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This is not the CSM you were looking for…

September 9, 2011

Blog Banter 28: “The Future of EVE Online, CCP and the CSM.”

In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it’s customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it’s player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?

I’m going to preface this and state outright I’m a huge Mynxee fanboi and have been for quite some time. Possibly too senile and geriatric to count as a boy, but there you go 🙂 She had a massive impact within the game, and I suspect personally, because she was approachable, sexy, smart, naughty, bold, fun, and quite capable of giving you a slap if you needed it. An awesome lady in other words. I was lucky enough to have a chat with her in local once or twice.

Mynxee became Chairperson of the CSM at what was an upswing point for me in EvE Online. I was having a lot of fun in game with people I’d grown to care about. We had Trebor come into the CSM, there seemed to be a real balance between the various factions on the CSM 5. At the beginning there was a real hope that CSM5 would get more traction with CCP and some of the “Fix stuff NAO!” that was so old that the original comms were on stone tablets might actually get looked at.

Disillusionment set in. NDA’d up the wazoo and no doubt facing some hefty criticism for not making changes, and more importantly (if Mynxee had invested that much and I well believe she had) broken hearted about all of this and the future of the game, Mynxee quit. This people, and without a doubt, was a tragedy. A line in the sand and a protest no doubt, but an absolute tragedy.

And then the CSM 6 nullsec blockmeisters came in boldly proclaiming that CSM 5 was crap, and that they’re the Big Dog on the block and they’d crack the whip. I’d had grave misgivings about whether such a large special interest block would represent the other players out there and certainly their actions regarding the ABC rocks (see the Sleepless in Space blog by Shadai) in WH space bears out my view… “Someone else can get ABC and it’s not null sec?!?!? Nerf it NAO….!”

Bottom line, you decided to stamp your authority on things by tearing down the previous establishment. That may work great if you do great things. But if those great things do not follow, then you risk eggface and worse, weaken the position of the CSM as a whole from the players perspective. And if you don’t have the players backing, then why the heck should CCP really listen to you? When the voting happens next, I will be waiting to see just how much the voting figures fall…

You add to that CCPs carrot and stick routine for the community with EvE is real and the fee for using intellectual property/API etc, the whole Aurum fiasco and the polished little video put out by Mittens and the CSM and it all leaves something of a bad taste in my mouth.We shan’t even start asking where the latest minutes are. Latest being said with all due sarcasm.

Note to both CCP and CSM: You do not own the community. WE do. You need to understand that, because despite all the pretty noises and whatnot, I’m not entirely sure you do. Prior to all this happening, you had a vibrant, diverse community. Now, not so much. We’ve lost Mynxee, CK, and a number of what were prolific bloggers haven’t posted for months. This, more than the purple line on your monitor, scares me. It’s a measure of  how passionate and invested people are in your game.

And right now I’m certainly not, not by comparison in any case. I’m actually spending a lot more time in another MMO and logging in periodically to skill swap and do the odd mission. Bittervet mode on.

Back in the day it seemed that CSM 5 would get in behind various initiatives. Whats happened to the whole null sec block that the CSM suggests they can swing like a big hammer? Well, we have Greyscale’s excellent discussion about null sec. Most of the subjects seem to be about 6 pages worth of submissions (except mining… yeah, go the bots, and small holdings oddly enough). Where is the push from the CSM for players to get involved in this? This is after all about THEIR home. Bizarre is all I’ll say about that. Their home, and there appears to a real lack of engagement from the CSM and the playerbase.

I’m actually not entirely sure where I’m going with all of this except to say this – find the parts with the game that you love and concentrate on that. The rest of it is mostly ignorable.

As for the CSM, well I believe you’ve shown your colors and exactly how ineffective you actually are. You do have a bullet, it’s a very large and single shot one, and if you use it it could kill the game. So don’t go there. Ride out the rest of your term in relative peace and quiet and pass quietly into the west.

And we, the eternally optimistic about this crazy, flawed, wonderful game called EvE online will wait and watch and hope that whatever comes next is at least as crazy and wonderful…




P.S I should mention that Seleene has put out a VERY good piece – Go look. Now, where is everyone else on the CSM…?

From → Eve Online

  1. John permalink

    I have rather mixed feelings about the current “crisis”. On one hand CCP have been neglecting the core of EVE and do need a swift kick to get their priorities in line.
    On the other hand lag has improved somewhat and other than the usual plethora of bugs CCP manage to introduce with every patch the game play is not particularly worse than usual.
    Supers, dreads and a few other ships do need a bit of balancing, but at least some of that is already planned for the next release. So provided CCP don’t completely bork up the next patch the sky probably isn’t falling.

    Though the end is not imminent we are in a declining phase. The online numbers definitely show it, and do so earlier than subscription numbers. But if the online numbers stay down subscriptions will soon follow.

    I feel this is for two reasons, firstly there has been little in the expansions that has created a buzz or pleased the users since apocrypha, and that was over 2 years ago! Secondly through this neglect and the various scandals CCP has lost the faith and support of many of their players. The buzz and the news is about the mistakes and the omissions, not the cool content.

    So CCP needs to do something. Something cool. And do it fast. If they take too long the annoyance will turn to contempt. Those not logging in will let their subscriptions lapse. Without interested players creating content and drama EVE will be left a hollow shell.

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