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Darkness in Winter - Day Five

It is early in the evening, just after 2100. I'm about to make some tea once my laptop charges a bit. The power in the room is keyed to the key-card which goes in a slot by the door. So, power is off when I am gone during the day. I'm in my pajamas and I decided that I was not going out. Today is day three of four and tomorrow is our group dinner with CCP which will be a long evening.

I am quite tired. Yesterday's minutes have been released.

The move from three days to four was good. We've pushed many sessions over time. We still have several more to go and long ones today.

I started with the low sec session so I dumped all of my energy into the morning. I was up on time and down to have breakfast with corbexx by 0730. We got to CCP's office early and then sat down and did another review of the minutes. The new format does not catch how long conversations can be. That means less for people to read but it makes some sessions short. But more on that later.

I started out the day and we had two sessions before lunch. Lunch was Fish and Chips and it seems that malt vinegar is not common in Iceland. It probably will not catch on if I continue to accidentally splash people with it. Sigh. It was quite good and it seems that fish and chips (french fries) is a very exciting thing. About as exciting as hot breakfast if one looks at the line.

Then we hit the evening meetings. I was not the star of these and had my most quiet afternoon. Which is a relief. I've talked a lot. The side effect is that I crashed a bit and got super, dooper tired. By the time we headed out for the evening (just before 1800) I was dragging. Some stayed to eat at CCP. They have dinner on Tuesday and Thursday. I convinced Corbexx to come find the restaurant I was looking for the other day and we changed out of dress clothing and wandered the streets until we found it.

So, I had a lovely steak. Corbexx had a pizza covered in rocket. I met rocket when I went to England in 2010 and I can't stand the stuff. Ugh. We talked and ate and decided to stagger back to the hotel for the evening and skip going out. The time zone changes are kicking my butt. Waking up in the morning is kicking Corbexx's. We tottered home like boring people. It's quite sad. We have minutes to edit and another day to make it through. That leaves me here, typing this as I work over sessions and add in my notes and details.

I took a few more night time shots with my phone. It does better with my phone but I doubt I will upload them tonight. I still have a few more sessions to read over and add to. I'm sorry that I don't have exciting adventures for you. I'm holed up in my hotel room, typing and whining that I'm tired.

Edit: It's midnight. I have to stop poking at things. And I messed up the numeric date for this blog post. I did the same yesterday.


  1. Mmmm, steak. :)

    I actually like the quicker minutes. I'd rather have an 80% solution almost immediately than the 99% solution ages later.

    1. I thought we did so well last time. It is just going to be a point of contention and I will have to see how it plays out for people before I can judge it. If I'm just a special case then I will have to accept that.

    2. Last time was certainly a high point in the history of CSM minutes, no contest.

      And I get what you're saying about more detail and trying to capture the full eb and flow of a conversation.

      I guess my point is: Me - as a casual user of the minutes - I'm happy with what we're getting this time around. Getting them near real-time while your updates are coming in on the blog and the photo album is live is the next best thing to a live video feed.

    3. Sugar, you did an amazing job with the minutes last time (both "you" the CSM, and "you" specifically); they came out so much faster than before, and with great detail.

      The minutes this time around are getting so much praise because of their near-instant release. As people start really digging into these minutes, they will realize how much detail and nuance is actually missing from this version. Then, it will be a matter of discussion and decision on whether the faster turnaround is worth the loss of detail.

      Note that I've already seen a few posts in the official comment thread where players have asked about certain topics not really being addressed or given the weight that they should have, and then CSM members having to explain that the minutes didn't accurately reflect the full discussion and everything that had been said in regards to that particular issue. I think that as more of this happens, people will begin to realize the value, benefit, and understanding that comes from having more comprehensive minutes of the proceedings.

      Perhaps what is needed is a "short form summary" like what is being released now, later to be followed by full and complete minutes?

  2. I agree to Abavus - last time was very good, compared to the years before.

    But every week you and CCP would spend on getting more details into the minutes, the additional benefit would shrink as I'd suppose that - although not completely accurate - interested people are just keen to get an idea of the talks.

    So I definitely support the 80% immediate solution. And wish you more excitement in Iceland and a whole bunch of relax afterwards. You deserve it, thanks to all of you for investing so much. ^^

  3. Regarding yesterday's minutes (particularly the UI section):

    "There were some issues with the blurred background due to it's implementation, and it's being looked into."

    This is one area where I think the new minute format fails us. There is no indication here what "some issues" are, or how seriously or in depth they are "being looked into." This was a major point of contention about the new UI, and some details here would have been nice.

    There was a little bit of follow up to this tidbit, which I do appreciate:

    "Ali asked if it would be possible to get the old window transparency style back, as some players had issues with the new design. The reply was that it's currently possible to get something very similar in the current system by disabling blur and setting the transparency to the minimum."

    Did any CSM inform CCP that this option was a poor and unacceptable substitute for a simple and effective system? That "similar" is not "the same as", and that even with blur "off" and transparency at "maximum", the resulting effect is still a hindrance to gameplay?

    "CCP Arrow ...also mentioned that the themes go through the art director as well."

    That's a cop-out and an excuse for not allowing player-customizable colors; we all know it, CSM knows it, and CCP knows it. I hope no one let Arrow get away with this kind of crap. What does it matter to CCP and their art department if individual players choose odd color schemes that only appear locally on their own client?

    "Corbexx brought up the topic of allowing players to customize the UI. CCP Arrow replied that CCP has always felt that the aesthetic is important to keeping EVE consistent. Corbexx elaborated that this seems like an issue that affects more than just the UI, and seems to heavily constrain many parts of EVE."

    Again, more excuses from CCP; we don't want things pretty, we want them functional! Well, pretty can be nice, but functionality should always be the priority.

    "Progod went and talked about how he needs to have so many different windows open when he only needs certain elements of those windows. The end result is that there is hardly any space scene left that can be seen due to the need to keep these windows all open during combat."


    "CCP Arrow brought up that this is a small use case..."

    No, it is not. I don't care if you're a nullsec PvP pilot, highsec industrialist, mission runner, FW plexer or pirate; the fundamental problem with the EVE UI is and has always been too many windows and too much information while never having enough space!!! The fact that Arrow thinks this indicates just how far out of touch the UI team is with how the UI is actually used.

    "CCP Arrow emphasized the importance of the making sure the default UI was useful."

    No argument here, but that doesn't negate the need for being able to reconfigure the default UI to meet specific needs. Also, if so many pilots need to adjust and change the default UI, maybe that's a good indicator that the default UI is NOT useful!

    "He further asked if there are some other elements that would be possible to integrate into the overlay."

    Oh please no; that thing has already become such a cluttered mess that it is hardly useful as it is.

    (Continued below)

    1. (Continued)

      "Sugar Kyle asked about adding more keyboard shortcuts for more things. CCP Arrow reponded by showing some of the extra work they've been doing around control schemes. The first was controlling EVE through voice commands,... CCP Arrow brought up that they were exploring ideas around using eye tracking to augment other controls for EVE."


      Let me get this straight - we (through a CSM rep, thanks Sugar) ask for simple keyboard shortcuts for more functions, and CCP instead comes back with voice commands and eye movement tracking?!? Again, all we want is simple and effective functionality that can be implemented in the here and now! Meanwhile, CCP seems to be focusing on tinkering with future toys and playing with complex technology that will take years to get right, will probably never be used by a majority of the player base, and does nothing to solve current problems with the game's control system! Could they possibly be any more disconnected from the players' needs and wants? Seriously, what is wrong with these devs?

      I would love to see (at some future date) a more detailed account of what went on in that session. I would hope that it contained several instances of our CSM reps calling out CCP for all the crap they threw out in that session. I would hope that would reveal the CSM letting CCP know just how far off-base they were in their understanding of the players' needs for this game to be functional, playable, and enjoyable. If this didn't happen, then I hope that this message reaches a few CSM members while still in Iceland who will be willing to go back to those CCP devs and let them know just how wrong they are, because I for one am tired of fighting with the game's UI just to be able to play it, and I have no intention of waiting for some buggy future technology to come along and solve the problems that could easily be fixed today with much simpler means!

    2. My first thought on the voice command thing was that it would let an FC call out an instruction, have it relayed into the voice command software, and let him control the entire fleet (aka key broadcasting 2.0, but now with voice!)

      I think there is only one word for this: No....


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