Saturday, March 2, 2013

The New CSM, Part 2

Today's post is a continuation of my explanation of my philosophy about the daily workings of the CSM. Join me, won't you?


It seems like the New Order is being talked about everywhere these days, doesn't it? Wherever EVE is being discussed, the polarizing name of James 315 seems to pop up again and again. This development doesn't surprise me--I wrote about it back in October.

It's a simple, unintended consequence of the buffing of highsec. As EVE's population crowds into highsec, and as emergent gameplay continues to be nerfed, the ideologically-driven New Order becomes the only game in town, so to speak. In the same way that the mining systems of highsec are completely mute until we arrive, the focus of the EVE community will center on the few individuals who supply emergent gameplay to an increasingly carebearized playerbase. If we're the only thing disrupting the silence of highsec, and if everyone makes their money in highsec, then a lot of EVE players are going to spend a lot of time thinking about us. Ironically, the very people who despise the New Order and hate hearing about me are the ones pushing the game design changes that ensure my notoriety.

This isn't something that I desired or pursued. I am not interested in becoming famous for the sake of it. My only concern is the improvement of EVE. I would rather accomplish the goals of the New Order, even if that means the New Order would be less at the center of attention, due to emergent gameplay of all kinds flourishing across EVE.

Even so, there are those who genuinely fear my presence on the CSM. Those who spend time with me or my Agents in-game understand that I am not the monster that my enemies make me out to be. I'm not power mad; I ain't even mad. It's easy to take for granted that everyone else understands this, too. But I understand that there are many EVE players out there who are paranoid and distrustful about my intentions. There are even people who agree with many of my policy positions who nevertheless worry about the possibility of my attempting to dominate the CSM. I would like to put all those fears to rest.

Consider the basic characteristics of the CSM. It's a group of volunteers. They come from all different backgrounds, and have different points of view. The CSM transcends the lines drawn between corporations, alliances, and coalitions in EVE. And they all come together for the purpose of improving the game. Sound familiar? I'm acquainted with the concept.

Everyone who has been following the CSM campaign thus far knows the central issue of this election. It's about the choice between, one the one hand, a carebear-driven theme park that (purportedly) maximizes CCP's subscription revenue, and on the other hand, my vision of an EVE with balanced game mechanics and restored opportunities for PvP and emergent gameplay across the board. That's what it's all about; that's the big, fundamental question for EVE right now.

Obviously I had a hand in framing the scope of the debate. Is that evidence of my "pushiness"? I don't think so. Even without my efforts to give these issues prominence, it's not as if people couldn't see what was going on. And, to be honest, it's not as though there a lot of CSM candidates out there trying to drive other issues to the forefront. Even if you have been paying close attention to this race, if you were asked to write down basic bullet points of what you've learned so far, you would probably end up with a list that looks something like this:

1. James 315 thinks risk/reward is severely imbalanced and damaging the game.
2. People who live in wormholes really like to run for CSM for some reason.

I've spoken quite a bit about the need for balance in the game, and balance is just as important for the CSM. On one end of the spectrum, we have the temptation to say that the election is all about James 315 and his ideas, so let's just have him run everything on the CSM and tell CCP what to do. This approach would strike a lot of people as being arrogant. Equally problematic is the other end of the spectrum, the "business as usual" approach.

We all know how the "business as usual" approach goes: Everything is on autopilot, nothing of real importance gets done, and the CSM has no impact on anything. We can almost write the meeting minutes for such a CSM in advance...

The CSM met with CCP and shared their ideas for fixing POSes and sovereignty. CCP was fascinated and told them that something may happen in a few years. The CSM's vice-chairman voiced his enthusiasm for the improved level of communication that this achievement represents. Meanwhile, CCP reported significant progress has been made on creating a blue ribbon with the word "stakeholder" on it, which may be pinned on the CSM at some point in the future. "Huzzahs" all around.

After a well-deserved break, the CSM and CCP reconvened to discuss other matters. One member of the CSM suggested that stations could be made destructible, which will never ever ever ever ever in a million years happen. A lengthy conversation ensued about how interesting this would be if it happened, which it never will. Another member of the CSM, speaking on voice-chat, echoed those who liked the station destructability idea. The environment in the conference room became very tense, because that CSM member had not previously pulled his weight in the "busywork" department. His voice-chat was put on "mute" while the remaining CSM members debated whether he had earned the right to speak. They came to the conclusion that he had not. This had little impact on the rest of proceedings, because his ideas were pretty much identical to everyone else's anyway.

The next day, the CSM met with CCP to discuss the upcoming expansion, which was to be rolled out in two weeks. The CSM expressed surprise, as they had not previously been told about the expansion. CCP assured them that a devblog would be released in a week, and that they could read all about it there. The atmosphere became noticeably tense. CSM members insisted that they could have offered useful input. A CCP employee apologized and assured them that in the future, they would be given more access. Finally, another CCP employee broke the tension by joking that things would be so much easier if they abolished the CSM altogether. Many good-natured laughs were had by all.

When the CSM and CCP returned from lunch, they took up the subject of highsec. One member of the CSM had heard disturbing reports about people being killed there. An intense discussion about risk in highsec followed. Some were in favor and some were against; the CSM and CCP were split about evenly on the question. One member of the CSM questioned whether it was such a good idea that new players with only a few years of experience had to descend into the depths of 0.7 security systems to mine ice. In addition, he pointed out the unfairness of wardecs occurring in which one side was more powerful or had better leadership than the other. In such cases, the defending side might need to spend up to several minutes and two million isk dissolving and reforming their corp to nullify the wardec.

The result of the conversation was inconclusive. All agreed that wardecs were overpowered, except for those who disagreed. It was decided that no decision about changes to wardecs should be made until at least a few months prior to there being a chance for community feedback on the issue. The session ended. Everyone on the CSM expressed a profound feeling of accomplishment, and that they would not be running for reelection next term.


That's the kind of CSM that we need to avoid. The "business as usual" approach is lacking in substance, just as an "All About James 315" CSM would be lacking in style. Some compromise between the two should be found. Obviously I have no intention of hewing strictly to the agenda by which the CSM meetings are supposed to be run; breakthroughs rarely occur according to a schedule. However, I am perfectly willing to spend as much time listening to others' ideas as I spend promoting my own.

52 comments:

  1. The theme parking of Eve looms ever closer.

    And I welcome it with open arms!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It already exists - as Star Trek Online.

      That way, please ----------------->

      Delete
  2. "This isn't something that I desired or pursued. I am not interested in becoming famous for the sake of it."
    "I'm not power mad"

    your behaviour tells a completely different story. you can lie to everybody around you. but you cant lie to yourself. quit, as long as you still can.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. The CSM is an advisory group. They have no real power over the game. They can only bring concerns and grievances to CCP.

      You fear that carebears will be unable to turn EvE Online into Minecraft. Your fears may be well founded. Carebears are notorious for being unable to organize.

      And so you seek to shut James315 up. And you start with the first tool of the weak: ridicule.

      Well ... two can play that game. We will continue to find more ways in game to make self-entitled miners squeal. They parody themselves.

      Delete
    3. I would disagree that ridicule is a tool of the weak, but this isn't the appropriate venue for such a discussion. I will, however, argue strongly that the above comment by Anonymous does not constitute ridicule. It's not trying nor succeeding at being funny, insightful, inspiring, clever, or any of the other hallmarks of a good jab. It's really just a childish whinge on par with "MOOOOOOM, JAMES THREE FIFTEEN STEPPED ON MY SANDCASTLE"

      Delete
    4. Anon, does being a soldier in Call of Duty make you a blood thirsty murderer in real life?

      Delete
    5. @Agent Trask
      ' And you start with the first tool of the weak: ridicule.'

      Do you read this blog? Are you really saying that James 315 is of weak character? James frequently ridicules people using this blog.

      Delete
    6. Audrik VillalonaMarch 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      And yet, when any of those targets of 'ridicule' seek to take issue with their treatment, they realize that all he has done is post screenshots of their conversation that they have later realized make them look foolish, and then offered them a chance to join the New Order and recant their past mistakes. This does not qualify as ridicule, except perhaps them ridiculing themselves. I find it odd that you aren't familiar with this fact, seeing as how you are minerbumping's most prolific commenter.

      Delete
    7. @Audrik Villalona
      'post screenshots of their conversation that they have later realized make them look foolish'
      While I realise you are a New Order drone I would have thought even you would have noticed the text that goes along with the screenshot. I also find it amusing you suggest that James is not ridiculing them by publishing the screenshots and they themselves are even though they have nothing to do with this blog.
      However the point still remains James 315 is using 'the first tool of the weak: ridicule.' and therefore he is weak as pointed out by Agent Trask. Anonymous 11.27 was using direct quotes from James 315 was he not?

      Delete
    8. Audrik VillalonaMarch 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      You're free to find the truth amusing; as the idiom goes, truth is often stranger than fiction, and also funnier. Since your amusement does not constitute a relevant argument, however, the 'point' does not still remain, as you falsely claimed. Anonymous 11.27 did use direct quotes, but those quotes do not constitute ridicule.

      Delete
  3. One of the best things about James is his willingness to engage the other side personally, and not just be dismissive and rude. A lot of people on the other side are okay with sitting back and flinging insults, which Agents of the Order pride themselves in not doing. We didn't pick this up by complete mistake or accident. We picked this up by having a strong leader who leads by example.

    These are all qualities that will help dealings with CCP and other members of the CSM, proven qualities that are needed on CSM 8. Qualities that make James one of the strongest candidates for CSM currently.

    315 4 CSM 8!

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    Replies
    1. That is one of the things I like about this blog, there is a balance of comments between pro-James and anti-James stances. It shows James has respect for his opposition, despite his ability to erase those comments if he so wished.

      ---Alistair Drake

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    2. There's several blogs that refuse to publish comments that aren't entirely agreements with the poster. James doesn't silence those who disagrees. He merely attempts to educate and include them!

      Delete
    3. @Vin King
      I think its just laziness on his part. People commenting on anything other than the subject of the blog should be edited as just detracts from the topic under discusion.

      Delete
    4. The reason James dosn't silence his opposition is because there arguments/tears are what keeps the new order alive and thriving.

      Nevin Dread

      Delete
    5. @Anonymous 17.08
      Yes without the whining and crying of its Agent the New Order would indeed be a very dull organisation.

      Delete
  4. Actually, ccp has been getting things done. They advanced tiericide, now up to BC's, and they introduced new dessys/mining frig. They have given formerly usless ships a place on the battlefield. CCP's biusness as usuall has been improving the game, and while I will vote for James315, I dont think its neccesary for the good of eve for him, or someone like him, to be on the CSM.

    Nevin Dread

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    Replies
    1. CCP didn't improve risk vs reward in any way...in fact, they did the opposite of improving. That's the major issue with CCP in James' view.

      Delete
    2. I never said they improved RvR, I was just pointing out that "buisnes as usually" wasnt as pointless as James made it out to be. I personally love tiericide, and I think everyone but spoiled Rifter pilots would aggrea with me.

      Nevin Dread

      Delete
    3. The point is that if you view the game the same way James (or I) do, risk vs reward is so terribly unbalanced that the whole game is heavily damaged. No matter how many little things they improve, the fundamental flaw of all flaws is the ****ed up RvR. CCP is working on little things while ignoring the big flaw. So in my view CCP is not doing nearly enough to improve the game.

      Delete
    4. Well I like the changes CCP has been makeing, even if RvR is screwed in favor of highsec, and ps. spoiled drake pilots would probably also disagree with me.

      Nevin Dread

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    5. Whether your personal top issue is ship rebalancing or RvR, to claim that either is a "little thing" is stupid ridiculous.
      -Bantara

      Delete
  5. You think awfully highly of yourself.

    It's neat that you are pulling such a long con on the EVE playerbase though, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's a colorful characterization of the CSM minutes.

    At some point you'll have to choose between the thoughtful, articulate crusader for risk/reward balance you've shown on Crossing Zebra's and the comical villain portrayed on your blog.

    For EVE's sake, I hope for the former. Because if you aren't that person this year, it may be that there's no serious, credible voice against Trebor. And that would be disastrous.

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    Replies
    1. For this post I will probably put james first on my list of votes. if a current csm member feels the need to come out and say this, I start to worry a little.

      a former carebear

      Delete
    2. Audrik VillalonaMarch 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      "At some point you'll have to choose between the thoughtful, articulate crusader for risk/reward balance you've shown on Crossing Zebra's and the comical villain portrayed on your blog. "

      A. Why? For someone so enthused with serious credibility, it's odd that your arguments are made with absolutely zero attempt to explain or ground them.

      B. Savior =/= villain. The afk-miners are the villains of this morality play. If your use of the term "villain" is from a different moral construct--which one is it from? If it's from one in which blowing up spaceships in a game about blowing up spaceships makes you a villain, then you are a villain, and your own CSM term contradicts your point A. above.

      p.s. this is totally offtopic but in your excellent article about airports and EVE, you had this quote:
      To quote Trebor Daehdoow: The Perfect is the enemy of the Good.

      Is this some kind of humorous in-joke, or are you actually unaware that you are quoting Voltaire, not Trebor, there? As Abraham Lincoln famously said: "Beware of quotations found on the Internet, for they are often misattributed".

      Delete
    3. A. I served on the CSM twice, and am serving right now. I might know a thing or two about it?

      B. I didn't call him a villain, i said comical villain. And no, I dont think he's evil. That i have to actually clarify that to you given you claim familiarity with my background and point out that it would be a contradiction is fairly astounding.

      Go culture yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snidely_Whiplash

      PS: No, i was quoting Trebor. He said it like three times at each CSM summit. It's one of his favorite quotes to use during discussions. Using someones own words against their argument is sometimes considered an effective tactic #shrug

      Delete
    4. "I served on the CSM twice, and am serving right now. I might know a thing or two about it?"

      No one said you didn't; however, this response of yours is a non sequitur. The original statement this supposedly refers to is "
      "At some point you'll have to choose between the thoughtful, articulate crusader for risk/reward balance you've shown on Crossing Zebra's and the comical villain portrayed on your blog. "

      If there is a connection between these two statements of yours, it has not yet been made explicit.

      "I didn't call him a villain, i said comical villain. And no, I dont think he's evil. That i have to actually clarify that to you given you claim familiarity with my background and point out that it would be a contradiction is fairly astounding."

      I never used the word "evil". A comical villain is obviously still a villain. The only thing astounding here is how dishonest and ridiculous your reply is.

      "No, i was quoting Trebor. He said it like three times at each CSM summit. It's one of his favorite quotes to use during discussions."

      If someone quotes someone else, its inaccurate and rude to attribute the quote to the latter quoter. That quote is a quote from Voltaire, not Trebor. To use the "effective tactic" of using your own words against you : "Go culture yourself:" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire

      Delete
    5. It sounds like Alekseyev's point was that James 315's tone on this blog differs from his tone in other publications, and that James 315's "Savior of Highsec" persona may not be the ideal one for winning votes in the CSM election. Besides the Crossing Zebras interview, I have noted James 315's tone changes dramatically in other publications that he has written -- such as the "Why Is BoB Losing?" series and, more recently, this excellent article on TheMittani.com: http://themittani.com/features/highsec-rising-danger-safe-zone-eve

      In these publications, James 315 takes a much more friendly, informative tone than he does on MinerBumping or in-game when he is enforcing the Code. In fact, during the Crossing Zebras interview, he explicated that his attitude on this blog is "tongue-in-cheek." I am not sure how to summarize his style of speech here, but "comical villain" is not an entirely inaccurate description, in my view.

      It can in fact be argued that James 315 wins votes better when he addresses voters as an educated, informed peer rather than as their savior. What approach he takes in the end is left to him, and I imagine that once he is officially a CSM candidate, we will see him address voters as one persona or the other. March will be an interesting month.

      In the meantime, while I appreciate attempts at reasoned debate, I would suggest that debaters treat one another with more courtesy. Even when I see debaters avoid making personal attacks at each other, they often attack each others' statements with language so harsh and provocative that I fear the debaters are trying to drive one another into emotionality. I recommend that whenever a debater has a choice in how he forms a statement, he picks neutral words, rather than ones with negative connotations -- both for the sake of the debaters and the audience.

      Delete
    6. Audrik VillalonaMarch 4, 2013 at 3:33 AM

      "It sounds like Alekseyev's point was that James 315's tone on this blog differs from his tone in other publications, and that James 315's "Savior of Highsec" persona may not be the ideal one for winning votes in the CSM election."

      That is a reasonable supposition, although I'm not sure how you propose to put it to the test, and it's not one with which I agree. However, it bears little resemblance to anything Alekseyev has actually said here. If he wishes to explain why he thinks James must eventually choose between these two personae, he will do so.

      "...I imagine that once he is officially a CSM candidate, we will see him address voters as one persona or the other."

      Your imagination is rather besides the point--if one wants to know James's plans, one would be much better served to read this blog, with its numerous posts detailing his plans, than to consult the imagination of an anonymous commenter.

      " I recommend that whenever a debater has a choice in how he forms a statement, he picks neutral words, rather than ones with negative connotations -- both for the sake of the debaters and the audience."

      From anonymous imagination to anonymous recommendation. Curiouser and curiouser.

      Delete
    7. One must not forget to also have clarity on what they say. I was unclear in an attempt at reasonable discourse, but was unclear, on another post and had (wrong) assumptions made about my EVE playstyle and got insulted for it with personal attacks and insinuations.

      ---Alistair Drake

      Delete
    8. Voltaire for CSM8

      Shit troll is shit.

      Delete
    9. "Shit troll is shit."

      You sure are.

      Delete
  7. Lets see if I can sum his blog post , blah blah blah whine whine whine I'm the victim not my fault yadda yadda yadda bitch bitch bitch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, you have failed to seriously engage with the ideas presented by James in his post. This won't convince anybody to see things your way; you're only whining.

      Delete
  8. If James 315 really believes all of the lies he just wrote, there's no way I can take him seriously. It's one straw man straight after another. Still, if it keeps his minions happy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you know there is always that one little flaw about straw men. and its always the same, not to mention they tend to believe their own lies, Ain't nothing we can do about it. So How bout a Little Fire Scarecrow.

      Delete
  9. "I am not the monster that my enemies make me out to be"

    No, just an ideological terrorist who seeks to make policy change through terrorism, extortion and the killing if unarmed civilians*

    That is why you wont get my CSM vote - the same way I wouldn't have voted for "Bin Laden" to be the UN secretary general.

    *read as "people who don't play the game the way I want them to".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Killing of unarmed civilians'
      Unarmed as in the massive tank that can be fitted to their barges and the all powerful CONCORD escort that accompanies them?

      Delete
    2. Killing unarmed civilian =/= destroying internet ships

      Delete
    3. @smee

      Tank is not arms. Is someone who wears a bullet proof jacket armed?

      Oh yeah and since when is 20k EHP a "massive" tank???

      CONCORD does not escort - it responds.

      Delete
    4. hisec miners are not civilians, they are vermin

      Delete
    5. Would you agree with this?

      "People who do not worship [insert name of some religious figure] are infidels"

      - or -

      "People who drive taxis for a living are vermin"

      .. or many many other examples. Of course you would not as they are both ridiculous things said only by mindless fools.

      Delete
    6. Miners who do not pay for their permits ARE criminals, and they will be punished for their crime, anon.

      If criminals insist on repeated criminality, then some folks will start getting irritated, and may name call them.

      Confiscating their ship and pod, and destroying both with anti-matter is entirely just, anon. It is also merely a financial penalty. The criminal gets a new clone, and can choose to obey the law and get a permit, or even give up mind destroying activities like mining.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous, March 3, 2013 at 1:34 PM said:
      *read as "people who don't play the game the way I want them to".
      -----------------------------------------
      You do realize that this would also apply to all the whinging carebears who want non-consenual PvP eliminated, right?

      Delete
    8. Agent Trask, while I appreciate roleplaying, debating while in rp-mode is frustrating and ineffective.
      Mining permits are not the law. NO is not the law in hi-sec, not even for that matter low-sec. You want to be the law? Claim 0.0 space and set up your code there.
      -Bantara

      Delete
  10. James does not go far enough, remove barges once and all - cancer can not be removed by the dozen bandaids proposed here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't personally recommend such a step, due to the role that mining plays in EVE's economy. Ships with a specialized ability to extract massive quantities of ore help keep the prices of shipbuilding low, allowing for an increase in PVP activity.

      What's more important is that mining be moved out of the safety of highsec. The reasons why people mine in highsec extend beyond the fact it's safe: there are very good logistical reasons to limit manufacturing activity to high-security space, mining low-end materials locally and importing high-ends from nullsec. Here's an article you should read: http://themittani.com/features/addressing-tritanium-problem

      The upshot is that there is a startling disparity between the availability of low-end minerals in nullsec and the material needs of manufacturing. If you want to manufacture in nullsec, you will quickly find that while high-end minerals are abundant, low-end minerals are scarce, and most construction projects (especially larger ships) require massive quantities of low-ends. Thus, manufacturers have two options: either they set up their factories in nullsec and import enormous quantities of low-end minerals from highsec, or they manufacture in the safety of highsec and import moderate quantities of low-end minerals from nullsec. It's no wonder that nullsec is so lifeless, and highsec so infested with carebears -- it's not just safe, it's practical.

      Delete
    2. *import moderate quantities of high-end minerals from nullsec

      Delete
  11. Your blog along with Mitanni speeches both remind me of a leader who once wanted to get rid of a group (like the care bears and botters) so that the important people could progress to their proper state. Be careful of what you all ask for, you may get more than you bargained.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ronald Reagan? Winston Churchill?

      Delete

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