Tag Archives: CSM11

The Run for CSM 12 Begins Soon

CCP put up a dev post yesterday about the upcoming elections for the twelfth Council of Stellar Management.

Round 12 coming up!

Round 12 coming up!

Happens every year, so not exactly a surprise to people familiar with the body.

The surprising bit is that the current CSM session hasn’t been a drama shit show like the previous couple.  Nobody has been removed for breaking the NDA.  There haven’t been any long and emotional editorials or proposals about what the CSM should be doing or what its relationship with CCP ought to be that I have seen.  CCP didn’t feel the need to extend the “No Sions” rule to anybody else.  There were no boycotts.  And I haven’t heard any tales of CSM members being wrung out and soured by the whole experience.

A year ago people were wondering aloud if the CSM was headed for closure. At this same announcement in 2016 I was asking what was to be done.

Now, not so much.

The tenure of CSM11 has been fairly quiet.  I think the biggest CSM drama over the last year was Bobmon going to bat for I Want ISK, only to find out that Bobmon was a banker I Want ISK.  And since casinos were banned in the end, that bit of attempting to help his own interests didn’t add up to much.  The RMT barons got theirs, a happy ending for the game.

But other than that, and the occasional attempt to make hay over CSM meeting attendance on Reddit, the CSM hasn’t been news, headline or otherwise.

Granted, we have had other things to chew on.  There was the bitter Casino War that dominated the news for a few months.  And then there were the Citadel and Ascension expansions, the latter allowing people to participate in the game without having a subscription.  But CSM drama is like a bad smell; it becomes hard to ignore, even when other issues are occupying your mind.

So what happened?  Did we somehow just elect a perfect slate of brotherly love? (I don’t think there are any sisters on the rolls this time around, are there?)  Certainly the predicted XenuriApocalypse of footwear issues didn’t come to pass.  And I haven’t seen anything bubble up about CSM members talking out of school.

Or was it the change in management?

A year ago CCP Falcon and CCP Leeloo were running the show as the Combative/Deny Everything duo.  That might be unfair to CCP Leeloo, but certainly not to CCP Falcon who seems to revel in the tough guy, HTFU attitude of the game and who was shoveling nonsense about the CSM having some control over their status just a year back.

They were replaced before the CSM11 elections by CCP Guard, a long respected member of the CCP team, and CCP Logibro, who maintains a serious level of chill of his own accord. (Though I do wonder if there is some sort of maximum height limit for the community team at CCP as I don’t think many of them come up much past my shoulder.)

And since that change, it seems to have been smooth sailing.

I still wonder as to the efficacy of the CSM.  It still strikes me as a bit of a student council.  Its members still lack agency, and necessarily so as a customer advisory council.  And its membership still overwhelmingly reflects the groups in the game that know how to organize by necessity, which is to say the null sec alliances.  But at least it stopped being a public embarrassment to CCP.

So on we go!

The key dates for CSM 12 are:

  • February 3 – 17: Candidacy application period
  • February 17 – 28: Application processing period
  • February 28: Candidates for CSM 12 are announced
  • March 6 – 26: CSM 12 Voting period
  • April 6: CSM 12 election results are announced

The biggest change since last year is the presence of Alpha clones, the non-subscribers, who can run for a seat on the CSM, but who cannot vote.  Franchise for Omega landowners only, you peasant alpacas!

There are, of course, all sorts of details about the hurdles of applying and running for the CSM, which are covered in gritty detail over at The Nosy Gamer.  If you want to immerse yourself, I recommend going there to get your fill.

Anyway, let the election season begin.  Xenuria 2017!

Friday Bullet Points are Lucky Even Today

Here it is, Friday the 13th, a date synonymous bad luck and a series of horror movies that, oddly enough, capped out at an even dozen.  How could they not make a 13th one?

Fortunately my wife’s family embraces the number 13 as their lucky number, so that cancels things out… right?  I’m still working from home today all the same.

Meanwhile, here are some items I feel like mentioning but which didn’t quite make the cut for a full post.  If there aren’t 13 of them, well… that’s just bad luck.

They Are So Cute When They Are Young

Nintendo is starting the slow drip of information on the official site about the upcoming Pokemon Sun & Moon games, and so this week Nintendo gave us the date for the launch, November 18, 2016.

Sun and Moon coming in November

Sun and Moon coming in November

We also got a look at the starter Pokemon for the game.

Which one will you choose?

Which one will you choose?

They are Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, filling the traditional grass, fire, and water starter roles.  Starter Pokemon can be an emotional topic and people get quite invested in their choices.  Currently Popplio seemed to be losing the popularity race on Twitter.

The poll results

The poll results

I traditionally go with the water Pokemon, so Popplio is likely going to be my choice regardless of what people say about him.  Also he’s a seal, how is that not cute?  Meanwhile, is Rowlet wearing a bra or what?  Just asking!

Of course, Nintendo has a track record of turning cute into ugly with evolutions while punishing you by withholding key moves if you opt not to let your starter evolve.  Can’t they stay young and cute forever?  It is a complex issue.

Civilization Goes Cartoony

Firaxis announced the coming of Civilization VI, the next installment in the grand Civilization franchise…. and all anything people seemed to want to talk about was the new art style.  We are so shallow.

A first glimpse of Civ VI

A first glimpse of Civ VI

Alright, alright, I hear you saying that other details were somewhat sparse, so what else were we going to talk about.  I myself welcome a lighter look for the aging game series.  Anything to cut down on the resource demands of a Civ game is probably good.

The game itself is set to ship on October 12, 2016 and will be the industry standard $59.99 for the basic version, and $79.99 for the deluxe edition which will include the obviously planned in advance DLC.  It will probably be four more civilizations that they will end up throwing in with the first expansion in any case.

The question isn’t if I will buy Civ VI, but when.  Given the screw jobs that have happened with Steam sales showing up just weeks after Civ releases or expansions go live, the fact that Civ games are inevitably resource hogging, bug filled, crashing messes at launch… they put in auto-save after every turn for a reason…, and the fact that their last release, Civilization: Beyond Earth was as dull as dishwater and an insult as a successor to Alpha Centauri, and I am thinking I might pass on a day one purchase.  I’ll see what things look like at the Steam Holiday Sale… or maybe the next Steam Summer Sale.

WoW Legion to Beta

I don’t suppose the timing really matters all that much now.  We already have a launch date, so the usual metrics around things like beta-to-launch calculations will be purely academic.  So the important bit is that the WoW Legion beta is now live, having gone up last night.

Beta for those who care...

Beta for those who care…

Blizzard has the initial release notes along with a detailed intro into the features of the expansion.

I do not do beta any more, going so far as trying to avoid information about the release, as I find it spoils my enjoyment when a release goes live.  I feel like I’ve already played it and my enthusiasm quickly wains.

Still, I look forward to hearing some general reactions to Blizzard’s plan for the expansion.  And, of course, the big question is when will the 7.0 pre-expansion update drop?  My bet is on August 9, 2016.

EverQuest II Prestige Servers

The Norrath dev team at Daybreak… we can call the EQ/EQII team that now, since there are no other Norrathian projects now… is looking into what other special sorts of servers players would like.  And so there is a poll waiting in your mailbox in EverQuest II about prestige servers.

Just three options...

Just three options…

As with things in Azeroth, special servers at Daybreak have their proponents and detractors.  Foes of the idea are annoyed that there is no “none of the above” option so they can directly express their displeasure at dev resources being used on projects they don’t care about.  (As the poll notes, they can do so indirectly by not voting, since I am sure that Daybreak will notice if only a few people respond.)

I’m not sure I would play on either server option myself, though that is because I am still pottering around on the Stormhold nostalgia server.  The thing is, the long poll for expansions is content creation, and these sorts of servers just use content that has already been created, so the hand wringing about delaying new stuff isn’t all that valid.

Not That Wild, No Longer a Star

The NCsoft Q1 2016 financials are out and, while things look good for the company as a whole, and most of its properties, WildStar is the noticeable exception.

Q1 2016 results

Q1 2016 results

After an initial boost in revenue with the free-to-play transition, sales have already slumped to below where they were when the game was subscription only.  Of course, this shouldn’t have been a huge surprise given the moves NCsoft was making with Carbine back in March.  This is more the confirmation of what many suspected.

Oculus Rift Retail Rage

So for a brief stretch of time last Friday you could go to a store or Amazon and buy an Oculus Rift unit.  They sold out quickly and you can probably find more than a few re-listed for a well beyond their $599 list price on eBay.  I see one on Amazon for $1,099.  But if you were at the right place at the right time, you could have spent your weekend playing EVE Valkyrie.

But if you pre-ordered a unit back in January, you’re probably still waiting for it to show up.

And so there is a bit of righteous anger out there about the company snubbing the people willing to buy in early in favor of those who waited.  I didn’t buy in either way, but I would have been pissed were I still waiting around for my pre-order to ship.

As Jerry Seinfeld might have put it, taking pre-orders isn’t the important part.  Anybody can take pre-orders.  It is the delivery that matters.  Also, the comments on that linked video are hilarious AND on topic for this post.

CSM XI By the Numbers

I am sure others will dive into the details on this, but CCP just posted the Dev Blog with the details of the CSM XI election.  Charts and explanations and raw data are all available there.

CSM11_logo

It is interesting to see how the two winning blocks stuck fairly well to their suggested ballots.  You can see the top three Imperium candidates, Aryth, Innominate, and Xenuria, getting elected in rounds one, two, and three.  Other tidbits include the fact that players from the US and UK cast half the votes, that most votes came in during the first two days of the election, and that the more recent your account, the more likely it seems you are to vote.  Accounts created back in 2006, when I started, made up only 4% of the voting pool, while those from 2015, 2014, and 2013 represented 14%, 15%, and 16% of the vote respectively.

Episode 18 of the Asher Hour

Asher Elias, head of the Reavers and the 23rd 15th best fleet commander in The Imperium has a new podcast out after a long stretch of silence.  This time around it is just Asher talking about the war, fleets, and what it is like on The Imperium side of the fight.  Not party-line propaganda, but Asher is still enthusiastic and positive about what we can do in the war and where we may end up.

So that is what I had kicking around.  Of course, now that I have all those items cleared out I am starting to wonder what I will write about next week.

Oh, wait, I have 57 unfinished items in my drafts folder.  Maybe that isn’t such a big deal.

CSM 11 Announced – Xenuria Wins at Last

This morning as part of the EVE Online keynote at Fanfest, CCP Seagull announced the members of the 11th Council of Stellar Management.

CSM11_logo

Turnout was reported as low for the elections, which clearly benefited organized groups.

CSM 11 looks like this:

The 11th Council of Stellar Management

The 11th Council of Stellar Management

The winners, ordered as presented, save for two exceptions:

  1. Mr Hyde113 – Pandemic Legion (Perm attendance seat)
  2. Aryth – Goonswarm Federation (Perm attendance seat)
  3. Steve Ronuken – Fuzzworks Enterprises
  4. Sullen Decimus – The Bastion
  5. The Judge – Circle-of-Two
  6. Fafer – Northern Coalition.
  7. NoobMan – Hard Knocks Citizens
  8. Jin’Taan – Curatores Veritatis Alliance
  9. Kyle Aparthos – TheDivision
  10. Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  11. Bobmon – Pandemic Legion
  12. Nashh Kadavr – Pandemic Legion
  13. Xenuria – Goonswarm Federation
  14. Gorski Car – Pandemic Legion

So there are your new representatives… provided you’re in a null sec bloc in most cases.  As I said, a low voter turnout meant organized blocs won big.

For those of you keeping track, that GSF suggested ballot I mentioned back when the elections started ended up picking six winners, though clearly The Judge is a bitter victory on that front.

Friday Bullet Points – Newbies, Free Time, and PvP

Another short form post on topics about which I couldn’t quite get myself to crank out a thousand words… which is probably best for everyone involved.  Anyway, on with the items.

CSM 11 Elections Are Over

At one point this week somebody said the CSM elections ended on the 25th, and took that to mean that 23:59 UTC on the 24th was the last minute in which you could vote. Then it appeared the vote would go longer than that, with CCP Seagull telling people to go vote just a few hours back.  There was even a message in the launcher… finally… still active this morning:

March25CSMvoteHowever, checking the ballot page, it looks like the polls were already closed.

CSMVotingIsClosedSo now we have to wait until Fan Fest next month to find out the results.

Play EVE Online for Free for 10 Days

If you have an expired EVE Online account, you can apparently come back for 10 days of play time.

EVE10Days

Just log into the account management page and see if there is a special highlighted for you.

SpecialsIf there is, you can click on it to activate your account for that 10 day period to come back and see what is new in New Eden.  This is part of the Guristas hunting event that CCP has running now.

All the Newbie Info They Could Find

CCP continues to battle probably the most fearsome opponent EVE Online has ever faced, which is simply figuring out how to play the game and what to do.

They give you this little spaceship, and then what?

They give you this little spaceship, and then what?

So CCP have put together a Dev Blog to list out many of the in-game, and a few out of game,  resources that might help new players.  While every little bit helps, I am not sure this will do much to overcome the desultory feel of the current new player experience.

The New Eden February Economic Report

Damn Wilhelm, back at it again with the CCP.  Yes, the February 2016 Economic Report dev blog came out nearly 20 days ago, but I was out of town at the time and just got around to looking at it this week.  Included with the report was my favorite graph, the ISK faucets and sinks.

February 2016 ISK Faucets and Sinks

February 2016 ISK Faucets and Sinks

About 11 trillion ISK entered the New Eden economy in February.  Need more sinks.

Major Landmark Update, Now Without PvP

Daybreak announced a huge number of changes as part of the latest Landmark update.  There are things in there to make fans cheer and groan, not to mention the some skepticism about whether or not they will really ship this project during the spring with that many changes going in at once.  Changes to a complex project mean bugs, and there appear to be many.

But way down at the bottom of the update notes, under the heading “Other Changes,” there was this bullet point:

  • We have removed PVP game tables. PVP is no longer available.

Given that Daybreak also just killed PvP, outside of battlegrounds, for EverQuest II, this might not be a surprise.

On the flip side, it is another deviation from the Minecraft model, a game which has a very active PvP community.  But with the big shared worlds of Landmark, you don’t get to choose who you play with, as you do with Minecraft, so perhaps just another nod to reality by the Daybreak team.  But who knows where things are really headed with Daybreak.

CSM 11 Elections Begin – Xenuria 2016

It is that time of year again, the long threatened CSM 11 elections are upon us.  Information on how to vote is available from CCP here.

CSM11_logo

Reactions to the election range from the very earnest attempt by a group of hard working volunteers to collect information for voters over at CSM Watch (all summed up here) to… well… Gevlon’s call for a boycott.  Meanwhile, somewhere out there, a majority of EVE Online players have probably barely noticed that the election is happening, given voter turn out in past elections.

Confusion reigns and, with 53 candidates on the ballot, that seems like a pretty reasonable response.  I certainly couldn’t tell you who to vote for, or much about any of the candidates running.  At least there aren’t 75 of them like last time.

Back in The Imperium, the suggested GSF ballot has been posted.  While the coalition leadership was unhappy with the communications break down between CCP and CSM X, the pragmatic response has been to endorse a slate of candidates so, if communication improves, we won’t be left without a voice on the CSM. The list is:

  1. Aryth  GSF
  2. Innominate  GSF
  3. Xenuria  GSF
  4. Sullen Decimus  BASTN
  5. The Judge  CO2
  6. Annexe  TNT
  7. Kyle Aparthos  SMA
  8. Chiimera  GSF
  9. Wyld  GSF
  10. Kane Carnifex LAWN
  11. Mining Forman  LAWN
  12. commander aze
  13. Apothne  PL
  14. Tora Bushido

It was interesting to see that, unlike previous years, the official ballot has only a single non-Imperium null sec alliance candidate listed, Apothne of Pandemic Legion, in the 13th slot. In the past there has been some horse trading between null sec groups to support a common front.  Not so much this year I guess.

Of course, as with the full slate of candidates, I can barely tell you anything about people on that ballot.  Aryth is in GSF leadership, Innominate is the new Solo Drakban, Tora Bushido runs the Marmites, who used to take Gevlon’s money to shoot us in high sec before breaking with him, Annexe is in my alliance, and I follow Chiimera on Twitter, but I thought he stopped playing EVE at one point.

Not a very helpful set of descriptions.

And then there is Xenuria.

He might be the candidate I know the most about.

He ran last year and, if I recall right, managed 18th place which, given the rate of removal for CSM X, put him in contention to be a replacement member before the end.  He got that much following without an alliance endorsement.  This year he has the number 3 spot on the GSF ballot.

Of course, that doesn’t make some people happy.  A year ago Xenuria was an object of ridicule in many parts of the coalition, and the punchline for any joke requiring the most unlikely individual for most of us.  And then he appeared on the Meta Show with The Mittani back in August and seemed pretty reasonable. (His segment on YouTube.)

Soon enough he was in KarmaFleet and out on ops with people and posting to the forums and it wasn’t really a big deal any more.  I’ve been on fleets with him.  He aligns, shoots the primary, and shows better coms discipline than the average Goon LAWN ENL-I AM0K SNOO SMA Imperium pilot.

However, some people are pissed off that he has made the list. (Example)  So I will be interested to see how he fares this time.  He is literally the person on the Goon ballot mostly likely to piss off people who make the claim to be “true Goons” or some such.  If he gets support from outside of the coalition he ought to make it in.  And he could be EVE Online’s red shirt guy or something… though Mittens seems to have claimed the red shirt thing for himself.  Make of that what you will.

As for the vote, I suspect that the top five candidates on that ballot are probably pretty safe bets, given the reality of alliance sizes and voter turn out.  Poor voter turn out could up that number.

Top Five Alliances by Member Count

Top Five Alliances by Member Count

The election runs until March 25, so you have plenty of time to vote… so long as the servers stay up.  The results will be announced at Fanfest on April 21, 2016.

I’m still of the opinion that having players elect a pseudo-focus group is the wrong way to go about things and that the lack of agency or specific mandate or focus is problematic at best.  But if we’re going to have this thing, let’s at least put some effort into it… said the person who put next to no effort into it.

Charming Nonsense about the CSM

There was a bit of internet space drama over the weekend.

My exposure to this was on The Meta Show where The Mittani, head of Goonswarm and a former CSM member, along with Laz and Thoric Frosthammer, head of LAWN and a current CSM member, spoke about the recent changes to the CSM whitepaper which ended up excluding anybody associated from The Mittani dot com from running for CSM, but not any other EVE related sites.  The show isn’t up on YouTube yet, but should be in the Meta Show channel at some point this week, if that is your thing.

I mentioned this whitepaper change in my Friday post, so I won’t retrace my steps too much.  The upshot was that The Mittani and Thoric had a good time spinning a conspiracy theory based on the fact that the rule changes excluded exactly one current CSM XI candidate from running, the restive Sion Kumitomo.

CSM11_logo

It is The Meta show after all, so a perfectly fine meta topic to run with.  CCP Leeloo was already on record, long before the show even started, saying that the rules were not put in place for that purpose and that if CCP wanted to exclude somebody specifically they would just do that and not bother with this sort of rule lawyering.

CCP Falcon though couldn’t leave well enough alone and felt the need to return fire as noted on a number of sites.  Here is the quote that is making the rounds:

Falcon Speaks...

Falcon Speaks…

To be fair to CCP Falcon, The Mittani had taken his conspiracy theory on the road and was trolling other venues with it, so he probably felt some retort was required.

You can spin that however you like.  On Reddit there is a lot of cheering that Mittens got smacked down, though when Gevlon isn’t fully behind some striking out at The Mittani you have to start asking questions.

For me though, that drama isn’t really the interesting bit.  Drama blows over and disappears.  No, I like this line from CCP Falcon’s comment:

…there are areas of the whitepaper that CCP have no control over, such as the rights of a CSM delegate.

What complete nonsense.  I do not believe that at all.  There is no area of the whitepaper over which CCP does not exercise complete and absolute control.  This is literally playing right into my initial analogy about the CSM from back in 2008, when I called it the Galactic Student Council.

You can tell the student council that they get to choose the theme for the homecoming dance, and that will stick right up until the moment they choose something controversial, at which point the school administration will override the decision.

Likewise, CCP can tell the CSM that they have control over some aspect of their existence, right up until the point that the CSM does something CCP doesn’t like, at which point CCP will demonstrate exactly how much control the CSM really has, which is none whatsoever.

Smacking The Mittani… whatever.  Perpetuating this sort of nonsense about the CSM having some actual independent power… that is just too much to swallow.

Anyway, this drama has pretty much ensured that Xenuria will have a top spot on The Imperium’s CSM ballot.  I think that Mittens would send them Gevlon as well if he could arrange it.  I wonder who else will be on the ballot.  There are still a few days left for candidates to register.  Of course, then we will see if CCP decides to weed any of them out.