Many pixels have died in vain in recent weeks as various pundits have pronounced with great positivity that CSM7 was pathetically pointless.
But now that CCP Fozzie's devblog about the Improvements to POSes in Odyssey has been released, I'm able to provide a little insight on how it came about, and how CSM was able to work on the community's behalf.
Our tale begins well before the Winter Summit. CSM definitely had POSes on our agenda for what would become the Odyssey expansion, but we weren't overly optimistic. CSM was supposed to be a stakeholder on one of the development teams in the fall, but due to some misunderstandings at CCP, this experiment was not a success. We were seriously considering "going to the matresses" and expressing our concerns publicly, but after much debate, we decided to hold off and see what CCP had to say at the summit.
As it happened, the summit was a great success, and CCP made some unprecedented promises about CSM input in the planning of future expansions, starting with the next one in early January.
Fast forward a few weeks until the start of the planning process, which I've described in a previous post. In their possible features presentation, one of the teams stated that they wanted to work on improvements to the current POS system.
Our initial feedback to CCP was an executive summary rating that various feature ideas, which I've talked about in a recent post. POSes were one of the 4 "big" items we gave a perfect 10.0 score to (3 of the 4 are in Odyssey). We also created a "POS Wish List" report as a guide to what features would be well received by the community; this ended up being used as one of the starting points for the design.
Next, in mid-January, the Winter Summit minutes were released, and lots of people were concerned because there wasn't substantial discussion about POSes. This presented us with a dilemma. Hopefully CCP would be delivering on POSes in Odyssey, but what if things messed up again? We knew that if we started a POS discussion thread on the forums it would get a lot of attention, and while it would be useful to be able to point to as evidence that POSes were deserving of high priority, it might also get out of hand and backfire.
This was a particular concern because during this time, most of us were putting together our own themed expansion packages, just as the CCP teams were doing (you will not be surprised to learn that POSes were key elements in our themes...). So lighting a fire in the forums at exactly the time when CCP might already be doing exactly what we wanted them to be doing could be counterproductive.
This question was the only one in our entire term that CSM7 could not reach consensus about. Finally, Two step broke the deadlock by posting the POS thread on his own initiative, an act that upset several of his colleagues, notably Seleene.
When we learned what was in the final package, we were very happy that POS fixes were a major component. And to add icing to the cake, CSM was assigned to act as a Stakeholder for the team doing the work, so we'll continue to monitor the situation and do our best to help make sure that as much of the plan gets done as POSsible.
So to the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity, I say, Nuts!