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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.
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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.


  1. To the players that think the players are the problem and not the mechanics. @kirithkodachi

    Re: http://www.ninveah.com/2014/04/willful-ignorance.html

    I couldn't disagree more with the following statement: "... the current leaders of sov null sec can't see that they themselves are to blame for the stagnation, not CCP's mechanics."

    The mechanics encourage a particular type of play, they encourage certain types of alliances and coalitions to form. Players will always gravitate to a form of play with the least amount of effort for the greatest amount of reward. The mechanics are definitely the problem, not the players.

    If it weren't the CFC/N3 as top dogs, then it would be some other group, perhaps BoB/Russians (if BoB had never been annihilated).

    Every sport, every game, is played a certain way. The most reward for the least amount of risk/effort. The rules of the game dictate where that sweet spot lies. The current big groups in nullsec have discovered that sweet spot. If CCP wants to change the landscape of null, then they need to change where that sweet spot can be found.

  2. Not sure I understand why you have PGL so low? He is the only N3 candidate, they had pretty good turnout last time, I see no reason he wouldn't cruise to re-election.

    I think you have Xander, Sugar and core too high. All 3 will need votes from eliminations/elections, and I don't see them getting elected in an early round. I don't actually think core will get elected at all, and would expect to see Mangala much, much higher in the results. Remember, last time he nearly beat you for top 2.

    1. I have to agree with you, Mangala's position is the one that surprises me most, followed closely by Psychotic Monk who has been largely absent during the campaign (due to RL issues, I believe) and Proc. I can see Proc or Crobexx getting elected, but not both, and corbexx is more likely.

    2. Not sure why you say only one of Proc/corb can get elected. Just like last time, it will probably come down to fairly late in the election, but whichever of the 3 of corb/proc/james has fewer will get eliminated, and push the other two into getting elected. I am biased, but I think corb has an edge over the other two, but Proc vs James will be very close. I think Proc has more w-space support, but James was on a lot of non-w-space ballots. It will probably come down to if James has enough #1 votes to survive until the later rounds when he should pick up votes from those ballots.If someone like Mike ends up not getting a lot of #1 votes, he might soak up a lot of votes that would otherwise flow down to James.

    3. pgl's low because he entered the race very late and has a lot of catching up to do to get his people voting. I think he'll do it in time.

      Mangala was the toughest call on here. I just don't have a good feel for how motivated the RvB voters are.

      Core's voters seem hugely motivated to me. Might be my imagination and if it turns out I'm wrong, I'll say so.

      Proc was the second toughest to put on here (that's why they're listed 13 and 14) and is more of a hunch than anything.

    4. You don't need "catching up time" if you are a bloc dude. One thing they are very, very good at is passing information down through the ranks. One jabber ping with a vote link gets a large portion of your alliance to press buttan. N3 is big enough that they should have enough votes to get PGL on without help from other folks.

      Core clearly called for a posting op on his thread. I'm sure he has a card core base of support, but I don't think that base is enough to get him elected outright, and I just don't see much support flowing to him. He did a shitty job campaigning, and he isn't on several of the nullsec bloc vote lists, which indicates he didn't even bother to do the basic hose-trading.

    5. There will probably be two wormhole candidates elected again. Wormhole votes seemed to stick pretty well to the script of listing a lot of the wormhole candidates at the top of their ballot.

      Last time around Chitsa, James and Nathan had very similar numbers of first votes (all between 16 and 1700), but James picked up a lot of second choice votes from eliminated wormhole candidates. Given that he's also an incumbent I'd say he's likely to get one seat. I think based on what ballot's I've seen and their interview that Corbexx would be likely to get the second wormhole position.

      Overall I can't see any reason why the incumbent candidates won't get back in. James got the lowest number of no.1 votes, but only one eliminated candidate had more (Green Lee had 54 more no 1s). In particular PGL had 2328 1s, when N3 was a smaller player in null-sec and their were more null-sec candidates.

      Given Xander is 4th on the goon list, behind Sion, mynnna and Ali Aras, and likely to get a fair bit of independent votes (and also some gents 1s) I'd say he's fairly safe, and in fact the goon ballot is likely to give a boost to Jayne Fillion whos' no 6 on it.

      It's hard to know how Pyschotic Monk will go, he has a lot of vocal support and will again get a lot of 1s (he got 1524 last year), and is near the bottom of a lot of non-bloc ballots. I think he'll get close, but not quite there.

      I don't think corebloodbrothers will get there. Last year he had less than 2500 combined 1s and 2s, and that was with less competition for the non-bloc vote.

      My prediction is Jester's minus Psychotic Monk, Major JSilva and Corebloodbrother with Mangala, Matias, and DJ FunkyBacon (just over Jayne Fillion) instead, and also with James Arget over Proclus.

    6. I don't think there's going to be enough CFC votes to trickle down to Jayne Fillion in any substantial way. They probably have enough to elect two candidates and significantly boost a third and both Mynna and Ali will probably get enough none CFC votes that the third place effectively becomes 4th... but after that I think the remainder of their votes will get used up on Xander.

      Realistically speaking I don't think there's enough consensus for anything beyond someone's 5th place to really achieve much. (I think that's how it works right? If loads of people who hadn't yet successfully elected a candidate put Mynna 6th on their list then it would free up some more Goon votes to go further but I don't think there are going to be huge amounts of people who managed to put all the unpopular people 1-5)

  3. I can't imagine argent not making the cut. There are a number of very large wormhole groups in addition to ssc that grew out of eve - uni and he will likely have the number one position across that entire block. I wish it were otherwise as his opinions of what is good for wormhole life seem to be rather terrible but that won't matter because he will receive a ton of votes from the unistas.

  4. I'm thinking (and hoping) James Arget will make CSM again. Looking from my small cross-section of EVE, he's on everyone's ballot SOMEWHERE. And people like to re-elect proven names, so that's no surprise. corrbex will pick up more first place votes, probably... But I'm pretty sure james is on every WHers list, and a lot of hisec/unaligned lists as well.

    1. And while I agree that he is on a lot of people's list - you'd be wrong in thinking that he is on every WHers list. As an active member of a C5-C5 pvp corp I can tell you that many of my corpmates, and other folks I know in wspace are sick of the playstyle embodied by the SSC and going to look at voting for other candidates. James wasn't on any of my ballots at all.

    2. I think there'll be two WH reps - but I hope Corbexx finishes third in that list with James ahead of him.

      The comms session I got involved in had him sitting on the fence on most of the questions he was asked. Vague bar a limited enthusiasm for increasing loot drops in lower class WHs.

      James has walked the walk and what I've seen of Proc's writing looked good to me.

  5. Is the CFC recommended ballot available anywhere?

    1. GSF slate: http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/22jlfd/ill_show_you_mine_if_you_show_me_yours_csm9_vote/cgnftp8 (Confirmed by Sion Kumitomo: https://twitter.com/siggonK/status/453927662470184960) My guess is that CFC slates are variations of this with preference to candidates from member alliances (e.g., Xander Phoena would probably be first on the Gents slate).

    2. Confirming that the Gents ballot is just the CFC ballot with me sliding up to #1. Standard practise, same as last year for Kesper for example.

    3. Thanks! I'm surprised Ali is so high, did she join up with the CFC since Provi went sour? She's a great candidate but I would have thought that they'd try to wangle a third block person. I guess it looks like they're supporting their TMC writers. Either way it's surprisingly un-lets-watch-the-world-burn of them

    4. At a guess, Mynnna whispered in some ears about what a good job she did. I mean, see what Ripard had to say about her, too.

      Last I heard, Noir is actually based out of NPC Venal and is probably shooting at CFC ratters in their spare time.

    5. Basically, aye, Ali has done a fantastic job and Mynnna has placed her high on the CFC ballot because he feels it is important she makes CSM9, a position I entirely agree with.

      Little bonus side fact - only four of the five CFC candidates in this year's election made the CFC ballot...

  6. Core doesn't have all of provi-block. Silent Infinity has been ordered to not vote

    1. Why did Silent Infinity choose not to endorse one of their Coalition FCs?

    2. The AFK leader has decided to go AFK when it comes to doing her damn job and left diplo $hit to some RP prophet Vaari. Dude sent out alliance mail saying none were worthy of afk vote and to abstain.

  7. Hey, I voted for Sugar even though I'm a CFC guy. Lowsec needs a lot of love.

    1. The only problem with that being that most lowsec people want just lowsec to get love at the expense of the rest of the game. Lowsec entitlement complex is pretty high which is why I'm happier if they get zero representation.

    2. @Anon 5:58

      Funny, I could say the same about most of null.

  8. Steve will pick up a lot of Red Frog votes. Those guys regularly run 3 to 9 accounts. Lots of ties to the wider trader network. A nice quiet bloc vote. Something to consider.

  9. Voter turnout will be lower because more of the existing player base has come to realize that the CSM is totally ineffective, esp. as far as the majority's interests are concerned. And, with the player base consisting of fewer and fewer new players each year, you aren't going to make up the ever-increasing loss of vet players votes with noob player votes.

    Simply said, all BS aside, we all know that the CSM is not representative and that CCP has continued to fail to correct this for nine years now. So, why bother?

    Ofc, CCP doesn't really care, either, as we can see from the "huge" effort on their part to get players to vote...

  10. I see you are still upset about getting exposed by funkybacon

    1. Somebody certainly seems upset....

    2. There's a difference between being "exposed", as you put it, and FB sending factually incorrect quotes to a journalist.

  11. I'd expect lower turn out as more ppl realize the csm has no real purpose. As proven by yourself and a few other bloggers. Even you realize it. Who needs a csm all u got to do is start public outrage to get things done. Getting the frill back on the Vega, not the csm. Getting ero1 banned, not the csm. Stopping incarna madness, not the csm. As a matter of fact I thought the csm existed to make sure this type of outrage didn't happen???? So what is it exactly the csm does? And why would anyone outside null vote for it?(they all just do what they are told target f1, assist drones, or vote its all the same to the drone null grunt)

  12. Thanks Jester. Hunch or not, I was surprised to find myself on this list. Hopefully the wormhole community does work out two representatives again this year.

  13. Mike for Chairman.

    Since there are multiple disparate views across the null candidates, need some level headed and neutral for the role.

    1. You mean the same Mike who sat there while null sec just eviscerated high sec industry?


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