Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Dec Summit Minutes and "The CSM"

So the CSM December Summit minutes are out now. There is a dev blog on them, an associated comments thread and discussions are popping up everywhere about, "What does all this mean?!"

A few weeks ago I published what I could in a Summit report that broke 10,000 views earlier this week. Now that the minutes are out I can elaborate on specific points more clearly. In fact, I need to do this because of the way the minutes are written up. To avoid 'drama', CCP has always insisted that when writing the minutes that no individual candidates names be mentioned.  Obviously this causes an issue when you are reading them and you see stuff like, "The CSM said..."  I don't like this.

While it is true that the members of CSM 6 agree more often than not on most of the big issues, we are not all clones, nor are we puppets of Mittens either. Anyone that knows much about my own history in EVE, or half a dozen other CSM members, should realize that we are all very strong willed people.  I realize that there is a perception out there that there is no air between all of us. That is an unfortunate side-effect of the strategy that the whole CSM adopted in order to foster better relations with CCP and get certain issues resolved.  We recognized that, in the past, a fractured and disjointed CSM was at a severe disadvantage when dealing with CCP so we made the decision early on to try to keep our internal disagreements away from the negotiating table.

With that said, it falls to each CSM member individually to outline how we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the Council.  Some choose to not even bother and just coast along; I am not one of those. I do not blog as much as I probably should but I do try to make my blogs as interesting and informative as possible when I do write them so, once again, I will try to keep your interest and hope that you walk away from this blog more informed than you were before.

What "The CSM" thinks
Hey, Trebor and Elise, what issue should we troll Mittens with this week?!

I would be remiss if I did not give a nod to Jester's Trek for being one of the better EVE blogs out there at the moment. I don't always agree with everything he writes, but he writes a lot and I tend to agree with him more often than not. Yesterday he released a new blog entitled 'Things the CSM thinks' which pretty much pushes my ARRRGH RAAAGE button when it comes to the issue I mentioned earlier regarding the anonymity of individual CSM members in the official minutes. The blog post does, however, offer an opportunity to directly address some key perceptions about the December minutes and clarify my stance on some of the issues.


One obvious place to start is on page 13 where the minutes talk about 'Supercapital Rebalancing'.
  • The CSM noted that Crucible had not adjusted the tracking of Titan guns, which allow Titans to destroy subcapital ships with relative impunity when in a large group. The CSM mentioned allowing Electronic Attack Ships to impact ewar-immune vessels as a possible fix.
This is a big one with me. I have no issues with continued iteration and balancing of XL turrets (which are also used by Dreads), but I take issue with this blanket assertion that somehow Titans can blap blap blap away while still being invulnerable EHP monsters.  I'm sorry, but using idiots who don't understand how tracking works as an example for argument is not a very strong baseline. A lot of the killmails linked that show Titans blapping a frigate completely ignore any actual circumstance of what happened.

I want to re-itterate again that CCP traditionally does not balance XXX ships in a blob; they balance the ship, the modules and everything else individually. Unless there is a fundamental shift in the way ship balance is done, you're not going to see CCP suddenly try to start theory-crafting their balancing for, "What if there are over XX of this ship type in fleet?" It has always been like this. If 20 battleships are shooting at a frigate, odds are that the frigate will get popped by even a couple glancing blows.  Titans are very good at tracking things like massive sig, tackled / webbed / MWD'ing ships but very bad at doing anything else.

In order for a Titan, a single titan, to track and hit a moving sub-capital target (if you aren't moving, fuck you, you should die anyway), you have to completely change your fitting. Even then, heavy supercap alliances like Pandemic Legion still deploy specialized support fleets of Lokis and Huggins and Lachesis to lock down the sub-capitals the titans are shooting. Quite often, these same expensive support fleets get raped badly. While sub-caps cannot realistically totalhelldeath an SC fleet, that doesn't mean they are completely ineffective either. Also, when people start using suicide Dread fleets (you can still insure Dreads) they will be racking up the super kills. Even the perceived supercap lovers like me still want #death2allsupercaps.
  • The CSM suggested that supercarriers be allowed to dock in outposts which have an appropriate upgrade. The CSM noted it that it did not wish Titans to ever be able to dock, but that supercarriers were now less powerful and more common and should thus be treated more as regular ships rather than special snowflakes.
The just plain stupid comments I've seen on this one boggle the mind. It seems that no one is actually reading what is said and are just focused on ZOMG SUPERCARRIER DOCKING GAMES IN LO-SEC.  No, that's not what it says.

Allowing supercarriers to dock, in player-built null-sec outposts, is something that dates back to the original Dominion release design. Proliferation of the class and many other issues made this something worth thinking about at least. The concept is very simple - allow players to invest in a very expensive upgrade (or set of upgrades) that allow them to dock their supercarriers. Some may view this as allowing SC pilots a walk on Easy Street. Up until recently I was adamantly opposed to SC's being allowed to dock.  However, add in the additional potential of allowing player built outposts to be wrecked or completely destroyed and that evens things out in my opinion.

Finally, one additional tweak that wasn't mentioned in the minutes - slap a five minute minimum re-dock timer on the ship class. Bring these three options into the game together, and I have no issue with supercarriers docking.
  • The CSM noted that due to the reduced session change timer, it was now possible to jump a capital ship with a travel fit in and out of a system before the invulnerability timer ends, making caps fit in this way completely untouchable in bubble-free lowsec.
  • The CSM and CCP discussed of the idea of a capital jumpdrive ‘spool up’ timer as a possible fix this type of rapid travel. The CSM supported the idea of having a spool-up timer of approximately 60 seconds as a hedge against alliance power projection, preventing capital fleets from crossing from one side of the galaxy to the other in mere minutes.
Hell yes. I'm all for a 60 second 'jump drive spool-up'. It should not be another useless 'time vampire' for players, but it should add an extra element of danger and, yes, even a bit of pain when it comes to force projection. It's just a little too easy right now when I can light 8 cynos and cross the entire New Eden cluster in less than four or five minutes.
  • The CSM advocated adding a supercapital-tackling point on Supercarriers, given the fragility of Heavy Interdictors in a supercap fight and the need to see supercapitals dying in combat more often.
Let supercaps tackle supercaps? How is this wrong? This 'idea' is not a new one but the CSM aggressively pushed it when CCP started talking about adding new classes of ships to do the exact same thing. We don't need an entire new ship class (especially not a new capital ship) just to tackle supers. Let supers fit like a Hictor point and blap each other to vapor. #death2allsupercaps

Back to Jester's list

  • Fleets of Rifters should be able to tackle and hold down a Titan (page 17).
 No. Because of No. To emphasize:

THIS is not going to hold down a Titan. No.  Just stop the madness.
  • Electronic Attack Frigates should be able to "impact" super-capital ships immune to e-war (page 21).
Sure, why not? Boosh.
  • There should never be new super-capital ships added to EVE (page 17).
Just because you don't like getting blapped by specially fit and supported Titans should not mean that you close your mind off to the potential for other giant ships that could do interesting things. Hospital ships, stargate construction, form Voltron? "Never" is a bad word to use here.
  • Outposts should be destructible (pages 17 and 18).
I've been very clear on my support for this for a very, very, very, very long time. Burn. It. Down.
  • Pilots - most particularly super-carrier pilots - should be given a "partial respec" of their skill-points
I don't like re-specs at all. That being said I did, at the urging of several people that contacted me, bring up the fact that there are a lot of ~mad~ supercarrier pilots out there who now have literally millions of skill points in drones trained which they can do nothing with. Yes, yes, whaaaaaaaaa, etc...  However, I'm one of these people. Seleene has been in a Nyx since late 2006 and, once you make that leap, about the only thing left to actually train was the drone skills. I maxed those out years ago. I think it's kind of dumb that I can no longer use those skills that I trained specifically for the ship I was flying / trapped in. However, I'd still prefer the docking solution I mentioned earlier before opening the Pandora's Box of respecs.
  • Drones should just give ISK bounties instead of dropping alloys (page 16).
Yep, change this. Even the Drone Region Overlord, xxxDeathxxx, agreed. I'm not going to disagree.
  • Alliances should be able to tax member ratting income (page 16).
Gimme the casssssssssh!!!
Hell, I used to dream of taxing renters to use the stargates I held sov over! Freeway tax! Of course there should be an optional in-game system for doing this! It was originally going to be part of the Treaty System that got cancelled. I'm all for options like this. More options = more game play.
  • There are multiple alliances which live in NPC stations, amass super-capitals, and hold high-value moons (page 18).
Yeah, I'm in one of them. Someone should go take those undefended moons. Start with the ones with the NESW corp tag.
  • NPC station services should be destructible (page 18); and,
  • when destroyed, should not be repairable but should regenerate over time (page 18).
 A lot of people are upset about these bits and understandably so because it would impact an entire segment of players and play-styles. These two points in particular were brought up as possibilities due to the concern that, "The CSM is concerned by the use of NPC stations in large-scale alliance warfare." That much I do agree with, even as someone that has used them many times.

My stance is that I acknowledge the issue that we have these massive NPC entities in null-sec and absolutely no way to interact with them. I do find it quite absurd that I can kill hundreds of thousands of Angel Cartel crew members, then dock right up in one of their stations like nothing happened. Yes, it's an RP-ish issue, but it's something that every null-sec pilot has joked about for years.

Instead of just a blanket mechanic similar to the structure grinding that exists now, I would love to find a way to make an alliance with the Mordus mercenaries or see pirate corps as official 'partners' to the Guristas. Such relationships could have a direct affect on everything from station services to refine taxes and would force large alliances to make choices with regard to thier NPC neighbors or offer opportunities to smaller entities. There are all sorts of possibilities there.
  •  Sleepers should attack POSs and/or pod people (page 20).
HELLS YES. I want Sleepers to get mad and start cleaning up the organic things cluttering up their space! I want Sleepers to come back through the wormholes and start killing people in lo-sec and null-sec. Sleepers used to be feared; now they are all domesticated and shit. Wormhole iteration is a GO!
  • Drakes should lose their shield resistance bonus and their kinetic missile damage bonus (page 21); and,
  • be given a rate of fire bonus and missile velocity bonus instead (page 21).
I hate Drakes. A lot.
Yeah... ummm, sure. Fuck the Drake tbh.
  • An Infrastructure Hub upgrade should be produced to further reduce POS fuel costs for sov-holders (page 24).
This falls under the whole thing of ITERATION OF THE SOV SYSTEM. More upgrades of all kinds, kthx?
  • Sov-holders should be able to build a module in their own space that hurts other people's sov space (page 24).
Yeah... those 'modules' are called ships and we already have them. Thumbs down to Dr. Evil Moon Lasers or similar things This just reeks of maximum grief for minimal effort. The whole 'sec status vampire' thing would need to have a lot more detail to it before I'd support it.
  • The person who destroys your ship should get 10-20% of your insurance pay-out for that ship (page 26), including if they gank you in high-sec (also page 26).
This won't motivate me to kill your any more or less. This idea is just weird.
  • Despite the fact CCP has a large number of assets for the NeX store, they should not be released at this time (page 30).
This is a bit mis-leading. For one thing, I want CCP to abolish Aurum completely and implement a new system that breaks down a PLEX into smaller bits. I also don't want more NeX stuff until CCP un-fucks their idiotic pricing scheme. Once the items are finished and CCP has an actual plan beyond, "Here's some more overpriced pixels buy this shit now!", I'll be more open to seeing the NeX stocked up properly.
  • Players should be able to train more than one pilot per account by paying for this privilege with PLEXes (page 30).
I'd never do it (I'd just get another account) but if ~people~ want to, why not? This is one of those things that if CCP can do it with minimal effort, I'd raise no real objection to it. The only real advantage I could see is where you have an account with multiple characters with tens of millions of skill points and you could find some benefit there maybe...?
  • Players don't care about their corporation logos (page 30);

Put me down in the BULLSHIT category for this one. I love my corp logo. I have specially made metallic winged skulls that BDCI members have been wearing to FanFest since 2006.
  • they care about their alliance logos much more (page 30)
Traditionally, this is true. In a perfect world, I'd have my corp logo on one part of my ship / Incarna uniform, and the alliance logo on another.  SPACESHIP FASHION!!!

  • The unique attraction of EVE is "you can grief people" and "it's not a game for wusses" (page 32).
These two points are both true IMO. However, I'd add that the unique thing that keeps me involved in EVE is the single shard nature of the game and the community which knows no borders. Several of my alliance / corp mates are currently playing SWTOR and even those of us in the same guild / server aren't required to interact with each other much.  In EVE, you rise or fall because of the men and women next to you.


There are 44 pages of minutes to read through. I've just grabbed the points off of one dude's blog to address some of the more 'obvious' issues. I have started a thread on the EVE forums and am continuing to answer questions there.  I am sure there will be many. :)


  1. I'd love to see your input on the idea that station services are fine; the state of station services has basically been the exact opposite of the original pitch, requiring a tremendous amount of DPS to disable them in any meaningful period of time. I don't think this is fine at all, but "The CSM says it's fine."

    1. No, I don't think it's "fine", but my answer isn't just to reduce the HP of station services. It's hard for me to articulate just how much I hate this issue because, by now, there should be more to do in sov warfare after 5+ years than just shooting some station services. I think the problem shouldn't exist because you should have more options available that render XX million HP of station services just one more piece of the pie. Alas, we aren't there yet (lol) and I think this is one of the reasons that the HP of station services have remained untouched.

      As things stand RIGHT NOW, yes, I have a problem with 20 HACs coming into a system and nuking a station service. To me it makes sense that you'd have to apply some kind of firepower to disable the services of an entire outpost. Now, that being said, I'm also not opposed to reducing the HP of the services so long as they are just as easy to repair as they are to knock out. It should be something reasonable, but not cakewalk easy either.

      It all comes back to the same thing - The HP on station services have not changed since they were authored back in Revelations 2 (early 2007). I do think it is long past time for some form of tweakage and wouldn't really have any objection to CCP playing with the numbers. However, I would much prefer a more robust system, with more meaningful objectives than what we have now, that wouldn't require a MASSIVE change. I did make this point at the summit at the table and after hours in the bars so so hopefully we will see SOMETHING change. Things staying as they are now sucks

    2. Theory crafting here...

      I agree Sov mechanics are crap and will be crap until something new or interesting happens.

      As a low sec dweller, I want to say that the idea that you have to just go in and "take your space" is putting the emphasis on projection of power rather than "upkeep" costs. The Sov Mechanic is to some degree broken because OF that HP Buffer in the first place. There shouldn't be an HP Buffer between me controlling SOV or Not, it should be how much force I can apply when I'm living there. The scalable nature always becomes an issue "I have 1,000 people, suck it" is also an issue, but working out the system to focus more on activity/usage rather than how many HP buffers you can put between me and you would help. This does beg the question how do you keep "mega warfare" useful and fun while still implementing an idea that relies less on "Moar DPS!!"

      My resolution for this opinion is simple... Have multiple ways to take over SOV through game mechanics - Military (HP Buffer), Industrial, Social, Economic, etc. This will force SOV defenders to look at multiple avenues of defense and offense that fit to different styles of play.

      I can be on an offensive Industrial attack and defend heavily against a Military attack by stacking ridiculous amounts of HP, but it leaves me vulnerable to an Economic take over.

      I know this is very vague and "broad" but I think you can see how that dynamic is more relevant than "Moar DPS!!!"

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Nice review. Keep up the good work on the CSM, you have my vote (Assuming that you are running). Personally i would love to see sleepers come out and whelp a supercap fleet (Say have them start making raids into 0.0 space where supercaps are at, sieging POSs and Sov Upgrades.

    If CCP used sleeper fleets to "Balance" the # of supercaps in game, i would not be complaining at all.
    Ships need counters, and the only counter to supercaps is more supercaps. Nano ships have rapiers and lokis, logi heavy fleets have alpha fleets, and alpha fleets have dps fleets, ect. Supers are really the only ship ingame without a counter to them besides more of themselves. Say give dreads a 3x dps boost but a 3x worse launcher/turret sig radius, meaning that they do 3x as much dps to supercaps and structures, yet the same damage to regular caps (and the VERY little dps that they do to regular ships). Dreads should be the counter to caps (And incredibly weak to subcaps).

  3. Great post. You mention that you're in ONE such alliance that amasses super-caps and tech moons without having sov. I agree with that.

    Please name three more.

    With regard to the issue of destroying NPC station services, I'd be curious if you'd limit this in any fashion. For instance, what would stop those living in the north from having their daily fleet, on its way home, incap services in all NPC Pure Blind and Venal stations to prevent invasions, raids, and road-trips into their territory?

    For station services in general, how would you feel about a "very high resist, low EHP" solution? ie, a gang of 20 HACs could knock them down in a couple of minutes, but a trio of Scimitars could put it back up just as fast?

    1. Check out my thread on EVE-O where I've talked quite a bit about the NPC station issue. :)

      In general, I think stuff that gives smaller entities an avenue to harass large AFK empires with annoying attacks is an improvement to the game. However, I would ask back... are 'small gangs' really that eager to shoot at structures??

    2. Example #1: a couple of weeks ago, Rote visited the station of a sov-holding alliance who immediately docked up at our approach... except for a few dudes that repeatedly kept undocking in rookie ships to annoy us.

      I think had we had the option, we would have disabled cloning services at that station, yes. ;-)

      Example #2: I blogged a week ago about a fight in which one PL Titan held off a fleet of 70 RvB BCs solo with the help of two PL repping carriers. The carriers would be primaried for a bit, dock up in deep armor, emerge moments later fully repaired (thanks to free repairs), and continue repping the Titan.

      I think the RvB fleet would have disabled repair services at that station, yes. ;-)

      I see you skipped right past my question about multiple alliances that amass super-caps and tech without having sov. ;-) Can you name ONE other alliance that does this?

  4. I have to disagree with you on the docking of SC's. I believe it will lead to further proliferation of SC's, especially in the large sov-holding alliances, giving an even further advantage to the incumbents.

    Pilots that are reluctant to pilot a "flying coffin" would lose their inhibitions. Alliances would stockpile SC's in station, ready to replace losses and defend turf.

    Poor pirates in low-sec would get hot dropped even more than they do now. (OK, that last one is not likely).

  5. Aren't supercapitals already able to "dock" through a POS module? can the CSMA hold 2 Nyxes? Do people really need a "holding" alt to pilot the ship rather than simply stowing it in the appropriate box?

    1. There's a major security issue with this solution, the fact that a super-carrier owner could pick up and steal every other super-carrier owner's ships as well. It's something CCP will have to look at closely when they get around to redoing the POS code.

  6. "HELLS YES. I want Sleepers to get mad and start cleaning up the organic things cluttering up their space! I want Sleepers to come back through the wormholes and start killing people in lo-sec and null-sec. Sleepers used to be feared; now they are all domesticated and shit. Wormhole iteration is a GO!"

    This is just weird and extremely difficult to correctly implement, and I wouldn't say welcoming at all to wormhole dwellers.

    If such a change is implemented poorly, I can see the following happening:

    1. The sleeper attack force is a joke, and wormhole dwellers suddenly got a new source of income, with the aid of PoS guns. Nobody is going to go out and make isk anymore when they just come knocking on your door.

    2. The sleeper attack force is too strong, and wormhole dwellers end up spending the majority of their combat time 5 km from PoS shields. All of a sudden the risk of making isk completely disappears, since no other wormhole dweller would attack you 5 km from your shields while you have capital ships on the field unless they bring in a full sieging fleet.

    I agree that something can be done to make wormhole life slightly more exciting, but having NPCs knock on your door just seems a bit silly.

  7. Seleene:

    Thank you for posting your views. Even if I don't agree on everything you stated (for example, I like my drake just as it is) but I respect you for stepping out of the faceless facade of 'The CSM' to own YOUR views.

    I understand the need to present a unified front to get anything through a thick viking head, but the public seeing gets everyone painted by the same (ugly) tarbrush and feathered.

    While I don't agree with 'everything' you do, you'll get my vote for telling us just what you're about.

    The Mittani, on the other hand, while I'll not be voting for him (for various reasons) he also makes no bones about what he thinks... so a grudging respect to him for that.

    1. Appreciated, m8. Everyone doesn't always have to agree; discussion, consensus and compromise is usually best for progress in these kind of things. :)

  8. If drone regions get bounties instead of alloys, this will make mining a more important activity, right? I think I'm in favor of that. But if that change is accompanied by some method of stabilizing WHs to make it easier to get caps in and out, isn't there a danger that WHs will become gigantic SC factories? Just curious~

    1. Correct on the mining thing.

      The WH stabilizing thing is something I'm not touching with a 10 foot pole until and IF CCP decide to actually pursue it. If they do, I'll make my decision on how dumb / awesome their method is then. Personally, I like WH they way they are now and don't really want to see them become more 'normal'. OFC, I am biased because I hit the button that created the things. :)

    2. Ah ok very good, I thought I might be missing something.

  9. "I want Sleepers to come back through the wormholes and start killing people in lo-sec and null-sec"

    Yes, certainly! I've blogged about this: it would be a very nice way to spice up life in highsec, with sleepers camping stations, gates.. It would build on the Apocrypha heritage which still has a very good reputation amongst players. Good storyline material for an expansion, imho.

  10. @Mara Rinn:

    Supercaps 'dock' at the moment by the pilot ejecting inside a POS only they know the password to.

  11. Thanks for's really good to near the details behind your thinking in relation to the topics in the minutes. And you're hilarious LOL. <3 your writing style.

  12. My SP represent all the time and money I've poured into Eve since day one, many years ago. If I make some bad skill choices with a char, the only way to correct it is to recycle the char and make a new one, thereby flushing my time and money down the drain. Nothing in your wall of text explains how even an unlimited skill point redistribution mechanism would create an imbalance or inequity or "Pandora's box", as you put it.