The following is a complete summary of the CSM Q&A session that occurred on Saturday December 8th at 19:00 UTC. This session is available in full on EVE Radio, and the time before each question is when the question was asked in the session for those interested in hearing the original words of the CSM themselves. The purpose of this summary is to save you the trouble of listening to a two-hour long recording.
Readers are encouraged to provide their own recollection of the Q&A, as well as correct anything attributed to the wrong speaker.
The CSM members present were Alekseyev Karrde, Darius III, Elise Randolph, Hans Jagerblitzen, Kelduum Revaan, Seleene, Trebor Daehdoow and Two step.
Questions were taken from the audience on EVE University's Mumble server, which was opened to the public for this event. Audio quality was inconsistent at times and identifying speakers became a bit difficult.
Q1– When will there be anything done about stations and stations upgrades in 0.0, agendas and schedules from CCP?
Seleene: Our concerns for nullsec stations are mentioned in the CSM strategy document. But no in-detail discussion or schedules yet, but it is definitely on CCP’s agenda. It will be talked about over the coming weeks.
0:03 Q2 – Has it been considered to use Kickstarter to expand features and content in EVE and DUST?
Two Step: Nope, we are already paying CCP a bunch of money, they have all the revenue they need from Eve. We should not have to pay extra for features in Eve.
Seleene: CCP will be relying on its own product pipeline for revenue, this being EVE, DUST, and WoD in the future.
Hans: Eve could lose the crown of space MMO to Kickstarter funded competitors such as Star Citizens in the future, but ultimately competition will be healthy for the game cause CCP to step up.
0:06 Q3– Regarding the voting system changes posted by Trebor on the forums, is there any plan to implement it?
Trebor: Change to the way the CSM is elected should be coming to better represent the playerbase. There will be lots of discussion between CCP and the CSM regarding how it should be done, and not everyone will agree with the implementation. The CSM will notify everybody of the proposals ASAP in order to allow the most time for discussion.
Alekseyev: Voting changes are long overdue, and should be done on some level.
0:10 Q4– Future industry changes? Retribution did not iterate on industry on all.
Two Step: Most changes planned are UI based changes, as most problems encounters are based with the UI and not the manufacturing themselves.
Hans: CCP talked about expansion themes with CSM 6, such as one focused on war, one focused on industry, etc. 2012 was the year of war, so industry expansion might come later, 2013 perhaps. But not sure whether CCP is still following the plan, if the industry expansion is still in the immediate pipeline. This will be discussed in the following weeks.
0:13 Q5– Are there any plans for dedicated 1v1 PVP options?
Seleene: The arena combat system was planned for this for a long time, but never got implemented, and there are no plans to implement in the near future.
Two step: Because of the Crimewatch changes, the old practices of canflip duels is no longer viable, so CCP might implement something else to restore that functionality.
0:17 Q7– Are there any plans to expand content in W-space? W-space has not had new content in years.
Two Step: W-space has been working pretty well so far, but now that the core issues with Eve are addressed, there should be more time for CCP to work on W-space, doing things like implementing player suggestions and features.
Alekseyev: the biggest improvement to W-space would be fixing POSs, because wormholes are great, but living in one sucks because POSs suck.
0:27 Q10 – Is the CSM happy with the way Eve development has been progressing?
(Probably Seleene): Having player generated content is the keystone of EVE. One of the best things CCP can do is giving players more and easier to use tools to generate their own content, be it building or destroying.
(unidentified speaker): CCP has gotten very good at iterative changes over the past year with Crucible, Inferno, and now Retribution, but has mixed results when introducing the “next big thing”.
Hans: Historically, the expansions that bring big features are the ones which have the biggest draw on subscriber numbers, while iteration are great, but new big content is continuously required for the survival of the game. There must be a balance between iteration to maintain subscribers and shiny things to draw new players.
Alekseyev: The important thing when adding things to eve is that whatever is added improves player social interaction in some way, not be things like empty rooms for us to walk in.
0:30 Q11: During AT10, there was a mention to remove force field from POSs.
Seleene: The thing is whenever something hits a FF, the server does a state check to everything and it takes a lot of server power, but we don’t know what alternative they have in store, presumably it will roll win with the rest of the POS changes, and as said, POSs are a very high priority.
Hans: Whenever CCP removes something like that for technical or creative reasons, they should compensate by adding something back in. When they make POSs modular, stuff like strontium timing might be replaced with something else to preserve game value. Basically, the new POSs should have analogues for every functionality POSs have right now.
0:34 Q12 – Current buffs to t1 cruisers have made T2 cruisers redundant, there is no room between T1 cruisers and T3 cruisers for HACs.
Alekseyev: It is likely that HACs will be looked at next year; Fozzie and crew have done a great job doing T1 balancing, and they will find a niche for it. And after T1 balancing is done T2 will be looked at, in a similar bottom up fashion.
Seleene: Fozzie has mentioned that their plan to balance ships has been to go bottom up going from tech1, then to tech 2, then to capitals, but this was a while ago. Fozzie thinks current battleships are in a better place compared with rest of tech 1, and tech 2 balancing might commence after BC changes.
0:37 Q13 – 0.0 local chat, opinions?
Elise: I don’t know exactly what CCP wants to do, it’s been in the pipe for a long time, but nothing concrete yet. Right now it probably gives too much information, and gives it too fast; intelligence will be shifted to scouts and other methods of gathering Intel, and better ways of sharing intel should be implemented
Hans: flagging as used in crime watch currently shows up in local chat, flagging could be used in other ways to provide users with more info on hostiles.
0:40 Q14 – with Dust launch, how will CSM integrate with Dust development?
Two Step: Wait and see, it depends on the kind of population Dust sees. There has to separation between ships and infantry to a certain extent because of different interests, but right now it’s too early to tell how Dust will be represented. If Dust's population becomes disproportionate to EVE's population, there will be separate elections to prevent one game from being marginalized.
Seleene: Until they tell us the details what is happening, we are the EVE CSM. EVE is our #1 priority.
0:42 Q15 – how much integration does the CSM think that Dust will have with EVE. At launch? Eventually?
Two Step: I don’t think the current link between Eve and Dust needs to be stronger. If there is a link, it has to be meaningful else people will just ignore it and play ships and infantry separately.
Hans: CCP need to implement the Dust linkage ASAP in order to collect data on the Dust -Eve interaction to tweak it to proper levels. If the linkage is too weak, and Eve players don’t care, FW players will just orbit more buttons to get the system rather than pay Dust Bunnies.
Seleene: with PS2 and Star Citizens, AKA competitions, Dust and Eve integration needs to be something special. Dust and Eve players need to learn to hate each other properly, CCP need to get this properly, and make it an “emotional” thing.
0:46 Question from former CSM member Krutoj (CCP Eterne) – how does Alekseyev find the CSM and how do Russians feel about their representation on the CSM?
Seleene: I don’t think Alekseyev is Russian.
Alekseyev: The CSM is a lot better this time around, no I’m not Russian, but Russians are bros.
Seleene: I wish one of our Russian colleagues was present to give answers (this Q&A happened at midnight Moscow time), unfortunately they are not here (being Greene Lee and UAxDeath)
0:48 Q16 are there more things in plan to make newbies get into fights more easily and with more effectiveness.
Elise: The new Cruisers and frigs are very powerful and versatile, and new players can participate in fights scaling from small gang to bloc level fights in them. The FW guys are having great fun with the cheap cruisers and frigates. Having cheap but effective combatants is a great boon to newbies, there might be plans to make null sec more accessible to smaller gangs, dipping your toe in the pool figuratively speaking.
0:50 Q17 what is the CSM’s feeling about force projection, how alliances can travel around Eve very easily.
Elise: The problem with hot dropping and titan bridging is not as severe as some people think, it’s not a huge issue, but there can be ways to make null-sec fights not rely so much on numbers so bridges are not as necessary. Not everyone shows up to every fight.
Hans: DNSBLACK had ideas about conflict points and choke points, when CCP static L1/2 plexes in retribution, that space lost value and became less worthwhile to fight for. A similar thing happened when agent quality was removed, there was less motivation for people to cluster and compete for space. There should be valuable nodes that people are willing to fight over, and the removal of these nodes has adversely affected PVP culture.
Alekseyev: The problem with Eve now is that if a titan pilot is on, your alliance doesn’t have roams, it has cyno alts and a fleet at the titan, this is hurting the roaming culture as Eve players are very risk adverse.
Elise: The problem is not titan bridge, it’s that there’s no reason to roam as alliance income comes from sources can’t be disrupted by gangs. Ganking ratters is not very effective, as ships are reimbursed on an alliance level, income should be changed so that gangs should be able to do some real damage, and defense gangs have reasons to undock. Roaming should come back by giving players reason to roam rather than nerfing titans and JB’s.
Two Step: W-space has a lot of good things to contribute. In W-space, the players has to put themselves at risk to earn money, and gank gangs in W-space have more fights and are much more effective. In null sec, ratting is done solo in purpose-fit ships so ratters can’t fight back against gankers. In high class Wspace, PVE is done in groups and sleeper AI means PVE ships are decently useful in PVP, so ganks are not hopeless to fight off. If changes are applied to null, a small ratting gang might choose to engage a small roam instead of docking.
Trebor: Regarding chokepoints, “what’s the point of guarding Thermopylae if the Persians can just cyno to Sparta?” The current way cynos and sov works is broken and should be changed as it removed “terrain” from Eve, it makes chokepoints and guarding useless. But care should be taken that chokepoint don’t prevent new entities from establishing footholds in null.
Seleene denies he is a cross dresser
DJ Wiggles requests a naked hug from a CSM as he already got one from Soundwave, the reply is “only if the streams don’t cross”. Then “individually or all at once”, the response is “draw names out of a hat, and form a line”
1:01 Q18 – Does CCP have plans to revisit COSMOS (storyline) modules?
Two Step: COSMOS is kind of an awkward thing, the cosmos modules are interesting with their fitting requirements but the supply is really limited. CCP has not planned to change COSMOS modules or systems. Perhaps they should be moved to low sec and made repeatable to increase module availability.
1:03 Q19 – Can CCP change Aura?
Two Step: Mr. T would be nice, but in order to hear him, we would have to play EVE with sound.
Seleene: This could lead to CCP charging for sound packs.
Alekseyev: I want a MLP sound pack.
1:04 Q20 – What happened to the POS revamp? There seems to be no info regarding goals or specifics.
Two Step: If players want POS changes, they should let CCP know, and the more you let CCP know, the higher it gets on the priority list. You could go shoot monuments in Jita to show CCP exactly how much you care.
Seleene: No matter what happens, we will talk to CCP about POS at the summit, stalk them at home, call at 3 AM, etc.
1:07 Q21 – Are there any plans to revamp PVE content (missions and plexes) to be more interesting?
Elise: There has just been an AI change to make content more challenging, but right now PvE content is lacking and does not promote group play.
Seleene states that he wants AI in this game to be evolving and interactive, he wants sleepers come out of holes to explore K space, Sansha to camp Jita 4-4 abducting and blapping players. PVE should evolve beyond shooting red crosses; the more intelligent, aggressive, and interactive PvE gets, the more fun it is.
Alekseyev: PvE is terrible. Content should be interactive, but if it takes too much resources then resources should be allocated to other things.
1:11 Q22 – What does the CSM think of Dust?
Seleene: Unless CCP gets Dust to link with Eve well it will be a disaster, as there are many games out there that compete directly with Dust. And CCP understands this.
Kelduum: Dust has fallen behind the times since its announcement, features that were amazing have become common. And if CCP is not careful it will become a black hole for money.
1:20 Q23 Farms and fields
Two Step: Which drinking game are we playing? Every time I say POS or whenever we mention farms and fields. But basically, the CSM is behind sov being valuable for income outside of moon goo, and alliance income being tax based and bottom-up.
1:23 Q24 Achievements in Eve to help guide player progress?
Two Step: They explored this with the certificate system, but it is very lacking. But one of the challenges of Eve is that it is every unguided and the freedoms that players have.
Kelduum: This could be a part of a greatly revamped tutorial system exploring many more professions and activities in EVE, so newbies have a better vision of what to do.
Alekseyev: EVE is a sandbox, that’s its greatest asset. Would players receive achievements for mining veldspar, or flipping a can? Players should find their own motivations and professions.
Elise: I had absolutely no idea what to do in Eve when I started, there should be improved certification to inform players the basic requirements to fit and use ships. The current system in game is outdated and quite useless.
Seleene: There needs to be a fine line between guidance of new players and maintaining player freedom. Eve has built up a reputation of being a dog eat dog universe with grim atmosphere and competition where only the smart survive, and that has been a big draw.
1:28 Q25 Will there be lowsec and wormhole discussions at the CSM summit?
Hans: While lowsec and wormholes won’t be the focus of the next expansion, there is no way CCP is not looking at those things, it’s just not the #1 priority right now, so it does not appear on the summit topics.
(unidentified speaker): One of the reason they fly the CSM out to Iceland is that they want a broad perspective from players, the summit topic are the most important things, the stuff that will be discussed in official publicized meetings. But there are continuous discussions after the official discussions, where everything is discussed, any topic of interest is discussed at some point to someone.
Hans – if you want us to tell CCP anything, anything on your mind not listed in the CSM topics, let the CSM know, EVE-mail us, more specifically, EVE-mail Seleene.
1:34 Q26 – asks about the possibility of CSM members attending more community meetups and events to discuss for people who, going to Fanfest or Vegas is not an option.
Hans: We do try to go to as many as we can, I’ve just went to one in Boston, but if it’s not in our area, we are not paying for the plane tickets to fly over. But we go to any ones near us because we love talking about spaceships.
1:39 Q27 – Asks about continual nerfs to “anti-social” behavior, CCP has been nerfing the ability to be an “asshole”, with insurance nerfs, crimewatch etc.
Elise: Highsec has been made more and more safe, with less nasty things you can do to mission runners, miners, etc. Many failsafes have been added to prevent players from falling for traps, notifications for remote reps, gun safeties, etc. It is good to protect new players, but players need to learn for themselves the consequences of actions.
Hans: The crimewatch change is not purely aimed at making ganking harder, safeties can be turned off. The change now is that the warnings for doing dumb stuff are front loaded, so players are warned of the consequences of their actions before they do it, not after their ship explodes.
1:50 Q29 –NEO seems to have a lackluster turnout, would it be better to keep doing NEO’s or return to alliance tournaments.
Alekseyev – a problem with NEO was that the teams lacked the name recognition and tradition of the AT teams. NEO is not the AT, and it should never replace the AT, as that is more of an alliance social event.
Elise – a big problem with this NEO was the timing (the NEO was held over thanksgiving, where many Americans could not watch) , and again, this is the first time CCP has held a cash prize tournament. And there should be more NEO’s, as teams get more familiar with the different condition and metas of the NEO it will become much more interesting.
1:56 Q30 – the removal of non-consensual PVP from the game seems to be a trend, the current set-up has become so difficult for small gangs to actually get fights.
Darius III: CCP has actually made it easier to gank ratters because of the logoff mechanics.
Elise: Right now, people make money in anoms, which are very easy to escape from but harder to get into at the right places. There should be a direct correlation between risk and reward in null sec, you should not be able to escape so easily from a profitable anom, and perhaps anom rats should scram more.
Alekseyev: NPC changes could also make ganking in anoms easier, with less agro shifted onto the gankers. As well as UI changes that make it faster and easier to find ratters to kill in a system (so ratters can’t dock up during the scan time to find the anoms).
Elise: That’s good and all, but you should not be completely vulnerable to gankers in anoms, as that would just drive people to do something else to make money. Here should be a fine balance between the gankers and ratters, giving each side new tricks and tactics (a specific mention being drag bubbles between stations/POS and anoms.)
The full summary can be found here.