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Eve Vegas 2014 - CCP Seagull's Round Table

CCP Seagull sat down with CCP Manifest sitting beside her. I will say at that CCP Manifest controlled himself and CCP Seagull did all the talking. I don't think he stabbed her with a cattle prod of STFU even once. As always my notes are somewhat short hand and may occasionally break proper use of my native language.

Q: Are you looking at making changes to make mining more interesting?

At this point CCP Seagull explained that she does not make that type of design decision and that is not what she does in her position. Knowing that the argument would derail into people asking her about ship balancing and everything under the sun I interjected and suggested that she start the session explaining to people what she does and how she interacts with her teams so that they could give her questions she could answer beyond vague empty statements. My decision to do this absolutely came from discussions at the Summit and the knowledge the CSM has of what CCP Seagull does. I hoped that it would lead to a better, more in depth discussion and I think that it did.

Q: The six week cycle is faster. Is it harder for marketing and PR?
A: Yes. The locked cycles were easier because we only announced things that had been locked in. It has been a challange.

Q: High level design goals - Corp changes
A: I want it to be something that does not have to have a full time staff dedicated to making it work. I want to make tools for those who want to work for and with others. We should be able to do better. And to change it into something easier to use would be better.

Q: What does sandbox mean to CCP Seagull?
A: I mean a world with many systems of doing things and the point is that you are out playing others. You have to figure out how the game works to use that to out play other players. It is fine that people don't want to go to that second system. That they want to just learn how the game works and stop there. But for those that take that next step it should be about out playing players. But to avoid people will still be something you have to use the game to do. The game industry does not have a good vocabulary to explain what we do in Eve and how you play Eve. It can be hard to explain what Eve means and what we want out of it.

Q: To continue about the sandbox. Some changes seem made to stop emergent game play which seems against the sandbox. If a group oppressively dominates the sandbox should allow that but you are making changes to stop that.
A: When we add things into Eve it is a form of behavior shaping. Our responsibility is to make a rule set and a landscape that makes it as good a game as it can be for many people. If the environment is unbalanced it is our responsibility to try to correct the flaws or change them and not be afraid because they have always been broken. It is not a simple system. We have avoided changes for fear that changes are bad. But we want an interesting and viability world for as many people as possible so we have to make things change even if some things won't be liked.

Q: With changes coming to sov are you looking to mirror those changes to Faction Warfare?
A: We may have many different systems in the game for a while. We are fine with that. However, some things are always going to be used across all types of space and when that happens we have to look at the over all image and the usage of these things. But Sov and FW don't have to be the same.

Q: how does CCP feel about media events like B-R?
A: We get excited about them. We know that these changes will decrease the probability of such fights. It is more sustainable for people who have fun to create places for others to have fun. Then they bring their friends in. B-R brings in subs and they immediately drop off because they can't join in. We want to set up systems that are more sustainable.
Manifest: Yes there are are lost opportunities PR wise. but it opens up the longer term struggles in politics and such things that are also interesting stories. The media has heard of big huge battles and they are looking for other things and we can give that to them.

Q: Balance: What are CCP's priorities?
A: We look at behaviors that are disproportionate or toxic to the game itself. Some things are hard to touch because they have always been that way and people fear change. I hope people will see our development path and see that we are not just changing and ignoring things but changing it again and again as it needs.

Q: Getting friends into the game. Live events are cool. Do you want more?
A: Yes. But we don't want live events to be the game play for people.

Q: Are the directions of development heading towards more dynamic systems or more static systems? An example is using gates to get a fight vs going to a timer to defend or attack.
A: We have been working on various ways for people to meet in space. We are trying to get more people out in space meeting each other.

Q: How do you approach what you decide to take into account when it comes to player feedback?
A: We use internal goals plus the feedback from the players and filter them to see what keeps coming up. The game is a huge, complex system and there are usage cases we miss and try to find. We can't always predict what will happen. We can and do gauge the signal to noise ratio as well. Sometimes we know the future and that is why it seems we don't listen. It is easier for you to give us a use case over  only a solution so that we don't have to reverse engineer your solution into your use case.

Q: Long term design goal? More capitals? T2 caps?
A: That is in the hands of the design team.

Q: How does the lore and landscape interact with your goals?
A: The lore is there to help us layout the landscape. We should use it to bring immersion. We have a living, breathing sci-fi world but the real stories should be from the player stories. And they should be things that you do. We are not going to use live events to entertain players as if they are the game.

Q: I forget to write this question
A: Not every problem has to be seen as a player. Such as the skill queue bringing more negitives then anything else. Things like balancing however I leave to the design team.

Q: Is it a plan to update how people talk to each other?
A: We want to modernize all of Eve and make all of those areas better.

Q: The single universe - Integrating Dust/Legion/Valkery. Is that still a plan?
A: Yes. We are moving slower. We want to have each game stand alone before we marry them.

Q: Have you thought of applying FW mechanics to Sov to revamp sov? It is there and it seems a natural progression.
A: We are not trying to make one system that captures all usage cases. It has been discussed but we are not trying to do just a single thing to solve all problems. Sov will get its own mechanics that fit its needs.

Q: The single shard universe? Will Serenity ever be integrated?
A: There are no plans to have multiple copies of Eve. Serenity is there because of legal reason

And that is it for this one. I'm going to bed and I'll try to get the rest done tomorrow.


  1. Some very interesting points... the one that really sticks is when an obvious goon asked;
    Some changes seem made to stop emergent game play which seems against the sandbox. If a group oppressively dominates the sandbox should allow that but you are making changes to stop that.

    It is not her answer that got me, it is the question. I am amazed that any 'gamer', even one in such a group, would really WANT for just one group to dominate any game and the gameplay for other players. Yet that is exactly what this question poses wrapped in the logic of "Emergent Gameplay"...

    ...If a group oppressively dominates the sandbox should allow that... Really, I mean really??? Oh Hell no. I simply cannot believe some people.

    OK rant over... I wish I could make one of these events... thank you for your work and effort to bring this and everything to us Sugar. It is really appreciated.

    1. Tur--your obvious bias is obvious is showing. ;-) I'm actually really surprised at the restraint shown by ALL of the sov-holders present at EVE Vegas. There was potential for a LOT of tears, rage, and people publicly embarrassing themselves with same, none of which was realized, not out in the public view anyway. Much as I may "Grrr Gewns" or lament the Blue Donut, everyone kept themselves civil in these roundtables, and I have to commend them for that.
      As with all things EVE, people will rage, people will QQ -- and then they will either leave...or improvise, adapt, and overcome.

      One of the nice things about the Sandbox is that you get to define your own "win condition". For that guy, clearly the "win condition" is "aggressively dominating the game" -- the nice thing for the rest of us is it takes a lot of work and effort to do that, and will take exponentially more work and effort in the near future. Therefore, he has set a win condition he probably will not be able to realistically meet or sustain, and the rest of us get the entertainment of him aggressively beating his head against the wall. :-D It's the little things sometimes.

    2. I am pretty sure that asker was in PL.

    3. Oh Hong... I so wear my indignity on my sleeve! LOL ... But yer right, I have not heard of anyone really assing up IRL over all of this... but DAMN I do get so tired of the whiners... =P

      And you know.. ...improvise, adapt, and overcome. can also be stated thus... HTFU. =]

  2. YES! For once I beat you out the door with this! Yay for not being in the cool-kid crowd. lol
    I took the first and second FW questions to be iterations of the same general question ... I got the feeling the 2nd guy who asked about it just wasn't present for the first time through, cause I remember someone quietly saying "That's already been asked."

    :-D That's why it's good to have multiple eyes and ears covering stuff like this, different takes and all.

    1. It is not a competition.

      The FW question was from the same person.


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