Wednesday, October 10, 2012
CSM7 - Transparency
That's because there's a serious lack of transparency.
It would seem that, to CSM7, transparency is writing out a 165 page document on a three day meeting. That is the sum total of their transparency. The document is less about what CSM7 cares about, and more about what CCP is planning.
From the outside looking in, CSM7 seems to be nothing more than CCP cheerleaders. Criticise the direction in which CCP seems to be taking the game, rather than CCP explaining their position, defending their development, you have the CSM coming down on anyone daring to criticize their keepers. CSM7 is less a player proxy and more a buffer between CCP and the players. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that's not the role the players want their CSM to play.
Devblogs on Retribution are starting to roll out. So, as each feature is announced and explained, the NDA on that feature is effectively dropped. It would be of immense value to the players to now learn where the CSM stands on those features. Where they very much agree with specific feature-sets, where they butted heads with CCP. Where they agreed and disagreed. That's transparency. Information on how CSM7 is actively trying to represent the players to CCP.
Again, from the outside looking in, it appears that CSM7 is more concerned with not pissing off CCP. Because, in their minds to piss off CCP is to anger CCP which might lead to less access to CCP down the road. I'm pretty sure we voted our selected representatives hoping they might have actual opinions, perhaps even strong opinions, on what might be bad and what might be good for this game. What use is having more access, if you're too afraid to speak your mind when presented with this increased access? So, you get to see things you might not otherwise have got to see, but if you have concerns about those things, being afraid to speak up about them, because you might offend someone, because you're afraid of blowback, well, that's not particularly useful at all.
CSM7 may in fact be butting heads with CCP. But, of course, we don't know what's happening behind the scenes. We're not privy and/or entitled. And that's a shame, because a few of these representatives ran on platforms promising to open up and reveal the process to their constituents. While NDAs are in effect, obviously they are hog-tied with respect to how much they can reveal. But the moment the NDAs become moot, we should be seeing lengthy articles on each new feature, the opinions on it from CSM7, where they agreed and where they disagreed.
It's of value to the players to know where their representatives stand. What has made them happy, what has made them sad about an upcoming expansion. Where they think CCP could have done better, where they think CCP has failed.
It can't all be puppy dogs and ice cream between CSM7 and CCP. Yet, from the outside looking in, that's exactly the façade we're all presented with. A big unified front of "everything is working as intended and let's give CCP the benefit of the doubt. Bitching about stuff leads to nowhere good."
Actually, bitching lead to the cancellation of Incarna and a refocus on spaceships. Bitching has been very good for the players. I think we'd like to see where our representatives have spent some time bitching, because it would be disappointing to learn that it's all been lollipops.