Editorial: My CSM

It’s time to vote! People outside of the EVE community gape in wonder when I tell them about the CSM. The amount of influence players have in EVE is rather rare in the gaming world. The CSM is (or should be) the ultimate expression of this influence and the greatest tool to actually make a difference. If you’re new to the concept, I strongly suggest reading about the CSM on the official page. Above all, VOTE! You can learn about the candidates’ platforms on the official forums, read interviews, or even listen to interviews. (The lads at Cap Stable podcast managed to interview a staggering amount of candidates.) Also, give EVE Vote Match a shot—it will pair your key issues with the platforms of candidates. Find the candidates that represent your play style and concerns, people that you think can communicate key issues to CCP, and act as a good sounding board when these things are discussed. Below I have provided my personal ballot along with motivations. This can give you a partial idea of the kind of things you’re looking for in candidates. Remember however, these are my views—make up your own mind and don’t vote as you’re told to. My priorities when voting were: lowsec (naturally) and Factional Warfare, community engagement, communication, nullsec sovereignty and NPSI, in that order. Here are the candidates that made it onto my ballot. You’ll notice there are only 11 people on it, but I only voted for candidates I was certain I could get behind. Please note that these are my personal choices and in no way reflect any kind of general Crossing Zebras endorsement.
  1. Sugar Kyle
This should come as no surprise to anyone. During her term in CSM 9, Sugar has proven in every way possible that she delivers on every aspect you could want from a CSM, and is likely one of the most hard-working members the Council has ever had. Thanks to Sugar, we had sessions dedicated to lowsec in both the Summer and Winter Summits in which she clearly and intelligently communicated concerns from all areas of lowsec. If you live in lowsec you should vote for Sugar, it’s that simple. Hell, if you care about the CSM at all you should vote for Sugar.
  1. Xander Phoena
I know what you’re thinking, and it’s understandable, with Xander being the founder of Crossing Zebras. However, I am voting for Xander based on his merits of community engagement and communication, as well as his ability to work as a conduit for any valid ideas, wherever they come from and no matter which nullsec entity he belongs to. Xander is one of the few on CSM 9 who made sure to communicate what the Council was doing every week in his weekly updates and his passion for the CSM is virtually unmatched. I strongly believe that Xander is able to distinguish metagaming from CSM work—a quality that may perhaps be lacking in other nullsec candidates. The monumentally important sov changes will need a CSM member proficient at communication between the players and CCP, something I believe Xander does extremely well.
  1. Gorski Car
Gorski unfortunately delivered one of the worst interviews I’ve heard this election season. It’s a shame, because the guy has some really valid ideas and above all has good hands-on experience with small gang fighting in lowsec—a rare thing among candidates. He may not be the most well-spoken candidate ever, but he has a good grassroots understanding of my side of the game. I am hoping he will be the Yin to the Yang of proposed balancing borne out of large-scale conflicts affects small gang warfare in a negative way.
  1. Ashterothi
Co-host of both the Hydrostatic and High Drag podcasts, his interest and engagement in the community cannot be denied. Ash is running on a lore platform, and although I see the value in lore, my primary reason for voting for him is his extensive experience in lowsec and Factional Warfare. I also believe that he, along with Xander and Bam, will strengthen cooperation between ambitious elements of the community and CCP to produce cool new projects.
  1. Manfred Sideous
So what’s a nullsec candidate doing on a lowsec meathead’s ballot? 2015 will be an extremely important year for the future of nullsec, and by extension all of EVE Online. I can think of no one else more competent to be there when it comes time to evaluate and advise CCP on the new sov mechanics. Manny was also consulted by CCP when the new sov system was developed and I believe he should be there to finish the job. I like candidates with hands-on experience, and Manny has boat-loads of it.
  1. Bam Stroker
How can you not like Bam? His community engagement and passion are legendary by now. EVE is the community, and you’ll find few other people as driven in this regard.
  1. Chance Ravine
I’ll be honest, before his Cap Stable interview, I had no clue who this guy was. His unadulterated and pure enthusiasm made me feel old and bitter. He’s nowhere near the kind of player I am and would probably be lost in the more esoteric issues of lowsec PvP, but he has such a positive outlook on things that I’m still voting for him. Chance’s extensive knowledge of player-generated promotion will serve CCP well, the success of which was evident in the This is EVE video.
  1. Mike Azariah
Mike must be the coolest dude to ever grace the CSM—it’s like he was taken directly from The Big Lebowski. Having served two terms he knows his way around the CSM, and his genuine interest in helping the new guy, ability to communicate and generally chill attitude are valuable assets to the council.
  1. Steve Ronuken
Steve is an extremely valuable asset to the CSM thanks to his extensive knowledge in 3rd party development for EVE; a field that I think is important, especially since the advent of CREST.
  1. Jayne Fillon
Jayne impressed me (and a whole lot of other people) greatly with his EVE Vegas speech on NPSI. Since Mangala Solaris is not running this time, I can think of no better NPSI representative to fill Mang’s shoes than Jayne.
  1. Endie
2015 is the year of nullsec sov, and besides Manny I think Endie is the right guy for the gig. In his Cap Stable interview, he impressed me with his calm and educated attitude, his focus on the health of the game, and not on shiny supers and mounds of ISK. I believe he truly has the right idea when it comes to what’s actually important in EVE: good fun with your bros, and not “winning EVE”. The fact that he chuckled at the prospect of nerfing supers really drove it home for me. Granted, this vote is more or less wasted since he’s on the CFC ballot, but I give support where support is due.   That’s it. 2015 is bound to be a very interesting year in EVE Online’s long history and CSM X will have their hands full. With the right mix of knowledge, community engagement and positive attitude, the CSM could really shine this year. However, if the council is mired by drama and inactivity, the whole process stands to suffer greatly. I believe we will get a strong and productive council in the end, and I’m looking forward to them taking on the inevitable threadnoughts that will come after the new sov system is in effect.  
Tags: CSM X, niden

About the author


12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.