Tag Archives: CSM17

Reflecting on the CSM17 Ballots and Voting

We had the CSM17 election results last week, the culmination of a couple months of effort and the outcome was about as expected.  Null sec candidates won a majority of the seats.  That they won 8 rather than 7 was probably the closest we got to a surprise.

The CSM17 Winners

I am being a bit glib with that statement, but only just.  The CSM has changed over the years, but ever since null sec realized that if they didn’t have a seat at the table that non-null players would happily put null sec play styles on the chopping bloc for their own benefit, the null sec blocs have used their numbers and organizational power to see that they were not only represented, but over represented.

And like the outcomes, the responses to the results have been just as predictable.

Fortunately CCP gives us a lot of data about the election so we can all pour through the results to our heart’s content.  Angry Mustache, newly elected to the CSM, took over Suitonia’s old role and converted the ballot data, which is all just numbers in a file, into a spreadsheet in order to display the various ballots that were cast.

Then KZDavid took that data and created a summary chart that groups all the ballots by the top three candidates on them in order to make the ballot data a bit more digestible.  I am going to steal the updated version of his chart for the basis of the next part of this post.

KZDavid’s CSM17 Ballot Summary Chart

I tallied up the totals for ballots that had three null sec candidates at the top (I had to give Hy Wanto Destroyer a pass because he was second or third on a number of null sec ballots, but I didn’t count any where he was first) and came up with 15,249 ballots cast, which represents 49% of 30,814 total ballots submitted in the election.

Is null sec half of the game?  I don’t think so.  It is certainly more that the long discredited 15% number that has bandied about for years.  And we saw 35% of those logged into the game just in Delve back at the second battle of M2-XFE.   But even if null sec isn’t half the total active game population, they don’t have to be.  Only Omega accounts, those who are subscribed via real world money or PLEX, are allowed to vote.

I also don’t know how many Omega accounts are active in the game.  I have been down “the how many people play” path before.  I would have guessed at a number around 100,000 a year ago.  It is probably less now, but it seems pretty clear that not every Omega voted.

So null sec votes in greater numbers than other areas of the game.  In fact null sec votes in numbers almost equal to all other areas of the game combined, and in an election, voter numbers matter more than total numbers.

Null sec also votes with greater focus and/or organization.  More than one third of those null sec votes, or more than one in six of all ballots cast, were for the top of the Imperium ballot.  That was enough to elect three candidates in the first round and still trickle down some votes to the fourth spot on the ballot.

Other null sec groups voted in smaller numbers, but with similar focus, sticking to the ballot endorsed by their leadership, and the top candidate on all of the null sec group ballots was elected.

And so null sec is represented beyond its numbers in the game, because even the most pro-null player isn’t going to insist that 80% of the game is out in 0.0 space.

How do we change that?

First, I am going to assume that somebody wants to change the way things are just based on the amount of bitching.

I am also going to assume that CCP wants to maintain the whole elected council aspect of the CSM as that stirs up a bunch of game coverage, even if a lot of it is within specific niches of the community.  Those who say that the CSM is just a PR exercise are not wholly wrong.

And, finally, I am not going to suggest the unlikely.  High sec, low sec, and wormhole groups are not going to suddenly come together and organize into any sort of effective voting bloc.  It isn’t impossible, but it requires a lot of work.  You cannot just wait until next year when CCP announced the CSM18 election schedule and think, “I’ll start on my campaign now!”

If you’re not on a null sec ballot and you aren’t famous, you should probably start campaigning today.  You don’t have to be overt, but you should start getting your name out there, engaging in good faith discussions about the game, and generally laying the groundwork.

So, in thinking this through, I have come up with two things that CCP could do to try and change the makeup of the council.  And one of them will actually work.  They are:

  • Pack the Council
  • Put Voting in the Game

Put Voting in the Game

We’ll start with the second item first, putting voting in the game, as it is the least likely of the two to change anything.

The idea is to get more people to vote.  Early on many critics of complained that CCP was not doing enough to get out the vote.  To CCP’s credit, they have… if slowly… over time piled on more and more ways to tell people about the CSM elections.  We’re at the point where it is on the launcher, announced in a pop-up at login, comes to you via the email address associated with your account, gets a dev blog, a login event, in-game voting information stations, and CCP sponsors a host of candidate interviews.

So they have been putting in some effort.

But in the end you still have to leave the game and go to the web site, get logged in, which for me means dragging out my phone and finding the Google Authenticator app, navigate to the right page… because when I logged in it didn’t return me to the voting page I had started at… and figuring out to vote in something of a sub-optimal UI.

It isn’t a horrible experience.  But it isn’t the best experience either.

So the operating theory for some who still think CCP is deliberately suppressing the vote to favor null blocs… I kid you not… is that what CCP needs to do is put voting in the game.

And I could see that as an improvement.  Put it in The Agency, give it a decent UI, pop that at login every time somebody enters the game during the election until they have voted, and given them something… some ISK or some skill points or an “I voted for CSMXX” hat… once they have voted.

They could even make it a polling interface in The Agency that they could use for other questions or issues with the player.  It doesn’t even have to be used for serious things all the time.  You could have votes for favorite faction cruisers just for grins.

And, of course, if an Alpha account logs in CCP can remind them that the franchise is for Omegas, so please subscribe to vote.

Done right, it could boost the election turn-out.

Would it make a difference to the results?  Maybe?  I don’t think you’re going to roll back null sec bloc votes to less than six seats.  But maybe it keeps null sec from grabbing eight seats again.

Pack the Council

This option will work, if your goal is simply to get a few more non-null sec voices on the CSM.  Basically, CCP just needs to go back to a larger council.  If CSM17 had been 12 players rather than 10, there would have been two more non-null sec voices.  If it had been 15, there would have been five more non-null sec players elected.

The coordinated, targeted, ballot oriented voting of the null sec blocs goes deep on a few candidates quickly, then peters out.  If you go back to my election results post and look at the order of elimination, you have to go backwards quite a ways before you find another null sec candidate.  If they missed the early trickle down of vote, they did not hang out for long.  Pando was a rare exception, squeaking in due to broad support outside of his bloc.  But the fifth candidate on the Imperium ballot, Hyperviper1, was out in round 16.

So CCP could get wider representation on the council fairly easily by just having more people on it.

CCP reduced the size of the council to ten with the CSM12 election because they wanted to fly the entire council to Iceland for the summits.  There was some immediate analysis about how that would affect representation.  What has come to pass is that null sec owns 6-8 seats on the council.

CCP could expand the council and bite the bullet on the cost of a comping a couple more people for a trip to Iceland.  But given that Covid has kept there from being a live summit for a couple of years now, they might just opt to keep them remote in any case.  That would be a disappointment to many, as getting to know the CCP team socially creates a bond that makes them easier to work with.  But it wouldn’t surprise me.

What Will Happen?

Probably nothing.

The status quo serves CCP’s needs when it comes to publicity and player engagement and looking like they’re listening.

Would they like a more diverse council?  Probably.

Would they spend another dime to get it?  Probably not.

Would they listen to a more diverse council any more than they currently do? Not a chance.

But if they did want to change something, they do have options.

Introducing Your CSM17 Representatives

As has become standard practice, CCP did an hour long election reveal on Twitch yesterday to announce the winners of the CSM17 election.

CSM17 is approaching

For those who want to cut straight to the end results, here are the 10 candidates that made the cut for CSM17

The winners were:

The CSM17 Winners

Or, listed out in alphabetical order:

  1. Angry Mustache – Goonswarm Federation
  2. Arsia Elkin* – Electus Matari
  3. Brisc Rubal* – The Initiative
  4. Jinx De’Caire – Brave Collective
  5. Kazanir – Goonswarm Federation
  6. Kenneth Feld* – Pandemic Legion
  7. Luke Anninan – Fraternity
  8. Mark Resurrectus – TURBOFEED OR GLORY
  9. Pandoralica – The Initiative
  10. Storm Delay – Pandemic Horde

*CSM16 Incumbent

For those who want a more detailed play by play, but who don’t want to watch the whole one hour stream, here are a few of the highlights.

30,814 total votes were cast for CSM17, down from 38,086 cast in the CSM16 election, 36,120 cast in the CSM15 election, and 32,994 cast in the CSM14 election.

The top 15 countries based on votes cast were:

  1. United States – 9,923
  2. United Kingdom – 3,271
  3. Germany – 2,729
  4. China – 2,275
  5. Canada – 1,447
  6. Russia 1,038
  7. Australia – 1,001
  8. Japan – 859
  9. Netherlands – 744
  10. France – 632
  11. Sweden – 458
  12. Poland – 402
  13. Norway – 387
  14. Denmark – 327
  15. Austria – 299

There were 44 candidates in the running, down one from the originally announced list, as Kismeteer of Pandemic Horde was dropped or dropped out, I am not sure which.  That meant there would be 34 elimination rounds to get to ten winners.

The first round saw two candidates elected outright with the first place votes, Kazanir, who was at the top of the Imperium ballot and got 5,574 votes, and Luke Anninan who topped the Fraternity/PanFam ballot, who received 4,302 votes.

The ballot quota to win in the first round was 2,802 votes (down from the 3,463 quota for CSM16, the quota being based on the number of votes cast… 2,661 was incorrect on the stream, and not the only error there) and the votes received in excess of the quota were spilled over to candidates further down their respective ballots, which was enough to then elect Angry Mustache and Brisc Rubal, who were second and third on the Imperium ballot, as well as Kenneth Feld, who got the excess from Luke Anninan.

CSM17 Round One Elected and Eliminated

There is the power of the Imperium ballot.  Looking at the ballot listing from the data, it looks like 5,105 accounts votes the straight Imperium ballot, which was:

The Imperium Ballot

2,110 accounts voted what I am going to guess was the the PanFam or Fraternity ballot.

1,322 accounts voted for a ballot with Brisc Rubal at the top, which I am going to guess was The Initiative ballot.  They are part of the Imperium, but they do their own thing and we love them for it because they make everything more fun.

At the other end of the spectrum, looking again at the ballot data, almost 2,000 accounts voted for exactly one candidate.  500 alone voted for just Luke Anninan.  And if they did that, their votes did not spill over if they were in excess of quote or if their candidate was eliminated.  A lot of people also voted for just two or three candidates.  That is a way to waste the power of your vote… or withhold it from other candidates I guess, if that is your thing.

Anyway, at the other end of the spectrum from those elected in round one, Redline XIII was the first candidate eliminated, having received only 35 first choice ballots and not much spillover from other ballots.  I guess hosting the second most popular EVE Online stream isn’t as useful as it seems.

Meanwhile, Pandoralica, fourth on the Imperium ballot (and second on the ballot of The Initiative) , was way back in the pack.  But as time went on and candidates were eliminated, he slowly climbed up the ranks, staving off elimination and gaining ground on many of those ahead of him as spill over votes seemed to find him time and again.

It wasn’t until Round 30 when the next candidate met quota and was officially elected, an honor that went to Storm Delay.

The state of the votes at round 30

At that point the writing was pretty much on the wall, with the top 10, including Pando, holding on to their positions.  There was a brief run where the long serving Steve Ronuken managed to get just enough spill over votes to keep ahead of last place and elimination.  But, in the end, he did not make the cut.

The round by round eliminations were:

  1. “Redline XIII” with 38.683203 votes
  2. “Mifune SwordGod” with 39.738407 votes
  3. “Kane Carnifex” with 53.795442 votes
  4. “Sarin Blackfist” with 58.116851 votes
  5. “Winzentowitsch Madeveda” with 101.100772 votes
  6. “Furnok Dorn” with 101.532115 votes
  7. “TheSupremeMagus” with 116.053701 votes
  8. “Styxx” with 122.578174 votes
  9. “Scrapyard Attendant” with 131.585791 votes
  10. “Agondray” with 132.738948 votes
  11. “Trottel Elf” with 145.539800 votes
  12. “KaeL EaglesEye” with 150.616075 votes
  13. “Aliventi” with 154.500528 votes
  14. “Gideon Zendikar” with 156.192970 votes
  15. “Scott Renton” with 188.574689 votes
  16. “hyprviper1” with 192.365127 votes
  17. “White 0rchid” with 207.269248 votes
  18. “Cael Caderu” with 229.013897 votes
  19. “Nala Queen” with 256.183634 votes
  20. “Baldin Tarmain” with 281.266542 votes
  21. “Shui Jing Jing” with 325.858882 votes
  22. “keacte” with 421.369099 votes
  23. “Moce” with 443.263086 votes
  24. “Drake Iddon” with 452.269139 votes
  25. “DutchGunner” with 478.098265 votes
  26. “Benjamin Rushing” with 553.181102 votes
  27. “Kshal Aideron” with 670.013182 votes
  28. “Phantomite” with 740.696670 votes
  29. “Stitch Kaneland” with 913.987263 votes
  30. “Hy Wanto Destroyer” with 1139.782385 votes
  31. “Alasker” with 1236.195771 votes
  32. “Steve Ronuken” with 1277.302114 votes
  33. “Torvald Uruz” with 1447.666023 votes
  34. “Ithica Hawk” with 1874.264451 votes

That means that should somebody leave the council… either in disgrace or due to being hired by CCP, another recent hazard… Ithica Hawk will be next in line to join the CSM.

And how did I do on my guess as to who would make the cut?  I had made the following call:

  • Kazanir – Goonswarm Federation
  • Angry Mustache – Goonswarm Federation
  • Brisc Rubal – The Initiative.
  • Steven Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  • Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion
  • Phantomite – Snuffed Out
  • Luke Anninan – Fraternity.
  • Pandemic Horde Ballot Slot 1 (or 2 if 1 is Kenneth Feld)
  • Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers
  • One of the wormhole candidates if they can get their act together

With the following as wildcards:

  • Pandoralica – Has a strong following outside of the Imperium
  • Redline XIII – Host of the second most popular EVE Online talk show
  • Arsia Elkin – 11th place last year, so why not 10th this year?

I guess I was completely wrong on Redline XIII.  I always think streamers are going to do better than they end up doing.  And alas, Steve Ronuken, he was not the independent juggernaut he once was I guess.  Nor were Torvald Uruz and Phantomite, though Torvald was the next to last to be eliminated.

But I got seven of the ten elected on my main guess, with Storm Delay being that Pandemic Horde placeholder and Mark Resurrectus being the wormhole placeholder candidate.  And two of my wildcards, Pandoralica and Arsia Elkin, made the cut.

So I named thirteen people or placeholders and nine are on the CSM.  The only one I missed mentioning was Jinx De’Caire.  And if I can pick nine winning names out of a pack of 44, I guess one conclusion might be that the election process is getting a bit predictable.

And so it goes.  All the information I have listed and more is available at the links below.

I’m not sure which Reddit thread to link.  They’re all pretty salty at the moment about 8 null candidates winning.  But null blocs vote.  The three ballots I mentioned earlier on added up to almost 28% of those who voted.  The first ballot in the data set without a null sec candidate at the top of it had 318 votes, and it was in the middle of a sea of ballots with a null sec candidate at the top.  Null sec is motivated to vote in a way other areas of the game are not, and non-null candidates running on a platform of nerfing null sec only motivate null sec even more so.

So it goes.

Related:

One Day Left to Vote for CSM17

Actually, it will be less than one day left by the time this posts, and probably less than that by the time you read it.

The CSM17 election ends at downtime (11:00 UTC) on June 14th, which is tomorrow as I post this.  So your window of time to get in and vote is closing fast.

CSM17 election ends soon

If you’re like me you long since voted, collected your login rewards, and are hanging about waiting for the results.  But there is always somebody who is away or not paying attention or who doesn’t get the word, so this is your last chance.

In order to vote in the CSM17 election you have to have an Omega, which means subscribed via cash or PLEX, account that is at least 60 days old.

CCP also has a video demonstrating how to vote when you get to the voting page.

The candidates, listed out in alphabetical order, along with their alliance or corporation affiliation, are (names link to their forum post, group affiliation to EVE Who):

That is a total of 45 candidates on the ballot.  You just need to log in, put 10 on your ballot… or fewer if you wish… and press the button and you will have voted.

The winners will be announced by CCP on June 16th.

Related:

The CSM17 Elections Begin Today in EVE Online

The polls for the CSM17 election have been open since downtime.  The voting has begun.

CSM17 voting is here

Coincidentally it is also election day here in California, with the primaries being decided today to see who will be on the ballot in November for the general election.  And in both California and New Eden, incumbents are likely to win. (Though at least New Eden has fewer incumbents.  I’ve had the same congress critter for 30 years and they will likely win again this year.  Another aging Boomer who won’t let go.)

And in California you don’t get prizes to celebrate the election.  CCP, on the other hand, is promoting the election with its now standard go-to method, login rewards.  So you should at least launch the game to collect those.

Some skill points and other goodies

In order to vote in the CSM17 election you have to have an Omega, which means subscribed via cash or PLEX, account that is at least 60 days old.

CCP also has a video demonstrating how to vote when you get to the voting page.

According to today’s patch notes, there are also election information stations in game:

  • A limited time CSM Election Voter Information Station landmark site full of information about the CSM and the election can be found in Alentene, Amarr, Arnon, Dodixie, Hatakani, Hek, Jita, Khanid Prime, Luminaire, New Caldari, Pator, Rens, Sobaseki, Tanoo, Tash-Murkon Prime, Teonusude, and Yulai for the duration of the voting period.

So you have a couple of places to look.

And, finally, there is who you should vote for.

I listed out all the candidates in a post last week, and CCP has their own listing of the candidates online.  There are also plenty of interviews with candidates that have been posted on YouTube.  You can scroll down the posts in the /r/eve subreddit and find CSM related posts highlighted with the yellow “CSM” flair.

The election runs until downtime (11:00 UTC) on June 14th, so you have some time to do research, though most people who are invested in the election will likely have decided already and will be voting today.

I will be voting in my own self-interest, as most people will, going with the Imperium ballot which was posted this past weekend.

The Imperium Ballot

My only recommendation would be that if you are one to fret about your vote being “wasted” that you put a candidate in all ten slots of your ballot.  I’ve seen several individuals recommending ballots with only seven candidates.  That seems like a way to have your vote exhausted early.  Fill in all ten slots on your ballot.

As for who will get elected, I am going to update my guess from last week with this list:

  1. Kazanir – Goonswarm Federation
  2. Angry Mustache – Goonswarm Federation
  3. Brisc Rubal – The Initiative.
  4. Steven Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  5. Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion
  6. Phantomite – Snuffed Out
  7. Luke Anninan – Fraternity.
  8. Pandemic Horde Ballot Slot 1 (or 2 if 1 is Kenneth Feld)
  9. Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers
  10. One of the wormhole candidates if they can get their act together

We shall see how it goes.  The winners will be announced by CCP on June 16th.

Related:

CCP Announces the Candidates for CSM17

The road to CSM17 carried on yesterday as CCP did a live stream to announce the candidates who had qualified to run for the next term of the Council of Stellar Management.

CSM17 is approaching

I did not have the time to watch the hour long presentation, but CCP followed up with a dev blog listing out the candidates with summary cards that link their CSM campaign forum posts.

The candidates, listed out in alphabetical order, along with their alliance or corporation affiliation, are (names link to their forum post, group affiliation to EVE Who):

That is a total of 45 candidates on the ballot.  I was a little worried that the candidate list might be light this year as the forum posts were slow to pop up.  But we’re only two shy of last year’s 47 candidates, and only 10 will win, so that seems like competition enough.

So who are these people?   Let me try to sort them out in a few categories, though I won’t try to nail everybody down as I oft go astray when I try that and people get angry.

Incumbents

Not so many as before, as four members of CSM hit the term limits this time around and had to step out.  So that leaves:

Only three incumbents, which makes it feel like there might be a wide open field this time around… maybe.  But there are other considerations.

Previous CSM Members

A few past members have return to run for another CSM term.  They are:

That six candidates who have proven that they can win a CSM election.

So who is going to get elected?

Making it to the CSM has always been about having a constituency that will support you.  Random votes from passers by can’t be counted on and the turn out tends to be a self-selected group of voters who show up to vote for somebody in particular.

There are a few people who have worked hard enough to develop their own name in the game.  There are a couple of those who I think will make it.

And then, of course, there are the null sec bloc candidates.  Each block can generally get one or two candidates on the list, depending on how they work things out, while the Imperium can usually manage three.

So position on the bloc ballot is important.  It also means that the eight candidate from Imperium alliances, six Goonswarm and two from The Initiative, are unlikely to get elected unless they have a constituency outside of the bloc, because those of us in GSF always vote freely for exactly who Mittens tells us to exactly in the order specified. (Which is a running joke, though it is mostly true still.)

Likewise, for who those in PanFam or whomever.

With that in mind, I am going to take a stab at a winners list, with some placeholders for general ballot position from the blocs.

  1. Brisc Rubal – The Initiative.
  2. Steven Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises
  3. Kenneth Feld – Pandemic Legion
  4. Phantomite – Snuffed Out
  5. Luke Anninan – Fraternity.
  6. GSF Ballot Slot 1 (Maybe Kazanir)
  7. GSF Ballot Slot 2 (Maybe Angry Mustache)
  8. Pandemic Horde Ballot Slot 1 (or 2 if 1 is Kenneth Feld)
  9. Torvald Uruz – Abyssal Lurkers
  10. One of the wormhole candidates if they can get their act together

Wildcards – Candidates who could very much upset my prediction:

  • Pandoralica – Has a strong following outside of the Imperium
  • Redline XIII – Host of the second most popular EVE Online talk show
  • Arsia Elkin – 11th place last year, so why not 10th this year?

Anyway, that is my completely uninformed guess as to how things will turn out.  But we’re not at the election yet.  We are still in the campaign period, and candidates could still stand out from the pack or disqualify themselves from consideration.  The rest of the CSM17 election cycle is:

  • 25 May-5 June – Campaign period
  • 7-14 June – Voting period
  • 16 June – CSM17 Announcement

So voting won’t begin until the end of the first week of June.  Given that CCP promised multi-account holders a “very special offer” on June 1st, I will be interested to see if that brings more Omega accounts back to the game to vote.

Related:

CCP Outlines the Road to CSM17

It feels like this is coming a little bit late this year… they used to declare the winners at EVE Fanfest back in the day… but CCP has announced the plan for the election of the 17th Council of Stellar Management, which I will refer to as CSM17 going forward.

CSM17 is approaching

The timeline for the election cycle has been laid out as:

  • 2-16 May – Submissions Open
  • 9-20 May – Application Processing
  • 25 May – Live candidate announcement
  • 25 May-5 June – Campaign period
  • 7-14 June – Voting period
  • 16 June – CSM17 Announcement

The application period is fast approaching, so it is time to get ready if you want to run.  To be accepted as a candidate you must be 18, have an account that is at least 60 days old (Alpha or Omega), not have a record with ISD regarding EULA and Terms of Service violations, and be capable of creating a thread in the EVE Online forums.  There are more details in the post, but that is the essence.

Oh, and you must not have served on the past three consecutive councils.

Yes, term limits, introduced during the CSM15 election period, are coming into effect.  That means four long serving members of the council will not be eligible to run for CSM17.  They are:

  • Gobbins
  • Innominate
  • Merkelchen
  • Vily

Those four all represent major null sec alliances, two from Goonswarm Federation and two from Pandemic Horde. (Vily moved from TEST to Pandemic Horde after the war.)

I suspect that the major blocs will be able to find replacement candidates (Angry Mustache seems likely to be on the Imperium ballot, running along with Brisc Rubal), so it isn’t as though there will be a whole bunch of loose votes floating around for random independents to grab, but it will lead to something of a shift in the council as new voices replace some of the old.  (Well, Steve Ronuken is running, so returning old voices in some cases I guess.)

So the field, while it won’t be wide open, will at least have a few new names in the running.

Oh, and one thing isn’t a requirement anymore, the ability to get to Iceland for a summit.

Summits, like the CSM itself, have evolved over the years.  There used to be two in-person summits with a subset of the council, which became a single annual summit with the full (but smaller) council, and then came the pandemic and in-person summits were off the table altogether.

Now, in a moment of COVID optimism, CCP is making a soft commitment and hoping to having one summit, but attendance won’t be mandatory if it happens.

So there it is, we’re off to the races again.  Love them or hate them… or see the whole concept as flawed like I do… the CSM elections have become as much of a staple of the EVE Online experience as CCP ignoring the CSM’s advice.

Related: