Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CSM 9 Summer Summit Minutes are Released

Two days early, the CSM 9 Summer Summit Minutes have been released. You can download them here. It is a PDF of roughly 140 pages.

It is quite the weight off of my shoulders for the minutes to be out. To no longer sit on all of that information is quite the relief. Plus, I can discuss things in more details.

The minutes are a big deal simply because they are one of the actual 'tasks' that the CSM has to do and they are quite an important one. In the minutes you see the interaction of the CSM with CCP. A lot of information and detail about what is going on comes out.

There is also going to be a lot of different writing styles. Nine people contributed to the minutes out of the thirteen members of the CSM who attended. Gorski gets a pass because he was not given his CSM position until after the Summit and the submission of the minutes to CCP. At one point there was a question of more homogenization. It would be nice yes, but the minutes are a tremendously large task. I was more interested in people getting them written. To stop and try to force everyone into the same style would slow down and perhaps hinder the progress. I didn't want to add more to the people who were churning through the information for consumption. So, you get the interpretation and processing of each member.

I wrote nine sessions. There was a comment made before the Summit about people being 'all talk' when they said they would work on the minutes. Also, there was a comment about 'quality' of minutes written. The reason that I was able to do as many sessions as I was is simply a matter of familiarity with that type of information processing. I spent several years as a police dispatcher and one of the important parts of that job is not adding anything into what is being said and listening and properly repeating things. There is a game called Telephone played by school children. It can even be used by adults and it shows how information can be warped and distorted. One of my jobs has been to just listen and process the information as a conduit instead of a filter. That is how I approached the minutes. I cleared my schedule for the two weeks and they where my focus every evening. Mix that in with my love of writing and my typing speed and I chewed through sessions.

However, I'll let people decide on how they like my transcription and if they feel they are of reasonable quality. I picked transcription because I feel it is important to preserve the discussion. It is how you see the CSM members in action. I wanted you to see as much of me at the Summit as I could give. It will be how many people will judge me as a member of the CSM.

My sessions:

  • General Low Sec 
  • Corps and Alliances 
  • Content Tools 
  • Web Team 
  • Veteran Player Retention 
  • Nullsec 
  • Economy Overview 
  • Ships and Module Balancing 
  • Team Bananastand 
Low sec was the easiest session to write because I talked nonstop during it. Ships and Module Balancing was the hardest. Null sec took the longest. I twas originally Force Projection and Null sec in two back to back sessions that we turned into one two hour block. Veteran Player Retention was the weirdist because I took the things the vets said to me and and used htem for this session.On top of that there was so much detail and I didn't want to miss anything or misrepresent anyone.

The hardest part of being at the Summit was trying to represent many different view points. I don't have a single demographic that comes and talks to me. My Summit Document was composed of over forty questions and ideas from players all over the game. That does not include my own items. It means that I bring up topics that someone does not like because it matters to someone else. Then, I may bring up a conflicting opinion later, because that is another subject. It feels weird to argue against myself but sometimes that is what had to be done because there are more sides then Sugar's in these discussions.

I don't blindly take everything that is given to me. I will engage people in a discussion on a topic. Some things are easier then others. However, I can't only use my game and what affects me to build off of. I'd be ridiculously limited and everyone would run around low sec making markets full of Jaguar's.

I was going to write a thank you list of the names. I keep everyone's name so that I can properly credit them. Then, I worried that would be unwanted. Some people are very private. I think I'll just write a bunch of Eve Mail this weekend to people to direct them to the minutes to find their answered question and thank them for taking the time to interact with me. I've learned that interaction is not to be taken for granted and deeply appreciate when people come to me with things. There are a lot of people and a lot of things out there and I can't find them all on my own.

There are things that did not come up. Some of these items are just not on CCP's plate right now. I simply condensed them down and will take them to the Winter Summit.  Hopefully people like what they see. I'm happy to improve as I can. This was a first time event for me and I know I can do better. Maybe, not have such an irritating nervous laugh when I talk next time.

Being prepared was important.


My CSM organization efforts.

There is so much information flowing back and forth that having all of my questions written down let me express them. I didn't expect to have a solid block of time for the low sec session. When CCP Fozzie looked at me I was like, "Urp. Here I go. Let this be good," and I unloaded everything. You have to be able to think on your feet and react and comment. CCP Fozzie caught me in a neat trap by taking my goal of mobility in low sec and pointing out that it does not work with static DED sites. However neat that trap was, I could not not speak about static DED sites because there is still an unhappy community about their removal. Then things like the destroyer link ship came up. Okay, well, what do I think of that? Sure? What have people said? What have I read? All of that needs to come up now because I need to say something.

The hardest part is dropping the self in the conversation and presenting sides that may be detrimental to yourself and your game play. Catching supers in low sec is an important topic. Snuff Box is a corporation with supers. But, I can't ignore or side step that. 

And I may not always be right. I can't make everyone happy. Sometimes, people wonder why I didn't say their view. I can only ask, "Did you bring that view to me?" I'm happy to listen to why you think I'm wrong or what is a better idea. I believe it is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do.

Not much was snipped by NDA. CCP Seagull was very open and honest. I captured her talk at Eve Vegas because it was very much what she had said to us during the summit sessions she sat in on. I wanted people to hear what she said and how she said it. I've seen a lot of quotes from that session and that is good. It means people are listening. Many things have been said that answer questions or show where a person is heading in their concept of Eve. I find it a better experience then bitter assumptions.

So, these are the minutes and the most tangible report card I can give you. I'll be finishing up my halfway through post in the next few days. This may be a CSM heavy blog post week.

33 comments:

  1. My understanding from skimming the Minutes is that CCP wants to encourage high-sec players to join player corporations because their statistics show that this will help with player retention (insert causation/correlation debate here).

    One of the ways that they are planning to do this is to lessen the drawbacks of being in a player corp. They plan to remove AWOXing, which I am in two minds about.

    The threat of being wardecced is a similarly large obstacle to corp recruitment. How do CCP plan to make being in a player corp more attractive than an NPC corp despite wardec immunity? Are they going to nerf wardecs into the ground or further penalise players for staying in NPC corps?

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    1. War decs need their own session. I'm not happy with their current state. I believe most of us want them to have some substance. I plan to propose a War Dec session for the winter summit and over the next months in general discuss it as corp changes are also discussed.

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    2. Please tie this up with the bounty system which is also terrible and all but ignored by everyone

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    3. Indeed, the bounty system is mostly an "oh, huh... I got 10,000 ISK because I was in a small fleet that killed a moderately expensive ship flown by someone with a bounty" thing for me. That said, it's still better than the previous "get whole bounty but only for podkilling them" situation.

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    4. Yah. Bounties and War Decs. I'm sure we can fill time with those two.

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    5. "insert causation/correlation debate here"

      It's not just CCP that believes that joining a player group like a corp or a guild leads to player retention. Every game company I've ever heard discuss the matter believes the same thing. People will stay with a game to stay with friends.

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    6. "I'm not happy with their current state. I believe most of us want them to have some substance."

      It would be nice to see more reasons for wardecs to happen and more ways to hurt the other side during a wardec (POCOs were a good step in the right direction) but I hope that making them more meaningful doesn't also involve removing 'pointless' wardecs (i.e.
      using wardecs as hunting licenses).

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    7. I think more reasons to have them would also equate to more reasons to defend against them. The current 'looking for targets pick a corp' method bugs me. How do we get to a point where people ether defend themselves or hire defense? Which goes back to my feeling that a real mercenary market is the direction to go. I think we need tools.

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  2. Great job Sugar! You're everything we could ask for in a representative. Keep it up.

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  3. Seeing CCP Seagull's open comments and words, I can't help to feel that she is sincerely wrong. I mean she is honest and believes everything she says, but what she says is wrong.

    Three years ago, CCP engaged in what they called "Customer oriented design", and back then I wondered who where the customers they planned to design for: the people paying the game, or the people talking to CCP?

    The concept has gone full speed with CCP Seagull, and she is leading CCP into doing exaclty that: what the customers who speak say that they expect from EVE Online.

    Regretfully, they are very wrong in a key factor: the customers they talk to still are not the customers that pay the game.

    EVE was designed from start to provide endless freedom to being an asshole. Scam, steal, AWOX, or just blow player ships, the whole game was severely biased to "be the villain". Currently as a player you may be an asshole (and make life miserable to other players) or become a target (and other players will make your life miserable). No middle ground, no compromise, no escape.

    And yet, time and time again, it turns that most people pay CCP for NOT being assholes. They pay CCP to engage into PvE, of all things, and do so until they find out that they are playing the wrong game in every possible way. "Risk vs reward" turns into "all risk for no reward" when you choose to NOT be an asshole.

    So CCP claims to design for their customers, and they are honestly doing, but their actual paying customers are not assholes. Their average customer doesn't even engages into PvP -and he is being ignored in favor of the players who engage CCP in the terms CCP chose 12 years ago, total freedom to chaotic evil and total punishment and hindrance to neutrals or goods.

    CCP is designing the game for those who stay, but most people doesn't stay because they don't fit into CCP's design decissions from 2002. And that will just not work once CCP runs out of every trick in the box to keep people subscribed despite the evidence that game design is leaving them behind.

    "Customer oriented design" when you've carefully selected your most loyal customers into being assholes becomes "Asshole oriented design".

    And most people, both IRL and in videogames and even in EVE Online, are NOT assholes. They'd rather live and let live than fuck or be fucked by anyone, anywhere, anytime without any meaningful consequences... and so EVE is not a game for them.

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    1. What changes are CCP planning to make, or have made recently, that suggests that they only cater to assholes? They just proposed to remove AWOXing completely!

      Over the last couple of years, CCP have:

      - Made impersonation against the rules, shutting down an entire avenue of scamming and corp infiltration.
      - Started to permaban for 'bad stuff' done outside the client, with a policy that is intentionally vague.
      - Started to return stolen mission items.
      - Destroyed ninja looting/salvaging with the Noctis, rat AI rejig, Crimewatch update and now the introduction of the MTU.
      - Stepped on can-flipping with the Crimewatch update and by introducing an ore hold for barges.
      - Nerfed suicide ganking by removing insurance, buffing barge HP, lowering CONCORD response times and introducing the MTU to loot the field first.
      - Increased wardec fees.

      On the other hand, they:

      - Introduced tier 3 BCs, which happen to be good for suicide ganking freighters and the like
      - Forced blueprints into POSes for manufacturing in POSes
      - Made high-sec POCOs player owned (but this only favours 'assholes' if their tax is higher than the NPC tax)
      - Introduced Tags4Sec for those who value their time more than the ISK (whilst making it take longer to actually rat it back up)

      I just don't see it.

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    2. I cannot say that I see what you see in this Onions.

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    3. Onions,

      Measuring by tone, I can’t honestly tell much difference between your rant and rants from Eve villains bemoaning the ongoing and disgraceful CareBearing of Eve. Amazingly, both you and they do much the same thing – compose claims about which player base really, really matters. Equally amazing, the claims about who really, really matters end up looking a lot like the very person making the claim. “If only Eve catered more to people like me, then and only then would CCP finally arrive at successful MMOG land of milk and honey.” Hogwash. Any MMOG that caters to only one group may manage to be a Multi-Player Online Game but it won’t manage to be Massive.

      Stop navel gazing Onions. People are different. That very difference is what Eve embraces. True, this means players may well have to share a universe with players they dislike. Eve is hard in more ways than one.

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    4. "I cannot say that I see what you see in this Onions"

      Well, I may be wrong and probably didn't explained myself too well. But the TL:DR version would be:

      Players can be negative, neutral or positive towards other players; EVE original design punishes being positive, discourages being neutral and encourages beyond good sense to be negative. This has caused that the majority of players leave soon and the minority who stays for long are adapted to being negative, thus CCP thinks (wrongly) that the only way to keep EVE alive is by preserving the negative people as that's what the customer base has become over years.

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    5. Onions,

      Though not directed at me, I appreciate the elaboration. Sadly, as business plan, the logic of your elaboration leaves me baffled. For argument’s sake, if we accept your claim that CCP has a long history of catering to “negative people” and then conclude as you do that this catering limits CCP to an ever dwindling supply of customers we also have to accept that somehow CCP has managed to doggedly pursue a losing strategy for over ten years without going out of business. Really?

      I find it a tad hubristic to see you claim that after ten years CCP should stop dancing with the horse that brought them and instead waltz with a different group of people. People more like you.

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    6. For some reason, after reading that, I feel like I've been standing on the bridge of Dark Helmet's ship in Spaceballs. I wonder why?

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    7. DireNecessity

      Having a game that appeals to all kinds of players is better for CCP than have a game that essentially evicts 90% of all new players and after 11 years is running out of potential new players.

      What would you do? Do what keeps 10% of the players subscribbed for years at the expense of 90% of all potential players, or expand the game to include more viable ways of playing than being either a victimizer or a victim? How about having 10% of players "A" and 10% of players "B" for a grand total of 20% of retention?

      And who should CCP ask? Those who adapted and, like Gedeon's Army, are a fraction of those who started? Or those who are not given a chance to adapt as the game does not suit them for no sensible reason?

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    8. Angry Onions, Restaurant Consultant, walks in to the Kyoto. Perusing the menu he remarks with great disdain, “Sho Chiku Bai [hot sake]? Misoshuri [white soybean soup]? Tonkatsu [pork cutlet]? You call yourself restaurateurs? Japanese fare is dreadfully small time. It’s well known fact that 90% of all customers prefer Soupe à l'oignon [French Onion Soup] to what you’re serving. You better get with the program and switch to French Cuisine before your base of loathsome soybean lovers dwindles away.”

      Kyoto’s proprietor responds, “Fleur de Lis four blocks West. Allow me to escort you out and point you in the proper direction.

      “Who was that?” asks a cook.

      “Concern Troll,” the proprietor responds.

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    9. Using the restaurant analogy, CCP haves the best and only Icelandic Cuisine Eat All You Can in the city. Unfortunately after 11 years eveyrbody who could enjoy rotten shark and acid-marinated sheep head already ate them, so the restaurant is stagnating and facing decline as customer leave and nobody new comes in.

      Enter Angry Onions, who's spent years eating lamb steak and fries (acccidentally, the most popular dish in the menu, albeit people grow tired of it sooner than later), and who suggests the proprietors to add sweddish meatballs, danish cheese, smoked salmon or even some bacon along with the Icelandic delicatessen. He claims that a wider menu will call more customers, and some may even give a try to Icelandic cuisine and enjoy it, and in case they stick to Scandinavian cuisine, well... "pecunia non odet", unlike rotten shark.

      DireNecessity claims that he does not wants the place to become a MacDonald's and his stomach revolts at the thought of sharing the place with people who don't appreciate the scent of ammonia...

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    10. I was under the impression that you wanted CCP to limit asshole behaviour, not simply add more content to the game.

      The regulars come for the rotten shark, rowdy atmosphere and because it's the only eaterie in the city that allows them to smoke inside. By all means expand the menu but don't try to change the atmosphere of the place, you'll only alienate the regulars.

      There is a Scandinavian restaurant next door, due to open in a month's time. There is another one planned across the road, with an obscene amount of funding. There is only so much CCP can do with such an old premises and I don't think they can compete with these new businesses on their terms.

      The only thing CCP can really offer that the other places can't is the rotten shark.

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    11. 50% players quit, 40% become "Raven levelers" for a few months, and 10% stay for years because they love Assholes Online and the smell of rotten shark in the morning.

      CCP's fix to their dwindling bottom line is to ask the 10% and make their best so the 10% become 12% by streamlining, removing some of the most rotten pieces of rotten shark and going head over heels with the "essence" of their "assholes business model".

      But as you said, that 40% are just about to get better places to go and CCP be damned if they worry about keeping those guys interested.

      And what will CCP do with their company sized for 50, when the income is 10? Well, or 11, or maybe 12, if CCP Seagull is really successful...

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  4. I'm glad to see your name in there so frequently, Sugar, thanks for speaking for us! You're doing a great job and I will vote for you on CSM 10 if you run again.

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  5. Wow - my linking destroyer concept made CSM discussion ? Eeeps.

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    1. I was like, "eep! I'm glad I read about this!" :P

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  6. You guys did a great job with the Minutes and you should be very pleased.

    As for your personal transcription style, I'm of two minds about it. On the one hand, it's unbelievably detailed and provides a metric fuck-ton of accountability. Both are admirable goals, and mission accomplished! On the other hand, it wouldn't surprise me if some people quoted become aggravated with you. You showed some people a little TOO honestly in terms of how they communicate and what they think. ;-) Rather than look to their own behavior, they will probably subconsciously blame you for "making them look bad" when all you did was accurately communicate what they said. (Example: someone on Reddit asking if Fozzie is always so condescending...)

    So, take that for what it's worth.

    All in all though, great job!

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    1. I don't understand the "Is Fozzie always so condescending?" question. I really don't. He sounded like a normal EVE player to me. (Or maybe he just sounded like a normal engineer... most of my corp is software engineers.)

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    2. To take someones words and edit them to so that I feel they may be less hones but feel nicer t is not something I will ever do.

      I believe in details and accountability. I placed myself in the same position as everyone else. My job is not to sanitize anyone sot hat someone may not think they are condescending.

      Nor will I ever worry that being honest will make people hate me. If they hate me for honesty they would have already hated me. Not everyone will like me. I can live with that burden. My job isn't to be loved and to make friends. That's a bonus and that does make the job easier, sure, but if it means compromising integrity, no. I'll take the harder path every time if that path is the one with honesty and accountability on it.

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    3. If its a honest write up (which it is) people only have themselves to blame, I'd rather we had to be more accountable than we are I personally think she should have to justify what we do and how much effort work we put in. The player base should be able to ask us what we have done. If people think it makes them look bad, tough shit, work harder. I won't lie and cover stuff up, I call it how it is, and I'm much rather be honest with the player base so they can make up there own mind than dumb stuff down or lie.

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  7. Sugar, you've done a monumental job, both in your participation in the CSM and in your work and dedication to producing these minutes. Thanks so much for all of your hard efforts. I remember when the concept of the CSM was first introduced, and I don't feel that it is any exaggeration to say that you are easily one of the best, if not the best, CSM representative that EVE has had. Very few have shown such an interest and responsiveness to representing as many different players and views as you have. With a playerbase as diverse as EVE, that is really what we need: representatives who are willing to approach EVE as a whole, rather than just standing up for their own corner of the game. Again, thank you.

    As for the minutes themselves, two days early? I don't recall the last time the minutes were on time, let alone early. The CSMs always seemed to get their notes in on time, but CCP always seemed to take forever to "sanitize" them for release. I can only speculate as to what has changed at CCP for this to happen; whether CCP has relaxed their restrictions on what is allowed out, or if the new release cycle has changed the way information is released, or if CCP Dolan was just dragging his feet. Whatever the case, as a player I greatly appreciate having these notes out in a timeframe where the issues discussed are still actually relevant!

    Now if you'll excuse me, it appears that I have some reading to do!

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    1. Thanks. I figure if I don't know what I'm doing I'll just try to do what I believe is the right thing.

      I believe that Two Step noted one of their sessions was out in a shorter amount of time then this was. However, CCP Leeloo did an excellent job of organizing everything sot hat it was easy for CCP to edit their sections.

      I basically wrote everything up in a document and then placed it into confluence. Everyone who attended is notified of the edit. This allowed the rest of the CSM to vet them and then CCP to do so. There was a lot of energy and focus by CCP to get these minutes done.

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  8. Minutes: 'Heavy missiles aren't dropping'
    Correction: Heavy (Assault) Missiles aren't dropping.
    I hope they understood what you meant or we might get double the heavy missiles :P

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    1. Whoops! I said heavy assault missiles in my notes. That is what is written down. I probably didn't write or hear the assault missile part when doing the transcription.

      :P

      The end result, moar missiles!

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  9. You did an outstanding job - thanks for the effort. The minutes make very interesting reading with a surprising amount of detail left in.

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