CSM7 – Formspring Q&A

If there is a question I haven’t answered, or not answered as fully as you would like, please feel free to ask me via my formspring account – you can even ask the questions anonymously. I will keep updating this as more questions come in.


What is your opinion; Is DUST 514 a benefit or a mistake to let it involve in planetary interaction?

DUST itself has a great deal of potential, especially after the recent announcement that the ‘cover charge’ has been dropped.

There’s not really enough detail at the moment to determine if DUST will be a significant benefit or hindrance with its links to EVE, although as an old PlanetSide player, I’m looking forward to trying it at Fanfest and attending the presentations and so on.

Similarly, its hard to say just what interaction it will have with PI, however it does seem that PI was built with the specific intention of it being the ‘resource’ fought over by the DUST players, and CCP are likely to be wary about upsetting the balance in EVE by adding any ‘game-breaking’ linked content.

I also expect further ‘industrial’ opportunities for EVE players to eventually supply the DUST player base with resources (tanks, guns, etc), and relevant timers/delays to prevent someone from getting ‘evicted’ from their installations without warning, but I suppose we’ll see in a couple of weeks as the information is released.


What is your thoughts on ship balancing, in particular Gallente? I know that hybrids have had a modes boost but overall Gallente boats still suffer from many well documented problems in the forums, beyond just their guns. Drone boats also.

The recent hybrid fix has brought a lot of the Gallente stuff more in-line with other other races, but due to their fragility, time to get into range and engage and so on, drones are not significantly used in PvP, which of course affects Gallente the most.

The clearest fix to this would be to improve the drone interface, for example making them work like a ‘normal’ module, and allowing a single hotkey to launch and have drones engage could be one way of doing this. The current system is horrible, and requires a rewrite as soon as possible (why does the window disappear when you launch all your drones? Why does it keep collapsing the sections? agh!).


How would you rank the following areas, in order of importance? 0.0, LowSec, HighSec, W-Space

It’s not really possible to rank areas of space in in ‘importance’, as each of them needs the others, however in decreasing order of ‘development focus need’:

1. LoSec – Needs development for FW/Piracy/Combat. People need reasons to go there.
2. W-Space – Needs a expansion of POS mechanics and a new POS/corp UI.
3. HiSec – Needs more mission content, and expansions to ratting. Bot
4. NullSec – Needs a solution to SuperCap proliferation.

Note that each of the above will effect each other, for example the POS/Corp UI stuff would benefit all the other areas of space.


How would you rank the following parts of EvE, in order of importance? That you think CCP should improve upon. Industri, Mining, Missions, Ratting/Plexes, Incursions,Pirating Small Gang PvP, Faction Warfare, SoV Warfare

With everything in EVE linking to everything else, its impossible to rank things in order of importance, however in decreasing order that CCP should improve them:

1. Pirating/Small Gang PvP
2. Faction Warfare
3. Missions
4. Industry
5. Ratting/Plexes
6. Incursions
7. SoV Warfare
8. Mining


What is your view on the Noble Exchange?

The launch and handling of it was a complete mess, and couldn’t have been much worse. I would still suggest CCP either drop the prices, or introduce the remaining items (those which are listed on the market but not current available anywhere) at significantly lower price-points, however they need to be careful to avoid devaluing the current items.

Similarly, I’m not against ‘customised’ ship skins, as long as they make no changes to the base stats of the ships they are applied to, but only as the current updating of all the ships is what makes this possible so there is not a massive developer resource requirement in adding them.

‘Gold ammo’ or anything else with provides a benefit, though? Never.


You mention using wardecs to encourage fighting. We can assume that you completely discount psychological and economic factors as reasons for people to go to war?

Not at all, in fact, quite the opposite. War for any reason (including denial of resources and similar) is fine, however there should be some level of fighting, at least.

What tools or features do you think should be added or improved in corp management and interface that would help CEOs and directors run a corp?

This will be a long one (it’s actually part of a list I’ve been maintaining for some time), and I think the corporation interface needs a major rewrite rather than tweaking, but most of these should be fairly simple to implement at the moment.

Obviously many of these deal with scale issues not seen by other corporations, but would be useful for any moderately sized corporation, saving a few seconds here and there and removing some of the drudge of managing a corp. I wouldn’t however prioritise these above most game changes, but they would each be a good list of ‘small things’ for a few days work.

After all, EVE is its community, so lowering the barriers for people to get together should at least get some of the solo players out of their NPC corps.

Warning: Big list!

  1. Full and complete documentation for everything corp management related. Not documenting other stuff (game mechanics) is fine, but they need to document the complex parts of the UI properly.
  2. Editable automated mails when someone applies, is accepted, leaves or is removed.
  3. Corp adverts should be renewable like regular bills (sov, rental, etc), and have a URL as well as a channel/person to contact.
  4. The ability to search corp applications for a name, and delete/remove/send a message to the senders in bulk.
  5. Auditing showing who was recruited by who, so you know who went bad when they do.
  6. “Date Last Active” added to the Find Member in Roles screen (useful for queries), and the ability to save queries there.
  7. The ability to paste/import/dragdrop a list of member names in a text box and apply specific changes to them.
  8. The ability to expel multiple members again (this stopped working some time ago).
  9. The ability for a director/CEO to remove a member without the 24 hour cooldown due to roles.
  10. More title slots, more wallet divisions, more hangars.
  11. More granular roles: ie: split roles, so posting events on the calendar is not the same as editing corp announcements.
  12. Allow corporation research/production jobs to take items/deliver to a players hangar.
  13. The ability to hand out medals to anyone, not just people in your corp, and edit/change/remove them after they have been created.
  14. ‘Corporation Certificates’, so large corps can track what their members have done in game.
  15. Corp adverts/propaganda on the CONCORD billboards and/or CQ screen. CCP would probably need to check these for ‘suitability’ however.
  16. Add a unique account identifier back to the API. Complex one, but useful when you have more than a few different keys.


Why have you not exposed your identity to the world? Why are you hiding your real name? Who are you really?

I’m Batman… Oh, hang on, no, that’s not right.

Anyway, CCP Diagoras just posted my real name, so now it is out there. Have fun with the Googles 🙂


Do you feel that the so-called “new player experience” needs revamping/improvement? If so, what are your ideas regarding the issue?

The NPE has been vastly improved with the changes in Incarna, trying to ensure new players realise that losing their ship is not as drastic as it seems, however I do feel there should be more emphasis on the social aspects, maybe even a part of the tutorial on finding and applying to a corporation, as many new players skip joining a corporation and miss a massive proportion of what EVE is.


What would you do to limit greifing? What extra protections would you offer players, like mission runners and industralists, who are not intrested in pvp?

Barring a re-work of the aggression mechanics (which is apparently in progress), I don’t see anything which needs to be significantly changed from the current situation.

EVE has always been harsh, and part of what makes it special is that harshness, but as long as you take basic precautions and are fairly careful, you should be fine.


If CCP was to nerf Incursion in hi-sec, how should they do it?

What I would expect to see is something relatively small, such as reducing the time the mothership stays around to a couple of hours before it de-spawns and then starts a new incursion immediately, with the despawn timer being 2 or 3 times as long for losec and nullsec.

This would mean around the same number of incursions at any time, but would cut down on the ‘farming’ a little in hisec, assuming that is what CCP want to reduce.


Do you think Incursion rewards are to high?

No, I don’t think Incursion rewards are massively too high, as their payouts seem to be pretty much in-line with the risk/reward under typical usage, although they do need more varied content.

In fact, losec and nullsec Incursions should probably be increased a little to provide more incentive for players to go there, although as part of an across-the-board.


Do you feel that CCP has neglected high-sec in favor of other areas of the game?

I wouldn’t necessarily say they have neglected hisec, but they haven’t directly expanded it much barring the recent change to CONCORD insurance payouts.

The problem is that the majority of things added to hisec also tend to be used in losec/nullsec/w-space, so aren’t really seen as hisec specific.

For example, CCP could (theoretically speaking) add dynamic branching missions. These would effectively be small arcs with semi-randomised NPCs, backdrops and possibly even using Incursion/Sleeper AI in places, making missions quite a bit more dynamic than they are now.

Of course, when adding pretty much anything in EVE there tends to be a lot of pre-requisites, so its a case of getting CCP to continue with the steady iteration, while they also slowly add new mechanics and content which include hisec.


What’s your thoughts on the importance of lowsec development?

Losec definitely needs some attention, and has done for a long time, more so now than hisec/nullsec/w-space, especially with Faction Warfare.

The recent POCO/PI changes certainly look like a step in the right direction, but at the moment the risk is too high and the reward too low for many players to venture into losec.

Obviously, the best way to improve things there would be to continue to develop it alongside changes to other space, bumping up the reward side of the risk/reward and slowly making it more worthwhile until it reaches a good balance.

That all depends on what CCP have in the pipeline however.


What area of the game do you see yourself as championing?

I’ve put a lot of thought into what area I would focus my efforts on, but came to the conclusion that doing so, or campaigning on a single platform wouldn’t be ideal. Right now, there are a lot of areas of EVE that need work (empire, nullsec, w-space, interface improvements, corp stuff, balancing, new features, iteration, etc), but they all tie together and effect each other, many of which require work from other areas too.

tl;dr: There’s a lot of things that I’d like to see updated/fixed/improved, so no one particular thing or area.

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