My take on the CSM5 fun and games…


I have been reading what some of the members of CSM5 have written about their experiences during the latest conference.

Mynxee

AnkhNahasapeemapetilon (or whatever…Ankh)

Socratesz

TeaDaze (not much yet….just wait)

I don’t any sites for the others…please tack a link to this post if you know of any.

CSM, or Council for Stellar Management (oh, a pun. heh… sorta.) is a player-to-CCP conduit:

“The purpose of the CSM is to represent society interests to CCP. This requires active engagement with the player community to master EVE issue awareness, understanding, and evaluation in the context of the “greatest good for the greater player base”. The scope of issues is restricted only to EVE, its ongoing development, and limited meta (out-of-game) issues which have direct relevance to the EVE universe. It is important to keep in mind that the CSM will not have formal powers within CCP, they will have a voice inside CCP.”

Go outside. Find a crowded mall or town square. Start speaking in a normal voice for five minutes, giving explicit and direct instructions to those in earshot to place their hand on their head. Then, ask people within a meter or two of you what you said.

I expect the response to be similar to CCP’s reaction to the CSM:

  1. They didn’t hear you
  2. The ones who did would not do such a thing
  3. Or they would do so with more explanation. A lot more explanation.
  4. And in the off chance they followed what you said, they would immediately stop when no one else was doing what you asked.
  5. They called police and they’re coming to talk with you.

That is what I believe the CSM will accomplish. It has nothing to do with the people on the CSM. In fact, I think we have a pretty good selection of folks. Mynxee is incredibly mature from what I have been reading. She seems to want to take CCP to task. EVE did great by electing her overwhelmingly.

I’m not trying to be negative here. I have been a part of “advisement councils” that are similar to CSM. They are basically for show. Since the CSM has no power, only CCP dictates what gets done. And from their responses, it looks like what people want (bug fixes) won’t happen. Won’t. Absolutely not. Why?

Let’s break down what CCP has committed to do (copypasta from Mynxee’s blog):

• Produce an Itemized List of CSM Submitted Items in Backlog-

Big deal. We collectively know what’s broke. Submit a ticket/petition and you’ll get a response of “We are aware of this issue” response. That’s if a GM doesn’t ignore you outright. All this would do is make me sad.

• Identify Tool/Process Change to Tag CSM Items in Backlog-

OK, an accountability thing. More like “See, CSM tried to tell CCP.” But I am ok with this, and it should help.

• Publish a Dev Blog on Excellence-

Fuck Dev Blogs. Fuck Dev Blogs on Excellence. WTF is this for anyways? Hot air for no reason. I don’t want to hear/read what the developer philosophy is. “Excellence” is just some CCP slogan. Every company has one. They post it on walls and newsletters. They are completely interchangeable and do not affect quality or quantity of work. Anyone that has spent time in a corporation larger than your neighborhood coffee stand should know this. I also LOATHE Deb Blogs. Why? Because I shouldn’t have to hunt through every fucking CCP Dev’s writings to find an answer to my question. There should be a SINGLE clearinghouse of information. Links on an EVE webpage does not suffice. COMMENTING on Dev Blogs is even worse. I shouldn’t have to say “Hey, this is fucked up” on someone’s message board to inform someone of an issue. This isn’t a game with a hundred or so people in it. It is a multinational playground with almost 100,000 folks in it. Web developers are cheap. Hire one, CCP. Make it work. For instance: I noted an issue with my probe view on the solar system map. Couldn’t see the probes after Tyrannis. I put in a request for help in-game. They referred me to a Dev blog and a bug reporting space OUTSIDE of the game. That should be a place for people who can’t get their client to load, not for in-game issues (I figured out what had happened anyway: Tyrannis reset Solar System overview settings evidently. Maybe tied into the autopilot snafu?)

• Publish a Dev Blog on the Tyrannis Snafu: Numbers, Impact, Causes, Etc.

See my response above about Dev Blogs. This would be good to show that there were problems and that CCP cannot hide behind a veil of secrecy. I don’t know if other MMPORG companies do this. I’d actually be reluctant to release that information as it could be used against them in a competitive corporate environment. Does Microsoft release this information when it comes to Windows?

• Report to CSM on Percentages of PI Participation in Null, Low, and High Sec

• Report to CSM on Low Sec Demographic Data-

Yes! This both are good to know. And they should highlight the issues with low-sec.

Publish a Low Sec Statistics Dev Blog (will satisfy previous bullet)

Fuck Dev Blogs…again.

• Publish a Dev Blog on MMO Scaling Issues

Meh. I guess it would be good to know the scaling issues. It would be a good cop-out for the developers.

• Report to CSM on Accessibility Alternatives to Removed Widescreen

Huh? Don’t know what this one is about, honestly.

• Request High Priority for Corporate Management UI Fixes from Internal Decision Makers (Again); Report Outcome to CSM

Yeah, I have some gripes about this. The CM UI is bizarre. I have made a few mistakes in my corp, and haven’t figured out how to do many things. I have been trying to transfer CEO to my alt, but screwed up. More about that later.

Provide CSM with Time Estimates for List of Balance Issues We Will Provide

Bwahahaha…good luck with that one, CSM. Get used to the word “indefinite”.

• Provide Draft Summit Minutes to CSM for Review/Approval

I would expect nothing less.

Again, the folks on the CSM are working hard on things. And from what I’ve read, they are doing everything they can. And for that, a big THANK YOU from Ze. But, it looks like CCP has a bunch of internal political structure that is impeding a lot of good work. I am sure some of the old timers have their camps and vision on what they want things to be like. Unfortunately it seems they have LOTS of stroke. Which dooms any outside intervention (i.e. CSM).

But will the efforts of this CSM do anything more than a single fix here or there? Will there be wholesale changes based on what they bring to the table? I really and truly don’t believe so.

But I also hope I am completely (or partially…I’ll take what I can get) wrong about this.

I don’t think CCP as a collective company really understands what they’ve created. I believe they still think as this being a 500 person game. Yeah, they know the numbers, but they don’t seem to understand what they mean. Small games can survive for a long time with major unresolved issues. Big games do not. And that goes for any software (except for dogs like Windows where the arrogance and fuck-up-ery that persists is completely due to market dominance).

With that thought, I am starting a collection to buy everyone at CCP a Jenga. Jenga is a tabletop party game in which a bunch of squared logs are stacked in a tower. The object is to pull one from anywhere in the tower and place it on top. Play then passes to the next player to do the same thing. Eventually the tower will fall, and the player guilty “loses”.

EVE is CCP’s Jenga. Since they aren’t devoting any resources to fix what is and has been broken and instead are building on what exists, they are stacking on this tower. Get too far along and the whole kit-and-kaboodle collapses. 80,000+ becomes 40,000 becomes 20,000 and lower.

CCP, wake up. CSM folks are pretty much spot-on. I don’t want to be looking for a new MMPORG next year.

Fly like CCP isn’t going to fuck things up worse and will fix what is broken.

-Ze

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