Tag Archives: Council of Stellar Management

Introducing Your CSM15 Representatives

The votes have been counted and the results are in.  The CSM15 election is over.

Now we’re… uh… done

A total of 36,120 ballots were cast, up about 4K from the CSM14 election.

In about a half an hour dissection of the votes, CCP Dopamine and CCP Aurora went through the election round by round. (video here)  But when the final round was done these were the ten candidates left standing.

The CSM15 Slate

Alphabetically, they are:

  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative
  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion
  • Maria Taylor – Fraternity
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Mike Azariah – The Scope
  • Phantomite – Same Great Taste
  • Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers
  • Vily – TEST Alliance Please Ignore

I was off a some from the guesses I made when voting opened, but out of a bag of 13 I thought were likely, eight of them made it.  Out of the winners there are 7 null sec candidates, 1 low sec, 1 streamer, and 1 high sec newbie helper.

Gobbins and Merkelchen were the first two candidates to meet quote to be elected, making it in the first round.

The Imperium ballot again proved to be about three candidates deep in influence.  It was able to get Merkelchen and Innominate in, passing a few votes on to Brisc, but otherwise failing to lift anybody else down ballot who didn’t have a voter base of their own on which to depend. (The ballot is in the comments of this post if you are interested.)

Congrats to all the winners.  I will link the dev blog with the voting data once it is posted.

Addendum: Dev blog with the voting data is now available.

Last Chance to Vote for CSM15

The voting window for CSM15 closes on Monday, June 8th, at 12:00 UTC, so this weekend is it.

Click on this link to go vote.

The election is almost done

As for who is running and who you should vote for and who is recommending whom and who I think has shot, I covered all of that in a previous post.  I am not going to repeat it all here.  If you care about any of that you can click on the link.

The timeline for the CSM15 election process is almost to its last stop:

  • 27 April-11 13 May – Application period
  • 28 April-15 May – Application processing
  • 18 May – Candidate announcement
  • 18-29 May – Campaign period
  • 1-8 June – Voting period
  • 12 June – CSM 15 reveal

This coming Friday at 19:00 UTC CCP will announced the results on their Twitch stream and we can start complaining about the outcome or whatever the next space outrage ends up being.

The CSM15 Election Begins Today

The CSM15 election kicks off today.  You can go straight here to vote.  That is probably the most important part of this post, as the rest of it will be me rambling.  The voting period runs until 12:00 UTC on June 8.

Time to pick the next CSM

I wrote about the 40 candidates on the ballot when they were announced.  That post links to all of them to their official candidate forum posts and sorts them into null and non-null candidates.  CCP also has a post up with pictures and sound-bit summaries for all the candidates, which also links to their forum posts.

In an attempt to get out the vote, CCP is having another daily login event that will run concurrently with the election.

Login for more rewards

There are five daily gifts for both Omega and Alpha clones.  Alpha clones cannot vote, but at least they get a cookie.

Rewards of Democracy… and that other forever campaign

And, of course, you don’t log into the game to vote, you do that on the web site, (see the how to vote video if you need to) but if CCP gives people a prize every day with a big sign encouraging them to vote, maybe that will have some impact.  We shall see.

As for who is going to win, the shape of the promoted null sec ballots will likely dictate 6-8 seats on CSM15.  In elections, both in real life and in New Eden, large groups that can organize tend to do better than smaller groups or groups that do not organize, and null sec requires big groups and organization.  That is just the way it goes.

This makes people angry, both in the real world and in New Eden.  There are a lot of “all CCP needs to do…” ideas to work around this, most of which would be comically easy to game (Dunk Dinkle has some examples), with the very same organized groups most likely to benefit.  You want a high sec, mission running candidate for the next CSM?  Have them start organizing and campaigning now.

Writing this on Sunday afternoon and having not seen a single null sec ballot yet, I am going to double down on my predictions from about two weeks back.  Basically, nothing dramatic has come up in the campaigning cycle to change my mind, though I will admit that my level attention hasn’t gone beyond scanning headlines on /r/eve.  So my predictions remain as follows.

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)

Again, that is 13 names, but the top seven seem pretty secure, so I’d declare myself successful in predicting if the remained was filled from my wild card list.

I will amend my predictions in a post script if something crazy comes up in the ballots, and I will add on any null sec ballots that get posted in the comments just to give people an idea as to who is topping which list.

Other coverage of CSM15:

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.

Last Chance to Run for CSM15

The deadline to sign up to run for CSM15 was extended until 23:59 UTC on Wednesday, May 13th due to the sign up page giving a 500 error when people were trying to apply, so there is still time left.

The next round is coming

When I last looked at the CSM candidate campaign forums, where by the new rules I reported on previously, all candidates must put up a post in order to provide some basic information about themselves and why they are running, there were just 31 candidates signed up to run.

That is a new low of interest, down from the 44 candidates that ran for CSM14.

Currently only five members of CSM14 are running for CSM15, so the incumbent count is down, though there are arguably a dozen candidates from the null sec blocs who, if they all get on the various group recommended ballots, are once again likely to take at least eight of the ten spots on the council.  There are also a few past CSM members like Mike Azariah, Xenuria, and Brisc Rubal who are running for spots again.

Still, if you’re an optimist, you know you don’t have to be faster that the tiger, just faster than 21 other candidates that it is going to eat.  May the odds ever be in your favor and all that.

Candidate who make the application cut will be announced on May 18th and the election for CSM15 will run from June 1st to June 8th.

The Road to CSM15 includes Term Limits

CCP got around to dropping the promised dev blog about the elections for the EVE Online player advisory body, the Council of Stellar Management.

The next round is coming

The basic timeline for the CSM15 elections is:

  • 27 April-11 13 May – Submission period (extended due to 500 errors)
  • 28 April-15 May – Application processing
  • 18 May – Candidate announcement
  • 18-29 May – Campaign period
  • 1-8 June – Voting period
  • 12 June – CSM 15 reveal

While the dev blog says that is a timeline that has worked in the past, it does seem a little bit shorter than last year’s CSM14 schedule, by about a week.  I wouldn’t even have deigned to pick that nit save for the fact that the dev blog specifically mentioned that they had used this schedule before.  Either way, the voting period remains one week long, a change that was made for the CSM13 elections because CCP noticed that most people vote on the first or last day of the election, with very little activity in between.

As has been the case for the last few CSM elections, there are some changes being introduced.

Term Limits

CCP says that being on the CSM is a tough job.  It is certainly takes more effort than I would want to put into it. So because of that CSM members will be limited to three consecutive one year terms, after which they will need to go away for a year.

After a one year hiatus, during which they can actually play the game, or so the dev blog seems to imply, they can run again.

This is also not fully retroactive.  Term limits will count only CSM14 for this new rule, so anybody on that slate can run and be elected twice more before they need take a break. (Though, of incumbents, Dunk Dinkle and Steve Ronuken have already declared they are not running for CSM15.)

Of course, anybody can come back after their one year hiatus for another three terms.  I suspect that this term limit regimen will be just enough to annoy both those who don’t want term limits while being far too weak to please those who are in favor of them.  Does that make it a successful compromise?  Or is this just weak tea that probably wasn’t worth the effort?

Campaign Forum Post Requirements

CCP also wants to formalize the campaign forum post process for candidates, giving them a series of topics they will be required to touch on in order to make sure that voters know something about them.  So the format will be:

  • Your EVE Online story
  • Your areas of expertise
  • Why are you applying for the CSM?
  • What can players expect from you?

Candidates can add more to their post if they so desire, but Ayrth won’t be able to get by with a post saying he doesn’t need any filthy pubbie vote in order to get elected. (I’ll be interested to see where he falls in the gap between the spirit and the letter of this rule when he does post.)

Whether this will make a lick of difference in the election overall remains to be seen.  Player apathy seems like the biggest issue facing the elections.  There has been a lot of information out there about serious candidates almost every year if people have put even a little bit of effort in finding it.  Having some of that in the forums in a standard format isn’t a bad idea, but it runs on the assumption that any but a select few keep an eye on the forums on a regular basis. I know I don’t, and I consider myself more informed than average about the game.

Anyway, keep an eye on the CSM Candidate section of the forums if you are interested in this.

Single Five Day Summit

CCP will only being flying your ass to Iceland once per term now.  There might be a bit of a relief all around because, while there is no substitute for in person meetings at times, summits do take a toll on the participants.  The CSM members have to take a week out of their lives to travel to and from Iceland, while CCP has to prepare to host them and keep them busy while they are on site.  One summit will make that less taxing, which seems to be CCP’s goal.  Still, CSM members will now just have one opportunity per year to have some in person time with CCP to influence things.

CSM Roles and Expectations

The dev blog says that the CCP has updated the CSM information page, though it declined to mention what might have changed.  The Code of Conduct was mentioned.  If you are considering running you should probably go through that just to make sure you can live with the expectations.

Apply Now

Or on Monday I guess.  If you want to run for a seat on the CSM you can start applying on Monday, as the schedule above indicates.  There is a specific list of requirements to run for the CSM, but I’ll sum it up:

  • Have an EVE Online account, alpha or omega, that is older than 60 days
  • Have a clean record, so no history of EULA/TOS violations
  • Be 18 years old
  • Have a passport or some other acceptable ID
  • Be willing to tell the community the country you live in

And so it goes.  We’re off to the races again.  We shall see if everybody having to stay home and play video games will improve voter turnout… or even voter awareness.  I wouldn’t bet against CSM15 ending up with the say dynamic as CSM14, with eight null sec members, one wormhole, and one outlier.

Anyway, if you are interested, go read the dev blog and follow the instructions.

Related:

INN – So You Want to Run for CSM? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Gambling Returns to New Eden

I was sitting in bed this morning looking at Twitter on my iPad and saw that CCP had announced something called the HyperNet Relay.  I read through the post, but I was pretty sure I didn’t understand what it was or why anybody would want this, because it sure seemed like gambling, something CCP banned from the game in all forms back in 2016.

The New Face of Gambling in New Eden

Fortunately Twitter was there to help me out as not one but two CSM members responded to my sleep addled inquiries making clear that this was, in fact, a gambling scheme being introduced into EVE Online by CCP.

The CSM had clearly been briefed about the HyperNet Relay by CCP and had given it their approval, because a few of them were out fronting the feature for CCP on a variety of channels.

When explaining HyperNet Relay, the humble raffle seems to be the preferred metaphor.

That is a nice word, raffle, because it gets used by charities and other good causes which get an exception to gambling laws in some jurisdictions when using it as a mechanism for raising funds.  But make no mistake, a raffle is straight up gambling by any definition I have ever read.

So, gambling.  To say it is anything else is just a lie.

Basically, it sounds like CCP plans to let players set up their own raffles.  The player running the raffle basically buys the permit and the tickets from CCP through the New Eden Store with PLEX, the cash shop currency, and then lists their item.  Players then buy the tickets with ISK.  When all the tickets have been sold, RNG picks the winner.  Everybody else who bought a ticket is out the ISK they spent.

Checking in on the test server, where HyperNet Relay is now live, the tips for what it is show the usual level of CCP clarity…

How to gamble… I mean raffle… I mean HyperNet!

That gets you to the offers window, which has some sample raffles.

Welcome to wealth creation… not your wealth, but somebody’s

As far as bidding goes, the interface seems similar to a mob numbers racket, where you pick a ticket from an array.

Which one is the luck one?

On the creation side, once you get a HyperCore (this terminology has to be an attempt to stay as far away from gambling terms as possible) you drag an item into the interface and set the parameters of the raffle.

Time to generate wealth!

You can set the number of tickets in your raffle… erm, HyperNodes in your… raffle… which can be between 8 and 512, the price per ticket… node… whatever, or the total amount you want to make, which will set the per ticket price.

Looking at some of the raffles people have created, there is still some fuzziness on the idea.  I saw a Nyx listed with the per ticket price about the same as the price of a brand new, fully fit Nyx… only there were 48 tickets, so somebody wanted to sell for 48x the market price.

And, just looking at this, I can see how it will facilitate RMT ISK sales.

CCP’s justification, aside from the usual claim of gambling being fun and enjoyable, is that this will allow players to obtain otherwise very expensive items like rare officer modules without having to blow their budget.  Again, as always with gambling, the emphasis is put on the benefit of the lone winner and not the losses incurred by the losers.

Leaving aside the high ground CCP claimed when they banned gambling previously, I spent some time at EVE Vegas watching CCP Larrikin do his presentation which dwelt for quite a bit on income inequality in New Eden.  You can watch it here if you like.  As with the real world, no matter what happens, the rich seem to get richer.

And HyperNet Relay will be no different.  Despite claims about ISK velocity and redistribution of assets, this will simply make the rich even more wealthy.  Who has these rare and valuable items in their hangars?  Who has the ISK to buy PLEX in order to get their HyperNet Relay Gambling Kit from the New Eden store without spending any real world cash?  And who will collect the ISK from these raffles, where the combined value of all the tickets will more then compensate for the price of the HyperNet Relay and the value of the item being raffled off?

And, on the flip side, who has to use real world cash to buy PLEX to  get ISK?  And who cannot afford these expensive items?  And who will lose their ISK far more often than not?

Same shit, different day.

But it is already live on the test server, which means CCP is committed and the CSM has been briefed and approved of the plan.  The expected go live date is December 10, 2019.

CCP is still eliciting feedback in a comment thread on the forums.  The tide there is running very much against the idea.  But this is an obvious money maker, so I’ll be interested to see if the usual claim that “your voice matters” will ring hollow yet again.  On Reddit things are even more brutal.

And all of this is being dropped into an environment where legislators in various countries are eyeing gambling in video games ever more closely.  At least lock boxes have the fig leaf of everybody getting some prize out of them as cover.  I thought CCP was being smart back in 2016, covering themselves from possible legal trouble.  Now we have this.  We’ll see if EVE Online has a high enough profile to get called out for this.

No matter what, I suspect that this story will run for a while.

Other reactions:

 

Sort Dragon Returns to the CSM

It doesn’t feel like a real CSM unless somebody gets asked to leave, gets the heave ho, or just steps away I suppose.  CSM13 was a little different, with Brisc Rubal getting the big ban, only to later be exonerated.  But then he resigned.  So it goes.  And now we have a change with CSM14.

Space politics

CCP announced earlier today that Killah Bee from Northern Coalition has decided to step down from the CSM for personal reasons.  He has this statement about his departure.

In the past, I’ve always said that the CSM can only be effective if its members are some of the most active members of the community. I’ve had some great success in real life lately but with that success goes the time that I am able to devote into EVE and the CSM. This is why I have decided to resign my membership to the CSM effective immediately to make room for someone with more time on their hands. I want to thank CCP and all the other CSM members for a great time I’ve had and I’ll see you again soon.

As part of their statement CCP thanked him for his service on the CSM and made it clear that he is able to run for the council again should he so desire.  Given that some have described the CSM as like having an additional job (a description that has been applied to EVE Online in general), it is easy to understand why Killah Bee might wish to step away.  That he could not make it to the summit in Iceland was probably foreshadowing.   And it is better that he did this proactively rather than being asked to leave for lack of participation, as happened with Vince Draken on CSM12, though he is also eligible to run again should he so desire.

In an odd coincidence, both Vince Draken and Killah Bee’s departures from the CSM benefited the same person, Sort Dragon.

Sort Dragon, who had been on CSM10, did not make the cut for the CSM12 elections, but was elevated to the council with Vince Draken’s removal.

He managed to get elected and served on CSM13, but when the results for the CSM14 election came out he fell just 12 votes shy of being re-elected, Steve Ronuken coming out just ahead of him in the count.  With Killah Bee stepping down, Sort Dragon will once again be on the CSM, this being his fifth time on the council.

So CSM14 now looks like this:

  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises (inc)
  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Vily – Test Alliance Please Ignore
  • Dunk Dinkle – Brave Newbies
  • ExookiZ – Scary Wormhole People
  • Olmeca Gold – Delve Pest Control Inc
  • Sort Dragon – Darkness

We will see if his presence changes anything

CSM14 and a Sense of the Summit

1. Stop the bleeding
2. Fix the stupid
3. Excite and teach
4. Incentivize return

-CCP Burger on CCP’s focus, CSM summit minutes page 6

In my ideal world the CSM summit minutes would be skippable.  In this dream world CCP would communicate anything important via Dev blogs or news updates on the main web site or even via dev posts in the forums.  As much as I loathe companies hiding things in the forums, that would be something at least.

But, as these things go, CCP does no such thing.  If you want to stay informed you pretty much have to read through the CSM summit minutes or you might miss things that otherwise go unmentioned anywhere else.  I recall that the fansite program was declared dead in a past set of summit minutes, but we’ve yet to hear anything about that via any other official source.

So if you want to know what it up you had best dive into nearly 70 pages of minutes as you cannot even trust summaries, as much of what was said lacks some of the context in which it happened so interpretations are all over the map.  Of course, your own interpretations are suspect too, as are my own.  Welcome to the CSM minutes.

The focus of the team into winter is split into 80% early retention and 20% veteran stagnation.

-CCP Burger, first paragraph of the actual minutes, top of page 5

That is the lens through which I believe we should be looking at CCP’s statements and actions.  They put that up front, the very first point, and I suspect most everything about their near future plans flow from that.

For example, it clarifies that list I quoted at the top of the post.  “Bleeding” could be a number of things, like the fall off in online players during the blackout.  But CCP is focused on new player retention, and the bleeding to be stopped is what happens with new players in the first week.

How many new players log back in as time passes

That chart was presented at EVE North in Toronto back in June and clearly remains the central issue to be solved by CCP.

It was suggested by a former member of the CSM that CCP should put “fix the stupid” ahead of “stop the bleeding” on their list, but after reading and reflection, my sense of the minutes is that “stop the bleeding” is a just a subset of fixing the stupid.  For example, looking at that chart, whatever is keeping half of newly registered users from logging into the game probably ranks very high on the stupid list.

And, rather bluntly, CCP says in the minutes that stupid is everywhere and in all aspects of the game, and they have to start somewhere.  No sense in trying to boil the whole ocean of stupid at once.

With that top priority in mind it isn’t hard to read reality into other things that came up during the summit.

For example, when the Alliance Tournament gets mentioned, CCP Falcon offers up a set of excuses as to why CCP hasn’t kept it going.  And they are probably valid excuses.  But he fails to mention the big one, which is that new player retention… stopping the bleeding… is the top priority and the Alliance Tournament doesn’t do anything to help that.  So suggesting, for example, that paying CCP in cash rather than PLEX would change anything seems to completely miss where CCP is focused.  It is a re-arranging the deck chairs solution that doesn’t address the real issue.  Dev resources are simply not going to be applied there.

And so it goes.

I am interested to see what CCP’s plan for new player retention really is.  I said it was one of the top stories I was waiting for in 2019 a month back.  So far they have only mentioned continuing to refine the initial tutorial, which is what they have been doing off and on since the Cold War expansion nearly a decade and a half ago.  But that doesn’t take 80% of the team’s focus, so there has to be something else coming.  Or there had better be something else coming.

So that is my sense of the summit, the big picture take away.

There were some other side notes of interest in the minutes that did not necessarily relate to that though.  For example, I enjoyed the discussion of how CCP tracks players to assign where in space they live.  That ended up with several null sec people in the summit being flagged as high sec players.

In response CCP Larrikin put up this chart on Reddit which revised the long repeated “85%” statement made years ago.

Population of EVE – June 2019

  • Most Time : The player spent the majority of their non-afk time in that area of space, across all their characters and accounts.

  • Any Time : Players that spent any time at all in that area of space, across all of their characters and accounts.

Null sec almost doubled its count in that version, up to nearly 30%.  There is still a question of how well that aligns with reality, but I guess we have a new benchmark that people will use as a bludgeon on /r/eve.

A lot of other stuff got hashed out, but there were no big revelations.  CCP said they were still evaluating data from the blackout.  The Triglavian invasion will carry on for a while.  Some odd/naive questions came up about what can be botted.  We learned what huge krabs wormhole players are.  And there was a session with Hilmar (which did little to reassure me on his new found interest in New Eden) which included a couple of charts whose labels give a pretty grim view of the reality of EVE Online.

Do you prefer apathy or boredom?  Are anxiety and doubt that different?

Also, there was a pulled pork recipe that looked pretty good.

Others have more detailed views on the minutes, some of which I linked below.  But you really have to dig through it yourself to discover it all.

Introducing Your CSM14 Representatives

The opening comments at EVE North, after a bit of meandering, went into the winners of the CSM14 elections.  Over 32K accounts voted in the election and here are the results:

The CSM14 Ten

  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Killah Bee – Northern Coalition (inc)
  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises (inc)
  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Vily – Test Alliance Please Ignore
  • Dunk Dinkle – Brave Newbies
  • ExookiZ – Scary Wormhole People
  • Olmeca Gold – Delve Pest Control Inc

Only five of the seven incumbents who were running were re-elected. (Marked with “inc:)  The Judge from GSF and Sort Dragon from Darkness, both of who have been on multiple CSMs now, failed to make the cut.  The Judge was down in the fourth spot on the ballot for the Imperium, and not traded for spots on the Imperium ballot, so maybe not a surprise.  But I guess Sort, who runs the Dead Coalition, couldn’t rally enough support from his team to make the cut.

As for ballot effectiveness, the top three on the Imperium ballot were re-elected.  Aryth and Merkelchen were the top two, while Innominate was in third and horse traded for spots on other null sec ballots, leading to his re-election.

Killah Bee and Gobbins both topped PanFam ballots, so unsurprising they were in, with Killah Bee appearing on other coalition ballots including the Imperium ballot.

Vily was at the top of the TEST ballot, though Cornak Firefist who was in second spot there did not make the cut, so not a lot of trickle down there I guess.

I did not see the Brave ballot, but I suspect Dunk Dinkle would have be atop that.  He also appeared on other ballots, so trickle down may have helped push him over the top to victory.

I felt that null sec would get between 6 and 8 seats and they grabbed seven.  The three non-null seats were split in where they came from.

Steve Ronuken, an incumbent, returned.  He tends to represent industry and third party application concerns.

ExookiZ, new to the council, was one of the wormhole candidates that ran and probably the one that campaigned the most.  He was certainly the only one I saw out and about multiple times.

Olmeca Gold ran a good campaign, harnessing the “null sec is broken” vibe and producing a good video that got a lot of traction in the community.  We shall see how is platform to break up the coalitions works out.

As mentioned at the top, 32,994 accounts voted in the election, up from the 29,417 votes for CSM13 and the 31,274 votes cast for CSM14.

CCP already has a dev blog up, complete with the election data, if you want to see where other candidates placed.  I suspect that Nosy Gamer will do a blog post analyzing where people fell out.

According to the election data, the top first round candidates vote-wise were:

  1. 7200 “Aryth”
  2. 5089 “Gobbins”
  3. 3232 “Olmeca Gold”
  4. 3011 “Vily”
  5. 2196 “Killah Bee”

That was enough to elect the top four in the first round, and from there the trickle down began.  At the far end, the last candidate eliminated was Sort Dragon, falling 12 votes behind Steve Ronuken (every vote matters!), so if they need a replacement member, Sort will get back on the CSM.