CSM 7 – POS ideas

Yes yes I know Inferno 1.2 is out now, but I had this one planned after I read the CSM minutes last week.

In the CSM 7 minutes of last week we can read about CCP’s new ideas for Starbases. Starbases will be replacing the current POSes. The current POS code is very buggy (oh rly ?) and the new code will replace that codebase. There will be a transient periode where POSes and starbases will coexist, but the current POSes will be removed at some point.

So what ideas did CCP have ? Here we go:

New POS structures
1) A sense of ownership. New POSes should be “space housing”, with players feeling that, “a starbase is their starbase, not a generic starbase.” This includes some form of customization
2) Scalability. They need to scale from individual to alliance sized.
3) Get rid of the force field bubble, partly for technical reasons.
4) A single structure. This doesn’t preclude some sort of modular system, but they want a
single actual object in space, partly for technical reasons, partly for usability.
5) They want a path to retire the current starbase system. This may not happen in the first
release, but eventually a new starbase system should comple ely replace the current starbase system. This means that everything that current starbases can do either needs to be replicated in the new system or removed from the game.
6) (added later on by CCP Masterplan) The current starbase system code is  not the best, full of lots of edge cases, and the new one is a chance to greatly simplify things, similar to what CCP is currently doing with Crimewatch.

A lot of interesting ideas here ! And maybe some not so well thought out ones. These are just concepts though, nothing is set in stone yet, it’s still very early in the design stage. I really like the concept behind the new starbases, a home away from home, sort of like player housing in LOTRO or EQ2, but in space. Modular and scalable sounds good as well of course.

Space Station

However, no shields and a docking module sounds like bad news. As also mentioned in the minutes, there has to be a way to see / check what’s happening outside your starbase. In case you’re camped with no shields, you’re just stuck in your station with no where to go. And who wants docking games at POSes ?

The other idea to being able to plant these where ever in space (with the exception of stargates and stations) will need some rethinking. Remember in Star Wars Galaxies you could plant houses anywhere. Every big city (Mos Eisley, Naboo) was surrounded by a big ring of houses, people wanted to live close to where the action is. Imagine this in the space near Amarr, Jita, Dodixie ! Think we’ll lag to hell and back again ;).

So I’d say overall it’s a nice new direction, but back to the drawing board on some issues !

Pic by DarkLordDc.

Blogbanter #34 – CSM

Ah a new blogbanter ! It’s been a while since I participated in one ! Here we go with the intro:

The polls have just opened for the election of candidates to occupy the 14 seats on the 7th Council of Stellar Management. To kick-start a topical CSM-themed banter, CCP Xhagen – fierce champion of freedom of speech and in his words, “the guy that gets yelled at when the CSM dudes do booboos” – has offered this question:

“How would you like to see the CSM grow, both in terms of player interaction and CCP interaction?”

I have always been rather skeptical about the CSM. I figured it was used as a marketing tool to boast about in press releases that could be read on various gaming sites. This feeling was confirmed during the summer of rage last year, when the CSM was totally bypassed on rather critical gameplay decisions. But then the CSM bit CCP in the foot and they were forced to let them participate in order to try to calm down the masses, which gave me somewhat more faith in the CSM.

A CSM politician

But then the most recent devblog appeared on rather fundamental skill changes and the CSM seems to have been ignored once again. I guess CCP is happy with the CSM on the sidelines and discussing POS fuels, but rather not involve them in fundamental game changing decisions. So that would be the first thing to change. At least them have their say. It’s CCP’s game, so they will always have the final word, but at least listen to what the players have to say.

That brings me to the second point, I would feel better represented if there was not an 0.0 block in the CSM. After all most players in Eve still dwell in highsec. I do understand it’s a democratic process and I wouldn’t know how to exactly solve it, but it would be nice if the CSM would consist of a better representation of the player base.

Further Resources

And a personal endorsement, a pilot that I voted for, someone who really understands Eve and (most) of it’s players: Roc Wieler.

Dat Statement

And finally the CSM and CCP statement about the Reykjavik Peace Summit has been released ! I am not quite sure whether there are winners or losers in this one, but if there were you could say the players won. The very popular eve feature of ‘ship spinning’ will be coming back and furthermore, only vanity items in the NEX store for the foreseeable future. I also liked the statement by the CSM that they very much disliked the leaked email by the CCP ceo, which was very out of touch with reality.

handshaking

 

We are convinced that CCP has no plans to introduce any game-affecting virtual goods, only pure vanity items such as clothing and ship skins. We have been repeatedly assured that there are no plans for ‘gold ammo’, ships which have different statistics from existing common hulls, or any other feared ‘game destroying’ virtual goods or services. We have expressed our deep concern about potential grey areas that the introduction of virtual goods permits, and CCP has made a commitment to discuss any proposals that might fall into these grey areas in detail with CSM at the earliest possible stage.

This is pretty much what most people would hope for, and it’s the best CCP could do at the moment. CCP must have looked at the numbers and seen all those unsubscriptions ! Also all the bad press this has giving made them change course. If there was a course to change (well the returning shipspinning is new).

I am sure there will still be drama and forum whining, ‘but they didn’t promise no non-vanity items ever !’. But those people will just have to play the game as it is, and not what it could be in a few years time. From a business point of view they cannot commit to non-vanity forever, as I already stated in my previous blogpost.

Fact remains that I still don’t like where CCP is going. Devoting most of the development time to Incarna, Wod and dust. Releasing crappy ‘expansion’. The sad state their 3d engine is in (this doesn’t bode well for Wod btw) etc etc.. But at least for now we see some light at the end of the tunnel (queue dramatic music).

Blog Banter #19 – CCP and the CSM

Welcome to the nineteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This months topic comes to us from @evepress, and he asks: The CSM: CCP’s Meta Game? – The CSM, an eve players voice to CCP. Right? In the grand scheme of things yes, the players bring up issues and the CSM presents them to CCP. But in its current iteration the CSM was supposed to be given small authority to assign CCP assets to projects that the CSM thought needed work on. As it has now come out this is not the case. So fellow bloggers, is the CSM worth it, has the CSM improved the game in any way, or is it just a well thought out scam by CCP to give us players a false sense of input in the game? What’s your take?

This BlogBanter comes at a delicate time, when the shit has hit the proverbial fan after the minutes of the latest CSM – CCP meeting had been released. If I have to answer this question at the moment, then I would say, No at the moment the CSM isn’t really worth it if no development time can be assigned to any issues. Of course it’s useful to keep the conversation going, but if it’s just talk and no action it’s pretty much useless. CCP does send out press releases about the CSM (at least I see the same type of articles on various press sites) so it’s still being used as a PR tool. Reading the latest ‘18months’ devblog and the responses by various CCP employees, I get the impression that at the moment CCP doesn’t really know what to do with the CSM and CCP_Zulu even seems annoyed by them.

athens1

Overall though I think the CSM has been useful, if not only for the skill queue and various other accomplishments. It’s a really nice idea to have some people represent the players who bring forward concerns by the players. It’s then up to CCP to decide what will be addressed and what will not. Of course we do understand they can not do everything that’s being proposed, but at least some issues would be nice. I assume that was the original idea behind it…

See other participants:

  1. Growing Pains | CrazyKinux’s Musing
  2. CSM: Hoax or Serious Business? « Lost in New Eden
  3. CSM-Power to the people or puppets of CCP « A whole lot of Yarrrr!!!
  4. Gaming the CSM | A Mule in EvE
  5. A Taste Of Democracy | StarFleet Comms
  6. CSM: Player Power or Paper Tiger? | I Am Keith Neilson
  7. Governance Thrash Redux? « The Ralpha Dogs
  8. CCP Doesn’t Care: Blog Banter 19 « OMG! You’re a Chick?!
  9. The Cataclysmic Variable: It’s Crunch Time!
  10. The 19th EVE Blog Banter is upon us… and about the CSM and CCP | Victoria Aut Mors
  11. CSM: Lame Duck from the beginning?
  12. Blog Banter #19 << Dense Veldspar
  13. Be careful what you say, Roc « Roc’s Ramblings
  14. Exchange Fraking Phone Numbers « Scrap Metal & Faction Ammo
  15. Blog Banter #19: Assumptions
  16. EVE Blog Banter #19 | EVE on Real Life
  17. A Reality Check | A “CareBears” Journey
  18. Quit your bitching | Fly Reckless – EVE Online
  19. War has come to EVE | Scram Web
  20. CCP and the CSM | Morphisat’s Blog
  21. More to come…

Eve and the road ahead

A dev blog was posted today by Ccp Zulu about what teams are working on what currently at CCP. It’s nice that they are sharing this information now, probably as a response to the release of the minutes of the CSM 5 meeting, which caused quite some turmoil.

We already knew that Incarna is the main focus for Eve at the moment, but 9 teams, 70 developers ? That sounds like it’s a bit much. And we still don’t know what we’ll be able to do in Incarna. Just walking around a bit and play station games or will there be more ?

Also 10 for evegate is a large number. It doesn’t look all that complicated to me. Then again my job is making business applications, which are mainly front ends for database manipulation, so maybe I am wrong and it’s a lot more complicated than it looks.

Anyway, this all results in this:

In the 2011 winter expansion we‘ll certainly focus more than ever before on iterating and polishing up all the features that EVE has expanded to in the then eight years. What those specific systems are, I don‘t know as we haven‘t started the planning phase for that yet.

It’s kinda tough to accept when it’s actually ‘written in stone’ like this. Basically development for Eve the Space Game has been halted for 18 months or so. And that’s just sad :(.

CSM 5 Disapproval

There is a very interesting article over at massively.com that sums up the current CSM situation very well. You can also read about it on Mynxee’s blog and Keith Nelson’s amongst others.

Basically what it boils down to, is that CCP is allocating it’s resources to Dust and Incarna and Eve itself is on the backburner. This comes as no surprise as the last few expansions have been rather thin and fundamental fixes are rare these days. They are focusing on getting in new players with Incarna (walking in stations in case you didn’t know) instead of holding on to the current ones.

I don’t care too much for walking in stations, especially not when it will be released in a half hearted manner, like most of these new features. And I doubt it will really enhance our gameplay in any way. Sure it’ll be fun for ten minutes and corp meetings might be enjoyable, but it will appear to the average eve player as fluff I am afraid.

And they have been working on it for quite some time and dedicated a lot of graphic artists and coders to the project. Think of all the other stuff they could have done ! Maybe a more balanced approach would have been better. Dust and Incarna better be a success. Or perhaps once they’re out CCP can focus on spaceships again, which has so far been their strong suite !