Tag Archives: CCP

The Great Outpost Conversion Commences

Then end of captureable stations is upon us.

We have been waiting for this since at least EVE Fanfest 2017, when it was discussed in detail, and possibly since the last game update in YC118 (December 2016), when the last outpost was deployed in null sec, or even since EVE Vegas 2014, when CCP Seagull spoke in the keynote about the roadmap of changes coming to EVE Online.

Time to drag this old slide out again… Are we at stargate construction yet?

CCP has planned for this change, written dev blogs to prepare people, and tried it out a couple of times on the test server.  But today it is happening for real.  All of the capturable stations… or outposts… or whatever they’re supposed to be called… will be converted to faction Fortizar type citadels.  Gone will be the stations that I and many others have grown accustomed to as a way of life in null sec space.

VFK-IV Station goes missing today

There are 1,217 outposts in player owned null sec… including the 8 in Jove space owned by CCP alliances… and CCP started a 3 hour downtime to covert them all into the new faction Fortizars.  That meant processing the contents of the stations, which according to the last dev blog included:

  • More than 53,300,000 inventory items.
  • More than 75,800 market orders.
  • More than 33,000 contracts.
  • More than 240,000 bookmarks.

Each item needs to be processed and placed into the correct corresponding new citadel.  Easy enough, as it is all just information in tables in a database.  But there is a lot of information and it has to be processed in a timely fashion and correctly, because mistakes will make players scream.

The new Fortizars will be special.  Some will have the look of old station models and are named after stations of note from the history of New Eden.  Players will be able to pack them up, move them, sell them, whatever.  And, of course, they can now be destroyed as well.  But each comes pre-configured with special rigs that make them more valuable if left in place, as packing them up will destroy these rigs and there will be no replacements.

The main beneficiaries of these new faction Fortizars contain some names you probably expect.  The final tally over at DOTLAN was:

Alliances sorted by Outpost Ownership

TEST alliance is at the top of the chart, with 102, having reaped the rewards of throwing Pandemic Legion out of Providence last month.  ProviBloc got the sovereignty, but TEST got the stations.

Goonswarm is second with 80 outposts, mostly in Delve, Querious, and adjacent regions.

The skill urself alliance was the beneficiary of the collapse of xXDeathXx in the east, gobbling up stations as they fell back to find a spot to crash on the couch of Legacy Coalition.

Brothers of Tangra is a renter alliance owned by NCDot, which itself is also on the top ten.  Combined the two add up to 106, so they win the crown for most outposts total I guess.  From there on down the rest of the top ten looks like the usual suspects.

There is a post up on Reddit that includes a spreadsheet listing the final ownership of all 1,217 stations if you are interested. (And yes, I will continue to use the words “station” and “outpost” interchangeably for as long as I continue to write.)  That indicates that TEST actually has 104, as certain older outposts don’t get counted on DOTLAN.  However, that still wasn’t enough to beat NCDot.

This all, for residents of null sec, is a big change.  We have mostly adapted to Upwell structures.  Delve is positively littered with them, to the point that I had to remove moon mining structures from my travel overview when I was last back as they were blotting out everything else displayed.  But the stations remained and were still used now and again.  The disposition of all of these special Fortizars will no doubt be a topic of interest for some time as ones in famous locations get packed up or destroyed.

And, of course, there are still stations in NPC null sec.  Station undock games will continue to be a thing.

But one big side effect of this change will be the unlocking of a lot of ships and items that had been stored in stations.  Everything left over in a hostile station which a player could not access will wind up in asset safety and be delivered a low sec NPC station where the owner can recover it for a fee.

This raises some questions.  How much of this will end up on the market and will it have any impact?  Will people come back to the game now that they can get their stuff back?  Will people setup and sell in place or haul stuff back to Jita?  And, since the NPC stations where these assets will end up are not a secret, will there be any effort to interdict some of this recovered wealth?

I suspect the impact will of this will be minimal… unlikely to outweigh all the assets being lost in Abyssal pockets over the last week… we need a dev blog on that… but I will be interested to see the Monthly Economic Report next month just to see.

Personally, I did not have much in the way of assets trapped in hostile stations.  As noted in blog posts over two years in age, I was able to pack up and haul most of my stuff out of Tribute just ahead of the invasion during the Casino War.  Likewise, the attacking forces obliged us by leaving Deklein mostly unwatched for weeks after we had pulled back to Saranen, so I was able to ship out nearly everything from there as well, leaving jump clones behind to fly out a couple of ships I did not want to repackage.

I have a few ships trapped in stations in Pure Blind, but that is about it.  Not much of a haul.

Anyway, we shall see.  According to the forum thread tracking the conversion, things we successfully and the server was back online and accepting connections at 13:56 UTC.  There was also an update blog post which included a link to the patch notes, as there were a few changes to Into the Abyss content that went in today as well, including a loot balance pass for abyssal pockets.  So there we go.

Of course, the job seeming done and it actually being done can be two different things.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that an emergency downtime or two were needed today.

It will be odd, being tethered on something that looks like one of the old outposts.  And Alliance logos on them as well?

But it will soon be seen as the norm as we move on.

Next on the chopping block; player owned outposts, the POSes of old.  Right now all they really to is hold cyno beacons and jump bridge modules as well as giving bridging titans a place to hide in hostile space.  The writing is on the wall for the good old POS.

What is EVE Project Galaxy?

Earlier today CCP let slip on Twitter something about a new game called EVE: Project Galaxy.

So many questions now…

The tweet was quickly deleted, but it was captured and posted to Reddit pretty quickly, from where I got the above image.  Nothing posted to the internet ever really disappears.  Massively OP picked it up as well, but has nothing further that what is pictures above.

Now, of course, there are nothing but questions and no answers in sight.

This is apparently in addition to Project: Nova and Project: Aurora, the latter which we saw at EVE Vegas last year and which has since been christened EVE: War of Ascension.

NetEase is of course the Chinese giant that, among many other things, owns titles like Fantasy Westward Journey and runs games like World of Warcraft and Minecraft in China for Blizzard and Microsoft respectively.  So a big company with a big staff and plenty of resources to throw at new titles.  The positively dwarf CCP by most any measure you care to mention.

And then there is the mention of Apple’s ARKit 2, which is their augmented reality framework for mobile apps.  Augmented reality and EVE Online?  Internet spaceships in our personal spaces?

So how does a huge Chinese developer and augmented reality mix together in a mobile app… excuse me, a mobile MMO… in a way that will “bring an authentic EVE Online experience” to people?  I am not sure how that all adds up.

Anyway, if nothing else, Net Ease being involved probably means that few if any EVE Online development resources were moved off to work on this.  But I am curious to see what all of this adds up to when CCP finally gets around to announcing it for real.

Addendum: Since this post went up, the tweet has been tweeted again:

Still no idea what it really means.  As for timing, I gather it was just to get some traction from the ARKit 2 announcement at the Apple WWDC.

Addendum 2:  CCP Falcon describing the difference between the two mobile games being developed:

EVE: War of Ascension and EVE: Project Galaxy are two different games.  War of Ascension is being co-developed with Kongregate, and Project Galaxy is being co-developed with NetEase.

War of Ascension is designed from the ground up to be a mobile game that gives a taste of the EVE Universe, where as Project Galaxy’s aim is to bring the actual 3D feel of the desktop version of EVE to mobile

And CCP Falcon on where the dev resources are coming from:

Resources aren’t being diverted from EVE Online to develop Project Galaxy.

It’s being co-developed with a partner in China, NetEase, who’re working on the game itself, with CCP as a strategic partner and the owner of the IP. We’re working close with them to make sure we get the best possible experience of EVE on a mobile device.

Addendum 3:  These are alleged to be early pictures from the game in one of the videos from the ARKit 2 page.

The familiar shape of an Apoc on the screen

Shooting a TCU maybe?

I am not sure how AR makes this better, but there it is.

Election Time! Get out the Vote for CSM 13

The annual stuffing of virtual ballot boxes kicked off today at 12:00 UTC

The time to vote is now

CCP has a post up with instructions and links as to how to vote.  If you want to go straight to voting you can go here and login.  Or if you want to see the candidates, the official list is here, but I would recommend a visit to CSM Wire for a more detailed look.

As for who to vote for, that is always the question.  We got our first look at the candidates back at EVE Fanfest almost two month back.  Since then they have had time to campaign.

The CSM13 candidate list

The ballot will present you with 47 candidates in a random sort order.  But who should you vote for?  That is always the question.

Greasy pole political metaphor in stair form

I thought this year I would list out the candidates by where they call home, just to see who represents what.  Even with a reduction in the number of candidates this year, I still don’t recognize most of them, even some in my coalition.

These lists are based on what organization the candidate calls home for the most part.  They can say whatever they want on their platform, but this is where they are from.  Those with an asterisk are CSM12 incumbents.

Null Sec – 31 Candidates

  • Afropty – Darkness
  • Aryth* – Goonswarm Federation
  • aspecialpinecone – Iron Armada
  • bastet 666 – Legion of xXDEATHXx
  • Bei ArtJay – Unspoken Alliance
  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative
  • Cacique Yuhasz – TEST
  • Carbon Alabel – CVA
  • Commander Aze – The Bastion
  • Creecher Virpio – TEST [Removed by CCP June 8, 2018]
  • Cwittofur Cesaille – Da Imbalance
  • Damian Blackie – Fraternity
  • Innominate* – Goonswarm Federation
  • Jin’taan* – TEST
  • Kali Omega – Chaos Theory
  • Killah Bee – NCDot
  • Malakai Asamov – NCDot
  • Mawderator – Snuffed Out
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Otto Bismarck – Tactical Supremacy
  • Parobro – Chaos Theory
  • Raphendyr Nardieu – Suddenly Content
  • Solar Taranogas – The Watchmen
  • Sort Dragon* – Darkness
  • Sullen Decimus – The Bastion
  • The Judge* – Goonswarm Federation
  • The Ludocrat – Goonswarm Federation
  • Tikktokk Tokkzikk – Pandemic Legion
  • Winter duFallen – Pandemic Horde
  • Xenuria – Goonswarm Federation
  • ZepWunderbar – Tactical Narcotics Team

While there may be 17 fewer candidates than there were last year, the numbers from 0.0 space seem as strong as ever.  Clearly null sec still believes that the CSM is important.  Or maybe it is that people who go to play our there enjoy diplomacy, deals, and sandbox politics.  But if you used you’re votes at random you would be more likely than not to vote for somebody who calls null sec their home.

Wormhole – 5 Candidates

  • Arielle en Distel – Signal Cartel
  • Claevyan – Surrounded by Wormholes
  • ExookiZ – Scary Wormhole People
  • Razorblade92 – Stranger Danger
  • Tifida – Outlaws

Not so many from wormhole space, but at least Signal Cartel is on the list.

Low Sec – 5 Candidates

  • Chainsaw Plankton – FaDoyToy
  • Kalen Tsero – Kalen Tsero
  • Saint Michaels Soul – Villore Accords
  • Silver Suspiria – Federation Uprising
  • Suitonia* – The Felines of the Egg of the Lisa

Low sec is always a strange beast, being in empire space and having factional warfare.  But it still gets a few candidates every year wanting to step up to represent it.

High Sec – 4 Candidates

  • Eurzadahn – Ikusaro
  • Lorelei Ierendi – Lorelei for C S M
  • Steve Ronuken* – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • Syncopee Farnsworth – The Architects

High sec remains an outpost of the solo player, where it is hard to build a power base for an election.  While I haven’t done a head to head comparison, it feels like this is where the candidate list fell off a bit when compared to last year.

Other – 2 Candidates

  • Jaha Preynar – EVE University
  • Vincent Eneticum – Deep Core Mining Inc

I was not sure where to put these two since their organization didn’t really match or had changed since their candidacy was announced.

Anyway, that is my attempt to break out the candidate list in some meaningful way.  Again, if you wish to research the candidates in detail and read/hear their own words, the CSM Wire site has candidates information, statements, and links to interviews.

My own personal view is to beware the single issue candidate.  In watching from afar and talking to a few CSM members at EVE Vegas, a candidate going in with very narrow goals thinking they are going to change the game are likely to be ineffective.  As has been discussed before, the CSM lacks agency.  They cannot DO anything and CCP is free to ignore them, which they have demonstrated their willingness to do in the past.  CCP has referred to the CSM as a “governing body” previously (see the EVE Online timeline), but that is nonsense.  On a good day the CSM is a focus group with enough experience with the game to point out issues with CCP’s plans.  But I’ve been a critic of the idea of players electing the CSM since the idea was announced a decade back.

And so it goes.

Meanwhile, over in the Imperium we have been given our marching orders, with the recommended ballot posted yesterday.

  1. Aryth
  2. Merkelchen
  3. Innominate
  4. The Judge
  5. Brisc Rubal
  6. Mawderator
  7. Sullen Decimus
  8. Commander Aze
  9. Jin’Taan
  10. Steve Ronuken

I will be voting that in the name of self-interest, which is the same reason anybody votes.

The Imperium has enough voting power that the first two are pretty much a given to be elected unless something goes seriously wrong.  Innominate has a decent chance of returning to the CSM as well.  After that, however, candidates had best have a support base outside of the coalition in order to keep them in the running.  Jin’Taan and Steve Ronuken are very likely to make the cut as well, having their own support base elsewhere, which leaves six seats in question.

Anyway, the election ends on June 11 at 12:00 UTC.  You must vote by then or you won’t get to vote at all.  All Omega accounts can vote, so it you have multiple accounts subscribed you can log in each one and cast a ballot.

Finally, one last plug for the CSM Wire site if you want to do some candidate research.

SKIN Scarcity and Rotating Stock

The now standard turnover of items carries on in the New Eden Store, the in-came cash shop in EVE OnlineWe got notice of a new set of SKINs, the Octopus Orange Flight SKINs for some Caldari hulls.

Octopus Orange SKIN on a Raven

Not a bad SKIN if you like bright colors.  A pity that the meta in null sec is mostly about armor tanked ships, so I don’t fly Caldari ships that much these days.  Plus I might have enough SKINs for Caldari already.  Either way I won’t be rushing out to grab any of these SKINs just yet.

Actually, there is another reason I won’t be rushing to buy them.  They’ll eventually be removed from the store and put on sale when that is announced, as happened to a bunch of SKINs as part of teh Octopus Orange Flight announcement.

On the news item, after the list of hulls for the new SKIN, there is a long list of SKINs that will be leaving the New Eden Store.  The Valkyrie set will be going, along with the EoM sets for Amarr ships, the remaining Ruby Sungazer SKINs, the Kopis Edge SKINs for Gallente hulls, and a few others.

I’ll actually miss the Kopis Edge SKINs.  On Gallente hulls it is probably the best looking set of SKINs after the Quafe set.  I picked up a couple of those on sale for hulls I might fly some day, though for some reason the Oneiros isn’t on the list though the Exequror, which shares the same basic hull, is available.  But I have the Oneiros version already… though now I can’t recall where I got it.  Was it an EVE Vegas give away?

Kopis Edge Oneiros undocking with a fleet

Anyway, this the the natural order of things in the New Eden Store. Like most online shopping interfaces, it isn’t made better by having more pages of products to scroll through.  CCP weeds out old items as it adds new ones.  This also lets them play the scarcity card, encouraging players to buy things they might want before they disappear, either for their own use or for speculation.

This has turned into an issue for the Reavers.  While we don’t have a required ship SKIN (though there was a push to get people into the CCP Blaze Ishtar SKIN, which you can see in the background of the screen shot above) we do have an official jacket.  The idea is that when we blow something up the kill mail will have a list of participants wearing the same jacket in front of the same background and in the same pose.

Almost the same pose…

However, in a previous purge our jacket, the Interbus Marshall model, disappeared from the store.  I think it was purged back in March when I had RL issues on my mind, because if I had noticed I would have bought a few to have around for new members.

So now we’re in a bit of a lurch on that front.  It is a bit like real life where, any time I buy something and end up liking it I wonder if I should go buy another because by the time I need another the item will have been discontinued and have disappeared.  This seems especially to be the case with shoes.  Oh well.

At least things that get retired from a virtual store front can be brought back I suppose… eventually.

EVE Online Third Party Apocalypse Day

The deadline in question is May 8th, 2018. On this date, we’ll be shutting down the XML and CREST APIs.

Announcement, Third Party Developer Blog

Today is the day.  It was announced back in January that the old XML and CREST APIs interfaces into EVE Online would be turned off.  The new ESI API has replaced them both.

Those APIs were how many of us got our data into various utilities over the years.  CCP was fairly forward thinking in giving us that access which has allowed third parties to make our lives in New Eden much easier.

Theses APIs have, I suppose, even been a crutch for CCP.  By allowing things like the old EVE Fitting Tool application to be viable let CCP work on other things while leaving the very rudimentary fitting interface in the game to stay as it was for many years.  It allowed third parties to fill in the many gaps in their product.

Of course, it isn’t the end of all of that today.  Plenty of projects have made the transition from XML or CREST to the new ESI API.

Everybody’s favorite zKillboard made the transition a while back.  Likewise, the essetial DOTLAN EVE Maps site made the transition as well, though cut it a bit closer to the wire.

The null sec influence maps have some issues, but are reported to be mostly working.

In the Imperium our character validations swapped over to the ESI API back in March with a deadline to get all players and corporations on it by the middle of last month.  Those who did not make the cut got kicked.  GSF saw a drop of thousands of accounts as a byproduct.

TNT, my own alliance, made the transition more recently.  I am up on the new API there and in our new forums.  I am not sure how reimbursement will work now though.  To submit a loss you have to include the in-game CREST API link.  Did that get updated?  I guess I will find out next time I lose a ship.

Basically, essential things and actively supported projects seem to have made the transition and are mostly running today the way they were yesterday.

The apocalypse has come in the form of languishing projects, things no longer fully supported because the original developer has given up or moved on.  There are many older utilities and sites that were still humming along, able to do their thing mostly okay up until today.

The biggest hit for me on that front is EVEMon.

The familiar logo

The death of EVEMon is a serious blow.  This was the first utility for EVE Online I discovered and it has remained a staple of my time with the game ever since.  I remember when the EVEMon site was hosted over at Battle Clinic, itself a couple years gone.  I launch this application almost every single day when I log into my computer.

And now it is dead.

I am not sure how I am going to replace it.

Sure, there are other utilities that do bits and pieces of what EVEMon did, and the interface within the game has gotten much, much better over the years.  But I have grown so used to EVEMon as a one stop shop to check things across multiple characters over the years that I suspect that I am going to need to hide the icon for it lest I continue to open it up out of habit.

This might be the end of my post every 10 million skill points.  I use EVEMon to collect that data because it was the easiest way to get at it.

So say good-bye to EVE Mon.

My backup plan for doing that post was EVEboard Character Sheets.  However that seems to have been a victim of today’s shut down as well.

Pretty sure those API errors are not temporary…

The site is run by Chribba, and the news section on the front page still points to the now dead API pages, all of which return a 404 if you attempt to visit them.  There is no time stamp on when he did the last update, but it was probably a while back and there is no mention of the new ESI API.  So this could be the end for that site as well.

I also looked into EVE HQ, another utility app, but the current version there still wants you to enter the old API information, so no joy on that front.

These are not the APIs you’re looking for…

There is talk of a future version using the ESI API, but nothing concrete.  Third party developers have lives outside of their utilities.

Today is probably also the final nail in the coffin for the languishing EVE Fitting Tool (EFT).  It hasn’t seen a full update since 2016, but somebody was providing new data files for it to keep it useful.  With the end of access to character data to see if you can fly your spiffy new fit, it feels like it might be time to let that go as well.

There is better news on the Pyfa front, the other ship fitting app.  There was a beta version of the 2.0 release of it made available last week that has the ESI API integrated.

Anyway, there are probably more casualties in the API shut down out there that I haven’t seen.  I didn’t make any sort of detailed survey other than looking for something to replace EVEMon.

My only other concern is reliability.  My experience with ESI so far has been a bit problematic.  As I noted above we have to register our characters with the coalition or get kicked.  That is fine, I did that as soon as it was an option.  However, in going back to check every so often, I have found a couple of my characters unregistered.  Once it was even my main.  I don’t know if this is a problem with the ESI API or the GSF end of things, but now I feel like I have to check on it weekly just to be sure I don’t end up getting kicked.

Life in a null sec coalition.

There is a final eulogy post for the all APIs up on the third party developer site to remember their origin and mark their demise.  In a final ironic twist, there is a link to the “curated” list of third party apps which includes more than a few dead ones, EVEMon included.

And so it goes.

The Never Ending Story of New Eden

I started off yesterday’s post about EVE Online’s fifteenth anniversary with a few points in the back of my brain that I wanted to cover.  I got through a few of them before I went sort of “onion on my belt” about things back in the day and warp to zero not being a thing and all.

That and memories of space

But I did not get to everything on my mental list.  If anybody asks if my posts are planned or accidental I think I can say, “Both!”

Anyway, a key item I wanted to mention was story.

As the years have gone by I have become ever more certain that story is one of the most important parts of an MMORPG.  Not necessarily the story on which the game is based however.  Sure, the fall of Arthas or the various re-tellings of the events around the Burning Legion make for fine backdrops for a game like World of Warcraft.  In fact, in a game where you have as little freedom of action or impact on the world as you do in WoW they may be essential threads from which to weave the tapestry that is the tale of any given character.

But in the end, the essentially piece, the compelling bit, is how you and your friends took part in the story.  That Archaedas was slain in Uldaman yet again is far less important to and individual player than the fact that their group did it and how they accomplished the feat. (In the case of our group, it was nearly 3am and I was excited enough that I woke up my wife in the other room.)

Which brings me to EVE Online and the importance of story there.

The game does not lack for lore.  It provides a backdrop of dates and events and names in which you can immerse yourself.  But that lore is like the props and backdrops of a play.  They can set tone, give you a feel for what is going on, even be part of the narrative.  But the important bit is what the actors themselves do.

And in New Eden the players are the actors.

Yes, you can make a career of wrestling with the props.  You can do what your career agent tells you to do, run missions ad naseum, and chase the epic arcs all by yourself, but statistically CCP says you’ll quit sooner rather than later.

Even opposing the endless efforts of Sansha Kuvakei to occupy space (mocked here on Reddit) will likely lead to boredom if you are looking for the game to give structure to your personal story.

In New Eden, as in a play, it is the story created by the players that is important.  They key to longevity in the game is having an ongoing story.  And there are many possibilities.  Stories are as diverse as the player base and being a part of a story is a compelling reason to stick around.

Story explains my connection with EVE Online, why I have left in the past and why I stick around now.  At various points in the first half of my time in the game I grabbed onto and then lost hold of a story that could keep me interested.  Often the story in question was a trip to a destination, like achieving mining perfection or succeeding with invention or making a billion ISK.

Moving to null sect in late 2011 changed that.  That move put me into a story that just keeps going.  It might be the biggest story of the game, the ongoing conflicts and over sized personalities of that part of the game.  It is the part of New Eden they write books about what the players are up to rather than the lore.

From the Dark Horse Comics telling of the Fall of Band of Brothers

Being a part of that story, seeing it in person, “being there” is a big part of what keeps me logging into the game.  It creates a considerable tolerance in me for the often mundane day to day operations that go on in null sec.  You never know when shooting a structure or dropping a citadel is going to be the start of a series of events that leads to a war starting or a coalition abandoning their space.  Even yelling at somebody can start a chain of events.

I am also pretty good with the time dilation lag fests that often describe big battles in the game.  Sure, it isn’t the game as we would have it in our ideal scenario, but it is the convergence for a short period of time of thousands of player stories into a single event.

Reinforcements bridge in at 6VDT-H

Even in defeat there are stories, stories I am happy to have been a part of, like the Imperium’s exodus from the north at the end of the Casino War.

Jay leads his people through Rakapas… unless they only had JDC4

But null sec isn’t the only story.  It is just the biggest, shiniest, and easiest to follow, played out on maps that you can follow via DOTLAN or the null sec influence maps.  It also suits my play time availability.  In a large group you don’t have to show up for every fleet.  I’d probably be considered a slacker in a wormhole corp, but am a respectable line member in a null sec coalition.

And so story is everywhere.  Every pirate corp, every wormhole group, every gank fleet, every industrial concern, and even those miner bumpers, they all have a their own story that keeps them going, their own narrative that defines who they are and why they log in.

I walk away from World of Warcraft at some point during almost every expansion because my story within the lines they have defined wears thin.  But I have remained subscribed and active every month since December 2011 in EVE Online, which has to be some sort of record for me.

Story is where it is at in New Eden.  ISK oils the wheels of conflict and enables action, but story is the engine that keeps the game moving forward.

And move forward it does.  It seems odd, but EVE Online is the only game I can think of that has a calendar that really seems to measure something.  Even TorilMUD had a calendar.  If you typed in “time” it would give you the time, day of the week, date, and month.  But the game didn’t change.

But in New Eden the year YC120 is different from YC119, which was different from the years before that.  The missions didn’t change.  That damsel is still in distress, worlds still collide, and you’re still being asked to avenge a fallen comrade.  The epic arcs didn’t change.  You still have to follow the same steps through them.  And Sansha Kuvakei sure didn’t change.  He is still launching his incursions time and again.

But the player stories all moved on.  Some new ones start, some old ones end, and the rest continue, maybe in a different part of space or facing different foes or competitors.  Maybe there are good days, successful ops or being well positioned in the market for a change, sometimes there are bad, but the story carries on so long as you want to be a part of it.

The Road to CSM13

Back in early February we learned that one of the outcomes of the Winter summit was a list of changes to the CSM election process.  In summary:

  • Move the CSM elections to a point later in the year
  • Increase the amount of time for campaigns
  • Reduce the actual time spent voting
  • Announce the results sooner

The reasoning behind them is covered in the link above.  Now CCP has followed up to fill in some of the details as to how this will play out.

Coming to a space election near you…

The plan so far:

  • Applications are open – March 19 to 23
  • Application processing – March 23 to April 11
  • Candidates for CSM 13 are announced – FANFEST (April 12-14)
  • Voting will take place late April/May – Dates will be announced later in a separate blog
  • Spring/Summer – CSM 13 onboarding & orientation
  • CSM 13 Summit 1 – September (likely dates are Sept 3-6)
  • CSM 13 Summit 2 – February

I am going to say, up front, that the application period seems pretty short.  I am not sure that was part of the original plan, or something new to cut down on the number of candidates, but last year the application period ran for two weeks, February 3 to 17.  14 days to 4 days is more than a bit of a cut.

It seems like the second step, processing all those crazy applications, could be trimmed back a bit to allow more time for applications, since that only took two weeks last time around.  Or they could just start accepting them earlier.

I actually went and asked about this on the forum thread setup to discuss this.  Of course, I showed up to as a question about the process only to find a thread mired knee deep in the usual debates about the CSM and CCP and how things should be.  Welcome to EVE Online.

I was wondering if, as with the voting aspect of the process, they might have some insider insight.  Maybe almost everybody who runs applies on the first day anyway, so the two week window wasn’t really helping anybody.

Surprisingly, to me at least because my expectations, as set by the industry as a whole, are to never expect to hear anything ever about any comment or question, CCP Guard responded and said that the window for applications wasn’t felt to be as important as the actual notice and run up time to get things in order.

Then I pointed out that last year, from announcement to the final day of applications, players had 40 days while this year it was only 24 days, and that was all I heard about that as the thread continued to be people complaining about various aspects of the CSM, like the NDA requirement.

Anyway, beyond that we’re back on track again, with the candidates being announced at Fanfest.

After that things get a bit vague.  The plan was to have a longer campaign season followed by a shorter span for actual voting.  Again looking at last year, the time between candidates being announced and when voting began was about a week, after which voting ran on for three weeks.

If they reverse that ratio April seems unlikely as far as the start of voting.  I would guess that, allowing for a 3 to 4 week campaigning period to get us all completely bored with space politics, we might be looking at the election starting on May 6 or May 13.

And after that we’ll get some election results, presumably much more quickly than last year, and then the newly elected CSM13 can start in on all of their CSM-y things while people complain about the results and null sec winning too many seats.

Anyway, if you want to run have your passport handy and meet the following criteria:

  • Your account must be older than 60 days at the time candidacy applications close.
  • Characters on both Alpha and Omega accounts are eligible to run.
  • You must have a history of honoring the EULA and the Terms of Service. We will screen every applicant thoroughly and EULA/TOS violations on your record can result in a rejected application.
  • Your account must have updated and correct information at the time of your application. This includes; your real life name, correct date of birth and the same email you use to submit your application. To view and edit this information go to the account management website.
  • Candidates must have reached 18 years of age. If the legal adult age in your home country (the age at which you have the legal capacity to enter into a contract) is higher than 18, that number applies instead.
  • As an applicant, you must consent to provide your personal details to CCP, including your real name and a copy of your passport. CCP needs to affirm your real life identity for NDA contract purposes and the ability to travel to summits in Iceland is a key function of the CSM.
  • If you do not currently have a valid passport, we will accept a picture/scan of a valid and approved passport application accompanied with a picture of your driver‘s license.
  • You must consent to sharing your country of origin with the EVE Community and having it displayed on the EVE Online website. You will not be required to share any other personal information with the EVE community.
  • If you are running as an “alt” and you control a character that has a reputation in the EVE universe, CCP may require you to run under that identity at its full discretion.

Then follow directions on the dev blog to apply to be a candidate.