Sunday, July 10, 2011

How I do it

Being on the CSM, I get a barrage of complaints about the game, and people who contact me usually expect me to do something about it.

I spend countless hours reading about issues and problems voiced by people who engage in all of the activities eve has to offer. Living at a POS in wormholes is much harder than it needs to be, supercapitals are broken, industry hasn't had improvements in ages and many of the POS modules are useless, bots ruin the game, mining is boring and not really profitable, lowsec has no purpose, hybrids are broken, Black Ops are worthless, ... I could go on and on all day.

Many of the past CSM delegates burn out after a term, or even during the term, in no small part because not only do we get to listen and repeat that things are broken day in and day out, we have to face the frustration of dealing with the internal politics of a company, something the average player doesn't have to deal with; that the realities of software development are hard; and that resource allocation is never what we think it should be; etc. In addition to the "Eve Online" drama, we have the CSM Drama and the CCP Drama... CSM Members get sometimes bashed when CCP blunders, but you don't get to see how many blunders we actually manage to prevent.

Former and current CSM members sometimes comment "I don't know how you manage to do it and not get submerged by all this". I never thought about it very much, I just keep trudging along through thick and thin. After some thought the answer is pretty easy however: As it is, Eve Online is a good game. It has a large community of players, they're engaged, they communicate, they create things within the game and out of the game. The game itself is ever evolving, people find new things to use and abuse, groups of people rise and fall, everyone in their little corner of the game has something fun and interesting they're doing. They may be trying to build a mining corporation in highsec or shooting sansha in the face for fun and money or making traps for one another to blow their hard-earned spaceships up, but everyone is doing something, has a plan or a goal or a vision...

Eve is something that provides fun for the 18 year old college student in search of PvP adrenaline to my 81 year old (it's true) corpmate who enjoys logging in 1 or 2 hours a day to gather minerals and doing missions while chatting with people. We focus so much on the negative aspect we often lose sight of all the things that make Eve the great game it is, even with its issues.

I haven't turned all stary-eyed and morphed into a fanboi all of a sudden, I'm usually extremely [constructively] critical, I've been characterized as "Pitbull" or Mr. "What the hell is wrong with you" Cop during CSM-CPP meetings, but when trying to fix the flaws, it is sometimes nice to remember why we want to fix those so badly in the first place... So I take a step back, look at the game as a whole, and then dive into problem fixing :rage: mode.

Each has their own thing, but if you're curious my friends in Rooks and Kings are invaluable in providing the kind of fun I keep playing the game for (when I'm not busy manufacturing stuff :p), the latest examples of which can be read about here and here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Once more into the breach, my friends

Verily, the bards will tell the tale of those valiant knights who went on to storm the castle, forsooth! Or something.

We showed up fresh for the meetings. There was one item on the agenda and that was to solve the non-vanity microtransactions. We went on over the messages, the historical and recent posts, we went over the intentions behind the words, past and present, we tried to tackle the problem in broad terms, in precise examples, eventually settled on leaving the easy stuff aside and attacking the problem by the middle (the grey areas).

We discussed the merits of precise (as in contractual) statements as opposed to vaguer statements. We discussed the definition of words. It wasn't easy. But we understood our mutual stances and worked from there.

Then we worked on the statements that each (the CSM and CCP) would publish following this summit separately then compared notes. Upon doing so, a 2 hour discussion flared up on an agreement we had met yesterday where one of the party was not in agreement anymore. Except it turned out they were and what each meant was not what the other meant. All in all, we all finished and agreed on the respective statements and went through with them.

Those statements are being translated, rereviewed and published most likely today.
There are always caveats when we can't talk about absolutes in such a tense situation. But I would advise the reader not to nitpick too much the wording.
I take the fact that CCP and the CSM argued so much over the definition of words and the statements in general as a sign they mean what they say.

The result is positive to me and I get out of the summit satisfied that I have done my job correctly, even though some things didn't go as far as I would have wanted (or as soon), but progress has definitely been made and the statements as they are stand on their own and it is my personal impression that this should restore a situation where we can finally start shooting one another again.

It is less important, but in addition to these things, we were shown parts of the next Eve marketing campaign (looks great), and received some surprising and welcome news as to the directions and progress several teams had made with their projects.

I am still in transit back from Iceland, and couldn't post yesterday due to hotel internet malfunction, but I'll be back home in a few hours.

If the devblog gets published and you have questions, I will log into Eve and here and on eve-o etc right as soon as I'm back home, so don't hesitate to ask questions.

Edit: while the released blog doesn't specifically address it: the player economy will not be circumvented. a painted/remodeled ship bought in the NeX store will require the regular version to be provided as well as AURUM.