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Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.03.07 16:43:00 - [1]
 

At the December Summit in Iceland, CCP presented the Incarna expansion to the current CSM. At this meeting the CSM urged CCP in the strongest possible terms to step up with the messaging efforts for the expansion as we felt that expectation management would be critical to its success at launch. We are pleased to see that CCP has begun to release initial information about Incarna.

However, given how crucial Incarna is to the future of EVE and CCP, the CSM feels compelled to make public some significant concerns we have raised that have not yet been addressed by CCP. We wish to stress, in the strongest possible way, that we do not do this in order to be inflammatory. Rather, the success or failure of Incarna is such an important issue that, in good conscience, we cannot remain silent.

Our first and most crucial concern is that there is little evidence so far of a roadmap for this feature. We are extremely concerned that development of Incarna, the most significant addition to EVE since Beta, is being done in an ad-hoc, on-the-fly manner.

Second, we wish to re-iterate our unanimous objection to the forced integration of Incarna into the general Eve experience, and that we strongly urge CCP to ensure that any new systems will not adversely affect the performance of the EVE client.

Third, regarding metrics, we feel that forced integration will not provide a true picture of the usefulness of the features, while at the same time, these metrics will be used to justify Incarna. As in any area of business, using flawed metrics to justify resource allocations can only lead to poor decisions.

Fourth, while we agree that CCP's decision to stage the release of Incarna in small chunks is a wise one, we feel that it is very important for CCP to expand their messaging and provide a clear and detailed vision of the future iteration and potential of Incarna, so that players who are highly invested in the current core gameplay of EVE will be able to better judge the value they will be receiving for the large amount of time and effort being invested in Incarna by CCP.

The CSM would like to reiterate that we are not opposed to the development of Incarna; rather we are primarily concerned about the apparent lack of significant planning for a feature CCP properly regards as crucial to the future of the company, and the game we love so much.

We want to see Incarna fully fleshed-out. How that is done and how the evolution of Incarna is messaged will be key challenges for CCP over the next several expansions. We hope that CCP will view these expressions of concern as useful feedback that will be helpful in properly justifying and measuring the resources being devoted to Incarna.

Most Sincerely,
Members of the Fifth Council of Stellar Management
(Except for Mazzillu who objected to public posting of this letter and requested that her name be excluded)

OhThis GuyAgain
Posted - 2011.03.07 16:52:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: OhThis GuyAgain on 07/03/2011 16:58:41
Planning is important...

My what an opportune time to publicly post a letter to CCP that the Eve community at large will like.

COUGH CSM election in two days COUGH

(Obviously this doesn't apply to those not running for re-election so hush Mynxee etc.)

noise
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.03.07 16:59:00 - [3]
 

I think that CSM5 has done a marvelous job during their term and their huge efforts are greatly appreciated. However, I do believe that CCP have made a great game here with EVE Online and I think that they should be given the benefit of the doubt regarding this new content they want to introduce. Regardless of how they plan/implement it, I believe it will be good.

Is it possible that they have plans/ideas that they are not sharing with the CSM?

All my love to Mynxee and the rest of the CSM YARRRR!!
noise

Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:03:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: Mynxee on 07/03/2011 17:03:39
Originally by: OhThis GuyAgain
Planning is important...

My what an opportune time to publicly post a letter to CCP that the Eve community at large will like.

COUGH CSM election in two days COUGH

(Obviously this doesn't apply to those not running for re-election so hush Mynxee etc.)


For your information, this letter has been in the works for several weeks. We started by communicating our intent to CCP, giving them the courtesy of advance preview, and reasonable time frames to respond. There has been no direct response, except comments from advocates about the upcoming messaging, the first of which was CCP Chiliad's dev blog.

We felt our concerns were not adequately addressed by CCP, and they did not engage in any dialog with us about those concerns. If more people reading Jita Park during elections means more eyes on CSM's expressed concerns, then so be it. I would call it a lucky coincidence but if I'd had my way about it, the letter would have been published weeks ago.


Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:06:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: noise
Is it possible that they have plans/ideas that they are not sharing with the CSM?


Thanks for your support, but if that is true, then in my view the CSM has even more of an obligation to express concerns because it means we have been isolated and excluded from the process of representing player interests at a critical time in a feature's life cycle.

Krispy Dingo
Minmatar
The Night Crew
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:09:00 - [6]
 

I agree with noise, CSM5 has done an amazing job with starting to hold CCP accountable, and I hope that CSM6 will continue along the same path.

This is something that really does worry me about Incarna. I know that CCP has stated continually that EVE is supposed to be a total Sci Fi experience, but after years of talking about Ambulation/Walking in Stations/Incarna, it is finally going to be upon us, and we see Captain's Quarters.

I am a programmer myself, I understand that this is a monumental task, especially integrating something of the magnitude of Incarna with the previously existing game, but not seeing a plan or a direction that Incarna is supposed to be heading down concerns me considerably.

Hopefully, at Fanfest, some new information that they have been keeping back will be revealed. I guess we will all have to wait and see.

noise
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:09:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: Mynxee

Thanks for your support, but if that is true, then in my view the CSM has even more of an obligation to express concerns because it means we have been isolated and excluded from the process of representing player interests at a critical time in a feature's life cycle.



This, I completely agree with. It would defeat the purpose and the effort put in from the CSM should it be true.

iP0D
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:11:00 - [8]
 

Forced integration? While I concede that CCP have developed a strong tendency to validate decision on the mere basis of "because it is awesome" (for who, is one of the questions left open in both sales and retention focus in that regard), but this letter from the CSM 5 kinda sounds like CCP would still be subscribing to the delusion of "Incarna cannot be compelling unless it is enforced" (which from a customer perspective comes down to an admission of desillusion and lack of vision - and thus inspiration towards the customer)? Surely that cannot be the case?

Anyway, I get the idea from the chatter on twitter that this letter did not exactly come out of the blue and was a topic for a while - but I presume internally, between CSM and CCP?

I agree with the concern though, after reading the latest interview in PC Gamer I was afraid from Hammer's statements being an exact 180 degree opposite of the new approach of Zulu, signalling CCP still having tendencies towards "awesome" and "shiny" (dump content regardless of finished or tuned and never look back and hey guys there is a new buzzword that will deliver us a personal award). I'm looking forward to Incarna, if only for the expansion of the universe with a complete new environment added to it. On the basis of the original principles of sandbox, risk vs reward, player drivent events & trends, it could have been really awesome. But not as an apparent delivery as part of a bigger strategic perspective (that of World of Darkness, where I agree that it makes commercial sense, but not a lot for sales or retention in the format of the last 4 years). I wish that letter, the thoughts behind it, the argumentation that must have taken place and the obvious care, had been present 2 or 3 years ago. Now I fear it is too late.

As for why I fear it is too late? Don't get me wrong, I do think particularly Zulu with his complete change of approach (and rightly so) is trying to pick up the pieces and doing the right thing (has CSM seen or heard of a roadmap or vision document yet?). But well, considering it is clear from the various minutes and media reports that on the topic of Incarna CSM 5 was isolated from both its job in that regard and the actual topic, including an NDA stamp applied, but that CCP did go to the media with - from reports and comments on these forums and others - with exactly what they had shown the CSM, I am sorry, but that merely bleeds a part of CCP living in a trench.

CCP is still right, the data does indeed not support that polished content sells better, but reading this I fear for CCP's capability to fully understand the value of retention, the cost of recycling customer prospects, and the necessity to take care of matters. It's business.


PC l0adletter
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:12:00 - [9]
 

Opposed to the development of Incarna, right here. Well, at least when it's done at the dramatic expense of in-space features. Make timely balance changes, fix the UI, buff the lag team, iterate on sov, etc.

Whatever, money talks. Unsubscribing is the only thing that works.

Faromero
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:14:00 - [10]
 

I agree with Noise for the most part.

I believe that CCP has created a great game. In fact, it’s a game that all 300,000+ subscribers enjoy and they (CCP) created it without directly announcing every single change that was to be made to the game.

The 5th CSM has without a doubt been one of the most successful CSMs ever but this constant push back against Incarna is really beginning to leave a taste of BOVS in a great number of players mouths. A Simple look at the number of bloggers that came out and voiced the need for patience will tell you that they are less concerned about it than CSM V. Plus, for every blogger there are hundreds if not thousands of players that feel the same way.

While I really do appreciate the effort that CSM V has put forth, I truly believe that by continuing to push back you are leaving yourselves a negative legacy that will not be forgotten for a long time.

Garheade
Amarr
Aideron Robotics
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:20:00 - [11]
 

Originally by: Faromero
I agree with Noise for the most part.

I believe that CCP has created a great game. In fact, it’s a game that all 300,000+ subscribers enjoy and they (CCP) created it without directly announcing every single change that was to be made to the game.

The 5th CSM has without a doubt been one of the most successful CSMs ever but this constant push back against Incarna is really beginning to leave a taste of BOVS in a great number of players mouths. A Simple look at the number of bloggers that came out and voiced the need for patience will tell you that they are less concerned about it than CSM V. Plus, for every blogger there are hundreds if not thousands of players that feel the same way.

While I really do appreciate the effort that CSM V has put forth, I truly believe that by continuing to push back you are leaving yourselves a negative legacy that will not be forgotten for a long time.



My apologies, this message was supposed to be posted from this toon.

iP0D
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:27:00 - [12]
 

Edited by: iP0D on 07/03/2011 17:32:18
Originally by: Faromero

The 5th CSM has without a doubt been one of the most successful CSMs ever but this constant push back against Incarna is really beginning to leave a taste of BOVS in a great number of players mouths. A Simple look at the number of bloggers that came out and voiced the need for patience will tell you that they are less concerned about it than CSM V. Plus, for every blogger there are hundreds if not thousands of players that feel the same way.


Don't be silly Cool If anything to be clear from the CSM 5 efforts in regards to Incarna, it is that they have a genuine care to do their job as tasked by CCP in providing feedback, thoughts and concerns as well as argumentation to enable CCP to not fall prey to the usual traps of "shiny" and "awesome".

I've been following numerous blogs that signal a welcoming of a new side of EVE, personally I look forward to it. But CCP has been around for a fair few years now. Consistantly CCP have merely focused on sales, and not on retention, and while we can see from Zulu that there might be a change to their patterns ... it would be a first for CCP to not simply throw something out there, and never look back. Which would be an utter shame. Patience, is something which niche after niche has never yielded any iterative results whatsoever coming from CCP - until CSM 5 started to apply simple accountability in communications and interaction, doing exactly what an external stakeholder is expected to do (even better, doing exactly what CCP's CEO tasked them to do).

So I understand where the concern from CSM 5 comes from. The PI iteration, Team BFF, team gridlock, all consequences of CSM 5 efforts which until that point never came from CCP. Ever. Even a few simple examples of caution with "CCP and patience" like Cosmos, POS, botting, Faction Warfare are considerable signals of caution in favour of staying sharp, rather than sitting back and well, giving it another 4 years - I am oversimplifying it, obviously, but I am sure the point is clear.

It's been the caution, communication, the accountability applied, that is giving way to meaningful change in CCP's deliverables. Patience, has never yielded results. The need for balance is clear. Personally I think CSM 5 struck a solid balance there, something that should be obvious to us, and to CCP.

What were to happen when the blogosphere welcoming Incarna were to be forced to face the disappointment of CCP's (hopefully) former style of deliveries & nurturing EVE, year after year, with Incarna. I am sorry, but it really is time to take care of matters, professionally. Nothing "lolcorporate", just properly. To do and get done the right things right.


Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:30:00 - [13]
 

Edited by: Mynxee on 07/03/2011 17:40:27
Originally by: Faromero
I agree with Noise for the most part.

I believe that CCP has created a great game. In fact, it’s a game that all 300,000+ subscribers enjoy and they (CCP) created it without directly announcing every single change that was to be made to the game.

The 5th CSM has without a doubt been one of the most successful CSMs ever but this constant push back against Incarna is really beginning to leave a taste of BOVS in a great number of players mouths. A Simple look at the number of bloggers that came out and voiced the need for patience will tell you that they are less concerned about it than CSM V. Plus, for every blogger there are hundreds if not thousands of players that feel the same way.

While I really do appreciate the effort that CSM V has put forth, I truly believe that by continuing to push back you are leaving yourselves a negative legacy that will not be forgotten for a long time.




Personally, I feel Incarna has great potential and don't begrudge CCP their choice to invest in it. However, the CSM as a stakeholder group is obligated to raise concerns and ask hard questions. It is not always easy, comfortable, or fun to hold people accountable for the bare minimum of expected communications with a stakeholder group. In the absence of such (and after having given CCP many chances), and considering that we will hand the reins over to CSM6 in a few short weeks, a public record of CSM5's concerns in one easily referenced place is all that we hope to accomplish here.

Sokratesz
Rionnag Alba
Northern Coalition.
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:35:00 - [14]
 

Posting in approval.

Garheade
Amarr
Aideron Robotics
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:38:00 - [15]
 

Mynxee, I can understand that you simply want your concerns noted. 'nuff said.

iPod: If CCP has truly ignored the game (or the areas of the game that you view as broken) why are you still playing?

Ewan Husami
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:38:00 - [16]
 

Just because CCP say they value the input of the CSM, that doesn't elevate you the status you seem to think you have attained.

Its a method of free idea generation. No one really cares if a new feature spoils your idea of a perfect spaceship game. I fear you've forgotten that EVE is a business. And I'm not talking about selling blueprints.

You've served your purpose, and it isn't to tell CCP how to run their enterprise. Now mop up those tears, and get on with your day. The internet already has enough people whining.

iP0D
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:47:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Ewan Husami
Just because CCP say they value the input of the CSM, that doesn't elevate you the status you seem to think you have attained.

...

You've served your purpose, and it isn't to tell CCP how to run their enterprise. Now mop up those tears, and get on with your day. The internet already has enough people whining.


Nobody tells CCP how to run their business. On the contrary. Nor is any CSM taking on any delusional perception of status: they are just a stakeholder, nothing more, nothing less. They are indeed, a business instrument .. you are right, this is business. And in that context, remarkable isn't it, how both CCP and CSM and Customers care about EVE as more than a game, but as a livelihood that enables livelihoods Cool

Two step
Aperture Harmonics
K162
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:54:00 - [18]
 

Just wanted to post in support of all these goals. From an outsider's perspective, we have heard basically nothing about what CCP wants Incarna to be, other than "awesome". I'd love to hear about some actual planned *game* play, even if it is a year or so out.

Seleene
Body Count Inc.
Pandemic Legion
Posted - 2011.03.07 17:54:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Mynxee
We want to see Incarna fully fleshed-out. How that is done and how the evolution of Incarna is messaged will be key challenges for CCP over the next several expansions. We hope that CCP will view these expressions of concern as useful feedback that will be helpful in properly justifying and measuring the resources being devoted to Incarna.


/signed.

I wrote about this not so long ago: Incarna - Will history repeat itself?

iP0D
Posted - 2011.03.07 18:05:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: Garheade
Mynxee, I can understand that you simply want your concerns noted. 'nuff said.

iPod: If CCP has truly ignored the game (or the areas of the game that you view as broken) why are you still playing?


Because I love it. EVE is more than just a game. Hilmar once said that EVE is an emerging dynamic, and the good man is right. CCP created life Cool We only quit life when we either get another one, or are left or found alone in misery - bitter or perceived as bitter has nothing to do with that, nor any relevance. Please don't mistake constructive criticism for bitter Wink

I'm not saying X or Y is broken. EVE is business, CCP has to expand in order to grow, but in more ways than one. The 350K+ subscribers we see today come from an original strong concept and a lot of tender love, but less and less care - compensated by acquisition focused mrketing and a hell of a lot of word of mouth potential generated by the principle of player driven events & trends.

But yes, the past few yers we've seen CCP chase from one buzzword to the next, but less and less capitalising on the potential of delivering on the buzzword and nurturing it beyond the mere point of sales focus. EVE is a service model, selling is one thing, keeping is the other half.

EVE is amazing, and can truly be a generational game, I can't see myself quitting it. I worry because I've seen less and less visible care from CCP translated into care for deliverables (which is not the same as "care" in its own right), something which encroaches on retention, unfortunately. And that is something which the past 4 years near continuously increased the difference between what CCP presentes, what they deliver, more so even that the difference between that and how they take care of it.

Someone else actually made a fun picture bout that once, as analogy fro something known in enterprise development known as the Tower Of Pisa syndrome. While one can establish parallel products within the same IP or even others, continuously vertically expanding (regardless of intent or often even actuality, as perception defines the reality of those within the model)a service model product for content and features without widening the base, or taking care of the deliverables over time, results in a pretty damn high skysc****r. But one which has a very fragile base, empty floors, and a huge ruide for its inhabitants to alwys follow upwards.

I'm not saying they are ignoring the game. They don't, it is a business. But they have been chasing too much shiny with the same unchanged message and validations for too long, and that does present a risk of compromising the continuity of the dynamic. That too, is business.


Thorvik
Minmatar Ship Construction Services
Ushra'Khan
Posted - 2011.03.07 18:06:00 - [21]
 

Signed.

Well written, to the point and expresses what many offs are thinking and would like to see.

I vote Mynxee for Community Manager.

Meissa Anunthiel
Redshift Industrial
Rooks and Kings
Posted - 2011.03.07 18:15:00 - [22]
 

Edited by: Meissa Anunthiel on 07/03/2011 18:16:24
Originally by: Krispy Dingo
CSM5 has done an amazing job with starting to hold CCP accountable, and I hope that CSM6 will continue along the same path.



Thank you, it's been a rough ride this time around, and it's important to keep it going in a constructive manner, I hope CSM 6 will be able to do that.
Not so subtle hint: I'm running again.

Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.03.07 18:19:00 - [23]
 

Edited by: Mynxee on 07/03/2011 19:00:56
Originally by: Garheade
Mynxee, I can understand that you simply want your concerns noted. 'nuff said.

iPod: If CCP has truly ignored the game (or the areas of the game that you view as broken) why are you still playing?


Hope? Faith? Caring? Those have eroded during my time as a CSM delegate, sure, but they're not quite extinguished. Though much needs attention, I still believe there are a lot of bright spots in the game and a lot of good people at CCP working hard on making more things better. If I didn't believe that, I would have resigned from the CSM and quit playing immediately after the June Summit.

Originally by: Thorvik
Signed.

Well written, to the point and expresses what many offs are thinking and would like to see.

I vote Mynxee for Community Manager.


Ha. Keep in mind that this letter was a joint effort. Meissa and Helen produced initial drafts, the entire CSM made suggestions in the course of a rather lengthy dialog, and then Trebor and Helen worked closely together to produce the final drafts. I just get the honor of posting because the Chair is the most obvious sacrificial lamb for such potentially controversial messages Twisted Evil

Helen Highwater
GoonWaffe
Posted - 2011.03.07 18:39:00 - [24]
 

As one of the primary authors of this message (with editorial input from other CSM members) I endorse this product and/or service.

Mynxee
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.03.07 18:47:00 - [25]
 

Edited by: Mynxee on 07/03/2011 18:47:55
Originally by: Helen Highwater
As one of the primary authors of this message (with editorial input from other CSM members) I endorse this product and/or service.


By coincidence, I updated my post just above yours to reflect that in response to Thorvik's comment.

Helicity Boson
Amarr
The Python Cartel.
The Defenders of Pen Island
Posted - 2011.03.07 19:31:00 - [26]
 

Edited by: Helicity Boson on 07/03/2011 20:51:29
Edited by: Helicity Boson on 07/03/2011 19:31:55
Incarna is, to all extents and purposes, vaporware. it doesn't exist.

In fact, not even a clear idea of what it is supposed to be exists within CCP. This is very worrying, since years and years of work and money have gone into the project... but no actual gameplay exists.

On top of that I will NEVER FORGIVE CCP if their forcing me to use incarna to switch ships and the like causes me to waste even MORE time when changing vessel (and despite their bold claims, it will).

I'd much rather have CCP be open about being empty-handed for now, and actually asking us what WE would like in incarna.

I'm sorry CCP, I love you guys but "it's gonna be awesome!!1!" just doesn't cut it anymore.


4C 4F 5645
Rogue Drone Systems
Posted - 2011.03.07 20:17:00 - [27]
 

While i am worried about the state of development for Incarna i disagree with the CSM on the integration issue: if Incarna is to have any success or relevancy whatsoever it should be fully integrated within EvE and CCP need to have the guts to stick to their guns and not give in to the "never change anything" crowd.

I do agree you shouldn't have to run down kilometers of tunnels to dock, undock or switch a ship or fitting.
But that dosen't mean that all station services present and future should be available outside Incarna or that there shouldn't be an Incarna-only economy and Incarna-only gameplay that is relevant and affects the larger picture - including the spaceship game.

It should be optional in the same sense Wormhole Space is optional. You can opt out, but you also miss out.


Misanth
RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE
Posted - 2011.03.07 20:42:00 - [28]
 

Agree with the CSM5 group.

Helicity had a quite nice post as well.

Helen Highwater
GoonWaffe
Posted - 2011.03.07 20:50:00 - [29]
 

Originally by: 4C 4F 5645
While i am worried about the state of development for Incarna i disagree with the CSM on the integration issue: if Incarna is to have any success or relevancy whatsoever it should be fully integrated within EvE and CCP need to have the guts to stick to their guns and not give in to the "never change anything" crowd.

I do agree you shouldn't have to run down kilometers of tunnels to dock, undock or switch a ship or fitting.
But that dosen't mean that all station services present and future should be available outside Incarna or that there shouldn't be an Incarna-only economy and Incarna-only gameplay that is relevant and affects the larger picture - including the spaceship game.

It should be optional in the same sense Wormhole Space is optional. You can opt out, but you also miss out.




This is broadly my position as well for what it's worth. I am opposed however to simply shoehorning existing things into Incarna as a bandaid for actual content. My concern is that there will be little to no value added to Eve by Incarna in and of itself and simply giving us what we already have in a new interface is not a compelling reason to tie up so many resources on a huge new feature.

Cearain
Caldari
The IMPERIUM of LaZy NATION
Posted - 2011.03.07 21:06:00 - [30]
 

Originally by: Mynxee
....However, given how crucial Incarna is to the future ....

Our first and most crucial concern is that there is little evidence so far of a roadmap for this feature. We are extremely concerned that development of Incarna, the most significant addition to EVE since Beta, ....
We want to see Incarna fully fleshed-out. How that is done and how the evolution of Incarna is messaged will be key challenges for CCP over the next several expansions. We hope that CCP will view these expressions of concern as useful feedback that will be helpful in properly justifying and measuring the resources being devoted to Incarna.....



I respectfully, disagree with what is said here. For me I really couldn’t care less about incarna. I highly doubt it will be that important for the way I play eve. Moreover, I wish they would just spit it out and go back to spaceships.

I do not want them to spend any more time trying to “flesh out” some as yet unknown game mechanic that we can do in stations. I hope that in this sci fi universe most of the important stuff continues to happen in spaceship battles.

I hope the road map is “once you can *walk in stations* we are done with incarna until we have polished every aspect of the space ship game”

I realize they are going to continue redirect resources to incarna no matter what I or any other player wants. Nonetheless I can still express my view that I wish they would stop neglecting everything else in the game to spend even more time on this prized egg called incarna. Please CCP get back to the spaceship game asap.


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