Tag Archives: CSM14

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.

Last Chance to Vote for CSM14

The week long election for CSM14 is rapidly approaching its end.

Addendum: The time has passed, the polls are closed.

This logo will mostly be used for recriminations after the polls close

But you still have a few more hours left in which to vote.  You just go here, log in, and drag the candidates into the ballot in the order in which you want to vote for them.  CCP says you have until 12:00 UTC on June 17th to cast your vote.

Of course, if you don’t know who to vote for, it is a little late for a crash course.  The CSM Wire site has all the info, but you could be days sifting through it.

Nosy Gamer and Shipwreck Jones both have candidate summaries that will tell you who is aligned with what group and their basic candidate goals.

If you’re in a just “Tell me who to vote for!” mood I guess I can do that too.  I’ll assume if you’re in a null sec bloc you’ve already been told how you should cast your vote.  Got check your respective corp/alliance/coalition forums.

If you just want somebody who cares about the game and don’t care about affiliation:

  • Dunk Dinkle

He is in Brave Newbies, is a solid and reasonable person, and is low down on the bloc ballots so might need help.

If you believe, perhaps correctly, that null sec blocs don’t need any more seats no matter who is there, then there are a few candidates that could probably use your votes and have a chance of winning:

  • Steve Ronuken – Incumbent, represents industry and 3rd party interfaces
  • Mike Azariah – Runs the Magic School Bus to help new players
  • Manic Velocity – Popular EVE Online streamer

And if you are angry about null sec for whatever reason and what to annoy them, there is one key candidate you’ll need on your ballot:

  • Olmeca Gold – Popular anti-null sec conspiracy theorist

Otherwise, you’re on your own.  Get out and vote.  Time is running out.

 

CSM14 Elections Start Today

The day has arrived and the polls have opened, you may now go forth and vote for your favorite candidates for CSM14.  If you’re in a rush, I believe the official candidates page is also the voting site as well, once you log in.  Voting closes on the 17th, so don’t let the time slip by.

A new CSM gets a New Logo

My long held opinion on electing player representatives, that it is a bit silly and more for show than anything else, remains unchanged.  However, if this is the system we have it isn’t going to get any better by not participating.  I vigorously oppose anything like a “none of the above” option on the ballot.  Voter turnout, such that it is, and who gets elected, ought to be enough to send the message.

There are 44 candidates on the ballot and Nosy Gamer has done a good job of listing them out in a post on his blog because, if nothing else, it doesn’t change order every time you go look at it.  I understand why CCP does that on their ballot page, but that doesn’t make reading the list any easier.

Anyway, go look through that post for candidate summaries as well as links to their pages on the CSM Wire site, which in turn links to their various campaign posts and interviews.

As with last year, there are seven incumbents from CSM13 running to be on the CSM again.  Suitonia, Jin’taan, and Brisc Rubal all declined to run for another term, so the returning candidates are:

  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  • Killah Bee – Northern Coalition
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation
  • Sort Dragon – Darkness
  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • The Judge – Goonswarm Federation

Most of them seem well placed to return.  The Judge might be an outlier for null sec, unless he appears on multiple bloc ballots or is able to buy votes from the injector farmers again.

Steve Ronuken could also be at risk if other non-null bloc candidates erode his long time base.  There are some other well known players running for that position.

As of my writing this I have not seen the Imperium ballot yet, nor have I seen any leaks from other null sec coalitions, but I expect that null sec bloc candidates will take at least six and possibly as many as eight seats on the council.  This is due, in large part, to their ability to organize and get out the vote. (I’ll append the ballots to the end of this post when they get leaked.)

If they succeed in getting the vote out in a big way and take eight seats, I expect it will be the top two from the Imperium ballot, the top two from the Legacy Coalition ballot, two from NCDot/PanFam, and possibly one each from Dead Coalition and Fraternity.

That leaves between two and four seats open to non-bloc candidates, and those who have built up an independent constituency, or who have ingratiated themselves with the null sec groups, seem most likely to get in.  My guesses on who might fill those seats include:

  • Steve Ronuken – Incumbent, represents industry and 3rd party interfaces
  • Mike Azariah – Runs the Magic School Bus to help new players
  • Manic Velocity – Popular EVE Online streamer
  • Matterall – Talking in Stations show
  • Olmeca Gold – Popular anti-null sec conspiracy theorist

I might not have included Olmeca Gold, except that it is rumored that he might get on some null sec ballots, which could give him enough trickle down to win.  Likewise, Matterall has been out horse trading endorsements to get on null sec ballots, which may make you then question his Independence.  If you fly in null sec and are on null sec bloc ballots, can you then be independent of that?   We shall see how that works out.

There has been a conspiracy theory about, alleged to have started with Doomchinchilla on Twitter, that the Imperium attack on Tribute was planned so that the Imperium would have the maximum number of subscribed accounts… because people come back to play when there is a war… when the election hit.

The Mittani, responding to this on the weekly coalition fireside, said that was a great idea and he wished he had thought of it.  So now I suspect there will be a late spring war every year to coincide with the election.

There is also another side conspiracy theory that CCP is trying to get more people to vote by literally giving away Omega time.  There is currently a Twitch Prime offer that does just that.

Free stuff, or stuff you’ve already paid for so might as well claim

If you have Amazon Prime, you link that to your Twitch account to get Twitch Prime (Amazon owns Twitch), then you claim the offer and link it to an EVE Online Alpha Clone account and, boom, you have 15 days of Omega Clone time and get to vote.  I know I get one more vote this year because of this.

There were 29,417 votes cast for CSM13, and 31,274 cast for CSM12.  There have never been fewer than 20K votes cast (early CSM votes were low, and CSM11 has just 22K votes cast) and the peak amount of votes cast was for CSM7, when nearly 60K accounts voted.

Number of Votes Cast – CSM 1 through CSM 12

We will see if either of those things end up in a rise in voter participation in this election.  Noizy has a poll up on Twitter if you want to take a guess at voter turn out.  I suspect it will be up this year, but that will translate into more null sec votes.

Anyway, the vote is on.  If you need to read up on the candidates, I will point you once again at the CSM Wire.  When you are ready to vote, the official candidate page can be found here.

Addendum – Ballots I have seen so far.  If you see any others let me know:

Imperium Ballot

  1. Aryth
  2. Merkelchen
  3. Innominate
  4. The Judge
  5. Vily
  6. Dunk Dinkle
  7. Sortdragon
  8. Killah Bee
  9. Steve Ronuken
  10. Xenuria

TEST Ballot

  1. Vily
  2. Cornak Firefist
  3. Dunk Dinkle
  4. Innominate
  5. Killah Bee
  6. Matterall
  7. Gobbins
  8. Steve Ronuken

Pandemic Horde Ballot

  1. Gobbins
  2. Killah Bee
  3. Arrowspeeed Bounty
  4. Dunk Dinkle
  5. Olmeca Gold
  6. Matterall
  7. Vily

Quote of the Day – CSM Candidate Red Flag Issue

I don’t care if CCP sells bullets that do a little more damage frankly.

-Matterall, CSM14 interview with Jin’taan (at ~17:40)

The CSM14 elections kick off on Monday, so the time for candidate research is coming to an end.  You’ll soon be able to to cast your vote… at least if you are part of the minority of players that bother.

Elections start on Monday

Of note, Jin’taan did a series of interviews with some of the candidates.  He served on the previous three CSMs and used his insight there to ask some pointed questions of the people he interviewed, keeping to the same questions for each interview and not releasing any of the interviews until he was done.  This added an element of surprise and some discomfort to those being interviewed and give some unfiltered insight into the candidates themselves.  We got to see past the bland electioneering statements and get into the candidates.

Overall, Jin’taan interviewed just six candidates that he found interesting.  They were:

I like the format and I wish Jin’taan had been able to interview more candidates, however we get what we get.

Each of the candidates stumbled now and again but mostly adapt to the situation in which they found themselves… except for Matterall.

Matterall seemed to push back on the questions.  That is okay, I suppose.  However, some of the questions from Jin’taan started with straight up statements that CSM members would be asked for direct feedback or to bring up specific issues and Matterall, unlike every other interviewee, didn’t want to go there.  (He didn’t even want to endorse any other candidate in the final question.  Mike Azariah, for example, took that moment to endorse Matterall, but Matterall had no kind words for anybody else.)

In the end I came away with the impression that what Matterall doesn’t want to be on the CSM, that what he really wants is to consult with CCP on marketing and avoid in-game issues altogether except in the most general, high level sense.

And I guess that is a platform of sorts, even if he seems to be stating up front he won’t be doing the job that will be expected of him.

But then there was the monetization question.  All of the candidates interviewed by Jin’taan went pretty quickly against CCP selling any sort of pay to win.  That seemed like the obvious response, as a couple even said.  As has been pointed out many times, any scent of pay to win in a PvP game can bring ruin to a game.  Games that have run with that at times, such as World of Tanks and their gold ammo, have found themselves better off discarding that sort of thing.

Well, all of the candidates except Matterall.

Matterall, as the quote at the top of this post indicates, was quite indifferent to the idea of pay to win.  I will expand his quote just to put in more context: [stumbles and things like “uh” not transcribed]

I know that monetization is a big deal to people. It’s not a big deal to me. If the game can make money by selling objects like Fortnite can and make however much gazillions of dollars they are making, I am all for it. I don’t see any problem with it. I think what they [CCP] have done generally in the past has been good, as far as a guideline, but this is not something I am passionate about. I don’t care if CCP sells bullets that do a little more damage frankly. I don’t see that as completely destabilizing the game. Because the game is not all about PvP. The game is about other things too.

He goes on to speak about things he would like to see… more books and such, and says he has every copy of EON Magazine… then starts to sound somewhat dismissive of cosmetic offerings.  I came away feeling like he didn’t care for ship SKINs or clothing items.

This segment of the interview had me muttering aloud as I listened to it because there was so much wrong there.

First, I dislike the comparison to Fortnite.  That seemed to be a lazy grab at the most popular title out there that is a genre apart from EVE Online.  But more so, if that is your example, a PvP game that sells only cosmetic gear, it seems like a very strange jump to go from that to selling gold ammo.  If you think that is what Fortnite does, go educate yourself.  And that comparison gets even weirder when he sounds so uninterested in cosmetic options.

Second, one of Matterall’s repeated campaign slogans is that he listens to everyone.  That seems to be something of an idle boast if he can blithely state that gold ammo isn’t a big deal.  Or maybe he does listen, but just doesn’t care.  Either way, if this is a hot button issue to you (it is to me, if only for the survival of the overall game) then Matterall would clearly not be representing you on the CSM.

Third, another of his campaign statements is about the unity of the game (you can find this over on his CSM Wire page for CSM 14), that he doesn’t like to break things up into null sec, high sec, faction warfare, and whatever.  As he writes, “those distinctions don’t make sense to me.”  But here we have him chopping off part of the game, PvP, which I would argue makes up a critical core of the game… you don’t have an industry game or a mining game or a hauling game unless people are buying replacement ships and modules due to losses… in a way that seems diametrically opposed to his stated position.  If you want to take a holistic view you cannot then set aside major parts of the game.

Fourth, his attraction to literature as a monetization option seems misplaced.  Not that I do not share his interest.  I have many back issues of EON Magazine and most of the books and what not.  The thing is, these are not, nor ever have been, a money making ventures for the game.  Things like that, and the EVE Online Store (about which I have written), are marketing.   They don’t make money, they promote the game.  Rare is the gaming company that turns a profit, or breaks even, on that sort of thing, and I feel like somebody who wants to go engage CCP about their marketing efforts ought to know that.

Finally, I think that Matterall, who has been playing since 2008 and who has done a couple of presentations at EVE Vegas about the game’s history, ought to be aware of what happened the last time CCP brought up the idea of gold ammo and cash shop ships.  While the event is erroneously called “Monoclegate” because the press likes a snappy term (with “gate” appended) for a headline, the backlash against CCP with the Incarna release was driven in large part by the leak of the Greed is Good internal publication that seemed to chart out a plan to monetize all the things, selling special ship and ammo and implants and whatever in the cash shop.

That did not turn out well for CCP and to be indifferent to that is a serious disqualifying factor to my mind.

Gold ammo – Artist concept

So there we go.  I’ve spent time talking with Matterall at EVE Vegas and we get along.  I don’t particularly want to bash him.  I was even inclined to slip him onto my ballot… not in first position, as he was asking, but somewhere… however now I cannot bring myself to put him on the list.  This interview changed my mind.  It was almost 30 minutes of empty rhetoric and high concept where the one concrete issue that came up he said it didn’t interest him.  That was only a couple minutes out of the interview, but it was the only part where the rubber met the road really, the only part where we had a glimpse of him being handed an actual topic of substance, and he didn’t have the moxie to go there because he didn’t really care.

Matterall, if you really do listen to everybody, listen to this:  I think you went far astray on this one.  You differentiated yourself, but not in a good way.

I hope, if you do managed to get elected after this faux pas, you are willing to do the job you’ve asked for and not just the bit you say that interests you.  My cynicism regarding CCP and its use of the CSM, reinforced by the recent Jester post-NDA AMA, leads me to believe that somebody trying to blaze their own path is likely doomed, if not to failure, then at least to irrelevance.

This naturally leads to something of a larger question about what qualifies somebody to be on the CSM?  Is having strong but more general opinions about internet spaceships, or the marketing thereof, enough?  Should being able to discuss and evaluate the often intricate mechanics of the game in a detailed and authoritative way the sole requirement?  Jin’taan and Jester both strongly imply that is really what CCP wants and, that if you fail at that, if you cannot engage at that level, you may as well stay home.  CCP has proven in the past that they control the discourse, that if they don’t want to listen that no member has any real agency within the confines of the CSM unless CCP grants it to them.  The only time that the CSM has successfully defied that was during the Incarna and Greed is Good imbroglio.

So do you vote for somebody you know will play by CCP’s rules and take the wins they can get, or do vote for somebody attempting to bring their own view of the role of the CSM and accept that it may well be a wasted vote?

Addendum: I was just early, Jin’taan has more interviews and two more just appeared.

On the monetization question, Olmeca Gold follows the safe line, being against in game items, as well as being worried about the skill points that CCP has been giving away.

Juris Doctor took the question and essentially argued in favor of what CCP already has (PLEX and skill injectors), which I guess is a position.  When pressed with a follow up to get him to actually answer the question, he went down a theoretical path about being able to buy alternate star gate routes in New Eden (Amarr to Jita or Dodixie to Pure Blind were given as examples) which sounds like a something ripe for exploitation, such that doubt CCP would ever embrace it.  So I’m not hot on Juris Doctor being on the CSM either. but at least he didn’t wave off gold ammo as something that didn’t matter.