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Okay, first off, you can find the minutes here: http://community.eveonline.com/council/transcripts/2012/CSM_CCP_Meetings_May_June_2012.pdf

You can skip the first 32 pages of the 165 page document because all it addresses are “white paper” issues, the foundation of CSM and the like.  Interesting for Drama Llamas, but not all that helpful when you wanna know what CCP is planning for Eve.. the game we all play.

First Topic: Winter 2012 Expansion

Important Talking Quote:

The theme for the winter expansion will continue to be ‘WAR’, or more specifically the stimulation of blowing stuff up and there are to be no ‘Jesus features’ (large new shiny features).

And there was a resounding sigh of relief from all the players, because it meant that CCP will be focusing on making the game more solid and logical.  Hurray!  Aside from that, just notes about having Frigates balanced, possible Black Ops if there is time, and that new Crimewatch mechanics may or may not be ready for primetime by December 2012.  Graphics will be address as well.

Second Topic: EVE Future

Important Talking Quote:

CCP stated that EVE is not an easy game and it will never be an easy game so it makes sense to help players with training programs in some manner, to make their life easier.

That acknowledgement, as well as the understanding that it will NEVER be CCP’s intent, makes me feel good inside.  Earlier they talked about changing even the whole format of the Player Tutorials from the linear model to something more akin to what Eve Online actually is.  This, would be hard, and perhaps a little unnecessary because while Eve, as a whole, isn’t linear, various tasks and gains are linear like missions (Get agent, Get mission, go to mission area, finish mission, etc.) and mining (get ship, go to asteroid belt, bring ore to station, convert, sell, etc.).  So, up in the air on that myself.

One big thing from this particular forum was that ship customizations were now being discussed.  Not attribute changes, but the basic color, logo, and stuff changes that Eve Players have been begging for, for years now.  CSM Elise indicated that POSes should be first in this regard, and I am of two minds on that issue.  I can see, because of the possibility of performance problems, having a thousand custom painted ships could be a fairly serious issue.  But it would also make Eve much more personable, and it could be a new form of income as well if designed right.  The other thought is that yes, POSes should be first (read: Dead Horse) because it is a more of a status symbol and will be a more dramatic and obvious improvement.  Especially if the POS changes (which would include individual POSes) comes to pass.

Another Big Thing was Ring Mining.  It is officialy on hold pending POS changes, but it definately has gone beyond “wishful thinking” into “a possible mechanic”.  I really appreciate the CSM’s giving us EXACTLY what was said because now I get to listen to some points that I didn’t consider when I think about Ring Mining and its impact.  This also made me feel good about CCP stepping away from the “resource conflict driver” thought process, and it looks like randomly moving resources are finally being put to sleep for good.  CCP Soundwave and the CSM get my concerns on this and it looks like we are of one mind.

Jump Clones and Medical clones were also address, particularly their costs.  Not all that important, but it is good to see it being discussed.

Then we get into the concept of Arenas.  This is big and personally, this could make Eve a WoW killer if I may be so bold.  I pretty much giggle happily when I saw CCP Soundwave expressedly desire to have betting as an option in Arenas.  Oh.. yeah.. this would be a crucial selling point in my book.  Imagine having not just null-sec and FW PVP corps, but Corps who’s purpose is to compete in the Arenas, like WWF or Boxing!  Schweet!

Third Topic: The State of Incarna

Important Quote:

Thus an Incarna prototyping team was tasked with exploring how and why the Incarna experience could fit into EVE’s emergent and interactive gameplay.

I know a lot of people want Incarna to die forever and ever, but I have to admit that I think it is a good direction for CCP to go, however, it shouldn’t have been to the exclusion of everything else, and it had to be done with a purpose.. not just to show off what they could do.  So, having this discussion now is certainly better than not having it.  I would have like to have seen the “mysterious” prototype, but the fact that Aleks had to mention that things like establishments, war rooms, and poker rooms should be added makes me think that while the prototype looked good.. it still doesn’t have a purpose yet.

They talked more about clothes too.. but, while avoiding another NEX flop, it didn’t seem to interesting because both groups want to avoid another fiasco like that.

Fourth Topic: Live Events

Important Quote:

CCP Goliath was happy with the response of the CSM and presented an idea that the Live Events team came up with, which is that there would be hidden event triggers and, if met, would cause a certain event to take place – or not take place. The players would then choose the outcome of the event and it would be written into EVE lore.

While I am not a big fan of Live Events, mainly because I am never on when they happen, this does look like an interesting idea that shows promise, and may give life back to the RP part of Eve Online.

Fifth Topic:  Industry and Mining

Important Quote:

CCP decided that industry should be goal based making it more fun and quicker to do. There should be graphical feedback while it operates.

Finally, CCP is looking to make Industry and Mining a little more fun.  And from the above quote, looks like Mini-games might be on the menu.   However, the main focus is on having less clicks, probably in the way of better batch setups for industry players.  The change in complication may also draw more people into industry and mining.  Looking through the discussion (which is a must for anyone even remotely looking into Industry and Mining), I particularly liked Trebor’s idea of a “think sink”, a place where a player, using a little more effort, can get an edge over the competion.  Something similiar was used in Star Wars Galaxies, where while an item took “Metal Type A”, “Metal Type B”, and “Chemical Type C”, the universe provided various forms of Metals, Chemicals, etc. that could be used for those categories.  Some were better, and produced items with better qualities.  Some were worse and so.. while the item was produced, it didn’t last as long or do as much damage, etc.  I am a HUGE fan of think sinks.

The bad point about this is that Ring Mining probably won’t happen until Winter Expansion of 2013.

Sixth Topic: Starbase Rework

Important Quote:

The current state of the starbase redesign is “in concepting”

This confused me somewhat because the previous topic indicated that the group working on POSes was soo busy that they couldn’t get to Ring Mining for a least another year.  Then we go to the Starbase Rework and find that, guess what, there is no direction and  no plan.  Not even concept art.  However, the concepts they are pushing for are pretty good.  First off, “POSes” will be “player housing”.  The current system of POSes is going to be phased out eventually.  One of the things on the “get rid of” list is the POS Shield.  Yeah, if you have EVER POS bashed, you have just re-read that sentence.  This is expected to be worked on during 2013.

None the less, there are a LOT of great thoughts being pushed around so I recommend everyone look at pages 63 thru 69.  After re-reading this again, I’d say this is a huge, HUGE bonus to Eve Online.  “Ship it” isn’t soon enough.  Here come the Moon Cities.

Seventh Topic: Eve/Dust Link

Important Quote:

Ah.. to be honest.. nothing here stood out.

Yeah.. I am excited to see this.. but I didn’t see any particular point about Dust that I wanted to share.  It looks like it is progressing and getting closer to release.  Sony appears to also be doing its level best to be helpful, so that is nice to hear.  Sounds like Sony wants DUST to be the HALO killer.  One major selling point will be that clan support that will be introduced.  CCP Jian is of the mind that this will be way more powerful and useful than other FPS’s clan support features.

Eighth Topic: EVE UI

Important Quote:

Nothing jumped out at me

It looks like the UI will be further improved with more shortcuts and more “ease of use” features.  Useful, I suppose, but nothing earth shattering in my book.  Quite a few of these features will be welcomed changes for those who run logistic type duties in corporations and alliances.  The good news is that for those people who dislike the Unified Inventory, CCP isn’t just going to say “good enough” and stop working on it.  As we have noted, they have kept on it since then.

One point Aleks brought up with the challenge of the D-Scanner, which is pretty difficult to train new players on as well as the use is less than optimal.  Also how the visual input of things like Transversal, Optimal range versus Fall-off, might be handled better.. possibly including a color-coding system that might help newer to average players.

Ninth Topic: Null-sec

Important Quote:

CCP Ytterbium kicked things off by saying he didn’t have much to talk about aside from a list of questions, since his team was squarely focused on the Factional Warfare feature for the coming months.

Oooo.. haters gonna hate!  And:

CCP Soundwave: “I can, with virtual certainty, say that this December we’re going do something about cap and supercap presence in anomalies. That is the biggest faucet we have right now.”

Anything that reduces Supercaps in Eve is always a win.

Overall, it seemed to be just a discussion over WHEN work on Null-sec would be started and what things CCP wanted to avoid.  But it also seemed to indicated that CCP would be working on Null-sec issues along side the POS changes, so those features will definately be a nice one-two punch to what null-sec has become.  What was really good was the discussion between those who actively operate in 0.0 making some very solid points and counter points to each other.  It isn’t a “lock-step” that some conspiricy folks had envisioned.  Clearly though, this needs to be discussed more, especially since the POS issue will be a big “X” factor in how null-sec will operate once it is introduced.

Tenth Topic: Corporate Management

Important Quote:

CREST

A lot of this discussion started off with the desire for the CEO of any corp to be able to immediately kick out a member, no warnings, no delays.  The problem was that back a few years ago, this was an ability CEOs had and it was used for griefing.  For example, you would be in a major battle in high-sec, and one of your members was getting ganked by a fleet of war targets.  The CEO could instantly remove you from corp, thereby instantly removing the wardec off of the player being attacked, and instantly having Concord respond to the attack wiping out all the war targets for you.  Yeah, not a fair situation.

The discussion went on to be about roles in corporations, and while it IS possible to be specific about what tasks you can allow a member, the way to do that is by no means intuitive.  Other things like Sov Transfer, Corporate/Alliance Logo vetting, and apps for the in-game browser (please, send me a link to some of these apps..)

Eleventh Topic: Crimewatch and War decs

Important Quote:

Well.. nothing specific, but it is a good read.  I believe the part about the neutral repping has already been introduced into the game, but don’t quote me on that.  Actually, a lot of this stuff is moot since what actually happened at release is considerably different than what was talked about.  So.. moving on…

Twelveth Topic: Player Experience – The Launcher

Important Quote:

Trebor Daehdoow: How is this going to affect multiboxing?

CCP Alice: It will make it easier; you’ll be able to launch multiple clients from a single Launcher instance.

On the plus side of this issue was a discussion about being able to use the Launcher to access both TQ and SiSi without having two completely seperate launchers.  Much of the discussion was based around taking less steps to do the same thing as well as being able to just use the launcher for multiple client activations.

Thirteenth Topic: Faction Warfare Discussion

Important Quote:

CCP Soundwave: “Factional Warfare. This is, for me, probably the feature I am the happiest about. I think we really hit the nail on the head. We’re going to make some more changes come December, we’ll keep iterating on it, even though it’s in a pretty good state. I’m fairly certain that by December we can have it in a place where we won’t have to go back and do major things to it for a long, long time.”

One of the head-to-head moments was the option to have Cyno jamming as an upgrade to an FW system.  Hans liked the idea, Elise hated it.  In fact, the whole comment needs to be addressed:

CCP Ytterbium explained that this feature was postponed because the Fanfest feedback was that this was too underdeveloped as a concept, and that too many neutral parties were concerned about this interfering with other forms of low sec gameplay.

Elise warned that if a Factional Warfare group were ever to interfere with his supply chain, he would send people into Factional Warfare for a month just to ruin everything for them, as a warning not to meddle in the future. He also warned that this is what every large entity would do as well.

Two step said that the effect could be temporary, like for 10 minutes once every hour or something along those lines.

Hans agreed that this exactly what he means, the cyno jammer doesn’t have to be a permanently deployed feature.

Having flown in both null-sec fleets and now for Faction Warfare, my hackles get a little put out by Elise comment.  But, that is the nature of Eve and Elise does bring out a logical point.  Two Step’s argument on this,  however, is kinda strange because you use a Cynojammer to lock down systems to protect them from invasion.  Having a fleet wait ten minutes isn’t a big issue.. in fact, its a non-issue.  Now, if the jammer only allowed a ten minute window every hour or two.. well, then that might be useful.

Nonetheless, Two Step comes back with a pretty good response later:

Two step clarified that what the militias want to have is the ability to deploy a cyno jammer when they know they’re going to have a capital fight, giving them a brief window to engage each other without outside interference.

Something everyone was in agreement with.  The discussion went on to talk about various other small issues that needed to be addressed.  One interesting thing was found in the Editor’s notes.  Apparently CCP is think of having a “third” faction being introduced.  This “third” faction would allow non-aligned players to capture and carve out empires in low-sec FW territory.  It was only introduced and deeper discussions weren’t had.

Fourteenth Topic: Art

Important Quote:

CSM then got a look at Ship redesign works-in-progress, including the Tempest, Punisher, Purifier, Crucifier, Drake, Heron, Incursus (the lance is shorter!),

One thing Art is playing with is having some of the ships change their configuration when (for example) they go into and out of warp. This is not possible with the current system but they are keeping it in mind when doing ship redesigns. Similarly, some of the new redesigns have visible drone and cargo bay hatches and airlocks.

What can you say?  The Art Department ROCKS!  I just can’t wait to see what they have in store.  The minutes are a pretty nice discussion about why things are being done or not done, so nice leisurely reading.

Fifteenth Topic; Ship Balance and Iteration

Important Quote:

CCP Ytterbium laid out his future plans for ship balance, a very pragmatic approach: finish the rest of the Frigates during the summer, then move on to destroyers. After the first set of destroyers is balanced, add a new set of destroyers. Fleshing out the idea, CCP Ytterbium shared his idea for the new Amarr and Gallente destroyers as being drone boats, while Caldari and Minmatar would be missile platforms.

Much of what has been discussed here has already been released to us, like the Mining Barges and the “Ship Lines” or Tier-cide changes that have been planned.  We also now know more about the Cruiser changes that are planned, and that essentially there will be no non-combat faction ships.  In addition, it is pretty clear that Ytterbium is definately on top of the game.  Look for changes to Sensor dampening as well as buffs to various cruisers when these get “untier”-ed.

Of course it took a while for CCP Ytterbium to get to Minmatar, but when he did:

Going back to Cruisers, CCP Ytterbium continued with his plans but warned that for Minmatar ships he wasn’t completely sure with the direction he wants to go. CCP Ytterbium’s initial plan for Minmatar is to make their missile ships incorporate a target painting bonus. In this vision the Bellicose would get a target painting and missile bonus, and the Typhoon would lose its split-damage bonus and become a true torpedo platform with a target painting bonus; it would become a short ranged Torpedo boat. Expanding this idea to the rest of the ships, ships like the Cyclone could become a target painting HAM platform.

Elise was quick to interject that the Cyclone is one of the most balanced and fun BCs in the like.

CCP Ytterbium agreed that he liked the Cyclone as a mini-Maelstrom, of sorts, and that he was on the fence with the Cyclone in particular. CCP Ytterbium likes the current form of the Stabber and Rupture, but added that a buff to both was not out of the question.

Now, having flown Cyclones in PVP, I have to disagree with Elise.  I found them not to be balanced.. or at least not until the release of the ASB modules.  Prior to ASBs, they were an extremely weak ship and gave no advantage to the flyer over the Hurricane (though later it looks like the Hurricane will be getting a small nerf).  The other thoughts where the Bellicose and the Typhoon become missile-lobbers makes sense to me as they already are primed to work that way.  As far as changing the Cyclone into a HAM ship.. that might work well.  The discussion also included Amarr and Gallente BCs, and also Caldari BCs… especially the Drake.

CCP Ytterbium’s view of the Drake is that it should not be a viable fleet doctrine.

UAxDEATH added that every race should have a good BC, and Seleene chimed in damning the Drakes absurd buffer.

CCP Ytterbium suggested that the balancing problem may not only lay with the ship, but with Heavy Missiles. While CCP Ytterbium hasn’t amassed all the data he would like to make a decision, his gut instinct is that the problem with HMLs, and in turn Drakes, is that HMLs have too much range.

Two step added that they are a sniper weapon but do a fair amount of DPS.

Elise gave a possible solution to increase the CPU usage of HMLs which would weaken either the tank or the damage of customary Drake fits.

I am starting to notice a pattern.  I really don’t agree with a lot of Elise’s or Greene Lee’s viewpoints.  Elise’s idea about Cyclones, Hurricanes, Maelstroms, Kitsunes.. yeah.. I disagree with him on those considerably.  Elise’s common dismissal of cost and expense really is a detriment to his ability to accurately assess issues.  I don’t care of Greene Lee’s view of the current state of Bombers or Logistics ships either. The conversation keeps on going on to Battleships, where every ship gets discussed.  In fact, every ship class.. just about every individual ship was discussed.  A lot of suggestions and ideas were put forward.

Later on, Elise and Greene Lee get into a discussion about the problem of logistics at the Capital Ship level.  Since nothing was going to come out of that discussion of point and counterpoint, they just moved on.  EAFs, Black Ops, Command Ships, and T3 ships were all discussed and it seems the CCP Ytterbium is working very hard on making sure that they each have their own roles and don’t cross over too much, if at all, onto others.

One thing I have to bring up, and this is clearly a failing on the part of Elise and Seleene is this statement right here:

“16, 16-17 to go through an Aeon. Not a lot.”

They are talking about Titans.  Later on, Elise goes on to say that Supercaps logistics is a false problem, mentioning that a 50 Aeon Supercap fleet running logistics isn’t impossible.  Sorry Elise and Seleene, but for all practical purposes, you have lost your ability to keep things in perspective.  16 or 17 Titan are “not a lot”?  Well, it may not be a lot if you control billions and trillions of isk, but it is a problem for the small alliances who wish to have a couple systems in null-sec to call their own.  Remember, there were NEVER meant to be 50 Aeons in the game EVER.  Even 16 to 17 Titans was never supposed to happen.  ONE titan was supposed to be the most any alliance could afford and even then it was something only for the richest and most powerful of alliance.  Those responses that you made are clearly outside of the vast majority of Eve Players.. including those who reside in null-sec.  As I pointed out in March, https://2ndanomalyfromtheleft.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/dev-post-13-march-2012-titan-quick-fix/, the problem isn’t so much what Titans or Supercarriers do.. it is the fact that there are far too many out there and you can easily send out fleets and fleets of supercaps and dominate any battlefield.  True, recent changes have made Supercaps near useless against subcaps.. but they still dominate sov control far too excessively.

The rest of the minutes covered things like Security, the New Player Experience, Player to Player Contracts, the Economy things that weren’t directly involved with most aspects of Eve Gameplay.  Still, feel free to chew through each section to get a good idea of where CCP is (which isn’t as crazy as I thought) to how the CSM is (which maybe farther away from the goals I desire).

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