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I was sent this link and I think it describes an interesting problem brewing.

Hopefully with the delay to the Incursion feature CCP will take some of this on board before it is released next year.

Two blog posts in one day? I must be unemployed or something πŸ˜‰

I have to be slightly careful about what I say about Incarna in case it is taken as information received under NDA. However everything in this post is only my opinion and CCP haven’t really given the CSM any solid information yet anyway πŸ˜‰

It is my opinion that Incarna is CCP’s White Elephant.

The first paragraph of that Wikipedia link explains it perfectly

A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth.

CCP have announced Walking in Stations under many different names over the years, but have never gone any further with the “vision” than a fanfest demo and a video, neither of which show any gameplay elements.

But CCP have publicly committed to WiS (now called Incarna) and they are unable (or unwilling) to back down. Worse still they’ve committed to releasing it in 2011 without providing a clear vision of what it will actually contain. Ask people if Incarna is really part of Eve or a bolt on and you’ll get a fairly even split.

All we’ve seen so far is the character designer and whilst Kotaku liked it compelling gameplay it is not.

Will CCP be able to prise the majority of pod pilots out of their ships and into stations? I don’t believe so and I worry that CCP will take drastic measures to “encourage” players into Station by moving existing Eve client functionality or similar ideas (considering the Incursion penalties).

Am I being overly negative? Perhaps – but the reactions so far from the people I have asked have not been positive.

Have your say below.

There was a new dev blog giving more information about the feature that the Incursion expansion is named for. The Eve wide Incursion of Sansha ships.

Suffice to say there are mixed feelings from the players depending on backgrounds but ignoring the NPC alt flames the opinion seems to be that the system as presented has issues.

I think so too and now the information is public I can talk about it πŸ˜‰

I was always uneasy about CCP adding a third type of PVE content rather than (if they really wanted to do a PvE expansion) iterating on either mission agents or (my preference) Factional Warfare, but I did think that some of the technology such at the updated AI was pretty interesting.

After the CSM5 summit when the minutes were badly received by the public various Devs contacted the CSM to complain that the Incursion feature was being misrepresented (due to the CSM stating a preference for CCP to focus on other things and most of the session being hit by the NDA stick in the minutes). Their concern was that Incursion would be looked at negatively by the players without getting a fair chance.

We can now see that CCP want players to use this new functionality so badly that they are willing to enforce participation via system wide penalties instead of making the rewards compelling enough on their own. I dislike this direction and said so at the time.

The only good news is that they also announced a delay to the Incursion feature so there is hope that whatever they do release does work properly.

My motivation to play Eve keeps taking knocks πŸ™

A quick update, but probably overdue πŸ˜‰

Firstly I’m supporting a change to Hybrid weapons (because now roflkits have been looked at I guess it is time ;)). Please add your support and/or comments so we can attempt to get CCP to look into it.

Secondly there has been a flurry of activity between CCP and CSM about a number of issues. One is pretty big and hopefully CCP will make an announcement about that soon. Suffice to say these discussions, the regular CSM meetings and in RL working out my notice period from voluntary redundancy have eaten most of my free time.

Thirdly I have dropped from 6 accounts to 4 partly because of the lack of time to play but mostly in protest of CCP announcing they were looking into microtransactions. This subject deserves its own blog post and I will try to throw something together but the TL:DR version is that I dislike the idea of CCP withholding content from expansions (even purely vanity items) to bulk up a microtransaction store. I dislike even more the potential of game balance changing items.

Lastly, unless I get thrown off the CSM for causing trouble :P, I will be at Fanfest 2011. Hopefully I’ll get to take part in the tweetfleetmeet (for those who follow twitter check out the #tweetfleet tag) and I suspect that CSM5 will be on stage for a presentation + Q&A session too. No idea what will happen about the PVP tournie, I’d love to play commentator again but that is out of my hands πŸ˜‰

Until next time

I’ve been away for a few days so am still catching up on emails and eve mails. Also I know there are a few gaps in the summary minute list, I’m still plugging away at them when I have the chance.

Hopefully work will settle down soon so I can spend a bit more time on CSM issues πŸ™‚

Once upon a time Eve Online players were fairly contented.

Yes many of them complained about various things such as ship balancing, Player Owned Stations (POS), various bugs, some exploits, Lag, more Lag, even more Lag and so on.

But overall they kept on playing and the subscriber count kept on growing. Players accepted the issues because the core game was fun and the real time skill training kept them subscribed (we’ll ignore ghost training for the moment ;)). CCP kept adding updates and fixes and the players supported Eve by continuing to subscribe as well as bringing in fresh blood (or at the least encouraging new players to join corps and thus have more fun). Players supported Eve and CCP themselves.

So when CCP asked players to vote for Eve Online: Tyrannis in the best online game category of the European Games Awards they probably didn’t expect quite the reaction in the thread. Yes there is a fair bit of trolling going on in that thread right now, but something has fundamentally changed in the last month. Since the release of the CSM minutes and the devblog CCP released in response many players have been more willing to openly criticize CCP. There has always been a vocal minority on forums and in recent years players have become bitter vets, however now people who haven’t really been active on the forums are posting messages questioning CCP’s direction.

What is going wrong?
CCP have been very honest with their development priorities and allocations. This openness is to be applauded however it highlighted what some players had feared, the actual number of developers working on the “flying in space” feature of Eve Online is low compared to the total number of Devs working on Eve Online as a whole. Now those numbers lack some important context. We don’t know how many devs were working on “flying in space” for dominion, the only numbers we have for comparison are Apocrypha which apparently had 300 Devs working on it, pulled in from other projects.

So player rage is mostly concentrated on the apparent lack of progress on Eve’s flying in space feature and the “borrowed” Devs from other projects returning to them after the release of Apocrypha. In addition there are many players such as myself who feel slightly let down by the inclusion of Incarna Devs in the count of people working on Eve Online.

CCP class Incarna as part of Eve Online. I don’t – yet…
The crux of the matter for me is that Incarna is vapourware, it doesn’t exist anywhere outside of CCP and we still don’t have any clue how it links into the Eve universe other than taking place inside the stations we dock our ships into. Will I as a “flying in space” player be forced to session change into another game to go and speak to my mission agent or to place things on the market? I hope not…

So far there has been no word of what you’ll be able to do other than the vague promises of “opening a bar”, outfits, “player housing” and various minigames. There have been some videos at Fanfests showing some of this stuff, but in general CCP remain tight lipped over the actual gameplay part of Incarna. One thing we have been told is that there isn’t any concord in stations and that there won’t be any combat. You could argue that currently there isn’t any combat whilst docked so no combat when walking in stations is the same.

But do CCP really think a significant number of new players will subscribe to Eve once Incarna is released? What will those players do when they are “forced” to undock to change stations? How can Eve, which has thousands of stations, attract enough people out of their ships to avoid stations looking like ghost towns devoid of other players? Doesn’t the whole thing sound like a terrible clone of Second Life?

I can certainly understand why the players of “flying in space” feel they are being short changed by the expansion development schedule which basically consists of Incarna and minor “flying in space” fixes where time allows. Do CCP see this yet? Is it purely a vocal minority or is there a significant disconnect building in the relationship with the players?

Hilmar’s presentation at CGDC had better be full of epic win because on current form players haven’t run out of rage but some have run out of patience. Only CCP have the numbers on how many accounts have been cancelled in the last month, and I’m sure it isn’t a hugely significant number in the grand scheme of things. But if long term Eve supporters are now openly saying no more then somebody at CCP had better take notice and do something quickly.

A couple of days ago the CSM5 Summit 1 minutes were published by CCP. In a continued evolution of the CSM process, CCP gave us a draft version to edit so that our notes could also be added. Mynxee spent time combining these and sent them back to CCP. This was repeated a second time and to their credit CCP changed very little (if anything) before publishing them. It did take a little longer than for the CSM4 summit due to the extra input from everyone, but those of you who’ve read them will also understand why it was important to spend the time making sure nothing was missed.

The result
We have a very frank and honest document from CCP which basically states that as far as big fixes (such as lowsec, FW or Corp roles) there isn’t going to be any resource available for around 18 months. Worse still it seems that the most supported issue in the history of the CSM (I suspect this is the case anyway ;)) has only resulted in straight out refusal of CCP upper management to believe the customer concerns about quality.

I’m not interested in Dust and I don’t even have a console capable of playing it. I’m not convinced that Incarna will bring anything of value to internet spaceships, I just want to play Eve

The player reaction has been mostly positive of the CSM (with a few exceptions) and pretty damning of CCP. Some of the (bitter) vets have already given up on CCP having a change of heart, but I remain (stupidly?) optimistic that continual pressure will lead to a change of focus at least within the Eve team schedules.

Where does this leave the CSM?
We continue to hold meetings and will be publishing our minutes of these, but all this is of limited use if CCP don’t have spare dev time or outright refuse to allocate any to player raised and championed issues. There have been calls for a mass resignation of the CSM, but I feel that is the wrong thing to do at this time. My reasoning is that such a frank statement of CCP’s 18 month plan for Eve would never have been released without CSM having called them to account for excellence and quality. If CCP want to disband the CSM then that is their call and they can deal with the fallout, we shouldn’t make their lives easier by packing it in right now.

I may feel differently after the December summit but I’m hoping that before then with a united eve blogosphere that we can get people within CCP to listen.


There has been a fairly large amount of speculation about the removal of Ankhesentapemkah from the fifth CSM. As is the way of these things people are trying to fill in the missing information and in doing so have distorted the truth of an NDA breach into some kind of witchhunt against a plucky CSM rep who dared to stand up and tell CCP their game sucks.

Lets lower the level of paranoia a bit and instead look at the published facts (from Eve-o and various blog posts).

Disclaimer, I have very little additional information about the NDA breach and what I do know I can’t share..

What has been made known by CCP and a few CSM reps who have risked their own position to correct some of the wilder speculation is that.

  1. There was an NDA breach by Ankhesentapemkah
  2. It wasn’t related to the CSM5 summit or any subsequent blog posts
  3. It relates to confidential data that CCP do not wish to discuss
  4. Other CSM reps disagreed with CCP during the summit to a similar if not harsher degree and some made forum posts and blogs about it without being removed.
  5. CCP think the damage done by not disclosing more information is better than letting the full details be known.

In detail

  1. CCP state a breach of NDA occurred and that Ank has been removed from the CSM. Ank (through a massively article) disputes that any breach occurred.

  3. Sok and DV post on various forums that the breach didn’t relate to the CSM5 summit, though having thought better of it have (in at least DV’s case) edited that information out again. Other CSMs posted some limited details on blogs and forums which has not resulted in further NDA issues.

  5. The type of breach and the data it relates to are such that CCP are refusing to give any details. This is a different situation to Larkgate when more detail was provided to state insider trading of market commodities, though leaving the actual item types out of the details.

  7. Eva was certainly not the only CSM rep to strongly disagree with CCP during the summit. The minutes will hopefully be out this week (though with today’s events I expect a further delay :(). The idea that CCP would go to the trouble of removing one member of the CSM on a fake NDA breach to shut them up is laughable.

  9. Confirming a breach occurred but neglecting to give any details of what type of breach and when it occured is, IMO, likely to cause more wild speculation but that is the route CCP have decided. CSM5 have been in contact with CCP over this but unless CCP issue a statement nothing can be discussed.


No matter whatn the damage has been done. It is yet another blow to the CSM process just as it was regaining credibility after the CSM3 scandal last year. Eva will likely not be allowed to run for CSM again (assuming her appeal fails) and her take care party will be viewed with suspicion in future.

I read a company motto once which said “The good we do reflects on you”.
Sadly the reverse is also true…


The CSM5 Iceland summit starts tomorrow but I won’t be able to talk about the content till the minutes are out :(.

Because I was over early (to hang out with the AT8 crew) I got to talk to a number of people about Lowsec and PVP in general. I pitched a few ideas to Kil2, Verone and a couple of pirates from The United and The Gurista Associates (IIRC) and they all had valid comments and ideas of their own too. In fact in the last few days I have spent most evenings talking about Eve till around 4am! The constant daylight makes staying up all night far too easy πŸ˜‰

I will blog properly about AT8 at some point and will try to blog a bit about the summit in general. Also keep an eye on my twitter.


It seems pretty clear that there are a number of people who enjoy the edited minutes. My plan is to retain them but to be a bit more aggressive with the editing process such that some of the longer or repeated arguments are summarized.

For the raw logs I will be removing the dates from the timestamps on each line as suggested by Bel’Shamharoth (search and replace FTW). In its place I will add the date of the meeting at the top of the file.

Longer term I will be able to cut and paste the discussion for an issue into the CSM Database (with links back to the minutes for reference). This should make it easier to see what is going with a proposal without having to read the whole meeting as well as giving me more things to search on for later features.

Once the summit is done and RL calms back down again things should return to CSM4 style schedules πŸ˜‰

Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚