Friday, May 17, 2013

Kudos to some, Calling out others

So CSM 8 has been in office for 2 weeks, and I wanted to offer some first impressions, from the inside.

Firstly, several CSM 8 members have greatly impressed me. Topping the list is Ali Aras, who has been working extremely hard to get up to speed on what CSM 7 has done, and what is still left to be done. The combined CSM 7, CSM 8 and CCP Skype channel has been full of a lot of topics, and it is great to see folks like mynnna, Sala Cameron, Sort Dragon, Malcanis and Ripard Teg chime in about ship balancing, while Mike Azariah and Ali talked New Player Experience (NPE) with CCP. Some folks have been a little bit quieter in Skype, though they still have spoken up from time to time, including Mangala Solaris, James Arget and Korvin. Trebor, of course, is fairly active as well, but he is an old timer, and doesn't really count. Kesper North was a little late signing his NDA, but doesn't seem to have had much to say after signing it, so far.

I do want to mention that CSM 7 lost access to the internal CSM forum, so my impressions are from Skype only. Hopefully some of the less active Skype people have been making up for it on the forums.

Those of you good at math will note that I have only mentioned 12 of the 14 members of CSM 8. The reason for this is because as of May 17th, 20 days after the election results and 14 days after the start of the term, progodlegend and Chitsa Jason have still not signed their NDAs. This is incredibly disappointing to me, and I would assume to their colleagues as well, but most of all, it is a huge slap in the face to their voters. They were elected by thousands of players to represent their communities, and they have chosen not to do so. Something similar happened during CSM 6, where Promethius Exenthal didn't sign his NDA until 5 months into the term. I don't know the story with progodlegend, but I have heard that Chitsa is on a month long tour of Europe, and won't be available until sometime in June.

Even with the missing two members, CSM 8 is off to a great start, and I personally am looking forward to the wonderful things we all hope they can accomplish this term. CSM 7 is losing access to the NDA'd Skype channel on Tuesday the 21st, and I am looking forward to playing a lot more EVE and doing a lot less CSMing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Suggested Ballot for CSM 8

As promised, here is the list of the 14 people I will be voting for in the election this year, in the order I will be voting for them:

James Arget
Nathan Jameson
Chitsa Jason
Trebor Daehdoow
Ripard Teg
Mangala Solaris
Ali Aras
Steve Ronuken
Psychotic Monk

EDIT: CCP removed the easy way to vote, so you will have to vote by hand

Go to
Log in
Choose your 14 candidates, preferably in the order above
Click Submit(and repeat for all your active EVE accounts)

I would like to explain a little why these 14 candidates, and also why I put them in the order I have above.

First of all, my first 5 candidates are the 5 wormhole candidates. Again, it is CRITICAL for all wormhole residents to do the same. As long as we all list all 5 at the top of our ballots, we will elect as many candidates as we possibly can. Your order may be different from mine, but please remember to include everyone.

Wormhole Candidates

James Arget is my #1 choice for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I think he really understands what is required to be on the CSM, in terms of how things actually get done. Secondly, his views on the priorities for w-space are very similar to my own. He also expresses himself well, though he could be working a little harder on his campaign.

Cipreh is a very close second to James, and in fact I had him at #1 in an earlier version of this post. Cipreh has campaigned a little harder than James. The main reason I have James higher is because James has seen a little more of EVE than Cipreh has. Cipreh has spent nearly his entire EVE career in wormhole space, but CSM talks about a wide variety of topics, and having a little more broad experience would help. Ideally both Cipreh and James will be elected, and we will have the best of both worlds.

Nathan Jameson is campaigning the hardest of any of the wormhole candidates, which I see as a really good sign. CSM is a lot of work, and people that are not willing to put in the work at election time are far less likely to put in time during their terms. My main reservations with Nathan are about the way he plays the game. As he readily admits, he spends much of his time outside of w-space, and he isn't much of a PVPer, partly due to his timezone (he lives in Taiwan). His timezone is also a minor issue, though it can be overcome.

Chitsa Jason could be a very good CSM representative, but I am very worried about his ability to follow through with things that he starts. During the campaign, he started out very strong, but recently has been far less visible. Despite that concern, he does have a lot of wormhole PVP and organizational experience. We certainly don't always agree on anything, but I think he would be able to do a good job on the CSM if he wants to so.

Ayeson has put well below the bare minimum amount of effort into his campaign. He is the only of the 5 wormhole candidates to not come on AHARM's Teamspeak server to talk to us. He is the only one who still doesn't have a sticky campaign thread in Jita Park (at least as of March 30th). He hasn't been posting, he hasn't been tweeting. In talking to him, he seems like he has some good ideas and some good experience to bring to the table, but his complete apathy in campaigning is a very bad sign.

Everyone else

Trebor is my top non-wormhole candidate. He was one of the hardest workers during CSM 7 (and 6, and 5, for that matter), he has a very good understanding of how CCP gets things done, and he and I generally agree on most topics. Don't believe the lies, he isn't out to make all highsec safe from any combat, and he isn't out to get nullsec residents. He also agreed to run for CSM 8, which meant that I was OK with not running myself. :)

Malcanis, well, there is a reason his campaign thread is by far the longest in Jita Park this year. He is an incredibly hard working guy, and he has a very level head on his shoulders.Nobody could ever read all of what he writes, but the parts I have read are very similar to my own views.

Ripard Teg is another really hard worker, and I am hopeful that having him on the CSM will improve the communication between the CSM and the players. I know that those of us on CSM 7 let some folks down, though I think we did improve some things from CSM 6. Ripard writes a fantastic blog, and while I may disagree with some of what he says on that blog, I feel like having him on the CSM would bring a very valuable point of view to the table. Personally, I am also looking forward to having him see how CCP works from the inside.

Mangala Solaris is responsible for running the great RvB organization, and I think he brings some very valuable highsec wardec mechanics understanding to the table. He is also a good communicator, and I agree with most of his platform.

Ali Aras has made a lot of lists by being in touch with the new player experience, and having that sort of understanding is very important on the CSM. She also represents a different side of nullsec than most, and having a wide body of knowledge on the CSM is incredibly important.

Steve Ronuken is on my list because I think CCP needs to continue to pay attention to the 3rd party developers who make EVE the 24/7/365 game that we love. On CSM 7, both Trebor and I have done a lot of API/SDD development, and hopefully CREST will eventually see the light of day, and we need people on the CSM that can communicate with CCP about it.

Psychotic Monk might seem like an odd choice to some, but I think an active highsec scammer/greifer/bad boy would be very valuable to CSM 8. In theory, this role could have been played by Darius III, but he was nearly entirely AFK during his 2 terms, and he wasn't nearly as good at communicating as Mr. Monk (hah!) is.

Korvin was on CSM 5, which was before my time, but from what I have heard, he was active and helpful. In my opinion, the Russian EVE community has been doing themselves a great disservice the last couple years. I love UAxDeath, and he is great at the summit, but most of the rest of the time, he is absent. Greene Lee has some trouble following rapid English conversation, and he was around some of the time, but he was still not participating as much as he could have. Hopefully Korvin gets elected and gives a proper voice to the many, many Russian speaking players of the game.

Some people might be surprised to see mynnna on my list at all. The reason for that is because I have spoken to him fairly extensively in the past few months, and I have been very impressed. I don't think he needs the votes to get elected, but I think he would be a very good choice for one of the two permanent summit seats.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CSM 8 - Vote For Wormholes (but not for me)

Hopefully people have seen the new dev blog, about the new voting system. I wanted to say a couple of things about the CSM 8 election.

First of all, as I have mentioned in several places, I am not running for re-election. I am not doing this because I am burnt out or feel that the CSM isn't effective, but for 2 main reasons. Firstly, I only get 3 weeks of vacation per year, and when on the CSM, all three weeks must be used to go to Iceland (2 summits plus Fanfest). Iceland is really nice, but I would like to see more of the world. Secondly, I want to play EVE again. Being on the CSM is a large time commitment, and it means that I don't spend nearly as much time playing the game as I would like. I miss my corp, and I want to get back to blowing stuff up and losing triage archons again.

Secondly, and most importantly, with the new voting system it is crucial that all wormhole residents make sure to list ALL wormhole candidates at the top of their ballots. I ask that all wormhole candidates pledge to ask their voters to do this. The reason I haven't held the wormhole primary that I was going to do is because this new voting system means we don't have to try to narrow down the field in order to make sure we are represented, as long as everyone includes all of the wormhole candidates at the top of their ballots. The following wormhole candidates are currently running, and I will keep this list up to date: (in alphabetical order)

Ayeson (JP) (Wormhole Forum) (Crossing Zebras Interview) (Blog)
Chitsa Jason (JP) (Wormhole Forum) (Crossing Zebras Interview) (Blog)
Cipreh (JP) (Wormhole Forum) (Crossing Zebras Interview) (Blog)
James Arget (JP) (Wormhole Forum) (Crossing Zebras Interview) (Blog)
Nathan Jameson (JP) (Wormhole Forum) (Crossing Zebras Interview) (Blog)

Edit: Night Beagle removed from list
(Some advice for candidates, if you don't have all the links filled in above, you need to do so ASAP)

As for the order in which you list the candidates, that is up to you. I will certainly be following the campaign closely, and I will be publishing my own list before the election. I would also like to note that I am offering paid campaign advice, which will not impact the order in which I list candidates. I have been approached by several of the wormhole candidates for my services, which I was not willing to offer until the question of a wormhole primary was settled. Since that is taken care of, I am available.

I would also like to mention that Bronya of the Down the Pipe podcast has hosted a debate among the wormhole candidates. It is well worth listening to.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Message Received

I want to start out by thanking each and every person who posted on the forums in support of my last blog post. I thought I might get a couple hundred replies at best, and you guys and gals went above and beyond. I want to especially thank you for staying civil, creative and positive in the entire thread. I read each and every post, and there were very few threats, and very little incoherent rage. It was, by far, the politest and most constructive threadnaught I've ever seen.

CCP has noticed. There have been a couple of posts by CCP staff in the thread, CCP Gargant posted here, and CCP Seagull posted here. I responded to CCP Gargant's post here. I have also talked to other CCP staff, and they certainly are aware of both the size of the thread and the respectful tone of the thread. CCP has said they will make a more substantive response to the thread in the next few days as well.

I do want to make sure people have realistic expectations for what sort of response CCP is likely to make. As my colleague Trebor has explained on his blog, CCP is in the middle of planning for the upcoming May expansion right now, and the CSM is heavily involved in that process. That means that even in the best case, CCP will not be deciding about work on the POS system for some weeks.

The other thing I want to address is that some people feel I either have been dishonest in my choice of quotes from the minutes, or that I am taking the wrong approach by bringing the issue to the players. On the selective quoting, all I can say is that I was there. Before the threadnaught, I felt that it was possible that CCP might not decide to either start work on the modular POS system or give us the fixes to the current POS system that everyone has been looking forward to for literally years. After all of you told CCP how important it is to you, I think it is a lot more likely that they will at least deliver some relatively simple improvements to the current POS system as part of the May release.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to EVE mail or convo me, or post here. I was also on the Down the Pipe podcast last night, you can listen here. I will also be on EVE radio in a few minutes, at 22:00 EVE time today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I am a small portion of the community

For those that haven't seen it, the minutes from the December CSM summit are out. A couple of important quotes:
Unifex stated that what CCP did was spend effort and prototype what would make a good POS system. It would, however, only affect the group of people who manage POSes. Focusing that amount of time and effort on some small singular aspect of the game and delivering only that “is what will kill the business”.      (page 37)
Taking the opportunity to talk about POSes, Alek queried why the CSM were so late in learning that POSes were hard to do now. Further, he disagreed that POSes would only touch a small subset of the players and asked how did CCP feel able to accomplish the feat of balancing null-sec, which Alek viewed as comparatively more difficult than POSes. Soundwave was the first to respond and told Alek that he felt some of the assertions he made were incorrect and, from a game design perspective, implementing changes to null-sec and the sov system in general would be easier than revamping the POS system. On top of that, Soundwave added, the POS system by itself would only affect a small portion of the community.                                       (page 38)

It wasn't in the minutes, but I spent a lot of time talking to Unifex about this at night. Needless to say, I disagreed with CCP's decision to not move ahead with work on the POS system. I also disagree that only a small group of people would feel the effects of a new POS system. From wormhole residents to Tech 2 producers to nullsec residents, a lot of people interact with POSes. Also, a redesigned POS system would both attract players that were frustrated to the point of giving up with the old POS system as well as new players who cannot use the current POS system because of limitations with roles.

Even ignoring the incorrect statements about who would care about a POS rewrite, I feel that we are owed some work on the POS system. Wormholers have been very patient with CCP during the last couple years while other supposedly higher priority issues have been addressed. During that time, we sat back and continued to pay our subscriptions to CCP, secure in the "promise" that we felt CCP had made at FanFest in 2012 and again at the May/June CSM summit: They were working on a new POS system, there was no reason to fix the many issues with the current one.

That hope has turned out to be a false one. CCP decided that the full modular POS system would require the effort of the whole company for a whole expansion, and they feel the benefits don't justify that much effort. I personally don't agree, but I do feel that if CCP is not going to deliver the full modular POS vision right now, they MUST deliver improvements to the current system. When we were first told about the decision to not deliver modular POSes this summer, I led the CSM in the creation of a list of the needed improvements. The first item on the list, and in my opinion the bare minimum that CCP should deliver, is to have real private ship and item storage at POSes.

The good news is that CCP has not done their planning for the May expansion yet. That planning is happening right now, and CSM is involved in the process. I want you, the players, to be involved as well. I want you to tell CCP that you want POS improvements to be the bare minimum for the next expansion. I want you to tell CCP that you are "a small portion of the community". I've created a thread, please go here and let CCP know that you are also a small portion of the community.