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, January 29, 2014

Keep your powder dry

tl;dr first: I will not be running for reelection to CSM9.

When I decided to run last year, I said this:
I've been thinking long and hard about this, and in particular reviewing the reasons that I decided not to run last year. They were very good reasons, and all of them still apply. When I eventually decided not to run last year, I made it clear that I made that decision because the reasons for me not to run outweighed the reasons for me to run. 
That calculus applies this year as well, and I have had just as hard of a decision this year. Only this time, the pendulum has swung the other way. There are more good reasons for me not to run then there are reasons for me to run. In particular, several people I respect are running for election or reelection, I feel very comfortable going back to my "CSM watcher" and "semi-neutral observer position"(1), and I feel strongly that I proved the point I wanted to prove by running. A CSM can be proactive without being a "war-time CSM", can openly talk to the players while still acting as a stake-holder in the development process. It's now proven. CSM8 has done it. In addition, as I said a few times during the election process, I felt like 2013 was going to be a critical year -- perhaps the critical year -- for EVE Online's success. That year is now past.

Does this mean I don't support the CSM process? Absolutely not, because I do! Does this mean that I feel the CSM is worthless? Absolutely not, because it definitely is not!

The CSM has much more active involvement in the development of the game than I thought we would have, in fact. The level of access is unprecedented! And this is Trebor telling us this based on what he's seen on three past CSMs! I'm glad -- really glad -- that I've served on CSM8. It was worth it!  But it's also a lot of work. I wasn't exaggerating when I said CSM duties could consume every waking hour of every day if you let them. Future CSM members really are going to have to strike a balance that works for them. The stake-holder relationship that CSM8 has cemented with CCP is fantastic... but it means that expectations from players have no other setting than "high." Done right... done as the job should be done, I can't imagine any future CSM member subjecting themselves to it for three or four years at a stretch.

Anyway, those are all good reasons not to run. But I also have personal reasons of my own to want to take at least a year off. I feel like I've earned it. And if the calculus changes in 2015, who knows, maybe I'll try for CSM10.

So yeah, I'm sitting CSM9 out and we'll see how they do. Each CSM has built on the successes of the one before, so hopefully they will keep up the strong stake-holder relationship we've built and the lines of player communication open, particularly through Town Halls, crowd-sourcing, and at least one chronicler to document the week-by-week action.

'cause I'm still gonna be out here flying my spaceships and keeping an eye on things. ;-) Ripard Plays This Game(tm), and I'm not going anywhere.

So this also means that I'm in a pretty good position to endorse my favorite candidates. I definitely will not be shying away from that responsibility though picking the top few is gonna be tough! As I said, there's lots of good people already confirmed as running. If they fall on their face, I'll hold 'em accountable. And in the meantime, there's still three months of work left in this term, and I'm not going to shy away from that, either.

Good luck to CSM9!

(1) Or as mynnna joked to me, "Gonna go back to throwing rocks from outside?"


  1. What you claim that the CSM 8 has been proactivly doing? Cause all i've seen sofar from the CSM this year is pretty much.... Well nothing of importance.

    1. C'mon, dude. NDA!

    2. Agreed. CSM8 has been terrible. They have provided cover for CCP more than representing the players.

      None of them should run again.

    3. If anything cements the uselessness of csm 8 its the release of the ESS in its first form to players. Or the somer blink incidents honestly the list goes on.

      If ccp doesn't isr the csm why have a csm.

  2. Each CSM has built on the successes of the one before

    Really? CSM7 was a waste of space. It flounced around, half of the CSM were not active... it was a mess.

    CSM8 failed miserably to bring CCP to task over the minutes. There was no open letter/engaging the gaming media/ritual burning of CCP developer effigies. None of it.

    Sure you proved you can communicate. But you were always a good communicator. The CSM as an entity I think peaked at CSM6, and most of that was down to Mittens being a force of nature when it comes to politics..he managed to turn the CSM into yet another metagame and basically won at CSM.

    Sorry but no. I don't mean to suggest that you personally have done a bad job. Or any of the individuals have done a bad job - but to state that every CSM has built on the last is drawing an incredibly long bow.

    1. And what would the value of "burning effigies" have been? Do you think it would have made the minutes appear more quickly, or do you think that it would have made the PR guys dig their heels in and panic, thus delaying the release still further?

      Producing minutes is not the primary purpose of the CSM. A delay in CCP's various parts in completing their part of the process is not worth burning bridges over, especially since ultimately, CCP were pretty lax in what they finally NDA'd.

      Instead of "burning effigies", we DID OUR FUCKING JOBS, discussed the problem with Dolan like adult professionals, worked out a solution with him, and now there's a new, much better minutes process that will get the minutes to you much quicker. Sorry that this reply isn't going to give you comfort for your missing drama fix, but every single one of us ran on an anti-drama platform.

    2. Does it occur to you that turning the CSM into a Radio drama is bad for the game - especially if it's unnecessary? It puts the game in a negative light and actually drives players away.

      Look, here's the deal with the minutes: they're not their to give you a sneak peak of the future. They're their to keep CSM members accountable and show us that they did what they said they'd do - and by that measure it was a success even in the time frame it was given. We have plenty of time to go through them before the next election and as a player base say 'yes, this CSM member kept their promises' and 'yes, CCP appears to be working with the CSM members in good faith' - or not. THAT'S ALL THEY'RE USED FOR. Please stop acting like it was a huge scandal that they were a little late. It was a minor mistake, no where near the level of the summer of rage or anything like that.

    3. I do not agree EO, because this is simply not true. Performance reviews are not the ONLY function of the minutes. This is the oft-spoken, Dolan-endorsed reason excusing these minutes' lateness, which thusly allows them to be released at any time and even by your own admission, deemed a 'success' so long as they're released prior to the next election. The minutes are 100 pages long. They contain vast amounts of information, the worth of which is relative to the reader. When they are released prior to an upcoming expansion, they have, in the past, offered glimpses not only in what features are being planned, but what direction the entire game is heading. They tell us about the politics, the mindset, and the driving philosophy of CCP. They do a hell of a lot more than serve as a CSM performance evaluation tool - though if they were to always be released after the expansions they reference, their value and worth diminish significantly. Having information prior to an expansion release is useful. Reading an after-action report? Not so much. But stating that one (endorsed) function is their only function, does not change the substance of the minutes. Whereas, the timing of their release changes the entire context.

    4. Malcanis, You DID YOUR FUCKING JOB?. Lets see....by how many months were the minutes (that have seemed to be done on time mysteriously in the past) delayed?...Then you say CCP was, and I quote "CCP were pretty lax in what they finally NDA'd"

      So, WHAT WAS THE FUCKING REASON FOR THE DELAY? - We never got a "good" explanation. If the NDA was lax and this shit was delayed for months, please kindly and in small words explain it to me because I seem to be missing the whole point here, tell me exactly how the CSM "did its fucking job?".

      I imagine you see CSM success as this...

      "Please do it CCP"
      "Please do it CCP"
      "Please do it CCP"
      "Here are the minutes months late and with Dick redacted" = "WE DID OUR FUCKING JOB!"

      As for Effing, the Minutes are there to do several things including giving us a peek AND keeping the CSM accountable. You think the miniscule drama caused by the CSM minutes or us bitching about it is ANYTHING in comparison for causing drama to the multitude of improvements we've been asking for for years now?

      It wasn't a minor mistake, NOT, repeat NOT when you guys are supposed to be the living/breathing embodiment of the player-base. For months we kept hearing "Soon"...and when were they released?...when they hardly fucking mattered anymore. That the minutes are for all intensive purposes fricking worthless IS NOT THE POINT KIDS. The point is that you got jerked around for months by CCP and did what exactly?...WAITED TILL DOLAN GOT OFF HIS ASS AND DID THEM....Months later than any other minutes by other CSM's. And for this pathetic ass showing we're supposed to stand here and go "good job"?. You guys sound like Republicans.

      I had faith in you Jester to really shake things up in there, And after a single year you aren't running again. THAT my friend tells me ALL I need to know. IMHO Jester weighed the Bullshit vs. Time scale...and now he's out. I'm betting once he got behind those doors he got a real good look at the apparatus of CCP and realized that 99% of what he wanted to do wouldn't be possible. I for one am pleased as punch to have you back full time. And I think all of us agree that Garth should be doing a ton more writing in the future!

      The CSM should be a lightning rod in the ass of CCP to get shit right, instead its seeming to become more daily a group of cheerleaders for the very people they are supposed to police. I keep hearing all this BS about how much you guys "care"....yup, to the point where even basic shit isn't being done on time anymore and a pathetic showing by CCP is spun into a victory.

      How many weeks did we read that the "Very-Caring CSM" was not writing up the articles? Every week we read a new story on this website saying that "Well, these 3 people have done alot of the work and we haven't heard from the others."

      The CSM is a business-circle-jerk tossed to players as an ever-shrinking-in-value bone...and you guys pretty much proved it. When was shit truly accomplished last in EVE?....well that would be the Jita Riots.

      ONLY, I repeat ONLY when you fuck with their money will they do whats necessary.

      As a business guy here's what I see. CCP is stalling. A group of execs saying that the money is beginning to stop. What better way to string along an entire player base to keep paying than a 5-year dream. At which the end we will be told that it will be 5 more years to rebuild code etc. "Just keep holding on guys,we have a new vision!"

      "We did our fucking Job". No, you sat there and waited for CCP through months of useless bullshit on the part of Dolan and made yourselves look like fools that cant even get one mid-level CCP employee to do "his fucking job" in a reasonable time-frame or the player-elected officials to do theirs.

      It only takes ONE fuck-up to remove 1,000 "attaboys"

      welcome to politics kids.

      *Golf clap followed by dismissive wanking motion*

    5. Only thing i remember from the minutes was a certain CSM almost in tears crying over the ebil nullsecplayers coming to highsec to steal their poco's. but v0v.

  3. Aww, I was looking forward to giving you my 1st vote in a CSM election :'(.
    Still, Great Work! You're the best CSM I've seen so far :)

  4. That's too bad. You guys did a great job

  5. You have done a stirling job, couldn't have asked for more. Totally understand your reasons and agree wholeheartedly with them. My first thought was... "oh no who am I going to vote for now?" o7

  6. Someone is chickening out? xD :P

  7. BraverthananyoneelseJanuary 29, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    Insert meme here: "Noooooooooooooo" or "You were the choosen one"

    At least you will have more time to robotblog xD

  8. Thank you for your service - it is appreciated.

    It's that bad though isn't it?

  9. Bollocks!!!! You know that means I now have to work out who else to vote for.........bet you didn't add that to your 'reasons to be a CSM'

    Anyway, thanks for all the work this year. It will be interesting reading your reviews on the next CSM now you have an inside view.

  10. I am sad and disappointed. There are many other MMOs and recently even some Space MMOs/games that deliver a better newbie/rookie friendly game environment.

    I really was hoping that 0 sec becomes lucrative enough that experienced players will leave high sec and move there. I thought the ore/mineral change would fix this, obviously not.

    I really hoped CCP would create enough new content that gankers/griefers/scammers will have something better to do, it seems this isn't the case.

    I really hoped that a new UI would make it more user friendly and that the ISIS will clarify and explain the ingame mechanics more.

    I really hoped that the corp tax system will get an overhaul, that the wardec system gets a few tweaks.

    I hoped that the .01 ISK mechanic in trade hubs gets a change and the npc faction standings are a joke.


    What did we get instead? World of Darkness, Dust 514 (what a really stupid name) and Valkyrie.

    I have no clue why I am still playing this game. I should probably either HTFU or get a life. Or play a better and new game for my 20 bucks each month.

    1. I'm sorry, I see this "$20/month" a lot and I've been dieing to ask: What in the world are you talking about? Eve sub is $15/month if you buy it monthly, less in larger purchases.

    2. So what MMO will you play if you won't play one that's made by a company that develops other products?

  11. Thanks for putting a stint in and being a big part of making the CSM a success.

  12. There's no one I'd rather have on the CSM, but the CSM's work was always a bit undercover. I confess I'll be just as glad to see you with more time for the best damned blog ever. Jester '015!

  13. Do you know what the CSM needs to be even better? Members who represent the actual demographics of the game rather than special interest lobbyists and some unaffiliated oddballs.

  14. "The stake-holder relationship that CSM8 has cemented with CCP is fantastic"

    Is this sarcasm?

  15. Thanks for your work on the CSM Jester. It's my first year in Eve and I appreciate all of the updates you gave us. You went far beyond minimally showing up to meetings and answering CCP's questions. Thanks again for the time and great effort you put into representing me and the rest of New Eden. You definitely had my vote for CSM9.

  16. I definitely would have voted for you for CSM 9... but don't rest on your laurels, still work to be done for CSM 8! ;)


  17. Your proposal for politician-free politics has at least the merit of originality

  18. Honestly sad your not running again. Understand why but sad not the less.


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