Monday, March 26, 2012

My Foray in Blogging and the CSM


As most of you reading this will know, the CSM7 Election results were posted at FanFest 2012 in Iceland on the 24th. I'm fortunate enough to be one of the candidates, coming in at #11 in vote count. In years past this would have made me an "Alternate" and I would not have had the access that I have this year. With CSM7, CCP realized that most of the work is done through Skype chats that CSM6 pushed for. This allows everyone to communicate together in a centralized real-time spot. The nice thing is it logs everything, so you can "scroll back" and catch up on anything you might have missed -- even if you weren't online at the time. This year in CSM7 they have removed "alternate" label and have made all 14 members of the CSM considered to be full members. The only change is the top 7 in votecount get to go to Iceland this year. No big deal for me, really. The vacation would have been nice but there's always next year!

It goes without saying that CSM6 was incredibly successful. Crucible was the much needed patch that the EVE players desired. Incarna was a flop in the sense that CCP was working more on Walking in Stations than they were on Flying in Space, which was a large oversight. The players continued to say they wanted their game fixed, instead of more content being added on. The CSM begged CCP not to release Incarna has a partially complete project to show what they're capable of. CCP ended up releasing Incarna and the inevitable shitstorm that followed somehow caught them off guard. There were protests in Jita, the insane amout of /furious/ posts on the EVE Online Forums and it was very clear that the players were not happy. An emergency summit was called of the CSM. With just a few weeks notice they flew out to Iceland to try to work out what went wrong.

The CSM was able to bring CCP down to their level, and really open a line of proper communication. They reiterated the fact that Incarna isn't what the players wanted, or even close to what they deserved. Shortly after this summit, Hilmar released a statement here saying that he had lost his vision with EVE, and that he was sorry. This paved the way for a new way of thinking from CCP. Suddenly, huge amounts of manpower and development time were thrown into fixing EVE and working on Flying in Space. The expansion, Crucible, was in the works and with everything the teams were working diligently on, it was incredible.

As we saw at FanFest, the patch notes was nearly 10 pages long, the bugfixes at least 5 pages. This is what the players wanted, and what the players deserved. Team Little things went ballistic on dozens of little things that bothered players every day. Team Gridlock was continuing focus on solving the lag monster. Everyone who worked at CCP seemed invogorated and happy to finally be working on what they wanted.

Our work is not done. CSM6 has paved the way for what to expect from CSM7. As CSM7 we need to continue to apply pressure to the necessary places and fix what players have been asking for. Much of this was announced at FanFest, but it's critcally important we closely monitor how CCP are going to approach these issues and work with them to ensure that they're polished and ready for prime time. I'm confident in the capabilities of this CSM and what we'll be able to accomplish as a whole. Returning are the heavy hitters from CSM6, mixed in with some fresh blood eager new members ready to hit the ground running with enthusiasm.

This year saw a record voting turnout for the CSM, because the playerbase was able to see what a unified and confident CSM6 can produce. You will not be disappointed with CSM7.

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