CSM 17 Summit Review

I just arrived home about two hours ago from my final CSM summit, this one for CSM 17. As the last remaining CSM member who has attended a summit before (I attended two summits on CSM 13, and no one who served on CSM 14 and was present for the previous two summits to this one remains on the CSM), I think my perspective is more valuable this term than it may have been in the past, at least in regards to comparisons.

Let’s get this out of the way first, since it is what I expect everyone wants to know - I left this summit feeling energized, excited about the future of the game, and looking forward to working with the rest of the CSM for the rest of this term. I was on the fence about attending Fanfest in September, but I am almost 100% certain I’ll be there now.

First, let me talk about this CSM specifically. I got to know each and every member very well over the course of the week, and I like and respect all of them. This has not been the case in the past. This was a professional CSM, once that wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions (as you’ll see from the minutes, I expect) who were willing to put in the time and the hard work to make the week useful for both the CCPers as well as their colleagues, and who showed up to every meeting, stayed late to socialize, and generally worked well together. It was, to me, by far the best CSM I had worked with since at least CSM 13, and (other than not having a chance to see Merk and Nom, who are two of my best friends IRL as well as in the game) probably even better than 13.

Second, unlike past CSMs, especially those with no summits, I felt like we were there at CCP HQ at exactly the right time. They had just finished their early work on the next expansion, slated for 2nd quarter (as you can see in the roadmap in the producers letter from January), and were open and receptive to our feedback and suggestions for things to include in the expansion. We had a lot of good sessions where our feedback was not only actively solicited but listened to, and I’m looking forward to see how much of what we presented ends up in the game.

I was impressed with how willing CCP was to acknowledge our concerns, to answer questions and to give us the data to prove what they were asserting, not just expecting us to believe it. I was especially impressed with our meeting with Team Security, which gave us some never-before-seen insights into how that team deals with RMT and botting issues. I can’t go into any details in regards to this session, but I think it was one of the most well received of all of them, and I am no longer as skeptical as I have been in the past about CCPs efforts to combat cheating - I know this won’t be well received by the community, largely because CCP can’t show the tools and processes they use to catch the bad guys, but I was floored by the entire presentation.

We had some good discussions over the future of the CSM and ways to make it more representative, although I continued to oppose things I’ve traditionally opposed, like quotas for areas of space.

The quality of life, ship balance and ecosystem meetings went as I expected them to, although I did feel like there was more discussion of CSM priorities this time around than I recall in the past.

We had an extremely long discussion on Pochven, and I was pleased to see that not only were multiple CSM members going over the results of the Pochven roundtable that was held earlier in the year, CCP had the document and had clearly read it.

We got a chance to see the Excel integration, and this was another one of the extremely well received sessions - the versatility of this tool, which folks should get to see soon now that beta has been announced - is pretty impressive. It blew the minds of some of the CSM members who are spreadsheet nerds, and it even impressed me.

We also had a long discussion with the Tech team about ESI and assorted issues. We made it abundantly clear how important ESI and third party tools are to the game, and I felt better that our concerns were heard and were actively being addressed after this meeting.

Finally, we had multiple sessions with EVE senior leadership, where a variety of subjects were discussed openly, including discussions about the price increase and concerns about PCU and DAU counts. I was pleased to have a frank discussion with Hilmar and the other senior leadership about these issues and that they were willing to go into detail with us rather than just shrugging our concerns off. I expect that will likely be one of the sessions that gets redacted, but I did want players to know that I specifically asked about the price increase, as did other CSM members.

Finally, we had another good chat with the Photon UI team who, in my opinion, are doing a great job in listening to player feedback and addressing issues as they arise. During the summit we saw SISI was updated with the news that Photon will be required for everybody soon, and we were able to discuss some active concerns about things that still needed to be addressed. Given how quickly this team has jumped on bugs and issues in the past, I am cautiously hopeful that when the final day hits for Photon being required, many of the leftover bugs that still exist will have been addressed.

As noted in the schedule, we also talked about heraldry, projection issues, monetization, upcoming player events, Fanfest, player research, wormholes (Mark actually never shut up about them the whole week), and a number of other topics that escape me at the moment but we will see when the minutes came out.

Thanks to CCP Zelus who took notes for the minutes and coordinated the recordings of all the sessions. CCP Swift, CCP Paragon, CCP Bee and CCP Convict helped shepherd us around and make sure we knew what we were doing, and a special shoutout to CCP Convict for helping me put together a Live from CCP HQ Meta Show that aired last Thursday night on INN. And, as always, thanks to CCP Helmar, CCP Rattati, CCP Burger, CCP Orca, CCP Mannbjorn, CCP Psych, CCP Aurora, CCP Mystic, CCP Emerald, CCP Nomad, CCP Dragon, CCP Trash Panda, CCP Rise, CCP Cognac, CCP Goodfella and a whole host of other CCPers who met with us and hung out with us while we spent a week giving them free advice.

This was a long, work intensive week, with meetings starting at 10 each day and running through 5, and then continued discussions and chats happening late into the evening. I’m exhausted from the trip, but I am pleased that my final CSM summit felt as productive as it did.

Finally, thanks to my fellow CSM members. You guys made this an easy week, free from ■■■■■■■■ space drama and personality conflicts, and for that alone I probably should have bought you a few more beers.

I will do my best to answer any questions, but remember - I can’t tell you what CCP said (it’s NDAed), I can’t tell you how they responded to anything we showed them, and I can’t tell you what other CSM members said (unless they give me permission). I can tell you what I said and how I felt, so please don’t ask me things it’s obvious I can’t answer.


Seconded on all counts.


When has that team quickly jumped onto bugs except for 2 or 3 instances? Most bugs still persist since introduction of Photon and with every release they introduce new bugs, continue to ignore old bugs, don’t listen to people who tell them that Photon makes the UX worse, more cumbersome, less clear, more frustrating and more wasteful.


Hello forum😃
@Brisc_Rubal It sounds like your meetings went well. I hope that all players’ concerns were clearly related and taken into serious consideration.
I only have one question, sir.
Did you get to visit the city, see interesting things, maybe do some shopping and enjoy yourself?
Thanks for the post.

~Fifie always curious.

More than you will ever know - NOW - did every bug get fixed in 2-3 days - no - some took a lot longer to fix

The Photon UI team listened to every single thing players and CSM have said and acted on it. Now - just because they didn’t fix something you wanted doesn’t mean they didn’t see it or decide against it - not everyone gets their way.

There were several patches with over 100 fixes to photon UI - it has been a year since the opt in started and it almost doesn’t look the same as it did a year ago.

And for every fix in these 100 fixes, 2 more new bugs came into the UI. Stash your snarkiness away, because it’s not about getting it my way. It’s about getting a good UI, and Photon is nowhere close to that goal, as hundreds of bugs since the last big patch alone show.

Plus, it is not apparent that the team sees or listens to players because they don’t communicate at all. There are no dev blogs explaining Photon and design decisions in Photon (which objectively make the UX worse than in the old UI, see my multitude of bug reports in the feedback topic). For instance, how removing column divider lines is supposed to make it easier to manipulate column widths when you have to cumbersomely wiggle around with the mouse to find the invisible divider, or how cutting off 80% of tab text makes it better to use chats, overviews and other windows? They don’t even mark the fixes in Photon with :handshake: icons in patch notes to at least show what were community driven fixes.


Yep, fam flew in for the weekend so we got to do some touristy stuff. I’ve been there enough now that it feels pretty familiar.


Sorry, but I don’t agree with you. Photon is turning out pretty well. There has been plenty of communication on the forums about it. I don’t think it’s reasonable for them to discuss every minute detail of the design process.


Any mention of cat ears?


It’s not minute details. The 2 examples I gave and most of the bugs that others and I have pointed out so far can be described as “deliberate obstruction and obfuscation of information and deliberate efforts to make the UI harder to use, harder to understand, harder to appreciate”. An explanation on why this design approach was used to make a UI that is worse in so many aspects than the old UI, if you leave out the few and far between new features, is not a discussion of minute details.

I do not see communication about Photon on the forums: Developer of ccp games - EVE Online Forums

You can count the posts from devs about Photon on 2 hands down till September. Yeah, players communicate a lot but certainly not developers.


Unfortunately, yes



That is why I specifically said they READ them, I never said they reply - I also said they put them in patch notes, not give a detailed reply about every bug - hell we don’t even get that, nor would I want that.

I am also not saying it is perfect and there are many bugs outstanding, but some take longer than others to fix and some things player think are bugs are just not - unfortunately communicating that to everyone who puts in a report is extremely difficult and time consuming

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Arsia wore cat ears in like 80% of the meetings.


Just as yet another example of how Photon makes things harder than the old UI, look at the contract filters:


I would really like to know how Photon improves anything for the user between the two UIs. You see less information, you have a harder to read font and font size, there is so much empty space that is direly needed for bigger input boxes, buttons are inconsistent, input fields are much harder to see than in the old UI. Just to name a few things. CCP devs have never responded to this recurring and persistent criticism that have come up time and again since they launched Photon.


I will buy several sets of cat ears for 150 PLEX each. Take my money so I can have a reason to change hair color, please.

It sounds like the point came across.
Thank you.

~Fifie’s vanities

Bottom one looks way better than the top one.


You see, that’s the problem. I did not ask if it looks better. I asked how Photon makes things better for the user, even though it introduces so many issues. An Apoc also looks better than a Maelstrom, but that doesn’t automatically make the Apoc better than the Maelstrom.

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Yes, I unfortunately missed wearing cat ears on one day where I came straight from receiving medical care to CCP’s office.



Joking aside, hope all is well with you Arsia.

When it comes to a UI, looking better = makes things better for the user.

I’m sorry you don’t like it. Keep providing them with feedback, and we’ll do our best to make sure it’s addressed.