I was reading through the comments tonight on Ripard Teg's latest reflection on the upcoming ship balancing, and came across a great question from one of his readers. I wanted to take the time to respond publicly here so others have a chance to gain some insight on the nature of the CSM's involvement in the balancing process.
You know it's interesting how everyone in eve is seemingly hanging off Fozzie's every word right now and yet there was practically no discussion of frigate/cruiser re-balancing at the CSM summit. Are CSM's priorities right?
Thanks, Chequers. We've actually been in constant contact with CCP Fozzie throughout the balancing process, we talk daily on Skype as we also work together on the Faction Warfare changes. There simply wasn't much to say at the summit because CCP hadn't shown us their plans for these ships at that time. Every single one of the dev blogs or F&I posts that have come out since than we've had a chance to see first and give some preliminary input.
Ripard raises some important issues about bending EVE's PvP in a "twitchy" direction. I certainly don't disagree that this risk exists (I know this first-hand as I'm unfortunately called primary quite often these days), but we should also take a moment to put things into context. Keep in mind that we're also receiving brand new options for mitigating some of this "DPS creep" through low-skilled, low cost logistics platforms at both the frigate and cruiser level.
That being said, one of the positive aspects of CCP Fozzie's balancing process (regardless of whether you love or hate the changes) is that he's posting these up on the public forums with plenty of time before they even hit a test server. So while the CSM gets a sneak peak and a chance to give our personal input, they've gone extremely quick (a week on average) from the internal post to the public post.
While we haven't had much work to do in ferrying information because Fozzie has reached straight to the player base directly, we still have the ability to influence the outcome to a degree (changing bombardment frigates to support frigates was one of our recent initiatives.) Don't hesitate to get in contact with us if there's a matter you're especially concerned with or if you have some ideas to share. This especially applies to the ships whose balancing changes haven't yet been proposed.
And remember - these ideas on the forums are just that. Tentative plans pending player feedback and testing. I know from working with Fozzie and fellow designer CCP Ytterbium that both are quite reasonable and open to constructive criticism. Both understand PvP at each of the various scales intimately and are passionate about making ALL of the ships useful. They promised the players that if the test server demonstrates something as horribly broken, they'll take the time to make necessary adjustments before they hit Tranquiilty. I encourage players to get out and participate in these testing events and to play around with the new ships!
...AND NOW FOR THE REAL FUN STUFF
While we're still talking about future spaceship goodness, I might as well share these with you for those that haven't had a chance to see them already. Server sleuth Sarmatiko has dug up some data off the test server and put together a video preview of the new ship models coming in Winter expansion. Rendered versions of both the submarine-like Caldari missile destroyer, and its bizarre-looking Minmatar missile counterpart. Out tribal technicians continue to find architectural uses for solar panels that are simultaneously innovative and baffling. This clip also includes an unskinned prototype model of the brand new Gallente destroyer, a dedicated drone platform. Last but not least, a special treat for Minmatar fans - an unskinned model of the soon-to-be-revamped Tempest hull.
Fear not, industrialists! You deserve some eye candy too. Luckily Sarmatiko also managed to dig up a rendering of the new ORE mining frigate. This ship just makes me want to hang out with Rogue Drones in a dangerous attempt to recreate the iconic scene from Aliens where Ripley battles the hive queen....