Friday, January 20, 2012

Last CSM 7 Meeting Minutes

Slight correction, this is about CSM 6 meeting minutes, CSM 7 hasn't started yet. I just forget which number we're at, but since I already posted the link everywhere, it's staying as it is :p

The latest CSM Meeting Minutes are out.

A foreword on minute writing and The Borg

There's been some discussion about the use of "The CSM" throughout the minutes.

Throughout the CSMs, minutes had been released over the course of the term, highlighting individual stances and points of view and, to an extent, allowing some accountability. As far as the CSM-CCP face to face meetings were concerned, the minutes used either individual names or "The CSM" to denote a general degree of consensus. This construct was very useful in the first CSMs, because we were perceived as a loose collection of individuals incapable of constructive communal approach to problems, which wasn't the case. However in CSM 6, there have been none of the regular meetings where voting happened, instead favouring internal forum debates where points of view are exchanged, and on issues known to be tricky, internal consensus was reached among ourselves before reaching out to the devs. This change is not for the worst in terms of progress and efficacy, and I genuinely believe this allowed us to be very constructive. However in terms of accountability and allowing the public at large to know "who does what, who thinks what", this way of doing things is a failure.

Before the minutes were being written out, I had requested individual names be used wherever applicable, our secretary considered the suggestion but eventually decided not to go through with that suggestion. So I'll just have to go through the minutes again and say what I personally think and where my opinion differs or where my opinion was the one emphasized in a way or other.

Just to be clear, I don't mean by this to bash Trebor (CSM 6 Secretary) for his job with the minutes. If every CSM member had to be ranked in terms of time spent working on CSM stuff, he's at the top, just like he was during CSM 5, and I know from experience doing minutes is gruesome work.

This Council has been one of the most generally homogenous CSM to date. From the start it became apparent that a number of councilors were representative of the same playstyle, which in my opinion dilutes the value (if 6 voices say the same thing, one would have been as good). Still, Seleene was in there and despite being a member of a 0.0 alliance at the time, his former experience as Game Designer for Eve brought something different to the table. Trebor may have been a member of a sovholding alliance at some point too, but he wasn't the classical alliance leader representative and had some degree of knowledge of other subjects/areas, and I obviously do my own thing, going with whatever I believe is best for the game as a whole no matter who it seems to favor. I expected Mittens to be the major speaking person for the rest, and it mostly proved true, but he was quite productive and while I may not agree with all his ideas/opinions, he did present them well. So while the number of messages was limited, there was a good overlap from a number of good people. Let me reiterate that I do not in any way endorse the opinions of these members as a whole, rather that I find that they have a point to make, they make it, whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant as long as it's not retarded. Biased does not count as retarded.

As a final point on hivemind, I'll point out that throughout most of the term, there was little question what was a priority (get back to working on the fucking game), differences emerged when we finally obtained that and the focus was placed on smaller detailed changes. So it's fair to say the CSM was in agreement most of the time, but the devil lies in the details...

The minutes

Unless pointed otherwise, whenever "The CSM" is used, I agreed. Some points I will clarify.

A glaring "omission" is, to start with, the fact that the only thing I requested is that it be pointed out specifically I objected to partial skill respec. This is an important point to me as I was the only one speaking against it and arguing against it repeatedly during the meetings. The subject came up like 3 or 4 times, I objected it every time, yet not once is my objection mentioned. Either way, more on that later...

The reorganisation

The reason I asked "what role the Creative Director will be playing." is because Torfi, creative director, has been perceived and generally pointed at as the reason for so many resources being spent (wasted?) on InCarna, seeing that he was still part of the organisation post-layoff, the question was obviously what job he'd do, what level of authority he would have and whether he would go back to what I personally perceive as his strongest point: coming up with good ideas, particularly when it comes to the aesthetical and graphical aspect of the game.

While I was happy to see the reorganization of the company, and the fact Jon Lander (CCP Unifex) would be taking the lead, I was a bit afraid CCP Zulu would be perceived as the reason everything failed. Zulu did a good job (particularly in CSM 5, beginning of 6), then went a tad too much to the "dark side", but he was given an impossible task. So as one who's worked with him over the past 2 years, I can say there's no hard feelings and I trust he'll do a good job in his new role.

The changes to the CSM
I'm not a big fan of the idea of there being 7 members only, especially since the top 7 are usually representatives of large 0.0 alliances, but it's not something I can do much about (budget is budget). I insisted vehemently that STV would be a very bad thing until voter turnout increases, because with low voter turnout, STV gives an advantage to blocs (you can read the rest of my argument in the minutes :p). That message was well received, at least for now...
I agreed with the requirement to get a number of "likes" in a forum thread prior to the elections, the number I thought would be appropriate was at least 50 and no more than 100.

The Economy
During the economy session, the question of the economic input of incursions came up. Just to be clear, I agree with the assertion that the payout/time needs to be made more uniform across sites, a full argumentation for my reasoning why can be found on the forums. And for those who are not going to read the posts in that thread: I like incursions, I want more of them, I like the rewards as they are for most player, it's the blitzability I don't like.


I'll only say for this session was heavily about economics and influences between markets etc. As such, Trebor and I were practically the only ones talking with Eyjo, so I agree with everything in there ;-)

I'll just point out I wasn't the one arguing that "arms race" point.

Crucible wrapup

"The CSM noted that the new T2 Triage module was functionally useless." Special mention for my triaging friends: I did say it, twice :p

"The CSM praised Crucible’s addition of implants on pod killmails". It took 3 years since I first made that request, but man I'm happy it got done. The dev who coded it (CCP Masterplan) got a bottle of vodka ;-)

"The CSM reiterated its desire for CCP to implement a partial skill respec, especially in the aftermath of major changes to ship classes such as the removal of drones from supercarriers."
One of the ways our good friend Mittens accomplishes things is by repetition and bundling. This is a valid tactic, one he uses repeatedly to good effect. The downside is when you disagree, you have to object a lot of times, which I had to do against the inclusion at least 4 times during the meetings, none of which mentioned in the minutes. So, no "The CSM" didn't reiterate its desire, the other 8 members did. I think it's a terrible terrible idea, and I've written very long posts on the subject about why. I'll probably reproduce them here, after this is done. But let me be clear on this point. I insisted it was a bad idea every time.

About the jump spool-up, it's a follow-up on a previous discussion (held during CSM 5), the idea is not new, it tries to handle a very real issue, and there are ways to do it which I support and others which I object. The main problem being that people would have time to flee from a scene when a beacon is lit if the spool-up works as a delay on a committed jump to an existing beacon.

The supercap tackling point on supercarrier wasn't one I particularly liked, at least not as a supercarrier only mechanics, if more ways to keep supers on field are going to be designed, I'd rather see a new ship class (capital interdictor, whatever), or the "stronger warp core strength" method. Otherwise it's another case where the only way of killing a super is with another super. And that I don't like.

Station Services on NPC Nullsec Stations

Having grown in the Great Wildlands, where NPC stations are the only options, I spent my time during that session defending the need for viability of NPC 0.0. I don't disagree with destructible outposts (on the contrary), but NPC 0.0, particularly when it's not surrounded by sov 0.0 need to be preserved as a viable place to live. Another thing the minutes don't mention is that I don't want services to be disabled for NPC 0.0 stations or this line: "CCP offered a suggestion of having a capital-only docking service added to NPC stations that could be disabled. The CSM agreed that this might work, as long as the service would regenerate over time." I disagreed with. I want capitals to be able to dock in NPC 0.0 stations.

Little things – Factional Warfare, Wormholes

Since I live currently mostly in lowsec, and KEEN (Rooks and Kings' wormhole division) lives primarily in wormholes, these topics were of particular interest to me. My general stance on FW is that it needs to be fostered, and the ways in which it could be are mostly what is described in the minutes. To the forum posters who object to the notion of FW being a testbed for 0.0 sov mechanics, it's the other way around. Meaningful occupancy mechanics need to be developed for Faction Warfare. And if they work correctly, the same principles should be extended to 0.0. To be clear, the devs (and I) really want Factional Warfare to be meaningful in its own right.


This would be a long post, and I'm not sure this is the place to handle it because it's going to be long-winded argument. The short version of it is I am in favour of a mechanic, no matter what it is, that removes the invulnerability that some people well entrenched in their wormhole enjoy. Obviously that position is not one shared by AHARM. That said, the difficulty with which one can reach a wormhole (logistics wise and all that) is what makes it interesting and viable too, something that makes it unique and interesting. Balanced mechanics can be found, and the wormhole stabilizer idea is but one that has already been discussed (we actually had a discussion with Two Step from AHARM and CCP Soundwave on that very subject during the emergency meeting), but I do not shy away from stating that I was the one advocating for a mechanism to get rid of the invulnerability some groups enjoy in wormholes while keeping the overwhelming majority of the wormhole dwellers in no worse a position than they are now. Which is a bit not mentioned in the minutes. I don't care if it's a stabilizer, a destabilizer, an undectectable wormhole entrance, or a divine intervention. I'll make a longer post as soon as humanly possible on the subject because, as shortly described, this would be a negative game-changer for everyone living in a wormhole. So if you can hold your judgement on my position until you heard it in full, that'd be great. And if you want to bash me then, by all means. :-)

"Some CSMs suggested that Sleepers should attack POSes, and/or pod people.". Pod people, why not, attack POSes I objected to that idea.

[Side politicking bit]
I take offense at Two Step's notion (he wrote this slightly self-serving part of the minutes) that the changes requested to wormholes are his and his only, by the way. He had a list, but many of the items in the list had been discussed before by others (including yours truly), and it wasn't the whole set of changes requested. For better or worse, the minutes have been kept free of names, I think it extremely poor taste to attribute to oneself the collective work in this instance. While he did a good job as a CSM alternate, the change requests to wormholes that have been made this year are far from his alone.
[/side politicking bit]

Game balance

I agreed the drake needed a rebalance, I agree the resits may be too high, but I certainly didn't agree that the RoF was the way to go (I actually don't remember hearing that mentioned at all, but I've been assured it's been said). My point of view on the drake is that it has both good long range damage, good buffer, good passive tank. Other BCs have to make compromises, the drake doesn't.

I agree (I actually request this) that Fleet CSes be looked into, the "multi-bonus" is a could not should as far as I'm concerned, but they need to be better than the T3 in raw bonus on a given ganglink.

The trickle mode I offered when I suggested it was to have the amount drained be a the actual value divided by the percentage difference between the nosser and the target. Either way it's a possibility if devs feel the NOSes need to be improved. I like them as they are, but that option could be viable.

Highsec wardec mechanics
Those haven't been included in the minutes, but the general idea and direction for them was the one I had been requesting, so I was happy with that session. The ability to be wardecced is not something I want to remove, by the way, just the way it happens and the griefing aspects of it. Won't say more on the subject...

Future highlevel discussions – Fixing broken systems
Using faction warfare as a test-bed for nullsec sov? -> Once more, no, implementing FW occupancy correctly and extending that to 0.0. In this instance, FW mechanics are the important bit.

Several CSMs didn’t like the idea of affecting spaceships directly -> I didn't like the idea. A ship should perform equally under sov than not.

CSM emphasized that "nullsec is about hate and cruelty". -> I didn't, but I don't necessarily disagree as far as large wars are concerned. My concerns when it comes to 0.0 are not about large wars (other people handle that bit well), my concern is how to get more people to enjoy it without being curbstomped.

The lowsec part were nice ideas being floated around, unfortunately no conclusions reached during most of that session. The line of thought that was CCP's during this conversation was however very much in line with the changes to FW/lowsec/piracy that I want.

In that same conversation, I objected to the notion that a ship was, in the context of piracy, a money-earning activity in and of itself. So that is why I made the comment "One CSM member pointed out that that buying a ship to fight in is not an investment in making more ISK (like when a player invests in his mission running ship), it is an investment in fun". I had added that such a balance would only be achieved when the value of fittings would be worth twice that of the hull on average (considering the item drop formula), and for that to happen drastic changes would need to occur on the module market, none of which have been discussed or are foreseeable. And some of which being undesirable (would mean T2 items worth at least 3 times more than they are now).

About ganking: One CSM comment was that if a player gets shot down by Concord, he shouldn't get a cut of the payout from the poor guy he just ganked. I don't remember if I said this or if I simply agree, but basically this. Ganking should be a viable activity (no space should be safe), but it shouldn't be a revenue stream, except preying on idiots ferrying billions in frigates.

A meeting with the Art department

I just want to point out that this conversation where we compared our priorities as far as art is concerned is the first that ever happened. We had meetings with art in previous CSMs, but never have we managed to get "priority" discussions. This is a very very positive change.

The rest of the minutes are fine with me.

Random/Misc stuff I forgot

Just commenting on some stuff other bloggers have reacted to...

I supported Drone giving ISK bounties instead of drone alloys. While this creates an influx of ISK, it helps revalue mining. It's a small step in the direction of making mining a viable activity again.

The basic idea that I support in terms of sov as a source of wealth is that the value generation should come from the bottom up, not top to bottom. Ie, if the rank & file make isk, the alliance gets richer, otherwise it doesn't. The moon as a primary income source for alliances causes a lot of differences in territory valuation, and decreases the overall fun to be had by members.

Faction Warfare leaders could be elected, and pvp should play a larger part in FW ranks, as opposed to PvE plexing.

The number and "category" of items that CCP has available to throw at the NeX store is of such nature that I think CCP should hold back on those until such a time as a viable regular release plan is decided, as well as a sane pricing structure. Releasing more stuff "because it's there" without a plan would be a bad thing.

In closing

This meeting was the last of CSM 6, it also marks an milestone of sorts for me. A while ago, I received this message:

On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 3:48 PM, CSM-admin <> wrote:


You have been elected as an alternate in the CSM elections. You can find the full results in the latest CSM dev blog.

That marked the beginning of what is currently the longest held position on the CSM, more than 3 years, 5 terms... This term was a very nice one. I had great pleasure in working with my fellow delegates, and I hope I will be there again for some time to come. So thanks to everyone who voted for me over the years, I hope you will do the same next one.

PS: I'll be out of the country until wednesday, so won't have time to comment/react until then


  1. Excellent post! I daresay the best post you've ever written. Clear, remarkably candid, and quite interesting.

    The last full paragraph seems to strongly imply that you will be running for CSM7. Confirm/deny?

  2. Every elections I ask myself whether I have outlived my usefulness, my conclusion at this stage is that there are too many things that would go unopposed and unadvocated for in my absence at the current time.

    So, confirming I will run again for CSM 7.

    And, as usual, should voters not be convinced by my candidacy, I'll drop a kind word for other people I personally know to be valuable even if I disagree with them. The process matters.

  3. Nice post, Meissa. The clarifications and discussion are useful and informative.

    1. Thanks Carole, you know how much I hate posting. But jester was right in his blog, it looked too much like a hive mind. Wish I had written more earlier.
      Hopefully if we keep on with the same style (skype/forums) in CSM 7 we'll get the secretary to publish weekly activity reports. I had floated the idea about, but it didn't take...

  4. I disagree with a lot of your points, Meissa. I'm concerned that some of the idea that are proposed will cause more harm than good to the game.

    I would prefer if nothing was done instead of implementing an imperfect system that might make things worse.

    Concerning the faction warfare fixes, I feel that you're discarding the opinion of the faction warfare community. I know quite a few of them are upset that the simple fix they have in mind aren't being considered.

    Also, about wormholes, if there was a stabilizer of a sort, it should only be a limited one. It should in no case cause the wormhole to lose it's mass limits. Second, about sleeper attacks, they should attack offline POS in wormholes (This serves as a clean-up service)and they should -not- attack POD. NPC in EVE do not attack POD in any other area, there's no reason why they should in wormhole. It's pure sadism and adds nothing to the game experience. If you still consider it though, then make sure it's -every- NPC that starts PODing people to keep things consistent throughout the game.

    A last point; ask the community. You're a CSM and you're here to pass on the player's concern and idea.

    1. I have to say somewhat in Meissa's defence that a lot of what he says is well thought and articulated. We don't agree on all things BUT he's not far away from the community. In fact totally the opposite in both my experience and opinion. I say this all in general terms as I find it's not always wise to comment on details of another person's availability or understanding of certain areas when I do not know of his research or methods or reasoning behind the. I'm sure he'll comment in due time about the FW specifics. Don't worry. :-)

      K, enough defence Meissa!! :-P

      I want to comment on the wormhole part...the stabilizer/destabilizer thing. While I think it would be abused to no end, as a concept....I a concept, I think there's a lot that can be done with it for defence, offence, AND for logistical reasons. I've outlined this already in the main CSM minutes thread. However, I see such danger of messing with the mechanics so much that we start changing the beauty of the current small scale warfare that we see today. This is one of the many reasons the wormholers love them. Mess with that and we have null sec blob warfare creep in and there goes the wormholes.

      Bit extreme and paranoid to some degree but these kinds of changes need to be weighed very carefully and where I AGREE that this would aid in chipping away at some of the larger corps in the WHs, the same mechanic could be used to decimate the smaller, industrial corp who's there to make ISKies and sell t3 goodies on the market. I don't see a real benefit to that myself. The idea is very intriguing but I can't see a good implementation and application of it, hence my personal lack of support for it.

      Nice to see you're still in the mix Meissa. Good luck to you. :-)


    2. Most simple fixes to Factional Warfare fail to take into account the fact that the system is flawed at its core.

      The reliance on PvE complexes with imbalanced ewar, not to mention the easy with which such systems can be gamed makes those "simple fixes" non-functional in the long run.

      Factional Warfare is a great idea (when I first joined the game, I thought it was built in, and shot an amar dude that I saw flying around in "my" minmatar space, and got concorded for it ;-) ). Now that we have development resources available to make something truly great out of it, going with half-assed fixes that will do little to make it truly what it should be is not the way to go.

      My gripes are that ranks mean nothing, and they shouldn't be obtained by being a glorified ratter. Occupancy should be meaningful. PvPing (particularly small scale and "low barrier of entry" [frigs, cruisers]) need to be fostered, it should be self-sustaining enough an activity but not so profitable that bigger alliances would come and ruin the fun for everyone, and it should be easily accessible to newcomers.

      I don't believe I disregard the opinion of the factional warfare community, I speak with FWers on a regular basis and aim at providing them what they want, which is actually *more* than what they ask.

      I'll make a longer post as to why I think the more commonly requested changes to FW will fail to accomplish the objectives they want to achieve, and why the ones I am advocating instead would. Not that they're new ideas either, just not the ones people have been yelling most for (small fixes) as opposed to the ones they want but think the amount of effort to get them would accomplish.

      There are a couple of factors most people asking for fixes to their particular area of the game fail to factor: development cost vs return. What seem like "simple fixes" frequently aren't and the development time to make them, check and balance them is frequently disproportionate to the return. My background as a developer helps me assess that better, but so does having talked with the devs about these very issues for the better part of 3 years. The second one is synergy. The changes that are currently being made to systems such as Crimewatch (the system responsible for everything security related from standing gains/losses, sentry gun reaction, kill rights, killmails, aggression flagging) make some of the changes to FW easily integratable as part of the revamp of the system much more cheaply than if they are tacked onto it after the fact.

      I just got back from my trip so haven't had the time to go through my notes again about FW, I'll comment on that more thoroughly in a separate blog post, because it is a subject worthy of attention.

      The stablizer thing, I'll repeat, is not a concept I'm attached to, I really don't care about it itself, the flaws of the idea are well known and have already been articulated at length prior to the release of these minutes, by all sides of the table. It is used as an example of things that need to be checked to see how it could accomplish the objectives (some of those one can disagree with, with that I have no issue). I'm pretty sure that people who don't limit themselves to posting "you suck" are already posting alternatives to that idea, some of which most likely will end up better ones. Either way I feel it would be beneficial to find a solution to that issue. But if you're one of the people thinking "people should be able to build fortresses that nobody can invade, and from thence be able to roam free and kill anything they want", then I'm afraid I'm of a different opinion.

  5. I don't believe you should be able to build unbeatable fortresses in WH. However, the logistical effort required to crack them should be larger than the effort needed to build them.

    A wh stablilizer is a bad thing. For obvious reasons. However, I will say that perhaps the current ratios of the ship mass limit to wh mass limit should be more to what exists currently for C1 wh. I.e. it takes more jumps to kill a wh. Right now, C1 wh are the hardest in the game to close.

    I will say as well, that anything that will keep the sov/low blob tactics out of WH space is a good thing. The small gang warfare there is fantastic. Its not an easy life in a WH, and getting your "curbstomp" fleet should be very hard indeed.

    WH fleets are ship diversified - not monolithic requiring multiple ships of multiple roles. There is no where else in EVE where being so careful about fleet composition carries more weight. This is fighting with style - with finesse. This isn't Conan swinging a sword where sheer weight of muscle (numbers) carries the day - its the Man in Black vs Inigo Montoya. A symphony of skill, tactics, planning, and luck. What could possibly be better ?

  6. dang - can't edit. Last para should have started "WH fleets are ship diversified - not monolithic - requiring . . ."

  7. "
    This would be a long post, and I'm not sure this is the place to handle it because it's going to be long-winded argument. The short version of it is I am in favour of a mechanic, no matter what it is, that removes the invulnerability that some people well entrenched in their wormhole enjoy. Obviously that position is not one shared by AHARM. That said, the difficulty with which one can reach a wormhole (logistics wise and all that) is what makes it interesting and viable too, something that makes it unique and interesting. Balanced mechanics can be found, and the wormhole stabilizer idea is but one that has already been discussed (we actually had a discussion with Two Step from AHARM and CCP Soundwave on that very subject during the emergency meeting), but I do not shy away from stating that I was the one advocating for a mechanism to get rid of the invulnerability some groups enjoy in wormholes while keeping the overwhelming majority of the wormhole dwellers in no worse a position than they are now. Which is a bit not mentioned in the minutes. I don't care if it's a stabilizer, a destabilizer, an undectectable wormhole entrance, or a divine intervention. I'll make a longer post as soon as humanly possible on the subject because, as shortly described, this would be a negative game-changer for everyone living in a wormhole. So if you can hold your judgement on my position until you heard it in full, that'd be great. And if you want to bash me then, by all means. :-)"

    So, why didnt you comment on it at fanfest and instead give a very short and rude response to Sandslinger when he stepped up and asked you about this? It seems to me your much better at writing spin than actually engaging other members in debate.

  8. "There is a difference between allowing players to choose what they dont like - remove it - to apply somewhere else AND reimbursing players for skills that where completely removed from game." ~Max Kolonko

    So that's what "respec" means? okay, well then i totally agree with your argument. I was a bit leery about attribute remapping, but these days with the new player experience it just makes too much sense. Giving 'sp respec' any credence doesn't make sense at all. To start with, "don't fix what ain't broke" seems futile versus CCP's whimsy, so i'll try another approach: CCP would be removing risk from a game that rewards it on more levels than just "isk" and won't be measured on the forums or blogs or anything...people will just quietly walk without anyone but the trolls giving vapid tunnel-vission pro-pvp explanations that CCP will foolishly buy into.

    Pvpers are notorious asskissers. Doubly ironic how brazenly potty mouthed they are, along with their epeens. They stand in stark contrast to the new customers who'll beat a polite and quiet retreat in the face of condescension.

    People like a feeling of equality whenever they can get it, and removing this from skill trees by giving "remaps/respec" to skills won't please 'bittervets' ...those folk will look at the game in general and wonder why CCP waste time fixing things that aren't broken when there's LOTS of things still broken.

    Like the aggro timer one gets when rats attack noncombatants. Sure if you attack back you should get a timer. IT'S CONFUSING when carebears face pvpers for the first time and misunderstanding becomes fatal.

    Stuff like that. important, screwed up, hasn't-been-fixed-from-day-one that aren't "challenges" but exploit loopholes CCP are ignorant of that griefers walk through every day. The stuff they probably couldn't put into the EULA and TOS cuz they'd look like idiots.