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...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wabbit season!

Tomorrow, CSM7 election season begins in earnest with the publication of the list of approved candidates and the "beginning" of the nomination stage.

In reality, of course, the nomination stage has been going on for a few weeks now, so what gets published tomorrow will -- for most purposes -- be the candidate list.  As a result, I'd like to issue two sets of endorsements this year for candidates that I'm going to support, either vocally or directly, with one or more of my votes.

I'm going to start with the CSM6 incumbents.  So far, ten of the fourteen current CSM6 members have said they're standing for reelection, and as far as I can tell, all ten have easily passed the 100 "likes" needed to be considered official candidates.  We can pretty safely assume that since they've been on the CSM for the last year, they're also not going to have any trouble with the other required qualifications.  It's equally safe to say that of the remaining three that haven't declared, none of them is likely to be a major factor in the election since their bases of support appear to be gone.  So let's go with what we have.

As I said a couple of weeks back, I'll be endorsing seven candidates: the candidates that I hope get the top seven seats when CSM7 is elected.  These aren't necessarily who I think will be elected.  These are who I want to be elected to those top seven seats.  I'll write an additional post later on who I think will be elected and why.

Of the ten CSM6 candidates running for reelection, I am endorsing four of them: Two Step, Trebor Daehdoow, The Mittani, and UAxDEATH.

When looking at the current candidates running for reelection, I looked at three factors:
  • Have this candidate done the work?
  • Does this candidate best represent an important segment of the player base?
  • Does this candidate deserve to represent us?
With this in mind, let's look at each candidate in turn.

Two Step, more than any other member of CSM5 or CSM6, demonstrates the fundamental correctness of Mynxee's goal of making the so-called "alternate" members of the CSM part of the process.  Barely elected to CSM6 at all and dismissed as a wormhole specialty candidate, Two Step showed that he didn't really know or care what the word "alternate" meant.  He simply did the work.  More than any other single member of CSM6, he has been visible to the EVE Online player base in a variety of places, and has shown interest in multiple play-styles, not just his own.  Two Step still represents an important segment of the EVE player base, but I'd now argue that it's larger than simply wormhole dwellers... it's every EVE player that has no interest in sovereignty-based play and super-cap blobs.  Two Step deserves a full seat at the table in CSM7, and will be a terrific balance against these powerful forces.  Two Step not only has my endorsement, he'll be receiving at least one of my votes.

Trebor Daehdoow, despite my teasing, has shown that he also deserves a seat at the table.  Trebor's greatest strength is his ability to get along with and balance a lot of disparate elements that have made up the last two CSMs.  Yes, he's a little bit stubborn when he wants to get his way, but he balances that with the ability to listen, and the willingness to directly challenge CCP employees when it's clear they're on the wrong track.  He might not agree with you (or them) when the discussion is over, but he can prove that he's listened to the arguments on both sides.  I'm not convinced that very many other CSM6 members did that this year.  Trebor has also shown a continued willingness to engage with the EVE player base in a variety of ways.  He's also one of CSM6's strongest communicators and has done more work than the others in terms of documenting the results.  Trebor will also be receiving one of my votes, the same one he got last year.  ;-)

If I gave Trebor a hard time this year, that's a quarter of the hard time I gave The Mittani this year.  Still, if your definition of success is "engaged with CCP", then The Mittani is the most successful CSM Chair in the history of the CSM.(1)  Yes, he's frightfully arrogant, and yes, he's way more interested in his own ideas than anyone else's, but the simple fact is that where previous CSMs talked at CCP, Mittens talked to them and with them.  He's also in a perfect position to use his in-game power, his out-of-game name recognition, and his personal knowledge of a lot of the CCP devs to channel player annoyance with CCP into constructive avenues, and he understands just enough of the business side to get by.  If Mittens has a weak point, it's that he regards virtually the entire EVE player base as dumb-ass pubbies, but he seemed to mellow somewhat in the last year, and we can hope that he'll continue to do so in the coming year.  ;-)  Mittens won't be receiving one of my votes, but he doesn't need it anyway...

I don't have as much to say about UAxDEATH as I do about the other three, but it's clear that Death has done a better job engaging with the Russian portion of the EVE player base much more successfully than past Russian CSM members.  He also made an effort, particularly late in 2011, to start to talk to people who don't play EVE in Cyrillic as well.  There's no question that he best represents this important part of the player base.  More impressive to me, though, Death has shown real open-mindedness when it came to attacks on his core play style.  He's open and honest when it comes to botting, has been open to the discussion of removing drone alloys, and has a great sense of humor that even a westerner can appreciate.

Now let's talk about the people that I'm not endorsing, and why, starting with the hard one.

I'm not endorsing Seleene.  Now, don't get me wrong: I really like Seleene, and of the CSM6 members, he's probably the one that I've actually spent the most time chatting with this past year.  Hell, he and I had a terrific two plus hour Skype conversation not a month ago (he urged me to run, even when I told him my belief that I'd just take votes away from him).  But somewhere along the way in the last year, Seleene has slipped sideways and lost his focus.  I don't know any other way of putting it.  Part of it is simply how darn busy the guy is.  I gave him a very hard time about wasting the first few months of his term, but even over the course of the rest of the year, it was pretty clear that he wasn't 100% engaged.  His blogging was greatly diminished, and his posting to the various fora decreased substantially.  I'm not even convinced that his heart is in this run.  I think in his heart of hearts, he'd be more than happy with an alternate seat this year, and honestly: that's probably the place where he can do the most good.  The full members need his insights into CCP and the development process, yes... but I don't feel like they need his presence.

I'm not endorsing Meissa Anunthiel.  This year, Meissa abandoned his traditional neutrality on political topics and on at least two occasions, directly advocated for positions where he personally or his alliance generally would directly benefit.  The more glaring example was his advocacy for "wormhole stabilizers", which would do only one thing: bring the blob to the one and only part of space that is still mercifully blob-free.  Meissa needs a break, and some perspective.  He'll probably win a seat regardless of what I think, but I hope he doesn't.

I'm not endorsing either Elise Randolph or Prometheus Exenthal, and that is just freakin' sad.  Either of them could have, and should have, been a vocal champion for non-sov-holding small-gang play.  Neither has demonstrated an ability to do this.  Prom is particularly disappointing... after ignoring his post for six months, when he did finally become engaged with the process, it seems pretty clear that he drank the sov Kool-Aid.  Neither have been strong representatives for non-blob play.  Hell, Pandemic Legion is practically embracing the blob.  If you're tempted to vote either of these candidates thinking they will be champions for the small gang, I urge you to put your vote elsewhere.

And finally, neither Draco Llasa nor Darius III are representative of any particular group of EVE Online players, and neither distinguished themselves during the year that they've already had to represent us.

That leaves three endorsements, which I will be giving to three new faces running this year.  Watch for that post in a few days.


(1) If your definition is "brought player concerns to CCP", then the most successful is still Mynxee.

26 comments:

  1. I appreciate the endorsement! I certainly agree that your other 3 choices are good choices as well.

    I think you may have been a bit unfair to Seleene, to say that *anyone* (except for the trolls) on CSM6 wasn't working our asses off for the first 3 or 4 months of our term just isn't true.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am really glad to see the "alt" designation be discarded by CCP. It served no meaningful purpose and was divisive. The new structure is much better. I agree Two step has earned a Top 7 seat on CSM7 and I hope he gets one.

    Looking forward to seeing your "new faces" post.

    Thanks for the mention :) Maybe I will wake Mynxee up on Twitter for the duration of the "official" campaign and election period, and kibbitz with the tweetfleet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. it'll be interesting to see who you endorse besides leboe

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Mittani is an interesting choice based on your 3 factors. He specifically said that he doesn't represent the playerbase, only his alliance (?).

    ReplyDelete
  5. CONFRIMIGN I AM NOT ABEL TO WATE TO REEDIGN YOU INDOORSMENT OF MINTROLIO.

    KEEP UP GOOD BLOGGIGN~

    ReplyDelete
  6. Damn insomnia. But since I can't sleep, I might as well respond to your endorsement of Death over Seleene.

    Should we assume--given the sequence they are mentioned in the post above--that it came down to a case of one vs the other for you? If so, how close was it and what specifically tipped the scales in favor of Death?

    On what are you basing your judgement that Death is engaging Russian players more effectively than, say, Vuk or Korvin did in CSM5? I personally have no firsthand observations about any of their activities or comparative levels of support in the Russian community. I am curious what information you have and how you got it that makes you so sure that Death has been more effectively engaged than his predecessors?

    I'm not quite sure where you are coming from with your comments about Seleene's heart not being in CSM6. Viewed collectively, his CSM-related blog posts, EVE-O forum posts, and FHC posts offer substantial information, opinion, and insight on a wide variety of CSM, CCP, and game issues--more, in fact, than any other CSM6 candidate including Trebor (and, I'm willing to bet, Death even if you factor in his Russian forum activity). He has remained active on Twitter, responsive on Skype, and I assume responsive to evemail. Except for the typical pre-election spike in March of last year, his average post count per month has been fairly steady with the usual upticks after key CSM events. Where did he sideslip, especially in comparison to every other CSM6 member who seeks re-election?

    Long story short, given the observable facts, I really don't get how you can imply (as I feel you have) that Death outperformed Seleene on CSM6. Nor do I understand your dismissive, frankly insulting implication that Seleene's presence at the Summits would not add considerable value.

    But...to each his own. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree when it comes to an endorsement of Seleene vs. Death.

    Ok, now that's off my chest maybe I can actually get to sleep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fair questions across the board, but you build this on an assumption that I didn't make. The question for Seleene didn't come down to Seleene v. Death. The question for Seleene came down to "Top 7 or Bottom 7"?

      I would really like to see a Top 7 that cuts across a lot of play styles and a lot of player sources. If there were still going to be nine seats at the table, then I would have endorsed Seleene for one of them. Since there are going to be seven, that means I had to make hard choices (and trust me: they WERE hard).

      Viewed from that perspective, a Russian player with a "traditional" (if there is such a thing) Russian play style was a better fit than Seleene. Both are long-time players and long-time super-cap pilots, but Death uses his in the more intended fashion than Seleene does. As a result, if I look at who both players represent, in a lot of ways, Seleene and Death represent the same kinds of players. Who BEST represents them? Again, a VERY tough call, but I felt Death did.

      And, as I said, Death has proven an ability to engage with the players (he has been quite vocal in a number of places, from FHC to the Fireside Chats) and has shown both practicality and a sense of humor about botting/drone alloys/etc.

      It was a very difficult decision (particularly on a personal level!), but I stand by it. You'll have to judge my Top 7 after you see it in full.

      Delete
  7. I like your line up, and pretty much totally agree with what your saying. Personally I am not voting for any of the old CSM but putting all my votes into the one candidate that has something new to say and has so far been a candidate that listens to people and is willing to put time and effort into a long neglected eve problem namely FW even before CSM came up, Hans Jagerblitzen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Time for Mittens to go. I'm undecided on whether Trebor or Two Step gets the nod for #1 position, but I'd vote for a brick before voting for Mittens. Sure, he's a loud and effective voice, but he's only interested in things that benefit him and his style of play. If you want to start playing bureaucrat and take a position of leadership that is meant to represent ALL styles of play, and that's what the chairman is supposed to represent, then he needs to act like that. He didn't, he doesn't, and he won't. In standard US political fashion, he operates like the wolf with the keys to the hen house. He'll take as much as he can for his own interests, and fuck the rest of the player base. Any benefit that any other style of play gets from his plans, is pure coincidence. Time for CCP to wake up and realize that a dickhead snake oil salesman like Mittens does not represent the player base and isn't going to encourage new people to start playing Eve. Unfortunately, the voting system in Eve is pretty much useless and Mittens has more than enough psychophants and special interest groups in pocket to win the chair position again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That simply isn't true, despite all the work that Mittens does to make you think it is. Mittens has probably been the loudest voice on the CSM on issues like the New Player Experience and getting people started playing EVE.

      I know he works hard to come off like a space dic(tator), but he does work hard to make the game better, even if he won't admit it publicly.

      Delete
    2. Aye, there are reasons he works his image the way he does. Bet most people here can realise that.

      Delete
  9. aaaaannnnd I'm done with your blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi-sec carebear quits reading blog; dog barks at cat.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be heart-broken at this comment or what. I'm sure it's because I endorsed Mittens, but I live in this little place that I like to call "reality", and the reality of the situation says Mittens has been effective as CSM Chair.

      I realize that he's despised by many, and I flatly said as much in my "Harry Potter" post. But the fact that he's despised doesn't make him less effective. It might be emotionally satisfying for some people to rail that "MITTENS IS TEH SUXXORS!" It's just not particularly true, and I'm not going to try to score a few points with Mittens-haters by saying something that I don't think is true.

      If I lose a reader or two because of that, that's the nature of the beast.

      Delete
    3. I think most people forget that The Mittani is a persona Alexander Gianturco created for himself. Yes, The Mittani is as pleasant as a rusty nail stuck in your eye, but anyone who believes Alexander stays in character 24/7 (including during his dealings with CCP) really needs to remember that EvE is a playground.

      @ Jester, if you write three paragraphs when you're not affected by the loss of a reader; I wonder how many you would write if you cared :P

      Delete
    4. and I wouldn't want to read your blog if you paid attention to the number of people reading your blog.

      That you responded to that dork is troubling.

      Delete
    5. ::grins:: I didn't respond to him. I responded to Stevie. ;-)

      Was still a point worth making about Mittens.

      Delete
  10. Agree with Pointy.

    Mittens has demonstrated repeatedly that he believes that the CSM is just another part of his Eve meta-gaming, and he'll do whatever he can to leverage benefit for himself and his cronies, at the expense of everyone else.

    This is a major fail. The CSM members need to be able to completely step away from their in-game personas, and provide CCP with the necessary feedback to improve the game experience for everyone, not just a particular minority group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you look at all the people running this time, you can pretty much count on one hand the number of people that seem able to do just that.

      Delete
  11. Okay, I don't mind the 'endorsement' bit, but your given explanations are just off the reservation m8.

    First off, I'm kinda confused as to how ANY of us could have wasted the "first few months" considering we spent the first few months in a near daily fight with CCP over... ummm... everything. That just doesn't make any sense at all. Within a month of taking office, we were in Iceland. Within weeks after that, EVE exploded into torches and pitchforks. My blog had over 5k hits in April and May. It had nearly 32k hits in June.

    No, I do not blog with regularity but I do try to make it a point to do so when major events involving the CSM take place. It's a CSM blog, and it was still more detailed in terms of actual CSM events than any other candidate.

    Additionally, as with other CSM 6 members, the advent of the Skype channel with CCP means that there is quite a lot that goes on which you cannot see. I know that this is a sore spot with many people, but short of copy / pasting some of that stuff, there isn't really a way to reflect efforts made there.

    You say that I 'lost my focus'? How does that reconcile with the corner EVE has turned in the past 4-5 months? If anything, because of everything that went down, my focus has gotten sharper, as has that of the other serving CSM members. This comment feels as if you took something I said to you in confidence and then turned into something else.

    As for my 'heart not being in this'... I don't even know what to say. What sane person that has been a developer for the game, been to Iceland countless times already and has nothing to really gain by running (fame? money? a pony?) would do this again whose heart wasn't 150% 'in it'? My heart is just fine, m8. As for being happy with an alt position, if that's where I land, fine. I won't be happy about it, but I won't work any less hard because of it.

    I honestly feel as if you have taken part of the recent conversation that we had, along with other past comments, and let my willingness to be very blunt and open about certain things color your thoughts. As I said, the 'endorsement' bit isn't what I'm upset about; it's your perception of my dedication to this that I take issue with. Now you can dissect that assertion all you want, but nothing you say is going to change the fact that I feel completely sucker punched by some of your recent comments.

    You can say whatever you want about what you think has or has not been done but questioning where my HEART is with regard to all of this? You have GOT to be joking?? :(

    BTW - If you've been following the RU community at all, you'd know that Death is being trolled to oblivion and beyond and his chances of re-election are, sadly, not so great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the advent of the Skype channel with CCP means that there is quite a lot that goes on which you cannot see"

      I know this is really not the place to request this, but could you guys talk to Xhagen or another dev and ask them to make a quick review of each member's level of participation?

      It doesn't need to describe any of the content of the discussions, only the engagement of each person during their term. I think this will clear a lot of doubt about that part of the CSM's work that we players cannot see.

      I also understand that the responsible dev would probably need to take a few notes over the year, which means making such review for CSM6 would be too hard of inaccurate. Perhaps for the next year.

      Delete
    2. On the one hand it would be nice to have some quantitative data on what each member did in the CSM, so that the issue of "they didn't do anything" gets out of the way.
      On the other hand, any data coming from CCP might be viewed as an attempt to rig the election by some of the players. And what kind of quantitative data would be useful for the voters? Amount of time spent on Skype with CCP? Numbers of emails sent?

      I think what would have been useful would have been qualitative data. And Jester already complained about the absence of it in the post "Hive Mind" a month ago.

      Delete
  12. "This year, Meissa abandoned his traditional neutrality on political topics and on at least two occasions, directly advocated for positions where he personally or his alliance generally would directly benefit."

    The line of thought goes like this: if everybody is doing it, why shouldn't I?

    But that's not true at all. Seleene and xDeath have shown that some people can advocate for things in the CSM that go against their personal play, if they think it's the right thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Jester: after reading Seleene's response to your blog post may I respectfully suggest that you find a way to include his taking issue with your "lost focus" comment(s) either in the initial blog post or by writing a new one based around it?

    I feel that his response should be seen by your blog readers that might not have read the comments section.

    I think it adds a lot to the overall discussion on the CSM. Also,I respect the fact that he took the time to respond to your assessment and that he did so in an articulate and measured way.

    Warm Regards,

    Z

    ReplyDelete
  14. A large part of Mitten's success is his ability to schmooze and socialize. He's a social animal and I say that as a compliment. I appreciate it in fact because I too, have to be a social animal who has to network in real life to get by.

    However, the logical fallacy you show is assuming that he is the only "social" candidate capable of doing the job. There are plenty of others who can work with CCP and the CSM and not be so divisive and use the power for greater good rather than the typical rhetoric and propaganda he uses for his own end game.

    I'm just completely lost as to your logic on this one.

    PS- You were pretty harsh on Selene.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I didn't really follow CSMs 1 - 5, it seems like nothing really was done and they had no impact on the game.

    That being said, it seems that CSM 6 did accomplish quite a few things. Whether it is the devs caring more about the ayerbase, or mittens being the chairman, we as a playerbase can't lose the momentum we have gained.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.