Category Archives: CSM Hijinks
Why does Cheese need a King? Why not!
Kinda silly when you think about it. Almost as silly as being elected the Chairman of the Council of Stellar Management. What do they manage? Well let’s look at what Management means:
1. the act or manner of managing; handling, direction, or control.
2. skill inmanaging; executive ability: great management and tact.3. the person or persons controlling and directing the affairs ofa business, institution, etc.: The store is under new management.4. executives collectively, considered as a class ( distinguished from labor).
I think we can throw out #2 and #4 in this case. Neither really applies in context, so what does the CSM control what affairs do they direct? None and None. The CSM is not a management board and it is not a governing body. We treat it as such and we elect it as such but they have no responsibility as a government or a managing agency. The Council for Stellar Management serves two functions. They advise CCP on such matters as CCP deigns to bring them in on, and they report to the players and to CCP on matters of concern to both parties. I think this is where Ripard’s “Customer Relations” bit comes from, not to put words in his mouth, but it does seem the shortest chain of inferences. The CSM talks to players as a sort of adjunct to CCP, and talks to CCP as representatives for the players. They do not manage anything, they advise and council on key matters.
And yet we elect them like it’s a political matter. We vote on them as if they were senators, not advisors, the Chair is treated like the presidency, not a “First Councilor” or some such. This is silly. This needs to change. Any discussion of “election reform” in EvE that doesn’t take this into account is just kicking the can down the road.
I know I’ve advocated for this before, but somehow it didn’t stick so I’ll just wave my own flag again:
Stellar Advisory Board
The Stellar Advisory Board is an elected body of variable size, chosen by CCP and the players in concert. CCP determines its needs for the year based on planned expansions and hot issues. They take the slate of positions to the players, players announce their candidacy and are vetted by the current SAB and CSM in concert to make sure they are somewhat relevant. Having Kelduum as a Null rep is about as asinine as having The Mittani as a dedicated PvE expert. There’s better people for both jobs and having people from unassailable blocs filling those spots wastes time and resources and denies both players and developers valuable assets in that area and elsewhere. Once the candidates are vetted we go into the election cycle. Each account will get three votes to put in three different candidates, letting them pick which areas (plural) are important to them. Yeah in theory the superblocs could potentially sweep by covering all the bases, but they will still need to pick what’s *really* important to them and cover the bases.
Imagine next year CCP says “Ok we’re going to commit to Nullsec here’s what we need”
- Alliance Management – 3 people
- Fleet Management – 3 people
- Group PvE – 2 people
- Large Scale Industry – 2 people
That’s 10 people and covers the areas CCP wants to hit hardest, now they turn to the secondary areas, all of which get 1 for the year
- Lowsec Specialist
- Wormhole Specialist
- Dust Link Specialist
- EvE Community Expert
- At Large Seat (3)
Total number is 17. I would bring all these people to Iceland, but just once. With the technology available to do meetings between continents and without the need to have all 17 there for many of the meetings I don’t feel that bringing them all there for a special summit is absolutely necessary howeve; I am told by Hans Jagerblitzen that “… you cannot undersestimate the value of having people in Iceland, in person. And also, on record, other than the summit, which is highly publicized, all the other meetings we have with CCP are smaller number of people involved and ARE done electronically” which goes two directions, first it says that the CSM needs face time with CCP. Second it says that there’s a lot that can be done with technology. Bring them all in, couple days after fanfest, instead of 14 trips this hypothetical SAB is doing 17. CCP can handle it for the far more directed information they will get.
Hans brought up another point which I hadn’t considered. The CSM can help get CCP on to some sort of long-term vision for EvE Online. The sort of “We want to see changes along this philosophy” from the perspective of the players who really do contribute the most to the game. I think that CCP needs to have an “Emeritus board” of the most well-regarded CSM / SAB members to help CCP find that long term vision that has been notably absent from more recent developments. I think it would be excellent to get the advice of people like Mynxee or Z0D or Sokratesz, especially as they’ve seemingly all left despite long and storied careers, on not just the nuts and bolts of the progression of the game, but the actual underlying philosophy.
Imagine if there were people representing the players who helped instruct new employees on why the game exists a certain way. You think CCP Greyscale would have ever even briefly entertained the notion of having a situation where an agressed player was prevented from defending himself by game mechanics if someone like Mynxee or The Mittani had sat down with him at some point and said “Undock = consent to a level of PvP.” You think that whole “Greed is Good” fiasco would have happened if T’amber had had the standing to make a statement to CCP on other ways to implement the RMT store? Also to plug T’amber check him out on Facebook and check out the photo galleries. You will be floored.
Bottom line: The CSM doesn’t make sense. We elect politicians to advise, we don’t select advisors to advise, or elect governors to govern. We need to fix that. We need to use this resource, this incredible community that supports EvE Online and match it up more precisely with CCP, not politicians, but advocates, not managing, but advising. Not wasted. Used.
Some thoughts on the notes:
One thing jumped out at me as I read through the ship re balancing portion of the CSM notes.
CCP Ytterbium went on to share his ideas for the Frigate rebalance. Part of the balancing involves
giving all Frigates more slots – somewhere around ten, with slightly fewer for support ships.
I suspect that this won’t be the last time we see “Re-balancing” meaning “more slots” for some ships. I think all of the soon-to-be-former Tier 1 and 2 cruisers will be found lacking in this regard. Making Destoyers, Frigates, and the new mining barges match up in the new paradigm will be all we see for a bit, likely December, and there seems to be a system of “Fast attack, Ganker, Brawler, Support” being set up. Certainly simplifying the roles of the ships seems a good option, and having clear bonus sets for each SHOULD make it easier for new players to see what ship to pick for whatever it is they want to do.
It also amounts to “Generification” a word I made up to describe making everything more similar to make balancing easier. Certainly balancing in EvE will NEVER be easy. CCP always faces a ton of challenges in balancing because the law of unintended consequences will absolutely MURDER you in this game. You could make a small change to one ship or one weapon system and find that because of the synergy effects of other ships with their equipment you’ve just made another race the FOTM until the nerf bat whacks them.
My concerns tend to lie with the fact that 8-8-8 is the theoretical limit on slots. Smaller ships can certainly add slots without running into walls, but for larger ships with larger numbers of combinations, balancing by adding presents a problem. The Dominix is already an excellent ship with a 6-5-7 layout, if they want to balance it for a certain role, what do they do, add a utility high? Another mid and you will see tons of XL ASB Gank Blaster Domis roaring around doing 1500 DPS. Add a low and… well… you’ve added a low. A Celestis on the other had has a (Go ahead, take a guess) 4-5-3 (ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 3 LOWS?) layout. Even for a support ship this thing looks awful on paper. Of course if sensor damps become better again they will likely show up, but even then they’ll be utterly gankable. With < 30k EHP the ship practically begs to be blasted, especially if it starts causing trouble with the logis with its damps. 4 damps on a Celestis can make your guardian take 10+ seconds to lock up a battleship for example. Think the Celestis will last 10 seconds?
So more slots for smaller ships, which helps them a lot, a possible change to cruisers to make them faster than most BCs. I’m betting tier 3s are still more or less even with them.
One thing that surprised me was the hate on Logistics ships. I was shocked that there was anyone who really had bad things to say about the one ships class that unquestionably requires excellent teamwork to make work. The argument that they make “small gangs smaller” seemed bizarre. You know what else makes small gangs smaller? Incoming DPS you can’t do anything about. I do think frigate-class logistics ships might be stretching things a bit. Here’s my suggestion, those new dessies? They will have a T2 variant. Make THAT the small logi. Thank me later.
Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta
Two step raised the issue that the massive amount of money in the game has taken a lot of the
meaning out of losses, with players less inclined to defend assets or get mad and take revenge for
Two step: “It used to be the case in null sec that you’d have a giant battle, it would hurt, and it
would mean you’re mad at the other guys and want to take revenge. Now it’s like ‘meh I lost my
battle cruiser and who cares?’ The money stuff needs to get looked at. If that means lowering
income across the board…”
And before we all jump on Two step… no one argued. No one said “Hey there’s thousands of players who aren’t space-rich. Maybe we should consider the perspective of people who can’t afford to lose 3 or 4 BCs a week” and later on they missed the point again.
Two step was quick to point out that Tech isn’t actually creating any ISK and went on to state that
half a trillion ISK comes into the economy every day, and for every 2 trillion coming in only 1 trillion
is going out. He believes the many faucets this is coming from should be cut back across the board.
Heh. He’s right. Tech doesn’t put ISK in the game. It takes ISK from players who don’t have it and gives it to the ones that have. This is a wealth transfer from people who are not part of the clique to people who are, and it’s utterly unavoidable. OTEC’s elite can sit back and roll in isk knowing there will be more until whenever the effective nerfs take hold. They can provide SRP to keep the minions happy. People who don’t have access to Tech aren’t likely to get it. In fact, Bruce Campbell did a PSA on it.
And it’s not the only example of the rich getting richer. Just the easiest one. Yes there’s more isk, but there’s also a couple individuals running around with “low single-digit trillions.” Hey space magnates, throw some at a poor blogger 🙂 I’ll stop saying mean things about your filthy-overly-successful capitalist pig-dog ways.
Just kidding, these guys really do deserve their success in this game. They have most likely (in their own mind) won EvE. Certainly they should enjoy things in this game, and if you don’t like it, you can do 1 of 3 things. Deal with it. Take it from them. Quit.
Still this was probably the low point of the CSM. A bunch of people, many of whom represent folks who aren’t space-rich, nodding together about how bad it is that losses don’t mean anything because everything is so easy for them to replace.
Reading the comments on Corp Management one thing jumped out:
Kelduum then proceeded to give everyone a brief tutorial on how they worked and could be used
to group players by access to a particular station.
Why has this tutorial not been put out by CCP. Hell I’ll play nice to EvE Uni for a week if they send it to me.
Now roles still need to be fixed. Badly. Corp management is a nightmare, and the CSM and CCP seemed to be in agreement, but I didn’t sense a huge priority on this. As awesome as some of the stuff is, this affects everyone in a player corp, or everyone looking for a player corp. It needs resolution. More than just making ethnic relations into merc relations.
Crimewatch: We got Mugged
I’ve come to admit to myself Greyscale has his uses. Even more than just as a doorstop. He shouldn’t design anything that I’d think of as a system, and crimewatch is clearly beyond him. The change to sentry guns is interesting. It will certainly change the character of lowsec gatecamps. I didn’t hear him say anything about reducing the GCC timer. If the guns will kill a triage carrier by 4 1/2 minutes then the timer doesn’t need to last past 5. Making entire fights “mutually recognized” might make lowsec much more interesting, but I will be surprised if they come up with an implementation that makes anyone want to use it. Remote reps will be changed. They will get a timer, but apparently if you are out can flipping and someone remote reps the miner the repper won’t be agressed? The system for lesser criminals seems like it’s broken and confusing. Not a good replacement for the current system which, while broken and confusing to some people, is at least understood by some.
No change on GCC, better Sentry gun mechanics, but much harder to gatecamp. Not a huge fan.
Null-Sec finally seems to be on firmly in the devs sights. It might take a while, but EvE players have come to recognize that good expansions take time, and CCP has becomes more effective at communicating. They won’t take my (Seleene’s) awesome idea, but they’ll find something to fix on and give it a try. Hopefully they clear the bar set by that excellent Dominion expansion. If you are looking for it it’s actually underground, they’d have to work to not clear it.
To me, this CSM is doing a great job. Mittens may have been a fantastic chair, but his presence overwhelmed a lot of the work and felt like a distraction. The folks that showed demonstrated dedication, and usually perspective and intelligence in their dealings. I may not agree with everything, and I seriously think that the money problem is a lot more complex than “We have too much money” (looks forlornly at his wallet) but overall I think they’ve done good work, if unexciting, and I really like the format, if not the length, of the new minute system.
From The Minutes.
CCP Ytterbium then proceeded to comment on Hans’ own suggestions regarding system upgrades,
the first of which was to move the station lockout consequence to an upgrade feature, instead of a
static consequence to system ownership. This would enable the underdog factions to gain a
foothold in the system they are trying to conquer, by plexing a system enough to bleed the I-hub
and enabling docking rights for the duration of the siege.
Hans explained that it would embolden groups like the Amarr that currently feel “stuck” to make
plans and execute system takeovers with greater tactical flexibility.
CCP Ytterbium offered up the idea of attaching the lockout to a level 3 or level 4 upgrade level,
agreeing that “this would be a fair compromise.”
The blogosphere has been erupting all day with defenses and attacks on Hans as a result of his “Exploit” and of course reading through the minutes (because studying banking materials for my new job 2 weeks before taking 13 credits of accounting classes isn’t dull enough) I fall on that gem.
Hans has been a thoroughly solid CSM. He has his bailiwick and he generally sticks to it, without prejudice. As a member of the most dominant FW group he has established a solid coverage of Faction Warfare not Late Night Alliance or even Escaped Slaves Anonymous as a faction. Or whatever they are called. He has repeatedly called for folks from all factions to join his Skype channel to share ideas on how to make the community better. This isn’t Mittens railing for/against whatever the windsock is indicating, or sometimes shoving the windsock around to allow him to rant more clearly, this isn’t Mynxee shouting into the dark for months before finally getting CCP to commit to some reforms, this isn’t even Meissa accruing enough tenure that he probably is getting health benefits from CCP at this point. I should mention that I actually admire all of these CSMs as players and reps, but I think that Hans gets the whole “Service” portion of being a representative, and has used his voice, position and luck in being selected at the right time to make his voice heard.
Seleene and Trebor seem to have run large portions of it, or at least run their mouths a lot, and all of the CSMs seemed involved, even Kelduum shined for moments, and seriously if you want to whine about a CSM taking advantage of exploits think about his Dec-Shield that he had running forever.
Hans didn’t get the trip, the tour, and didn’t even get to see much of the material presented because he wasn’t on-site and they couldn’t transmit to him, but he was there for damn near every meeting I can see missing only 4, and made his contributions known. His inability to project a real presence probably hurt him but as a community we literally have only ourselves to blame for it.
I had hoped CCP, in reconsidering the role of the CSM, would focus on having CSMs run for specific positions even possibly using my own writing on the subject. Clearly that didn’t happen and it looks like the CSM will continue in a slightly modified if at all election format. Also take a look at the ship rebalancing. SOOOOOO much goodness in there. Need to get un space-poor, need to log in more and play. Stupid job + school coming up.
***NINJA EDIT*** Mittens has been removed from CSM 7 by CCP Games.
I’m never going to Jita again.
My first blog since I found out I’m in the blog pack and a bomb drops.
I think the reasons he gives are good reasons. I think some of them are questionable. I think some of them are out and out debatable, I don’t think a single one is demonstrably wrong. I don’t think they are the real reasons.
He has what he wants from CCP. He has what he wants from the CSM chair position. He has what he wants from the playerbase.
He even alludes to this in his resignation letter:
I am convinced that most of the hard work of the CSM is already done – CCP is now focusing on spaceships instead of avatars, and the success of CSM6 has led to a solid and competent crop of player representatives in CSM7
Now he can focus on goons. If you don’t like Goonswarm or they don’t like you, you had better hold onto your ass. I think he’s about to go up to the line on what is permitted behavior and find every single inch of that line. Quite likely his minions will flood over it.
He then goes on to say this:
if I continue to hold the title of Chairman, CCP will be enduring one PR nightmare after another as Goonswarm’s in-game actions unfairly reflect back upon the CSM as a whole through the Chairman title.
He must not have watched the same keynote presentation I saw from the marketing head of CCP. I saw the guy talk on and on and on about how great the cutthroat action of EvE Online is. The saying “There’s no such thing as bad press” was the message throughout the presentation. If he wants to generate good press he can do all the griefing he wants and at the same time call upon people in EvE to cut out garbage that has no place in the game. He can cut out the out of game harassment, the EULA-pushing culture and the I’m a bigger jerk than you are” attitude that spawned his rash speech. He can call on players, leaders, and CCP to push a better definition of some of the vague terms and enforcement of the EULA that exists. Spamming local is supposed to be an offense, yet it happens all the time. Hate speech, harassment, threats are issued, sometimes they are punished, sometimes they aren’t and GM enforcement can be very uneven. I’ve been given a short ban for something that wouldn’t be considered a threat by any reasonable person and I’ve seen very specific out of game threats go completely ignored.
The Mittani has the power to change this culture, and to do it across EvE. He can still do the interdiction, the Jita Hellcamp and the scams, and at the same time show that there’s a line. There’s things that are legitimate in-game activities and there’s things that aren’t. He can show how sincere he is about helping CCPs image by committing himself to helping stop those things that aren’t.
As a final thought:
What will CCP do about all this. I still haven’t heard what their decision is regarding this whole incident.
So my gut response on winners and losers:
- Nullsec. Goonswarm, PL, AAA, Dirtnap, and more PL all get a trip to Iceland. They will be able to plead their case in person to CCP on anything they are asked.
- Riverini. I don’t know how he thinks the CSM will get him a bigger stake than EN24, and I don’t think he could reasonably run EN24 and be on the CSM at the same time without seriously risking breaking the NDA. “Losing” was the best thing that could happen to him.
- The “Conflict Avoidance Ursine” crowd: Congrats. You’ve got Kelduum going to Iceland.
- Lowsec: Even with small gang candidates Hans and Aleks not getting on a plane at least their voices will be in the discussion.
- Bloggers. With Mittens and Kelduum on the same board I am breaking out the popcorn.
- RPers. Mike Azariah got absolutely BURIED. As did Roc. Still not sure just what went wrong but WOW did this surprise me.
- Fans of Incarna. T’amber was your guy. T’amber lost. Big time. Another argument for breaking up candidacies by some sort of structure and voting between candidates for specific positions rather than the current “at-large” system
- Non PvPers. Ok I understand WHY pvpers are more organised, but again who is going to speak from a position of first-hand knowledge when it comes to truly large-scale mining, manufacturing, and marketing?
- Trolls. Sadly Mintrolio fell well short of the votes needed to make the election as ridiculous as it could be.
- CCP. Another largely homogenous group heading to Iceland to talk to them, and a group that is far less capable of assisting them with the projects for the chosen year, when RIGHT behind those 7 were several candidates that could have really widened the discussion and made a huge difference in the quality of Inferno.
So yesterday Greyscale had a pretty rough day on the forums and blogrolls. On a day that could have been downright triumphant he instead is probably looking at the forums and maybe a few blogs going… “C’moooooon it’s not that bad.”
It is that bad. The community that draws people into EvE isn’t the solo mining community. In fact these people are the folks most likely to try EvE out for a few months and then quit. Mining isn’t rewarding mechanically or financially, and can be endlessly frustrating solo. If this doesn’t lead you to try new things or find friends to mine with, you simply aren’t going to enjoy EvE. Period.
Even if you stick it out, your impact on the community and game will be limited. Mining isn’t even the fastest way to gather minerals, so your impact on the market… not so hot. You are excluding yourself from the community, rough times there, and even if you try to expand your impact with a blog/podcast/youtube channel, who wants to WATCH or LISTEN to mining.
CCPs marketing lead got up and talked about how we do his job for him. The players who do horrible things to other players create buzz. He referred to “The Heist” which is ancient history, but look at My Loot Your Tears, or the fall of BoB, or the destruction of northern coalition. Those people aren’t asking for help. They are asking for their mechanics to be left alone. They are well-known, they are well-documented. Players who want to be a part of EvE and not just play it are quite capable of joining and avoiding stupid losses.
So I say to buffing solo miners – go the other way. Buff group mining. Let the solo miners go hang. Include in the tutorials information on just how much more efficient mining is in groups. Already you get a 33% boost just being in fleet with a max orca booster (no implants) Make mining interesting. Make it the best way to gather minerals. Don’t protect discard cans. Don’t turn “suspects” into “sheep” It’s the first step for many on the rocky road to piracy, myself included. If a miner can’t get his corpmates to come along and fry the guy messing with his cans then maybe he needs to work harder at something other than shooting rocks.
Today Greyscale has backed down somewhat:
We’re extremely keen to pin down a design where you’ll always be able to defend yourself from aggression without getting CONCORDed. I’m not going to promise anything because I can’t actually predict the future. -Greyscale
I don’t think he is that far from having a good system. Having crimes organized by “tiers” e.g. petty, low-level and high with each having it’s own set of flags might be a better way than the currently suggested system. Let me look at how I’d go about it:
- Petty crimes: Crimes against “insignificant” properties. Things to which the claim of the capsuleer is indirect at best. Discard cans, mission wrecks etc. Flags only against the corp/player in question.
- Low Crime: Crimes against property solidly belonging to a capsuleer. Ships, secure containers, POS towers. In High-sec these result in a criminal flag, loss of sec status, CONCORD etc. In low they result in a minor sec hit, if any, possibly gate gun aggro, but on a shorter GCC timer. Unless of course the target is itself GCC or flashy red, in which case you can possibly recover sec status by shooting reds.
- High Crimes: Podding. Lotsa sec loss, big time GCC, fast way to flashy red.
If a pilot gets shot at he should always, always, always be allowed to return fire. Period. It’s one thing to expand flags to a wider arena, from corp/personal to all for a period of time, it’s another to take a non-GCC flag and turn it into a lockdown on a pilot that dooms him to a helpless death for an action that frankly doesn’t harm the offended pilot to any great extent. If a pilot wants to destroy a ship he should put a ship at equal risk.
Raw info HERE
Mittens, Two Step, Elise Randolph, Greene Lee, Trebor, Kelduum, Seleene
UAxDEATH, Hans, Meissa, Dovinian, Issler Dainze, Aleksyev Karrde, Darius III
So in an expansion that will focus on Low Sec and Wardecs, the people currently involved in those two are… not going to Iceland.
Bloc voting works well when the blocs are relevant. Right now if Hans or Aleks wants their voice heard they have to trust in CCP listening to the members they never have to face, and trust that the nuances of their communication come through, without the benefit of face-to-face meetings.
To me, these results represent success for EvE and failure for CCP and the CSM. Only EvE could build blocs so powerful that they aren’t capable of recognizing their own self-interest. However when CCP and the CSM sit in Iceland the members traveling to Iceland will by and large NOT have any stake, nor much knowledge in what they are talking about. At best they have second or third hand information regarding high sec, or low sec mechanics and their effects on people that actually live there. By having candidates all lumped into one “category” CCP denies itself the expert information they need to make informed decisiosn. And we wonder why Greyscale can come up with such crackhead ideas.