CSM 8 Elections--CCP on the impact of the Council

By CCP Dolan
| Comments

The elections for the 8th Council of Stellar Management (CSM) end tomorrow April 18th, at 23:59 UTC. Our wonderful community has been buzzing with comments on the CSM as an institution and the actions of CSM7, so we thought it would be nice to hear from CCP itself. Below are some quotes from just a few of the CCP Team Members that interact with the CSM.

CCP Masterplan - Software Engineer

When we have questions such as “What do you think would happen if we added/changed/removed feature X?”, the ability to get focused feedback from the CSM on short notice has helped guide our development decisions. I think this has contributed to the success of features such as Crimewatch 2.0 and forthcoming Odyssey expansion.

On multiple occasions they have brought to our attention specific pieces of unbalanced content that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Often this information originates from players directly contacting the CSM. Having a healthy relationship between developers and the CSM means that these reports can get directly to the appropriate team, where we can act on them.

CCP Affinity – Content Designer

During 2012 I worked on Factional Warfare and the constant feedback and interaction we had with CSM7 helped make that feature what it is today.  CSM7 have been a stellar CSM; they are determined, passionate yet very levelheaded.  During FW development, they remained very involved in the ongoing work, gave good, clear and constructive feedback where necessary and, best of all, created and moderated a communication channel putting the designers involved in direct contact with the players most affected by our changes.   CSM7 have been amazing both in making the voices of the player heard and interacting with CCP in a professional and meaningful way and I can’t wait to meet the new CSM 8.

CCP Veritas – Software Engineer

The CSM has been a great help for me while improving the performance of EVE.  They've been a great resource to go to get the players' direct experiences with the game, in order to inform us better where the pain points are.  Ultimately, we can make our performance metrics move, but if it doesn't translate into the players enjoying the game more then we aren't doing it right.  The CSM helps us gauge our progress in that regard.

CCP Fozzie – Game Designer

I’ve had the privilege of working closely with the CSM since I started at CCP last summer. Having a team of elected players to work alongside who are passionate and committed to making EVE a better game has been extremely valuable to our development for Retribution and Odyssey. I have benefited from the CSM as a sounding board for designs, as a gauge of player opinions, and as a conduit for bringing player concerns to our attention.

I have found them especially helpful in my work with Factional Warfare, Ship Balancing and Starbases. I can say with confidence that without the help of a CSM my work and my team’s work would not have reached the standards that we were able to achieve together.

CCP Manifest – Senior PR Specialist

From the Public Relations point of view, I’ve always kept the CSM a bit at arms length, not wanting to taint the institution as somehow a PR stunt. Thankfully though, this didn’t prevent me from working with the council over the years over Skype and email and increasingly so during the CSM 7’s term—culminating in the last summit and up until today. These are some of the most passionate EVE players you will find, and although yes, each rep does have an agenda, it became crystal clear to me during the last summit sessions that any agenda was backseat to three things. (1) A desire to see EVE continue to develop in new and fun ways. (2) A hunger for the EVE Universe to reach the awesomeness level we expect of it (3) A professional drive to represent players as best they can. I was most impressed with their ability and willingness to represent people of seemingly opposite play styles to themselves—they took it very seriously--asking for metrics, tossing out ideas and actively seeking input from the players before the summit. Is the CSM and its members perfect? Hell no. Is passionate and hardworking and unafraid to really represent you to the development team? Yes, absolutely. That’s the type of politician I admire though and I hope their legacy extends to the next council. As a 7-year player who’s been watching from the sidelines from CSM 1, I can say I’m honored with how they’ve represented me and it makes me want to work with them even more going forward.

CCP Goliath – QA Director

Before I joined the company, I regarded the CSM as a player elected lobby group, who would petition the developers on behalf of their electorate with directions they wanted the game to go in, or specific features they wanted work done to. Having now been through 2 CSM terms on the development side, it is clear they are so much more than that. Providing requested, targeted feedback on many of our ideas is probably their most used function. They are also great at letting us know about troublesome defects and exploits when they or their alliances encounter them. While there are those on the Council that haven't put in equal amounts of work, the eager ones do a staggering amount of work and are basically available for input around the clock. 

CCP Solomon – Technical Producer

Since its inception, the CSM has gone through significant change both in the quality of its interactions with CCP and its value as perceived by the player base. Initially, it’s fair to say there was doubt in the community as to whether this player elected group was really capable of affecting change within CCP and bringing about the fixes the players were asking for. Let me make it clear; the passion, insistence, dedication and sheer pig-headed stubbornness of this group has had a significant impact on what we develop and how we develop it. Many of the changes in Retribution and again in Odyssey were a direct result of interactions, community feedback and suggestions from CSM 7. Whether it’s the changes to Factional Warfare, ship balancing, war declarations or the upcoming starbase quality of life fixes, the feedback and sanity checking has been beyond compare . CSM 7 represents a huge leap forward in keeping the concerns of the player base at the forefront, they have brought about change, worked damned hard and you should buy them all a beer.

CCP Xhagen – Senior Researcher, CSM Project Manager

The past five years have been a wild ride. It is beyond any doubt that the CSM has come far since CSM1. The structure within CCP to receive CSM feedback has been improved considerably which has led to a better utilization of that feedback, whether it is CCP looking for feedback or CSM bringing it up. While many things can be said about how CCP has gotten better at receiving CSM feedback that is dwarfed by the advancement of the CSM itself, its methods and its members. These advancements are largely thanks to past CSMs. The professionalism, the quality and the effectiveness of the CSM is now undeniable and the future members of CSM8 will have the luxury of jumping straight into a well-oiled, and well maintained, apparatus and get straight to work. The CSM has become an important part of EVE’s development and maintenance and it will help us improving EVE for at least ten more years.

CCP Seagull – Senior Producer

The CSM is one of the main stakeholders we work with when deciding on both product direction and feature level changes – we validate what we are doing with the CSM, and we take their advice and input into account as part of our development process. I encourage all EVE players to vote in the CSM elections, so that we get a great representative voice of the community to work with in this process.

CCP Unifex – Executive Producer

I have worked more closely with CSM 7 during 2012 that with any previous CSM. During this time we have really worked on defining what ‘Being a stakeholder’ really means and had a number of iterations of testing it out in practice. I believe we have been at a point for a while now where the contribution to the development process from the CSM, their feedback on features being developed and input on future ideas is invaluable. They give a different viewpoint from that of us within CCP, representing both their own constituencies and the player base as a whole. Their voice is very much heard and is helping us as we continually strive to deliver a better world for our players. I am looking forward to meeting the new CSM and helping to quickly build a strong team that I see as an integral part of EVE Online.

CCP Hellmar - CEO

Ever since instigating the CSM in 2003 and then again in 2008 I have felt it to be a very important venue to navigate through the turbulent waters that the first 10 years of EVE have been. As we make strides towards a second decade of growth and prosperity for the EVE Universe I know in my heart that the CSM and other formal venues we will construct together will bring EVE to a place where it will outlive us all.

To close us off, here is a final word from the chairman of CSM7.

Seleene – CSM7 Chariman

Given the huge increase in engagement between CSM and CCP during CSM7, CSM8 will shoulder great responsibility in helping CCP deliver game improvements that the community truly wants. There are many highly qualified candidates running this year, and your vote can help ensure that CSM8 is the best CSM ever. TLDR: If you don't vote, don't bitch!

Be sure to get out and vote before April 18th at 23:59 UTC. Your vote is your voice, don’t let your voice go unheard in the future of EVE Online and the New Eden Universe.