Friday, May 20, 2011

CSM Summit - Day 3 : "Girls play EVE?"

Nullsec Industrialization & Risk/Reward by Security Status

This became a combined session that started with a brainstorming session, then evolved into a broad discussion of many nullsec related issues.

Newbie Retention / NPE

CSM was briefed by CCP Flying Scotsman the performance of the old NPE and the steps they are taking to make the new Incarna NPE a better creator of hopelessly addicted degenerate EVE players. NPE improvement will be an ongoing process, and CCP has some interesting plans for future improvement.

Aesthetics / Ship Art

CSM was briefed on the way the art department works, and gained a greater appreciation of the amount of effort needed to create new art or revise old art (such as ship models, which are being upgraded to a new system that is much more flexible than the one used on most current ships). We got feedback on the time and effort needed to implement some improvements that many players of EVE would like to see, which will help us prioritize our requests.

EVE Economics

Dr. Eyjólfur provided the CSM with some XXX NDA economic graph porn, including information about the effects of a recent and somewhat controversial change to the game, details on PLEX usage, insight into subscriber trends, and the number of people who play EVE and claim to be women in real life.

Chat with Hilmar

Chats with Hilmar are always interesting; he gave us his perspective on the CSM and how he would like it to evolve, and CSM reported on the results of the summit so far, emphasized the importance of recent CCP initiatives like Team Gridlock, and made some suggestions for the future.

Ship Balance Iteration

CCP wants to allocate resources to continuous ship balancing. Much of this session revolved around discussions of the best ways to manage this process and prioritizing the ships in the most need of love (or hate, as the case may be). As to who the lucky winners and unlucky victims are, you will have to wait for the minutes.

Quote of the Day: "EVE is like Golf" -- Hilmar.

CSM Summit - Day 2 : "Dreaming about Quality Assurance"


The UI team discussed both the performance and capability improvements of Carbon UI -- coming soon to a server near you™. We also had an extensive discussion of a particular UI feature and how it could be improved both in terms of player utility and reduced server load.

Customer Support

We had an extensive discussion on reimbursement policies, and also tools that would help make reimbursement decisions easier to make.

The War on Bots

CCP Sreegs and his band of merry men have been quite busy making life hell for botters. His presentation included copious amounts of chart porn, which hopefully will appear in a devblog in the near future.

The War on Lag

Team Gridlock presented their latest results, and demoed a new tool that is making it easier for them to identify optimization opportunities. We also discussed Time Dilation in some detail. Expect a devblog on this as well.


QA gave an overview of the QA processes to get the new members of the CSM up to speed. Also discussed: ways to improve participation in mass tests and make bug reporting less painful.

POS Misery

We had a broad discussion not only of possible near-term "papercuts" tweaks to reduce the pain of POS's, but also CCP's longer term plans. Deceased Equines, and whether they should be beaten, were discussed.

Feature Abandonment

A broad discussion of the resource contention issues that relate to this vexing issue -- and what CSM can do -- segued into discussions of wormhole space, Incarna, POS's, ship balancing, and several other items. At the end of this session, CCP Zinfandel popped in to show the CSM some of the upcoming Incarna vanity clothing items, which looked really, really sweet.

Quote of the Day: "There are very few people who dream of a career in QA" -- CCP Heimdall

Thursday, May 19, 2011

CSM Summit - Day 1: "Let them eat Cake"

This will be a very high-level summary of the day's meetings; the meat will come in both the minutes and devblogs.

CSM: Introduction

After the ritual deflowering of the CSM noobs, this session was devoted to discussion of CSM's relationship with CCP, and possible improvements in CSM processes.

BFF: Thousand Little Things

This meeting started off with a discussion of CCP development processes, then moved on to ways CSM can help with prioritization of the papercuts themselves.

EVE: Flying in Space & EVE: Future

Much of what was discussed here was NDA, but ranged over a broad number of topics. There will be much more in the minutes once we work out what things CCP is comfortable talking about. However, the tone was quite positive and the meetings were productive.


This session will almost certainly be 100% NDA.

EVE Marketing

CCP Zinfandel, reacting to the positive reaction to providing the CSM with free drinks the night before, upped the ante by providing us with cake. The discussions involved marketing approaches for summer 2011, some interesting new proposals, and some details on the implementation of vanity microtransactions.

Quote of the Day: "I get satisfaction every time I pull it out" -- CCP Zinfandel, discussing a very personal microtransaction.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CSM Summit - Day 0: "Quest for Bacon"

After arriving at Keflavik after 5 hours of sleepless agony in a thrice-damned IcelandAir Slab-o-Lava seat, we cab into RVK. We are deposited at the Hotel Fron, which has good rooms and wifi, but a limited free breakfast.

This becomes a serious problem when CSM Chairman Mittens arrives on the scene, declaring himself possessed of a hunger that only copious amounts of bacon can assuage.

Unfortunately, there is no bacon to be had. Mittens growls at the waiter that "I find your lack of bacon... disturbing", then swears he will wreak vengeance upon CCP for having the temerity to lodge him in a bacon-challenged hotel. We agree to nap until lunchtime, then reconvene.

After your humble correspondent deals with a minor logistical matter -- he forgot to pack his jacket, a significant problem in Iceland, which is currently quite bright but a wee bit nippy -- the CSM ventures out in a quest for both bacon and free wifi, ending up at Cafe Paris. Enough bacon is procured to deal with Mittens' immediate cured-ham needs, but it is clear that only having a bacon sub at Nonni's will prevent carnage the next day.

After more discussion of CSM strategy, we repair back to the hotel for a pre-dinner nap, then head out to Nonni's where Mittens, desperate to inhale bacon, grabs the wrong sub. His screams of anguish echo down the street.

We then repair to a cosy bar, where CCP Zinfandel buys multiple rounds of drinks for the CSM. By midnight, we have all agreed to support the implementation of microtransactions for just about everything in the game, including PLEX for docking, PLEX for jumping, and PLEX for PLEX.

The CSM summit has begun.