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OK, for reasons which will soon become apparent I’m going to try to keep this one short.  Nope, never mind.  It’s probably going to run long.

As I announced last week, CSM’s Town Hall #3 will take place this Saturday, 16 November at 19:00 EVE time.  Details on where and how to listen or participate are available in the announcement thread in the EVE Online forums.  In particular, half of this Town Hall will be devoted to questions submitted in advance.  If you have an advance question, please send it to Ali Aras who is gathering the advance questions and will be consolidating them.  I look forward to talking to all of you on Saturday!

And that brings me to the topic we should be talking about this Town Hall.  I’ve tried to play the :nda: rather conservatively, to wit: if I ask CCP “A or B?” and they say “A”, then:

  • I don’t tell players “A”, because that would be breaking the NDA;
  • I don’t tell players “not B”, because that would also be breaking the NDA; and,
  • in some cases I don’t even tell players that the question has come up, because there are some situations where if a player asks me “Will CCP be doing A or B?”, just the fact that I acknowledge the question has come up in CCP-CSM discussions might be breaking the NDA.

But what if I ask CCP “A or B?” about something the players already know is in play, and CCP says nothing at all?  Well, at the moment that’s a grey area and for today’s update I choose to believe that the :nda: has no standing.  The NDA covers what CCP says.  But it doesn’t cover a situation in which CCP says nothing.

And unfortunately “nothing” is what the CSM has been told about the Summer Summit minutes, despite many of us asking the question repeatedly.  CCP has had copies of various parts of the minutes for their approval starting from mid-September onward and have had most of the minutes since the second week in October, a month ago now.  In that time, we’ve been told by CCP Dolan that minutes would be ready “soon.”  Trebor Daehdoow, who has obviously been through this process before, tells us that the next step would usually be CCP giving us a draft copy of some of the minutes for our own review.  We’ve received no such drafts.

In that time, of course, we’ve had the following crises:

  • the Term of Service update in mid-September;
  • the first SOMERblink issue regarding the iScorp giveaway in late September;
  • the question about how much support community sites should get in general in early October;
  • the second SOMERblink issue regarding ISK giveaways for GTC sales in late October; and,
  • now the live event situation last week.

Each has either had a public statement by CCP or has at least been considered for such a public statement.  Obviously, this has kept the Community team and CCP management extremely busy and I’m quite sure this is the reason for a good portion of the delay.  And of course Rubicon is really close to release; the very people that have to approve the minutes we’ve written and verify them for accuracy are the likely many of the same people having to get features ready to go for November 19.  So in a way, this delay is quite understandable and it is not Dolan’s fault.

But I can’t help feeling frustrated nonetheless.

Granted, part of this is our own damn fault.  We didn’t get the first drafts of our work in front of CCP until the second week of September.  We could certainly have done that part a week or so faster.  But other than that, I can’t think of very much that we could have done to speed this process up.  What else can we do when CCP won’t answer questions about how things are going?

So here we are a few days from the Town Hall I wanted to be about the Summit Minutes, and it seems quite unlikely that any part of the Summit Minutes will be in front of your eyes before the Town Hall.  And for that all I can do is apologize.  We’re not exactly a war-time CSM, but this continued stumbling from crisis to crisis is no fun at all.

Sigh.  Lesson learned here for future CSMs?  Future Summits must take place more than three months before the release date of the expansion it’s going to cover.  The eleven weeks between the late August Summer Summit and the November 19 release of Rubicon was not enough time for this process to run smoothly.  We’re seeing the result.

OK, enough of that.  I’m going to keep the rest of this short.  We had our Stakeholder meeting this week which went very well!  Time Five-0’s features are ready to go for Rubicon and we’re starting to hear some really interesting plans for Rubicon 1.1.  CCP devs continue to bring us last-minute questions in both the private Skype chat and on the private section of the forums.  So this part of the process continues to work perfectly, for which I am very grateful.  As I said a couple of weeks ago, we’re also starting to see plans laid for the Winter Summit, which will be taking place after the first of the year.

EDIT (13/Nov/2013): One more thing.  CSM member Mangala Solaris will be doing another “watch the stream with Mangala” event for the Rubion twitch stream this week.  You can read more details about this plan on his blog.  Wish I could be there myself!

And that’s all for this week, I think…  Talk to you on Saturday!

– Ripard Teg

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