Sunday, June 8, 2014

CSM9 - Day 35

The CSM scheduled its first Town Hall for the 22nd of June, 2014. I will not be there because it is a work weekend for me. However! For all of your talking to Sugar desires my first Open Q&A will be this evening with one at 1500 GMT and one at 2200 GMT. If you miss them do not fear! I will be doing this monthly or bi-monthly depending on feedback and interest.

The week started quietly because CCP was heads down to release Kronos. That made last weekend and Monday pretty damn quiet on the CSM front.  Once Kronos went out I started  wandering around gathering information from people. Some of it is looking for bugs. Things like the medium microjump drive having the incorrect icon were reported by many people. I got to undock and go help with Mordu hunting as well as watch local’s number almost double, constantly with an ever changing wave of names.

There has been a lot of, “I am not getting a Mordu spawn even though I hunted for hours,” reactions. On day one Fozzie tweeted the spawn and kill stats. With people still saying they feel that they are not spawning, I asked CCP to respond to the worries. Fozzie responded on this thread posted. They are spawning. People say they are not spawning. Other people keep posting that they have found them. They are spawning. My corporation alone can count half a dozen since the release and Naoru is out already almost losing his new, shiny Mordu cruiser.

Most of the feedback has been positive shading into neutral. I’ve spoken to some veterans who have said that they like the changes but do not feel as if any content has been pushed. I’ve explored some of the complaints about lack of content in other posts. There is no huge, incredible, game hinging feature in this expansion. Instead, there are a lot of small changes that bring a lot of quality to low sec and I admit that I am excited about that.  I pondered this in a post the other day. I believe that some of the conflict of opinion we see with Eve players is based around the generation they started playing Eve. I don’t think that every release has been a generation but major ones that changed or defined something are.

That means Incarna was a generation. It means that Apocrypha was a generation as was Dominion. When we discuss things like Dominion Sov we have to also take into account how many players never experienced Dominion Sov. I think that looking at player reaction, both negative and positive based off of not just how long they have played and where they play but also off of when they started to play may help us figure out what people are actually reacting to. As a CSM member I am a funnel for all of this feedback and I need to understand not just the words that people are using but the structure behind those words so that I can better speak for them.

Now is where the player base’s reaction to six month cycles has to change. Those who are disappointed in the lack of content for their area of space or the overall lack of content are also used to the next six month wait. I think it is going to be a strange place for all of us as we wait for CCP to start delivering these releases. The end of the summer should be two releases in and I’ll be able to revisit the topic and see how the players are feeling about it.

For now, the move to Crius is already gearing up. The test server will be updated with the industry changes on Tuesday. For anyone who is willing to test, please do. The industry changes are enormous. The CSM agreed with this delay to incorporate player feedback. See what you do and don’t like and let us know. I got a lot of good invention feedback and I could use some more. The feedback thread with CCP Greyscale is going through a ton of work. Steve and mynnna are dumping serious hours into it.

Things for me to watch are the MMJD (Medium Micro Jumpdrive) and the new drone damage for capitals.

Let’s talk about PvE for a moment.

One of our meetings this week was with Space Glitter, the PvE team and as we talked about things I asked them what could I bring to the players about PvE? The answer was pretty much everything. They have not been shy over the PvE goals over the last years.

The mantra that Eve’s PvE sucks is common enough. The next comment is often, “It’s easy why don’t they just fix it?” The answer is that it isn’t easy. PvE, like much of Eve’s original code, was not made in a way to make interacting and changing it easy. That is what this team has been created to change. Of course, that does not help the right now.

What can we do. I have a stack of issues and problems on my table for the PvE team. I asked, “how can I bring these problems to you, productively? What can we get fixed in the now?” The CCP PvE team is interested in the  “little things” that can improve our PvE quality of life.

Examples of “little things” PvE problems brought to me:

The 3/10 DED Exploration Complex ‘Angel Repurposed Outpost’ still has a Microwarpdrive restriction on it.

Quantum Spheres do not seem to be spawning in COSMOS missions.

For an example of a long term problem CCP has fixed:
The Level 5 mission Prison Break is now completable as of Rubicon 1.4

Mynnna created a submission form and I think that is a fine idea. I will do the same. There is also eve-mail, and e-mail. I’d prefer something written down because ‘this mission sucks’ is not going to help. However, the X mission for the Y thing named ‘Mission name here’ is broken because of the spawn/loot drop/broken gates/etc is what will help us get this to the PvE team in a way that they can process the changes and start pushing small things PvE style.

For Faction Warfare there has been a lot of discussion about the level four mission issues. Weigh in here please. The thread so far has been productive and full of good information and thoughts. I want the feedback of Faction Warfare players who use these missions to fund themselves. I want to know what will work for them.

CCP’s layoffs.
The CSM was not aware that layoffs were going to happen. We are not involved in the HR (Human Resources) process as part of our CSM duties.

Random communications:

I am still chipping away at the task of improving my forum presence. I used to spend most of my online time on forums and I stopped about six years ago. Redeveloping the habit is taking some time.

I should be meeting up with Cap Stable for a podcast thing. I also need to hunt down another offer and follow up on it.

I had someone e-mail me from outside of the game to ask about the game for something? Maybe an article? I’m always happy to chat Eve with strangers so I dragged the rest of the CSM into the discussion. We have requested an official meeting with CCP present for this person to ask his questions of both the CSM members and of CCP about their process for and with the CSM. I don’t know if it will turn into anything but it has been an interesting exchange of information.

We'll also be putting together a reasonable things type of survey. Steve is working on security and auth for that.

CSM In Real Life:

The VA/MD/DC area is going to have another Saturday evening meet in Washington D.C. next Saturday. It will be at Duke's Grocery (this is a bar it seems) at 1800 EDT. This is in Dupont Circle 4 blocks away from the Dupont North Metro exit.

19 comments:

  1. Re PvE:

    There's a piece of genius tucked away in Angry Onions’ rant to your previous post:
    FAI, why EVE Online is a place were Warren Buffet's only way to influence the world is to kill Elon Musk with his own hands -and those of a few thousand grunts? Where's the political intrigue, the manipulation of the State by Empyreans? Where is corruption of the Law and Justice? Why are NPCs meaningless, rather than let them live as puppets of the players engagin in PvP by other means?

    >>><<<

    This is by no means a little thing he speaks of but I repeat it here to +1 it and to emphasize that if there are large scale discussions of what Eve PvE should be doing this is probably the place to start. It sprints further down the road of increased player control of the Eve universe in a really fascinating way.

    DireNecessity

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  2. The VA/MD/DC area is going to have another Saturday evening meet in Washington D.C. next Saturday. It will be at Duke's Grocery (this is a bar it seems) at 1800 EDT. This is in Dupont Circle 4 blocks away from the Dupont North Metro exit.

    Great! Count me in.

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    1. I will, once again, endeavor to make this meetup. Wish me luck.

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  3. Sugar,

    A few weeks back, corp mates and I worked up a concept for a game feature I called 'Expert Missions.' I doubt this counts as a little thing (medium thing?), but I reworked the post after reading your comments above. The basic idea is to use the current set of missions, but implement ship restrictions to focus on small-ship PVE and get the community to work out some group comps.

    If people quit after "leveling up" to their Raven, then maybe some more headroom on the existing mission system could serve as a bridge to bigger, meaner content.

    Not sure what your policy is on cross posting (edit this if req'd), but the full write up is now here: http://evedogsbreath.blogspot.com/2014/06/proposal-expert-missions.html

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    1. What about achievements.

      The PvE in Eve can be amazingly fun, if you don't care about efficiency. Why are there no "Do X site in a Y ship"?
      Now imagine the PvP achievements.

      To maintain the sandbox, what if you could submit the achievement (include skill points and ship required), so all achievements have been done by someone?

      It would also be a great way to get new people trying things.

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    2. I agree that from the high level view, achievements are fun, and they're something that can be very motivating. But it's a slippery slope; must tread carefully.

      Done incorrectly (WoW) they become something that the "elite" can use to segregate themselves from the "scrubs." The comment in my article about giving an API for PVE metrics would accomplish the same thing, and be subject to the same slippery slope.

      Imagine having to link achievements before getting into an Incursion fleet. Or a pvp roam.

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    3. Achievements have been suggested many times. I think that its a little to pat for CCP which is why they've been working at the mastery system. The new system, if you look at it glows and highlights and such when you gain rankings. So, they are kind of putting in passive achievements for people who obsess about that.

      I personally don't like achievements but I don't think they are bad over all. In fact, they are probably kinda good.

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  4. From what I've read, Kronos has brought big changes to low sec and some quality of life changes for people like explorers. As a wormhole dweller, Kronos was just a day of waiting for a patch to download with no real changes for me. However, if low sec is busier now, then maybe that's good for some low-sec roams off of one of our low-sec connections.

    Ultimately I don't think you can expect every patch to give you something for your play style, especially now with the patches coming every six weeks. I don't mind not having anything new this patch, but I'm hoping every area of the game will receive some love over one of the patches coming in the future.

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    1. Jeff,
      I too am an Anoikisian but I found greatt fun with Kronos... not for in the hole activities but it has greatly improved our time spent out of the hole. I don't know where you live and play, but unless you live inna hole with a static hisec, you almost have to traverse lowsec in order to do business with Empire... We are in a C3/Lo and we have had a ball ratting and killing ratters in our stat, then we roll the hole and have a whole new lowsec area to do the same.

      I agree, Kronos dint change anything IN holes... but, IIMHO W-space is 'working as intended' and I fear CCP messing with it... I mean, look at how badly they screwed up scanning (as re W-space) FFS. I pray CCP keeps their 'love' for Empire and Null and leaves the only space in the game that works just fine thank you, alone.

      The ONLY thing I personally want is a POS we can dock in, have persoanl hangar bays, personal ship bays... (and mebbe one day a working CQ that leads somewhere interesting... I have a few idea's on that.)

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    2. I think it will. Corbexx is pretty damn passionate about WH space and has great ideas and focus.

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  5. Regarding PvE fixes, they don't even bother fixing obvious things that would be trivially easy to fix. My pet peeve is the retarded way the market handles typos on buy sell orders.

    When you mistakenly enter a buy order with a too high price, it should be filled from existing sell orders AT THE SELL ORDER PRICE.

    When you mistakenly enter a sell order with a too low price, it should be filled from existing buy orders AT THE BUY ORDER PRICE.

    And no it can't be all that complex as anyone who's ever done much coding can see. The code is obviously already finding the lowest/highest sell/buy order because it fills your orders from those. The code is obviously already checking the price listed in those orders because it doesn't fill those listed orders if your prices are lower than the sell price or higher than the buy price.

    All it needs to do is change which price is used when your buy price is higher than or your sell price is lower than current prices.

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    1. I'll second that. Here's my pet peeve with the market: I frequently want to duplicate a price, i.e. for the purpose of 1c-ing someone. And you can copy any given price, but not easily. (Double-click it to get the Buy dialog; go Advanced; now there's a text entry box with the price which you can double-click to select; and control-v to cut. Now cancel the unneeded dialog.)

      Can't I have a "Copy" or "Copy Price" item on the right-click menu for each market-line-item?

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    2. I have a whole market needs section where all this is going. I'd also like it to auto sort in a better way. So when I can, I'll be bringing it forward

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    3. Get that order entry price thing fixed and thousands of traders will love you... Or well, at least one will for sure.

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  6. I suppose any discussion on Eve PvE should begin with "what should PvE in Eve be?". (To pre empt the rest of this, fixing bugged missions like Prison Break and DED sites are fixing the status quo and nothing more).

    The answer to the above is obviously more nuanced than an all encompassing "it should be this xxx". Each type of space has its own particular PvE options available to it, each with its own reliance on market values, isk/LP sink/faucet. Exploration, for example, aka data/relic sites income is directly related to market prices which is in turn influenced by supply/demand.

    I just realized how big this comment is going to be if I go over it all, so I'll just leave this final thought over trying to compose said comment on an iPhone: any discussion on PvE should include the answer to "is the status quo okay? If not, what should that aspect of PvE look like?".

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  7. Xaeroflex,

    Part of that “be” question could be answered by “purpose”. I shamelessly quoted Angry Onions above in some hopes he’d jump in and elucidate a little but sans that I’ll elaborate a bit. To hone in on a specific case, classic agent provided missions appear to have three purposes:

    1) They can be enjoyable to do. Some people really get into this honing their Mish skill and tracking the results (via stopwatch even). Call this advanced solitaire.

    2) Its a way to earn ISK (bounties, loot, loyalty points). Call this a wage.

    3) Its a way to grind friendly standing with powerful NPC entities. Call this ingratiation.

    And, well, that’s about it. Running agent missions can help you *navigate* the universe but produces no tangible *affects* on the universe beyond minute, indecipherable market squiggles. This can lead to statements that when you’re running mish, you’re not playing real Eve. If we’re in a genuine sandbox this needs to change. Missions too should matter. It’s a question of deciding how they should matter and then, importantly, sending feedback to the mish runner detailing how their labor, ever so slightly, changed the universe.

    DireNecessity

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    1. I'd probably want to reframe that to successfully completing a mission directly gives you isk, LP, bounties, access to salvage, etc, rather than purposes (which are up to the player to fill in "why am I doing this?"). It's likely a rather minor distinction but I feel it's easier to think it those terms when pooling everything else that has a similar output to theorize ramifications.

      For example, navy faction BPCs are obtained exclusively through LP stores. For whatever reason the FW store gets a healthy discount to the cost, making buying BPCs through non-FW LP stores a relatively poor choice for LP->isk conversion.

      Datacores, vastly supplied by FW LP which has sources other than FW missions for (plexing and combat).

      Vanilla implants share some parity but have another competitor from L5 runners and their vast hordes of LP (ditto faction ammo). See the drop in price for +3-5 implants in Rens due to Minmatar FW doing well.

      Now, maybe having a significant chunk of mission income, through LP (which leads to mission blitzing as the best isk/effort method, at least as far as the last time I did L4s semi seriously), which is subject to stiff market competition is intended and the way it should be.

      My point is that L4 mission runners do play a part in the sandbox through the market sales of implants and ammo. I'm not entirely sold on the idea of them having "more effect" throughout the rest of the sandbox.

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    2. Xaeroflex,

      It may well be the case that no more effect is needed but allow me to weave a couple thoughts together before I relent.

      1) It’s been months and months since I last nursed standings via grinding through storyline missions but one of the things I recall was agents telling me the job I was about to undertake was extraordinarily important for the war effort and every damn time I completed the mission nothing in the war changed. If any missions should have more affect those should. Trying to figure out what affect however is a devil of a problem.

      2) I noted with some amusement that (providing I’m reading correctly) MoxNix above treated a pet market interface peeve as a PvE problem. It may well be a genuine problem but it’s not a *PvE* problem – the input typo he describes directly benefits another player at his expense which sounds pretty close to some version of PvP to me. I think it illuminating that his comment doesn’t treat the market as interaction/competition with other players.

      Sooo . . . one of the things I’m getting at is that running mish doesn’t much feel like your affecting the universe. While it’s true that you are affecting the capsuleer market and with a little effort you can actually track it, it has no affect on the NPCs you’re working for. Angry Onions seemed terribly upset by this.

      Some of this is a feedback difficulty and perhaps seeing how the market alters due to one’s interactions in it is enough but I’m not so sure. What I thought most fascinating in Angry Onions’ nugget is that running mish should produce not only economic affect but also political affect. Nothing you do is neutral. The game is sandbox all the way down.

      DireNecessity

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  8. Warning: mental masterbation comment as I have no faith in ever seeing this implemented.

    A new set of missions, call them whatever. The idea is to take common fits and tactics (the LML kite condor, scram kite executioner) with comperable offensive, defensive stats to a capsuleer ship, maybe slightly better or worse depending on the mission. These could be either classic missions or perhaps through exploration or a warp able beacon in space like landmarks/sites, etc. Limited ship classes, so there could be one that only allows T2 frigates, Dessie's and T1 frigates, another for cruiser and BC hulls, etc.

    Engagements would take place between the player and these new NPCs in far limite numbers in a variety of scenarios:

    "The honorable duel": 1v1
    "The stand": 1vX, say expected an assault frigate against 2-3 T1 frigate equivalents
    "Small gang": 2-3 player ships (Logi expected) against 2-5 (depending on ship quality, hell even simulate the meta fit derptron)
    And so forth.

    Hard limits on friendly ship #s on grid, bring more than 3 for a scenario that's limited to 3? Forfeit most of the reward to counter bringing overwhelming firepower. Bring one ship down? Reap an extra reward.

    It's supposed to be hard. Here's another one, if an NPC isn't pointed and entering structure? Let it warp off and come back repped.

    Let the rewards be ballpark expected ship risk value times 1.5.

    A reminder: no matter how good or bad this sounds, it's all so much just an idea that's almost certainly never to see light of day in game.

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