Tuesday, July 20, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #19: Growing Pains


Welcome to the nineteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This months topic comes to us from @evepress, who he asks: The CSM: CCP's Meta Game? The CSM, an EVE players voice to CCP. Right? In the grand scheme of things yes, the players bring up issues and the CSM presents them to CCP. But in its current iteration the CSM was supposed to be given small authority to assign CCP assets to projects that the CSM thought needed work on. As it has come out, this was not the case. So fellow bloggers, is the CSM worth it, has the CSM improved the game in any way, or is it just a well thought out scam by CCP to give us players a false sense of input in the game? What's your take?

Talk about a loaded question!

First off, let me state that I do not agree with the premise of the questions above. One has to remember that CCP never stated that the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) would have a "small authority to assign CCP assets" to EVE Online's development pipeline. CCP's goal with the CSM was to award "select player representatives the same opportunity to discuss and debate the ongoing evolution of EVE that CCP employees have" (Pétur Jóhannes Óskarsson in his esssay "The Council of Stellar Management: Implementation of Deliberative, democraticically elected, council in EVE" November, 2007).

The purpose of the CSM, as are CCP's intentions, is very noble: provide elected representatives (chosen from the player base) with some influence on how the game is developed, what issues, problems or features are worked on, just as any CCP developer working on the game would have. The idea being that it will give players a voice in the evolution of the game - a service they pay monthly for - and thus help CCP tweak the development of its product towards something the players will enjoy, while at the same time keeping control on the overall direction. The reality is much more complex.

That reality is a player perception that the CSM has, to some extent, the "power to tell" CCP what to work on next, when in reality it only has "influence". It never had more than influence from the beginning though. Three years after its creation, the CSM is stuck between players perception that their priorities "must" be planned in CCP development pipeline, and the reality of an innovative game developer who wants to provide its customers a means to influence the world they play in but still keep control. Which is understandable from CCP's point of vue, as is the players desire to improve their game, to make it more enjoyable, more entertaining. Both have the same goals, just different ideas on how to achieve this.

And as CCP's very own Hilmar Petursson once said in a New York Times interview "Perception is reality, and if a substantial part of our community feels like we are biased, whether it is true or not, it is true to them [...]".

CCP is now faced with a dilemma: change that perception, or give the players and their CSM (some of) the influence they crave. Which will it be?

Call me a fanboy or whatever you want, but I believe that whatever path is chose, the EVE Online Community and CCP Games as a developer will only come out stronger. I've heard the "this will kill EVE" way too many times to believe that the folks who work on the game, the players who live it, will let this amazing world crumble away.

It's my belief, as well as my hope, that CCP will understand the gravity of the situation and work with the CSM to change this perception and provide these representatives the tools they need to make EVE a better game, a better world, a better virtual society.

But eh, I'm Canadian, and I'm an optimistic!

See other participants:
  1. Growing Pains | CrazyKinux's Musing
  2. CSM: Hoax or Serious Business? « Lost in New Eden
  3. CSM-Power to the people or puppets of CCP « A whole lot of Yarrrr!!!
  4. Gaming the CSM | A Mule in EvE
  5. A Taste Of Democracy | StarFleet Comms
  6. CSM: Player Power or Paper Tiger? | I Am Keith Neilson
  7. Governance Thrash Redux? « The Ralpha Dogs
  8. CCP Doesn’t Care: Blog Banter 19 « OMG! You're a Chick?!
  9. The Cataclysmic Variable: It's Crunch Time!
  10. The 19th EVE Blog Banter is upon us… and about the CSM and CCP | Victoria Aut Mors
  11. CSM: Lame Duck from the beginning?
  12. Blog Banter #19 << Dense Veldspar 
  13. Be careful what you say, Roc « Roc’s Ramblings
  14. Exchange Fraking Phone Numbers « Scrap Metal & Faction Ammo
  15. Blog Banter #19: Assumptions
  16. EVE Blog Banter #19 | EVE on Real Life
  17. A Reality Check | A "CareBears" Journey
  18. Quit your bitching | Fly Reckless - EVE Online
  19. War has come to EVE | Scram Web
  20. CCP and the CSM | Morphisat's Blog
  21. BB 19 Riding the elephant | mikeazariah
  22. The CSM: A well thought out scam by CCP | Nitpickin's
  23. The House Theodoulos: 19th EVE Online Blog Banter: CSM and CCP

8 comments:

Ga'len said...

Mate, go lookup what a stakeholder is:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Stakeholders

Identifying your customers as stakeholders implies that you will hold yourself accountable to them as they are a driving force for your project's requirements. Perhaps Hilmar should not have called us all stakeholders at the last two FanFests.

I don't think CCP understood the implications when They did that. That's one of the perceptions issues they created when they made that mistake.

industrialcrisis said...

"Identifying your customers as stakeholders implies that you will hold yourself accountable to them"

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accountable

"subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something"

I think CK is correct, that CCP has not promised the CSM decision power. It does indeed imply that they are accountable, but being accountable to does not equal promising to do what they say. But a large part of the community perceives that as so, and "perception is reality".

Ga'len said...

CCP has been "specifically vague" on quite a few things.

They should never have called us stakeholders. You did see that on the FanFest videos on CCP's channel over on YouTube, right?

Acute Dragonis said...

It's not Eve Blog Pack ready bit I'll will be soon so keep an eye out for my blog and let me know what ya think..

http://podlogs.com/outofpodexperience


Thx

Zimmy910 said...

Rather vague point of view.

How do you think CCP can change the perception by the players that development for Eve the spacegame is more or less on halt at the moment ?

ralphadogs said...

"I've heard the 'this will kill EVE' way too many times to believe that the folks who work on the game, the players who live it, will let this amazing world crumble away."

Imminent Death of EVE Predicted. :-)

But I don't think the CSM issue is "big" enough to kill EVE. It survived for quite some time without it, after all...

Zimmy910 said...

Oh my entry is at
http://www.sobaseki.com/wordpress/2010/07/21/blog-banter-19-ccp-and-the-csm/

t3logy said...

My response to this topis can be found here:

http://nitpickins.com/?page_id=182

CMS is not real it's demise or growth will not effect the game itself.