From bad to worse


I didn’t want to have to write this blog post. Turns out, when I wrote the last one, lots of other people had the same idea. In that last post, I posited that seven days into the election, we had seen very little CCP promotion of the CSM election and this was rather disappointing as we were told by CCP Dolan and CCP Fozzie to expect something new and interesting. Since I wrote that blogpost, all we have had is a mass evemail.

Seriously. A mass evemail. That is the stretch of CCPs imagination. And if six days was probably too late, eleven days, which is where we stand as I write this is certainly is. It’s vastly, disasterously too late. CCP has massively dropped the ball. Between the terribly rolled-out new voting system, a catastrophic primary, the ‘false positive’ issue (which I am happy to put down as simple human error, but nevertheless) and the complete dearth of any dynamic and interesting promotion from CCP, the CSM8 election has been a disaster.


Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe voting figures are way up. Except CCP haven’t released any figures and have explictly told CSM7 they are not allowed to go public with them:

Rhavas @EVE_Rhavas

@HansShotFirst @midi2304 @wartzilla @CCP_Fozzie @grrusso @Seleene_EVE How far behind is voter turnout?

Hans Jagerblitzen ‏@HansShotFirst

@EVE_Rhavas @midi2304 @wartzilla @CCP_Fozzie @grrusso @Seleene_EVE The CSM hasn’t been authorized to say, CCP should have been reporting it

Some people would suggest the reason those figures aren’t public is because they are bad. I mean, if the figures were good, CCP would be singing them to the heavens right? So obviously, given this election is almost certainly far too late to salvage, we are seeing CSM7 coming out all guns blazing, right? As a player advocacy group, they are keeping the player base informed about what they are doing to fix this mess, right? We have an official statement from CSM7 denouncing the terrible mess that the CSM8 election has become, right?

No, no we don’t. We have tweets from a couple of individuals such as Hans and Alekseyev stating they are unhappy. The CSM7 chairman has made no official statement advising the players what the CSM is doing to resolve this. There is no collective statement or blog post from the group as a whole. Not only do CCP seem not to care about the election, we are getting nothing from the current CSM about what they are doing to fix a massive issue that is clearly at the forefront of the community’s concerns.

It is clear from tweets from certain CSM7 members that they are unhappy with what is happening. I have spoken to certain members of CSM7 privately and they are giving nothing away other than to confirm that they are very disappointed with the situation. I presume they are working with CCP on a solution. But we have complete radio silence from them as a body publicly. CCP had to apologise to CSM7 for by and large ignoring them in the first six months of their tenure. Then we have a situation where CCP seem unwilling to invest any real effort in the election despite assurances to the contrary. And yet CCP clearly appears to have CSM7 in their pocket, telling them anything they need to hear to keep them quiet.

I don’t know what’s more heartbreaking – the disregard CCP are showing the CSM as an entity or the disregard CSM7 are showing the players.

This isn’t about the effort I or anyone else has put into this election. This is about making sure as many people are involved in the CSM process as possible and that must come from the top-down. How do we fix this? I don’t know. I’d love to see maybe a Twitch stream from CSM7 talking about what’s going on. Maybe a Twitch stream with Unifex and Dolan? Maybe, as someone suggested, some kind of voter lottery where anyone who has votes before the close of election is put into a hat and the winner gets something cool (I don’t know what and to be honest, I’m not even sure if bribing people to vote is a good idea – I’m just brainstorming). Maybe they could extend the election and do something cool to announce it. Explain the issues up to now and why CCP are so thoroughly behind the process? I’d love your ideas on this one.

Tags: ccp, csm, csm7, csm8, dolan, election, fozzie

About the author

Xander Phoena

The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.

  • Alekseyev Karrde

    I’m sure the better thing to do would be publically drama post a list of demands about what CCP must to do to fix things so they have a nice handy excuse not to do any of that shit? Or just as bad shut down the conversation till “next year”?

    No. CSM7 refuses to consign this election to the history books quite yet. There’s a few things CCP can do (ship giveaways not really one of them) that will help.

    OR we can do what we’ve done since Nov. which is make a clear and coherent offer of concerns and potential solutions, make it clear to CCP what happens if they continue to ignore the problem (we rally the community) or address the problem (we’re happy, most players are happy, and we back them up to the skeptics), and keep our word on either end. When CSM7 has done this, we’ve gotten results for the community. We’re doing it again now.

    For this election we’ve gone to CCP Unifex about it (about the highest possible level to go with this, short of the CEO of CCP Games), dragged CCP Dolan into a meeting on a freakin Saturday night so we could at times literally yell at him, and got an emergency meeting yesterday to see what could be done. As unimpressed as you are by that mass mail, even that wasn’t going to happen till we worked with Unifex to clear the hurdles that initially derailed it. Several senior CCP staff were willing to clear time for us yesterday and sit down for over an hour on this election stuff.

    We expect to hear back from them very soon at which point we’ll have something good, or bad, to report to the community as appropriate. But I guess you’d have just taken off to the forums or a blog to trash them because they asked for a day to talk to the devs involved to work out exactly what was feasible within a few days time?

    I’m sure that’d be working much better #noireallydont

    tldr I’ll tell you when I want to get mad not the other way around

    • Snow Axe

      You really can’t handle ANY criticism of the CSM without going nuclear yourself, can you? Probably a good thing you aren’t running again.

      • Alekseyev Karrde

        I can if its fair. Xander dismisses our public statements and ignores the relative good news when it comes. Considering Hans and I reached out to him directly as a possible way to promote this as a major issue to the community IF CCP DIDNT START LISTENING, yeah I’m hot about it.

        But that isn’t nuclear. That’s nothing compared to my max rage level lol.

        • xanderphoena

          Here’s the facts:
          1) Fozzie and Dolan said we should expect something ‘new / exciting / different’ in CSM promotion this year’
          2) A lot of people within the community are unhappy with the level of CCP promotion of the CSM election.
          3) CSM7 members are on public record stating that they are unhappy with CCP’s involvement in this election.
          4) We are coming towards the end of day 11 of the election.
          5) Other than a couple of twitter tweets / replies, Seleene / ‘CSM7’ have not informed the community of any of the work they are or aren’t currently doing in a forum such as the Eve forums, blog, etc.
          6) CCP are not releasing and day by day voting figures. They did last year.
          The fact is that members of CSM7 are unhappy and yet we have no evidence that the CSM or CCP are doing anything about it. I’m sure they probably are doing something but we have no evidence. You can tell me how wrong I am all you like Aleks but the above is 6 completely objective facts and I based the article on those.
          Feel free to suggest that I am only writing this because I am butthurt about the interviews and CCP not putting any effort in. It’s not true – I’d have written the piece anyway – but it’s what I’d do if I was in your position, fighting from a corrner too.
          ‘For this election we’ve gone to CCP Unifex about it (about the highest possible level to go with this, short of the CEO of CCP Games), dragged CCP Dolan into a meeting on a freakin Saturday night so we could at times literally yell at him, and got an emergency meeting yesterday to see what could be done. As unimpressed as you are by that mass mail, even that wasn’t going to happen till we worked with Unifex to clear the hurdles that initially derailed it. Several senior CCP staff were willing to clear time for us yesterday and sit down for over an hour on this election stuff.’
          Why the fuck isn’t this a public statement somewhere? The forums, a blog, anywhere? Why is it taking me writing a blog post complaining about CCP and CSM7 for someone to post this piece of news. Even something as simple as that may have stopped this post being written in the first place. CSM7 has been constantly accused of communicating poorly with the player base during it’s tenure. This issue is just proving the point.

          ‘tldr I’ll tell you when I want to get mad, at, and about what not the other way around’
          You understand that you were elected as a member of the CSM right? And as such, you represent those players right? And if they are complaining about a topic and you choose not to respond, that could be an issue? I’m not saying you should get mad when I tell you. I’m saying you should do your job as a member of the CSM and communicate with the people who elected you.

          • Alekseyev Karrde

            When players complain about a topic, I choose to try and do something about it. Difference between being a leader and being a blogger. I’m not much of a blogger.

          • Snow Axe

            Throwing a shitfit tantrum any time someone criticizes the group you’re a part of doesn’t make you a leader, either.

          • Zappity

            I’m confused. What is the problem with calling out CCP on their lack of effort just a few days out? Will silence encourage them to act? I foolishly expected more after their hype.

            Maybe we should give them a couple more days before posting just in case. Oh, wait…

          • I guess CSM members should be bloggers, too. Or at least communicators in some form.

            If the people who have to elect you don’t know what work you’ve done or what problems you’ve solved, why would they vote for you or even be able to acknowledge your work? Who would inform them of your work if not you?

            You get mad every time people accuse the CSM of something. Well, maybe you should have promoted yourself better to your electorate. If you feel like you’re doing a good job somewhere, tell us about it! Don’t wait for us to start asking questions.

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  • Dinsdale Pirannha

    Gee, let’s see….we have the lead sociopath of the goons posting on their version of Pravda how they are hoping to run the table for CSM spots (won’t happen, will likely get 10 spots). We have people like me banned from the forums weeks ago because we spoke out against precisely what is happening now, namely a member of the HBC introduced a system in place that hands the CSM over to the null sec cartels.

    We have CCP doing as little as possible to get players to vote, even though some CCP employees have already stated that for this thing to work, a large percentage of the players must vote. We have CCP introducing a voting system (that drag and drop monstrosity), that actually DISCOURAGES filling a full slate, which is precisely the thing that is supposed to empower all voters and make their votes count.

    We have Pandemic Legion Fozzie in his last podcast doubling down on his statement in one of his forum threads that if someone doesn’t vote he doesn’t have to listen to anything they say.

    Now we have a goon attacking a member of the CSM who is bitching about how little CCP was doing.

    No, no ….their certainly is no group inside CCP working with the RMT cartels to ensure complete domination of CSM 8 by said cartels.

    The party line from CCP and the cartels after this debacle is done will be “well, everyone had the opportunity to vote, and the makeup of CSM 8 is clearly what the Eve community wants. Further, this is a tacit endorsement of the CSM 8 reps’ virtually unanimous call to smash high sec income streams to properly balance the risk / reward ratio in the game.”

    • Bagehi

      Say what? When did Trebor join the HBC? That said, there is definitely a fair amount of smug about how this election is going to turn out among null leaders right now. The more complex the vote, the fewer people vote, the more impact the null bloc vote will have. Something that Mittens himself warned would happen, but was ignored.

    • You are either a troll or genuinely mentally dysfunctional.. but highly entertaining either way.

    • Andromachedarkstar

      Because lizards

  • Powersv2

    It’s working out just fine for my strategy :smugdog: We’ll see if it actually works.

  • Two step

    I may be alone on this, but I think CCP has done more promotion than they have done in the past. The EVE mail should make a big difference, though it was a little later than I (or CCP Dolan) would have liked.

    So would I like to see more CCP promotion of the elections? Of course. Am I mad that they somehow “let us down” and didn’t do what they said they would do? No, because they didn’t.

    With that being said, we have been and will continue to talk to CCP about better promoting the election, as it still isn’t too late. The comments during today’s live stream were welcome, and I’d love to see them in a Devblog, for example.

    • Snow Axe

      “More promotion than they’ve done in the past” only means something if past promotion even existed, let alone was worth anything. Nice try, though!

    • Alekseyev Karrde

      well said

    • Zappity

      The people who watch twitter or the streams are surely more likely to vote anyway due to their higher level of engagement.

      I was hoping for more in-game promotions to try and increase awareness and reasons to engage.

  • CCP isn’t responsible for forced voting on the players or massive GOTV campaigns about the CSM. If anything, from CCP’s perspective, the weaker the CSM is, the easier it is for CCP developers to do what they do with as little interference as possible.

    The CSM is a player organization. It has as much or as little power/influence/suggestion as the members of the organization are capable of taking. If you want a powerful CSM you want to get behind people who have not only the best ideas or the most out-of-the-box perspectives, but someone who knows how to gather a constituency. These people are the ones able to speak with a developer and say “look, I’ve got a thousand people here who are all /really/ concerned about this.” This is exactly what Two Step achieved with his POS threadnaught, and it was effective in that regard.

    Demanding that CCP step up and take primary responsibility is inconsiderate of what the effect of that position would be:

    1. A weaker CSM because *especially* with Wright STV, random voting/ignorant voting will not benefit the results. Wright STV necessarily assumes that the voters are informed and capable of making the best possible choices.

    2. Weaker candidates. As CCP takes up more of the responsibility of “selling” candidates to the players, the candidates will offload their responsibility of consensus building with the community to Dolan or Fozzie or whomever you want to point to as “being responsible” for it.

    3. Weaker issues. Why would you let CCP define what candidates they make subtle endorsements for? If your bugbear is with a smaller demographic issue that CCP said they wouldn’t be looking at, you want the candidate that stands for that issue, not whichever ones CCP want to broadly paint as being sort of-kind of interested in the sphere that you operate in.

    CZ did a great thing bringing awareness to the CSM. Perhaps you could engage with CCP to have a loading-screen link to your site next year if you decide to engage with candidates again. You may be projecting your frustration of your exceptional effort in light of what you see as CCP’s lackluster effort; I would advice you to step back and realize that CCP did more this year than any other to date.

    There are bigger things to get mad about. Wait for the results to get all red in the face about this CSM.

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  • Pon

    I agree that the anemic “gotv” (get out the vote) efforts by CCP were a bit of a shock in light of the interview with CCP Dolan, where he vastly over-promised and acted extremely coy about keeping confidential the exciting and innovative things CCP were going to do to get people involved, as if it would be bells, whistles and circus trains.

    I had frankly imagined something along the lines of an in-game item the way they give out gifts, like the Conkorden, books and those other useless but fun tchochkes that promoted voting. It would have raised the election profile.

    Or perhaps actually producing a YouTube video with CCP Guard that looked as if they put effort into it (aka the production values of say any of their devblogs or their retribution skits) a little longer before the election. They put out one quickie video at the last minute that looked profoundly unappealing since it was some neckbeards lounging at a table languidly admonishing you to vote with bad lighting.

    I’m not one to think the worst of CCP, but Dolan dropped the ball. Perhaps it is just a case of the elections happening before he had time to get his sea legs. However, it is always better to underpromise and OVERdeliver, rather than the opposite.