The Long Shadow: A Look Back at CSM7

Looking back on the year, my term's been good, all-in-all. It was pretty much an even split between "peace time" (pre-Nov. 2012) and "war time" (Nov. 2012 onward). The wars we had were a lot quieter than CSM 5+6, fought mostly in Skype, emails, video conferences and some timely publications to the players rather than full on threadnoughts and open letters. I think that was mostly due to a prevailing sense that even if we had to stand firm and get angry about something, CCP leadership would work with us without being prompted by another year full of crisis. 

Most of the time that sense was proved correct, though we came close to the brink on one or two occasions in November and December. A look at CSM postings, Tweets, and the EVE Development Strategy document we released around those times are evidence of that. Some of the story came out in the Winter Minutes where the CSM and CCP were plainly at odds over a number of things, namely Player Owned Structures and the implementation of the stakeholder process. Now that Fanfest is over, with Odyssey and its features announced along with CCP’s publication of a devblog and Dev Q&A elaborating on the CSM’s role in that process, the results of that strategy document, with those tense summit sessions, nearly weekly follow-up meetings, and the hours of preparing stakeholder feedback are finally in full view of the players. 

CSM7 did a lot of cool stuff, including pitching “service contracts” which eventually contributed to CCP’s decision to focus on bounty hunting for Retribution, convincing CCP that the player movement to return the Vagabond frill was not a troll, and many more. We also had our fair share of shortcomings, including being too trusting/passive in our first six months, not sticking to the “Spotlight Feature with Devblog” public communication strategy for Modular POSes, and several other valid angles of criticism you could name. Rather than give a blow-by-blow replay of every little detail, I want to focus this article on my personal reflections of the past year and try to keep to some sort of narrative.

My main goals for the term were to make sure ship rebalancing was accelerated or at least continued, the new War Dec system worked well, to get CCP to finally fix T2 Production (aka Fix Tech, which I really believed in but was a pretty unrealistic goal since every CSM had unsuccessfully advocated for it since back when I was on CSM4), and to convince CCP they should start a meaningful look at 0.0 through either the POS revamp or some other means. There were also some pretty amazing targets of opportunity that I really got excited about homing in on, namely Fixing Tech and giving input into CCP’s core expansion development process.

On ship balancing, I'd say that's an unqualified success. Tiericide was well underway when CSM7 took office and obviously I don’t think we had anything to do with personnel decisions by CCP. But we did consistently sing the praises of the balancing efforts, insist they keep going, and push for more. The balance team was expanded with CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise, Retribution set the record for the number of ships balanced in a release (which will be followed up strongly by Odyssey), and the balance team worked closely with the CSM on proposed changes. The back-and-forth discussions were frequent and sprawling, with Fozzie and Rise in particular being very receptive to both our input and direct player feedback. As an aside, I'm proud to say I was one of the CSM representatives that put forward the logistic frigate idea which, luckily for new players and assault frigate fans, CCP got really excited about.

CEO of Noir., CSM alumni, and LoL noob.