Saturday, August 22, 2015

CSMX - Post #25

Hi there! Welcome to the weekend. In this week stuff has happened and will be happening and we're going to go over most of it before I run off to my vacation.

It is patch week. There will be some sov tweaks.  I don't get the feeling that this is going to make people utterly happy  and Agis sov the sov of out hearts.  It is a step and hopefully we can get to a better place. The null talks continue.

Red makes it go faster.  More skins have been added buy they don't belong to a shipyard. Instead CCP had listened and is trying out designed for the sake of it.  This heavily focuses on Calder and Minmatar this time around giving them a few more choices than red, reddish, red brown...etc. I'm pleased with this direction. Im not atill sold on prices but I am happy to see the more open minded  approch to ship SKINs.

The lore is moving along. The Empress seems to be dead and there are fascinating  events on SiSi. I deem this good.

Last week Corbexx and I held a structure doings.  Mike did the recording for us.  That went well and presented a bunch of feedback and problems mostly wormhole focused to the structure team.  I'm also working on my structure Q&A but there are only but so many hours in a day. Piece by piece we're working on this. Thank you for participating.

Also on my immediate  plate: I'm now able to do some public fact finding for facton warfare. I have a thread up on the forum about started needs for faction warfare.  I know that it is not what everyone may want to talk about but it is very much what I need to fact find about right now. I need feedback and ive gotten some good stuff but this is a very open floor right now. Personal expierences, friends expierences, as recruuters and members I'd like it all.

Sorry about the lack of links this week. My hotel connection  is not the best. The summit is around the corner  and there seems to be more to do than ever.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz!

Somewhere between tonight and tomorrow I will write my weekend post. Hopefully. I guess I should get to work on that tonight now that I think of it. My plane leaves tomorrow morning and I am going to leave my laptop at home for the first time in forever.

But do not despair. I'm not leaving my technology behind. I'm going to use my tablet as my writing platform and see how that functions. If it works well enough with my writing for Downtime Hours, I may do so again in the future. My laptop is quite heavy for it is a gaming laptop but I have not had as much time for games on my travels as I used to.

This is one of the first times that I have not prewritten a lot of stuff for my blog when I go on vacation. I've been busy! Busy, busy, busy! Writing other things. I've discovered that there are but so many hours in the day. I'm somewhat horrified at that discovery and that I've managed to be busier than last year but I have. For those who have been looking the results have been showing up here and there.

But for myself, I missed the destruction of Empress Jamyl's Avatar. Chella had moved to Amarr just to catch the live events. I was busy getting a pedicure with my husband at the time and I missed it. However, my toes look fantastic and so do his.

I did decide to undock and go and see if the wreck was still there. I've been a creepy spectator in this event.

I expect we will see a monument next. I'm rather excited to see what they decide to do. I did learn that the lights in the destroyed wreck pulsate. It was rather cool.

For those like me who are lorecurious, here is a video of someone at the event. I think this is a super fun path that the storyline is taking. The static nature of things is shattering and change is coming. All sorts of people are dying and being replaced. I'm enjoying the ride.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In Which I Mix My Parables

During our soundboard about structures for a moment we wandered into the topic of small groups attacking larger groups. For a moment I thought of the well worn example of David and Goliath. However, I didn't like it. It did not feel particularly creative. Also, as I spun the topic around I saw that the analogy didn't fit. David after all killed Goliath against the odds and I wasn't thinking about the simple formula of small group taking out larger as if it is a divine right.

My thoughts revolved around the small groups having the ability to bite chunks out of the large ones. To use the strengths of small numbers to make an impact. During my time in Molden Heath this often happened. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed fighting draws with familiar locals. It was often frightening. I regularly had to take a deep breath and tell myself that not even the loss of every ship in my hangar would make me back down.

Defiance has an appeal to me that few other things do. I don't want to own space. I'm not competitive by nature. I'm not territorial. Insulting me in local tends to leave me puzzled. Do they mean it? It doesn't even make any sense. But it is defiance that keeps me running. It may be screaming into the darkness or whistling into the wind but it is an aspect of Eve that I very much enjoy.

Of course, I've kind of said that my favorite way to play is to be a torn in someones side for the sake of being there. It is why David and Goliath miss the mark. The goal is not to topple and replace and then maintain the throne. For many that means content and it brings content as well as tangible goal points. But, in this game of dreams and created pathways there is just a daily life to enjoy.

My thoughts have wandered away from its birth spot in the discussion of how smaller groups take out larger structures, or at least have an opportunity to attack them. That is an opportunity that is decreased depending on how structures have programmable vulnerability windows.

The question was raised, should the little guy be able to take out the bigger group? I don't think the game should be set up to be David and Goliath. I do want to continue being able to take that bleeding hunk out of the big guys calf.

I don't know why. It is just how I like to play. I don't desire to be the best or most notorious. I have no draw to kill boards or fame. I just want to putter through space, defend myself when I need to and attack if i want to. In many ways I enjoy not having a reason other than not having a reason.

I'm pretty sure when i first sketched this out I had a different thought in my mind. Ah well. Self discovery is useful.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Once a year I normally change the face of my blog. I do so because I like playing with the colors and themes. Occasionally, I try to improve the look and clean things up. I tried stopped doing that when I ran for the CSM so that my blog would stay familiar.

While familiar I've not been happy with how its been laid out for a while. I waffle between something simpler and something more modern. Maybe modern and simple. I've not tried anything because I've not wanted to face backlash. It is a somewhat artistic thing for me so negative reactions is a bit disappointing.

I've stuck with what I have for a few reasons. I've tried not to create a click bait template. You log into the main page and you get the entire post. In many ways the goal has been to be hands off but I wonder if I should craft more of an identity.

Self reflection is what it is. I've been writing about Eve for almost four years now. I've written 1,732 published posts and I have 138 drafts sitting around. Some of those are pretty old and I should probably delete them. I often have ideas and write myself little outlines while at work to capture it and see if it blossoms into something more.

I've been debating changing the name. At the moment I am not in low sec. I sit on a high sec boarder because it is convent. Actually, I'm in Jita at the moment but my stuff is on a boarder. I plan to go back to low sec once I figure out what I want to do with myself. I do wonder if my blog name restricts me. It is the blogs second name after all and one I came up with to define what I was writing about.

But my writing has become a thing of its own. I write about whatever comes to mind. That may be living in low sec but often it is a reflection fo what is around me or the thoughts that I have. Then there is the CSM but the CSM is not who I am as an individual. Not in the same way that I used to identify as a pirate.

Can I even call myself such a thing? I've walked away from PvP. Not because I have anything against it but because I want to reevaluate why I do what I do. Do I PvP for myself or have I been doing it as part of my effort to fit in and become valuable and useful to others? I haven't found that answer yet.

Anyway, back to the blogging thing. A lot of people use blog readers. I'd not restrict what they downloaded. I have no idea how many people even come to my website vs how many read it. I may be over thinking it. I often do. But for now, I'm looking at templates and debating what I do and do not like from a website.

Something simple and clean, easy to read and uncluttered is my goal. I think I had planned to wait till the CSM was done but, well, I think instead I'd like to repaint the house so to speak and freshen things up. It may be time for it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

CSMX - Post #24

The structure development blogs exited translation limbo and were released on Thursday. There are two. One about assets and one about sieges. Read them please. These are not the final words they are just the direction that we are headed. Feedback is super important here with the timers and the treatment of assets.

At Rob Kaichin's request I have created a condensed fact sheet about what we currently know about structures. This is not everything that will happen. My goal was to take the common questions that are answered in the dev blog and bring them out into the open with simple questions and trains of thought. This project took a bit to write up and get ready for the public. I've gotten it approved by CCP Nullarbor and CCP Yitterbium who worked with me on fact checking and cleaning up outdated information. I'm super pleased with it. It has had the side effect of opening up some new areas to discuss whole highlighting areas that we still have very little public knowledge of.

How do I feel about structures? I am excited about them. I am also worried because we have so many variables in play. The current vision has many good parts but I feel that there is still a lot of work to be done. The loot dropping, or I should say lack of loot dropping, bugs me a lot. I feel that wormholes take a much harder hit to this. I really, really like getting other peoples stuff. I've been out and about exploring players ideas of what looting means to them and if having a similar compensation in things like minerals and components will satisfy them or not. We (meaning Corbexx and I) are very concerned over the changes listed in these blogs to wormhole space and we are working on continued communication of those points. We want the unique environment of wormhole space to stay the unique environment that it is.

On Wednesday we attempted to have a jump fatigue talk that tried to accomplish to much. I believe that it went poorly and I address my mistakes, failures, anger, and unhappiness later in this post.

The soundboard is here. I use Mike's version which has the recording notice on it. I consider his version to be neutral ground. There are several other recordings up of various quality if you'd like to find them.

CCP Mimic wrote up a summary in the wake.

CCP Larrikin has posted the feedback thread for jump fatigue. In that he has some metrics that were asked for in the original thread and during the discussions. One is on black ops kills and losses. The other is a chunk of capital ship data. While the thread is large and violent it is being read.


Now, let me release my inner Kraken. I'm going to rage out for a moment.

Did I think I had a hand on things? Yes. Did that still make it a smooth experience? No. I was drowning in information and trying to parse it. I can write out the reasons for a few hours. I made mistakes and attempted to create a format that needs a lot more universal agreement of goals and behavior. Did I set this up to bait the developers into a position of being treated poorly? No. Did I want to get questions in front of them so that people could share how jump fatigue had impacted them for good bad bad? Yes. Did I steadily lose control of the session? Yes. I've received dozens of critiques now on what I did wrong and all of the mistakes I have made.

I walked away from the effort of communication perhaps the most bitter that I have been since I started this CSM thing. I'm discouraged that vicious and hateful communication is praised and rewarded. I'm disappointed that my idealized vision of clear question and answer and discussion failed so spectacularly and did not have a chance to take off. I believed people would take the opportunity for what it could give them simply because that is what I would have done in the same situation.  I very much want people to speak up. I've never asked anyone to lie or say they loved what they did not. I cannot speak for and support you if I don't know what you need and want.

I am so angry with myself for not stopping things when they got ugly. I let my very idealistic approach to the CSM make me hope that it would get better. I badly want to give people what they want. I want to build bridges of communication and access. I want players to be heard and CCP to take the time to listen. I actually don't like that I am idealistic but in this, I am. It leaves me shattered and doubting myself and what I am trying to create when I sit down each evening.

I was only focused on my disappointment with myself until people came to me and told me that what happened was okay and expected. I should have accepted that it would be bad. I cannot wrap my mind around this. The goal of my effort was for things to go well. Why else was I doing this? I was supposed to be consoled that there was an agenda to force the issue and create the environment and because it is larger than me and some groups play hard there was nothing I can do.

I don't accept any of it.

Being civilized does not mean kissing up and never entering negative topics. Honest does not mean being a jerk and abandoning any contaminating civility. It is not acceptable to treat people like crap. To excuse it as, "passion for the game" or "people really care" is enabling unacceptable behavior. It is not acceptable to behave that way and it should never be excused as "that's just how player's are." Or even worse, "They are gamers. We cannot expect more of them." I expect better of people. That is not how the player's that inspired me to give two years to promote their wants, hopes, and dreams behave. It is not how the people who have stepped forward to create all the good parts of the community are. I won't let this define everyone. It isn't an unfortunate side effect that we have to live with. Its unacceptable. Its disappointing. Its ripping apart your own things and complaining that they are broken.

I will never accept that is just how things are. naivety. Tilting at windmills. Windless causes. I'm fine with all of that.

/end rage


So, what next? At that moment Thursday night as everything spiraled into a vortex of irreconcilable mess, I wanted to throw my hands up and swear that I'd never do it again. Unfortunately, that isn't an option. We will keep going. Corbexx and I have gotten the next soundboard together. This is another one on structures with CCP Nullarbor. It will be on August 18th, 2015 at 1700 GMT. If you wish to join in sign up. We're going to become very strict on attendance and keeping things civil and productive. If I had to suffer through these mistakes I am damn well going to learn from them and do better in the future.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Past's Future

These days with the weight of the CSM tag over my head I often avoid contentious topics for fear that someone will scream that the sky is falling because the CSM said so. But wow, anger just clears the mind! Today, I don't care. I'm going to indulge myself.

Last night, after everything, I came back from my appointment and chatted with some of the people that were still hanging around. I was asked, "Sugar what do you think about supers and links just being deleted from the game."

The topic comes up sometimes. Can these things be fixed? Can they ever be balanced? Should they just be deleted?

Twelve years ago, a game called Eve Online was created. It was created with a persistent universe with a vertical balance that quickly tilted towards the horizontal. It had many grand visions of epic battles fielded by thousands of players on a single server. It would be a place of persistence. A world with real history. It would evolve into a player driven story unlike any other.

I like that about, Eve. I don't take the idea of removing anything about the game idly. Some things have been removed but more often changes are made that move away from a direction but leave history behind them. It may be ugly for the database but it is beautiful for the game story. That story was utterly important to those who developed it and lived for it.

The conversation for Titans started as early as January 2005. That is a year and a half after release. The introduction of supers into the game happened at the end of 2005 with the release of Eve Online: Red Moon Rising. There is a Chronicle named "Titan" written about them.

It is now 2015 and we are still struggling with these ships in gameplay. They have been so amazing that they could launch a doomsday through a cyno and destroy and entire grid. That got nerfed. As more came into the game they got nerfed more. Super's were once motherships, made to move entire fleets and they later became super carriers, bigger versions of the same thing. The understanding of video games and MMOs in 2005 was not prepared for 2015.

That leaves us with a constant state where CCP tries to make their assets work as their game and players grow and age. Developers of the future are sitting with choices from the past and everyone is trying to make it work.

Due to Eve's habit of not removing things but balancing, revaluing, and adjusting, we keep trying to envision what to do with these ships. But, the question has crept up more in discussions I have with players. "Can these ships be saved or should CCP delete them from the game?"

There is the emotional reaction of "my stuff!" Supers are often asperational achievements. Many players put large amounts of time into gaining access to these ships. People dream of them. New players gasp at them. When a cyno goes up and the solid thump of landing supers hits me my pulse races. They are amazing, awe inspiring, things. To take them would mean that the effort that went into gaining them is gone. In a game where our things maintain their relative value, that is a big deal. It means that ISK, skills, and time are gone. Two of those three things can be given back but time is never captured once spent.

But do they have a place in Eve's future? Or, more correctly, would Eve be better without them? If the top of the line ships were carriers and dreadnoughts? In a world where structure grinding is being eliminated for other forms of game play what do we do? Is it more of the same? Can we find unique and interesting things to do with them?

Which brought up a second thought. If we supers in all their forms were radically changed, how should that be handled? Normally, we suck up change and go. But there is a difference between rebalancing haulers and turning supers into a different gaming platform then what people invested in them.

If the changes were radical enough, should there be an optional turn in? You can continue down the path or you can turn in your ship for X return and your player for its skill points reimbursed. I wondered if such a choice would create a better or worse situations for those who found their new choices incomprehensible.

Is there a path where Eve could shed some of its heaviest burdens? I don't know. It is heresy to ask. But maybe we need heretics.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Background Noise

This isn't about the actual Q&A. It is about the background work so that people know what I've been up to the last week. Why? Because this type of thing took an enormous amount of work from several people. It is a new expierence for me and thats what I write about.

That was an experience. I'm not really thrilled with how it went. An hour before the Jump Fatigue talk, I opened the server with the teamspeak details. Around fifteen minutes till we had about twenty people and there was a moment when we wondered if this would be a small talk where we could have an open floor.

Nope. Turns out that is not what happened.

This talk was planned about two weeks ago. It came up during a talk with CCP that they were ready to look at jump fatigue again and would like to have a soundboard. However, for a topic like jump fatigue it was too big to have the normal type soundboard that Corbexx and I have been holding.

What we came up with was a date and time and a forum post of questions. We'd work in a Q&A format from the question and try to open the floor to discussions. Mike collected all of the questions into a document. He spent every day combing the thread. I then spent the weekend turning it from a random mass of questions into a organized list with subsections. The raw collection was about twelve pages and then we received trickle questions into Monday and then questions from the Russian community. I was running out of actual time.

A few months ago, I asked my husband if I could have a teamspeak server. He looked at the specs, chuckled, and said that it wasn't a problem. He set up the server, I applied for a non-profit license, and in a few days I had a teamspeak server with a maximum capacity of 512. One problem we have experienced as a CSM is having a type of neutral ground that we controlled. We've leaned heavily on Eve Uni over the years and they have been great with assisting and having moderators. However, I feel that we should be the ones in control of the process. My server does not belong to a corp or alliance so its very neutral.

I am pleased with how the server handled the traffic.

The hard part is how do you have any type of reasonable discussion where there may be several hundred people attending? It means that it will have to be heavily moderated. There is often a lot of energy and emotion tied into these things. People get aggressive, they get angry, and they start to rant. I do not want to dismiss the impact a change has had on people but communication does not occur under conditions of extreme emotion.

I also thought I had the channels fully set up. I would learn about 10 minutes in when we hit 100 people that I had missed a permission. I got it fixed but it is unfortunate that it happened. I'm pleased I got it fixed and accept the ridicule that came with my mistake.

The server details had been sent to the people on the thread who had poised questions. The idea was to have them enter the discussion and have additional questions in an in game channel. Instead the server details were shared and a lot of people arrived. I had anticipated this so once I fixed the channel setting it went smoothly. However this is also when it got a bit rough.

It is a lot of people to manage. I had this grand idea of starting with a bunch of the basic introduction questions and then moving in order down the question list. This didn't happen. Trying to get people to talk and get them to talk on topic turned out to be challenging. I also wanted to include the chatroom. On retrospect I should probably lock things down a bit more and stop trying to be so utterly inclusive.

Jayne was broadcasting to twitch and unfortunately had some technical difficulties off and on.

Once the questions and discussion started it had the side effect of answering other questions. I started to move around the question list to connect the follow up questions with the discussion and make sure major points we had marked out were reached.I also tried not to have the same handful of speakers always talking but that is something I have found happens. Some are more comfortable than others in the public forum.

At this point we've covered a lot of ground and the reactions that I can occasionally glimpse are all over the place. I tried to keep the topic on jump fatigue and not Aegis Sov. I tried the ask the challenging questions I was given to ask. If I look at the feedback I was glimpsing in game, I'd say that things did not go well.

I apologize. Those of us that participated will sit down and try to find a smoother process. Many people have told me that they did not like the structure.

I'm torn if I should have moderated further. I did not want it to be me having a discussion with CCP. I'm going to spend a while debating if I should have kept it to that instead of trying to have a more open format. I know that I won't make everyone happy with whatever is done. The player base is passionate and people wanted to be heard. I want people to be able to speak. I did cut off one person who was going into a full blown rant against CCP early on. That was taken poorly by some. It was because the question had been asked and I was trying to move on. Later, I simply removed talk privileges after a question was asked. It wasn't about "what CCP wanted to hear" it was about me trying to managed several hundred people.

So, for the rest of tonight, I'm pretty tired. I'm sorry to those that thought this was a waste of time. I'm going to keep trying to do things that will bridge communication gaps. I'm going to keep pushing for the player to get into the discussion early. I'm going to have to accept the ugly times with the good because the outcome is what I believe in.

I am glad that I was not DDoSed. Unfortunately, it was one of the first things people said to me as I planned this. My response was that if it happened, I'd take my ball and go home. If it happened I'd have been deeply disappointed. It was a concern but it was one that I decided to accept.

The people involved:

We scheduled this with CCP Larrikin as he is leading the review. We also had CCP Fozzie, CCP Delegate Zero, CCP Mimic, and CCP Nullarbor decide to attend. On the CSM we had Thoric, Jayne, Sort, Sugar, Corbexx, Mike, and towards the end Endie and Manifred.

I handled most of the voice moderation with Sort backing me up. Mike was in the chat channels, and Corbexx was helping with technical stuff. Jayne was working twitch and Thoric was discussing question order with me in another channel. I handed moderation off to Sort at an hour and a half. I had a dentist appointment that I was unable to reschedule.

Now all that is left is the fall out about how it should have been handled and what should have happened. It may be that this is something that is not done again if people did not find it to have done anything for them. We'll be watching the feedback across various places.

I've been questioning myself if I should have cut the person off insulting the devs from the get go with his question. I gave it a moment to see if a question happened and it didn't. That is one of my major regrets coming out of this, that I let that happen and for that I apologize to all of you. I functioned under a belief of basic civility from participants and I should have acted sooner even with the scorn and derision coming from the various chat mediums over moderation and not letting people speak. This is a flaw in my personality. I am polite and I believe others will be polite. I should know better and again, I am deeply sorry.