graphs referred to in the minutes would be even better. But don’t keep hiding from it, it’s not your style.
    • CCP Greyscale
      • Reducing the volume of capital usage in C5/C6 wormholes is a bad idea. Please stop that. It’s perfect as is – very limited, but also very usable.
      • Take a look at the POS section below. Specifically:
        • Making them “home base” is great, right on.
        • Moving them off moons in wormholes is bad, it will be a net reduction in content both offensively and defensively.
        • For the love of god, please do not let people dock and disappear from space in a POS. DO NOT BRING DOCKING GAMES TO W-SPACE. It is an aggravation builder and a content killer.
    • CCP Nullarbor – Scoopable POS – yes please!
    • CCP Priya – We desperately need functional mobile EVE Gate EVEmail. It is truly horrific now. My #1 need on EVE Gate.
    • CCP Recurve – Please get on Twitter and deliver us glorious graph porn. Please.

The Stream of Consciousness

  • I’m sad I won’t be able to mock Xander. Well played.
  • 146 pages, holy crap (thus the title of this post).
  • Third party development … not my thing. If that’s your thing, go read it.
  • Content tools … now we’re talking.
    • p8: There is discussion of a tool called Papparazzi. It is the image renderer that makes player models, but apparently they can’t take NPCs through it so the NPCs are all manually inserted into the database! This is interesting to me because I have long been disappointed that some of the key principle lore characters are either nondescript, hilariously bad (like a throwaway character) or nothing like the Chronicle art. I put out a question to CCP Affinity on Twitter regarding whether these will be altered when things are fixed.
    • p9: “Sugar Kyle- There’s also issues with Midular being referenced as alive in a few missions, when she got shot in the face and is now dead.” I love the way Sugar stated that. I LOL’d.
    • p10: “CCP Affinity – I started a 20% project to update the chronicles and add content relevant to the game that reflects them after the Children of Light stuff on Reddit. I will start with 2003 chronicles and work my way to present day, creating in game content that fits with the chronicles.” This is awesome.
    • p11: “CCP Affinity – I’d love to remove standings, if I had my way, but a lot of our systems are tied into them. Sugar Kyle- People do not seem to want to remove standings. Talking to them it seems that they want them to make more sense, be rebalanced. Mynnna – Have more ways to get them … We need Tags4Sec for standings.” Now that sec status has been addressed with tags, Standings are my new least favorite PVE mechanic. I’m with Affinity on this one, and could live with a tags mechanic. But give me a way to do it without the horror of an endless PVE grind. Or split standings for interesting choices – I don’t care about some items, but I’d love to earn standings in a simpler way for, as an example, just lower taxes in Jita. I also hate the idea put forward in this section about standings decay. OK, let’s go back to CCP Affinity’s idea – toss ’em out and start over. IMO it’s a crappy mechanic.
  • Web Team
    • p18: Dear CCP Priya: The CSM is being polite. EVE Gate email is cover-your-eyes terrible.
    • p20: “Sugar Kyle- The draft disappearing thing is really bad, and needs to be fixed. The session timer is bad in that it eats your posts if you don’t know to hit the draft link.” Yes, more terrible.
    • I am hopeful that with the recent announcements from the web team that a roadmap to fix some of the Gate and Forum issues is underway.
  • Ship & Module Rebalancing – Most of this has been covered in dev blogs, so not much new news here.
    • p24: “Sugar Kyle- … salvaging? This profession has been nerfed expansion after expansion.” I have for a long time stated in various forums that CCP continues to damage good ISK (outside faction war) sources for newer players. Salvaging, PI, data cores and hauling were how I earned my living for the first year. I would like to see more casual (i.e. low time commitment) moderate-income sources come back.
  • Player Experience – Most of this was covered by CCP Rise at EVE Vegas, not much to comment on here either.
  • Roadmap – p34: “The contents of the roadmap are under NDA” Awwwwww. But hey, bolognese sauce recipe on page 35!
  • Economy Overview
    • p36: CCP Recurve took over for Dr. Eyjo. He Recurve needs to tweet more.
    • p37: “Mynnna – Do you have graphs or numbers on total asset value? CCP Recurve – We had a process that automatically calculated. But, the servers reboot before it can
      compile.” This surprised me. If they’re not already doing things to treat EVE as “Big Data” it might be worth considering. I would think this analysis would make EVE much easier to maintain and alter. My new RL job deals heavily in the big data field and I’m amazed at what I’m learning about Hadoop. I tweeted CCP Manifest wondering if CCP is exploring this kind of data analaysis capability.
    • p37: There is mention of some interesting graphs, and nuggets like this gem: “CCP Recurve – The top 20% own 89% of the ISK. It is more unbalanced on Serenity.” Falcon apparently wanted the graphs included but it didn’t happen. Hopefully we’ll see them some day.
  • Monetization (NEX & PLEX)
    • p40: “Items are being trickled onto the NES, without notice to players, to try and smooth out the spikes, and investigate how word of mouth spreads. New race specific, but not race locked, clothing going into the store. “
    • p40: “90% of people who are using PLEX gifting are using it for their alts.”
    • p40: There is some discussion of reclamation of old character names from long-dead accounts and accounts that were never activated beyond trial. I strongly support this. I’d extend that to corps as well – one-man corps of long-dormant (5+years?) characters should go back up for grabs, and give the original holder some kind of token to rename it if they ever come back.
    • p41: “Redeem in space. Which should make wormhole people happier.” Speaking as a wormhole person, I want anything dropped to my redemption system to either appear in my current ship’s hold or my POS SMA/CHA. That would be awesome. Today I redeem everything to my Jita alt and contract it to my main, since I know I’ll eventually get back to Jita. It’s a pain in the ass.
    • p41: “CSM Note: Hats were brought up in the Art session. Please don’t murder us.” I think this is great. Lore-appropriate would be good, but let’s call it “headgear”. The simple fact is that EVE characters are essentially just a head, neck, and pair of shoulders. head-mounted stuff and looks would go big. I want my head to look like this.
  • Sales & Marketing
    • p42: “CCP Isabella (VP Sales) discusses some of the recent issues she has experienced” Understatement much?
    • p43: “Both CCP’s Falcon and CCP Dhalgren confirmed that there is still a cinematic
      team working on making trailers for Marketing to use to promote the game” OK, soon please? The last release trailer, according to the CCP EVE Trailers YouTube page, was Rubicon, 11/14/13. That’s almost a year ago. Yes, they did The Prophecy at Fanfest 6 months ago (and that one kicked ass). But still, moar nao pls.
    • p44: “At this point Corbexx asked if it would be possible to give more people access to Jessica – CCP’s engine for making cinematics and used in the likes of Clear Skies 3. CCP Falcon and CCP Dhalgren confirmed that this is something they will look into further as the potential benefits could be huge.” This would be amazing. Please do this, CCP.
  • Low Sec
    • p48: More discussion on standings. Did I mention I am not a fan?
    • p49: “CCP Fozzie – Wormhole mining has been down.” We’re out looking for content and spending our time slowboating back while hole rolling. No time to mine, Dr. Jones.
    • p49: “CCP Greyscale – Would a smaller faster gang boosting ship be good?” No. Reduction or elimination of ship-based (vs. system-based) boost mechanics would be good. “CCP Fozzie – We’ll look at [eventually] releasing a destroyer that gang boosts. We’re very much looking to do this though.” Sigh.
    • p53: If you’re a Low Sec resident, it’s worth your time to read this page. In short, CCP Greyscale and CCP Masterplan talk with Sugar and Funky about movement vs. stationary play. I hope that these two take that to heart and build Low Sec content around roams more than system defense going forward.
  • Null Sec – As someone who doesn’t play in null except to gank bears, I’m going to skip commenting on this section, but if you are a sov null player I highly recommend reading it. There is some very interesting and extensive discussion on occupancy-based and freeform sov mechanics, as well as a bit on AFK cloaking (I love Fozzie’s comment: “AFK cloaking is an entirely social form of power. To me, it is the equivalent of posting on the forums until someone stops ratting.”).
  • Team Five-O – Items in this session were largely covered on devblogs about ship skins, the overlay changes and new burner missions. One item: “Corbexx asked what’s going on with the wormhole population. CCP Fozzie said they’ve been watching it
    and will continue to do so, but that numbers are pretty balanced in terms of who’s leaving, who’s arriving, and that kills are pretty stable. The big difference is just that the people leaving are noisier.” Where are those graphs and numbers Asay tweeted about, Fozzie?
  • Corps & Alliances
    • p78 – “Intra-corp aggression”. This has caused a bit of consternation on #tweetfleet along with some posting. Long story short, corp members will no longer be able to shoot each other in highsec without invoking CONCORD response. James315 (with a rare short-winded, coherent post), Gevlon Goblin and CSM Member FunkyBacon all have some interesting thoughts. My take? Someone needs to ask Asmodeus Valar, CEO of EVE University, what he thinks of it. As Ali Aras mentions in the notes, “”. We used this mechanic extensively when I was in E-UNI for training. The duel mechanic is clunky and I think it would be a poor substitute. I also agree with those who say that AWOXing is a small enough problem that it’s not worthy of throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.
    • p88 – Using corporate shares in a future stock market idea. This would be so amazingly awesome I can barely express it. It will be very hard for them to build (Fozzie is very clear to say this isn’t currently in plan) but wow could this be a literal game-changer for EVE. A whole new way to play the market.
    • p89 – Corporate paychecks functionality idea. We would use this in SSC, I suspect. Today we in essence do this already, but using the simple “transfer cash” approach.
  • Team TriLambda – Most of this has already been rolled out in dev blogs, so I’m not going to spend much time on this. The section is interesting if you want to get a deeper understanding of how the art team defines their role and things they’re interested in. Asayanami Dei was clearly enjoying this one (as befits his role as video guy). Key quote: “Xander specifically requested space fedoras.” Nuff said.
  • Alliance Logos, p95 – This is a section well worth reading for anyone with a legal bent or an opinion on whether they own their logo or CCP does. CCP Falcon does a great job of explaining the conundrum here. He also lays out the single best legalese summary I’ve heard of what players would like to see: “So players take a view of this that they own a logo and give game companies a perpetual right to use their logo.” But that’s something CCP say they can’t abide because it creates a lawsuit risk from anywhere else the logo gets used. He suggests incorporating a specific EVE-owned logo into the alliance’s “base logo” to make it obvious that this one is part of EVE. Then CCP owns the EVE-specific one, but the alliance/players still own the base logo, which I think is a great compromise. The CSM highlights how annoyed people will be, but I personally don’t think there’s a better way to do it, and everyone will be happier for it afterward. As Mynnna puts it: “just making it clear that that has to be done if people want to have logos on their ships, people will be butthurt but they’ll get over it.”
  • Team Security – This section is so heavily censored there’s not much to read there. What’s left is mostly waffling about ISBoxer.
  • Whitepaper Review – A brief session about the CSM white paper, primarily focused on how to boost turnout (which was horrible) for the CSM X election. I hope some of this happens but I am not holding my breath.
  • Industry Recap – I can’t manufacture my way out of a wet paper sack, so if you’re into industry and thoughts on Crius, I recommend you go read this section for yourself. It starts on page 106. I’ll just comment on one item from p108: CCP Greyscale says, “CCP Greyscale – But if [capitals in wormholes] decreased, would that be a good thing?” No, Greyscale, it wouldn’t. Cap kills are the adrenaline buzz that fuels Class 5 and Class 6 wormhole combat. This is another “don’t fix what ain’t broken“. Go live in a wormhole for a year, please.
  • Starbases
    • p111 – So first off, let me commend Corbexx, Sugar and Sion for tackling the “needs” on this one. I didn’t contribute a lot to Corbexx’ investigation other than sending people to talk with him because frankly, I’m a renter in the POS world. I pay someone else for fuel so I can live in their POS. I have gunning skills but have never set one up or configured it. For me, POS fulfill two roles: 1) As a home, 2) As a mechanic to find content. So for me, a POS needs to be…
      1. A safe place to store stuff and ships, with ease of access and organization … and a coffin for those items if I can’t get them out fast enough in a siege.
      2. A safe place to sit and idle … but not hidden away where no one can see me, instead I have to think to make sure I’m sitting in what I want visible to the world while I’m there.
    • p112 – CCP Greyscale: “A strong sense of home. We want it to be super customizable for your needs – home is where you log off, and we want you to be logging off at these and basing from them.” Yes, this.
    • p113 – CCP Greyscale: “We want to move pos off moons” I know this sounds good in theory. But in wormholes at least under current scan/dscan mechanics it’s a damn terrible idea. Here’s why.
      • For small gang action, when you’re going through a system without Local looking for content, the idea is this: Find the People! That will usually be at a POS, in a site, or on a wormhole. You can get scouts and recon without being detected on holes and at POS. Only for site runners do you need to break cover. This is part of the cat-and-mouse hunting game that makes wormholes their own unique space. If we have to probe down a POS, it kills the ability to gather intel in a stealthy manner, and I strongly believe that wormholers value that ability. Tying a POS to a moon (or a similar no-scan-needed warpable object) is what makes that happen.
      • At the fleet combat end of the scale, as Corbexx points out, “people in wormhole space used POS on moons as a form of defense and removing this would make it easier to invade people. ” This is what we call “Full Moon Coverage” – in short, if the enemy can’t put up their own tower anywhere, sieging you out becomes much harder.
    • p114 – CCP Greyscale: “Wanted to remove force fields …  there was some functionality with the forcefield that would be hard to replicate … cloaks and things could be possible on the POS”. See “cat and mouse” above. In a wormhole, you hunt for things and watch things happening in POS. This is much less useful when looking at a k-space station. Please, for the love of god, do not allow people to dock at a POS and “disappear” in wormholes. We need to be out there for all to see, but behind some protective capability like a force field (or a similar mechanic). But visibility within the protected space is a content driver.
    • p115 – CCP Nullarbor: “any offline POS should just be scoopable” Make it so! I’d actually say it should be unanchorable by someone with the Anchoring skill, but I can live with scoopable.
  • Veteran Player Retention – Some good discussion here, but not a lot that’s concrete to comment on. I’ll pick a couple.
    • p119 – Both Asayanami Dei and Sugar Kyle point out a desire for “new space”. I’m going to assume that means new systems. I am skeptical, however, that people have thought through the implications of that. To me, the first thing I think of when I hear “new space” is “fewer people per system“. I honestly would rather see some of the space eliminated, and what there is diversified by various mechanics. Get rid of underused systems and open new regions with differing mechanics to offer a wider array of experiences.
    • p120 – I’m just going to leave this here because it feels like a mission statement. And a good one. CCP Seagull: “We, internally, have become scared in a sense of making
      bolder changes to the game so that we know we can control the outcome. Because we do not want to be perceived as messing up again. We can predict what is going on. That predictability is boring everyone to death now. We need to challenge and move forward with solid plans owned by teams that are building the vision in their hands. We need to turn up the volume.”
  • General Game Design – The most interesting piece for me in this section, which was a bit of a grab bag CSM Q&A section, was this: p125 – CCP Fozzie on wormholes post-Hyperion. “CCP Fozzie Started off the meeting showing various graphs from W-space including, jumps, player deaths, volume of ore mined and npc kills. Jumps had remained steady. Player deaths stayed the same although more spikey. Volume mined was down. Npc kills was down although coming back up. following a similar patern to when interceptors got bubble immunity in nullsec. Capital was spikey although was on a downward trend. Pos in W-space were down 1% before the patch and another 1% after the patch although were starting to rise, although it was still early to see any real trend. Wormhole residency followed a very similar trend to Pos’s” So … long story short they didn’t see enough impact to conclude that the changes were bad. I’ll turn that around a bit and say – it doesn’t show anything good, either. I will say that Fozzie’s description closely matches how I’d describe what I’m seeing in the cap kills space. More on this in a future post.
  • Team Banana Stand – This is a heavily mission-focused section. I don’t mission. It’s almost as bad as mining to my tastes. There is also a bit of market chatter. I’m terrible at both, so if you’re interested in these items I’ll just refer you to read this section on your own.
  • Organized Play – This section largely discusses the Alliance Tournament and spends a lot of time on CCP Veritas’ “dojo” prototype. I’ve written most of what I have to say on the subject of tournaments here and here. I tweeted these to Gargant again tonight.
  • Community Team – This section is largely about how the GM team works and the process for filing the CSM minutes. The most important piece in my opinion: “We are trying to get a greater turn up for the CSM voting.” Yes please.
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7 Responses to 146 Minutes

  1. I like standings and have been working at them for years. I’d really hate for CCP to pull a wow cataclysm on me and remove one of my core activities and time sinks.

    • Rhavas says:

      “Been working at them for years” is why I hate them. I can barely stand to run a day of missions much less a year or more. That said your point is valid – CCP cannot and should not just pull them out and invalidate all your hard work. However I think they need alternate methods and ideas to replace the endless grind as well.

    • Sugar Kyle says:

      I believe that there is a middle ground between reset everyone to 0 and start fresh and keeping how terribly bad they are when you go below 0. Some of that is simply enough to address in how we go about PvE.

      I don’t think that those who have worked for their standings should just be told to go away and deal. That was a lot of time and effort. But, something needs to be done to make them better, more engaging, and more interesting.

      I firmly believe when chunks of the game go, “nope” and walk away from a mechanic and take huge negitives that involve cutting them off from parts of the game before they invest any time in the mechanic, we have a problem. There is a point between “hell no” and “its raining standings, halluijha, its raining standings!”

      I think that we can find it.

  2. Ranamar says:

    I admit I don’t live in a wormhole, but I don’t see how docking with a starbase is functionally different from entering your forcefield and then swapping ships at an SMA. Can you elaborate on what you are actually worried about? The stupidest parts of docking games is being able to fight while within docking radius and getting cap/shields restored instantly on dock, and the latter of those two can be mitigated with time if you’re not worried about someone killing your POS in the meantime.

    • Rhavas says:

      Because with no Local, the only way to find people is to go physically looking for them. What you show undocked in a POS is a valuable tactical tool. It also provides a great way to find content and spy. With a docked ship, you would fly on by and no fun would be had by anyone.

      • Ranamar says:

        Out of curiosity, does anyone ever sit in a pod and whip out whatever ship they think is a good idea at the last minute? I guess there’s some bait value to showing that you’re flying something specific. I guess… it seems like “knowing who is at the POS” seems like it can be solved. How much of it is that?
        You complained specifically about docking games, and my thought was that they can mostly be replicated already (relative to doing that in sov space, which is not where the really bad docking games happen anyway) aside from the part where you just have to survive a minute to be invulnerable instead of boating into shields you could be bumped away from.

        • Autumn says:

          Yes, people do change their ships frequently or sit in a pod and change at the last minute. However, you can see them do this from dscan.

          As far as invulnerability or going back into the shield, people rarely engage directly on the pos in wspace. It happens, but its uncommon.

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