Archive for April, 2013

EVE arcade

arrived a fanfest and got our tickets now, Harpa is a Fantastic venue. forst thing that caught our attention was this.

Unifex: this needs to get a mobile port.

The Protagonists

just a quick one tonight as we are leaving for Fanfest tomorrow. Here are the protagonists from extra vehicular you might see in iceland over the next weekend:

Harkonan
Lore solo

Arian Blade

Squeee (Fanfest plans)

So CCP has released the Fanfest schedule, and being the good boy I am I have already worked out an initial Schedule for what I plan to attend at the event. There were some hard calls to make, and I have some backups prepared encase Round tables are too full! But if all goes well: below is the schedule of what you will be seeing on this blog over the period.

Thursday 10:00 PVP Tornament Arena
11:00 PVP Tornament Arena
12:00 Retribution Round up SISI
13:00 Ship Balancing TQ
14:00 Remixing eve: you did what? SISI
15:00 Game design Bal. Tears & Laughter SISI
16:00 The Art of EVE RT2
17:00 Ship Balancing RT3
18:00 DUST 514 Keynote TQ
19:00 DUST 514 Keynote
20:00
Friday 10:00
11:00 Nullsec RT2
12:00 CSM Panel SISI
13:00 Alliance Panel SISI
14:00 Art Panel SISI
15:00 Prog w/Ship indetification System SISI
16:00 Game Design – Live session SISI
17:00 EVE Keynote TQ
18:00 EVE Keynote TQ
19:00 Battle of the Bands SISI
20:00 Battle of the Bands SISI
Saturday 10:00 Eve movie Morning SISI
11:00 Eve movie Morning SISI
12:00
13:00 Resource Re balance RT2
14:00 Prototyping the future of eve SISI
15:00 Improving eves player experience SISI
16:00 Concept art Live sessions SISI
17:00 CCP Presents TQ
18:00 CCP Presents
19:00
20:00 POTOTW

What to expect from us:

I will be writing as much as I can over the period, I will attempt to make a short post for each event I go to, along with a longer daily roundup. Arian is bringing a camera and we will see what creative things we can do with that to give anyone not attending/watching Livestream a view of Fanfest.

Fly Excited

Hark

PS for some reason blogger un published this twice…. thanks guys! sorry if you got spammed by dead links!

The new Icelandic Bank

 Note: this is a bit late comming out as I am currently having a very busy time IRL (I know priorities right). Pretty sure it all still applies though. I’ll be trying to get a couple of posts out before fanfest hits (*squee*).
Its been simultaneously busy and quiet this month. On the playing eve front things have been very quiet, few fleets and fewer kills. I wrote recently on the first release of information about the odyssey expansion, and mentioned specifically that I didn’t think it looked like a nullsec expansion.  Boy do I hope I am wrong: For whatever reason, nullsec has become deathly quiet at the moment and I have never felt so strongly that it requires a gigantic shakeup. A snow globe with all the snow settled is just a small bulb of water; put it on an earthquake simulator and we’ll talk.
On the alt I have been indulging in some faction warfare and really enjoying it. Now that I have proved you can make serious money even in the worst circumstances, I have settled into an even balance of making money and making wrecks (my own and others). I have even gone so far as to be invited to join a solo pvp channel: which has resulted in some excellent fights and helped me learn the game even better.
Arian has gone even deeper into FW, as far as I can tell he has invested some serious hours into some of the fleet warfare going on… I don’t care for the politics of it, but when a Nullsec pilots have to go to Lowsec for fleets…well, I’ve made that point already.
Some of my more passive characters have also become more active this month, after a concerted effort to
re commence my trading account. Its gone well with an average 0.21%  increase in wealth per day and growing. My increased activity has lead me to discover however that I have not got enough ISK to cover everything I want, and so have opened up an investment plan to the Dirties, no idea if anyone will take it up yet, I just hope we can keep things clearly defined. As a saying goes “There are two sure ways to loose a friend; one is to borrow, the other is to lend”.
Anyway, onto the busier side of things. The blog has changed quite a bit since my last monthly post. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Blogger default themes, way to clutterd and way to little excitement. So using some of my web developer skillset, the jQuery library and a good dash of the web equivalent of a rubber mallet: I have managed to create a theme I am pretty happy with. There are still a few lacking areas, but I hope to address them over the next few days leading up to fanfest. I am expecting to do a lot of writing over the fanfest period (*squeee*), so I am hoping this clean and striking layout might help us in the campaign to spread the good word of Dirty.
Skills wise, this month I have been mostly covering areas I should have covered a LONG time ago. The main has finally trained T2 drones of races other than Caldari (I know, I know), and I have started to catch up with the newer skills added to the game last year. Going forwards I have hoping to add to the CV appeal of the Hark with the addition of Starbase defence management (watch as CCP remove that from the game in Odyssey), and generally continue brushing up on stuff. The alt on the other had has been skilling for pure fun, with Rocket launchers hitting Specialist IV she is so close to read for The Hookbill (just in time for its nerf). It also means I can add the Breacher to my hanger stock. She will stick with the fun theme for a good while now, with tracking disruption opening up even more options for frigate fittings, and a further investment into overheating (which is also on Harks list as a thing she should have done by now).
Ah well, fly like a special snowflake in a static pool of water ,
Hark

Splitting Hairs

I’ve found it very interesting observing my adaptation to the windows 8 operating system.  Specifically the things which I find most annoying about the new environment. You might think it would be the in-your-face start menu replacement (TIFKaM or The Interface Formerly Know as Metro), buts its not. You might think its the memory leak which shows it hungry jaws every time I launch battlefield 3 but its not. No the biggest annoyance so far, is that I can no longer press the windows key to bring up the start bar, and thus the time. Literally since the standardisation of the windows key, I have been using it to find the time, and now I have to press windows-c (or side swipe on my tablet) instead. The windows key was never intended to be a time telling button, but I like many others have been using it as such for years. Its a hard habit to break. Its things like this which begin to cause problems when you want to bring in change, or fix a problem. The effect it can have on the things people did with the item which you never expected (or are not accounting for in you change testing).

 

Its this entanglement of expected usage vs. Actual usage in eve which I really want to talk about today. Because I believe there is a fine line (which has been crossed) between “Emergent Game play”, and missing functionality. The problem as I see it is that although emergent game play is a great thing which helps define our game, it also ties together items when it comes to balance. If item One is used for Action A and action B, and A becomes over powered, the nerf to Item One could affect how well it performs Action A as well as Action B. Confused? Let me cut to the chase then.

Often referred to as the suitcase carrier, the carrier class ship has become the defacto standard for personal logistics in nullsec. When an alliance moves homes, or deploys to an area of operations, I would bet my bottom Rifter that 90-95% of ships are moved within the ship maintenance bay of a carrier. An i think that 5-10% are mostly ships which wont fit in a bay. The reasons for this are simple; the carrier can carry 2 BS sized ships (or more of smaller classes), the carrier can carry ships assembled and rigged (unlike the Jump freighter), the carrier is cheap (unlike jump freighters or Super Carriers). So most Nullsec Pilots will have a carrier for moving their things around (or will rely on friends to do their moving for them with a carrier). Yet at the same time, a carriers intended primary role is combat logistics. It seams to me that one of the 4 biggest fighting ship classes in the game is used just as much for fighting as it is for shopping. Its like watching an old lady beat a thief around the head with a handbag, or use a rocket launcher to carry melons home from the supermarket. Some might call this emergent game play. I call lack of functionality tying two actions together.

 

If tomorrow CCP decided that carriers contributed to much towards power projection, and nerfed their jump range by half, it would directly effect both Carrier Combat and Player Personal Logistics drastically and I don’t believe this should be the case. I believe that this is evidence of a hole in the current industrial ship menagerie; that of a ship transporter.

 

To split the function of Personal Logistics from Combat, Carriers should be split into two; a combat capable ship very similar to the current carrier, but with a hold only capable of holding 1-2 cruiser class ships (because ghost riders are the most balls out example of emergent game play I have ever seen), and a transporter; thin skinned and incapable of combat, but able to hold 1.5x the current cargo/SMA capacity of the carrier. I would even be for allowing for “retro-fitting” the current carriers between these two roles with a module i.e normal carrier, triage carrier, transport carrier. I cannot reiterate enough, that currently the logistical ability of the average Nullsec character is at the mercy of how CCP thinks the combat carrier needs to change to be better balanced. Think on this with a mind that sees the current nullsec stagnation, the amount of blame “Power projection” is getting for this and the ever increasing speed of the ship rebalancing.

 

I  suspect that the carrier isn’t the only example of this, but its certainly the one which worries me the most in the near future. It would not surprise me at all if before the year is out, I will have to make double if not tripple the number of jumps to redeploy in Nullsec. I am all for emergent game play, but there comes a point where pointing at players shoehorning something into something else completely unrelated and shouting ’emergent game play’ becomes an excuse for lazy development.

To T2 or not to T2?

A T2 ship

A question we are being asked a lot is “Are T2 modules  needed for faction warfare?” So I thought I would write a brief post to answer that as honestly as I could.

The simple truth is that higher skills will always help, they make guns hit harder, modules work quicker and actions use less cap; all things that are useful, but, and this is the important bit, there are many cases where the actual cost in fitting a T2 module is not worth it. Because of this a great many ship fits will use high meta items due to lower fitting requirements and superior overheating profiles.
The are very few cases where T2 modules genuinely add extra functionality not matchable by T1 (meta 3 or 4) counterparts. The only place you genuinely get something unique is weapon systems due to the T2 ammo and increased damage or range these offer.
All other T2 modules come with significant negatives in the form of fitting requirements and/or poor overheat characteristics (they often burning out very quickly). There are negatives to using the high meta T1 items as well, this is eve after all, and eve is all about making choices. Often the high meta items can be expensive, this is why you need to approach ship fitting itself with quite a bit of thought. Its a good idea to decide how much you want to spend first; a 7 Mil DCU isn’t worth it on a sub 1M frigate.
When you do theory craft your own fits I would recommend using a fitting tool to come up with a ship fitting that does what you want then look at the market to see if those parts are available at a reasonable price, if not go back to the fitting tool to find alternative modules, eveHQ has a good “Show meta Variations”  button for this very purpose. But remember to check the market before you discover the lynchpin module on your ship costs 120M.
Designing entire fits using a fitting tool before you start buying modules will often save you time and money long term over just buying modules as you go along and let you spot places where you can save or use extra fitting space to achieve more efficient and/or cheaper fits.
Unfortunately no short guide can cover every T2 module and explain when the excessive fitting costs of fitting a T2 module over a T1M3/4 become worth it, that will often be a personal calculation based on how much CPU or Grid you have left on the ship as well as the ISK in your wallet. But as long as you stick to eve’s golden rule “don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose” every time you fly a newly designed ship you will get more feeling for the relative merits of different modules for different situations. In fact I would argue there is a sense of achievement on using a well thought out yet cheaply fit ship to achieve your aims all of itself, over just throwing all T2 modules on and flying off into a gate camp.

Community Frat House

I have actually held this post back for a little while now because I believe it to be a little controversial. I also feel that it is a case of me talking pretty harshly about our community. However with the recent events surrounding the CSM candidate, Fon Revenhort I feel that it might be a good time to let this one out of the bag.
So deep breath, and here goes:
Before I start this post I feel the need to pre-balance it with some good points about the eve community. First I would like to point readers in the direction of just how awesome the eve community can be. All kinds of events (too numerous to list here) have been organised by and with the Eve community, tournaments, contests and games, the like of which are found in no other MMO today. We also have a number benevolent organisations and individuals who are a boon to our community (for example, the Angel Project by Sindel Pellion, and Somer Blink’s dedication of 10bn Isk to all teams in the New Eden Open). We also have the wonderfully worthy PLEX for charity events run by CCP which raises thousands of points to help the wider community of human beings. Because of these Organisations and individuals eve online arguably has the best community of any MMO. Indeed this is reinforced by the awards eve has received in the past. I love eve online and am thankful to make people within it for putting in the effort to make it as great as it is.
But would I recommend eve online’s community to a friend? Would I give it a 10/10, best community ever award? The answer is no. Its not because we celebrate lol mails, or because we enjoy preying on the weak in our universe, that’s fair game. Its because of a rot which has spread through some of the groups in our community, a rift in our moral obligation as human beings. Perhaps a good way to example this is to look at a post made almost a year ago by Corelin.  
On as much as I agree with Corelin, I also differ on several points, not to say that the issue of “Rape Culture” doesn’t exist, nor that it is in any way acceptable fopr our game to nurture it, but more that I don’t think the issue stops there. Let me stop again and counter the argument I know is coming, before I continue writing; I do not believe that the entire community has the moral standing of a religious fundamentalist doing part time work for the Klu Klux Klan helping them write a formal agreement with the Neo Nazis. But I do believe that despite the peaks of some members of our community, a very large swathe of people are dragging the average morality level down to that of someone who flashes nuns for a hobby. And people who use “Rape”* as a positive adjective in eve are actually a small part of the bigger problem of what language is considered acceptable.
I am talking about what is considered “cool” in some areas of eve: While editing this article I found it really sad that rape was the only word, or term I was willing to actually write myself from the lexicon of things “1337” players thought were ok to say in a social environment. The other words which seem to be considered acceptable humour include; racial slurs, references to history of slavery and religious insults. These are things I will not entertain on my blog even for the reason of pointing out the immaturity of our players some times.
To me the true scope of the issue is the massive amount of this downright immature behaviour, and language being practiced throughout eve online and the external communication channels it spawns. Sometimes listening to the collective voice of our player base can be like listening to a 12 year old who has gotten hold of a copy of Razzle, and now thinks he knows the all the cool words. Racial, sexist, misogynistic, creedist, you name it some people think its cool to say it and a coms channel. Its like a frat house in some Corps and alliances out there.
Another quick break to pre answer to thoughts you might already have about me. First and for most I am not a thin skinned individual, nor one who is unaccustomed to immature surroundings. Furthermore I do not consider myself above the people/groups I am taking about here. I grew up going through specialist boarding schools, and that means several things:
  1. When I was 12 years old I and my Dorm did find a copy of Razzle, and thought we knew all the cool words
  2. From the age of 8 I effectively had 20 brothers, taking the piss, having the piss taken and generally doing all the horrid things children do to each other while sharing the same room.
  1. You noted the “Specialist” bit right? I constantly have people making preconceptions about me based on my disabilities and even being down right rude about my problems**
This means that not only have I developed an exceedingly robust sense of humour and exceedingly thick skin (along with a very laid back attitude). But I have also been one of the immature masses spouting racial epithets because I thought it was cool. I also remember how funny and great it was when our sub community found an offensive phrase and used it within our social group. It was like a secret language, within the group, we knew it was wrong, but that almost made it better. Because we thought it was cool we thought people who used it were cool. And because people who used it were cool we used it. Worst of all anyone who spoke out against it was fighting the social norm within our sub group and as such lost standing within the dynamic, or were temporarily ostracised in extreme cases. Its a self perpetuating cycle of social bonding, and as a child its a phase most of us went through, and in a twisted way I can understand the mind-set which sustains it within a community. Its time to grow up though.
Again referring back to Corelin’s post we see a lot of discussion about John Gabriel’s theory of the Greater Internet Fuckwad. i.e. Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad. And this is a tried and tested formula which accounts for a large amount of low level ass-hattery on the internet, and indeed in eve. But I don’ think this is everything. I think it is merely a contributing factor to the foul mouth immaturity rampant in our game, I believe that the Theory of Dickwad bases  itself on the concept that people are immature because people don’t know who they are. Yet in eve the anonymity isn’t there; ok so all but the most determined internet stalker doesn’t know the real name behind your avatar but eve, unlike say a forum, gives us our own identities and reputations. The Theory of Dickwad falls down here, because racist and sexist people in eve would find that their in game reputation was diminished by these slurs. So if its not the Theory of Dickwad at play, why do we have this rot within our society?
Here is my own theory. Eve online asks us to break our normal constraints in terms of what governs our actions. In real life someone who scams another person out of millions of Pounds would be banged up. A corporation who sponsored a mass murder spree of a particular cast would be in court before they could sign the first pay-out. But in eves lawless universe we are not only told to ignore these social barriers to action, but actively encouraged to break them. The law of most countries is upheld by a solid hard barrier, punishment for our transgressions in the form of incarceration or indeed physical reprisal for our bad actions. By asking us to break this social norm, the game awakens some people to other social barrier, which is even easier to break. Social etiquette (i.e. Not bring a small minded, self important prick). Transgression of this law is only punished by soft, social, punishments. Rob a bank, and go to prison. Use a racial slur and you wont get invited to many parties (at least none worth going to). After being told to break a law discouraged by physical punishment, how many people suddenly realise that breaking a soft law like not being sexist is the next logical step? How many people take that step? Find out how many eve players have used the immature language I have referred to and I think you will have the answer.
The issue is that because of the self perpetuating nature of this plague its going to be near on impossible to stop, and its gotten so bad it’s going to take a very long time. So here is what I’m going to encourage you to do; and its really not much: Don’t join in. I said before that this is self perpetuating. If you as an individual can simply not endorse immature behaviour, and where you can do so without pariering yourself, stand up to people who do. Some people are willing to do more (and I sadly don’t count myself in this group), to stand up against this kind of behaviour like Corelin, and they should be encouraged and supported at every opportunity. But as a normal individual just don’t fall into the trap of helping the cycle perpetuate.
Finally for anyone reading this who thinks I am talking about the kind of language they use, I simply say this. Your words and actions may make you feel big and cool in the social group your in. But to the rest of us it makes you look like a prat. If a subset of people playing an internet spaceships opinion of what’s cool is more important to you than the rest of the world… Well good luck with that one.
**Seriously this makes it sound really bad, save your pity/support for someone who is worse off than me, trust me its not as bad as I make it sound here.

Chat Log: Local Spike

##LOG BEGINGS##

Arian > hate the mittani atm for the april fools local being removed >_<

Hark > lmao

Arian > they are mean

Arian > stupid thing is all the arguments were valid >_<

Hark > I’m still not sure how I feel on the Local issue

Hark > I agree intel should be split from chat, just not sure that hidden completely is a great idea

Hark > I agree that at the moment it’s too easy for the “defender”, but removing local makes it too easy for the attacker

Hark > Its from one extreme to another

Arian > i don’t disagree

Hark > I would really like to see it decoupled from chat though

Hark > I also like the idea of linking intel into sov

Hark > perhaps some kind of threat warning based in [my skill] + [number of active alliance members in home space] + [Sov level of system] vs [his skill] + [number of attackers]

Hark > 1 guy in an atron flying into barely used alliance space with one guy ratting = dead ratter

Hark > a fleet of hostiles flying into heavily populated space = instant invasion alerts

Arian > I would argue a totally different but extreme change

Hark > do go on?

Arian > all lvl 4, low sec and null sec npc’s become capsuleer npcs and fit and act more like us, ie tackle etc, reduce number of ships per spawn to compensate but this will mean people will have to use “pvp” fits to rat.

Hark > agree totally so far

Arian > people will then not need to run for new ships to fight, will learn proper piloting skills both real and in their skill queue

Hark > yup

Arian > I would also stop npc’s showing as red crosses

Hark > hmm marginal, I think it would be too easy to hide in a group of NPCs but go on

Arian > that’s my point

Arian > think about it

Arian > make npc’s and players scannable

Arian > increase bounty on these better npc’s

Hark > As a PvP player I want to kill Players, to be tricked into PvE

Hark > NPC’s imo should play no major part in PvP

Hark > to do so muddies the waters

Arian > yeah but that is because the ai is so crap and there fits are so bad

Hark > no, i disagree, it’s because there is no raging nerd at the other end of the keyboard

Hark > I don’t want to kill computer controlled chars no matter how good the AI

Hark > I want to pitch my skill against another human

Arian > yup

Arian > i want there to be ways to spot players, but you have to work for it

Arian > works both for the attacker and defender

Hark > I don’t agree on that I am afraid

Hark > I just want to fight people not play hide and seek

Arian > it would work for your lone atron pilot 😉

Arian > sneaking around belts

Arian > oooooh!

Arian > how about a skill that could briefly disguise you as a npc

Arian > ?

Hark > urg

Hark > I’m sorry but I really strongly disagree on that

Arian > if you hadn’t noticed I am now in full brainstorm argue any point of view mode atm

Arian > not necessarily pov’s i feel

Hark > that’s fine

Hark > But Player Vs Player should not be Player & NPC vs Player & NPC with added confusion

Hark > I think were straying for the core point of how intel should be though

Hark > NPC disguises for people is a side point

##Break while Arian Loses a Hookbill##

Arian > my problem is how do you decouple a local chat and intel?

Hark > My view is that chat should become a delayed chat as per wormholes

Arian > other than how it’s done in wh’s?

Hark > and maybe even expand to constellation chat

Hark > then you add in some sensing skills

Hark > i.e. passive sonar

Hark > along with sonar modules for POS’s

Arian > yeah but constellation chat still says “looky shit has changed” for no effort

Hark > you also add skills for hiding from scans

Hark > (not directional)

Arian > do we need more than the player created chat channels? seriously?

Hark > yeah we do

Hark > because it’s an MMO

Hark > you don’t get to pick who you talk to

Hark > it’s called interaction outside of your friends list

Hark > but any way

Arian > yeah but we have the ability to create them at will

Arian > i mean keep militia, corp alliance etc

Hark > without local you can pick who you talk to

Hark > if someone isn’t in your militia, and not in your corp

Hark > if you don’t have local you don’t have to talk to them

Hark > and you should

Hark > because it’s an MMO

Hark > how would you exchange GF’s?

Arian > yeah but with alli and corp and the newb chats you can’t choose it

Hark > yup

Hark > and local is the same

Hark > again you’re getting past the point

Arian > yeah but local is now impacting interactions beyond chatting, ie the game 😉

Hark > this is an MMO and should encourage social interaction, anything that removes that is a bad

Arian > hmmmm

Hark > I’m fine with removing local showing who is in system

Hark > widen it to constellation and remove the who is about bit

Hark > fine

Arian > ditto

Hark > that’s not a problem

Hark > but it should exist

Arian > ah i see

Arian > yeah that makes sense, just a name list, its for you to scroll through and check there bio etc

Hark > but then the advantage is too much with the attacker

Hark > so you need some way for the defender to have a chance of spotting someone before using a direction scanner

Arian > why?

Arian > if they were in pvp ships instead of crappy pve would they?

Hark > I feel so

Arian > okay, just throwing questions out, feeling around the problem 😉

Hark > I feel that if an alliance owns space they should have a slight advantage in detecting enemies

Hark > I think invisible local is a thing for wormholes

Hark > it makes them unique

Hark > and shouldn’t be copied everywhere

Arian > yeah, i agree, but i like the idea of removing colour tagging

Hark > so we have a Constellation chat and only people who talk are shown in it, ala wormholes…

Hark > agreed?

Arian > so far

Hark > now we add a UI point with three traffic lights

Hark > 1 is alliance space 2 is constellation 3 is system

Hark > the traffic lights go from green to red depending on what is detected in those areas

Hark > if someone attacks an alliance mate 15 jumps out “Alliance Area” goes red

Hark > if someone spots a gate activation in the constellation that goes Amber

Hark > if a scout sees an enemy in system that goes Amber

Arian > hmmm, not sure about that way easy to automate for the bot fleets

Hark > I get that but it’s still better than now

Arian > oh i am not being critical, tis better than what’s been bought up so far, just still trying to define the shape of the “missing piece”

Hark > so we could make it skill and chance based

Hark > that what it isn’t 100% infallible

Hark > and it isn’t 100% fool proof (or bot proof)

Hark > bots are repetitive

Hark > if you found one you just jump in and out of system a few times till you get lucky and don’t get detected

Hark > yup makes sense

Hark > I’m thinking something like a base of

Hark > on grid 80% change of an alert | direction scanner 50% chance of an alert | passive in system 5% chance of an alert

Hark > maybe with a POS mod which does a passive scan every 1 min with a 60% chance of an alert

Hark > add onto that player skills and alliance skills which can vary that by +-10% with a maximum of 90% chance of detection

Arian > hmmm okay, and effected by number of peeps

Arian > hostiles

Hark > yeah thou as the % calculation happens per person that happens more or less automatically

Hark > double the people double the chance for detection

Hark > encourages fleets to spread out and act like a hunting party too

Hark > I think he percentages are debatable and could be a LOT lower to give say upto 5 man fleets a lesser chance of being detected

Arian > also reduce it for… shock horror ship type…frigs low, covert ops low, hunking great bs high etc

Hark > agreed

Hark > but that’s detail

##END OF LOG##

Impressionable: Summary and Results Post 7

The full list of my thoughts can be found labelled: Impressionableand consists of 6 parts:
Part 1: Xenuria, Unforgiven Storm, Roc Wieler, Rippard Teg, Night Beagle, Nathan Jameson
Part 2: Mynnna, Mike Azariah, Marc Scaurus, James 315, James Arget, Hunter Blake
Part 3: Daehan Minhyok, Trebor, Sort Dragon, Cipreh, Chitsa Jason, Ayeson
Part 4: Kesper north, Malcanis, Psychotic Monk, Steve Ronuken, Ali Aras, Fon Revedhort
Part 5: CoreBloodBrothers, Sala Cameron, Riverini, Artctura, Sgurd Battersea, Travis Musgrat
Part 6: Mangala  Solaris, Kaleb Rysode, Banlish, Awol Aurix,  Apricot Baby
Part 7: This Post

Well that was that then. There is still plenty of material out there with which to further refine my CSM list of preference, and I have no doubt that I will be altering my voting list before the end of the period. That said I did promise to produce a ranked list based upon my personal opinions from Crossing Zebras Candidate interviews, sot his post will contain that very list. I want again to thank Xander for the amazing amount of effort he has clearly put into this project. I was exhausted just listening to the interviews, so no doubt he is near dead.
Before I do go onto the results, I want to talk over some general points and patterns I noticed this election period. First is the already well expounded fact that so many candidates campaigned on the concept of being the CSM’s “communication expert” or “Synergy manager”. Please don’t be fooled by this my dear readers; the CSM is a platform for player representation, not a platform of sectaries. A few people who did run on this basis are in my final list, but for the most part I considered people running on this to be trying to pander the voters.
I also talked quite a lot about Bloc Bias, and I want to make it clear here how I feel on this before I go on. I do believe that bloc candidates can be honest (one is in my top three). But in general I think that there is a huge risk that these candidates will put alliance politics before player preference. For example I believe that the player base as a whole want Super Capital ships to be readdressed. But the works of CSM 7’s PL candidates (and others) has ensured that this has been delayed without a due date. That’s not to say that Elsie and Seleene haven’t done a great job in general on the CSM, but we have to consider that they (like any bloc candidate would) might favour their alliance rather than the players in general. It could be argued that Elsie and Seleene represented Older players who most likely own super capitals, and thus were representing their constituency, but that’s half a dozen of one and 6 of another.
For reference I consider bloc bias to stand as follows (not this is purely opinion):
  • PL: Pro Supers, Slightly Pro Tech
  • CFC(Goons in particular): Anti Supers, Pro tech
  • Test: Anti Supers, Anti tech
There are of course sub biases within these alliances/groups, and some sub groups may even have completely opposite bias to the above; but in general the above is the brush with which I have tarred members of these groups.
Of course on the subject of bias, it’s worth noting that trust is the final item which I failed to mention in my post about how I was judging CSM candidates, and plays a big part in my decisions. There are some bloc candidates I actually trust a lot more than others.
So here we are, my top 14 (full list down the page) candidates ranked in order of preference on the CSM. What follows is personal opinion, and I have tried to be as apolitical a I can be. My original list gave a 1-10 rating for each candidate so I will add a short blurb as to why I have ordered the candidates as I have:
Top 3
1 – Ripard Teg
2 – Banlish
3 – Trebor
All these guys ranked a 9 on my scale. Ripard lost a point because we don’t agree on a few things, Trebor because he is technically a highsec candidate (more on that in a mo) and Banlish because he is still a bloc member.
I’ll fess’ up to a little bit of politics here. In terms of people I want to see on the CSM most, Banlish is actually higher than Ripard: but given that he is the #1 Test candidate, he really doesn’t need my vote. Ripard on the other hand might. When the votes get counted, I would rather give my vote to Ripard, first, encase my vote is added to the Banlish pile before the rest of Test Alliance, meaning their second choices are counted instead of mine; them’s the beans.
Terbor is a pretty surprising choice as well I expect given the amount of “nullsec candidates only” hurf blurfing I’ve done during this. The simple matter of fact is that Trebor is a very good politician and, as much as I hate sectary platforms, a very hard worker. I also think that it is very important to have some continuity between CSM’s so that some of the personal relationships carryover, A green CSM with no former CSM members is going to have to work very hard to catch-up to where CSM 7 was. Trebor I suspect fills this role very well.
The Runners Up
4 – Kesper North
5 – Ali Aras
6 – Roc Wieler
Pretty simple here Kesper is a good unaffiliated Nullsec Candidate, Ali was a great newbi friendly nullsec candidate (which I think we need), and Roc brings a good general PvP vibe to the party.
The Good, but not quite good enough
7 – Malcanis
8 – Artctura
9 – Mynnna
10 – Corebloodbrothers
11 – Mangala Solaris
Mynnna gets a low trust score, but a very high competence score (even if I still think he is a little too laid back). I’d love to rate Mangala higher, but I have already added Roc in as a general PvP’er and lowsec beat highsec I am afraid. The others are all good Nullsec Candidates mostly unaffiliated to bias.
The best of the Rest
12 – Daehan Minhyok
13 – Sala Cameron
14 – Chitsa Jason
Daehan came up as a pretty weak Nullsec candidate and just scraped into my listing. Sala is the better of the two Pandemic Legion candidates, and I guess I feel we should give at least a small voice to the Super Capital owners. Chitsa made the late position over Awol Aurix and Riverini, her was an excellent candidate for wormholes, better than the others were for their respective areas.
The full rankings can be found below (note only the first 14 are orderd within their sub groups, the rest are just listed in random order).

Rank Candidate                         Score
1        Ripard Teg                         9
2       Banlish                                9
3       Trebor Daehoow            9
4        Kesper North                   8
5        Ali Aras                               8
6        Roc Wieler                         8
7        Malcanis                             7
8        Artctura                              7
9        Mynnna                             7
10      Corebloodbrothers       7
11      Mangala Solaris               7
12      Daehan Minhyok            6
14     Sala Cameron                   6
13      Awol Aurix                        6
16      Chitsa Jason                      6
15     Riverini                               6
17      Ayeson                               5
18      Cipreh                                 5
19      Jame Arget                       5
20      Kaleb Rysode                   5
21      Mike Azariah                    5
22      Nathan Jameson            5
23      Travis musgrat                 5
24      Apricot Baby                     4
25      Unforgiven Storm          4
26      Psychotic Monk              3
27      Sort Dragon                      3
28      Steve Ronuken               3
29      Fon Revedhort                1
30      Sgurd battersea              1

[EDIT I hate blogger some times…..

As a final note, I listened to the Dolan interview and found it very interesting as well. Its worth noting that he mirrored my thoughts on an in game voting system, and that we can expect to see a huge drive to publicise the CSM and gain a larger voter turnout.

Fly exhausted,
Hark

Impressionable: CSM 8 Interviews Post 6

[Editors note] Sorry for rushing out two in a row, but I wanted to be ready to release a summary post tomorrow to coincide with the start of the Voting period for CSM 8!

This is a series of posts which contain my opinions on the interviews given to Crossing Zebras podcasts by CSM 8 candidate members. The posts contain only my impressions and thoughts after listening to the interviews given and reading any linked material. As such they should not be used to base your votes upon. The interviews are an excellent listen, and I highly encourage any voters to take the time to form their own thoughts and opinions on who they should vote for. This is simply a public airing of my own personal selection process for a CSM candidate of my heart.
Although I am only interested in candidates of certain sub sections of the game (of which I am a constituent) I have decided that it is only fair to listen to all of the candidates interviews as you never know when their will be some crossovers into sections I am interested in. My end goal of this series is to have a shortlist of 7 candidates who I would like to see on the next CSM which will be announced once I have posted all of my notes on the interviews. Later I will narrow this down too my Chairman of Choice, for whom I will declare my support (for the very little it is worth). My I’m is to find a candidate who represents me the best. For the record I will be casting a vote for each of my top 3, and an extra vote for the Chairman of Choice.
Finally I would like to take the time to thank Xander Phoena for doing these interviews. They are without doubt some of the best journalism around the CSM election process I have seen to date. The questions were hard but fair, and I felt that he really dug into what was important for the voter. Considerable time and effort has clearly gone into research and preparation. Well done Xander. Furthermore if you are looking for a more subjective and neutral breakdown of the interviews you should look to Poetic Discourse for Stanziel’s overview of the subject.

Mangala Solaris
Mangala is a PvP candidate, and I am doing him a favour by opening my impression of him with this; because his official platform is a very general one. But lets face it, what platform could Mangala of RvB fame be running on? Mangala talked a good talk in his interview, but he did worry me a little with a slight lack of political savvy (as emphases by his platform bungle). Perhaps calling it lack of savvy is misleading, because looked at another way, I could say that Mangala is quite honest in what he says; is that a good thing? I’m not so sure. I agree with a lot of things Mangala has to say on highsec, but I as I have stated before I am really not sure how well he could represent my area of the game. That said, I would prefer to see Mangala in the CSM than a lot of other people.
Kaleb Rysode
Kaleb is part of the Goonswarm diplomatic core, and as such has a good Nullsec history. He is currently campaigning as a communications expert to ensure that the CSM communicates well. I cant be bothered to explain again why this is a bad thing, so I wont; needless to say it counts against him in my standings. Xander argues that his platform is very similar to Ripard Teg’s but here I disagree: As I understand it Ripard is running  as a communications expert, who has some very strong views on the game and its way forwards. Kaleb is just running as a communicator, and makes a point of not expressing any views. While we are talking about Ripard, we need to discuss another, rather unfortunate, part of Kalebs interview, and that is the amount of time he spend pissing on other people. Let me quickly list the people Kaleb went out of his way to explain were wrong/stupid/bad:
  • CSM 7 as a whole
  • Hans Jagerblitzen in specific
  • Two Step in specific
  • Ripard Teg
  • And an inference aimed at Trebor
Two key points here, every time a CSM candidate degrades someone else, the candidate doing the slandering is degraded in my eyes twice as much. No matter how valid the point (they weren’t particularly), or how well argued(they were just rude), the fact that Kaleb  would rather slant someone else than discuss why he is better doesn’t sit well with me.
His views however seem pretty good: sov is boring, less titans please, keep the titan jump range, happy with titan roles and lets have better Nullsec industry base. I was a bit confused when he used the open mic at the end of the industry to try and sell me his Senior year course, at whatever learning establishment he works, instead of his eve knowledge, but hey, if I had “built a nuclear reactor on my desk” I’d want to tell every one two I guess. All in all some good views, but the amount of time he spend slandering people, mixed with a terrible platform put me off a lot.
Banlish
Banlish is the primary test candidate, and also the author of the Outpost Update. He has a wide history in eve and it has furnished him with a very interesting attitude. He seems to be laid back and strait talking, while retaining political awareness, and as a result I like him a lot. He showed quickly that he had a great grasp of the issues facing Nullsec, both in sov and in industry, and did so without waffling. He also showed a lot of political savvy by declining politely to talk about the last CSM, and producing a very catching and effective slogan for his campaign “Less Clicking More Ass Kicking” which didn’t feel forced or cheesy at all. He has very similar views to myself and despite being a block candidate I felt myself trusting him a lot.
Awol Aurix
Awol is the second Test alliance candidate but comes up very short in my view behind Banlish. He has some similar views to me, but came across as not a great political speaker, and a t one point pretty much stated than Banlish is a better candidate, and that he might not have run if he had known Banlish was running. He showed an arrogance in his position which Banlish, who is far safer in his votes, did not; and completely messed up his telling of the Two Step POS incident.  I think however that the most telling part of this interview was the question “what would you have the developers develop if you were in charge”: Awol didn’t pick a politically popular thing, nor did he go for a big change: He decided that he would have CCP make his life easier, by developing a better in game browser, great, thanks buddy.
Apricot baby
Its good I am ending on this one as I don’t really know what to make of it. At first I thought it was an April fools joke by Xander, but the community site confirms that Apricot is a candidate. It was a good pseudo interview and was very cleverly done, if a little short. Most of the things it talked about where Highsec based and very much role-play, neither of which will earn a vote from me.
No summary this time, I’m saving it all for the concluding post tomorrow.