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Apothne for CSM XI

First post
Pandemic Legion
#1 - 2015-12-02 22:07:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Apothne
Hello everyone,

I’m Apothne, and I would like to put my name forward to be one of the few to serve EVE players and CCP on CSM11.

My History in EVE

I created my character in 2010, joined a mining corp and had several stop/starts to playing. After an extended break I decided I wanted to learn about the game properly, get out of mining on my own and thus joined EVE University. In EVE University at the time, there was one scheduled fleet per week called “noobs on patrol”, I didn’t want to wait a week for another one so after something like my second fleet I started taking them out daily, sometimes more than daily. To this day i enjoy maintaining a presence there, I am a guest lecturer and FC, and I have recently started running a focused, hands-on FC training program for them to encourage the next generation of content creators.

After something like eight months I joined SniggWaffe with the expressed interest in furthering my ability in FCing. I listened, learned and similarly to E-Uni, I earnt my place as one of the main Waffle FCs. To this day I am one of the senior directors for them. My love for FCing and fleet combat grew and grew as I got to experience more fleet doctrine ideas, experiment with my own and roam, attend timers, fly in low and null, and fight in everything from huge battles to tiny skirmishes. I’ve FCed public roams for various groups and been invited to different corps/alliances to discuss doctrinal design and give advice to their fleet commanders. It was during my time in Waffles that I attended my first Fanfest (just booked tickets to 2016, yay!) where I got to present at the last Alliance Panel (and was the final speaker, I hope it wasn’t me that killed it). Waffles was also where I found my love of EVE tournaments, and was surprised to find myself casting ATXII, despite being a much younger player than all the others on the panel.

In November of 2014, I took the plunge and moved to Sniggerdly in PL, tried FCing in a vastly different environment and got to take part in fleets so unlike anything else I have ever done. One of my favourite things about PL is that for a younger to middle aged player it is an amazing learning environment. More recently, my attentions have been focused on the AT and now #EVE_NT Collides both casting the main tournament and hosting the new Fight Club tournament to let less established groups dip their toes into the tournament waters, as well as trying out soloing and a few other projects of parts of EVE I haven’t really interacted with before. This is one of the wonderful things about EVE, there’s so much to do! Even outside of the game there’s amazing meetups to attend to meet the real people behind the characters. I even got invited back to cast ATXIII!

Why I want to run for CSM11

Those of you who have seen me on the Alliance Tournament stream, read my articles on Crossing Zebras, watched the series of CZTV episodes I made or have listened to any of the podcasts I’ve been invited on will have some familiarity with my ideas and raw passion EVE. My main strength in this endeavour is my combined patience and enthusiasm. I love to sit down and talk to different people and groups, to discuss their ideas and what they enjoy about their gameplay style. All approaches to EVE need to be balanced and interact to produce engaging gameplay, be they aggressor or defender, industrialist or explorer. EVE is a giant, beautiful, interconnected living thing.

To this end, I think the most important quality of a good CSM is the ability to ask questions without already having an answer they want to hear. Not only to be present for but really listen to what people are saying to you, to see the problem from their point of view and get a depth of understanding for why they are making the argument they are making. As a CSM, my pledge of how I would operate would be to be as open and communicative as possible with the player base, on a personal and group level, to amass as much feedback as possible and be able to present it to CCP in a organised and constructive fashion. Let me give an example:

Let’s say the next thing being worked on by CCP is highsec war decs. My promise to the players, should I be elected, is that I would reach out to as many people directly involved in highsec wardeccing as possible and sit down and listen and ask questions. When it comes to interviews, I much prefer the James Lipton method to a highlight reel of the key points. I want to immerse myself in the different sides of the community it would affect, put a character into a highsec wardeccing corp for example and get a real feel for the situation. I want to hold open “inverse” Q&As, so for example a whole group of highsec groups could come and talk to me, when I would be the one asking questions, and unlike CCPers I can sit there and listen for as long as it takes for everyone to say what they want to say. I’d probably aim to host one of those every fortnight to three weeks, with either a given topic that the CSM are working on, or anything anyone wants to bring up. I think the approach Sugar Kyle has taken to the CSM has been fantastic, and I want to expand on that approach. In addition, I want to continue a tradition of previous CSMs who have posted weekly updates with what’s been going on, even if there’s not a whole lot that specific week, or if it’s heavily NDAed.
Pandemic Legion
#2 - 2015-12-02 22:07:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Apothne
A big part, if not the most important part, of the CSM as a whole is the interaction with each player party, the CSM itself as well as CCP. I believe the primary role of the CSM as a body is to enhance communication. I pledge that I will treat every member of the CSM, community and CCP with respect and have a polite discussion regarding their viewpoint when performing my role, regardless of what my personal take on the situation is. I may not even agree with that person in the end, but it would be my duty take their viewpoint seriously and do my best to represent it. In my opinion everyone has valid and useful feedback, even if it is tempered by a misunderstanding or bias. It is through sitting down with them, listening and asking questions that you can reach a point of understanding about the crux of their issue, this is what game design decisions need to be made upon. I do not care if I “win” or “lose” the argument, if I was wrong at the beginning or right. My job as a sounding board and communicator would be to find the truth, not insist I already have it and take any iteration or paradigm shift as a blow to ego. That’s pointless and unconstructive. Being on the CSM is not for me, it’s for everyone else. I’m not saying I will somehow magically remove any infighting, but it is a principle I think is important to be going in with.

Thanks to the opportunities I have been given through the Alliance Tournament, I have already had the chance to work with CCP behind the scenes under NDA to some extent, and I would like to think we got on rather well. So often we forget that these are people who love the game as much as the most passionate of players (who tend to get hired and become the CCPers anyway), and I genuinely believe that so much of the angst and drama could have been avoided with better communication. I want to be the one to facilitate that communication. That said, I will be frank and clear when things are wrong. Sugar-coating things is only a delay tactic, I believe the correct way to fix something is to get to the point of the difficulty, and then discuss it calmly whilst trying to understand, not just listen to, but understand the ideas behind the views being presented.

So that’s the general stuff out of the way, let’s talk about my ideas for game development and what direction I would try to help steer the game developers.. I believe I express the core of my philosophy with regard to the future design of EVE in my “F*ck Ishtars” series on Crossing Zebras.

I want the design space of EVE to allow for as many tools as possible to be viable to do what you want, such that they engage in interesting decision-making for the players. I believe that it is in those decisions that we find a lot of fun and good gameplay, as well as allowing players who put their time and effort into the understanding of this behemoth of complexity to be rewarded for their skills, be they theoretical or executional. The “casual player” who just wants to play for an hour or two to unwind after putting the kids to bed, who doesn’t want to spend hours and hours studying and practicing EVE, should absolutely have a straightforward and fun playstyle that does not require heavy investment. Equally, those who do spend hours practicing their piloting and theorycrafting should have an advantage, but that advantage should be reliant on their ability, not just as a function of how much ISK they can bring to the field.

Another issue I want to represent is the transition of phases of Eve players from newbro all the way up to 10-year vet. We often talk about “how does this affect newbros” or “aaaagh old players are getting screwed”, but how does a player develop? When are they a new player, when are they middle-aged? How do changes affect those with 20, 40, 60 or 80m SP rather than just 0 vs. 120? One of the keys to player retention is not just the first week, it’s the transition phases. I am not a new player any more, but I’m not old either. Through my work with E-Uni and some RL friends I work with new players often, and it’s impossible to be in PL without hearing the viewpoint of players who have played the game since its earliest days either.

In summary, I want to be a CSM for communication, collaboration, engagement and excitement. I am more than happy to answer questions in specific views I hold to specific aspects of the game in this thread, but I thought that the above is a far more important resource in deciding whether you, as a player, want me to be one of the ones advocating for you to CCP, and for CCP to you. Whenever I take on a project, I take it on seriously; when I was given the opportunity to cast the Alliance Tournament, I damn well did my homework, producing a 32-page document about all the teams, their histories, and kept it updated with matches as they happened, interviewing as many people as possible so every team was represented as well as possible when I spoke about them on stream. I did something similar this year, posting briefer versions on Crossing Zebras. I can and will work my ass off if elected.

I have such passion for his game, I really want to help the CSM, CCP and all the players towards making it an even greater game, as well as repairing some of the dissonance between the three parties. If you like the way I think about EVE and my proposed approach to serving on the CSM, please consider voting for me.
Pandemic Legion
#3 - 2015-12-02 22:08:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Apothne
Links to some things I have done that espouse my EVE philosophy

Everything I’ve ever done on CZ
F*ck Ishtars
My pre-analysis of the BC changes
Me on fleet warp changes
My analysis of the state of Navy Cruisers
Me on Scylla nerfs
Article on FCing and another one about roaming specifically
CSM Watch interview and analysis show
Declarations of War CSM round table

Shut up and give us a TL;DR

I want to stand for an EVE that gives players of all time commitments and preferences to playstyle engaging and rewarding content, that they can excel at based on the decisions they make.

I want to put all the enthusiasm and passion I have for this game into serving it and the playerbase to the best of my ability. I am not running for this position for my own ego or for more publicity or anything like that, I would want to do it even if it were anonymous. To explain what I want to do in its most concise form is I want to be the person who listens, compiles feedback, organises it in an intelligible and relevant manner, and then present it up and down the communication chain. This, in my opinion, is what the CSM is for, and this is what I want to do.

I like this image.
Snuffed Out
#4 - 2015-12-02 22:26:10 UTC
I can think of few people as genuinely passionate about EVE Online as Apothne. He has always put the quality of content for everyone before "winning" or any personal or political agenda while maintaining a hands-on knowledge about the game rivaled by few, which is why I am confident he will make one of the best CSM that has ever been on the council.

Do yourself and the community a favour - vote Apothne for CSM

Crossing Zebras
GMVA head diplomat
Brave Collective
#5 - 2015-12-02 23:08:00 UTC
I fully support Apothne for the CSM.

He is well spoken, open minded, and able to listen a variety of opinions.

His knowledge, energy, and positive attitude would be of significant benefit to the CSM.
#6 - 2015-12-02 23:34:43 UTC
fat + 1 for this guy!
Ghost Legion.
#7 - 2015-12-08 20:53:43 UTC
rest assured that apoth will push more for the small guy troubles and worries (eve uni / waffles) than be a PL mouthpiece



Pandemic Legion
#8 - 2015-12-09 04:16:21 UTC  |  Edited by: Apothne
Ryu Chaos wrote:
rest assured that apoth will push more for the small guy troubles and worries (eve uni / waffles) than be a PL mouthpiece


I kinda like the idea of being a PL mouthpiece if it means I get handsome nerds like Elise and RocketX blowing me.
#9 - 2015-12-09 04:48:53 UTC
Apothne is a good man and has proven he's a total dork that's in love with EVE.
Pandemic Legion
#10 - 2015-12-22 18:37:49 UTC
Here's a ~thing~ I wrote on Power Creep in EVE Online:

Gallente Federation
#11 - 2015-12-23 02:22:40 UTC
You should be there.

Here is a valid question though. The CSM basically makes good and happy people into.. not so good and happy people.

Do you REALLY want this job? We like you for what you do.

We are afraid we'd lose you if you get elected.


Pandemic Legion
#12 - 2015-12-23 05:45:01 UTC
Phoenix Jones wrote:
You should be there.

Here is a valid question though. The CSM basically makes good and happy people into.. not so good and happy people.

Do you REALLY want this job? We like you for what you do.

We are afraid we'd lose you if you get elected.

I was told that would happen when I joined PL, 14 months in and still going strong :D
A Band Apart.
#13 - 2015-12-23 10:39:47 UTC
Definitely a +1 from me.

If you get elected, try not to burn out and enjoy the game though!
Gallente Federation
#14 - 2015-12-23 13:16:39 UTC
Apothne wrote:
Phoenix Jones wrote:
You should be there.

Here is a valid question though. The CSM basically makes good and happy people into.. not so good and happy people.

Do you REALLY want this job? We like you for what you do.

We are afraid we'd lose you if you get elected.

I was told that would happen when I joined PL, 14 months in and still going strong :D

PL is not quite the CSM though. Best of luck regardless.


Caldari State
#15 - 2015-12-25 14:00:47 UTC

Though I have seen way too many good people win csm then stop playing when their term was done.
Pandemic Legion
#16 - 2015-12-30 20:04:44 UTC  |  Edited by: Apothne
So, a couple people have asked me who I would like to see on the CSM. The following are people I've had the pleasure of interacting with to some extent ingame/IRL, there may be a great many amazing candidates but I can't say much about them without any interaction now can I?

Gorski Car - He knows his ****, but not only that he can articulate it well too. He has a very idiosyncratic sense of humour but when it's realtalk time he's great to have discussions with.

Mr Hyde - Again, he knows his **** and is really good at communicating his ideas calmly with respect for alternate opinions. Super helpful, super nice, good guy.

Nashh Kadavr - Holy **** is this man a workhorse. Through working with him on EVE-NT Collides and Fight club, as well as the Nottingham meets I know this man will both work his ass off and be able to work with other people effectively.

Notice, the important thing here is not that they're some alliance leader or that they have a mega-broad knowledge of the game, but that they are good at working as part of a group and can communicate, listen and debate well without losing their temper quickly. I'm also fairly convinced that these are honest people, by which I meant I can see a genuine love for the game in them, and that their opinions are not likely to be bought or changed by some level of politics.

So yeah, should I get on CSM these are the people who I would really like to be working with, and if I don't get on I believe they would be a credit to the institution regardless. Thus far they're easily the top 3 I'm voting for thus far.
Of Sound Mind
#17 - 2015-12-30 20:39:36 UTC
Big +1 for a good dude with a genuine passion for the game demonstrated by a long history of community involvement. Good luck mate, you have my vote.
Pandemic Legion
#18 - 2015-12-30 21:07:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Apothne
Am doing/have done a reddit AMA here.
#19 - 2015-12-30 21:40:59 UTC
Only if you take that red coat off.
Rejection Of Sovereignty
#20 - 2015-12-30 21:53:15 UTC
You seem like a stand-up guy, and open-minded to boot. You've got my vote.

Opinionated analyst, CSM XI candidate

Get in touch with me via tweetfleet slack (Kyle Aparthos), reddit (u/KyleAparthos), in-game, or via email (kyle.brashear@hotmail.com) for all of your Analysis needs :)

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