January 3, 2014

The Relevancy of CSM Minutes

A lot of noise was made about the CSM Minutes being delayed and delayed until 2014. That outcry was justified, as it's not good the minutes were so long in coming. We need CCP and the CSM to be able to work together efficiently enough to put their minutes out in a timely fashion. If they can't do that, what does that say about CCP's view on how important the CSM is to the players? What does it say about the way the CSM and CCP work together? Well, truthfully, it doesn't say anything. But it won't often come across that way. It reflects poorly on CCP and the CSM, and we need to continue to expect more from our CSM and CCP Dolan, who has taken responsibility for the delay due to his inexperience in the position, promising to help improve the turn around time and usage of the minutes. But are CSM Minutes that are delayed still relevant?

What is relevant anyway? It's used a lot in EVE Online. Certain alliances are relevant while others aren't. Certain fits are relevant while others are apparently pointless. CSM Minutes are only relevant during a specific window, according to some, and outside of that window, they, too, are pointless. But they're wrong. The CSM Minutes are always relevant, even long after the CSM in question is no longer seated. The minutes have a purpose, and while that purpose may not be understood, that's not the fault of anyone but the confused.

When you read the CSM Minutes, taking the CSM 8 Summer Minutes as our example, you shouldn't be digging for clues about what's coming next in EVE Online. That's not what these minutes are for, nor should they be. Instead, read them with a critical eye, focused on how your CSM is functioning with CCP. Is the CSM representing the playerbase well? Is CCP ignoring what the CSM is saying? Are the CSM members unconcerned with things that CCP is planning on doing? Are the CCP developers disconnected with reality?

The CSM Minutes give us a window into the boardroom meetings in which CCP is pitching ideas to a small set of elected players. This is where CCP takes what it works on throughout the year and tries to convince people that it's good, that it's going to be fun, that CCP knows what it's doing and isn't taking us down Incarna Road again. Use these minutes, and the minutes of the future, to ensure that what CCP is doing is healthy for the game. Don't use them to try and peek into the future of ship rebalances or new modules. It's not what minutes are made for. That stuff isn't relevant anyway.