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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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Monday, February 28, 2011

On approach

One more CSM6 post today.

Seleene has written a really good post today about the realities of how CSM6 is going to be addressing CCP.  It's not very long.  Go give it a read.  I'll wait.

OK.  Seleene makes some good points, but among the best of them, he points out that there are some CSM6 candidates that:
a) have been talking with CSM5 members, getting their advice about what has and hasn't worked when dealing with CCP; and, if elected,
b) are planning to leverage both that past knowledge and their own real-world experience to improve the CSM's dealings with CCP.

I'm certainly one of these candidates, but I'm not the only one!  Seleene himself obviously falls into this category, as does Trebor, as does The Mittani.  There are probably a few others that qualify as well.

The idea here is to bring a CSM in with a little less drama, a little less worry with individual concerns, and a lot more focus on standing together and bringing CCP real player concerns.  Unlike CCP, the CSM has the advantage that we can bring fresh faces who aren't worn out by the last year's drama.  CCP decidedly does not have this advantage; they'll have the same people at the table in 2011 that they had in 2010.  The CSM can also come together and present a unified front about the things that EVE Online players want.  And ironically, CCP does not have this advantage, either.  Each CCP team dealing with the CSM is pretty well focused on their own agendas.

But Seleene also orbits another important issue without coming in to land on it, and that's the aspect of exactly how the CSM is going to approach CCP.  There are definitely some different possibilities here!  The Mittani and Trebor have both publicly expressed interest in their respective Jita Park posts in being selected Chair of CSM6.  But comparing their posts, you can see that they favor very different approaches.  And just to be clear, I'm not going after or attacking either of these candidates.  Both of them are very strong candidates, and both of them are likely to be elected.  But it's their difference in approach that is interesting to me.

The Mittani says on his post that he wants to be a "hard-line player representative."  He quotes Helen Highwater, who says that there is "slack-jawed idiocy coming from both sides of the table" (emphasis mine), and says he wants the CSM to "band together to oppose CCP when they suggest retarded things."  Conciliatory, these statements aren't.  They advocate what is clearly a pretty aggressive approach to dealing with CCP.

Compare and contrast this with Trebor's post, and you find a very different approach.  Trebor states in his thread, "I don't think it is the role of a CSM to attempt to get CCP to implement a particular pet feature or tweak in a particular way."  He says several times that one of the key roles of the CSM is to encourage CCP "to justify their resource allocations."  He's advocating an agenda that involves "[demonstrating] to CCP how useful and productive engaging with CSM can be."  This is clearly a very different approach.

It's possible that neither of these men will be Chair.  But whomever is selected as Chair is going to have to decide which side of this issue they fall on, because it's going to be their first big decision: how to approach CCP: penitent, equal, or demanding customer?  If CCP is not open to the approach, whatever it is, then as an interested and well-informed person I know put it, they will be facing "a great big fat Reality Injection."


  1. I fear you are falling into a false choice here. For example, CSM5 has not shied away from "banding together to oppose CCP when they suggest retarded things", as Mittani so quaintly puts it. Need I remind you of :18months:, or Microtransactions?

    Rather, when faced with a particular issue, there are many possible ways of dealing with it. The trick when working in a group like CSM is trying to determine the best approach for a particular situation -- and that depends both on the nature of the issue, and who is involved (on both sides of the table).

    Finally, the Chairman of the CSM has no special super-power to determine how the CSM will interact with CCP. The CSM is a council of equals -- about the only thing that sets the Chairman apart is that the Chair runs the online meetings.

  2. Confirming what Treb said, except to suggest that the Chair often gets the dubious honor of acting as "sacrificial lamb" so to speak by being the CSM member who gets tasked to post/send controversial communications from the CSM to the community or CCP. But hey, someone has to do it, right? ;)

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  4. (Bah. Misplaced a rather important word.)

    Don't misunderstand, Trebor: I think no matter who is Chair, the CSM is going to have to come together and present a united front on most issues, Incarna most of all. That's a major part of Seleene's post that I agree with.

    The question is going to be what *kind* of united front to pursue. I think the Chair is going to *have* to put their own spin on this and strongly encourage the other CSM members to follow their strategy. Hell, let's be fairly blunt here. Let's assume The Mittani is elected. I don't think there's anyone who could seriously say that won't happen. If that happens, but he's not elected as Chair, but the person who is selected is perceived as weak, I don't think TM will have any problem with driving the car from the back seat. ;-)


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