CSM: Passing The Torch


As a new CSM steps in and the old retires the field I think it is right to point out a few things, to pass on what little I have learned over the past three years on the Council Of Stellar Management. I honestly don’t expect to be listened to (or even heard) but I still try. Passing on the torch to the next group to represent the players is the last of the council’s duties.

First off, some of CSMX will hang about for a while to ease the transition although, with two incumbents still on the council, that may not be absolutely necessary. Steve and Gorski both are back and will help show the ropes to the new boys. So let’s begin.

If you bring an agenda and petty politics into the Council I hope they kick you so fast you doppler red

1) This is NOT a game. It is about a game. If you bring an agenda and petty politics into the Council I hope they kick you so fast you doppler red. It is about making the game better, not just for you and your tribe but for everybody. Sometimes that will benefit your people, other times it will not. This is a livelihood for a few hundred people and they and their families should be part of your consideration as well. So leave the machiavellian bullshit at the door and roll up your sleeves.

2) You are dealing with real people. If you go to the summits then you will be dealing with them face to face. Don’t burn bridges if you plan on getting anything done and don’t keep dragging up old mistakes as a way to make your ideas seem better by comparison. It doesn’t work and good ideas that you bring may get lost as a result. This has happened in the past (a lot).

3) You will be ignored, yelled at, told you are worse than useless (and this is from your friends and allies). There will be days and even weeks where you might wonder if they are right. Summer doldrums can cause depression when nobody at CCP answers your calls, and all of Iceland seems to be off on vacation. You volunteered for this and may even have worked at getting the seat. Hopefully nobody told you it would be easy.

4) Comms, find out who listens to what and how to best talk to EACH individual dev. They are not all the same and they don’t all pay attention to the same input. Customize message and medium for what you want to get done and with whom. Pay attention to vacation schedules.

5) Accept losses and keep trying. I have opposed more than a few features that made it through. That does not mean I threw my hands up and walked away. If I could not stop something then I tried to lessen the damage, guide the fall. If that didn’t work I picked the next battle and moved on. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

6) I hate having to say this, but don’t leak. News gets out anyway and someone else might already have plans to discuss everything with their organizations but don’t be that guy. The damage you do can ruin an entire term for the CSM and the short term benefits (as far as I have ever seen) are negligible. Not because you violate some questionable NDA but because you volunteered to help and are now screwing those you promised to aid. Not cool, bro, not cool.

But it is not all warnings. There are causes to take forward, ideas to develop. Once you are signed into the comms you will see discussions and ideas covered, over the past year. Maybe you like them, maybe you want some of them changed, advanced, or removed with extreme prejudice. It will be part of your job to make those calls. There are things I dearly regret not having finished and I hope you take some of the ideas to a satisfactory conclusion.

New devs, new teams – you will have opportunities to do things previous councils never did.

Don’t screw it up


Tags: csm, mike azariah

About the author

Mike Azariah

CSM 8, 9 and 10, driver of the Magic School Bus, destroyer of podcasts and all around awesome dude.

  • Dorian Reu

    Very good advice, Mike

  • Good guidance for new CSM members who have integrity and earnest intentions that put the good of the game first in their CSM efforts. Unfortunately it probably won’t make a whit of difference to those with power-play agendas and who can’t or won’t keep their mouths shut about NDA’d information.

    • Mike Dawe

      Yeah, but a man has to try.


  • Joffy Aulx-Gao

    Well it can’t be worse than last year? 😛

    • Mike Dawe

      Oh come now. There is always potential for worse (there is also potential for better)


      • Rob Kaichin

        Considering the…dire results for independent candidates, do you think it’s time to write “The insider’s guide to being elected?”

  • Jester

    Some of the best advice ever given to new CSM members. Well done. -J

  • “Making the game better for everyone” is a nice catch phrase but like “Make America great again” is just demagoguery. America is already great and there are no changes in the game that can please everyone anymore, but this PLooNS CSM will make sure again that NS power blocs get their interests heard this year.

    The CSM needs voices from truly different play styles to provide different inputs and let CCP do their job by arbitrating, with enough feedback from various sources.

    This will help avoid having siphons not being a totally useless tool against passive income, or that rapid regeneration of nodes do not help the bigger blocs more than the emerging ones or again give more chances for alternate play style like white-knights be heard before giving more HP to the wrecks.

    The CSM is more representative when it represents a large berth of play style rather than just clones of the same power bloc play style.

    • Tribal Band Spai

      It’s a shame all these diverse play styles can’t get off their asses and start participating in the wider community. Including voting for the CSM, Going to Fanfest and other EVE meets, Showing up for charity events, and other events.

      If you’re tired of seeing the Null sec agenda and the Null sec reps. Then do something about it. Whining and bitching in the comments on crossingzebras will not get you a magical CSM next time and it definitely doesn’t convince Null pilots to vote for ultimate carebear mission runner number 728596.

      • really? as far as I know all of the candidates that got at least 1000 views on their campaign page did get off their asses…
        What *did* you do?
        vote like you have been told to like a good little soldier?

  • Excellent advice. It won’t be followed but that only matters to the increasingly marginal gossiping few, but helpful nonetheless. Sort of like a manual for a telex machine or Ford Edsel. Quaint.

    • Mike Dawe

      I think I have a manual for a 12k modem around here somewhere. Yeah, I am a dinosaur.


    • phuzz

      That could be almost the dictionary definition of damning with faint praise 🙂