Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Q&A Part I

This means 'Questions & Answers'
In addition to the big Q&A thread that I've been keeping up with on the official forums, I've been bouncing around to other places as well.  I've ended up answering some questions that touch on several things that I've been wanting to blog about anyway.  So, here they are and I'm going to keep doing this as the campaign for CSM 7 heats up.

Q: What your thoughts are on the current and/or future CSM's ability to effectively represent and champion sectors of the playerbase with they have little or no personal experience?
If the current dynamic of the CSM continues, which it should, then it just comes down to being able to listen / defer to other CSM members that know the subject matter better. CSM 6 was a lot more diverse than some might believe but we learned each others strengths and weaknesses early on. This was one of the main reasons that the whole 'alternate' title became pretty irrelevant this time around.
Q: Assuming the null-sec bloc continues to maintain it's voting stranglehold, how could these "minority interest" groups best make their case to the incumbents?
Get to know the front runners and make your voting choice accordingly based on substance. As for getting your views across, It's quite easy to get a hold of most of us. I tend to get a few eve mails a week on something CSM related. I can only speak for myself but I only ignore people that seem hell bent on self destructing their own arguments by frothing at the mouth. Anyone that bothers to contact me with a lucid question / request I try to follow up on. I try to reply / follow up as best I can and so do the others. Most importantly, don't let your opinion be influenced by labels or assumptions. This idea that CSM members ignore people or are untouchable is just wrong in most cases.
Q: How would you describe the performance of the CSM in this past year?
I'd give us a B+. Considering the absolute circus that some stretches of this term have been, I think we've done well. Where we could have done better is in doing a better job communicating in general with the player base. It's something that we've discussed and are determined to do better on in CSM 7. Hopefully CCP will not... ummm... 'distract' us so much and we'll also have more good news than bad to relay.
Q: Has it been effective behind closed doors? How would you describe the working relationship with CCP? Is there any resentment?
I think after Hilmar's 'apology' letter and the subsequent re-focus on EVE, things have improved greatly. It wasn't ever really 'bad' but the December summit was a night and day difference from the one held in May. As I said in my Summit Report blog, you could feel the energy in the air of people doing what they wanted to do and enjoying it. I don't think there is any resentment from CCP toward the CSM. In fact, most of what I've been exposed to is very much the opposite.
Q: Would you say that the existing CSM team is a "dream team" or could you strengthen the squad?
We have some very solid people on CSM 6, and I'm also including the 'alternates', not just the main nine members. I wouldn't call it a Dream Team simply because it's not. One thing I do like about the majority of CSM 6 members is that there is a very wide range of EVE depth and experience. Guys that have played the game for several years have at one time, believe it or not, experienced most of what many players bitch about. We've been greifers and the griefed, we've mined Omber and Kernite for hours on end, built things, blown up things, etc... 
Most importantly, most of the members of CSM6 have held some kind of leadership position in EVE at some point and understand the value of compromise and intelligent discussion. It's not all hand holding and gay sex, but there have been very few instances of rage or futility. We tend to keep talking and working toward common ground rather than throwing spoons at each other over the table.
Q: What would you say to those that believe the CSM are claiming credit for events and game improvements they have no right to claim?
I would say that while the CSM may not be responsible for every good thing that has happened, we're also not responsible for a lot of the stuff people blame us for either. I believe that the CSM does much more good than harm. I believe the CSM can, and HAS, made a difference. Those that think it's a futile effort... well, just look at me: I'm not looking for free trips to Iceland - I've had plenty of those. I don't like wasting my time on things which are obviously futile. I ran for the CSM because I know first hand just how much of an effect it can have on the development of EVE. Anyone that denies that is just trying to justify their own perceptions.
Q: Do you see any value in attempting to give the CSM process a better image amongst the players or are existing incumbents happy to work the system as is?
I think the process is ever-evolving and nothing can stay the same way forever. I would love for people to have a better understanding of what the CSM can and cannot do; I think a lot of people actually DO get it, you just don't hear much from them because they see no need to write walls of text about it. I'm all for anything that evolves the image of the CSM as a force for positive change.
Q: What would you foresee the goals and focus of CSM7 to be in the coming year?
Make sure that CCP keeps the iteration on broken and unfinished systems as the priority. Do not get distracted by ~awesome~. Doesn't sound like much,but I'm sure it will remain a near full-time job.


  1. In my math classes growing up, the best grade you could get if you didn't show your work was a C.

    1. Never a better time for this: :D:D

    2. Here Here Ripard! Back in my day, we were executed when we didn't show our work.

      I myself was executed four or five times before I got the hint. Ah, it was good to be young back then...

    3. To be fair, with elections just around the corner we are going to see an extreme increase in their effort on the communication front. So if we are going to hand marks out for *effort*, the CSM will be able to take advantage of the No CSM Left Behind programme to claw their way up to a C+ :)

      As for the No CSM Left Behind programme:

  2. Haha. Bazinga from Jester above :)

    Your answers to these questions confirmed my faith in the CSM as a process and in at least some of the current incumbents. It is difficult to have complete confidence given the veil of secrecy which you keep jumping out from behind. Some members more than others.

    I think communication with the players is key - the fireside chats were useful but seemed to be an early innovation that got dismissed or at least they weren't as frequent as I'd have liked. I appreciate that only some CSMers have blogs - and these really do help to allow players to feel connected, even if posts are infrequent.

    In his recent appearance on the Kugu podcast, The Mittani repeatedly referenced his "great innovation" of Skype calls to improve communications between CSMers and CCPers, but I would like to see more of this innovative thinking directed toward the CSM's relationship with the *entire* playerbase.

    This isn't to dismiss the outreach that already goes on and I appreciate the efforts that are already taken, I'm just saying I don't think there can be too much.

    1. I'd like to see the Fireside chat thing take off properly but I think it got mega-derailed due to the Incarna shitstorm.

      Also, Mittens didn't 'invent' the Skype channel - he started it because someone had to, yes, but the idea itself was something several people were talking about for CSM 6. v0v :)

  3. I was amused to see that despite giving yourself a "F" on communication this year, you didn't make that one of the goals for CSM7.

    1. I didn't give anyone a F and I'd give me at least a B. Heck I'm trying at least. :). And I've said more than a couple times that CSM 7 needs to do a better job.