CSM voting is upon us. Naturally, the CZ staff has been active in the debate, with Ashterothi pumping out one-on-one interviews with the candidates and JEFFRAIDER hosting the Statecraft annual CSM debates, as well as analysis from Cosmo. As per tradition, we’d like to give you a piece of our mind with regards to the CSM.
So, what candidates are you voting for and why? Generally, how do you feel about the quality of candidates we’re seeing this year and do you think they will be able to follow in CSM 11’s footsteps? How do you feel that the CSM process has fared this year?
(When you are done reading these words of wisom, make up your own mind and vote HERE!)
Whilst – obviously – I’ll be voting for myself, as a candidate in CSM 12’s election, I feel that this CSM has progressed well. We’ve righted the wrongs of CSM 10 and paved over some rather rocky roads, as well as impacting some very key aspects of the game, from the PoS code revamp in disguise, to the introduction of Alpha clones. Quite frankly, it’s been one hell of a year. I personally made communication my focus this year, and have learnt a lot about not only being a member of the CSM, but about the game and the community inside it as a result. I’d like to re-iterate my belief here that the reason CSM 11 did so well is that everyone onboard it came in with a plan for how they were going to improve the CSM, as well as the usual pain points about the game they wanted to bring up to CCP. As such, I’d ask people to look for candidates who do have a dedicated plan for the CSM this year, and not those promising you the moon and the stars.
Since it’s CZ Minutes I can talk about whatever the hell I want. Accordingly, I ain’t telling you who I’m voting for though I will be voting since I find it hypocritical to whine about the results if I haven’t at least taken minimal effort to affect the outcome. In the end it’s all about the whine, eh?
And now half a dozen other narrowly relevant observations:
1) I wouldn’t be surprised if this year garners record low turnout since low turnout often means voters aren’t particularly upset. Negative emotions are effective way to get people to the polls and the last year has felt rather controversy free.
2) Keep in mind that this is a game. Accordingly, for a lot of players interstellar space politics is seen as a particular type of game play, not a social obligation. Reading too much into why someone doesn’t vote is sorta like reading too much into why they don’t participate in Incursions when a simple “Not my gig kid, but if it turns your game crank have at it” may be best explanation.
3) I’m confident CCP finds the CSM a useful resource otherwise they wouldn’t continue to pay for it. I’m also confident CSM members find interstellar space politics a satisfying activity or they wouldn’t continue participating. I’m not confident that paying close attention to how many players vote in the CSM election will change the situation. CCP will still be getting input from 10 specific players whether 30,000 customers vote or 90,000 customers vote.
4) The most powerful customer vote is their pocket book. Customers either pony up money or they don’t and CCP just completed a pretty good year.
5) I often think the Council of Stellar Management is misnamed since they don’t manage anything. It’s a volunteer organization delivering information and advice to CCP. CCP alone manages their game and I’d have it no other way.
6) That said I think the CSM a stunningly cool institution. Not because of what it actually achieves in any particular term but because of what it means. The CSM requires a not inconsequential amount of CCP’s time and carries on at no small expense. While some CSM terms prove much more productive than others, CCP’s dogged support signals that they remain not only committed to seeking player feedback, but also willing to support a full on permanent institution to assist in obtaining it. And this says nothing of the player side of the institution including committed CSM volunteers and the player organizations around them all devoting their resources and time. Tallied up, the whole is astounding.
As a player who has been out of the game for the past few months (hi Niden! I’m kinda back!) CSM season is a great way to get back up to speed with what’s been going on. Candidates talk about things that need to be improved in their neck of the woods, giving everyone a peek into what’s going on in more niche communities that you otherwise wouldn’t hear about. Other times you get to hear about strange new tactics that take advantage of questionable balance changes like these Battle Rorquals, of all things, so I imagine there will be some interesting changes ahead. As always, it’s amazing to see the community engage in actual political campaigning. Being away from the game for awhile really reminds you just how special a privilege it is to have a group like the CSM. I don’t know who I’m voting for just yet, but I know there’s tons of great content to help me make that decision!
I’ll be voting for Jin’taan as well as Sullen Decimus and the Judge on his recommendation as truly hardworking and good to work with CSMs. Jin and I share a lot of views about the CSM and he himself has done a stellar job this term, both in what we are able to see in his promotion of visibility of the institution and the behind the NDA wall work. Further, I’ll be voting for Suitonia due to his excellent critical thinking and communication skills, as well as his unrivalled (except perhaps by the human encyclopedia himself CCP Fozzie) knowledge of and insight into the spaceships themselves, not to mention his track record in producing well written and thought out material with regards to potential game development in that area. I haven’t actually ever interacted with him and I certainly haven’t agreed with 100% of his conclusions but I will absolutely also be voting for CapriSun KraftFoods as another player who has a excellent track record of producing well thought out and compelling work on his insight into EVE. I can’t think of anyone i’d keep wanting on the CSM for a fourth term. New perspectives and faces have a value, but Steve is an exception with his consistency in calm, well articulated discussion of a range of ideas as well as his excellent public outreach.
In terms of order, it’ll likely be something like:
- The Judge
- Sullen Decimus
- CapriSun KraftFoods
- Steve Ronuken
Overall, there haven’t been too many candidates that have really stood out to me this year, though that may be a result of CSM11 being extraordinarily good if a little quiet about it at times. I may fill out my ballot further, but I haven’t been inspired by anyone else yet.
I have been voting in the CSM as long as I have been playing, and any time there was a podcast doing an interview, I am certain to be listening to them. All of them. This year I am running for the CSM and have been paying a lot more attention to the candidates than ever before, and so far I am really impressed with everyone. There are a lot of interesting and intriguing candidates, many of whom I have never heard of. It has been a fun past couple of weeks having some of these people on my podcast and listening to some of the interviews on various shows. Overall I have been impressed. If I were to pick my top 10, they would probably look something like this (not necessarily in this order):
- The Judge
- CapriSun KraftFoods
- Commander Aze
- Killah Bee
- Toxic Yaken
- Steve Ronuken
- Vic Jefferson
- and of course Kael Decadence
I wish there was room for more candidates, and I wish that everyone who was ballsy enough to run could have input in some sort of lower level council. Maybe there could be another tier that could act as a vice council or if the elected members could select from the remaining candidates to act as an assistant, that would be great. This is a very integral part of the game and the more voices we have representing all across New Eden, the better.