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...

Monday, February 25, 2013

CSM8 Interview: EVE Stratics

I received the following set of questions from EVE Stratics.  They'll be publishing the answers along with their interviews with other EVE candidates, but I also thought I'd post them here as well...

1) Who are you?
I am an EVE player running under the name of one of my three mains, Ripard Teg.  I have five years of experience in a wide array of play styles from incursions to missions to mining to industry/invention to sov warfare to small gang PvP.  I am also one of EVE's most active and prolific bloggers, something that I've been doing for two years at my blog, Jester's Trek (http://jestertrek.blogspot.com).  There, I've written hundreds of blog posts about the EVE experience, and more than 40 guides to playing EVE, all of it free and without advertising.

2) Why do you want to burden yourself with the workload that is CSM8?
This is quite an amusing way to put this question!  But the real answer is to help improve the game that we love, and to represent a broad array of EVE Online players.  I believe that I can help CCP, and I believe I can help EVE players.  It probably sounds corny, but if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't run.  In particular, though, I'm jumping into the fray because I felt like CSM7's communications strategy was a little weak and I'd like to help develop a more formal communications strategy that future CSMs can follow.

3) Can you dedicate 10-30 hours a week for the position and the occasional weekend travels?
Yes.  I've proven it with the work I already do on the blog I write in virtually every day.

4) Did someone suggest you put your name up for CSM?
Before I ran for CSM6, I had a long conversation with Mynxee, Chair of CSM5, who after hearing what I hoped to accomplish during the following term, encouraged me to to run for CSM6 and provided me with a lot of insights and advice.  For CSM8, I've been encouraged to run by a large number of my readers and by several CSM7 members, notably Hans Jagerblitzen and Trebor Daehdoow.

5) Have you represented other people before, in a similar or different capacity?
Yes.  I have been a play-tester and a player advocate for the developers of several miniature and tabletop war-gaming games.  In addition, in my real world experience, I am a leader and professional negotiator in the IT industry with almost three decades of communications experience.

6) If not, do you have any leadership experience, negotiating experience, teamwork experience, a high level of group dynamics knowledge or other relevant experience that can benefit the CSM (and can be documented)?
See above.  In particular, in real life, I have presented before hundreds of people at technical conferences, and presented to and worked with C-suite level executives of Fortune 500 companies.

7) How often do you participate in events in EVE to meet other players? (ie. social, player gatherings, fan fest etc)?
Of course, most of what I'm known for is writing one of the most active blogs in EVE Online.  I enjoy quite a bit of back and forth repartee with my readers, other EVE bloggers, and EVE players in social media on Twitter's #tweetfleet.  I'm going to my first player gathering in a couple of months, my first trip to the tenth anniversary Fanfest!  So I'm looking forward to meeting and being met by a lot of EVE players there.

8) What is the players top 5 issues currently?
In my opinion and in no particular order:
  • the "big blue doughnut", as it's called, and the general lack of things to shoot at among the largest null alliances;
  • related, the slowing down of conflict within the game generally;
  • trying to draw new players into the game without breaking the nature of EVE Online itself;
  • the necessary POS revamp; and,
  • the need to shake up income sources at all levels in the game and put them "bottoms up" into the hands of the players and corps instead of "top down" to the coalitions and mega-alliances.
I'm not running for the position of junior game developer, of course, but if I were asked this question by CCP, these are the items that I'd list.  There are other issues I'd probably also bring up, like super-cap proliferation, the problem with EVE's rather boring PvE, and the lack of creativity involved in mining.

9) Which method of addressing issues do you believe is the most effective?
I believe the best approach to make suggestions to CCP is to show them how both they and the players benefit from suggestions, particularly if you can frame suggestions to CCP in the context of bringing new players into the game, expanding their revenue, or expanding the scope of EVE's audience.  On the player end, I believe the best approach is to involve as many types of players as possible in issues and make sure their voices are heard.

10) In which bar in Iceland does a CSM member have a higher chance of adressing issues for his constituents; effectively?
As I noted above, I've never been to Iceland and the tenth anniversary Fanfest will be my first trip there.  To take full advantage I'll be there for a week, two days on either side of Fanfest itself.  That said, I'm told Islenski Barinn is the place to be to encounter CCP devs.  I look forward to visiting it.  Hopefully, they have a good stout on tap because that's the type of beer I drink.  I hear Olvisholt Lava is drinkable.

11) Piggybacks fixes are common but can appear out-of-the-blue; How do you plan on creating and reacting to opportunities for bug-fixes/issues?
Good question!  I want to return to a bit of an "old school" CSM4/CSM5 approach to this issue.  Directly, I'd like CSM8 to have a monthly meeting, preferably on text chat somewhere.  Each of these meetings would be no more than an hour.  The point to this meeting would be that all CSM members would pull ideas that they like out of Features and Ideas, other forums, players they talk to, or their own ideas.  Those ideas would then be brought before CSM8 to vote upon.  The ones that pass this vote would be submitted to CCP as a new list of "little things".  If you look at the items on CSM4/CSM5's lists, you'll find virtually all of them are now in the game we're playing.  CCP needs a new list.  ;-)


  1. Still being very stealthy about revealing your RL name & job Jester - I think we should start taking bets on what your RL job is based on all the clues we've read so far :D

    Otherwise I think this is a very sensible and professional response to these types of questions - many of which seem quite well geared towards trying to incriminate yourself with the types of response you give.

    1. Honestly how am I saposed to watch ur family through their front window while wearing my paper mushy ripard mask with out this vital information. Of all the information in what you want to do for the game and what ur stance is on the most pressing eve related topics clearly your name and occupation are all that matter.

  2. You are a lock to get in, with the new voting system, as long as the CFC and HBC want you in. BTW, can someone tell me what null sec group CCP Eterne is with?

    1. Just Don't ask which null sec allaiance CCP Bias is part of in the EveO forums: that got me a two week forum ban!

    2. Darth I was just handed a 90 day ban because I said ""I was about to waste a couple hours doing the math using last years results and try to use them in this model, but realized it is pointless, since someone who just the left the HBC to join CCP is not going to listen to anyone showing how much the HBC and CFC benefit from this." with regard to the new CSM voting system, which the goons themselves has said is completely biased towards the large blocs.

      You are not allowed to bring up the fact that null sec controls the forums.

  3. #10) So, one's ability to be an effective CSM is limited if one is an alcoholic? That's cattle-manure.

    1. lol I wonder how many CSM wannabes will answer with a Juice bar to try to garner the tea totaller vote :)

    2. Not all deals are made by fat old tards in stuffy suits. When I was in Silicon Valley, many of my board meetings involved snowboards and surfboards. In Iceland, they drink in bars.

    3. Darth, while "tea-totally" is just one who either practices or promotes abstinence from alcohol including for medical reasons(according to wikipedia), I'm a little uncomfortable with addressing an alcoholic in the same way. People tend to think of tea-totallers as such by choice and being real party-poopers, but I'm talking about people who can't access CSM or CCP at a bar without risking their careers, family, and life.

      I'm not trying to raise a stink or anything, just awareness of the consideration.

      Whereas Anon, with your cowardly anonymous post, can take your faulty prejudices and assumptions and take a flying leap.

    4. Darth, while tea-totallers can be those who practice abstinence from alcohol, including for medical reasons(according to wikipedia,) I'm a little uncomfortable with casually addressing an alcoholic in the same way. While technically accurate, I think there is a huge difference between someone who abstains due to religious or party-pooper reasons and one whom would like to have a drink with you or even just hang out at the bar with you, but can't without risking career, family, and life. Denotative vs connotative meanings, what images and expectations one starts to develop.
      Not throwing a tantrum, just raising the awareness.

      As for you, Anon, you have done exactly what I find distasteful, and assumed a certain kind of person who choses not to drink, and not an alcoholic.

  4. Islenski has fallen out of favor with CCP, but I have to say some good times were had at last year's fanfest there.

  5. Here's what I want from a CSM candidate: the willingness to hold CCP accountable to their players for bugs that go unresolved for months (even years) at a time. Their bug-reporting system, like their mechanism for SiSi feedback, lacks any meaningful feedback to the user whatsoever. CCP is getting away with figurative murder and every damn CSM lets them get away with it.

    Don't tell them how nullsec should work, don't tell them how to rebalance income, don't pester them about PLEX market intervention... I don't think any CSM member should be involved in game design. I would rather the CSM's regular sessions resemble the activities of a software testing lab than anything else to be quite fucking honest. Write down a list of bugs and DEMAND that CCP acknowledge them, verify their existence, and commit to getting them fixed. End of story.

    That's all it would take for someone to get my CSM votes, and so far I don't see anyone promising to do that. As usual.

  6. Curious why you published before EVE Stratics, since it is THEIR interview of you. One would assume they should get "first publication" rights out of "professional" courtesy. But anyway...I *almost* wish you were facing a tougher situation regarding relations/communication with CCP...it would be interesting to see how you would apply your diplomatic approach in the kind of environment we had in CSM5. :P /somethingaboutuphillandbarefootbothways

  7. What's your opinion on the voting changes? If elected, do you intend to do anything about it?

  8. Islenski isn't as popular anymore, they stopped giving CCP a discount. Gorillan is the new CCP bar, unless they run out of alcohol or energy drinks (both happened at the last summit).


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