Letter from the CSM
The following is a letter from the members of the sixth Council of Stellar Management. To discuss any CSM related issues, check out the Jita Park Speakers Corner section of the official EVE forums.
Citizens of New Eden,
CSM6 has taken office, and we're going to get things done - by working with CCP reasonably and introducing an effective communication strategy.
The Purpose and Limits of the CSM
There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding about what the CSM is able to do. This is no surprise; the playerbase sees the Assembly Hall - where ‘legislation' is proposed and supported - and the CSM formal meetings, where that legislation is given a formal vote - and expects results and implementation on that legislation in the same way one would in a modern democracy. Indeed, the whole process of Campaign, Elect, Legislate, Vote, Pass resembles the narrative framing of government.
Yet the CSM is not a government. Behind the scenes, the Legislate/Vote/Pass process breaks down. Here are two ugly truths about the CSM that every player should be aware of :
1. CCP is under no obligation to interact with the CSM outside of the strict confines of the CCP/CSM Summits.
2. CCP chooses to implement CSM-approved proposals at their discretion only; there is no explicit power behind any player-initiated ‘legislation' approved by the CSM.
Now you know why the CSM has such a gulf between the expectations of the players (the ‘government' frame, legislate/pass/implement) and the reality of what it can accomplish. How do we surmount this?
Communication and the CSM
What the CSM can do is demonstrate to CCP that we are a valuable interlocutor with useful ideas; that listening to the CSM (and through the CSM, to you), is good for the game and good for business.
We intend to highlight certain issues of interest to the playerbase and campaign for their adoption. Because CSM6 is united as a body, rather than a cacophony of individuals, we have the capability to bring our narrative to the forefront in the media, on the forums, and within the game.
Already, change has been implemented in the CSM: we are all together in a Skype channel 24/7, which has allowed a rapid consensus around certain shared truths to be formed. That might sound trivial, but regular real-time communication outside the context of formal meetings and forum posts allows us to understand one another more effectively and become better advocates.
Similarly, this memo is an aspect of that strategy. We intend to keep you informed as to what we're doing, with regular updates here in General Discussion in addition to our presence in Jita Park and the Assembly Hall.
In addition to CSM Updates, CSM6 will hold regular Fireside Chats. We will be using massive Teamspeak and Mumble servers which can handle thousands of players connected at once to provide brief updates on our progress, and then answering your questions in live Q&A sessions. CSM6 will be as accountable and accessible as possible within the confines of the NDA.
We hope that by raising the profile of the CSM in your eyes, it will give the voice of the CSM more political capital and influence with CCP - and thus allow us to accomplish through persuasion what cannot be done with ultimatums.
The First Spotlight: Time Dilation
What makes Eve unique is the shardless galaxy that allows epic conflicts, wars involving tens of thousands of players culminating in the kind of battles which were once only the province of films like Star Wars. This is the fundamental distinction between a game like Eve and small-group PvP games like World of Tanks or League of Legends. When ten people win a raid on some server in World of Warcraft, no one cares; when three thousand players clash in one fight in Eve, even the traditional media takes notice.
CSM6 is committed to championing the epic scope of Eve Online. Our first ‘issue spotlight' is on Time Dilation.
Lag casts a terrible shadow across our wars. At the climax of campaigns, thousands of ships are committed to a node. Who wins? Who loses? Nobody knows, because the server melts and everything goes to hell. Frustration and rage boils onto the forums: "My modules are stuck", "My ship has been here for an hour and won't enter warp", "I can't even lock". Too often, the denouement of our wars comes down to a roll of the dice; some players are lucky and happen to have their commands answered by the server, and some die helplessly staring at a black loading screen, powerless.
At the Large Scale Warfare roundtable at Fanfest, CCP Veritas revealed a project that Team Gridlock has been working on: Time Dilation. Currently, large fights cripple the servers and unfair battle outcomes are the result. Time Dilation would dynamically slow the in-game clock during a high-lag battle to ensure than no calls are dropped; in a dilated system, your guns might fire at half their normal speed, but you would be 100% certain that your guns fired and shot who you were aiming at. Meanwhile, your out-of-battle functions such as skills would continue at a normal rate.
CSM6 believes that the real frustration with lag comes from the unfairness it causes. Time Dilation promises to ensure that every command issued in a fight gets a response from the server, every space-bullet travels to its destination, and every desperately-mashed warp-out will actually engage your warp drive. But all is not sunshine and roses: if Time Dilation is successfully implemented, you will never be able to blame lag for losing a fight again.
We hope that by spotlighting the issue of Time Dilation, CCP will hear us and hear you. CSM6 believes that Team Gridlock and their work is key to the continued viability and growth of Eve. We would like to see a detailed Dev Blog about the proposed Time Dilation feature, and intend to discuss it at length with CCP at the upcoming CSM Summit.
We do not expect perfection, flowers, roses or unicorns to manifest from Time Dilation, but CSM6 believes it is our best current option in the forever war against lag.
Fireside Chat: Saturday, April 16th
We're going to be having a brief talk and a Q&A session at 20:00 EVE on Saturday, April 16th at the following address:
Wiki article: //wiki.goonfleet.com/MumblePublic
For the Russian playerbase, UAxDeath will be giving a similar talk and Q&A, information about which will be posted on EVE-RU.
We welcome all of you to attend and ask us questions.