By The Numbers post two weeks ago. Basically, I threw out a bunch of numbers, the occurrences of certain words and phrases throughout the CSM Summit Report. I don't draw any conclusions from the data, rather letting the reader draw their own, or at least to use whatever numbers they find interesting as a reason to go digging deeper.
This time, I'm going to break down each session by CSM member participation. It should be interesting to see who participated in what sessions, and to what degree. Did the faction warfare candidate, did he shine during the faction warfare session? Did the pirate and mercenary, did he shine during the Crimewatch session? Did the mentor for newbies, did he shine during the new player experience session? Did the nullsec dudes participate like heck during the nullsec session?
We did elect these CSM members to participate, after all. For the top seven, we surely didn't want to give any of them a nice holiday. Anybody can sit and listen to other people talk. A good CSM member should listen and participate. And they should participate strongly and passionately in those sessions focusing on their strengths.
This was a horrible way to start the CSM Summit Report. Chasing tails, and then chasing them again. This is the first and last session that Dovinian attended, one might imagine that he assumed every session would be as pointlessly recursive as this one. I wonder how many people stopped reading the Report at this session?
CSM: "We'd like to remove inactive members." CCP: "There is a clause enabling you to do this based on meeting attendance." CSM: "We don't hold scheduled meetings." Five minutes later. CSM: "We'd like to remove inactive members." CCP: "There is a clause enabling you to do this based on meeting attendance." CSM: "We don't hold scheduled meetings." Repeat five or six more times.
I found this session interesting. A short history on how the CSM has interacted with CCP in the past, and the lack of cooperation from CCP employees with the CSM, due to the CSM's accountability being meaningless (i.e., a CCP can get fired, a CSM will get flamed on some forums.) CCP Unifex set out an action plan and experiment, for involving the CSM into the development process at an earlier stage, utilizing a single team to begin with.
I wonder how this experiment is going. If it's begun? And can the CSM start to talk about the experiment in generalized terms (to avoid NDA issues)?
A bunch of stuff we all more or less knew. Winter Expansion 2012 will deal with more war. More iteration on features introduced in Inferno. And one new feature in Player-to-Player Contracts (probably, but not guaranteed.) The P2P Contracts sounds like a doozy, and I would be surprised that we see it by December. More on this in the session devoted to it.
Basically just an information session. (The session write-up is short, so there may be some content that was NDA'd.)
Mostly discussion on how to drive conflict in nullsec, especially with respect to the technetium problem. Some pie-in-the-sky proposals from the CSM, which CCP generally shot down quickly. Some discussion on arena combat, which divided opinions on the CSM. The general direction for future development, POSes first, the technetium fix will come later in the form of ring mining. For now, alchemy will be the short-term solution for tech moons.
This session was heavily NDA'd, so true participation metrics are unknown. I do have a blogpost on what is currently known about WiS. It can be surmised that the CSM was shown this progress in a more polished, and probably slightly more advanced form. Understandable that CCP has chosen to NDA most of this session, since WiS development is a very polarizing topic in the community.
More or less unanimous agreement that live events are good for EVE Online, that they get the player-base fired up and excited about the game. Some disagreement on whether roleplay, story-oriented events were more important than simply random events/roams by CCP staff. General agreement that loot dropping is unnecessary, as it is usually the well-organized larger groups that tend to dominate in the loot taking (which then upsets the general playerbase.) Some discussion on CCP support of player-run events (such as Arek'Jaalan), but nothing firm was agreed upon.
Disappointing that Issler Dainze, who has styled herself as the Industry candidate, could not make the session. (She did end up writing the section for the CSM report, though.) Disappointing too that Kelduum, whose University has a large number of industry classes, had nothing to at all to say or add during the discussion. Being on the CSM is about participation, not listening.
A lot of discussion and ideas floated about, but no firm ideas were settled on. It will be up to CCP to figure out the plan, and some future CSM to give feedback.
This section makes it very apparent that the CSM are not designers and developers (which we've all known.) CCP came to this session looking at the CSM to supply some ideas for further study. The CSM did that, but there was no consensus and ideas were all over the board.
Unlike the previous session, this was more in keeping with CCP's role and the CSM's role in the summit process. CCP Greyscale came to the meeting with a solid set of goals that should guide starbase development. The CSM commented on each goal, adding specifics where necessary. This made the session fruitful, in terms of positive and useful feedback given to CCP from the CSM.
The nullsec candidates dominated this session, as would be expected.
It's nice to see that the DUST/EVE link will be centered around Faction Warfare to begin with. If this encourages more PvP around faction warfare sovereignty mechanics, then it will be a welcome addition. Other than that, most of the discussion revolved around what the CSM would like to see the DUST/EVE link evolve into.
This was one of the better sessions with regards to CSM input. A lot of great little ideas were offered, many which CCP agreed could and should be implemented. A few of these ideas we've seen implemented as recently as the Inferno 1.2 update.
This session is a good example of how the CSM can be a valuable tool for CCP. The feedback and idea flow was positive in both directions. Granted, the user interface is an simpler area of design to discuss, since it's generally easy to find ways in which interaction with the client can be improved.
Participation in this session was where one might expect it to be, firmly with the null players on the CSM. Talk, though, was limited, since the nullsec development team is currently working on faction warfare. There was discussion on future changes, little things that could add benefit to nullsec play. Adding more risk to carriers running anomalies was mentioned. For the time being, any specific changes to nullsec will be of the little things variety.
I don't manage corporations or alliances, so I'm not particularly invested in this session of the Summit. Though, I did have a desire to be the medal manager for Autocannons Anonymous, but our CEO, Vordak, was unable to figure out how to give me that role by its lonesome. So, work on this area is obviously needed.
Much of the discussion seemed to center around how to kick people from corporations in a timely manner.
There doesn't seem to be any work on corporation management on the radar for Winter 2012, other than some little things. This session may have been introduced into the schedule at the behest of Kelduum, the CSM expert on all things corporate interface. So it was surprising to see his involvement fairly muted in that regard. (Compare to Hans' involvement with his area of expertise, faction warfare, or Aleks with mercenary and pirate concerns such as the Crimewatch session.)
It's interesting to note that some of Kelduum's participation was actually counter-productive to corporate management improvements. One such request, by UAx, was for custom roles. Kelduum then explained and showed everyone present how that could be accomplished using custom titles. Showing how to get things done with kludgey workarounds is not exactly pushing corporate management changes onto the agenda. Kelduum ends up undermining the urgency for a simpler, more intuitive interface, by showing that such functionality is already available, even if in a convoluted, unintuitive manner. ::facepalm::
Alekseyev went bananas in this session with respect to participation. Good on him. He doesn't get the free trip to Iceland, but he's fully invested in the process.
I realize that these sessions move quickly, and there's not a lot of time to consider ideas as they are tossed out to the CSM, but I was disappointed that a few of Greyscale's more obviously bad ideas were not pounced on at the time. By not pouncing them, Greyscale leaves the session feeling pretty good about those bad ideas. That's definitely not something that should be happening, because Greyscale doesn't seem to have a good grasp on the interconnectedness of the game. Gatecamps is a good example. In trying to solve one "problem" (which isn't really a problem at all), he would have broken six other areas of the game in the process. He seems blissfully unaware of how his ideas affect all aspects of the game, he seems very focused on solving individual problems, without looking at the bigger picture.
A lot of good talk about streamlining the login process, especially for multiboxing (which is unofficially officially supported.) Some discussion about including SiSi in the launcher to make it easier for players to access the test server.
As would be expected, Hans' participation was extremely high. Amazing, considering he could not get his video and audio stream on his end to work. Whereas he was able to see and hear what was happening during the session, his participation was limited to text messages. A lot of Hans' success in communicating during this session can be chalked up to the work he put in before the session writing out a complete set of notes for everyone to use and follow. I'll be discussing faction warfare in more detail in the future, so won't go into a lot of detail here. The main thing to take away here is that Hans is doing the job he was voted to do. And doing it well. Hans is one of the standout members of the CSM.
A lot of talk on V3 shader updates. New ship designs. New effects, such as explosions. And then a lot of pie-in-the-sky suggestions from the CSM concerning custom ship texturing.
Lots of balancing talk, as would be expected. A lot of input from Elise, who is generally regarded as the most knowledgeable CSM on ship fitting. The general balancing path will be small to large. Frigates first, then destroyers, followed by cruisers and so on.
This was an interesting session to read simply for all the tactical talk on the various ships. The debate concerning sniping battleships versus sniping T3 battlecruisers was especially enlightening.
The introduction to a contract system that would extend into all areas of the game. The ability to contract for bounties. The ability to contract for POS destruction. Escrow. Mercenary contracts. Those are a few examples. The concept is still in development and may see the light of day in the winter expansion. CCP wants to move contracts away from being just an extension of the trade markets.
This session was split into two main discussion threads. The first was revamping the tutorial, the goal, as always, to retain new players. The second thread concerned incursions.
I'm trying not to read into the fact that the Russians were very much interested in how security, and in particular, RMT (real-money transfer) detection functioned. This is the only session where total Russian participation was higher than participation from the Euros and North Americans. Granted, participation wasn't high to begin with, since it was an informational session, specifics were not going to be discussed (which is understandable, for obvious reasons.)
What we learn is that CCP Sreegs is on top of the situation, and is passionate about curbing RMT and botting. He feels very confident in the metrics and the algorithms his team have created.
Again, for someone who's entire existence in game is centered around new players, it was disappointing to see Kelduum take a backseat to much of the discussion. Again, he listens rather than participates. The CSM doesn't need people who listen. What the CSM needs are people with clear ideas on what various aspects of the game should be accomplishing, and to express those thoughts to CCP. Kelduum is showing quite clearly that he is not that person.
This session was mostly graphs and charts and Dr. EyjoG's analysis. Hard for the CSM here to weigh in on complex economic issues with an actual economist. Informative, all the same, though.
One of the interesting reveals was the existence of an EVE Central Bank, which is stocked with PLEX and ISK from the confiscations of illegal operations. EyjoG did give the impression that most of CCP's intervention in the PLEX market comes from the stocks in this Central Bank. This strikes me as a tad disingenuous, considering that whenever PLEX prices rise "too high", there appear advertisements for new PLEX sales in the EVE launcher and on the EVE website (and the PLEX that is sold is certainly not stocked from the Central Bank.)