Posted Wed, Dec 14, 2011 by The Mittani
The CSM enjoyed a few pleasant surprises. In May, before all the riots and chaos, I had hammered on one of my pet issues - the fact that the Rookie Ships in EVE look like piles of low-poly excrement. Welcome to New Eden, kiddo! Here's your Ibis! And they wonder why it's so hard to get people to stick around after the free trial. After years of seeing no relation between CSM requests and CCP action, I was encouraged to see the Art team proudly displaying concepts for new rookie ships. Crucible itself is a laundry list of CSM and player demands. Until this CSM term - and, hell, until the riots, unsubs and media backlash - almost all the players had to show for the CSM project was a skill queue and a backlog. My cup runneth over.
To get the actual details of what happened at the summit out, we have to jump through the hurdles of the CSM/CCP Minutes process. That should proceed rapidly now that CCP has learned the hard way that trying to spin the minutes of the Emergency Summit would blow up in their faces. However, I can say - purely from unspoken nuances that aren’t covered by NDAs - that CCP seems to have backed away from the NeX store concept. Aurum seems to be a dirty word - or a bitter joke - around the office. This isn't to say that CCP will never implement some form of microtransactions, but the devs now contemplate the idea with a degree of care bordering on the terror - Microtransaction PTSD, as it were.
Another novelty: the CCP Polaris Fleets. In the last few days CCP has begun running regular 'Polaris Fleets' of devs, a concept the CSM approved of unanimously. CCP employees do not have much experience with fleet PvP, and in some cases have never PvP'd at all. Were it not for the devhax implants, even Intrepid Crossing could wipe the floor with a CCP fleet. Suddenly devs are seeing firsthand the problems that nullsec veterans have suffered through for years - the overview being awful and slow to update, the difficulties of FCing without a dualboxed covops, the rapidity of probes negating sniping tactics, et cetera. The devs are actively trying to learn how to play EVE and not get cut down like dogs, and that's great news for everyone. That said, I do wish they’d stop hiding in cynojammed Incursion systems so that they too can experience the special joy of having their fleet annihilated by a ‘balanced’ supercapital blob.
The trends to look for from CCP: More understanding of the core mechanics of the game from the line developers, more new spaceships, less emphasis on 'virtual goods', more Crucibles and less Incarnas. I can't think of a single thing I learned or heard discussed at the Summit that made me unhappy, and given how emotionally unstable I felt due to lack of sun and all the alcohol - not to mention being trapped in a room with spaceship nerds having Serious Meetings for 25 hours - that's impressive.