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CSM 14 – Week 15

This article comes to us courtesy of Dunk Dinkle, in Brave Collective, originally posted on his blog.

CSM Meeting – October 4th

As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.

The meeting covered some high level topics, like long term vision and improvements to the development process.   Not much more can be mentioned due to confidentially, but hopefully these topics can be explored more publicly by CCP.

There was discussion of the upcoming EVE meet-ups, mostly concerning EVE Vegas.

The CSM followed up on the status of a few announced changes to understand timing of the development and deployment.

Dunk’s Corner

Since the CSM Summit Minutes have been released, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion in the community about it.  I’ve tried to respond where I can.  Here are some of the common points/questions that I’ve seen and my responses in a single space.

Q: What do you think about the future of EVE Online after leaving the Summit?

A:  I am cautiously optimistic.  As I have said before several places, CCP has a lot of great ideas and good people that can put those ideas into action.  The question is on prioritization and execution.  CCP has some tough decisions to make (like every company does) on how to best use their resources.  The future will rest on how CCP makes these choices and what they give focus to develop properly.

Q: No, seriously Dunk, do they fucking get it?

A: Yes, they fucking get it. CCP clearly sees the wide array of issues facing the game. In the formal meeting room and outside of it, there was lots of honest, straight talk about the challenges facing the game. They get it. The real issue is deciding how to best allocate people’s time and energy to work on solving problems and introducing new things.

Q: I didn’t read much about [insert concern here] in the Minutes. Why didn’t you talk about [insert concern here]?

A: Going into the summit, there were two huge issues to address on the plate, more significant than others. Those two issues were new player retention and the effects of Chaos Era (blackout) on player activity.  These were the two topics that needed the most discussion and focus. Unfortunately, many other important topics did not get much time they need to plan significant changes.

Yes, the CSM knows that there are big concerns all over EVE, from faction warfare to small gang PvP to low sec in general to structure spam to [insert your primary concern], but the truth is we cannot go deep on all of these subjects when CCP’s focus in elsewhere.

Lastly, the Summit Minutes are a rough approximation of what was discussed.  They are not detailed transcripts, are heavily redacted, and don’t cover any of the side conversations that occur during the week. Many ideas and concerns were discussed that are not represented in the minutes. I am hopefully you see some results for those unreported conversations in the future.

Q: Seems like the CSM is only representing Null Sec concerns in the topics discussed.  Why aren’t you representing all players?

A: Right now, CCP’s focus in the Chaos Era is shaking things up, specifically with Null Sec, so it is the focus of a lot of the discussion.  The CSM is adamant that player activity and engagement is a key issue across the board, in every area of space.  This point was reinforced repeatedly n the CSM’s ask for a clearer vision for the game that all players can hang their hopes on for the future.

At one point, the CSM is asked if their are personally in favor of removing Asset Safety and several CSM raise their hands in the affirmative. When asked if it is in the best interests of the game overall, no CSM raise their hand.  This is just one example of putting the wider game ahead of personal or ‘null sec’ interests.

I’m not going to be able to convince some that I and others on the CSM aren’t working on some personal agenda to benefit our groups specifically, but it is the truth.

That said, I am openly advocating for T2 Salvage drones and a new role for the Primae. If you disagree with those priority issues, you are simply wrong. 🙂

Q: Why didn’t the CSM demand/force/make CCP fix things immediately?

A:  The relationship doesn’t work that way.  The CSM is there to provide player input into the design process.  The best way to do that is in a healthy, respectful relationship, not in an antagonistic way.  The CSM can’t make CCP do anything.

CCP is the CEO & FC of the Summit Fleet.  CSM are like the scouts and recons helping them find a good path.

The CSM has a lot of passion for the game, but realizes that if that passion is channeled in a negative way, it can have a detrimental effect on the game.

Q: But the data, statistics, and graphs clearly show that…

A:  “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” ― Mark Twain

The truth is that the data released, like the MER, are helpful to get some understanding of what’s going on in EVE, but they do not paint the entire picture.  People tend to interpret data to fit their existing bias, so care must be taken that to keep that in perspective.

As an example, there were several that put forth the idea that player activity losses during Blackout were mainly from botter accounts and that actual players leaving was compensated for by other players returning to the game.  Others argued that player losses were mainly due to people leaving the game completely.  To determine this from the data as a fact, is nearly impossible.

There were many factors at play during Blackout: login events, WoW Classic release, in-game wars, summer for the Northern Hemisphere, etc., all affect the numbers.  Which numbers to look at?  Daily Account activity versus Monthly Account activity versus in-game player counts versus PvP losses versus PvE metrics all are involved and it’s not possible for the players at home to draw hard conclusions from them.  There are some basic trends that can be shown, but even those require a lot of interpretation.

Good game design cannot solely rely on statistics. They can be one of several guides, but they cannot be the sole driving factor.

Q: The CSM is a waste and should be abolished! They don’t get anything done and don’t represent me!

A: You are welcome to this point of view, but the CSM has value and is interest in your point of view to convey it to CCP. My contact info is on this page. Feel free to reach out with your comments or concerns. I can’t promise that I will agree with you or that CCP will change anything, but I will listen with an open mind.

I’m available on Discord, via email, and in game to chat. Or see me in person at EVE Vegas!

Twitter: @dunkdinkle
Discord: Dunk Dinkle#1095
Email: dunkdinkle@gmail.com

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