CSM_7

My big complaint with CSM7 has been their apologist attitude towards CCP. They’ve been less about advocating for the players and more about apologizing and making excuses for CCP’s lack of movement in certain gameplay areas.

Some people have told me I’m wrong wrong wrong. That I need to supply examples. Well, here’s an excellent example. Actually, I’ll give you an example of what they’ve been doing wrong, and then I’ll give an example of one specific thing a particular representative did right.

I’d like to see CSM8 move more towards advocating for the players, and leave CCP to explaining their actions to the players. Let CCP fall on their own sword. The CSM shouldn’t be offering to fall on swords in CCP’s stead. It’s not the CSM’s job to explain away the things CCP does. It comes across as defeatist, and what we don’t want from the CSM are people who won’t advocate for players because ::effort::.

(Before I go on. Quick disclaimer. I could give two shits about live events. I think they’re mostly a waste of CCP resources, and that the storytelling is overly linear. But, this blog post isn’t about live events specifically, but about a general attitude I’ve seen from CSM7 most of the year, something I hope ends when CSM8 begins its term.)

So today on Twitter, some of those people who like live events were commenting on the recent Uprising devblog. Uprising is an initiative to give players more story-driven live events. Here is a sequence of tweets on the issue. (I’m not going to call out the CSM representative specifically. That’s not the point of this post. This has been an issue endemic with all CSM7 throughout their term.)

Player 1: How many kicks to the implants will it take before you acknowledge USTZs?
CCP Dev: I’d love to. We simply don’t have the manpower to do it currently.
Player 1: Please remove special items until you can figure it out. We don’t need it rubbed in our faces that we can’t attend the events.
CCP Dev: You’re assuming we’re only going to give out items once and never again. We’re not.
Player 1: You already know that live events piss off the USTZ’s. How about a little good PR and stating that in the posts for live events?
Player 2: CCP should open an office in Atlanta or something… Would be nice for USTZ events. San Fran would be good too.

(Note: Player 2 is being funny. CCP has an office in Atlanta, and they just opened another in San Francisco.)

CSM Rep: As tempting as it is to throw those staff right onto Live Events though, training is CRUCIAL.

And there we have it. A CSM representative explaining why it’s a dead issue and why it’s not worth time fighting about. Instead of speaking up as a player representative, perhaps strongly and publicly supporting USTZ live events, he chooses instead to take the side of CCP, and offer a reason why it’s not a reasonable request. He basically kills the debate and lets CCP off the hook.

The CCP dev gave his reasons why they won’t do USTZ specific events. There was no need for the CSM representative to follow-up with an additional excuse, to soften the blow of CCP’s refusal to solve the issue. That’s exactly what the CSM representative was doing, trying to soften the blow. Appeal to reason. Kill the argument. Let CCP off the hook.

Except, I don’t see it as the CSM’s job to be softening blows. They’re there to advocate for the players. To stand up for the players. To support the players. They weren’t given their positions to be a soft landing for unpopular CCP decisions.

This is exactly the sort of CCP-focused behaviour that I don’t want to see from CSM8.

How should the CSM rep have handled the situation? He should have simply tweeted that USTZ live events are crucial. He should have focused on player advocacy. He should have supported Player 1 and Player 2’s position. The CCP dev might have been upset with the CSM rep for publicly decrying CCP’s reasons for not engaging more with USTZ players, for trying to force an issue, but we didn’t elect CSM reps to make buddy-buddy with the devs. We didn’t elect them to act as a public relations tool between the corporation and the customer base. We elected them to stand-up strongly for player issues.

This particular CSM representative should been more like Two Step. And with that I refer specifically to the POS revamp issue. CCP explained that they were pulling back from a POS revamp. Rather than apologize or make further excuses for CCP, Two Step advocated for the players. He pushed hard against CCP’s decision and forced the issue. Did that make him unpopular with CCP during that time? Very likely, with some of their employees. But people didn’t vote Two Step so that he could broaden his circle of pals, they voted him in to stand strong and firm on important gameplay issues. And that’s exactly what he did. We need more Two Steps on CSM8. And I’m hopeful we’ll get that.

Poetic Stanziel

You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.

31 Comments

  1. myfacetiouscomment

    you could give 2 shits about live events? That's nice i'll take them in a nice frilly handkerchief please.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:25 am Reply
  2. DarthNefarius

    TBH this live event shit doesn't affect USTZ 1/2 as bad as AUS TZ…. they really get the pooch IMHO

    Then again all content in EVE sucks & I blame CCP Unifex for his for his cheapness in skimping in content for his holy grail of 'emergent gamplay' that tremendously skews a couple TZ's advantages over many otherswhen it comes to PvE.

    Maybe CCP should also start looking at potential CSM's TZs more weight when getting a good cross section of Eve.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:32 am Reply
    1. Da Dom

      Coming from the AUSTZ myself, I don't give a flying frack about CCP's live events. I make my own Live events

      March 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm Reply
      1. DarthNefarius

        And I'm sure you have a very lively C2 wormhole… what's it like living under a rock BTW?[youtube cvXqm0RdJms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvXqm0RdJms youtube]

        March 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm Reply
        1. KIM DOT COM DOT NZ

          another AU TZ person, i also don't give a shit about them. I play this game to shoot shit and not watch some devs fuck around in ships.

          March 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm Reply
          1. Bob_the_Bitcher

            I'm with ya mate!

            March 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    2. Wowgoingbk2bottle

      So after you have read the article, all you can prattle on about is live events.. Wow.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:24 am Reply
  3. Green Giant

    I think the CSM did a fine job here. CSM’s should balance between important and non important issues. You said yourself that you don’t care about live events. I imagine a lot of people (myself included) feel the same way. So instead of making an issue out of something few people care about, the CSM is advocating that the players focus on something else more important.

    Remember, while the CSM is a great idea, its not an industry norm. Almost no other developers give two shits about player’s opinions as long as subs keep active. CCP did a unique and innovative idea by creating the CSM, and using company resources to make it what it is today. Its good to push, but if the CSM program goes too far, make no mistake: CCP will close it, and I don’t think ANY players want that.

    Fight for the important things, and ignore the little stuff.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:49 am Reply
    1. Noisrevbus

      We seem to have an influx of posters on E24 and TM that state the logical but obvious … the shortest connection between two points of logic: "We have a CSM, no one else does, so CCP must listen more to us than other devs".

      You could instead argue that the CSM is a replacement tool for proper CM and communication over other outlets. If you ask an older player you would probably get the reply that CCP used to be a company that was well renowned for listening to their playerbase and engaging with it. Most older players consider the new CCP (that sprung the CSM) far less interactive and prone to ears than the old CCP.

      Incidentally, many new developers comming from the playerbase also seem to prefer working the old communication channels. Look at Fozzies activity on the forums for a example. In a world of CSM, blogs, tweets and other hype-media it's easy to forget that the core of a game's communication platforms is it's channels, mailing systems and forums.

      One could argue that CCP goes the extra mile if they are very (pro-) active on their forums while also providing us with the attention of CSM – but in reality they shed most of the CM dept. in the post-Incarna layoffs, and what we see from the CM most of the time these days it's "funny videos, from funny guys". They are out-communicated by Fozzie by a mile. No, by several miles.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm Reply
    2. EVE_Dude

      "Its good to push, but if the CSM program goes too far, make no mistake: CCP will close it, and I don't think ANY players want that."

      So what is the point of the CSM, and of electing it? Why doesn't CCP just hire a bunch of players as community managers, or paid bloggers to re-publish under their own name articles CCP writes?

      I think the point here is CSM has gotten too cozy with CCP, to the point where they don't represent or advocate for players at all, except for one or two issues they choose to (or are allowed to) focus on. Maybe at the end of the day, a free trip to Iceland, exclusive access to devs and NDA information, and the feeling of being more equal than other players is just too much temptation.

      March 10, 2013 at 2:12 am Reply
  4. Zentar

    I believe this requires some principal consistency: That consistency should not be to automatically side with a player's, because sometimes it's a batshit crazy idea. And having the passive consistency of going on to say that player events are crucial, serves no purpose as CCP obviously knows this already. Principal consistency should rather be placed with what is a good idea and reasonable.

    Furthermore, I don't think it's unreasonable to kill off a debate, because if there was a good counter argument to whatever ended the debate, it wouldn't end. Or someone had a good argument and didn't bother saying it for whatever reason, which doesn't carry any merit.

    I'm not trying to defend what the CSM member did, but rather argue that their role isn't to side with crying babies till they get what they want, but rather to side with reason. Or hell… We can just throw everything out the window and pressure CCP to put their earnings towards buying us hookers.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:11 am Reply
    1. PETER

      Yes zentar.
      Very one sided article = fail article.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:31 am Reply
  5. Carlos

    You are WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!

    March 9, 2013 at 11:03 am Reply
  6. Srsly

    I rarely comment since my opinion really means fuck all, but everytime I read this guys articles, it sounds like a petulant child that could "give two fucks less" about anything outside his own sphere of gameplay. EN24 should consider looking elsewhere for more journalistic stories, and not opinion pieces from this guy.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:10 am Reply
  7. Squinty McBlindy

    The CSM have agreed to back up everything CCP does in return for not having all their alliances banned for RMT.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:16 am Reply
    1. DarthNefarius

      If true the EVE UNI CSM did something wrong or was lied too… no wonder he blew up xD

      March 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm Reply
  8. Regat Kozovv

    The CSM was intended to be a sort of representative body that would carry players concerns to CCP so that they didn’t have to wade through forum BS in order to understand what their player base was concerned with. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, this isn’t exactly what happens.

    The CSM are treated as stakeholders in the game. Which they are, but they’re given it to a higher status than the rest of the player base. They’re flown to Iceland. They’re given intimate access to the development team, and they’re allowed visibility into the development process that the rest of us don’t see.

    And because of this, the body has become more than just a group of select representatives, but a sort of “mini-dev” board that often sees itself as more than just the bearers of the player’s will, but an advisory team that can make suggestions to CCP on when and where to focus their efforts.

    This has often manifested itself in ways such as the most often used mantra of "fix bugs, don't waste time on content" and other "suggestions" and nonsense. And we see it here, in situations like this, in which the CSM, whether consciously or not, thinks that they understand development as well as CCP.

    And that's really the problem with the CSM in the first place. By elevating a group of players up to have these kinds of discussions, they're brought closer to CCP and the development side of things than they are the players and the "ombudsman" role they were envisioned in.

    I never liked the idea of the CSM. I didn’t want my “stake” of my monthly fee being undermined by a voting process to get our favorite players added as devs to a company that they weren’t relying on for their livelihood.

    March 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm Reply
    1. DarthNefarius

      "The CSM was intended to be a sort of representative body that would carry players concerns to CCP so that they didn’t have to wade through forum BS in order to understand what their player base was concerned with. "

      Malarky: CSM was intended as a PR stunt to distract from the T20 debacle & was subsequently also used to quell emergencies (such as the uprising during the Sunner of Rage )

      "The CSM are treated as stakeholders in the game"

      lol from what I read of most of the last minutes they were supposed to be treated thusly and were not.
      Their 'treatment ' may IMHO may be why most are not rerunning for the CSM

      March 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm Reply
      1. Regat Kozovv

        "Malarky: CSM was intended as a PR stunt to distract from the T20 debacle & was subsequently also used to quell emergencies (such as the uprising during the Sunner of Rage ) "

        Even I don't view it quite that cynically. 😉

        But I do agree it was mostly a PR stunt. I'm sure some there really thought it was some breakthrough concept, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes constantly every time CCP trumped "democracy" and player involvement constantly.

        I should have phrased my sentence regarding "stakeholders" better. The CSM are stakeholders, in so much as they pay for the game. If they're no longer getting perks and extra stuff they were expecting, then good. I argue that the added access made them feel more like part of the dev team than the player base, and I've never felt comfortable with that. So they can feel free not to run now that reality has kicked in.

        Hopefully then, CCP can find some players who act as true ombudsmen than ones who believe "Hay, I work for CCP now."

        March 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm Reply
    2. DarthNefarius

      "
      I never liked the idea of the CSM. I didn’t want my “stake” of my monthly fee being undermined by a voting process to get our favorite players added as devs to a company that they weren’t relying on for their livelihood.
      "

      I think you got a good point in that statement

      March 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm Reply
    3. TRONGLE

      You clearly don't remember EVE-O before the CSM then. For all its stupidity, the CSM has been central to keeping it reverting to the stupid days of Bob/CCP alts, rigged live events and all the other dumb shit that used to happen.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm Reply
      1. Regat Kozovv

        I remember quite well. I'm skeptical that the CSM has had anything to do with that, no matter how intentioned.

        As Darth mentioned below, the CSM was one of a number of initatives that CCP took after the T20 debacle that was so indicative of the other incidents you described. However, being that the CSM has no direct oversight, is not in the management chain, and is essentially toothless; I'm willing to be that it had a lot more to do with CCP maturing as a company and building effective oversight into their operations, and moving away from the "Good old boys" club model that they used to operate under.

        March 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm Reply
  9. Pantera

    I've been playing EVE since beta. And i'm in EUTZ. I have yet to see a live event. I don't think they ever did a live event in the parts of nullsec where i lived or live.
    Can't say this ever bothered me.

    March 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm Reply
  10. DarthNefarius

    Even in a schoolyard sandbox teachers occasionally for the betterment o the playground may suggest sandcastles & provide the equipment to build them and provide content by pushing the kids in swings… The US/AUS TZ's are sortof being treated like latchkey kids that after the teachers/monitors are gone have to watch out in thier sandbox ghetto for the crackdealers that invade after the school policeman even leaves.

    Rundown sandboxes/playgrounds in the projects are sad (sometimes scary) looking things

    March 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm Reply
  11. Nignignignigspic

    CSM is playing buddy buddy, gaining friends and etc.

    Why?

    To keep themselves in the loop, keep the insider knowledge, and to further their in game goals and their RMT operations.

    It's going to be fun watching CCP when shit hits the fan…..again

    March 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm Reply
  12. Fool

    Pathetic Stanziel is always ready to swoop in with another manufactroversy.

    March 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm Reply
  13. EVE Player

    what is Realpolitikin, dumbass

    March 10, 2013 at 3:11 am Reply
  14. Vestus

    Oh, the sense of self-entitlement in this piece…

    March 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm Reply
  15. 5min of my life gone

    Are you proofreading your post before publishing them, i don´t think so because if you would read your article once again, i doubt you or anyone else would press the "submit" button, i wouldn´t

    March 11, 2013 at 11:34 am Reply
  16. Slothen

    I don't care about live events, I do care about the CSM being apologist, which I did see the last time I read some summit minutes. The POS revamp is crucial.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm Reply
  17. NullSecHoBo

    PS, stop clutching at straws.

    March 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm Reply

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