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, April 26, 2012

CSM 7 Update #3

New week, new updates. Not a lot of big news so I'll just hit the basics.


First CSM 7 'Dev Blog'

We've turned in the draft for our first 'official' dev blog and it should hopefully be published by this weekend or soon after. There are a few new bits of info in the blog but it is mainly intended as an introduction of CSM 7 to a much larger audience that probably doesn't follow these updates regularly.

May Summit Planning

The past few days have seen scheduling for the May summit start to take shape. We have submitted our requests for summit sessions and are now waiting for CCP to get back with us. Typically a certain number of the session slots are taken by ~normal~ things that CCP updates the CSM about. The rest are open to requests by both the CSM and teams within CCP that wish to meet with us.  We should know early next week the rough shape of the summit and once we get a finalized schedule we will publish it.

EVE LEGO Ships hit 10k Supporters

While it might not be CSM specific, every one of us has been pushing this initiative for a few weeks now. I made a blog post that helped spread the word and I'm very happy to have woken up this morning and see that the goal has been achieved! Apparently we hit 10k in 51 days which has impressed the LEGO folks.

Three Big Questions

1.) Why aren't you covering [insert issue] in these updates?!
These updates are intended to be just that - a brief overview of the 'little things' going on week to week. I might answer a particular issue from time to time, but not all the issues all the time. Also, not every issue may be in a state where I am allowed to comment on it substantively. One of CSM 7's major commitments was to improve our visibility and transparency to the community. We are working on developing a more detailed overview of our activities involving specific issues in the future. For now, I am focused on at least letting people know some of the basic work we are getting done and linking the community to interviews and blog / forum posts that put a face on our work.

2.) So, how's the Dust 514 beta coming along? Do you guys all have special access? Are you getting to play it already??
Nope, we're still waiting for the beta to kick in just the same as you.  Those of us that were at FanFest have keys but the server goes up when it goes up. Regardless of the fact that this is a completely seperate game and platform, many of us on the CSM will be following the Dust 514 development as close as we can and playing the hell out of the beta the minute CCP allows us in.
Two Step and Hans won't shut up about it on Skype; they are diligently bugging the devs about it every day and asking for as much detail as they can get their hands on but it will be a challenge for the CSM this year as Dust 514 is being developed by a completely different team of CCP staff that we aren't in any direct contact with (yet). We can get some word of mouth news here and there if a dev talks to a dev that maybe knows something, but just as the EVE-Dust 514 link has yet to be established, so does the involvement of the CSM.
We do know one thing for sure: we very much want to be a meaningful part of the feedback process and serve as a voice for the players during the coming year. Your representatives are looking forward to shooting you all in the face!

3.) Did the CSM read through those recent proposals by CCP Ytterbium in Features & Ideas, they were CRAZY!!  Do the developers even play this game?  Why aren't you all freaking about more about this kinda stuff?
Actually, I think this stuff is great and I hope to see more of it from the developers in the future. CSM members love hearing about ideas as early as possible, and Ytterbium goes a step further to toss new ideas to the players directly even if they have some major flaws to work out. This is so much better than hearing about a set of changes so late in the development process that asking for feedback seems more like a token gesture. 
The important thing here is just for the communication to labeled a little more specifically so players know what to expect. Seriously, there needs to be a 'Mad Science' sub-section of Features & Ideas where CCP asks questions like Ytterbium did. I think a lot of the flaming comes from the fact that, historically, requests for 'feedback' tend to be about things that are already in the pipeline or in some stage of actual development. Players aren't used to seeing devs just ask, "Yo, we were eating fishballs at lunch and had this idea; what do you think about it??"
On the Web

Pod Goo is back on the air with a new podcast after a long break and they have done an interview with Two Step!

Tactical Entertainment Network (TEN) continues to track down and interview the individual members of CSM 7. This updates sees three new shows added to the list:

Past Interviews:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CSM Update #2

Seriously, I need a CSM News logo. Anyone?
Hello again. The last week and change has been fairly busy so I'll just list out some of the stuff that's been going on.

First CSM Voice Meeting (14 April, 2012)

I used my amazingly awesome power as Chairman to call for our first 'official' meeting which we conducted this past Saturday. The meeting was very focused and lasted just over an hour. In between a few random deviations, the main topics we discussed were:

  • How is everyone settling in? Hi, my name is...
  • Future CSM ‘Town Hall Meeting’ format
  • Initial June Summit priorities (things we want specific meetings with the Devs about)
    • We came up with five, which we will refine and then list officially closer to summit time
  • Potential CSM White Paper changes

As the meeting closed, Two Step set up a 'TitanPad' account that allows everyone on the CSM to coordinate our communications and keep notes on important daily issues we want everyone to be aware of. It should also provide a way to help keep a record of our work as the term goes forward.

Three Big Questions

1.) It seems that the new marketing guy (CMO David Reid) actually *gets* EVE and no longer will you have a marketing dept wanting to highlight/develop EVE in a WoW-like manner to get the subscriptions rolling in; i.e., EVE is a hardcore game for hardcore gamers. What is your personal take on this guy and also on the marketing steer he is applying?
I have no idea if he knows the difference between a Brutix and a Hurricane, but he makes me want to play EVE. Before FanFest, all I had seen of the guy were a few videos about DUST where he seemed to be just yammering on and saying buzz word type stuff. When I saw him onstage at FanFest though... what can I say? The guy had an infectious energy about him that really surprised me. I like the style he seems to be throwing onto EVE's marketing but it's still too early to see how that is going to translate into what it means for the game's overall image.
2.) What about Jon Lander (CCP Unifex / EVE Online Senior Producer)?  He comes across as immensely competent and approachable. I get the impression he wants future expansions to have large game play elements which showcase SPACESHIP development but he'll also invest in the long term future of EVE too - revisiting the code base and improving it, one year on DX11 to have uber-details spaceships, etc... Is this impression accurate?
Jon Lander is a fucking boss, and not just in the internet meme sense of the words. I had very vague memories of him from right before I left the company a couple years (wow, that long??) ago but his appointment as Sr. Producer was a surprise for a few reasons. First of all, he's not Icelandic. Even he acknowledges the import and significance of that fact. He comes from a previous professional background; he didn't just grow up in CCP and get promoted because he was a cool bro. He actually plays the game. He's active ~somewhere~ in null sec and he also understands industry and the economic underpinnings of EVE. What he is unsure about, he asks after with a focus that lets you know your words won't be wasted. If you can catch him, he's very easy to talk to and doesn't mind answering questions. At the December CSM summit and again at FanFest, I got a chance to talk to him extensively and I'm really happy that this guy is leading the charge in EVE now.
3.) One of the important roles the CSM fills is filtered feedback to CCP from the players about their game, but are CSM members happy about the way they get feedback from the players? Are your Evemail inboxes considered a wasteland of unread messages? Do you want to hear about My Pet Idea for mining veldspar? Who do I complain to about the latest dev blog on ship balancing? Are you inclined to reply: "Make a thread in Jita Park about it" to half the inquiries you get? Are you satisfied with your current methodologies for guaging player reactions to EVE?
In terms of direct contact, I consider EVE Mail to be one of the best ways to contact ME about a particular issue. Sometimes it's a simple HEY!! with a link to an idea somewhere. Other times it is deeper than that. I try to reply to most EVE Mails I get, especially those which are well presented and have a solid initiative behind them. As far as who to contact? There are thirteen of us and you might find more traction with someone who you feel is more familiar with your particular issue. However, if you're not familiar with the particular members, myself or any of the elected Council 'Officers' are solid and will make sure concerns are passed on to the others.
On the Web

Hans Jagerblitzen wrote up a really good blog summarizing his point of view of his first week 'on the job'. It's well worth your time and covers a lot of ground for those interested in a bit more detail about what's going on with us: Hans: WEEK ONE

Lost In EVE has done another 'epic' podcast, this one clocking in at nearly four hours. While always fun to listen to, around 31m in, Alekseyev Karrde shows up and talks for a while about ~everything~. Then, around 1h 46m, they got a hold of me (literally right after I woke up) and we did a lot of Q&A for nearly an hour. It's a good show, so have a listen! Lost in Eve – Episode 73

Tactical Entertainment Network (TEN) has been working overtime to get in touch with and do voice interviews with all of the CSM 7 members. From what I've been told, they've gotten positive responses from a majority of the delegates and will be airing the interviews as they are completed.  So far, this is the list:
Mike Azariah sent out a series of questions to all the CSM delegates and got responses from several. Interesting format and lots of good answers: Chatting with the Council CSM

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

CSM 7 Update #1

More 'official' artwork in production.
This is the first in a series of updates I'll be writing to try and keep as much CSM activity as I can centralized in a one place. I'll be copying these posts to the official EVE forums as well. I will try to do at least one of these updates every 1-2 weeks depending on the level of activity the CSM has going on.

Three Big Questions

1.) Do you guys plan on 'spotlighting' or otherwise publically focusing on a particular issue/feature you'd like to see, like was done early on with CSM 6 and TiDi?
Yes. There are a lot of features being worked on already, which was the case with TiDi as well, but the CSM seems to be pretty unanimous in that we're going to 'spotlight' a POS re-vamp as our first big ~thing~ to make sure it doesn't get side-tracked.
2.) Has CCP discussed how the CSM are going to be involved with Dust 514?
There's been no talk so far about a DUST CSM. We met with the Senior and Executive producers of DUST before FanFest and several of us spoke even more with them over that weekend. They seemed much more engaged and positive about soliciting information and opinions from the CSM and the player base than what I've seen before. Now that the 'covers are off' of DUST, I expect to see CSM 7 more involved in how the two games affect each other.
3.) What are some of your plans for improving communications in CSM 7 vs. CSM 6?
One thing to clarify is that our goal of improving comms is more a matter for us as a group (CSM) to solve than CCP holding us back in any way. Quite a few of us are on some of the popular podcasts and EVE Radio regularly. Beyond that we're looking at doing a version of the past EVE Dev chats using EVE Voice. We want to do some sort of "Town Hall" format on multiple occasions throughout the term. Personally, in the near term, I would like to see us do something right before and then after the June CSM Summit.
TLDR - We are actively working on several ideas which we'll roll out in the next few weeks once they become formalized.
On The Web

We have started a new official CSM 7 twitter account. You can follow it by clicking here: CSM 7 Official Twitter

If you want to get a hold of a CSM member, Two Step has made a thread in Jita Park with the EVE Mail, Twitter names and Blogs of every delegate: How to get in touch with CSM 7

Myself and fellow CSM member Alekseyev Karrde did a podcast on Saturday night where we had a lot of fun and covered quite a lot of info: VandV Podcast: Episode 43

TEN EVEning News 4/9/12: Interview with CSM Delegate Alekseyev Karrde

We started a CSM Update thread on Failheap Challenge where myself and Two Step have been answering questions: CSM 7 General Gabbery

Jester wrote a blog on some of the CSM election issues. In the comments section are replies by Alekseyev and Hans Jagerblitzen: Blog Link | Comments

The Nosy Gamer did a Q&A with Seleene: Mercenaries, RMT and DUST 514 With CSM 7 Chairman Seleene

The Nosy Gamer did a Q&A with Alekseyev Karrde: Mercenaries, RMT and DUST 514 With Alekseyev Karrde

Also, Dovinian is working on some 'real' CSM 7 art and came up with this as CSM 7's prototype logo:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Chair

I hope this doesn't hurt much...
So now that the official news is out I thought I would take a few minutes to explain what happened and how. After The Mittani stepped down, CSM 7 was faced with a first time occurrence and had to work fast to deal with it in order to hit the ground running when we took office on April 4, 2012. In order to do that, we had to go back to the CSM White Paper and consult with CCP as well on what our next move was. While many believed that the Chairmanship would simply pass down to the person with the next-highest vote count, the White Paper is very clear on this:
“If the Chairman decides to step down or rescind his responsibility at any time for any reason, a vote must be held among representatives to elect another Chairman.” (page 16 of white paper)
With this answered, the next order of business was determining just who could cast votes for the four official CSM positions (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Vice Secretary). CSM 7 is the first CSM without 'alternates', a concept which was done away with at the December CSM 6 Summit.  That meant that all of the thirteen remaining CSM members would be able to cast votes for the positions. All of this was handled efficiently and quickly through a series of emails that culminated in a Skype conference call to iron out any lingering case. As a side note, CSM 7 intends to see the White Paper updated during our term to address some of the inconsistencies between it and how the Council is actually run these days and where we see it evolving in the future.

The Voting

The members of CSM 7 held a Skype conference this weekend to discuss a few future points of interest and nail down the elected positions. All but two members were present (Issler and Dovi) who emailed their votes in shortly thereafter. Each vote was taken separately after a short discussion on who the final candidates would be.

Chairman - I'm not going to speculate too much on this beyond saying that I believe my peers looked past my alliance tag to my non-partisan stance on many game issues, both as a player and a former dev. I'm honored to be chosen by them and will do everything I can to keep the CSM evolving and moving forward.

Vice Chairman - As I noted in my previous blog that looked at each of my fellow delegates, Trebor has become a pillar of the CSM and his posting to the Vice Chairman position is well earned. I expect he will do as he always does by being everywhere at once and lending a hand wherever one is needed.

Secretary - It is no surprise that Two Step is in what is traditionally known as one of the most demanding posts on the CSM. Along with many of the rest of us, Two Step is driven by a passion to improve on the CSM's communication with the player base and hold all of us accountable to that end.

Vice Secretary - Hans likes to write a lot so we decided to give him the title that pushes him to do just that. Hans is awesome.

Looking Forward

Now that this is done, we are all eager to get to work. I think all of us are hoping for a nice, quiet and productive CSM term this year.  Hey, it could happen! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I'm in the middle of writing my blog about FanFest 2012, but I have to take a moment to get the word out about something so ridiculously awesome that you must know about it right the hell now.  Yeah, it's about that pic above. Do you realize what you are looking at?? That, my friends, is a Rifter made out of LEGO.

I've been contacted by the man responsible for this certified amazing thing to make everyone possible aware that this is not just some hobby project or one off - this is something that could potentially take off and lead to things like LEGO Manticores and LEGO Megathrons and LEGO Nyxs. I want all three. Hell, I'd even buy a LEGO Bellicose. However, in order for this dream to become reality, some help is needed.

Everything like this starts in the 'idea' stage, which is represented on this page:

This page needs 10,000 'supporters' in order to be seriously considered 'a thing' by LEGO. Yes, there is a short registration process to go through but please do not let that put you off!  If you do not understand what this project is, let me make it very clear:

If the number of supporters hits 10,000 then LEGO and CCP will produce official LEGO products for EVE online. 

This could be you (without the red hair)!!
EVE has over 350,000 players so we have a huge untapped group of people. This could be a massive advertising success for EVE Online. Who hasn't heard of LEGO?! The promotion of these products or seeing them on the shelves could bring in thousands of new players to the game.

Click here to bump the Reddit thread.

There have been a couple of splash ads on the login screen but so far the project has only gained about 4400 supporters. This is underwhelming considering that there has been anywhere between 20K and 50K players online during the promotion and the page itself has had over 110,000 views. Please take a moment to go to the site, register and support this endeavor.  Do it for your children!!

*** UPDATE *** - The creator of the model answers a few questions:

Why is the Rifter white instead of rust colored?

Rust is a hard color to achieve in LEGO (they have orange, dark red, red, brown). Since I built this out of my own personal LEGO collection, I was limited by the number of colors and pieces I actually had. Since this is a prototype build, if it gets produced by LEGO, the colors can certainly be corrected at production.

Why did you make the Rifter?

I LOVE the ship designs of EVE Online. I'm not prejudiced for or against any faction ship. I had to create a ship that was iconic to the EVE universe, buildable in LEGO form, and pretty to look at from a non-EVE player perspective. I also wanted to create a ship that was minifig scale (IE - you can put a LEGO man in the cockpit). The Rifter matches those criteria.

The Rifter needs weapons!

Haha, yes it does. I'll leave that to the loving fanbase. Or maybe we can create hardpoints on the final product with swappable weapons.

Will you build **insert my favorite ship/faction** ?

YES. But the list of ships is enormous and everyone has a favorite. I honestly do not know what will happen when we reach 10,000 supporters. This could be a one shot model, or we could create a line of LEGO ships. So, at the very least, we can hope to get one LEGO product. The next hope would be to get one ship from each major faction. The really lofty goal would be to get multiple ships from each faction. But which ships? I think CCP and I see eye-to-eye when I say that YOU should decide. At some point, we'll need to run a poll to see what ships are created. I have my personal preferences along with ideas of which ships simply could not be made in LEGO form

The Rifter is 53m long; the Maelstrom is 1481m long - how can you build larger ships to scale with the Rifter?

The answer is simple - I can't. The reason I chose the Rifter is that I could create it minifig scale. To create larger ships, I will have to make them smaller and out of scale of the Rifter. This is known as midi or mini scale. This is certainly doable.