Have You Ever Question Time

There was a quiz over at Contains Moderate Peril, which was grabbed from Ace Asunder, where it had been borrowed from RNG, who got it originally from Vamp It Up Manchester, which probably makes it more of a UK thing, but it had a few questions I though might lead to amusing anecdotes about which to write, so I figured I would swipe it next.

Now that we have established the lineage of the quiz, let’s jump straight into the questions.

Driven or been driven at 100 mph/160 kmh?

Yes.  While the speed limits on US highways top out at about 70 MPH most places, there are plenty of long runs of road where you can get up to speed.  Also, cars tend to have the most ridiculously optimistic speedometers.  My Toyota speedometer measures out to 160 MPH, a speed it could only attain if you pushed it out of an airplane.

I think the first time I hit that speed was shortly after I got my drivers license.  My grandmother would let me use her car, a 1970 Buick Electra 225 with the 455 CID engine. (7.5L for those who measure in that way.)  It was a mighty motor, with more torque than a sane man ever needs, and I once laid a 70 foot long patch of smoking rubber on the pavement in front of a friends house.

It looked something like this… image borrowed from the internet

One evening I got onto highway 85 and nobody was on the road, so I decided to see if I could peg the speedometer, because I was a 16 year old boy in command of two tons of iron with a powerful engine.  I was well past 100 MPH by the time I passed Fremont Blvd and let off the gas to let it wind down so I could take the exit to highway 280 and fill up the gas tank.  I think I blew through almost a quarter tank getting that brick up to speed.  Gas was $1.29 a gallon at the time, which seemed expensive at the time.

Learned a possibly deadly skill?

I spent summers on my grandparents farm where I learned several skills that might fall into that category, the most obvious being how to handle and shoot firearms.  It is just a thing in the country.  At eight years old I was judged worthy of being sat with a bolt action .22 rifle and a baby food jar full of bird shot to pick off the starlings that would peck at the figs on the big tree my grandfather had planted.  I was paid 25 cents a head.  I also learned how to handle poison gas bombs for the ground squirrels and traps and a few other things.  I was, however, not allowed to get within six feet of the table saw in the barn because that was dangerous.

Ridden in a helicopter? Gone zip lining? Been Bungie Jumping?

I am going to lump these three together because they are all negative answers.

Been to an NFL game or Ice Hockey?

I have lived within reasonable driving distance of two NFL teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, all of my life and I have never been to an NFL game. (The Raiders are leaving for Las Vegas though, so my opportunities will soon be reduced by 50%.)  NFL teams only play 8 home games a year, the stadiums are huge and crowded, the tickets are expensive, and I am not a fan.

I have been to many NHL games.  We have a professional team in San Jose, the Sharks, though I even went to a California Seals game back in the day.  I have also been to major league baseball, NBA basketball, and MLS soccer games as we have teams in the SF Bay Area close by.  Just never an NFL game.

Watched Dr Who?

PBS during my childhood seemed to entirely consist of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, nature documentaries, pledge drives, and television from the UK, including  Doctor Who.  I watched a lot of Tom Baker episodes and some of the Peter Davidson episodes.  If you ask me who my doctor is, the answer will always be Tom Baker.  If Gandalf were a time lord, he would be the Tom Baker version of the doctor.

Been to Canada?

I’ve been close enough to see Canada, but I have never actually been into Canada.  I’ve been to Minnesota, and that’s about the same, right?

Visited Disney?

Disneyland is an hour flight away.  You can hardly avoid it.  I have been a bunch of times, twice for company events where we left in the morning, flew down for the day, and got back home that nights.  I am also just old enough to have gone as a kid when they still had tickets, so saw the “E Ticket” of legend. That said, I am not a big fan and it is hugely expensive these days.  My daughter complains that we never go, but she has been to Hawaii more times than most people ever will.

I have also been to Disney World in Florida once and on a Disney cruise.  That mouse is everywhere.

Visited an actual castle?

That depends on what you call a castle I suppose.  I’ve been on forts and fortifications and in a palace or two.  But not a medieval castle, that being what I imagine the question is getting at, as that wasn’t really a thing where I live.  I did find an arrow head once though.

Visited Vegas?

Vegas is a 90 minute flight away and the location where many conventions and events take place.  I have been many times. (I’ve posted here about going to EVE Vegas at least five times.)  It is bright and shiny and colorful with some good places to eat.  But if you don’t really drink or gamble it can lose its edge pretty fast.  Also, the dirty, seedy underbelly of the whole thing is pretty visible if you start looking for it.  I enjoy the first day I go and am generally ready to leave by the end of the second.

The hardest thing for me about Vegas is that they allow smoking everywhere.  I’m from California where smoking in public is only allowed in very specific pariah zones.

Eaten alone at a restaurant?

I am not sure why this is even a question.  Yes.  Many times.  I see people do it all the time, though I am not one of those people who sets up a nest with a good book in a corner booth, but if I was alone and needed to eat I wouldn’t think twice about eating alone in a restaurant.  This must be one of those English things where they are always looking for something else about which to feel embarrassed.

Played an instrument?

I took trumpet lessons in school in 4th grade.  I wasn’t any good and didn’t have any passion for it.  I am pretty sure I just wanted to get out of class for an hour one day a week.

Ridden a motorcycle?

Yes, in the form of a dirt bike out on the farm mentioned above.  It was fun then, but I have no desire to ride one now.  I’ve seen what happens when cars and motorcycles collide.  If there was a question about seeing a dead body, my answer would involve a motorcycle accident I witnessed.

Ridden a horse?

Again, on the farm.  My grandparents didn’t have horses, but the neighboring farm did, so I got to ride a bit back then.  It wasn’t a big deal to me.  A dirt bike is more exciting to a young male I suppose.

Been skiing/snowboarding?

I have been skiing.  My stepmother liked to ski and so we went once or twice a year when I was a kid.  It was a very yuppie sport, expensive and inconvenient, and while I enjoyed it some at the time, when it came to the point that I had to pay in order to participate I stopped completely.

Gone to a festival?

Yes.  Maybe.  I am divining what these means from context, which is a multi-day musical event.  But I’ve only gone for one of the days, so does that count?

Driven a stick shift?

My first three cars were manual transmission.  By the time I got to the fourth car I was commuting daily across the valley in stop and go traffic and got tired of “rowing the boat” constantly, so went for automatic transmissions after that.  But hell, even F1 cars have paddle shifters now, which is something you add to an automatic transmission.

Ridden in a police car?

I have been frisked up against a police car, but never invited inside.  I have ridden in a fire engine though.  When the SFFD took over administration of Treasure Island in SF Bay and friend of my aunt’s drove us around the island in one of the fire trucks.  It was loud, even without the siren going.

Driven a boat?

A few times.  No particular stories to go with this though.  We live near the ocean and a huge bay and a freshwater delta and a series of lakes and reservoirs, so the opportunities are at hand.  Going water skiing in the delta was a thing when I was a kid.

Eaten Escargot?

No.  I poison snails I see, but don’t see the need to consume them.  I have plenty of more palatable food at hand.

Been on a cruise?

My step-mother again, she loves cruises and goes on a few a year.  Her and my father have brought the whole family along a few times.  As a floating hotel that brings you to the next destination while you sleep they are fine I suppose.  The food aspect is overrated to my mind.

The best cruise was probably on the Freedom of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world when we went.  That ship had a lot of space and things to do.  I enjoyed just being at sea on that one.  The Disney cruise was good too, all the more so if you have kids.  The rest have been on Carnival ships, which are okay but not as much fun.  I’d go again, but I am not interested enough to plan it myself and I’d rather go sit on the beach in Hawaii or by the pool somewhere, it being cheaper, more relaxing, and less crowded.

Been on TV?

In a couple of crowd scenes on the news.  Nothing that would have had my presence noted.

Been in a paper/book/magazine?

I was quoted once in the local paper when asked some questions by a cub reporter who then printed what they felt I should have said rather than what I actually said, much to my annoyance.  The problem with the news is that every story I have been personally involved with has had significant material errors and the reporting team doesn’t really seem to care.  If the news has a bad reputation these days, it is in part their own fault.

Eaten Sushi?

I live in California.  You cannot drive two miles without passing a sushi place.  I am a peasant and like things like California Roll and the Shrimp Tempura Roll, but I’ll eat sashimi.  Raw fish, fine.  Snails, no.

Seen a UFO?

Literally, I have seen many things flying I couldn’t identify.  Flying saucers or space aliens from other planets however, no.

Rescued an animal?

Out on the farm, depending on how you want to count rescue.  There were a whole series of dogs who showed up in various states of repair, hung around for the summer, and disappeared of their own accord.  A few cats too.

Met someone rather famous?

I like the modifier “rather” in this question.  It is a very English affectation, like you might not be expect to have brushed up against real fame, just some lesser degree of it.

We occasionally talk about famous people at family events and I always find it amusing who focuses on what sort of fame.  It seems to be divided up between sports stars, musicians, movie and television stars, and then there I am talking about tech luminaries.  So when it is my turn I always bring up that I have met and conversed with Steve Wozniak a few times.  But if you need somebody in one of the other categories, I got to talk with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead a few times as he was something of a Macintosh enthusiast back in the late 80s/early 90s.

Fortizar Kill in Notoras

To cut to the chase, we blew up a Fortizar in Notoras, which is Black Rise, which is low sec space.  It belonged to Snuffed Out.

Another structure goes boom

There were actually a lot of us on that kill mail.  Looking down the list of the 413 characters listed, I can see at least three different fleets represented.  The Initiative brought a Zealot fleet, while a Sacrilege and Jackdaw fleet formed up in Cloud Ring and flew out to join in.

Zealot getting reps after flying into the PDS

There were also some capitals formed up and jumped to a mid point, though they were not called in.

We were clearly expecting a fight.

I didn’t see any pre-pings for the op, but happened to be online and done with work in the afternoon just in time to join up.  Asher was leading the Sac fleet and I almost didn’t get into it, as it filled up so fast.  A few people must have jumped to the Jackdaw fleet or swapped to a capital, because I managed to slip in after getting the fleet full message for a while.

I was going out in my lucky Guardian, being lucky that it lived through the last op.  I actually volunteers to be a capacitor transfer Guardian this time around.  You pull off the remote repair modules in your high slots, swapping them out for some more capacitor transfer module so you can cap up other ships in the fleet if they need it.  I had read up on the doctrine and saw this was something we might need once in a while, so had brought the modules with me.  I would be in the cap chain, but could turn off broadcasts for repair as I couldn’t repair anything.  I was just there to fill up the tank of other ships.

Things formed up and got settled pretty quickly and we were soon undocking.

Everybody out of the Keepstar

The capitals jumped from the undock, while the subcap fleets went off to meet up with a pair of titans to get bridged on their way to the target.

Simultaneous bridges up

That got us into low sec, where we gated out way to the destination, fighting the usual time dilation issue that comes up when you start pushing a few hundred ships through otherwise quiet parts of space.

The gate animations are pretty cool in slow motion

We got into the Notoras and sat on a friendly structure for a bit before being warped on grid with the Fortizar.  The final repair timer was already counting down and a gunner was present in the structure.

On grid with the target

On grid with a lot of ships, we didn’t see any opposition other than the structure itself.  But Asher told us the hostiles were formed up.  Capitals had jumped into position to oppose us, having passed through a mid point while somebody was watching, while they were reported to have a full Muninn fleet and additional formations ready to drop in on us.  A fight sounded imminent.

And then a Pilgrim force recon showed up at range from us and lit a cyno.  Asher warped us to it and we blew it up quickly enough.  A quick kill to get the event started.

Asher warped us back into range of the Fortizar and we went back to shooting it.  Well, those with weapons did, the logi just orbited around their anchor and listened to what was happening in coms.

Guardians out and orbiting

Arrendis, the logi anchor, moved us around to keep us in range of the fleet but to avoid some of the bombs coming from the Fort.  In taking stock of the logi, he apparently noticed Crake MaddAdam for the first time, who was along in an Exequror.  Arrendis told him he was likely to die when the fight came, but I had to admit he had picked the right SKIN to join up with us.

Still the best logi SKIN ever

Meanwhile, we started getting word about the impending fight.  Its likelihood seemed to be diminishing rapidly.  Asher reported that the hostile capitals were spotted heading back from whence they came, that some subcaps that had flown in from the dronelands were homeward bound, and that the Muninns might be standing down.

The question then was whether or not we had killed their only cyno ship, because everything seemed to be building for a fight right up until that exploded.  It seems unlikely, but sometimes people forget to have backup plan.

So it looked like we were just going to blow up a Fortizar with a bunch of people.  As the structure got down under 10% I slipped away from the logi and into range so I could launch a drone to get in a couple of hits so I too would appear on the kill mail.  The gunner had abandoned his post as the end came near so the PDS was off.  My drone made it there and back.

Things went boom.  Nkosis wanted to loot and there was some discussion around that.  And then we turned around and gated back home.

Returning to base

That took a bit, once again due to time dilation caused by pushing that many ships through low sec, but it wasn’t all that far to go, even without a titan bridge short cut.

We made it back, free burning most of the way, and I docked up, pulled the extra cap transfer modules off the Guardian, putting the remote armor rep modules back on lest I forget, and that was that.  There were a few points during the fleet where bombs were hitting us and I thought about repping, only to realize I could only cap people up, so I had very little to do save look out the window and listen to coms.  But at least my Guardian made in back home again.

Addendum:  And the next day we blew up another one in Rakapas, again with little opposition.

Zen and the Art of Minecraft Maintenance

In my thrashing around to find a game that would scratch the seemingly unscratchable itch for something to escape into fully I launched Minecraft.

It had been a while.

About a year ago I wrote about finding the pillagers associated with the Village & Pillage update, but my play time tapered off from there.  Over the summer I downloaded the latest copy of the world… coming up on being five years old soon… and cancelled my Minecraft Realms account.  It wasn’t all that expensive at $7.99 a month, but that was also the monthly price for Disney+, so I closed that down and went off to watch The Mandelorian.

So to go back to the world meant running it locally, something I hadn’t really done in ages.  I went looking for hosting for a shared world almost immediately after starting to play.

Logging back into that last save of the world, I traveled back to the core area along the rail lines I had built over the years.  There I found a hole blown in a section of track.

This happens sometimes when you are traveling by mine cart.  A creeper will be close to the tracks and you’ll roll on by and be close enough to the creeper to set him off… and boom, there goes a section of track.  But that is in your rear view mirror and, as some of us were taught apparently, what is behind you doesn’t matter.

That gave me a mission idea.  I decided to go ride the rails once more to check the track integrity and repair places where it had been blown up.  I packed up some rail supplies… track pieces and redstone torches… and set out on my ride.

Replacement track in hand

It is a long ride to roll down all of my overland rail routes.  I have the great loop I made back in the day as well as the rail line that runs from the north end of the loop up the road and rail line that I built to connect the northern mansion.  To cover the whole thing takes about a half dozen day/night cycles in the game even if you’re not stopping along the way.

So I rolled on down the line, running into a couple more breaks in the rails.  They appeared to be clustered around one stretch of track though, so I was able to carry on and just sight see.

I was interested in how the game would perform locally.  For most of the life of our Minecraft world, originally founded back on Father’s Day 2015, it has been online and hosted by Minecraft Realms, which has had its issues over the years.  The servers tend to be a big laggy during peak hours so moving by mine cart can end up with a lot of rubberbanding or stops and starts as the server tries to keep up with your movement, loading up new chunks as they approach.

It was better on my own machine, but not as much as one might have hoped I suppose.  I had thrown Minecraft on a regular drive rather than an SSD, so I hadn’t optimized for performance, but even a local drive ought to do okay.  I got some lags now and then, though I suspect the power manager’s desire to spin down any drive the moment nobody is accessing it might play into that.  I should tinker with that setting.

But it also wasn’t an apples to apple comparison.  Over on Minecraft Realms they limit your view distance so that you only load a relatively few chunks at a time.  On my machine I had the view distance set out to maximum, so I was making the game load up a lot more data.  So that probably plays into the lag I was experiencing from time to time.

It was worth it however.  After years of playing with a horizon that was very close, rolling across the world with the horizon set much further away was… immersive in a way I had forgotten Minecraft could be.

It is hard to find a screen shot that does the feeling justice.  With the minimum view distance it is very easy to get lost in the world, to lose sight of landmarks very quickly, to not know what is just over the next hill because the horizon is so close to hand.  But now I could see much further out, see things down the line or off to either side; towns, animals, different biomes.  It was quite pleasant.

Looking out as I roll along

So I made my way around the loop and then on my way up north to the mansion, stopping every once in a while at one settlement or another to spend the night or explore a bit.  I rolled through a lot of places that were just vague memories.  It was a very relaxing tour, which wound up at the mansion where I found my heard of llamas.  I had forgotten about them.

A bit of my heard and the mansion

I stayed there for a while, poking around a bit and clearing out a few zombies and skeletons who had taken up residence.

After that I went into the nether to take the rail line there back to the main loop, which takes 1/8th the time.  But even wandering around a bit in the nether I found the expanded horizon aspect of the game to be an improvement.  Being able to see further changes the feel of things more than I expected it would.

Back in the world and up in the clouds

I am somewhat torn by this.  I did quite enjoy the shared world aspect when I had the world hosted.  That helped make the world what it is.  But now, rolling around it by myself with my horizons literally expanded, it makes the game seem more appealing.

I suppose there are hosting services that would allow this sort of view distance to be set, but no doubt it would cost.  Minecraft Realms is as cheap as it is largely because it limits what you can do.  There are always trade offs I suppose.

Rebuffed Again in X-7OMU

We had another op out of Cloud Ring run last night.  The ping popped up as I was sitting down, so I logged right in and got in the fleet.  We were once again headed out in Sacrileges, so I went with the logi wing in my Guardian.  As we were getting ready I stepped away for a minute, got distracted, and when I got back I heard the FC, Kocicek, telling us to align for the Ansiblex.  I quickly hit the undock button and got out just in time to pick up the warp and follow the fleet, jumping through not too far behind.  By the next gate I was caught up.

Sac fleet outbound

We took the same route we took the other day after the move op, heading up to 6RCQ and into Pure Blind.  It was gate, Ansiblex, gate, and so on until we hit our first waypoint, KLY-C0.  There an armor timer was coming out on a Pandemic Horde Raitaru, which we formed up and shot, sending it to the final timer.

Just a blob of us flying around

That done, we warped off to a Fortizar of our own and met up with a titan who quickly bridged us off to our next destination, X-7OMU.

Off we go

There again.  That was where we had a tough time after the move op, and PanFam and the locals were formed up and waiting for us again, with Abaddons and Muninns and capital support, again.  This was another armor timer, thus not the final fight for the structure, so I suppose there was some question as to whether they would show up.  Question answered.

We got on grid with the Astrahus, as we did back on Saturday, and started putting damage on it as the time came out.

Circling the Astrahus

Unlike the last fight, where we left the citadel grid to take the fight elsewhere, this time we stuck it out.  It did not go well.  The gunner on the Astrahus was throwing a mix of damage and void bombs at us, the latter which can disrupt even cap chaining Guardians.  The void bomb hits and your capacitor is suddenly empty to the point that your cap transfer modules turn off and if you’re not paying attention you can find yourself drained and falling behind.

Meanwhile the damage bombs were keeping everybody broadcasting while the web on the Astrahus was on our anchor to slow us down, though we kept swapping anchors in order to mitigate that.  And then the hostile fleets came out to get us.  Things seemed to fall apart about then, though I was very busy following broadcasts for damage.

At one point Kocicek warped us and I caught the warp just as an interdictor bubbled the fleet, so I was alone until I could turn around and warp back to the fleet with a couple other ships that happened to be as quick to align as I.  That broke the cap chain where I was until I got back in range, by which time one of my cap buddies was down, as were two of the alternate anchors.

Kocicek told us to starburst as a bubble went up and warp to a safe.  I was getting yellow boxed as that happened, but had quickly scooted out of the bubble that was on us and was warping off as damage began to hit.  I was going to get away.

Almost on my way out… just pixels left on that align bar…

And then another bubble went up and I was just inside of it, cancelling my warp.  I scooted out of that, overheated my hardeners, and set myself to warp once more.  Damage was landing and I had to move to align and things looked pretty dicey for a bit there.  And the warp drive kicked in and I was off.

The hull is still half full, right?

I had warped to a planet, but wanted to get away from there, so warped to another in order to make at least a mid-point bookmark.  But X-7OMU is one of those huge systems and I fell out of warp before I made it to my destination, my capacitor drained.

So there I was, wandering at a mid-point in the system, halfway into my structure, heat damage on my lowers (and no nanite repair paste, I seemed to have forgotten it), and not really in any shape to do anything but hide.  However, Kocicek spoke up and told us to warp to him when he said to… so I got that up and ready to click… and he said “Warp to me…” and I was off.  And then he counted down from three, so I landed way off from him, but still on grid and close enough to get the fleet warp that pulled us all off to the J-CIJV gate, where we jumped out of the system.

An unguarded way out

We went from there to G95-VZ where we tethered up on yet another Fortizar we have hanging around the region and the repair function slowly took care of my hull, armor, shields, and heat damage.

Repairing on the Fort

From there the way home was pretty straightforward.  Once everybody was ready we made our way back to the end of the Ansiblex network and headed back to Cloud Ring from whence we had started.

Back in the Cloud Ring nebula

The fight, such that it was, did not go well for us.  The battle report, which looks incomplete to me… though if you don’t get on a kill you don’t appear on the list and we got precious few kills… shows us taking a pasting for very little gain.  We lost the objective and over 100 ships for only 9 real kills.

Battle Report Header – Click to Enlarge

But we cannot win them all.  Mistakes were made, ships were lost, and hopefully some lessons were learned, as I am sure we will be back again.

During the fight I did see Riverini get called as a target, one of the few I I recall coming up.  The experience of the fight was invigorating enough that he actually wrote about in on EN24, his first post in quite a while.  There was also a short AAR on Reddit, again highlighting that this was not a shining moment for the Imperium.

The Long Run of Fippy Darkpaw

The promised final post of the Fippy Darkpaw server era.  The server merges started yesterday and so the Fippy Darkpaw server has been merged into the Vox server as part of the server merges Daybreak announced back around the anniversary.  Having launched back in early 2011, its long run is finally over.

Classic Fippy Darkpaw

Back in late 2010 SOE told us that they were going to go down the nostalgia path.  This wasn’t the first time they had done this, having tried this with The Combine and The Sleeper back in June of 2006.

It always seems a bit crazy to me that they were already headed down that lane fourteen years ago.  Prophecy of Ro was the current expansion back then, with The Serpent’s Spine in the offing, and they were still rolling out two expansions a year.

Then again, they waited almost five years before they tried it again, this time with the Fippy Darkpaw server.

Fippy announcement back in the day

And, like its predecessor, Fippy Darkpaw was so popular at launch that they had to roll out another server to keep up with the demand.

This was the precursor for the current Daybreak era.  Back then they seemed to believe that you could only play the special server card every so often, so they left a lot of time between launches.

They also had a lot to learn about promoting these servers.  One of my complaints about the Fippy Darkpaw era was that they launch it and then pretty much ignored it after that, save for the announcement of expansion unlocks.

This was also the racing era where the next unlock vote was dictated by how soon the leading raid guild finished off the content of the current expansion.  We still had to vote, but you had to be at the level cap to cast your ballot, so the raiding guilds ruled… at least until we go to the Gates of Discord expansion.

SOE did seem to have some plans to track the server progress graphically, with an expansion unlock status bar on their web site along with an objective tracker below.

Luclin Now Open

Perhaps they felt that the tracker would be a substitute for actual GM attention or announcements.  It was better than nothing… until it stopped working and then it was like the server didn’t exist.

SOE was a bigger company then and, we have a sense after the fact, that the game was being pulled in multiple directions.  It wasn’t until Daybreak forced the team to slim down (every year) and the Holly Longdale faction won out that some serious effort was put into the retro and special server idea.

And, lo and behold, they discovered that you can do something every year and it will attract both new players and old.  So it is this year.  While Fippy Darkpaw is going away, two new servers will be launching next week to carry on the tradition and follow in the path of The Combine and Fippy Darkpaw.

Now it is time to wrap up the history of the server.  I have, at times, tried to maintain something of a server timeline.  Initially it was just expansion completion and unlocks, but I injected some of the other things that were going on during its run.

So it goes.  I’ll have a post about my own time on the server later.  But for now we bid farewell to SOE’s second nostalgia experiment.  Long may the idea prosper.

The CSM15 Election Candidate List

People have applied to run, CCP has sorted through the applications, so now we have an official list of candidates for the CSM15 election.

The candidate list is in

45 people posted campaign threads in the campaign section of the forums, from which CCP was able to endorse 40 people to run for office.

They are, sorted alphabetically, with their names linked to their forum campaign post:

I am not sure why the five other candidates didn’t make the cut.  I was looking forward to watching maybe the next Gevlon take his place on the stage.  But, alas, it was not to be.  No doubt those corrupt GMs and devs spiked his run.

I also thought, since Nosy Gamer decided not to dive in and do his coverage of the campaign this year, that I might pick up some of the slack on that front.  And then I watched the candidate announcement Twitch stream from CCP and, seriously, the thought of having to listen to any more streams like that was enough to warn me off.  So the handy list above is about all you’re getting out of me for candidate info.

That said, I do want to explore the list a bit, at least from a meta level, just to point out some of the groups represented.  So who is on the list?

Incumbents

We have five members of CSM14 returning to run again.  While CCP announced term limits of a sort, those in the last CSM only get one mark against their three consecutive term tally.  So the following CSM14 members are running for another term.

  • ExookiZ – Initiative Mercenaries
  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Vily – TEST Alliance Please Ignore

All five of these candidates now hail from large null sec blocs, though last time around ExookiZ was part of Scary Wormhole People.  I wonder who recruited him into the Imperium?

The other members of CSM14, Aryth, Steve Ronuken, Dunk Dinkle, Olmeca Gold, and Sort Dragon (who replaced Killah Bee mid-term) declined to run again.

Past CSM Members

In addition, we have three candidates who served on past CSMs.

  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative
  • Mike Azariah – The Scopex
  • Xenuria – Goonswarm Federation

Null Sec Candidates

Overall, the bulk of candidates on the list are from null sec.  They are:

  • Alexis Finch – Brave Collective
  • BlazingBunny – Northern Coalition
  • Boernl – Pandemic Horde
  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative
  • Darius Caliente – Unified Federation of Conifers
  • ExookiZ – Initiative Mercenaries
  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Ironwulf – Evictus
  • January Valentine – Science and Trade Institute
  • Jurius Doctor – NullSechnaya Sholupen
  • Juvenius Drakonius – Goonswarm Federation
  • Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion
  • Leehams DaWildabeast – Pandemic Horde
  • Maria Taylor – Fraternity
  • Meredith en Thielles – Solyaris Chtonium
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Murray Rothbardo – Federated Alliance of Mafias
  • PJHustle – Initiative Associates
  • Prospektor Schipplock – Goonswarm Federation
  • Steadyo – Pandemic Horde
  • Storm Delay – Pandemic Horde
  • UAxDEATH – Legion of xXDEATHXx
  • Vily – TEST Alliance Please Ignore
  • Xenuria – Goonswarm Federation

Some 25 out of the 40 lay claim to some association with a null sec alliance or bloc.  Two of them are from non-bloc groups, Murray Rothbardo and Darius Caliente, though the Conifers and their allies do add up to about 2K players.  And then there is Jurius Doctor of NullSechnaya Sholupen, which is folding up shop again.  But he was in null sec when he posted.

Not all of the candidates on this list are running on a specific null sec platform… I am sure, for example, that ExookiZ is still about wormhole space… but that is where their banners are raised.  If you align with null sec you have to make the case why you shouldn’t be counted with them I suppose.

Not Null Sec Candidates

That leaves us with 15 non-null sec candidates whom I have tried to sum up in a few words based on their forum posts:

  • Dhuras – Moist – WH small gang
  • DutchGunner – Arataka Research Consortium – High Sec group PvE
  • Ikarus Cesaille – Silent Company – High Sec newbie focus
  • Insidious Sainthood – RvB – BLUE Republic – High Sec group PvP
  • Kalen Tsero – Tsundere Triad – Low Sec PvP
  • Komi Valentine – Tribal Intelligence Agency – High Sec roleplay
  • Loroseco Kross – Hard Knocks Citizens – WH space
  • Mike Azariah – The Scope – High Sec newbie helper
  • Pandora Singularity – Sixth Empire – RP
  • Phantomite – Same Great Taste – Low Sec
  • Rheaha Preynar – Free Range Chikuns – Low Sec
  • Stitch Kaneland – The Tuskers Co. – Low Sec PvP
  • Styxx – D.A.R.K. – High Sec
  • The OZ – Pecunia Infinita – Market/Industry
  • Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers – Streamer and Abyssal PvE/PvP

My summaries might be subject to differing opinions, my few words leaving little room for nuance, so you should go view the forum posts of the candidates to read their words rather than take my word for it.  That pretty much goes for all the candidates really.

Who is Going to Win?

The CSM15 election doesn’t start until June 1, 2020, so we have almost two weeks of tedious campaigning to go through, during which one candidate or another may enhance or wreck their chances to be elected.  We can only hope for some drama really.  Otherwise the time will likely just put people to sleep and suppress voter turn out.

There is also the question of who is going to get spots on the various alliance and bloc ballots.  All 25 people on the null sec list won’t make the cut for that.  Several have mentioned that in their candidate posts, like Juvenius Drakonius, who is running for the Spanish language demographic.

But I can still hazard a guess now, since I like to make predictions, if only to measure them later against what actually came to pass.  So here is my outlook as of today.

Hard to see how they won’t be elected:

  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Vily – TEST Alliance Please Ignore

Very likely if they get a good ballot position:

  • Alexis Finch – Brave Collective
  • BlazingBunny – Northern Coalition
  • UAxDEATH – Legion of xXDEATHXx

Wild cards that might make the cut if they have a big enough support base:

  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative (Has to fight the “he’s guilty!” crowd)
  • ExookiZ – Initiative Mercenaries (WH support still?)
  • Insidious Sainthood – RvB – BLUE Republic (RvB is pretty big)
  • Maria Taylor – Fraternity (If Chinese players vote)
  • Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers (Streamer/content creator people have heard of)
  • Mike Azariah – The Scope (Persistence paid off in the past)

That is a baker’s dozen set of names for ten slots.  I’d bet money on the top four and that at least seven of the ten will be from the null sec list.  We shall see.

Anyways, the campaign season is upon us.  Unless something out of the ordinary happens, my next post about CSM15 will be when elections begin.