Saturday, January 19, 2013

Message Received

I want to start out by thanking each and every person who posted on the forums in support of my last blog post. I thought I might get a couple hundred replies at best, and you guys and gals went above and beyond. I want to especially thank you for staying civil, creative and positive in the entire thread. I read each and every post, and there were very few threats, and very little incoherent rage. It was, by far, the politest and most constructive threadnaught I've ever seen.

CCP has noticed. There have been a couple of posts by CCP staff in the thread, CCP Gargant posted here, and CCP Seagull posted here. I responded to CCP Gargant's post here. I have also talked to other CCP staff, and they certainly are aware of both the size of the thread and the respectful tone of the thread. CCP has said they will make a more substantive response to the thread in the next few days as well.

I do want to make sure people have realistic expectations for what sort of response CCP is likely to make. As my colleague Trebor has explained on his blog, CCP is in the middle of planning for the upcoming May expansion right now, and the CSM is heavily involved in that process. That means that even in the best case, CCP will not be deciding about work on the POS system for some weeks.

The other thing I want to address is that some people feel I either have been dishonest in my choice of quotes from the minutes, or that I am taking the wrong approach by bringing the issue to the players. On the selective quoting, all I can say is that I was there. Before the threadnaught, I felt that it was possible that CCP might not decide to either start work on the modular POS system or give us the fixes to the current POS system that everyone has been looking forward to for literally years. After all of you told CCP how important it is to you, I think it is a lot more likely that they will at least deliver some relatively simple improvements to the current POS system as part of the May release.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to EVE mail or convo me, or post here. I was also on the Down the Pipe podcast last night, you can listen here. I will also be on EVE radio in a few minutes, at 22:00 EVE time today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I am a small portion of the community

For those that haven't seen it, the minutes from the December CSM summit are out. A couple of important quotes:
Unifex stated that what CCP did was spend effort and prototype what would make a good POS system. It would, however, only affect the group of people who manage POSes. Focusing that amount of time and effort on some small singular aspect of the game and delivering only that “is what will kill the business”.      (page 37)
Taking the opportunity to talk about POSes, Alek queried why the CSM were so late in learning that POSes were hard to do now. Further, he disagreed that POSes would only touch a small subset of the players and asked how did CCP feel able to accomplish the feat of balancing null-sec, which Alek viewed as comparatively more difficult than POSes. Soundwave was the first to respond and told Alek that he felt some of the assertions he made were incorrect and, from a game design perspective, implementing changes to null-sec and the sov system in general would be easier than revamping the POS system. On top of that, Soundwave added, the POS system by itself would only affect a small portion of the community.                                       (page 38)

It wasn't in the minutes, but I spent a lot of time talking to Unifex about this at night. Needless to say, I disagreed with CCP's decision to not move ahead with work on the POS system. I also disagree that only a small group of people would feel the effects of a new POS system. From wormhole residents to Tech 2 producers to nullsec residents, a lot of people interact with POSes. Also, a redesigned POS system would both attract players that were frustrated to the point of giving up with the old POS system as well as new players who cannot use the current POS system because of limitations with roles.

Even ignoring the incorrect statements about who would care about a POS rewrite, I feel that we are owed some work on the POS system. Wormholers have been very patient with CCP during the last couple years while other supposedly higher priority issues have been addressed. During that time, we sat back and continued to pay our subscriptions to CCP, secure in the "promise" that we felt CCP had made at FanFest in 2012 and again at the May/June CSM summit: They were working on a new POS system, there was no reason to fix the many issues with the current one.

That hope has turned out to be a false one. CCP decided that the full modular POS system would require the effort of the whole company for a whole expansion, and they feel the benefits don't justify that much effort. I personally don't agree, but I do feel that if CCP is not going to deliver the full modular POS vision right now, they MUST deliver improvements to the current system. When we were first told about the decision to not deliver modular POSes this summer, I led the CSM in the creation of a list of the needed improvements. The first item on the list, and in my opinion the bare minimum that CCP should deliver, is to have real private ship and item storage at POSes.

The good news is that CCP has not done their planning for the May expansion yet. That planning is happening right now, and CSM is involved in the process. I want you, the players, to be involved as well. I want you to tell CCP that you want POS improvements to be the bare minimum for the next expansion. I want you to tell CCP that you are "a small portion of the community". I've created a thread, please go here and let CCP know that you are also a small portion of the community.