That means it's time for me to talk about who I am endorsing for the top seven seats among non-CSM6 incumbents. I've already talked about who I'd endorse among the incumbents. 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 15 "new blood" candidates that I felt were the most interesting, I am endorsing three of them:
Hans Jagerblitzen is an extremely impressive candidate to me. He was already way ahead on points simply because he apparently took the initiative with CSM6 to push a lot of his ideas regarding faction warfare to them. And to their credit, they listened. When the CSM came to the December Summit and the topic turned to faction warfare, it's my understanding that Hans's ideas and thoughts were the bulk of the CSM's contributions. With faction warfare set to be a major factor in the summer expansion, Inferno, FW players need a strong representative in the top seven seats to represent them. Hans is that candidate. He reminds me strongly of Two Step with his outspokenness and enthusiasm, and I feel confident that he'll bring a lot of experience, hard work, and communication to the job.
Leboe is Rote Kapelle's candidate for the CSM this year, and he has my endorsement, and will be receiving one of my votes. I'm sure it's tempting to dismiss this endorsement in terms of "Sure, Jester, you have to endorse your alliance-mate. Whatever." Yep, guilty as charged. But let's move past that for a minute. The simple fact is that there are few or no CSM7 candidates who will be strong representatives for how I play EVE. I have been a small alliance, small-gang PvPer for my entire EVE career. It should be possible for small gangs to play this game in an instant-on, "World of Tanks"-like way. It should be possible for small alliances to thrive in sov space without being beholden to huge, rich blobs. NPC 0.0 and low-sec should continue to be a relatively safe havens from sov-blob means of playing EVE, and it's threatening to come to a sudden end. Leboe understands these factors and actually plays the game this way, as I do. They're the same things I would have pushed had I run for CSM7 myself. I don't feel like any of the current members of CSM6 can make the same claim. Leboe is probably also one of the foremost experts on the production of boosters in EVE Online, an element of play that's going to be very important this year. For these reasons, he gets my endorsement and my vote.
Kelduum Revaan is arguably one of only two or three candidates running for CSM7 who lives full-time in high-sec. For that reason alone he'd deserve some consideration. Are his ideas about war-dec mechanics kind of silly? Yes indeed. But his strong position in EVE University and his experience with dealing with newer players are going to be of critical importance this year. It's one of the biggest ironies of CSM6 that the player in that group that has the most experience with the EVE New Player Experience is The Mittani. And Mittens has already shown that he prefers pushing new players in a direction that favors sov-blob play. Kelduum could go a long way toward balancing that, and telling CCP how the war-dec mechanics and any NPE changes implemented in Inferno actually play out in the field. Compared to this, a few silly ideas more or less aren't that important. Pretty much every CSM candidate starts with a few. ;-)
Which brings me to who I'm not endorsing out of the 15. I'm not going to talk about everyone, but I do want to mention a few of the stronger ones...
I'm not endorsing riverini. Now, as I've already said today, I respect riverini's work a great deal. You can scoff and mock him all you like, but the fact is that riv's got the most successful EVE news website out there, and that's not likely to change in 2012. He's proven that he has the organizational experience and the background to be an important contribution to the EVE community. He's also in touch through back channels with three-quarters of the large player groups in EVE and would be in a terrific position to help the CSM with their own communications, which have been poor to say the least. In short, he'd bring a lot of strengths to the group. That said, he'd bring some weaknesses, too. I've told him this already, but he gets too focused on specifics in a role where having a view of the big picture is far more valuable. He also gets a little bit too focused -- and sometimes rather emotional -- on his own ideas at the expense of those of others. I respect riverini, but he's not someone I'm endorsing this time around.
Even though I have a ton of respect for him, I'm not endorsing Blake Armitage. He'd be a fantastic representative for industry-based players but the fact is that industry is not going to be a big focus this year. I'm hoping that CCP turns their attention to industry topics in 2013, and it's entirely possible that I'll endorse him for CSM8 should he choose to run. But for this year, there are other candidates that can address those few industry topics that are likely to come up. And industry-minded voters are likely to give their votes to Meissa in any case. Blake is quite strong on wormhole topics as well, but Two Step is stronger.
I'm not endorsing Alekseyev Karrde. Alek is a terrific candidate in terms of his knowledge of war-decs and mercenary play. There's no doubt that these are valuable topics, and there's no doubt that I like Alek's view of the war-dec mechanics more than I do Kelduum's. Still, I don't feel like Alek brings a broad base of experience or a broad view of EVE topics that would be necessary for a successful top seven CSM member. He's too focused on a small number of topics. Kelduum is stronger on the NPE and working with new players; Leboe is stronger in industry and on living in NPC 0.0. Do I hope Alek wins an alternate seat? Absolutely! And in that position, he can bring his ideas to the table and make himself heard. But a top seven seat? No, not this time.
I'm not endorsing Mike Azariah, even though he's probably the strongest role-playing candidate and the strongest Incursion candidate. Still, I hope he gets an alternate seat this year. I think it's about the right time.
So that's it. In my rough order of preference, my endorsement for the top seven seats are:
- Two Step
- Trebor Daehdoow
- Hans Jagerblitzen
- The Mittani
- Kelduum Revaan
Do I think these will be the seven that actually win? Some of them, certainly. All? No. ;-) I'll have my predictions for who I think will actually win the 14 seats next week.