|She's a stake holder, just like us.|
Meetings & Access
It's time again to take a few moments and let you all know what we've been up to here on the CSM. First of all, if you missed it, we published a larger report back on September 11th:
There are links and references to a lot of goings-on for the past few weeks.
Many of you have asked for more information about the CSM Stakeholder pilot program; what it is exactly, what we are doing as part of it and what it means for EVE's future. Stakeholder may seem like a 'mythical' word, and others are treating it as some sort of MacGuffin that the CSM keeps throwing out there but it is probably the biggest change in how the CSM operates and is viewed by CCP since it was created back in 2007. As a whole, we have been limited in what we could say about it due to the specific feature we are working on falling under the NDA. I fully realize it may not sound that exciting to many players (where are all the explosions??) but it is important to share as much with you as we can at this point in time. Once the feature is announced, I will be more candid about our involvement in the decision-making process.
In terms of what else is taking place right now, over the past four weeks we have had multiple meetings with all levels of CCP management. While most of these meetings tend to be focused on our Stakeholder role, our most recent one was an hour long chat on Monday with Senior Producer CCP Unifex where we got to do a bit of generalized Q&A. Of the several issues that were mentioned, there was one I'd promised to address specifically that hasn't seen an update in a while: Avatars / Incarna.
Yes, I know, it's not spaceships and WTF are we bothering about it for? Well, let me reiterate that this was basically a couple emails two weeks ago and then about 10 minutes of discussion over voice so there's no need to worry that we are wasting too much time on Space Dolls. The fact is this issue is important to many players and I felt it was appropriate to remind CCP that they haven't said much of anything about it in months, with the exception of them releasing a few clothing items around the Inferno patch. Regardless of how much or how little CCP is working on our Avatars, the players deserve to know where this is all headed and not be left in the dark. In the end, I got the answers I was looking for and am continuing to push CCP to open up about where this part of the game stands ASAP.
Getting the Message Out
The value of 'messaging' in general is what I've reiterated the most during these executive meetings, specifically asking CCP not only to share more more information earlier about the Winter release, but also making sure we start now on the planning for the work to be done beyond the next expansion. There are quite a few things the CSM has seen or is about to be a part of that we can't talk about openly yet, but there is no reason we can't keep the conversation going with the players in the mean time. CCP has committed to dedicating time and resources on revamping POS's, but POS's are not the only important issue facing EVE right now which is why we are helping CCP develop a sense of purpose with regard to the Spring / Summer expansion in advance, and not simply leave things up to chance.
Many of you come to the CSM with concerns ranging from industrial iterations, to the future of low sec, to the long-overdue "Farms and Fields" initiative that has seemingly vanished into the ether. Even without more information from CCP about what they are thinking beyond Winter, its important to continue refining our own message about what we would like to see end up on TQ. Don't hesitate to contact a CSM member and let us know what's on your mind so we can keep passing those expectations on to CCP.
A word about Sean Smith / Vile Rat
It goes without saying that the most urgent matter this last week has been taking the time to remember Vile Rat, both in-game and out-of game. If any of you are still looking for ways to help, a donation drive for his family has been set up here and it's been amazing to watch the numbers go up in the past couple days.
On a related note, many in the community have mentioned their desire for some sort of 'memorial' with regard to Sean and other EVE players as well. This is an issue CCP is well aware of and has spoken with the CSM about. While no decisions have been made yet, it is not an issue CCP intends to rush nor delay unduly. They simply want to do the right thing and find the right way to do it.