In recent years, CCP Games
have made significant efforts to get players involved in EVE Online
's game design efforts. In addition to pre-releasing features on a test server to collect feedback, CCP have involved players more effectively in the development process through their innovative Council of Stellar Management
. The council members are voted for by players, with the highest-voted member securing the chair position for the year. Players bring important EVE
-related issues to their council representatives, who meet with CCP developers in Iceland twice per year for a week-long council summit.
During the summit, all the most important issues backed by the council are posed to developers
and discussed. Previous council sessions have made a significant impact on the game, getting features like the skill queue implemented and providing key feedback on expansions. This year's council had a record voter turnout
, with confidence in the team at an all-time high. At the conclusion of their first council summit meeting with CCP, however, two key delegates
have begun to voice concerns at the dismissive attitude with which they were met.
Skip past the cut to find out why two council members are annoyed with CCP's approach to this year's summit, and why it's not all bad news and negativity.
The CSM as a stakeholder
This year, the CSM was to be given a stakeholder position at CCP
, with direct influence in assigning some development resources. Despite this, developers were allegedly reluctant to commit to many solid allocations. CSM chairwoman Mynxee made the observation
that the "CSM was consistently told that CCP cannot guarantee putting any resources on our current or future backlogged changes."
While this appears to go starkly against the supposed new role of the CSM as a development stakeholder, CCP clarified that the development resources simply aren't available due to heavy work on Incarna
and DUST 514
Long-time CSM member Ankhesentapemkah had similar reservations
, stating that "the CSM heard time and again that CCP simply does not have any resources to commit to anything."
She added that the "CSM openly questioned their purpose at this point, as they said there was little point in raising player issues if they were never going to get addressed."
Chairwoman Mynxee summed up her disapproval of CCP's approach to the summit, noting a clear pattern in which "CSM requests for commitment, accountability, and communications were consistently met with resistance or refusal by CCP."
It's not all negative
Despite the negative comments each of them made about CCP's inability to commit resources this year, both Ankhesentapemkah and Mynxee agreed that the meetings had been ultimately productive. Mynxee discussed the keen attitudes observed during face-to-face discussions with developers, calling the conversations "amazingly useful"
and noting that developers were "engaged, interested, often on the same page, and provide[d] critical feedback."
Some very positive feedback was received on the planetary interaction feature that arrived with the Tyrannis
expansion. It seems CCP isn't happy with the current state of the feature
, which is essentially a skeleton of the original plans. Assurances were made that planetary interaction would be iterated on several times over the coming months, adding more depth, challenge and unpredictability.
Based on these two reports, this year's summit seems to have had both high and low points. Discussions with CCP appear to have been as incredibly productive as ever, and progress is continually being made. However, CCP's current focus on Incarna
and DUST 514
may have rendered them unable to commit many developers to work on CSM issues. Full minutes of the meetings with CCP will be made public soon
and players will be in a better position to judge the summit for themselves.