When the CSM Minutes were published last week I decided to give it a read… all 118 pages. When I saw how long it was I decided it might be a good idea to make some notes while reading incase I forgot what I had read by the time I finished reading it. So for stuff that caught my eye reading it just cut and pasted it as notes. First half the minutes I read at home making notes and other half of the minutes I ended up reading on my IPhone at work (no easy task that was) but unable to make notes at that point. But this is what that stood out to me in the discussions as I read it for what its worth, in all their own words.
EVE Online The Next Decade and Beyond
Unifex reminded the CSM once again that this group, the lurking single players who are already subscribed, are the majority of characters on Tranquility. Essentially the “social value, or social equity” of a player group increases as you move from left to right (on the whiteboard), even though the size of that player group becomes much smaller in number. In other words, the 10,000 combined instigators and enablers become as equally valuable as the much larger lurking population. Unifex admitted that historically, CCP had not been good at balancing their efforts and servicing all groups.
Kelduum asked why CCP found it challenging to tell whether the one person with 5 characters and 5 accounts in his own corporation was actually just a single person. Seagull explained that right now, the focus was on tracking accounts and characters, but not necessarily humans.
The CSM unanimously replied that if the same sandbox-style game play existed, it would be just as compelling in settings other than the science-fiction universe it happened to end up inside. Unifex explained that he wants to get back to that place of wonder, that sense of the unknown, that existed when wormholes first came out and when no-one knew what was out in deepest null sec.
Unifex: If I had it my way, I’d take Planetary Interaction out of EVE, the game, and put it on that [gesturing at Seleene's iPad] as a fully-fledged game in the EVE Universe. If I want to land on a planet and pull out a gun and shoot someone, I have to ask, does it make sense for me to do that in EVE Online the game? Or in the EVE Universe but through a different interface point?
UAxDEATH: So it’s all doable?
Unifex: It’s all doable. Take planetary flight, for example. That will be available when Dust launches, because you’ll be able to cruise around in dropships over planets. CCP is growing up to the point where we no longer have to put every single thing in the EVE universe into EVE Online if it doesn’t make sense. Some of these things should really just be different games. We shouldn’t be trying to put all games into EVE Online. We could be trying to put more games into the EVE universe, however.
Moving the discussion over to an area that was overlooked, Elise raised the question of the importance of industry. Importing goods from Jita and exporting harvested materials to Jita, Elise argued, was a bad design. Greyscale agreed and questioned to what degree making assembly lines better would alleviate some of the null-sec industrial woes. Elise argued that the issue wasn’t necessarily the building in null- sec, but rather the accumulation of resources to build. Alek added that he believed the building process itself was very important and that assembly lines in null-sec were a reason for industry being so lackluster. Two step suggested that perhaps a solution would be to have a more significant cost to building in Empire, whereas the cost would be less in player-built stations. Hans added that CCP should not be afraid to increase the cost of building in highsec.
Greyscale asked the CSM if giving, say, infinite assembly lines at no cost would be sufficient to bolster null-sec industry. Elise did not agree, and Trebor sarcastically replied that it was “a good start”. Greyscale wondered where the remaining problem resided, and UAxDEATH quickly responded that the issue was with acquiring the minerals. Elise agreed and added that while the build slots were an issue, the larger issue was getting the minerals.
Hans added that the null-sec belts did not include a useful distribution of minerals, so importing would always be an issue. Greyscale posed an extreme example of infinite Tritanium in null-sec and asked if people would mine it. UAxDEATH stated that people would mine it, while Alek argued that it would be pointless to mine so long as there was a more valuable resource, like Merc/Mega/Zyd, that could be mined, exported, traded in empire for Tritanium, and hauled back still at a profit. Alek suggested a solution would be to include minerals like Tritanium and Pyrite to the asteroids that yield the higher-end minerals, or even some sort of “super Veld” that yielded a similar ISK/hour to high ends through massive amounts of Trit instead of Zyd/Mega. Getting in the last word, Elise suggested that another useful tweak would be to increase the speed of null-sec production slots, which UAxDEATH agreed was useful.
Alek asked for an example, and Ytterbium gave him the comparison between Assault Frigates and T1 Frigates, with Fozzie adding that the dynamic between those was about perfect.
Seleene brought up the issue of a cost difference, citing an example of the Thorax and Deimos. Since the Deimos is significantly more expensive, Seleene reasoned, shouldn’t it be more powerful? Fozzie agreed to a point and said that the premium you pay for the Deimos should get something like a 20% bonus over T1. Greyscale added that ships are quasi-balanced on cost, but so that a linear increase in power correlates to an exponential increase in cost.
Seleene brought the discussion back to T1 and asked what the reason was for the slight delay in T1 BS balancing. Ytterbium added that neither the vision nor the timeframe for Battleships changed, and Fozzie hinted at “a surprise you will be happy with”. After light torture, Fozzie broke down and revealed the surprise was simply a new addition to the balance team.
Seleene then asked why we had to wait for Black Ops, and Fozzie responded that a minor BO change was imminent. The delay was caused by a QA bottleneck, and upon learning this Unifex promised Fozzie that he would do the QA testing himself to push the changes out early. Two step and Trebor both asked for clarification on the BO changes, and Fozzie and Ytterbium explained that it was simple: increase jump range to Titan levels, decrease fuel consumption by 25%, and increase fuel capacity by 25%. Both Ytterbium and Fozzie agreed that these were not the final changes to BO, but stated that a small stopgap change was necessary.
Ytterbium and Fozzie stated that their vision for a future BO revamp (after the initial jump range/fuel change) was that it would include two lines – a combat-oriented BO and a bridging/covert oriented one. Alek stated some reservations about having bridging-only Black Ops, arguing that simply bridging and flying around cloaked was a bit boring — they should want and be able to fight. Two step suggested that maybe a price reduction would be a big help alongside making them more useful.
Trebor noted that his corp uses Black Ops in combat environments. Elise asked if he used Black Ops as “a hilarious gimmick” or because they were a sensible and useful ship. Trebor responded that he would prefer a single-line of Black Ops and accompany it with a combat-boost instead.
Seleene raised the issue of supercap balancing. Ytterbium informed the CSM that supercap rebalancing was not on the immediate horizon and that there was no concrete vision for changes to them. Fozzie added that, while they wouldn’t promise to rebalance supercaps balance in 2013, they wouldn’t exclude it either. Fozzie continued by saying that supercap balance was an issue, but that they believe other balance issues had a higher priority. Alek, Seleene, and Elise disagreed.