Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Bit of Unexpected Clairity

I found myself wistfully swinging my chair back and forth. Tomorrow is Vanguard, a release. I'm not excited about it and that disappoints me. It is not because I am angry at CCP or disappointing in Vanguard's content. It is because the five release schedule has brought so many releases that I no longer get that burbling the world is changing get ready for it glow of excitement that I used to.

It isn't something I thought about until Expansion's came back. Also, attention has been elsewhere. I'm often a few releases ahead in knowledge and or projects.  But, today it is warm in the house. I don't feel particularly productive. I'm pondering going to bed early and I realize that tomorrow is release day and it is an, "Okay," type of moment.

Now, realizing my own state of releases, I'm much more excited about the return of expansions. It is not that I am bitter or angry or even dislike the five week schedule. Nosy Gamer was nice enough to sit down and create a condensed list of changes that have happened since the release schedule started. It was something I had planned to do but now I can mooch off of his work.

What I will miss most about tomorrow is not being able to listen to Diz muse about the battlecruiser changes. I hope that some point in the future, I'll get to give them a try and that I will find myself pleased with the outcome. I have refused to fly Hurricanes since the nerf almost three years ago because I refused to add to any stats that said Hurricanes where being used as often as pre-nerf. And I've whined about them a lot since then. I couldn't even go, "I'm done talking about them," because really I wasn't. I was bitter and mostly bit my tongue because frothing bitterness wasn't going to make things go back to how they used to be.

Plus, I have this thing where I try to let changes roll on and adapt to them before I go about seeking change.

That leaves me excited on one hand to see what the changes are going to do out in space and a bit wistful for the past on the other. I'm not a theory crafter or an EFT/Pfya warrior. I always need to take my ships out into space and fly them around to get a feel for them.

I think that I understand the positive  response the return of expansions  has generated. Now it is for CCP  to strike the balance.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

CSMX - Post #29

To start with the biggest question: Why is Day 4 delayed?

We had technical difficulties. During the entire summit we kept having files corrupt and they had to be recovered. This slowed everything down. Normally, Day 4 would have been recovered but with Fanfest on Thursday and Friday CCP had an Event and then the CSM had a gathering and a dinner, things didn't get done. Followed by developers where heading out to the European tour of Eve Meets, lots was going on, files had to be recovered, and everyone was exhausted. And here we are with them not finished and released. Releasing the minutes in 24 hours is ambitious and this time didn't go smoothly. I know other people like it. I've been over ruled on it. I still dislike it. I've been transcribing my notes and the video has been recovered so that last day should get together, approved, and released even if I have to endure my own voice and transcribe the entire thing on my next set of days off.

Tuesday is release day. Vanguard's patch notes are available. As always, read the patch notes. I do admit this is not a habit I had in any game before Eve.

The rules for the Amarr Championships have come out. People are already at work grinding up their security status and writing their letters to the houses. These are small gang fights that will take place in November with the finals at Fanfest for those interested. I'm not into tournaments but the amount of roleplay and angst is fascinating to behold. Like the decisions CCP has made on how to hold this or not, they have caused a stir of interest and that is always good. Remember, the team does not have to be the same corporation or alliance.

I got a nifty mail the other day from someone who contacted me about a little thing earlier in the year. I directed them to the little things thread. For the Vanguard release, they saw their little thing included in the release. All of the credit goes to the developer that pulled the fix from the little things thread and the player who posted it. I love to share success stories like that.

Also new players will be starting with some more skill points. There has been a lot of talk about retroactively giving the skillpoints to everyone. The two weeks before the patch will be grandfathered in. I've checked but I haven't seen mention of retroactively changing skill points for everyone for the other skill point changes that have come in. That includes when skill points where decreased to 50k. CCP Rise made a post about it. This topic is one that we started last year and it has continued forward. It is a fine balance between helping new players invest without taking away rewarding first moments. I'm not convinced that skilling them into T2 weapons and Frigate 5 on day one is the path to go. For one, not everyone wants combat capabilities and for two you take away so many early accomplishments that your help can also hinder. We who play, who write these blogs and argue these mechanics are vested in Eve. We have to invest new players first in the very concepts of our game.

Do you use PLEX to buy your Fanfest tickets? If so, buy them now. CCP will be phasing this out as they fully convert over to Eventbrite, The answer is in the link. Sales of Eve Vegas and Fanfest tickets via PLEX are very, very low volume and high overhead. When this was suggested last year the CSM pushed that CCP could not just snip it out without giving people a chance to plan around the change. That is why there is the special sale for this year and the warning of the change went out in March.

Eve Vegas is in less then four weeks. Oh my. Who else is going? If you are interested in Eve events check the Out of Game events section of the forums or try Eve Meet.

I have quite the task list of stuff to work on. It gets in the way of non-CSM blogging and regular game play. The minutes getting finished and the FAQ are my main priorities for my next two days off of work. I'm giving myself leeway that the FAQ may not get done till this weekend. Then it has to go in for fact checking with Team Game of Drones. I'm also going to try for a talk this weekend. I suspect Sunday around 1300 and 2000 Eve time like normal on Eve Uni public coms. I should have Corbexx along and Thoric can hopefully do the 2000 session for those interested in null sec chats.

We are hitting the halfway point of CSMX.

This last week has been interesting in that there has been a bit of a shift in the community mood. I don't know if it is because summer is over and peoples children have gone back to school. I do not know if it is because so much venom, bitterness, and hate has been spread that some are finding themselves empty. But there has been a marked change of behavior. People are pushing back against the negativity and nastiness instead of embracing it. Pizza for CCP. Support as CCP Ytterbium puts his foot down.

It is not that I want people to suck up to CCP and buy them stuff. CCP is not a perfect company. The developers are not perfect people. Nor are the players. What I want people to remember is that there are people on the other side of their screen. Developer or player they are a person. You can disagree absolutely and completely and even become angry without treating someone like trash. I've never asked anyone to say they liked what they did not in the game or the games development. I don't plan to start. But, seeing this mood adjustment in the last week has been healing.

Eve isn't perfect. Things can be better. That is why some of us picked up these responsibilities and make these efforts that are made available. I know that some consider the CSM to be ridiculous and nothing but fourteen self serving people attempting to manipulate CCP for their own gain. For all of those that have believed in me and walked with me the last year and a half thank you for all the mails and conversations. I'm still responding back to some of them. You all keep me going through the negative times. Sometimes it is hard to see anything past them. I told you last year and this year again that my CSM term is only successful with all of you with me. Thank you for helping me keep hope in the community that I promised to serve.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Facets

Perhaps, I should have been more productive this evening. I could have transcribed some day 4 notes or worked on my outline and links for my Sunday post. Instead, I spent a lot of time reading.

CCP is instituting a skill point change on Tuesday where new players will get a base skill point bump by giving them some basic skills that currently slow down the first few days of the game. There are a lot of reactions around this. Many good. Many that feel that it isn't enough. And a lot of people who are angry. I'll touch on that a bit more on Sunday.

Somewhere in all of this reading, and talking with a few new players who have been in the game for a short period of time, I realized that we've had an interesting generation appear. Last year, I had discussed that we will have players who never knew Eve before Phoebe. This was exaggerated from its normal trend by the 'This is Eve' trailer. That gave us an entire wave of players, many that left but some that stayed. Many where from already connected and interactive groups. Those players stepped into some of the social aspects of Eve earlier then others.

That is how I found myself blinking at a conversation I was reading that went, "Remember two years ago when they released the last expansion?" and the other party said, "No. I started last December. I've never seen an expansion."

Huh. I don't consider myself that old of a player. My 4th birthday is coming with the start of December. But, I have seen so much in my little time. The rise and fall of Battlecruisers online. The end of expansions. The changes of Phoebe. Crimewatch. Odyssey. And for all of that I have seen so little. I'm a post Incarna child and I am very firm in that stance. I cannot know what CCP was like before Incarna but now we've had very game changing releases happen.

What will this period of no expansions be known as? We have a generation of player born into it. Born after Phoebe and lured by 'This is Eve'. They are players that came for the interactive gameplay. The fleets and the corporations, the people working together to do things. Oh, we have others players. The ones that always appear. Some that stay because like me they logged into Eve one day on a whim and fell in love with the game. Or the ones that came again and again and only in these latest changes did they stick.

How will they see Eve? Some are born as I was, with 50k skill points. On Tuesday, others will enter with 400k+. The ones who enter now will known expansions and meet one as they enter the spring. Those who have not known expansions will look at this as a new type of game. And those of us who have known expansions will compare it to what we have known. I, since Crucible, and others since Castor.

We will also see it through the time of no expansions, through the future and the past. What it means and what will come, I don't know. I do believe that CCP works on a more complex problem than Eve the game. It works with a player base that has been with them for over a decade. It causes a dance of bringing in the new and not disenfranchising the old. And it is not a charted future.

Eve's generations are interesting things. They are not defined by an expansion or the name of a release. They are defined by events within the game world. Maybe a release, maybe a single change, perhaps a trailer, or it might be the rise or fall of an empire.

It reminds me that my Eve is not the same as another. Outside of what I like to do and the game that I play there are other things that define my game. How can I ask someone to understand the rise and fall of a well known alliance, to know the joke about an often spoken of player that they will never know? Of blogs gone cold and empires grown old, there will always be someone who never knew them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

So I Creep... yeah...

A the other day I received a commission to build some dreadnoughts for someone for a project. I'll discuss that a bit later. For now, I have a task to do and I am amazingly excited about it.

Today is a day off. My husband managed to wake up before me and I debated drifting back to sleep for another few hours. Instead, I rolled out of the bed and helped with the morning dog walk because I wanted to start my Eve day a bit early.

You see, I needed to move a lot of things around. I'd need to jump into low sec in some well occupied boarder areas. Having lived in these various regions, I know their residents habits. I got my alts loaded up with things and started to get them moved around.

I needed to position a cyno ship. I needed to select a region to stage out of. I needed to get some blue prints out of low sec. I needed to do a vast list of little time consuming things to get myself set up to start moving materials and start making jumps.

I found this all quite exciting. I was given a system to make the items at. That meant that I had to get into and out of that system and stage while I was at it. My automatic reaction was to use what was in front of me. But, I thought a little bit. One area hovers to near a ganking pipeline for my interest. A little bit of time on ICSC and I had a staging system all prepared that was almost ten light years away in much safer territory that was more familiar to me.

I used zkillboard and dotlan to check on activity. It was not just a matter of seeing if ships were being killed. I needed to see what ships were dying. A gatecamp produces a different system kill report than people PvPing or hunting in faction warfare complexes. Reasonably sure that both of my target systems were inactive, I sent the respective pilots to their destinations. I resisted the lure of autopilot. Nether traveled in anything expensive in their ship or their head. But people like to pop autopiloting shuttles and capsules just for fun. It is a fun that seems to lay in knowing you have effected someone even if they don't find out for hours. I wasn't in the mood to deal with that so I shuttled my ships by hand to their destinations and then plunged them into low sec and hoped that I was correct about the lack of gatecamps.

I was. Both pilots arrived in their systems. One went to set herself up as a cyno. The other went to retrieve one of my jump freighters. I have two now because I have two jump freighter pilots. This was all part of my long plan before I kind of stepped away from things to reevaluate myself. Anyway, pilot number 2 discovered that her jump freighter came with a few billion ISK in stuff.

Now I have a quandary. Do I give into the temptation to put up a market in my new building system? I'll have to think about that.

She hustled the items out of low sec and settled them into a high sec system. A bit more research told me the path I was planning to move my jump freighter so that it could reach the edge of jump range to get to the new building station was clear. I could move closer, but that leads through a common secondary gank system. Is my jump freighter worth a risk when I could stay a step out and jump from there?

Once I parked everyone I shut down for the day. The game was getting busier and I have a stack of fun and exciting paperwork to do. FAQ updates anyone? Still, I very much miss having tasks to do. Being adrift has not been healthy for me. This is a little thing but hopefully it will help wake me up the rest of the way.

I like this part of Eve. Planning, researching, watching, and slinking around. Its not glamorous. It is not shiny. Yet, its nerve wracking to see if I was correct or if circumstances changed in the few minutes I cannot account for. That is the reason the single shard nature of Eve attracts me.

For now, I'm settled until my next days off from work. I'll start writing contracts to move fuel and minerals where I need them. In my stash, I found a cache of capital components so I'm already saving a few million from my plans.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Nyx


This is Nyx. I've wanted to write about her for a while. It seems a good day to do so.

Some might consider it a call of fate that I had a dog named Nyx before I started playing Eve Online. Nyx is seven and I did not start looking into or playing Eve until 2011. I often shy away from her name when it comes to Eve related things because people assume that she is named after the ship in game.

Nyx, you see, is named after Nox.


And Nox was named after the character in the Incarnations of Immortality series of Piers Anthony. I loved the name. I like x's. That is how Nox got his name and as he grew older and I decided to get Nyx, I had this desire to give them the same name. It was a hand off of sorts. Nox would teach Nyx and in that way he'd stay with me. He was an amazing, amazing dog. I miss his goofy, good natured energy.

The goodess, Nox/Nyx fascinated me. Many people assumed that Nox was really Knox after the US Fort. But no, he was named for a goddess with a fascinating name and interesting description.

And that is how Nyx, got her name and I got to write an Eve associated post about my dogs.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

CSMX - Post #28

The CSM finished its first summit. The second one will be in February of 2016. The first three days of minutes are released.


Day Four is on the way. We simply got slowed down with things like the o7 show, people travelling, some problems with the recordings, and being worn out. There is no nefarious reasons under it. We are tired. The attempt to release the minutes the following day is exhausting and easily unsettled by technical difficulties and scheduling conflicts.

Changes are coming. CCP Seagull is back writing dev blogs and doing some face to face communication with the community. This is something that the player base has asked for and that we had asked CCP for as well. I'm glad to see the decision being made for her to step forward again. With her newest dev blog and appearance on the o7 show comes the announcement that we are moving to a hybrid release/expansion cycle.

After spending the last fifteen or so months doing a six week release schedule a lot has been learned. Many, many things have happened in Eve in last fifteen months but the scattered feeling of the releases does not give a wow factor and indeed causes distress from players who are having to change every six weeks in a game renowned for its long plans. The six week releases will continue. They will contain tweaks, small things, and fixes. Larger projects will be bundled into more expansion themed titles that are easier to market and consume.

I didn't know how people would take this when we heard about it a few days before the Summit. I don't think it is a bad idea. I had no idea how the player base would respect. Over all, the response has been positive and I am glad for it. It changes some of the planned deadlines but the end product should hopefully be more spectacular.

CCP Seagull also opened the return of the o7 show.



We watched them put the set together this weekend. Between it and the construction on the brewery on the floor below CCP, it was often noisy at amusing moments. Right before the release of the show a new structure dev blog was released by Team Game of Drones. With it comes major changes to how structures work. We're going back to the hit point model but with some changes.

The work on structures is still ongoing. They are moving along and not just in the contemplation stages anymore. Some people like these changes, some do not. All in all, I think we are heading towards a good place. The more we did into structures the more complicated they become. What was a dream filled hope is turning into a reality but there is so much more involved in making it a good reality. See where it is and chime in with how you feel. I have to update the FAQ that I wrote with the new information and the entosis changes.

I forgot to comment on the Amarr succession trials last month because the announcement came out over my personal vacation. This is something I've known about since last fall. There have been questions about the current game story line and does it expand into the future. I can say yes and this is the type of event that is now coming to fruition from prior planning. CCP Fozzie has rebalanced the Gold and Silver magnates and shared some of that information at Eve NT this weekend.

I like the idea of the players being the champions of the Amarr houses. While not a fan of tournaments, having the players involved in the story-lines direction is very Eve. It is the type of thing people can brag about forever and others can look back at as a type of moment they may be able to have in the future.

On my to do list are a few things. We're still working on ongoing structure talks. We're now working on scanner feedback as well. Many, many changes have gone in this last week to improve it. CCP Goliath posted a 31 point update list on feedback they have gotten and worked on over the last two weeks. Join in the feedback. This project is to push the scanner out of beta. "Please don't change anything," is not going to happen. Participation is how you can help the scanning experience stay the same or get better.

I also expect to see people interested in new players working on some pooling and information searches with new players. I'll have to go harass someone at Eve Uni. This has been tasked to us from the New Player focused team.

I've been asked how I felt about the Summit. It was fine. I'm frustrated in some areas. People have left and new teams have formed. Some of the work I have done has gone down the toilet and I will have to rebuild it. It is not that the current people do not wish to interact, it is just that it has to start from the bottom up again.

Also, ten of us went instead of seven. More people made the discussions a bit longer. We ran over almost every single session. The increase in people is part of the 'give up fanfest to get more people to the summit' initiative that I was a supporter of during CSM9. While I managed to be busy interacting with players and Devs and doing the CSM thing at Fanfest it was nothing like a week of meetings and focused discussion like a summit brings. At Fanfest, many members of the CSM are done with their terms and CCP is busy running Fanfest. Cutting it for more opportunities at productive face time was a call I will continue to support.

I am very tired but I don't see myself resigning. I don't plan to go AFK and just surf out the rest of the term. I have lots of wistful regrets over how the last few months have gone. What has happened has happened. It doesn't make it okay but things can continue on. And for now? I have things to do.

I'll probably try to hold my next open talk on the 4th. Eve Vegas is just around the corner and I will be there for the fourth time.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

And Who We are?

Soon, I'll be checking out and heading to the airport.

Before I leave, I'll lay out a question that I presented to CCP Seagull and Eve's Producers.

"Is Eve a dark, cold, dystopian universe?"

Note, I didn't add harsh in there. A lot of Eve is balanced around the ability to lose what you gain and fail what you try. The question is not about Eve being a hard game of challenges where effort does not automatically save ones virtual efforts. Nor do I believe that harsh is a one sided word. It does not mean loss or destruction although those are some of the greatest motivators.

What I asked them was to look at what, Eve is. We have a game where we celebrate groups that rise up to help other people. We create as much as we destroy. We adopt new players, create complex social networks, and buy yellow jump suits when available.

Is Eve a dystopian universe where there is no hope and only an oily, slick death in hallways that reek of the set from Aliens. When I write creatively about Eve should my prose be soaked in despair and regret as everything around me crumbles?

In 1999 and into 2000 as Eve was conceived, the science fiction environment was a bit different. Harshness does not have to come with a lack of hope. When players log into the game do they take a deep breath and go, "I shall regret every moment, fail every task, and have no potential to ever succeed. Then I shall die to some horror movie villain and never a shaft of sunlight shall piece the clouds."

There is a cohesiveness that the environment lacks. I feel we often speak to antiquated platitudes. Over and over this week I have listened to people reference some of the largest battles in the game. Their words are not about loss and despair. They are about the efforts and energies that were put out and the successes and failures that came from that. It seems to be the knowledge of what could have been and what almost was that drives people on. The pressure of the edge and the face of the void motivate.

I'm a nothing in Eve. A single player in a big universe. I am often alone and have nothing more to leverage but myself. It is easy to ask why I play and what motivates me to Eve. Its always been the potential. I've never been promised anything but a possibility. I've only been promised that I can try. If I aspire to it, it is my job to reach it.

If Eve is a universe without hope, joy, light and color, how can it encompass the hope, joy, help, success, effort, energy, and passion of its inhabitants?

A single, throw away line of the most dramatic and echoing prose no longer contains the game. It no longer defines the players. It no longer speaks to what is and what is not.

I asked them to look at what Eve is. I did not ask them to define it. My game is not your game. Your game is not the next persons. But the universe that we play in, vast and richly textured as it is, deserves a definition that encompass what it has been. Perhaps, when conceived, the dark, wet, universe was what Eve would be. It was before the rise of Eve Uni and efforts of groups like Estel Arador Corp Services. It was before we celebrated groups like Brave Newbies and during a time when a trailer like 'This is Eve' had never been envisioned.

It is 2015 and 2016 is sitting around the corner. As the game is updated and refined the definition and physical vision of the game world has to keep pace.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Day 5: Retrospects and Musings

I slept in. It did not feel like sleeping in because I was up until 0530. But, I crawled out of bed by 1300 when Corbexx buzzed me to find out if I was dead. We tried to find Sion but he ignored our calls and knocks so the two of us went to get soup on our own.

Iceland is an interesting place. There is familiarity here, this is my 5th time visiting and the 4th time in a year. Yet, it is still very different. The general mood about the summit is that it went very well. There was apprehension at the start but we were productive. Yet, we have to bring that productivity with us past the summit. Talking to the developers and the producers often causes so much understanding. Somehow we have to keep that going, constantly. We can't be there every day and I cannot but feel that we can do better with keeping that free flowing movement alive.

The CSM thing is often full of frustrations. I've put my phone down a few times and sighed. I feel like I need to solve everything but I know that I cannot. Yet, the urge is there and creates a lot of frustration. I don't know if my attempts to explain and share have failed. I don't know if the well is to deep for me to fill. I don't feel that I know very much these days.


The town is very colorful. I approve of the art. A painted wall seems to decrease the desire of the graffiti artists to tag it.


 It leads to construction barriers being very pretty.


And there is a mix of old and new architecture

They started digging out a parking lot to build a hotel and found an ancient wall instead. Now, construction has paused.


And random fresh water fountains are everywhere.


They also don't make huge barriers to stop people from doing silly things like falling in the harbor. I do like that.

We had our group dinner, minus Gorski who left early to go to Eve NT and Jayne who I dunno where he was. It was at Ban Thai. I felt Thai was a bit risky but I am also American so what do I know? The affair was a bit more casual then I expected so I felt over dressed in my fancy top with my makeup done. I also didn't wear the heels I dragged along because we walked and it was about a half an hour trot to get there.

Friday is a big night in the city. People were arriving for their night on the town. I meandered back to the hotel while others split off to meet up with the rest of CCP that was out on the town. I do wish that I was different and wanted to go and hang out. Yet, as the music started to play and the streets become crowded I just wanted to hole up in my room and escape. I find myself daydreaming as one might when young at being a bolder, braver, confident person that finds energy in the noise and crowd. After all, you're not supposed to admit that things upset and over whelm you, that the proper social choices are exhausting. I often say I'd love to be that better person, but I'm just me and that's something that I need to come to a better peace about.

Tomorrow I am home. I hope to be in before midnight. In January high winds delayed us for hours. I do miss my husband, my dogs, and my plants if not my job. I'd also like a decent burger and a salad.

I am leaving the summit with a stack of work. The day four minutes need to get finished. I also have a few projects that I will detail and they should help keep me busy over the next few months. I also have to do some updates to the FAQ and the list of 'things that need to be done' just keeps on going. So, for now, goodnight.

Day 4: September Summit, 2015

I should have felt rested on Thursday but I did not. I was up at six and out at my normal times. Last year I slept over one day and had to rush to the office. It has made me extra paranoid this time. 

Dire commented yesterday that 0645 is not a super early time to get up. I debated being defensive. I get up at 0500 on my normal work days. Yet, that answer had a bit of a one upmanship feel to it and I remembered that I wasn't defending what I consider early. Part of my logging in what time I get up and go to bed and how long the meetings are is to let people know what is going on. I still hear about my 'free vacation' to Iceland. I've heard people say, "I am not interested in drinking and making friends with the dev's." Writing that I get up and have this mundane day is so that people know that we're up early and in meetings all day. There is such a chant of transparency but the summits themselves were cloaked. My goal in writing this has been to share the every day. Some may spend their evenings drinking but even if they do they have standards to meet. Everyone has been on time this year.


There is a lot of graffiti in this country. This was a little drawing stuck to the side of a building.

The CCP office is familar. Having badges this year is very nice. I feel a bit more confident when I enter. I know where I am going and I use the steps because its good for me. Leeloo took pictures of us and sent it around in a company e-mail so everyone knows who we are. I have the lovely fact of standing out a bit more than normal. Yet, when I walk in I feel like I'm invading someone else's home. So, I try to walk lightly and not get in the way.

I do like the office. As someone who has spent most of their life working for local governments, I'm fascinated by the office environment. It is attractive. People wander around without shoes. There are couches and chairs and a game room. It is unlike any work environment I've ever been in. It leaves me sadly and softly envious. Such a place will not be waiting for me when I go home.

But the hot, hot meeting room. Ugh. Four days of it and its like the room can no longer cool down and fresh air is not something we will ever be able to experience again.

We met the producers, which was interesting. We asked them what they did and how they did their job. We asked what we could do for them and we tried to learn how we can facilitate communication. Some of it is about building knowledge for future CSMs. We so often have information and then we try to figure out who does what and what may need what. It is not as clear as it might be most of the time so we're trying to figure out ways to make that better. 

Team security is candid with us most of the time. We've asked them to write a dev blog making it clear what they handle and when and how one can or should contact them. 

My Faction Warfare session went well. I'm going to work on the notes I took during the minutes once I finish writing this. A good bit is being put on the table. The session does contain some interesting things on the PvE side. A discussion about warp core stabs did happen and the general outcome of that is it for the balance team to discuss.

The rest of the evening was a big wad of talk about the white paper, then the community team, and then the retrospective. We could have cut out early but we wound up talking until almost six. However, people were going on the o7 show. We could stay and have pizza and watch if we wanted. I decided to slip out and go try to find a restaurant I was looking for to have a nice dinner.

I was asked later that night why I didn't go on the o7 show. The answer is simple enough. I'm not a physically attractive person and the internet is a cruel place. Without being beautiful and skinny or having intense whit or charm, there is little left for me but taunts and more blows to my already lacking self esteem. I didn't join the CSM to be on camera or spotlit in some way. I just wanted to work and hopefully make Eve better. Most days I don't know if that's happened but it has always been my goal. I feel guilty when I'm asked to go on things or people ask why I was not there. After all, I did promise to do my best by everyone. Yet, that is something I just can't bring myself to do and it makes me a bit ashamed of myself. I wish I could give people everything that they wanted and be good enough to do everything.


I went and changed into my t-shirt. It was the last time I'd have to put on a button up shirt. I try to dress well during these trips. I take my time in the office very seriously. As much as I hate dressing up and fashion I know that my normal attire is utterly simple and uninspired.

My restaurant of choice is called Kopar. My meal was amazing but there were beets on my plate. I decided to be bold and try them. They were amazing. Utterly amazing. I wound up talking to the head chef who told me how to make them. "So, easy" she said. Its a mix of vinegar and sugar and they are boiled for two hours. I shall be experimenting at home.

CCP will be moving their office in a few years. Until they do they are part of the harbor map.


I find that type of thing cool. Anyway, I came back to my room and wrote for a a bit. I was then buzzed by Sion after he finished his television segment on the o7 show to go out. Feeling less weird in comparison to Wednesday, I decided to take a deep breath and do so.

I've often talked about the struggles of being social. Its not that the people I am hanging out with are not great. They are very pleasant and I enjoy their company. Going out, hanging out places, they are not part of my normal life. I'd really never been to a bar before I started doing Eve things. Bars still confused me a good bit. I feel like I am intruding on people. I've talked about it and looked into it. Not drinking and getting past that social barrier seems to be part of the over all problem. The discomfort is all mine and I tend to warm up after a little bit.

I wound up staying out until 4am which was in itself interesting. I can say that everyone had the same opinions under various levels of intoxication. No strange and weird personalities jumped up. Some things may not agree with others but I found no horror or weirdness to concern myself with.

Day 3: September Summit, 2015

I should have written yesterday but I succumbed to socialization and interaction overload and went and curled up in my room instead. Anyway, no one is here to hear my struggles with being social and stressing myself over the summit.


Google photo's 'assistant' tool created a panorama from my habit of taking several shots. I hope you enjoy my view. Sion's view is an alley and he has a skylight illuminating his toilet. I'll accept my view eve with the ugly carpet and the entire steps to death thing going on.



Dawn is a beautiful time of day. It is also to damn early. I am not a lover of the morning but while I am here I try to enjoy it. However, the weather has been very, very clear and lovely. September is a nice time of year for this place.


There is a green peace boat in dock. A controversial group, I've only read about them. Seeing their ship docked was an odd experience. Also behind it you can see the clouds over the mountain. They often look like foam pouring down the mountainside.

Beyond admiring the morning, my day is as it has been. I get up at 0645. I go to breakfast. I walk to CCP's offices. I read over the minutes more and add some things. People have been very pleased with these released minutes. However, they don't tell the whole story of the discussion back and forth. They don't reflect that we run over time every single session and we've crammed a few extra in.

Steve's been giving breakdowns of how he feels in the sessions. I always feel nervous and stressed. How I feel does not reflect how the players will feel. I've learned that I have no ability to dictate what will make people happy and what will disappoint them.

The minutes are out as I write this which makes a review easier.  But let me comment on Tuesday. The Customer support session on day two session was very good. I went in with a few major points last year. One of them being a central place for policy and the other being some more directions to help players in a situation where they believe someone is suicidal. I have secondary goals like better instructions and more clarity as to the the CS process.

As for day three, the QA team was good. They have consolidated several areas that I've been chasing individuals around for. Economy news was always good. I tried to ask a few useful questions. The launcher session was solid. Structures was a continuation of what we have been talking about every day. Art is another group that has been listening to player feedback. We're working on a follow up meeting with the art director. The UI session was productive. That team has changed a lot so some of it was touching bases again and pushing him things like scaling is a problem and we need the client to be MUCH bigger then it is now. And then the Fanfest review. They have someone dedicated to planning all of that good stuff.

My evening was uninteresting. I came and holed up in my room for the night. Everyone is falling sick around me but I still feel fine. I won't trust it until I don't come down with something.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Day 2: September Summit, 2015

Waking up was easier this morning. As easy as 0615 tends to be.


I got downstairs around 0715, ate, and wandered to the office to start the morning and catch up on my personal notes of yesterday.


Today, there was a lot of sessions and we found ourselves often running over. Having more people in the room changes the dynamics of talking. The participation is greater and that shows in trying to give everyone speaking time. I found the little things session interesting because I've worked with CCP devs and the little things they are doing now. I send people to Karkur's threads. When I was building my binder, I realized that many things had been resolved since the start of CSM9. So much of my list is not little when it comes to development time or design time. That was one thing I tried to help get defined in the little things talk. What is a little thing.

Lunch was cold sandwiches and then back for meetings. We ran over again, and again, and a bit more. My Uniformity and Individuality section got over run a bit but I was able to lay out the core idea of it. I talked more today. I took notes. I'm also very tired and starting to feel it.

Two more days to go. Afterwards we went to the favorite hangout spot and pretty much continued our sessions until almost midnight. It was not an evening of getting drunk and partying. We discussed several things and I have at least one new game plan that I am starting to develop as part of some new goals. We spent a lot of time with CCP Seagull as well who also came down with us to powwow longer.

Eventually, hunger drove me out at 2330. The place I was hoping to get food was closed. I settled for the sandwich place that is beside the hotel. It is not Nonnies. I don't care for Nonnies. No matter how much people worship it I don't care for it. So, I'm eating for the first time since lunch now as I type this. Then, I'm going to crawl into bed and hopefully get almost six hours of sleep. I'm going to have to do minutes in the morning or something.


Today was kind of emotional and not in a bad way. A lot of things were said. I feel a bit better in some ways and a bit more focused in others. The first round of minutes are also out. I know people want them immediately and all that comes with it. I don't care for the rushed version and I don't see myself developing a taste for it. It is what it is. I've been told its for the best. The minutes, I have decided both excite and depress me. I love sharing but it never seems to be quite enough nor bring the pleasure I hope that it will.

But that is another topic to ponder. For now, bed.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Day 1: September Summit, 2015

The pictures from yesterday should be fixed.

Technically, I had been here for a few minutes over 24 hours when I crawled out of the bed. I slept fairly well but things feel strange. A shower at least made me presentable and I wandered down to breakfast by 0715. Almost everyone else was there. I pondered if I was in truth, late, but decided that it did not matter. I ate my fruit and patte. I wish I knew what the patte stuff was. I think its lamb. I have no idea. Its some type of processed meat from a can and its lovely.

Anyway, I waited for everyone to wander down to the office at around 0815. I then watched people much taller then I am pull away as they walked very fast. I could have walked fast but, I figured why? So, off they went into the distance and I wandered on along pondering how well I now know these familiar routes.

The first meeting of the day was with Hilmar. He brought us a cake.


Only, it isn't a cake in the understanding of cake that I have. It is a cake because Iceland says it is. It is a Brauotera which is a traditional sandwich loaf. I stared at it in horror. It is made of bread, mayo, and shrimp with cucumbers and tomatoes on the top. 



From what I read the mayo can be mixed with sour cream. I am not a mayo eater and this was perhaps, my worst nightmare when it comes to food. I was staring with such horror that Jayne decided to take my picture and splash it all over twitter. I found out second hand. I hate having my picture taken so its a rather unhappy thing to discover someone is snapping your image and pasting it everywhere. It will teach me to control myself better.

I did not try the mayonnaise soaked horror.

After talking to Hilmar, Steve set up a bowl of M&M's mixed with Skittles.


For me, this was a pretty quiet day. I wound up typing the notes for half of the Sov session when CCP Falcon had to leave for another meeting. He is doing our note taking. Corbexx discussed wormhole stuff. I was able to interject a tiny bit. Lots of low sec loves the jump changes. 

The room is on the second floor and there are no windows. While bigger, its still crowded, and hot, and full of body heat and stuffiness. Its quite a bit to sit in hour after hour. The darkness leaves it feeling like a cave. CCP Falcon said that its back to Trinity for February.

What struck me the most, as I typed the sov sessions since I had precious little to interject and the bits I did have they touched on, was how different various parts of Eve are. I know that I say it all of the time but I am astonished, again and again, what different worlds we live in. I was using Corbexx's laptop and writing in notepad. Right now, I'm spell checking the horror show that came with a strange keyboard while trying to keep up with a conversation I didn't intuitively understand like I do other mechanics in Eve.

It was a long day. On the way out I took a picture of some gorgeous flowers that I have never seen before.


I had dinner. I ordered to much food but I was hungry. Lunch at CCP was some type of weird, spongy fried fish ball. I ate about a third of mine and had some salad. That left me pretty empty by the time we were done. So, I ate. We talked. I pondered virtual life and its virtual universe.


People were going out to meet at the pub. I started to and then realized that today was not the day for me to do that. So, I came back to find out that for the second night I cannot get to the elevator to my room. Last night the fire screen was down. Tonight, they have the wood floor portioned off. I have to walk up to the second floor and back through the building to get to the elevator that goes tot he 8th floor.


This is my room door and the fire exit that leads to the cage. This is a cot in front of it. For some reason this cot is being stored in the hall. It was across from my door yesterday (you can see my door handle on the left). It also had a comforter on it yesterday. Today, it has pillows on it. What I am noticing is a certain fondness for blocking exit doors.

So, there I am. I've gone through and touched up the sessions I talked in. I also spell checked the mangled wads of letters that were the minutes I took during the sov session. Everyone is supposed to check and edit and add any notes that they have.

I guess I'll go to sleep.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Arrival: September Summit, 2015


The flight was turbulent but smooth. I was amused by the rejection of the blanket that Iceland Air provides by the girl across the isle from me. She looked at it with complete disgust and dropped it onto the floor at her feet, horrified by it. I knew that would change as it got colder and sure enough, three hours in her capries and sleeveless, low cut top was not keeping her warm and she suddenly found some warmth in that blanket. I've always found it to be a cold flight but my decision to change my seat from a window to an isle was perfect. I had room and a general sense of physical comfort that I normally have not had. I was also on a new plane so my USB connection worked! That was great. However, the tablet wasn't responding and I was besieged with a bright glowing screen until the stewardess explained how to reboot it so that it would start working again.

Flying into the sunrise is very beautiful. The sky quickly shifts from black to warm pinks and pale purples and blues. We landed and I unloaded. My husband sent me a message saying hi. He had followed the flight and saw that I landed safetly. I had switched my sim to my Siminn. The flight had been delayed about twenty minutes on my side. I trotted through the airport. The airport is very, very long. Its a long ass walk from one end to another. This time, I brought a rolling backpack and used that to support my briefcase which also holds my laptop. It was blissful but man, I was super hot by the time I got to baggage claim.

As if it was waiting for me, my suitcase was on the belt. Its bright blue and I picked it up in Tokyo in 2011. Then off to find Sion and the Gray Line which is not the Fly Bus but does the same thing when it comes to getting you from the airport to town.

I should have known that was all much to painless. The gray line has a transfer. I was expecting a station like the flybus. Instead, I found us downtown in front of Harpa parked beside a smaller shuttle. We were just on the side of the road and the entire thing was strange.



We were around two blocks from Center Hotel Plaza and Sion and I decided to just hoof it to the hotel. I snapped a photo of Harpa at 0700 and off we went.


Check in was painless. Center Hotel Plaza is a very pretty hotel with an ugly carpet. I was on the 8th floor which is nice and new. Once I peeked around the hallways to figure out the numbers I made it to my room which smells of paint and new carpet. However, what I thought was skanky retro carpet is in fact the hallway carpet of choice at the hotel.


My room carpet is milder.


I went and had breakfast with Sion. Or I tried to. You see, there is a stairwell beside my room. I figured I'd just run down it to the main level. That was the wrong thought. I should have known better when I opened the door and almost fell down the stairwell.


There isn't even a landing. I should have known better. But, hell. I had just been dropped off on a street corner. Its a stairwell right? Yeah no. I should have turned back at the 5th floor when I saw the floors didn't have knobs on the stairwell side. And the steps and landings were full of items. But, I'm dumb. I wound up at a dumpster enclosed in a cage and another door that led into an unlit stairwell that ended in piles of chairs being stored at maybe the exit? I decided to hoof it back up and I had to climb all eight flights again. Oh, this is after my twenty minute wait for the elevator because it was ether full of house keeping carts or people without luggage pushed past me and filled the elevator when it wasn't full. So yes, by the time I got breakfast I was a bit worn out, over heated, and wondering what the hell.

Mike and Jayne arrived. I then went to nap for a few hours. After that, Corbexx and Sort arrived. We had lunch, talked, and walked around a bit.



Eventually, we went to CCP's office and got our passes. This time the guest passes let us in the building. Before, we have always stood like waifs by the door scaring the employees until someone that recognizes us lets us in. Now we can go in, scare them ourselves, and find our conference room which is in a new place.

Cagali and Gorski also got in, as well as Steve. Endie got in super later, but I'm pretty sure that is all of us now.

It is 2245 local time. I guess I'm about set for this. My bags packed, my clothing is picked. I just need to get up, shower, eat, and hoof it to the office. My clocks set for 0645 so off I go.

CSMX - Post #27

It has been a busy week. I was amused, around Tuesday, when people speculated that there would not be anything new until after the summit. The opposite was true. CCP was trying to get things released before the summit so that we could discuss them without redacting every other line. The summit isn't about announcing new releases nor is it about hiding things from players. It is about feedback and face time for that feedback. Getting this stuff out to you now let's us have a discussion that you all have just feed information into and makes it easier to share it in the minutes. That, I approve of.

Fleet Warp Change Delay - This is going to a back burner for right now. While I support fleet warp changes in the macro usage that a pilot should fly their ships, I did not want to release a version that took away from game play. Change is fine but in change we should not lose the ability to work together in a swift way.

Some Sov Changes - Somewhere in all of the changes since Aegis, I've had some good talks with people over what they do and do not like. Most of these talks have come from people more used to low sec and not established sov holders. Those opinions I have shared. However, to give the null sec guys credit, they are all over it.

And a fatigue change as well - While the fatigue soundboard was an utter failure the topic was not dropped. I had never agreed with the 30 day cap from the announcement of the changes. This is a step. One, I hope, of several, as we look at this mechanic over the next few months.

The battlecruiser changes are here - I was listening to people lament the lack of battlecruiser changes earlier in the week and had to bite my tongue. I'm not the fitting guru so your opinions about these changes are very important to me. I was around for the end of the battlecruiser era. I'd like to see them as a regular ship choice instead of a sigh. I've been told that some newer players, never having experienced the battlecruisers beforehand, don't care so the changes are fine.

We're also doing some testing of the map and discussing features. Go look at it. While you are doing that the brain in a box mass test is going to be next week as well. Participate if you can. And while you are debating scanning and participating in mass tests you can take a moment to look at multibuy which is now active on Sisi.

CCP Leeloo has been working on a CSM portal. She announced it on Monday. In the past, the CSM has mostly tried to keep up with the CSM. My blog, for instance, has a side bar with the blogs of the other members of the CSM. I only have it because I am on the CSM and I will remove it when I leave. However, not all CSM blog. They tweet, they use the forums, and they use reddit. The goal of the portal is to try to scoop up all of that communication and make it easier for people to find. I've been getting a good bit of traffic from it. I hope it is working and people find it useful.

The goal is to have the minutes out the day after each session as was done in January. I hope that this goes well and I will be putting my non-meeting time into working on this goal. I expect I'll write about my exciting adventures of being in meetings and working on the minutes to keep everyone titillated. I will also be available in most of my normal ways. Mails are very good. They are easier to work through right before a meeting.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Shape of Space

To head out of town on a mildly contentious note, one topic that comes up a lot is, "What can be done to stop the gankers?" Oh, I tend to dislike discussion this topic. It opens up huge doors of emotion and anger. It touches upon how Eve is defined and people crouch on each side hissing insults over fitting and gameplay and assumed personality disorders. I don't hate the topic because of the topic, I hate it because of how people respond to it.

Coding in behavior is rather hard for CCP. They can try to give carrots and sticks out to get players to do things. But reward is not as tangible as a cookie may make it seem. With organization and cooperative work, players tend to over come hurdles and learn to dodge or mitigate the damage of sticks. The only thing that can challenge a player is another player.

What does everyone think about the shape of space? A few years ago, CCP opened up a few gates in the Amarr/Minmatar warzone that made a world of difference. The entire warzone no longer had to funnel through a pipe to get to the other side. A few years before that, upon the creation of Faction Warfare, Black Rise was created to give the Caldari warzone a large enough space.

We've also had the creation of the dronelands since Eve's creation. I am not adding wormhole space because it is not anchored on gates that a group can live on and camp in forever.

The shape of space started to chew at me when the Phoebe jump changes were first announced. Some areas are very, very far from others. This leads to bottlenecks in all areas of space. Areas that are predictable because a pilot wishing to move from them does not have another option.

The thing is that Eve's space is not some sacredly laid out masterpiece. It was created randomly. Yulai lost its gate and the original super highways were removed to ease server load. Over time gates have opened, regions have been built. Randomness is cool. After all, Eve is a spaceship game, but some of that needs to be looked at.

Often, when the case comes for miner ganking, people are advised to just move. Find a new system, there are thousands. Get off the major pathways. Look around. Players are often homebodies and tend to slowly move away from their home base like a drop of water into a still pond creates ripples. Habit traps us as well as any snare.

Are bottlenecks good? I ask because I am curious about what people will say. I expect someone will say that people could always just take their freighters through low sec if they wanted another route. That type of logic will get an eye roll. Instead, I'm curious about giving people choices. There is the lazy choice which is the easiest. And then there are the more complex paths people could take if they wished so. I don't want every bit of space connecting to every other bit. But two or three pathways create more options.

I do admit, I'm not a fan of gate camps. Thinking of methods to work around them appeals to me. I've turned around and flown another way, gone through another region, and doubled my travel time to avoid a gate camp. That came from awareness. I've also died to them when buzzing along without thought only to hear that high rattling buzz that says I'm fucked because someone has pointed me.

In my dreams there are ways that allow the hunters to hunt and the hunted to have make a decision about what they want to do. I'm not a fan of nerf this and buff that to fix things. I don't think game mechanics are going to fix every problem. Sometimes, we have to be willing to help ourselves and the mechanics give us the tools to do so. I'm fond of allowing people to screw themselves over by not looking or thinking before their act. I am just as fond of choices.

I've spent a tremendous amount of time in a freighter. I've had evenings when I decided to dock up and leave for the day because something told me if I decided to push, I'd push to far. That was a choice and one that adds excitement and depth to my game. I've also decided to roll with it and hope for the best.  Both things were choices and choices, I believe, are very, very good for us.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Eve - Humble Bundle Store

CCP put up an Eve pack in the humble bundle store thing. I was going to add it on Sunday but it only has two days and change left. New accounts cost 3.99 USD and come with a cerebral accelerator.

It is only for new accounts or upgrading trials. Still, if you've wanted another account, have at it.

https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/eveonline_storefront

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Two Months, Nine Days

I looked at my corporation history the other day. I'd been in Sebiestor Tribe for quite some time.

The NPC corp life is a bit different. The corporation chat window is almost always blinking as people chat. There are questions and conversations, people say good morning and wish each other good night. They discuss fits and discuss PvE and very, very rarely the topic of PvP may come up. When it does, it is mostly how to deal with people.

I watched someone roar in defiance at any CODE. watchers that might be there. I've seen them chat with a suicide ganker while others tried to rescue someone who had gone into a wormhole. They chat with newbies, sometimes they share recipes, and in general they live a very, very different Eve lifestyle to what I have so far.

It has been fascinating. It is not home. I to deeply desire to be around people who wish to be around me. No one knows what the CSM is. No one has ever commented on my name. Their world of Eve is not filled with news or third party websites. They never discuss development blogs or notice what is happening in the news.

Some leave. They ask for advice or wish everyone well when they go into the corporation lifestyle. Others are firmly resolved to stay where they are. The NPC corporation is the best corporation they say. They don't want structures, they even often avoid incursions. They have a very social game of Eve but they spend that time alone as well. And they are happy with it.

It has been an interesting time here. A little bit different. A few new things to learn. Some perspectives that I might not have been able to form. But the NPC corp life is not for the rest of my Eve.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Eve Fueled Dreams

I had a little series of stressmares last night.  Unlike their cousin, the nightmare, a stressmare is not terror inducing. Instead, its stress inducing as things go wrong and problems mount one after another.

This particular group was focused around travel from Eve related events. After I woke up and sat down with a glass of water to clear my head I realized that they were caused by my upcoming trip and the rushed feeling I have been given.

In my stressmare I was at some type of convention and I had packed a small, red suitcase. Inside the small suitcase I had placed a bulky object my husband asked me to purchase. At some point someone told me that the suitcases were not watched and to be careful. I said I wasn't worried about it and of course, I lost my suitcase.

In the second part of this stressmare my main red suitcase is also stolen from the suitcase area. Everyone tells me there is nothing that could be done about it and I wind up somehow with no clothing and some large, bulky object that isn't clothing to cover myself with as people shake their heads at me for not keeping my suitcase with me.

I know where the core of this comes from. Travel arrangements that I cannot control always leave me feeling as if I am on the edge of things. I had some hiccups. They were easily sorted or alternate plans made. But their existence sets the tone.  I'm also nervous. But that is to be expected. It doesn't make it easier but it is to be expected.

All of this lead to a dream about losing suitcases or at least having them stolen and how I should have been more responsible. At some point in the dream after having my stuff taken and winding up with almost no clothing options I got tired of being strong and started to cry. This is when I woke up.

I'd hoped to sleep in later. But, seven thirty on a day off was looking pretty good as I felt my pulse racing and woke up feeling stressed.

I'm going to go get my suitcase packed. It is bright, bright blue and not red. It is a hard case and not soft as the one in my dream. We don't even have any red suitcases.

I should be okay.

Did I mention that my husband has become addicted to plane crash documentaries? The series is called Mayday and he just loves the hell out of it. Every night he watches them and I wake up (going to bed first) with them on. Dramatic music. Plane going down. What fun.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Problems of Being Self Taught

While I was on vacation Sisi updated with some new timers. One of them was for wormhole polarization. I decided to update my client and go examine the new timer to see what it was like. With this came using the new map to probe down the sites. I hadn't gotten around to doing that yet so I managed to kill two stones at once type of thing.

It took me a bit to stumble through probing. I pretty much stopped after the release of Odyssey. I didn't care for the changes. Now top that with being rusty and I struggled for a bit. Let's see. Alt does what? Control does? Ahh okay, shift now or tab?

Poke, poke, poke. Click, click, click. I was able to get my probes doing what they where supposed to do. Kind of.

Okay. I remember this. Gather my seven probes, make my little shape, scan, shrink, scan... ohhh resolving.

Needless to say I was quite pleased with myself. After a few more mistakes I was on my way to probing the system. Eventually, the muscle memory woke up and stretched a bit. I'm also using the new map which didn't bother me much. I have the floating window so large that it might as well obscure everything. I do wish we could make the center of the screen somewhere else. I'd love to have the 'center' or camera by more to one side or a corner so that I could have windows shaped better.

What I did notice is that I'm a slow prober. I've always been a slow prober. I maxed out my probing character a long time ago. I've never used her as a combat prober. I was to embarrassed to do so. Everyone seems to probe so damn fast. A few seconds and they are done. I listen to arguments that discuss how easy probing is and how people probe things down in five seconds and I wonder what is wrong with me?

So, I never volunteered to combat probe. Everyone else just seemed faster. I figure that I'm doing something wrong. I'm not sure what it is. I am, after all, a self taught prober. After barely making it through the tutorial I vowed never to probe again. If it were not for Ender's endless adventures in scanning and doing sites I might have skilled on this aspect of the game. As it was, I learned to probe through trial and error and I made a good bit of ISK off of it once I got it down.

But, I was never fast as it seems others are fast. I know some of that is because I never took the time to memorize signatures. But, I seem slower then everyone else out there when I probe. I don't care. Tooling through space and unlocking its secrets at my leisure has always appealed to me.

CSMX - Post #26

This week is about preparing for the first summit for CSMX. It will span from September 14th to the 18th of 2015. CCP Leeloo posted the schedule on the official forums. The sessions cover all the topics listed and whatever else we can cram into it. Most are scheduled for an hour buy hot topics like null sec, structures, and projection are in two hour blocks.

This will summit. If we try to get the minutes out the following day as we were able to do in January for the second CSM9 summit the week will go like this for me: Arrive Sunday morning around 7am, be disoriented and jet lagged, try to get to sleek at a reasonable time, up at 7, breakfast, walk to CCP's office, summit starts at 9, meetings till 6-7pm, find dinner, work on minutes, maybe socialize and talk more Eve after hours, work on minutes, go to bed around 1-2. Wake up, work on minutes at breakfast, wash, rinse and repeat.

Most of my time is focused on notes and discussion topics for the various sessions. I have unresolved issues from last session. I also have new things that have come to the table. I try to get in as much as I can.

Not everything is covered in the summit. Some are more held by individuals rather then teams and we discuss them regularly or they are worked on as the person as time. Other things are not on the plan between this summit and the next one. We could discuss them but the summit focuses first on things that have happened and need to be gone over and things that are coming up. Not every single thing gets discussed. We'd need another week.

As for things in game, it looks as if we are getting more timers. Eyes have spied jump cloak and nullification timers on Sisi. I went to look myself. The jump cloak timer covers things like jump through a wormhole, not just a gate. This timer is showing up in the upper left hand corner of your screen.



Wormholes are also showing their polarization timers. There is a circular orange timer around the wormhole icon that counts down. When you mouse over it you can see how long you have until you can jump again. If you try to jump you get the lovely popup telling you that you cannot.


Timers have been requested for quite a while. A quick scan gave me a post from Febuary 2013. The question about polarization timers was how do we show you what polarization you have for what wormhole. A stack of timer icons would grow unwieldy and complicated as it attempted to follow you around and you found yourself polarized to wormholes you were no longer interested in. Attaching them to the in space icon itself is quite elegant.

CCP Quant dropped some numbers on reddit in a response to a topic discussing the number of alt accounts vs the number of actual players. CCP Larrikin kept to the forums and released some of the alliance tournament stats.

There is also an exploit notification up in the game news. I am still pushing for some collected spot in the game or on the website for all of these notifications. I do not feel that digging through the news for the last several years is a reasonable expectation for when someone thinks they have found the newest, cleverest way to get away with something.

Last week I was on a mostly Eve free vacation. I did log in on Wednesday to see that the fields were burning yet again. In a way, the last month has been a steady erosion of the free flowing relationship between CCP and the player base. As someone who advocated and supported increased interaction across multiple media platforms watching it burn down has been disappointing. I also feel as if my efforts helped us reach this point. It is a lot to think about with how poorly things and have and how wrong my hopes have turned out to be. Nevertheless my dreams of easy and open communication have mostly been shattered.

Next Sunday's update should be made from Iceland and the week should follow the activities of the summit.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Seize the Last Minute

It turns out that I do not know how to count. In my mind, the 14th of September is two weeks from the start of September. That meant I had two weeks to finish prepping for the summit. In reality, the 14th of September is two weeks from the first, but the 12th is the day that I fly out and today is the 4th. That means not 10 days to prepare but eight. IE, a week.

Whoops.

That means trying to put my playing back on track is on hold until later in the month.

It makes me examine what playing Eve without playing Eve is like. For the last year, if you look at publicly available things about me, my activity has dropped. I stopped PvPing at the start of the year. I am currently in a NPC corporation. My blogging has slowed down. I don't chat as much in Eve Uni Public Help or Rookie Chat. Many of my projects are on hiatus. I look inactive.

But, I'm not. If anything I am busier then ever. I'm running out of time to do all of the things with the game that I'd like to do. Undocking comes a far, far last place when it comes to effective use of my time. It is somewhat strange because my 'inactivity' is so often pointed out to me and commented upon. How can I even represent people if I am not playing.

But what is playing? I've associated it with spending time in game. If I take the time to spend hours discussing and sharing the market with people, is that playing? When I am in chatrooms talking, on blogs reading, and knee deep in confluence interacting with CCP is not that playing Eve?

Last year I took some blows to my moral when it came to activity. It seemed that my world was getting busier and busier and I was moving faster and faster but people were complaining more and more that I didn't do anything. I associated my lack of time in space with my judgeable activity. I started to feel bad about my lack of activity and participation and eventually that grew into guilt and embarrassment. The problem was that I couldn't find any more time to become more active. That sent me into a little unhappy circle where I finally cut ties to everything and found a corner to sit in where I no longer had anyone invested in my in space time to tell me about my inactivity.

But, I never felt inactive. I figured that I was because I kept being told that I was. I do not have stories to share from flying around. That I do miss. However, now will not be forever. And now I no longer have to answer to anyone about my activity levels. Some things works out in unexpected ways and sometimes you discover things were bothering you that you didn't realize.

The funny thing is that I do not think many would disagree with me (someone always will) when I say that playing Eve does not have to exist purely inside of the game client. The entire community and virtual world that has been created - even when at its most vicious and unpleasant lows - is great enough to exist beyond its physical representation. This is where I get all sparkly and discuss the spiritual.

Instead, I offered to make someone a loan. Their needs fit into my idle liquid ISK budget. They offered collateral. Plus, I think that type of thing is cool. Eve used to have in game loans a long time ago. It fascinated me when I started reading about the game and I spent ages trying to discover how you made or got one before I came to understand that they had been removed.

This loan things pleases me. It is one of the things about Eve that I find so cool. It is also the kind of activity that keeps the game going.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Checking my Corners

To often words become bad through their usage in an individuals culture. When I ran for the CSM, I shied away from the word politician because of the negativity I associated with it. But, if one looks at the definition of a politician I am one. It was a very hard thing for me to accept because I had attached such negative weight to the idea. Yesterday, I realized that I had the same problem when it came to the use of agenda.

I was reading the comment over on Tal's blog. I often do not agree with him and sometimes he makes me very angry. But, I value his perspective in Eve because he is intelligent and articulate and it is much, much to easy to get caught up in ones own perspective and opinion. Even if Tal and I will never see Eve eye to eye, knowing how he views Eve and what motivates him improves my understanding of the game and potential experiences inside of it.

But this isn't about Tal's post. It is about the comments and a discussion in which the idea that everyone has an agenda came up. This particular point of the topic caught my attention more so then the argument that they where having. Different opinions where clashing aginst the shore of personal belief. That is an ugly, violent thing. I found myself wanting to not have an agenda and I was treating an agenda like a bad word.

I slowed down and stared at it. I know what agenda means. But at some point I had attached an emotional meaning to it as well. Agenda had become a bad word in relationship to Eve. Something dark, manipulative, and goal oriented to make the situation come out with me on top. I shied away from the word because I found it to be negative.

But agenda is not an automatically negative word.
Agenda:
a list, plan, outline, or the like, of things to be done, matters to be acted or voted upon, etc.
That makes the negative aspect something that I picked up along the way in my desire to be open minded and often neutral. It also left me wondering what my agenda was. Am I trying to manipulate people? I don't think so. I do try to convince others to look at or even take up my world view. That left me uncomfortable. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it neutral? What do I want from them?

People to do what makes them happy? To accept themselves even if other's don't accept what they want to do? I want people to not treat each other like shit. I want to be a good CSM that people can reach out to. I want to do things by example. I'm willing to share my mistakes and pains to help people not go through them themselves. I don't want to be anyone's boss. All of those things would qualify as an agenda.

Good? Bad? Neutral? Can I clearly assess that? It is still uncomfortable.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blog Banter #66 - Escape From Originality

Blog Banter #66
Caldarification
The art team has been working on many art assets recently and there has been talk of the "Caldarification" of Eve related art. Recently examples have been the WIP images of the Thrasher class destroyer redesign and the citadel. Do we need to keep the lines between the races designs clear cut or is some blending of more generic sci-fi styling a good thing? Should Matari be flying/floating scrap heaps? Should Gallente be 'all about the bass'? Or is a bit of generic sci-fi styling needed to bring new life to our important internet spaceships even if it leans a bit to Caldari?
-Drackarn 
When I first saw the title of the blog banter I squinted and made all sorts of grumpy noises. I thought that it was going to be a love song about Caldari. Then, I did the logical thing and read the entire topic and snorted a bit over Drackarn's poetic license with word usage. However, I did agree with him. In fact, I felt quite strongly about the topic.

My project of documenting Eve's history has given me an insight into the game that I never expected to have. I've constructed the games development from the words of the developers instead of the purely technical approach of looking at the items released. In their words I see hopes and dreams and I often see those hopes and dreams change and come crashing down.

To that perspective is added my access as a member of the CSM. I have had the chance to sit down and directly challenge the art director, as politely but pointedly as I could, over the direction of Eve's art. I wasn't satisfied with the answers that I received at the time. I am still not.

CCP has decided itself to keeping Eve fresh and beautiful. Unlike so many games, where the still shots are beautiful and artistic and the trailers are gorgeous but the game play is something else, Eve plays like it looks. I often take photos of planets and architecture. I play with the lighting on images and hover over that perfect shot as a fleet falls out of warp. I find Eve to be a visually satisfying game and often feel myself humming to the simple pleasure of the graphics.

And then there are the ships of Eve. I find a lot of the ships to be quite unattractive. The organic look of Gallente ships turned me off when I first started. They looked like they have been grown out of the side of something. I wanted to fly Amarr simply for the startling, golden hulls and the fierce bird of prey aspect that some of the hulls had. I loved the wedge shape of the Hurricane and the dragonfly shape of the slasher is one of the neatest looking hulls. I thought it was neat that the ships were so different.

I also thought that they were a bit dumb. I never understood how the weird big engine with two smaller engines on the Exequror worked. Some ships were lumps and bumps and some had no form that my eye could settle on. But, I loved that individuality. I din't understand it but I loved it.

I mean, the Myrmadon is some type of bird/dragon thing. I always expect it to spit fire from its beak or the head to slide back like an Egyptian god.

But time passed and the models started to change. Graphical updates are a constant. Colors, textures, and shapes have come a long way in twelve years. Asymmetrical hulls started to be phased out and evened out. Curves gave way to lines. Shapes that were downright weird morphed into a more classic feel. Center cockpit, two wings for stability in the space air(?), jets, tapered tips and sharp lines.

I hated it.

One reason I love science fiction and high fantasy is the creativity of it. To take what is normal perception and kick it into the corner while wrestling a new reality into place appeals to me. The every day is just that, every day. The escape and creativity draw me. It may sound odd that I could find something repulsively ugly yet appreciate it for its uniqueness and originality but I do. I love what I dislike because it is unmistakable and wantonly unique.

The new hulls are very pretty but they are also generic. There was something about the gift of asymmetrical hulls that inspired me. I oddly enough have come to love it. My minecraft buildings reflect it and drive some people crazy because I don't try to build in perfect balance. I no longer try because there is something real and natural and flawed but not that I started to appreciate because of Eve.

Four years ago I would have called myself a lover of symmetry. Today, I no longer have that opinion. And now, I've watched Eve's ships become symmetrical with the faintest of nods towards their asymmetrical origins. I've watched them become pretty and common.

In writing, a woman who is not pretty or classically beautiful is often referred to as handsome. It means she is striking and attractive but not in a conventional or common way. There are oceans of pretty faces and one cannot remember one for another. I am reminded of when I go to a restaurant sometimes and there is a sea of blond heads. All of them dyed. All of them dyed well. All of them dyed blond. It is so extreme that the occasional brunette stands out like a beacon even though the hair color is utterly common.

I only paint my nails blue. I wear vibram five finger toe shoes which cause me to get insults in public. I like my ships unique even if they are ugly instead of so genetically pretty I cannot see one for another. Let my Vagabond be a dragon with its frilled ruff of explainable solar panels. Let creativity offend the eye and heal the soul. It is not about maturity it is about conformity.

Now the Thrasher hull sits on the chopping block. Its been shaped like a fish for a very long time.  It may be whimsical but it is unique. Now, its going to turn into generic rectangular spaceship with sharp bits. I cannot express my distaste for that future. Nor can I express the loss of that hull. A Thrasher is a Thrasher and the hull is always a Thrasher. Never would I question it but in the murky future of angles and lines, geometric shapes and subtle symmetry I do not know if I will be able to recognize one by sight again.

And that will be a great loss.