CSM Winter Minutes Analysis, Part 2

This is a continuation of last week’s post, hitting the second half of the Winter Minutes, as well as a brief note on the major missing parts, namely Lowsec, Wormholes, and the AT. I’ll also be posting some remarks on Evesterdam’s announcements, as well as the Hillmar AMA, as both of those had some very interesting information come out of them.

The Economy

This section is a major component of my overall platform, so I was eager to see what’s in the box. It’s really good to see that CCP also views botting as the most important economic issue facing the game, as from my end, it destroys the time-based balancing that factors into all EVE decisions. While it’s certainly not the only problem, as will be addressed later, it is definitely the biggest. It’s also good to see agreement on isk and mineral faucets, minerals in particular are something I’m very concerned about, but isk is also a prominent issue. We haven’t begun to see too many of the effects of excessive isk faucets based on the MER price index, but we certainly have seen drastic changes in the value of minerals as a result of the tsunami of ore.

Aryth mentions insurance payments here, specifically in the context of the lower response to price changes. I actually believe it’s good that the insurance prices adjust far slower, as the faster it updates, the more vulnerable it is to manipulation and exploitation, much like how Goons exploited the Faction Warfare LP system a few years back due to price manipulation of specific items.

On Rorquals, I think Sort misses the mark. While I think the tank nerf will help, especially as it reduces the threshold to kill a Rorq, it’s definitely not a prime driver. A tank nerf on its own just drives Rorquals more and more into the arms of bigger and bigger blocs that can protect them. The real issue with Rorquals is the ease of scalability, as it allows you to near-linearly increase mining yield, which is a big factor behind the massive increases in output.

They seem to hit the spot a lot better with the ratting changes here. I really like the idea of adding more tackle, particular scram tackle that can shut off MJDs, as it increases the window to tackle someone, much like the proposed NSA change makes it more possible to tackle a carrier. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than going into a system filled with VNIs and watching them all warp off simultaneously. While players and bots would likely prioritize the rat, it would still present more of a danger. They could even make the rat the wave trigger, meaning that if you can’t tank multiple waves, you’ll be facing a hard choice. I could also see the drone aggression helping, though more to break up the chokehold that drone ships have on the meta, which drives more AFK gameplay. On a side note, Jin’s effort:isk point nicely reflects two of my key points, a) that near-infinite scaling multiboxing significantly hurts the game, as you just continuously add more accounts, and b) that bots upset this effort:isk balance by making it take nearly 0 effort. We also got some intriguing new info on multiple account usage, but I’ll talk about that in my remarks on Hillmar’s AMA.

It’s a bit ironic to see this discussion on PLEX and injectors now, given the events that have transpired since the summit regarding PLEX prices. Granted, much of the plex spike was due to market manipulation, and this second one due to a CCP sale, but it’s definitely an issue. One of the biggest results of the change from 1 PLEX to 500 PLEX is the increased granularity in prices and trading. You don’t need to drop billions to deal in PLEX now because you can essentially buy fractions of a PLEX and speculate with that. This makes the price much more vulnerable to market play, and makes it more likely to be used as a commodity than a regular item, as you can see now. Basically, the easier it is to trade in PLEX, the more people are going to do so, and therefore continue to hold onto PLEX. That being said, skill farms and injectors represent an additional upwards pressure, due to the increased demand. Being able to run dozens of omega accounts through mostly AFK gameplay is pretty questionable, but because of the way SP earnings and PLEX prices are tied together, it’s difficult to avoid having injector prices and PLEX prices directly correlate.

Art

The big exciting bit here is the changes to the launcher and login as mentioned earlier. Also as mentioned earlier, it’s tough to evaluate given the image nature of the content, while we only have text, so not too much feedback beyond what was mentioned earlier. I like the ideas regarding the structure and ship alliance branding, and hope that comes through. It’s good that CCP is actively making the ships and skins with advance planning for alliance logos.

Monetization

This is the medium kahuna.in the koi pond. I mentioned PLEX and injectors in the economy section, so I won’t get back into that, but I do like the idea of more economic engagement with the CSM, as it’s a cornerstone of EVE gameplay, and therefore quite important to its success. The concerns over the number of accounts needed in null are also well warranted, it’s really tough to get by with one no matter what you’re doing, due to the way the meta has moved. This also ties into that new account number info I was talking about earlier. I also agree with Aryth here, in that the skill injector booster was bad for the game, and attributes are too. Premium is a much clearer way of indicating the way EVE works, and also does a nice job of showing that Alphas are a viable form of gameplay on their own, as many people I talk to believe Alphas are a trial, especially people looking at starting to play, which is a key market to hit. Using the SOCT ships as new noobships would be interesting, as they would also have no reprocessing results, minimizing the economic impact, as right now, noobships are pretty pointless, apart, ironically, from being used as cyno ships, which only benefits older players.

Ninja Team

I’m really excited to see the results of this as I’ve stated, the little things crew does a great job, and this seems to be a similar concept with more resources. For brevity’s sake, I won’t get too in depth on all the proposals here, but I would like to mention that I absolutely love the radial menu, and use it all the time. It would really suck to see it go away, it’s great for doing some common things quickly, in particular bridging on titans and jumping/warping.

EVE World Tour

I admit, I’m pretty biased here in that I’m a big fan of the world tour because it gives me an option that’s within reasonable driving distance, only about 5-6 hours. The timing is definitely pretty bad on EVE North but I’ll take it over needing to fly to Iceland or across the country. I am, however, pretty sad to see the loss of the AT in favor of the offline tournaments. These offline ones seem to be very non-competitive, with the format taking away a lot of the theorycrafting opportunities that make the AT so great. The offline finals are cool, but not worth the rest of it. I’m always happy to see more EVE tournament events, but this isn’t really a good replacement for the most competitive tournament that we previously had. Also, BORTFORT!

VFX

This is another section I’m not able to comment a huge amount on. The optimal range, overheat, and burnout visibility could be interesting, particularly for small gang and solo, as well as the AT if it returns.

CCPartners

Given the nature of advertisement in the gaming world now, I think this is a really good move to drive more people’s interest in EVE. Especially with Zarvox quitting streaming, there’s a major lack of content creation, particularly gameplay streams/videos, as most of EVE’s video production tends to be based around talk shows and commentary on events. There’s nothing better than when someone comes into an EVE stream and starts getting interested in the game and what’s going on, so harnessing that is key. We’ve also suffered a loss of EVE news sites, with TMC and 1900 being the only two big ones properly left, and the latter fading in and out. CZ and EN24 have fallen by the wayside, after being pillars of the written content community, so it’s another hole in the standard options.

Summit Close

I admit, I don’t quite get what they’re referring to in the first part here, and given the reference to the NDA, I assume that the NDA is why. I do think it’s important that the CSM continues to be a viable means of sharing info and getting feedback ahead of time, even if it does mean more in-game restrictions on what CSM members are allowed to do. I personally feel you should be a CSM member first and a player second. I’m glad to see Sort thinks that the dynamic is shifting more towards CSM suggesting direction rather than a one way street, as that’s always been one of the big issues. Also, in great tragedy, they do not mention the timeline for the next election.

What’s Missing?

So there’s some notable parts that either do not show up, or are only briefly mentioned. The Alliance Tournament is a big one. I was really looking forward to some more indication of the future plans for the AT coming out in the minutes, so it’s a pretty sad thing to see minimal reference at all other than some offhand comments. The AT, as I mentioned when the news first came out, is a big deal for EVE, and it does not inspire hope in me to see further lack of interest. I do have some hope, however, as the Anger Games is doing a really good job this year, and I highly recommend anyone missing the AT checks it out. It looks like TD is going to be all sorted in time, so I really hope they can make the event work, and I fully support it.

Another big empty spot is lowsec. There are 0 references to lowsec and two references to faction warfare across the entirety of the minutes. That’s a huge oversight considering how big a deal this is, especially with CCP’s stated focus on retention of players on the first 30 days that they mentioned in the Hilmar AMA, which again, will be discussed in another post.

Meanwhile, wormholes don’t get much of a mention either, just a note about performance in wormhole fights, which is especially bad considering how much help they need. There is a bright spot for wormholes in the Hilmar AMA at least, so look for that in the next few days, and/or on Thursday depending on what order I do the posts in.

Finally, and this is more of a personal note, but Black Ops go unmentioned, even in the section talking about ECM ships, which is weird considering the Widow is the peak of ECM ships. Black Ops struggle a lot due to price and the existence of T3s, so I was hoping they’d get a bit of a boost at some point, as they’re among my favorite ships.

Overall while this is definitely a positive step on average, it’s got some gaping holes for literally half of EVE’s space.

Cornak Firefist