Thursday, November 29, 2012
CSM7 Winter Summit - Those NDA Sessions
It all sounds good, open and transparent, except for four particular sessions, which are clouded by the mystery of the NDA.
What might we assume about those NDA sessions? If we examine the sessions during the spring summit, we might be able to tease out the more obvious topics that CCP now feels are big giant secrets, that the playerbase should not know about. Because, you know, session headings give away the farm.
There are 21 sessions listed during the winter summit. Four of those are under NDA, and one of those being a double session. There were 22 sessions at the spring summit.
What sessions do the spring and winter summits have in common? What sessions are missing from the winter summit that were part of the spring summit? What sessions are new?
Common: Stakeholder, Live Events, EVE/Dust Link, EVE UI, Nullsec, Corporation Management, Wardecs and Crimewatch, Factional Warfare, Art, Ship Balance and Iteration, Community Site, Player Experience, and EVE Economy.
New: Improvements on Bounty Hunting, CREST for 3rd Parties, Voting System Changes, and EVE Marketing.
Missing: White Paper, The Next Expansion, EVE Future, The State of Incarna, Industry and Mining, Starbase Rework, Client Launcher, Player-to-Player Contracts, Content, and Security.
So there are 14 sessions in common between spring and winter. There are four new session topics (though one falls under the purview of a now missing topic), and 10 missing topics.
(One of the new topics, Voting System Changes, is a topic that was briefly covered under White Paper discussions during the spring summit. So the White Paper is still being discussed, though in a more specific form. So we can assume that White Paper is not an entirely missing topic of discussion.)
So what missing topics might be topics that will be discussed this winter, topics that CCP feel are secret and covered by NDA?
The next expansion. During the spring there was a session devoted to the Winter 2012 expansion. It is exceptionally strange if there is no discussion at the winter summit concerning plans for the Summer 2013 expansion. I think we can safely assume that one of the four NDA topics will concern itself with EVE's future, and in particular the next expansion. Why has it been NDA'd? I have no idea. A surprise? "Surprise everyone! There is going to be an expansion come summer 2013!"
EVE's Future was discussed in detail during the spring. We can assume it will be touched on during the exceptionally likely, but very secret, Summer 2013 session.
The State of Incarna. Experimentation with meaningful walking in station gameplay has been put on hold by CCP Unifex. I think we can assume there is not much to talk about here, until such time that CCP feels it is worth development resources again.
Industry and Mining. Very strange that this is not a topic of discussion. It's not as though CCP has not laid out some broad plans for mining. Ring mining in particular. It's certainly a strong possibility that mining, very possibly ring mining, will be a session of discussion. As well, given all the talk recently concerning mineral compression, where it impacts super-capital production, that too may be a topic of discussion. Both of these may be folded into a single session, or they may be broken into discrete sessions. At any rate, industry and mining will be discussed, probably in very specific terms, thus CCP's desire to NDA those topics. Perhaps they don't want to get people's hopes too high if they see ring mining as a session.
Starbase Rework. Also known as the POS (player-owned starbase) revamp. Again, very hard to believe that this will not be discussed in further detail, especially given that CCP has had nearly half a year to further think about these ideas and how to develop them. I would be very surprised if this was not one of the NDA sessions.
Client Launcher. Not much to discuss here beyond what was discussed at the spring summit. This will not be a session during the winter summit.
Player-to-Player Contracts. This could be a session again. It's hard to say if CCP plans to continue with their plans, as outlined during the spring summit. Very little has been heard about this since. I would guess that it will not be a specific topic of discussion with a session devoted to it.
Content. I think this is being folded into the Player Experience session. In the spring, it was called New Player Experience, this winter it is being expanded to the Player Experience (new and old.)
Security. I think CCP Sreegs said all that needed to be said about security during the spring. His job continues. Other than refining the process, there's likely not much new that needs further discussion.
So, four NDA sessions, but likely we've sussed out three of the potential topics, one of which has to be a sure thing. Summer 2013 Expansion. Industry and Mining, with ring mining and mineral compression as the two likely important topics of discussion. These might even be split into two separate sessions. And the POS Revamp (aka Starbase Rework).
We'll hopefully find out more when the Winter Summit minutes are released, that at least the session topics will be knowledge given to us, the players.
What other strong possibilities exist for these mystery sessions?