Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fit of the Week: Instablap Loki

Here's a ship that proves I'm just a really really bad person. And yet, every great once in a while in a low-sec gank fleet, I enjoy flying it.

[Loki, Instablap Loki]
Damage Control II
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Large Shield Extender II

Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M

Medium Targeting System Subcontroller II
Medium Targeting System Subcontroller II
Medium Core Defense Field Extender II

Loki Defensive - Adaptive Shielding
Loki Electronics - Tactical Targeting Network
Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
Loki Offensive - Turret Concurrence Registry
Loki Propulsion - Chassis Optimization


This ship is custom-built to do one thing: make sure a smallish gank fleet roaming through low-sec doesn't leave any pesky frigates behind. You've seen those frigates, so secure in the knowledge that anything with quick enough lock speed to tackle them can't tank the gate guns for long enough to hold them. This particularly applies to low-sec hacking site runners, who roam the wilds in frigs with two, three, or more Warp Core Stabilizers with the intent that even if you do somehow manage to tackle them, they're still going to get away.

Well, they won't get away from this really terrible little ship.

First rule of this ship: don't fly it unless your FC knows what you're doing and approves of it. Second rule of flying this ship: don't tell anyone else what you're doing if you don't have to. Oh my word, will you get yelled at.

Anyway, the basic idea behind this ship is incredibly quick lock time combined with very high alpha damage. You're not even bothering to tackle the target; you're just pumping a 4000 damage alpha into it every 12 seconds or so. That's sufficient to cut straight through most frigates in a single volley. The standard ship for these sorts of tactics is a Muninn fitted to a similar spec. The Loki beats it in several key areas:
  1. Alpha is 25% higher than the equivalent Muninn;
  2. Lock time is 50% quicker than the equivalent Muninn; and,
  3. the base tank is more than three times as strong.
That last bit is critical. An instablap fit Muninn is rather fragile; if it doesn't pop its target on the first go, it will soon have to get off the gate. And if a small group of frigs comes through, the Muninn won't get more than one or two before having to clear the gate. The Loki does more alpha and can stick to the gate longer so even if a group of frigs comes through, the Loki can clear one every 12 seconds or so until the frigs wise up and decide to depart.

The tank comes from a single T2 rig, a LSE, and an Invul. That last is not included in the equivalent Muninn and can be overheated. Resists are surprisingly strong: 70% plus even before heat, making this ship quite friendly to reps from nearby logistics.

But of course the key mods on this ship are the two lock time rigs and the two Sensor Boosters. This is about as terrible a way to play EVE Online as you can get but damn if it isn't effective. This ship can lock a typical frigate in just over one server tick meaning if the target isn't in an instawarp Malediction or something similar, you're pretty much assured of the ability to put damage on it.

Damage is applied through alpha volleys from artillery with good tracking. You can increase the volley damage somewhat with a faction Gyrostab but I don't bother. This ship is intended to be fairly inexpensive by T3 standards so if you lose it you can chuckle about what a bad person you were without feeling it too much. The lock time rigs, in particular, have fallen below 10 million ISK each making them quite affordable even on a budget. The one thing you do lose compared to the equivalent Muninn is cycle time; the HAC refires every 7.5 seconds. This is definitely nice to have (particularly in a frigate swarm). That said, the Loki gives more reliable kills.

A utility neut completes the package but particularly aggressive pilots can go for an Auto Targeting System II instead. This adds three more lockable targets so you can just lock up the world applying your alpha to each target you can keep locked long enough for your guns to cycle. Drop booster is an excellent addition to this ship, but for maximum terrible player attitude, add a Quafe Zero. This makes your lock time even more ridiculous...

This is a rather specialized ship, and will get you called all sorts of names, both by your fleet-mates and by the people you're shooting at. Still, volley tactics from a variety of ships are becoming standard practice right across New Eden. I'm seeing more and more players eschew Muninns for Tornados specifically fit for ultra-fast lock time and ultra-high tracking. But the Loki retains mobility over these ships and is more generally useful in fleets whereas the Tornado is better for gate-camping.

It's a bad old world out there. This ship will let you contribute to that, if you choose to... have fun!


All Fits of the Week are intended as general guidelines only.  You may not have the skills needed for this exact fit.  If you do not, feel free to adjust the fit to suit to meet your skills, including using meta 3 guns and "best named" defenses and e-war.  Ships can also be adjusted to use faction or dead-space modules depending on the budget of the pilot flying it.  Each FOTW is intended as a general guide to introduce you to concepts that will help you fit and to fly that particular type of ship more aggressively and well. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The lost gem

I'm coming up to my fourth Iceland trip in the last thirteen months. Each of these trips, my suitcase has come home progressively lighter on the return trip than the outgoing trip. That's because each time, I've been bringing small and large gifts for people I know I'm going to see while I'm there. For Fanfest 2014, I have some question about whether my main suitcase will be too heavy to fly. ;-)

But for Fanfest 2013, I didn't know that many people at CCP very well, so I only brought two gifts that first visit. One was for the alliance-mate who agreed to pick me up at the airport. The other was for Jon Lander, CCP Unifex.

Now I'm not going to get into what the gift was, but you can rest assured it was pretty nice. And it was given for a simple reason: as far as I'm concerned, Jon Lander saved EVE Online. To keep the record straight, I'll say that I had my doubts about this guy when he was first named to the position in December 2011. But over the following 18 months, he made a believer out of me. CCP had just come out of the harrowing summer of rage, subscriptions were falling like a meteor, and it seemed that CCP could do nothing right.

Jon Lander came in and very quietly and resolutely pulled the game out of the pit that :fearless: had driven it into, got it into the air and got it flying again. He got the troops re-energized and moving. Without him, I sincerely believe that there wouldn't be an EVE right now, or at best, it would be a shadow of its former self. He focused development on what customers wanted and then he got the teams to deliver.

Is that a strategy for long-term success? No. The apocryphal Henry Ford quote fits here: "If I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have said 'faster horses.'"

But he also came up with a development strategy that I strongly suspect will be the bedrock principle for how CCP develops games for the next ten years, and he led development through the ground-up rebuilding of one of the core systems of EVE, Crimewatch. When he left the post of Executive Producer of EVE Online last year at this time, I was upset but understood his reasons. He can talk about them if he ever cares to. But knowing what a gem he had in his hand, CCP CEO Hilmar P├ętursson seems to have very sensibly given him carte blanche: work where you want, work on what you want. Hilmar clearly knew the value that Lander had brought to CCP in his previous job.

So yeah, my first ever gift to a CCP employee went to Jon Lander. So you can imagine how I feel hearing today that Jon Lander is leaving CCP. This is confirmed by his LinkedIn profile, which publicly lists his final position at CCP as a Senior Development Director... in Atlanta, after spending six months publicly rotating between CCP's mobile strategy and CCP's Valkyrie strategy. What was Lander doing in Atlanta, and what was he Senior Development Director of? That has never been announced by CCP.

In the meantime, I say farewell to a legend of EVE development. I'm still a believer. I myself will be watching very closely to see where this guy ends up. I'm sure it will be a universe worth exploring.

New MMO blues

So, The Elder Scrolls Online had a major patch overnight to bring the game up to version 1.03. For thousands of players (including me), the patch updater is badly broken and wrecks the game installation. There's a posted fix for it; it's called an "Error 209" problem. But the fix isn't working for lots of players (including me). So for the players for whom the simpler fix isn't working, the devs are dropping back to "reinstall the game!" as their fallback position. Why yes, I am being serious.

Fortunately, I have CDs to spare myself a 30GB download. Mostly.


So, in honor of ESO's first great screw-up, I thought I'd make fun of the developer of one of the game's quests for a few minutes. ;-)

The quest we're going to talk about is called The Dungeon Delvers. And it's hysterically badly designed. As a matter of fact, it's so poorly designed that it should be forever preserved as a case study into bad MMO level design. Here's how it works:
  1. For those that know Elder Scrolls lore, the dungeon is a Dwemer ruin populated entirely by Dwemer "spiders".
  2. The level itself is split into three large circular rooms connected in series by corridors. Call them Room 1, Room 2, and Room 3. The entry door spits you out into a corridor leading to Room 1.
  3. Before you reach Room 1, you are stopped by an NPC that hands you a Macguffin and explains that the Macguffin will allow you to take control of a damaged spider, but "it might take a few tries." The NPC advises you to take the Macguffin into Room 1 and try it out.
  4. Inside Room 1 are spawn points for about eight spiders, each with a spawn rate of about once per minute. As a result, the room spawns about eight spiders per minute.
  5. It takes about four tries for the Macguffin to successfully take control of a damaged spider. So you whack one a few times and try the Macguffin until it works. If it doesn't work, it kills the spider. If it does work, you get a little spider pet. The game directs you to Room 2.
  6. In Room 2, you again find the NPC, who now advises you that some of the machinery in Room 2 needs repairing and for that you need repair parts. The spiders were originally Dwemer repair bots, so she advises you to go back to Room 1, kill a few more spiders, then use the Macguffin which will now tell your spider to salvage the dead spider for parts. Come back when you've done this to five spiders.
  7. So you return to Room 1 with the same eight spiders, whack them a few times, then apply the Macguffin. If you do it right, a counter goes up telling you that you've succeeded. You keep doing this until the counter reaches five.
  8. Then you go back to Room 2 with your pet spider in tow. The rest of the quest is irrelevant to my discussion.
By now, the experienced among you realize what the problem is and are laughing about it. For the rest, I will explain.

There are eight spider spawn points, which will spawn about eight spiders per minute total. To complete the quest, you need to damage something between nine and 14 spiders depending on your reflexes and your diligence to the quest instructions. So, if you were in the level by yourself, you would spend three to four minutes in Room 1 to complete the two steps necessary, plus a minute or so for reading instructions and travel time.

But you're not by yourself, are you?

So yeah, Room 1 is complete and utter chaos. Remember: for the first step, you have to damage the spider, then apply the Macguffin. If you kill the spider, you have to try again! Meanwhile for the second step, those players just want to kill the spiders. Therefore, at any given moment, there can be upwards of a dozen or more people in Room 1, all falling on any spider that is crazy enough to spawn and often obliterating it in a fraction of a second. If anyone manages to apply the Macguffin, it's a miracle. It would be funny as hell if it weren't so stupid:
  • You've got people just coming into the room for the first time who haven't read the instructions properly and are smashing any spider they see and wondering why the quest doesn't work;
  • then you've got people who did read the instructions who are trying to be fairly gentle with a spider so they can Macguffin it, wondering why there's a dozen people in here smashing any spider stupid enough to show its face, not even close to understanding why, and getting frustrated;
  • then you've got people who did somehow manage to get step one completed who are only motivated to smash spiders as fast as they appear and getting frustrated because before they can get their hit in, someone else has already obliterated it and claimed credit for the kill; and,
  • you've got a few people who have figured all this out and are just smashing spiders as fast as they can just to grief groups two and three.
  • Finally, a lore book points you at this very same dungeon(!) as a source of a treasure chest, so you've got not a few randoms wandering through and killing spiders just 'cause they're in the way.
It's unbelievable, hysterical chaos. It's almost EVE-like in its grandeur.

There's no equivalent of "local" in ESO: just one chat channel for the entire zone. But it's actually pretty easy to imagine the rage this room promotes all over the world. And if a group enters Room 1 together? Forget about it. How did I myself get through it? As I keep mentioning, I live in California. So I waited until late one night and came in and cleared the thing while everyone else was asleep.

So yeah, in the theme park that is this part of Elder Scrolls Online, I expect this little ride is going to have an "out of order" sign slapped on its front door before too long while the level designer gets a talking to from his team lead and gets the job of rearranging this mess.

And my reinstall is now 93% complete. That was diverting.

CSM8 Status Report: Week fifty

I'm going to keep this update fairly short.

The CSM9 election season is in full swing. If you haven't voted yet, why are you reading this? Go vote!

CSM8 is suddenly busy again with meetings, more Skype chats, and more private forum threads. As we get closer and closer to the release of the summer expansion, the topics of more and more of these will be appearing in the Features and Ideas section of the EVE-O forums: pirate faction battleships and mining barges and exhumers, for two. We'll also be seeing dev-blogs of the larger changes, such as the drone rebalance going in for summer. Most of these as they appear will be getting reviewed by CSM8 as we head out the door and some devs seem to realize that they're getting their last shot at getting our input to spot any holes in these announcements...

Now that they're public, they go to all of you for your comments, so don't neglect to do that!

CSM8 will be holding our last Town Hall of our term on:
Saturday, April 26 at 1900 EVE time
As always, EVE University and EVE Radio will be providing their excellent technical support to our efforts. I'd like to once again thank Neville Smit and DJ Wiggles for their assistance! If you have questions, send them to me either in the EVE-O forum thread above or to my EVE mail and I'll get them added to the queue for the Town Hall. Hope to see you there!

In publishing the Winter Summit Minutes, the minutes for one session got left out by mistake.. that session is now available. However, just to give you a hard time, I'll leave which session was missing as an exercise for the student. ;-) In addition, the remaining sessions will be released once the topics of those sessions are no longer under NDA. Don't think we've forgotten about the DUST session from the Summer Summit, either, because we haven't. The content of that one is also still under NDA.

Speaking of DUST, I realized this week that I don't think I've ever mentioned: the CSM and DUST 514's CPM stay in pretty close contact. We have Skype channels both with the CSM and CPM only, and with the CSM, CPM, and CCP devs that work on the EVE-DUST link. You'd be surprised at the amount of cross-talk there is between the two player councils, particularly as we enter election season for both of us. And it's very very common for us to share ideas and strategies for how to deal with our mutual enemies in Reyk and Shanghai. ;-)

And that, I think, is all there is to talk about this week! More next week...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Darkness

Just a quickie, but bad news.

This morning, CCP announced they are halting development of the World of Darkness MMO. This follows the announcement at the beginning of the year that 15 people from that staff had lost their jobs and CCP was "reevaluating" the project and deciding what to do with it. It looks like they've decided.

The net result of this is that 56 more CCP employees have now lost their jobs. CCP itself will be 100% focused on EVE Online, DUST 514, and Valkryie development, or as the press release puts it, this "will mark the first time since 2006 that the entirety of CCP will be working on a single universe." My sympathies go out to those CCP employees and their families affected by this unfortunate situation and I hope that you find employment elsewhere very soon.

The press release states that the realities of the WoD MMO "were falling regretfully short" of their aspirations. That aspiration list was becoming long, interesting, and challenging. In particular, the devs were hoping to combine the strength of an EVE-style sandbox to an ever-growing theme park of developed content, something that no game has managed to successfully combine yet.

In the meantime, some of the WoD developers "have been offered roles on other projects inside the company." We'll have to see what this means in the coming days. We'll also have to see what the future has in store for CCP's Atlanta office; a few of the company's management team have been based there...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Elder Scrolls Online Mini-Guide: Fishing

One of the more rare rewards in ES games are points added to your skill trees. Typically the only way to gain them is by checking hundreds of bookshelves across the game world. A small percentage of them grant a point in a single one of your skill lines. Still, touching a bookshelf takes but a moment and there are so many in the game world that it's worth your time to touch the hundreds of them that are required to build up a measurable number of points.

In the process of this, though, you'll encounter a lot of ES lore as well as in-game player guides (as well as funny stories, bawdy tales, hints to treasure hidden in the game, and the like).

Well, I encountered a book today that amused me so much that I thought I would share, so here you go...



Did I mention there's a fishing mini-game in Elder Scrolls Online? There is. From time to time in the game's waterways, you will find splashing pools identified as good fishing spots. Sometimes, there will even be an NPC there fishing to give you the general idea. So far, it seems to be nearly the exact equivalent of mining in EVE Online: a dull -- if soothing -- way to make a small amount of gold per hour, about 600-750 per hour in most spots as far as I can tell.

The trick is that -- per the guide above -- there are about ten different types of bait and four different types of fishing spots. For each of the four types of fishing spots, you have to use the right bait:
  • Swamps and sewers, bait to use: crawlers and fish roe.
  • Rivers, bait to use: insect parts and shad.
  • Lakes and pools, bait to use: guts and minnows.
  • Ocean, bait to use: worms and chub.
So you EVE players can think of those as mining crystals, I guess, except that you have to gather them yourself from various sources. Insect parts, for instance, come from the various insects that are available in each zone. Guts come from the level 1 creatures that wander through each zone. Crawlers are associated with undead kills. Worms can typically be gathered when uprooting harvestable plants. As far as I can tell, roe comes from using the wrong type of bait while fishing (you get roe instead of a fish).

Anyway, all of this is the most boring game-play imaginable but Bethesda has thrown in a couple of interesting twists:
  1. There are achievements for catching fish, particularly the biggest, most rewarding fish in the game; and,
  2. the more people who are fishing in a particular fishing spot, the more likely it is that you will catch those rewarding fish.
This is almost insidious torture for some achievement-based players: to get 100% of the achievements in the game, not only will players have to indulge in this "game play", but if they really want those achievements, they're going to have to talk a large number of other people into it as well... That's gotta be social engineering at its finest.

I see what you did there, Bethesda...

Finally, for you suicide-gankers: sorry. There does not appear to be a way to come up behind another player who is fishing and club him in the back of the skull. ;-)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Who I think will be on CSM9

Last year -- for political reasons -- I deferred talking about who I thought was going to win CSM8 until the voting was over. I'm not going to do that for a couple of reasons this year. First, I'm less plugged into the politics this year than I was last year. As a result, I have less reason to care if the differences between my endorsements and my predictions are emphasized. And second, frankly, there's less politics this year than there were last year.

For CSM8, the lines between a lot of the candidates were extremely blurry. To use one example, we had five wormhole candidates last year. Because of all their cross-endorsements, it was nearly impossible to predict who would be top pick among them. I guessed right that it would be James Arget, but that's all it really was: a guess. I also correctly guessed that two of the five would get in but was wrong about my second prediction because of all the blur between the candidates. The same thing happened with "Trebor's group" of (IIRC) 11 candidates. The lines between us couldn't have been more blurry if they'd been drawn with finger paint.

This year, the lines between candidates are a lot sharper.

The Mittani predicted in his most recent CEO update that CSM voter turn-out will be poor. I predict the same, though for somewhat different reasons. Though the first half of CSM8's term was marked with several controversies, the second half has been rather calm (the Erotica 1 situation notwithstanding). That will tend to depress turn-out, as will the relatively unremarkable feature set of the last couple of expansions. Don't get me wrong: Odyssey and Rubicon haven't been bad expansions. But they've been pretty quiet, non-contentious ones and that's also linked to low voter turn-out. Finally, there hasn't been as much publicity associated with this election cycle as last year... and last year had the least publicity of any CSM election I've seen.

In short, without a major "issue" to champion and without fanfare, I expect we'll see a relatively low number of votes, probably around the sane number last year: 50000 or so. Lower turn-out tends to favor bloc candidates and candidates with a strong voter base behind them. Without the political groupings of last year, that will be more of the former than the latter.

So, those are my justifications for thinking what I think about who will win seats on CSM9. These are in rough order of "strength" but don't get too plugged in to where I put people number-wise. But the list starts with...

The top two

These are the candidates that I expect to win the two "permanent" seats on the CSM, meaning that they will be invited to the Summer Summit, the Winter Summit, and to Fanfest 2015.

1. Sion Kumitomo
Sion has barely campaigned, and what he has said has been contentious in some circles. In addition, this is absolutely not his fault, but I personally feel like he's an excellent representative of a lot of what's wrong with EVE Online. And none of this is going to matter in the slightest. He's at the top of the CFC ballot, so he's going to take over mynnna's "permanent" seat.
2. Ali Aras
This is a bit of a gamble, but I feel like Ali has proven her capabilities as part of CSM8 and will be taking over my "permanent" seat this year. The reason this prediction is a bit of a gamble is because some of Ali's strength last year came from her Provi voters whom she won't have this year for the most part. Still, the combination of votes from people she proved herself to last year, down-ballot CFC votes, and her smart work on cross-endorsements will carry her over the top. If Ali doesn't take this seat, though, it will go to...

The upper tier

3. Sugar Kyle
And what a campaign this lady has run! Needless to say, I'll be delighted to see another strong blogger on the CSM. I think a year from now we're all going to be talking about Sugar as one of the stand-out stars of CSM9. She's built a really solid base of support from her readers as well as other low-sec residents. She should easily have sufficient #1 votes to earn a seat on her own right. My only question is how strong her cross-candidate support is, something that's so critical in the STV process.
4. Xander Phoena
Xander might modestly pooh-pooh his own chances, but even as he does so he's swung strong endorsements from right across New Eden's political spectrum. He'll have his own votes from name recognition based on his pod-cast and the excellent work he did with CSM8 interviews last year. And he'll swing additional votes appearing high on my candidate list, the CFC candidate list, and a couple of others. He should put in a very strong showing.
5. mynnna
Because of his great work on CSM8 and his recognizability to CFC players and renters, mynnna will have far more #1 votes than he needs to survive the first eight or ten rounds of candidate culling that occurs in the STV process. After that, a flood of unneeded Sion votes will easily carry him into the upper tier of CSM9 candidates.
6. Corebloodbrothers
Core is another contentious candidate -- I've had a number of people surprised that I endorsed him because of some of his views. But this year, he's got some of the most motivated voters around. He'll have a strong supply of #1 votes to start from thanks to his undiluted Provibloc base (last year, he had to share these votes with Ali) and he should have sufficient cross-candidate support to land among the upper tier of elected candidates.
7. corbexx
Wormhole votes aren't as enthusiastic or motivated as they were last year, but the ones that are enthusiastic will be putting their #1 votes down for corbexx. He'll then receive sufficient trickle down from two early wormhole candidate eliminations to land him among the upper tier of candidates.

Everyone else

8. Major JSilva
This one's a bit of a gamble: I feel like Gorski Car has slightly better name recognition. That said, Pandemic Legion voters are motivated and numerous (and they have lots and lots of accounts). It's been a long time since they failed to take a CSM seat and they won't fail to do so again this year.
9. Psychotic Monk
This is another gamble on my part. I'm gambling that even though the disciples of "high sec content" are not particularly numerous, they are extremely motivated. I think in a year with depressed voter turn-out, they'll have sufficient push to get their most recognized candidate through to a CSM seat. Monk's particular strength will be that for the people who want him in, they will absolutely put him #1. Put another way, if Psychotic Monk is elected, it will be by people who are angry with me. ;-)
10. Steve Ronuken
Are there enough dedicated industrialists and people who care about EVE application development to get one of their own onto the CSM? I believe there are. As a matter of fact, I feel like Steve is in the same position this year that Mike Azariah as last year: he's built up a lot of quiet support from people who will just show up to vote for him without advertising that they're doing so. I bet against Mike last year. I'm not betting against Steve this year.
11. Mike Azariah
As I just mentioned, Mike surprised me last year. But I feel like his professionalism, likability, doggedness, his smart plays in terms of cross-candidate endorsements, his strong performance on CSM8, and the desire for a lot of high-sec PvE'ers to see one of their own on the CSM again will carry him through to reelection. I myself will be delighted to see it if it goes down this way. I really enjoyed working with Mike this last year.
12. Alner Greyl
The Russian candidates joined the process late and are being remarkably quiet. Still, there are tens of thousands of Russian players who will want another Russian representative on the CSM this year and will put Russian candidates at the top of all their (numerous) votes. Of the Russians running, Alner Greyl strikes me as the most likely to take this seat.
13. Proclus Diadochu
Will the wormhole voters manage to elect two representatives to the CSM again on CSM9? I believe they will, again thanks to depressed voter turn-out. There aren't a lot of motivated "issue" voters this year, but those that do exist are wormhole voters who want this freakin' POS situation addressed. They'll come out to vote, and I think they'll do it in numbers sufficient for there to again be two wormhole members on the CSM. The question is, who will the second one be? I want it to be James Arget -- he did a terrific job on CSM8. But I feel like he doesn't have the strength with his constituency this year that he had last and Proclus will slip past him.
14. progodlegend
This one is such a wildcard. There are a lot of people who could slip in here: Aram Kachaturian, Jayne Fillion, DNSBLACK, DJ FunkyBacon, Mangala Solaris... hell, if you'd asked me a month ago, I would have said Matias Otero was a lock for a seat. But Matias is suffering from internal Brave Newbie drama (and he's run an almost ridiculously poor campaign to boot). I don't feel like his voters will be motivated. I also don't feel like a number of the edge candidates have the strong base of #1 votes to start from. The person that does have a strong base is progodlegend. He jumped into the race very late but in a year with depressed turn-out, I suspect this starting base and name recognition is going to carry him past a lot of first-time candidates.

And those are my predictions! It was far tougher to do this year than last year; there are a lot of really strong candidates this year that in other years would have easily swung seats for themselves. Hopefully, we'll see a lot of these first-time candidates run again next year.

QOTW: A little racy for a dev-blog...

I don't do a Quote of the Week every week, but when I do I try to highlight something really special. This time is no exception. The latest developer spotlight is on CCP BasementBen, the Art Manager for EVE Development. And he had this to say about his team's craft:
Q: What's the one thing you wish you could add to EVE's art that you know no one would let you?
A: Nipples on corpses. But we have clearly been instructed not to.
What can I possibly add to that? Absolutely nothing. Hee!

Except to point you at the question and answer right above that one, which if anything is even more wonderful than the nipples question. Go read it.