Monday, February 2, 2015

Turning Criticism Into Excuses

Looking in from the outside, DJ FunkyBacon apparently was not the most hard-working member of the ninth Council of Stellar Management.  As the only originally elected member of CSM 9 still sitting on the player council not to have contributed to the production of the Summer Summit minutes, to argue otherwise is almost laughable.  Which, from my perspective as someone who endorsed his candidacy last year, is something I wish I did not have to admit.

What led DJ FunkyBacon to defend his honor over the weekend wasn't his lack of transcription production.  Neither was it that his name is never mentioned as a hard working or productive member of CSM 9 in all the interviews I hear.  Apparently, those supporters he values don't care about things like that.  What they did care about was that he did not bother to participate in a dev blog in which 7 of the 14 members of CSM 9 gave their thoughts about their experience over the course of the term.

I realize that "bother" is kind of a loaded term, but that is the word DJ FunkyBacon used in his blog post.  To put the word into further context, here is exactly what he posted:
"I can't speak for the other 6, but for myself, I've been so disillusioned with the entire process this year that I didn't bother. It's simply not worth it, and the amount of fucks I have left aren't enough to go through the effort to write something to hand to CCP so they can 'clean it up' and drop it on an official dev blog that might get as much traffic as my blog when I don't write anything new for 3 months."
Then, though his initial post he then proceeded to echo many of points of criticism that Sion contributed to the guest dev post that caused Funky to write his CSM 9 review post in the first place.  All I can say is, if Sion's words were "cleaned up", then I wonder what the first draft looked like?  All sarcasm aside, I think the dev blog shows the difference between the two critics of the current CSM process.  Sion continued the fight to make CSM function while Funky gave up on the process sometime by November at the latest, and arguably as early as September when he chose not to contribute to the minutes production process.

Funky stated in his latest blog post today that no one called him out on any of his facts.  While doing so is hard due to the NDA, I'll dispute one assertion the Funky made.  He stated:
"For 2 weeks per year, during the summits, the CSM matters."
Of course, when I hear about efforts like Sugar Kyle's work on PvE little things and corbexx' successful effort to convince CCP to give some love to the lower-class wormholes, I begin to doubt assertions like that.

He then went on to complain about the lack of communication between CCP and CSM.  A valid concern brought up by several members of the CSM, not only in the guest dev blog Funky didn't feel like contributing to, but in many interviews and blog posts since.  A concern so great, in fact, that the issue was addressed in the first session of the Winter Summit.  In that session, CCP granted the CSM access to Confluence, its internal development wiki.  When I listened to Sion's Cap Stable interview, he seemed, if not happy, then satisfied that CCP was moving in the right direction to address the communications issues.  Apparently, Funky is not so easy to mollify.

Or perhaps Funky, having given up on the CSM process months ago, only paid attention to what interested him during the summit and skipped the rest.  That might explain why, in his second post, he believed that the CSM's use of Confluence was an NDA'd matter.  I may have fallen under the spell of that evil Goon Sion, but I couldn't help but think of Funky as I listened to Sion's interview yesterday.  One particular point came to mind when I reread Funky's second post.  Sion stated that many CSM members hide behind the NDA more than CCP does.  Is Funky one of those members?  Funky's slip sure gives that appearance.

I just want to address one last point that makes me feel a little better about my CSM 9 endorsements.  At least I placed both Sugar Kyle and Mike Azariah ahead of DJ Funky Bacon.  I thought, going into the election, that he had the same attitude as those two.  The following passage from Funky's first post shows I was wrong:
"Between the summer summit and the release of the minutes, I bashed my face into a proverbial brick wall to get a compromise on the highsec awox nerf and got nowhere. Minutes were released, myself and others wrote some blogs about the issue, and a bit of backlash hit. A couple weeks later I joined CCP Fozzie on DJ Big Country's show on Eve Radio where it was FINALLY revealed that CCP was considering making intra corp aggression a toggle. I wanted to scream in frustration because I'd been advocating that for months at that point, and to think I could have skipped 2 months of frustration and just jumped on the issue when the minutes went public was the last straw. The fact is, CCP might hear what the CSM has to say, but they heed the community mob."
Having watched Sugar Kyle and Mike Azariah in action, those two worthies would have exclaimed, "Yes!", checked the matter off on their to-do lists, and gone off to find another dragon to fight.  Okay, they probably would have grumbled, but I think CCP has to worry when EVE players stop grumbling.  But EVE is a target-rich environment and I know both of them have notebooks full of input from players to address.  From my position on the outside looking in, Funky got disgusted and quit on the process even though he got what he wanted.  Not something I want to see from a candidate I endorsed.

Now, I could continue dumping on Funky, because he sure gave me enough softballs to hit.  But when you point at someone, you usually point 4 fingers (or 3 fingers and a thumb) at yourself.  Hey, I told people that DJ FunkyBacon was a good person to vote for.  I don't know how much my endorsement was worth, but he did get elected.  By all accounts, the most charitable thing I can say about his term as a member of the CSM is that he was not a standout performer.  So for this CSM election, I need to take more care in vetting the candidates and make better recommendations.


  1. I didn't vote for Funky on the strength on his previous CSM interview. Primarily because he didn't appear to be someone overly capable of compromise, something necessary to be a functional part of any team and especially one in a consultancy position like the CSM.

    While I cannot fault in any way his dedication to the stances he holds, there is also a tendency to go straight to the nuclear option (as we've seen elsewhere). We needed the CSM moving forward, if not exactly in harmony with CCP, but moving nonetheless. Not stuck in arguments and the resultant stagnation.

  2. There isn't anything fundamentally wrong with the guy; he is just naive, as are many others who have been on the CSM in the past.

    They go in, fully expecting that the CCP devs are going to listen to and act on their every word, as if their singular truth of how the game should work should be obvious and unarguable. They are going to change the game and make it better. I don't know how many times I've heard that spiel from CSM candidates.

    When they find out that most of the devs have their own opinions, most of which are locked in the stone of CCP's own greater truth (also known as a business plan) of where the game needs to go, they get upset, disillusioned, depressed, etc. with their idealistic vision of the CSM (failing, too, to realize that the CSM primarily exists as a PR element - and not actually as part of the design/development process).

    I think that part of the problem is how CCP originally spun the story of the CSM as a "Council of Stellar Management", as if it were an elective body of government officials, with actual management or political powers, of some sort. Which, ofc, it is not. Nor is it a consultancy group, as others suggest. The CSM is simply a customer advisory board for a product - nothing less, nothing more.

    Funky needs to keep this in mind, as do all future CSM candidates - then just do the bit of customer PR work that he signed up for as a member of the CSM, and enjoy the few perks that come along with being on any customer advisory bbard (I belong to a few myself).

  3. DJF is a prime examples of why there needs to be some way of downvoting potential CSM members. Several players (including myself) have and will continue to voice our concerns about players who are so set in their playstyle, that no amount of reasonable discussion will ever get them to the point of thinking about the GAME instead of their PERSONAL views.

    Sugar and Mike are examples of CSM members who should stay on the help. Why? When they don't know, they ASK the community, they do the RESAERCH, they don't shoot off their mouths and piss CCP/the players off.

    And i totally agree that CCP should not let the CSM know about changes that will affect the meta weeks in advance. The alliances will all have the same info at the same time if its that big of a change i.e. jump fatigue. Let the shitstorm happen and fix the problems afterwards, instead of providing meta/game breaking info hit alliance number crunchers to soon.

    Eve ... best game to read about and never play.