Tag Archives: CSM12

CCP Asks Vince Draken to Step Down from CSM12

CCP has asked CSM member Vince Draken to step down due to not being able to devote sufficient time to the council. Lack of activity can have valid reasons and we’re parting with Vince on good terms and with mutual understanding. CCP holds the obligation to ensure a fully engaged CSM at any given time which is why we are looking towards a substitute for the remainder of the term.

-CCP Guard, CSM Update

After the roller coaster rides of CSM9 and CSM10, with the leaks, the removals, and the recriminations, the two following councils have been quiet, almost dignified affairs.  CSM12 has been pretty quiet since its election earlier this year.

Round 12 in progress!

And even now, in the chill of the the last two councils, this barely qualifies as CSM drama.  The joke is that playing EVE Online seriously is like having a second job, and adding the CSM to your list gives you at least another part time job on top of the two you likely have.  So Vince Draken, already the leader of Northern Coalition, probably has enough on his plate already.  He’ll miss out on a week of sitting in a conference room in Iceland talking about various aspects of the game.

Meanwhile, there is a position to be filled.  CCP has said the following:

We will be calling in a substitute using the previously stated method of filling the spot with the last candidate eliminated in the election (the next in line without any recalculation of vote distribution). We’ll start there and go down the line if needed until someone accepts the spot and we will make another announcement once this is concluded.

Over at INN they quickly reported that the next in line for the seat is Sort Dragon, leader of the Darkness alliance.  Sort Dragon previously served on CSM10.

If Sort Dragon declines, next in line are Kalbuir Skirate of Pandemic Horde, followed by Killah Bee of Pandemic Legion, thus effectively keeping the seat both in the hands of a null sec representative and a member of the PanFam/NC/GotG coalition.  CCP will announce who will replace Vince Draken when they find somebody down the list who will take the job.

If none of those three take up the mantle, CCP will continue down the elimination trace.  The data they will use is available from the Dev Blog analyzing the CSM12 election results.

Quote of the Day – Cat Ears in Space

My ideal patch would be one where they fix vuln timers on citadels, heavily nerf or remove void bombs on citadels, make sov nodes a damage capped structure not entosis based, make refineries mirror 90% of PoS mechanics, and add cat ears and an option to replace my engine trails with a stream of hundred dollar bills.

CSM 12 member Jin’taan,  Reddit Post

In one blow Jin’taan has hit on quite a few issues I fully support.

The CXM 12 Member from Provi Bloc

And not all of them are strictly null sec focused.  In fact, only ditching entosis is applicable directly to null sec.  The rest are pretty universal.  And cat ears… that could be the back door to getting hats to be a thing in New Eden.  I am glad he was on our ballot.

 

EVE Online CSM 12 Winners Announced

During the EVE Online keynote at Fanfest 2017 CCP Seagull announced the winners of the CSM 12 election.  As noted previously, the CSM was reduced to ten members and all members will travel to CCP for summits.

The winners were:

The 10 members of CSM 12

  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • Rhiload Feron-drake – TURN LEFT
  • The Judge – Circle of Two
  • NoobMan – Hard Knocks Citizens
  • Jin’taan – Curatores Veritatis Alliance
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Vince Draken – Northern Coalition
  • Yukiko Kami – Brave Coalition
  • Suitonia – Goonswarm Federation
  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation

Six of the winners were carry-overs from CSM11.

Once again, null sec candidates make up the majority of the council, though now they represent a smaller percentage now that the council is smaller and a low sec candidate, Rhiload Feron-drake, made the cut.

Voter turnout was up over last year, with 31,274 votes cast compared to only 22,345 in 2016.

Votes cast in CSM elections

While the trend was up, it was still nowhere near the peak of 59,109 votes cast for CSM 7.

There will no doubt be a dev blog to follow this up with details and the actual vote count.  Then we can figure out how close Xenuria came to re-election.

Voting for CSM 12 Opens Today

The day is here, the annual stuffing of the ballot box has begun, the CSM elections are live.  They run from today, March 6, through until March 2y, with the results to be announced at Fanfest on April 6.

Look at that CONCORD police Captain trying to suppress the vote!

Look at that CONCORD police Captain trying to suppress the vote!

CCP has even created a video where CCP Logibro spends almost five minutes telling you about the election and how to use the voting interface.

As for who to vote for, you have an array of 64 candidates to choose from.  How to pick… well, that is up to you.   The Nosy Gamer has put together a page that brings together campaign statements and interviews from the candidates.  It is a good place to start if you are just trying to figure out for whom to vote.

Of course, if you’re just starting to figure that out now, you’re part of the reason why I think electing a player advisory council is silly, as I noted in last week’s blog banter post.  In a game where one segment of the population needs to be highly organized in order to survive, guess who is best at getting their people to vote?  The null sec blocs get out the vote while the rest of the game mostly doesn’t even bother to open up a ballot.  And so CSM 11 was 13 null sec players and Steve Ronuken.

With CSM 12 being reduced from 14 members to 10, all of whom will be flown to Iceland for summits, past results indicate that null sec will likely end up with 8 or 9 of those.  I think Neville Smit’s idea for a high sec coalition is coming a bit late, but we shall see.  With only 10 seats, every vote counts even more so as there is much less room for trickle down.

Anyway, the null sec blocs no doubt all have their voting lists published already.  The Imperium had theirs up early yesterday and have a “get out the vote” campaign in motion.

For those interested, this is the Imperium slate:

  1. Aryth – GSF
  2. Innominate – GSF
  3. Sullen Decimus – Bastion
  4. Jin’taan – Provibloc
  5. The Judge – CO2
  6. Suitonia – GSF

[INN has the Provi Bloc and CO2/TEST ballots here]

For those who haven’t watched the video or read up on the process, the ordering dictates the priority list for your votes.  If Aryth has enough votes, surplus votes will then fall to Innominate.  When he has sufficient votes, any extras will go to Sullen Decimus.  And so it goes down the list.

If you are paying close attention, there are likely three items of interest with this list.

First, there are only six candidates listed, when there could have been ten.  Last year the list was a full 14 long and included outsiders such as Commander Aze and Tora Bushido to round it out.  This year the list is truncated and includes only core null candidates.  I gather that this is to emphasize the key candidates so they don’t get lost or shuffled as people go to their ballot.  We are left to add four more candidates if we wish, though it seems unlikely that many votes will transfer down that far.

Second, The Judge is on our list.  Yes, he is down in fifth place, but after the great (and in the end futile) betrayal by CO2 and M-OEE8 last year, his alliance remains our space foes.  But the smooth operation of the CSM appears to transcend the in-game situation.  He did a good job last time around so made our list.  He likely won’t get many trickle down votes from us, but he has TEST/CO2 voters behind him to make up the difference.

And third, Xenuria is not on our ballot.  He is running, he is in GSF, he is on CSM 11, and by all accounts he did a good job, but he isn’t one of our picks.

Last year picking Xenuria to be on the ballot was a controversial choice.  He got the third spot on the Imperium ballot for the CSM11 election.  As an example of Goons not marching in lock step or doing whatever Mittens tells them, this was a good example.  There was an outcry about choosing him and declarations from many in the thread that they would never vote for him.

Still, Xenuria had enough people vote the ballot, plus the support he had garnered through past runs for the CSM, to get himself elected.  This year though, he is on his own.  Fortunately, for him, he has been ahead of the game and has been out campaigning, including having a station billboard ad for a while now.

A vote for Xenuria is a vote for Xenuria

A vote for Xenuria is a vote for Xenuria

If Xenuria’s focus, which includes focus on cosmetic in-game items, is something you want represented on the CSM, you’re going to have to vote for him yourself, as the Imperium isn’t going to get him elected.

So that is it, the election is off and running.  We will know the results in a month.

BB80 – Oh That Crazy CSM Thing!

This is where most people would list their myriad reasons they are running for CSM. Maybe they would write out long platform statements with some overarching narrative. Their dreams of how to make EVE great again.

I am not going to do any of those things because I don’t need your votes you terrible pubbies.

-Aryth for CSM 12 campaign forum post

You weren’t going to vote for Aryth anyway, were you?

Here we are at the latest Blog Banter, number 80 in the series, and this time around the topic is the CSM.  Specifically:

CCP Seagull ecourages you to get involved in CSM12 and put your name forward to be a Space-Politician. On his blog Neville Smit noted that CSM11 had done a good job with minimum of drama. However he said he’d not be covering CSM12 like he has in previous years as he sees no point. The power-blocs will vote on who they want and unless Steve Ronuken manages to get on CSM12 it is almost certainly going to have every seat taken by the big null-sec blocs.

Is Neville right? Is the CSM moving more and more into just a voice for 0.0? Is this a bad thing? Are the hi-sec, low-sec and WH players going to lose out badly or is it really not an issue as its the same game? Could a totally null-sec dominated CSM 12 give a balanced voice for everyone?

I get to quote Aryth, pick on Neville Smit, and complain about the CSM?  Trifecta!

Anyway, in my usual style, I am going to spew forth a bunch of text and I hope, somewhere at the far side, to reach a conclusion.  I think I know what it will be, but won’t be sure until I get there!  The CSM 12 election is coming soon, so lets ramble.

Look at that CONCORD police Captain trying to suppress the vote!

Look at that CONCORD police Captain trying to suppress the vote!

I will start with the fact that I think electing what is essentially a focus group by having the player base vote is pretty silly.  You want to select by competence and core knowledge, not popularity for this sort of position.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  If you go look at the CCP historical timeline (preserved here) you will see this tidbit for 2003.

The historical record of sorts

The historical record of sorts from 2003

Yes, players were chosen by CCP.  That is the way things are generally done in the MMO domain when you want a focus group or player advisory board. (SOE, Blizz, and Turbine all did it that way.)  But five years into the game and one T20 scandal later, CCP decided that elections would… I don’t know really.  Transparency?  Here is what they said:

During their six-month term, delegates to the council will deliberate on issues of importance to the EVE community and work with representatives of CCP on the future evolution of EVE Online.

Oh yeah, and the terms were for six months back then… more elections… and there were nine members of the council and five alternates.

Anyway, an election gets popular people and not necessarily competent people on the CSM.

That, of course, leads us to who is really popular in New Eden.  There are a few people in the EVE Online population that have achieved space fame and who could thus get elected on their own.  To get there you usually have to take things out of game by starting a blog, running a news site, being particularly notable on Reddit, or by creating some sort of additional functionality for the game.  And that is no guarantee you will get the votes.  Riverini took a couple of shots, but his EN24 fame wasn’t enough.

For the most part though elections go to large, organized groups, and there are no larger nor more organized groups than the null sec blocs.  The nature of the game is that to survive and thrive and hold space in null sec you have to be organized.

I spent five years bopping around in high sec and was never in a corp that had more than a dozen people and probably didn’t know what an alliance really was.  That didn’t harm my play style at all.  In the back woods of Amarr space, far from Jita, life was peaceful.  The one and only time I was suicide ganked involved traveling from Jita to our little pocket in Amarr space via Niarja, which is the gank pipe.  I interacted with more EVE bloggers on their blogs out of game than I did with players in the game.

And then I moved to null sec and am currently in one of the small alliances in our coalition, having only ~1,600 members, while the senior partner is Goonswarm Federation with 24K members.  Yes, the member count is probably between half and two-thirds alts, but every paying account gets a vote.  So when an official ballot is put out for the coalition… which we mostly vote for, though Goon uniformity is largely a myth and candidates like Xenuria have been controversial on the official ballot… that provides a pretty strong base of votes.  The question is never about whether somebody from the ballot will get on the CSM but rather how many on the list will make it.

So if you’re not in null sec, how do you break into what is now the top 10 of votes?

It isn’t easy.  There have been various attempts to get a wider group or play style to back a candidate from, say, wormhole space or faction warfare.  That has worked a few times, but often there isn’t a clear choice as multiple candidates vie for the same demographic.

And if identify with a nebulous group like high sec, and your space blog is only getting 30 page views a day on average, and you are in competition with a ludicrous number of opponents (64 total candidates this year) for those coveted ten seats,  you don’t have many options.

You try to get on everybody’s review list or podcast and you promise to do things in the classic quid pro quo of politics.  You promise to represent this community or that community or several communities or all communities.  You promise to champion certain features or resist others.  If you’re really crazy, you promise to get CCP to do something.  You have to stand out, and just saying your knowledgeable isn’t enough.

I quoted Aryth at the top for a reason.  He doesn’t have to promise anything.  If you’re not in a null sec bloc, you’re running against somebody who doesn’t really need a campaign to win.  And he’ll get on the next CSM because he’ll be the top slot on the Imperium ballot and there is nothing you can post on Reddit to stop that.

Unfortunately, promises are a show of weakness, a sign of desperation to stand out.  When I first mentioned the elected CSM on this blog, back in April of 2008, I called it the Galactic Student Council.  Just like the student council back in high school, candidates can promise all sorts of thing, but in the end the school administration controls the situation and can ignore or veto the student council at will.  Likewise, the CSM serves at the pleasure of CCP and, as we have seen in the past, can be ignored with impunity.

To have any power on its own, the CSM has to bypass CCP and cause players to follow them rather than the company.  That has happened exactly once, after the Incarna expansion, and was an extraordinary set of circumstances the root causes of which people disagree with to this day. (But it wasn’t about the price of monocles, I guarantee you that.)

Sion Kumitomo tried to do this again, tried to take his issues out of school, during CSM 10.  However, he faced two problems.  Well, three problems.  The first was being in GSF, which sets some people against him automatically, but that was really the least of his problems and could have been overcome with the right issue.

The second problem was his communication style, which is long and ponderous, and I write this with a straight face as I pass the 1,200 word mark on this post without reaching my point.  I am good at burying the lede, and often do it deliberately just to see who is paying attention.  But when Sion writes, he doesn’t just bury the lede, he kills it, buries it in an unmarked grave deep in the forest, evades the detection of the authorities, and only gives up the location 40 years later on his death bed.  But that really wasn’t his biggest problem either.

No, his biggest problem was that he was attempting champion an issue about which almost nobody gave a shit about, the CSM.  The dirty not-really-a-secret of the CSM is that, judging by voter turn out, most people simply don’t know or don’t care about it.  I mean, if go back and read my Galactic Student Council post from 2008, you can see that I had missed a lot of what was going on, and I cared enough to write a blog post about it.

And CCP can talk about the election all it wants, encourage people to get involved, put info up on the launcher, post on Twitter and Facebook, and it isn’t going to change much.  Even the highest voted turnout ever for the CSM was still a depressingly small slice of the New Eden population.  Part of that people will mind their own business because they just want to log in after work and manage their PI or run a mission or see what their corp mates are up to, while the CSM is this thing that we only hear about when things go wrong.

And even if they do decide to vote, they haven’t been listening to the podcasts or reading candidate summaries or review… the alleged “EVE Media” and those who pay attention are a tiny part of the game… you load up that voting screen and see that grid array of 64 candidates, none of whom you have likely heard of (unless you saw the Xenuria ad running in stations, then you might remember him… he does have a memorable avatar) and what do you do?  How do you pick one candidate, much less ten, out of a list of random strangers whose avatars (aside from Xenuria’s) mostly blur together in a mass of plainness?

So barriers to an informed electorate are huge and the benefits are nebulous at best.  And after the train wreck that was CSM 10, I was predicting that the institution of the elected CSM might become more of a liability than CCP was willing to put up with.  The end seemed nigh.

And then CSM 11 happened.  CCP Guard and CCP Logibro took over the CCP side of the relationship with the group and met with the mostly null sec members of the newly elected CSM and got to work.  Everything was mostly quiet, there were no controversies, the meeting minutes seemed to indicate that people mostly got along and that it wasn’t a null sec plot to turn the whole game into their favored play style.  As noted way up at the top, even Neville Smit, who was out agitating for the alleged 85% with his Occupy New Eden plan seemed pleased enough to simply vote for any CSM 11 incumbent that ran again.

So what happened?

I think CCP finally “got” what the CSM ought to be and how to handle it.  They listened, they didn’t take every piece of advice offered, sometimes to their regret, but no members of CSM 11 are out there raging about how CCP dropped the ball by ignoring the CSM or how CCP claimed CSM approval around things that the CSM never really endorsed.  CCP didn’t screw up.

Meanwhile, the null sec blocs seemed to have burned through most of their prima donna candidates who just wanted to be on the CSM for a forum badge, an ego boost, and a free trip to Iceland and elected a group that seems to care about the overall health of the game.  Somebody like Aryth understands the essential symbiotic relationship that exists between null sec and high sec and knows he has to protect both for either to thrive.  And somebody like Xenuria is there to get you new shoes. (He needs to work on hats though.)

So even the skeptic in me, who has long derided the CSM, has to admit that things are pretty good with the institution right now, in part because CCP decided that the relationship was important, and in part because CCP still goes outside the CSM to get opinions.

Of course, it could all go to hell with CSM 12, but we’ll see.  Right now the CSM is about the best we can hope for given the various issues and limitations I have rambled about above, even if it clearly isn’t covering all voices.  But you’ve seen that “things to do in New Eden” chart.  How could you get all of that covered, even in broad strokes, on a panel with only 10 seats?

So I suppose we should enjoy this happy period while it lasts.

Anyway, there are others who have picked up the topic as well who probably have more cogent points to make.  Find some of them here:

CSM 12 Application Process Opens, CSM Reduced to 10 Seats

As expected CCP opened up the application process for people wishing to run for a seat on CSM 12.  CCP Guard and CCP Logibro have put up a dev blog with details about the process of applying.

Ready for round 12!

Ready for round 12!

Along with the application process, the dev blog also covers some history of the CSM, the meeting minutes for second CSM 11 summit, and how many members have been attending the live sessions in Iceland.  For CSM 11 all members have been attending these summits at CCP headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland.  It has been decided that this will continue with CSM 12.

To facilitate this however, the size of the CSM is being reduced from 14 to 10 members.

We shall see how this affects the single transferable vote system in place.  At a minimum, I expect we will allowed to vote for just 10 people this time around.

I expect some analysis will come out to show who would have been on past CSM groups had there only been 10 seats available. [Addendum: Oh, there it is.]

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!