[CSM 15] Darius Caliente

Summary:

My name is Darius Caliente. I’m the leader and main FC of the often-politically-confusing .UFC. alliance that is currently based in Pure Blind. I’m a long-time alliance exec and FC and I want to provide a voice especially for those who live in the small and mid-sized alliance segment of New Eden. Given that I play in a cohort that is mostly silent, I expect that I may have several new ideas and very possibly some unpopular opinions, so I want to be upfront about them:

  1. I do not agree with all of the capital changes. We need to stop nerfing capitals based only on the largest groups’ playstyles. For example, the recent round of FAX changes were detrimental to smaller groups while not really impacting larger groups that use buffer faxes for large scale brawls. We need to consider the impact of future changes with respect to all those affected.

  2. I enjoy Fozzie sov. In my own experience, it’s a huge improvement over previous systems, and has allowed small, organized groups to “punch up” through smart gameplay. Sovereignty mechanics could use some small tweaks, but overall, I actually like them.

  3. I do not believe that Upwell structures are broken, unassailable structures. Personally, my alliance has had a lot of success fighting on them and a lot of content has been generated by them. Similarly, from the point of view of smaller alliances, Ansiblex locations were not broken when they were 200km from Upwell structures. I will say that I’m excited that the upcoming change for abandoned Upwell structures is one of the best changes we’ve seen for them.

  4. I believe that active moon mining was a positive change. This generates income, provides content, and forces an active participation in resource acquisition compared to the previous system.

My take on the top five changes that EVE needs right now:

  1. Botting needs to be hit even harder. Right now the exploration bots are out of control. Several major blocs are keeping up ADMs in space far outside their reach with ratting bots. Everyone knows which groups are doing it the most; many of us report the same system bots belonging to the same groups every day. Let’s make changes. If bots add to an ADM, when they are identified remove that ADM addition (even if it’s a drastic drop from Military Index 5 down to 1). If the same alliance has bots banned every day for a period of time in the same systems, remove the sov at downtime after 3 warnings (for example). Change relic and data analyzers so that you can’t warp while running a container.

  2. T2 battleships need love and iteration. For example, after the recent resistance nerfs, BLOPs should get T2 resists.

  3. ECM is still oppressive and, instead of preventing you from locking targets, should simply disable all ewar capabilities, while allowing you to still apply damage.

  4. Coalitions need to be dismantled. Since that’s a near-impossible order, we need to at least make an attempt to shake things up by making them less viable. Liquid Ozone consumption for anyone who is not the owner of an Ansiblex (anyone outside of the alliance the structure belongs to) should be greatly increased to the point that it becomes prohibitively expensive to put a 200-man fleet through multiple ansiblexes to cross multiple regions. I’m sure there is more that can be done but this would be a good start.

  5. Keepstar DDs should not apply to subcaps.

At the end of the day, I want EVE to be fun for the people who play it and love it, and painful for those who support botting. I want smaller groups to thrive without being massively impacted by changes meant to contain the power of the “big bloc” groups (even though those changes seldom impact them). I want to see less kiting and more of the big brawls that were so prevalent in years past. I want EVE to be fun so that we enjoy playing and so that new players want to keep playing.

Required Details

EVE Story

I discovered EVE back in 2011. My day job involves Python development and I was attending PyCon in Atlanta when I stumbled across a CCP Games booth and got myself a HTFU rubber bracelet. A colleague had played the game previously and after we ended up at a CCP Games party in a hotel suite, I decided I had enjoyed my time hanging out there and wanted to try playing the game. Three of my colleagues and I signed up together and created a corp called “Stackless Security Forces”: we thought it was an interesting name because of Stackless Python and our interest in the military (security) aspects of the game. Within weeks, all of my colleagues had stopped playing and I didn’t enjoy playing an MMO alone, so I quit. I came back later in 2011, determined to try again, and joined a high sec alliance that mined and missioned all day. After a war dec, I became interested in PVP and started taking out fleets. At the time I had no idea what I was doing, but I was hooked on this new element of gameplay and wanted my corpmates to come with me, so out we went!

After bouncing around high sec corps, I settled into the pirate corp “Intentionally Dense” living in Gyerzen in 2012. I flew with those dudes for over a year, eventually becoming CEO of the corp and putting us into the AT. After some fighting with other groups and internally, it was time to find something in 2014 different and so I tried a few options – “Tempest Legion”, “Razor”, and starting my own FW corp – nothing stuck. At the same time, I was becoming heavily involved with NPSI fleets. I was making a lot of ISK off Somer Blink at the time and donating prizes to Redemption Roams and RVB Ganked. I also started to FC regularly with Redemption and occasionally acted as a back-up for RVB. I also made my way back to the people I’d lived with in Gyerzen, who now lived in Fensi and were in “Easily Excited”.

As we entered 2015, there wasn’t a lot of content at the time, other than fighting with SYJ, so a corpmate and I founded “The Pinecone Squad” (my corpmate had a pinecone obsession) in order to start declaring war on random hauling corps. We had fun for a while and eventually moved over to Stacmon to engage in high sec piracy. It was there, via contacts, that we joined “Clockwork Pineapple” in order to do the AT. We had a few members at the time, but after the AT “Clockwork Pineapple” went into stasis and we ended up in “Rote Kapelle”. Our time in Rote was met with personality clashes and we moved on, looking for somewhere that we could just have fun. About that time, in early 2016, “Affirmative.” had joined Querious Fight Club and asked us to come be their military arm and to FC for them. Many of the competent PVPers in the alliance migrated to our corp and on top of FCing, we took over all alliance logistics. Soon, I was burning myself out with the amount of work I was putting into EVE. As the Querious Flight Club was assaulted and subsequently dissolved, we left and moved back to Syndicate in August of 2016.

In Syndicate, we grew a bit, reconnected with old friends, and fought “Gone Fission”. We formed “Tribes of Poitot” in an effort to take part in the AT, After some time in Syndicate (around March 2017), we left to try wormhole life and spent 6 months living in a C2 wormhole. Given the Syndicate reference in our alliance name, we disbanded “Tribes of Poitot” and formed “United Federation of Conifers”. After a few eviction attempts and after losing a few members, we decided to return to Syndicate. We learned a lot living in wormholes, but missed many of the elements of K-space, such as stable content and playing with capitals. Ironically, we ended up becoming friends with “Gone Fission” and began working together as one group. In the summer of 2018, my life got hectic and in-game we were in a non-stop war in Syndicate. I stepped away from the game for personal reasons, leaving my guys for a few months.

When I came back in October 2018, it was just in time for one of my annual Extra Life charity roams and we accidentally took sov while roaming in Fade. With that, we decided to move to Pure Blind. Since then we’ve done a lot of fighting, notably having killed trillions of isk from DEADCO until they finally died. For more than a year now we’ve been firmly planted in Pure Blind. We’ve had many great fights with DEADCO, INIT, SNUFF, and Goons. I’m still running the alliance and am still having a lot of fun. With such a varied and colorful past in areas that I feel are often under-represented in game, CSM would be a great next step to me.

Areas of Expertise

I fill an important gap that the CSM often has: I have a lot of experience in small and mid-sized, ‘unaligned’ alliances. In game, my groups have always worked with anyone who asks and generally only reach out for help when we’re desperately outgunned. We’re not in a mega-coalition or a major bloc, and we’re successfully holding space. The ideas that make a group of our size successful could likely be used to garner successes for other groups, which in turn would make Eve’s ecosystem a healthier place.

I’ve been handling diplomatic relations, alliance day-to-day, and FCing for quite a while and I’ve got a pretty good handle on how a small or mid-sized group can survive and what it takes to succeed. In addition, I have dabbled in theorycrafting, done small scale wormhole evictions, lived in low-class wormholes, and spent a few years as a low-sec pirate. I feel that this gives me a pretty well-rounded background to draw from. Few candidates can match the level of experience that I have in null-sec survival without joining a coalition, major bloc, or becoming a renter or pet. Our size of group seems to be typically overlooked when the impacts of changes are considered and I’d love to see groups like those of us in Pure Blind, Tribute, and Vale finally have a voice.

My variety of experiences makes me a well-rounded candidate that will have insight into numerous niche areas of Eve. I used to FC NPSI fleets, including a weekly interceptor fleet. I’ve participated in the Alliance Tournament multiple times. Additionally, while I don’t stream regularly, I do a charity stream once a year for 25 hours straight, which gives me a tiny window into the difficulties that streamers experience. I’ve even briefly written for EN24 under one of my alt accounts. Overall, I’ve been involved in many of the diverse in-game and out-of-game Eve activities and communities. This gives me a well-rounded and useful set of knowledge that I could bring to the CSM.

Why Run?

Often, I look at the candidate list and feel that nobody there represents my voice, the voice of my alliance, and alliances like mine. I want to especially see small and mid-sized groups have an advocate that is looking out for their interests and who wants to help this segment of the game flourish again. I want to see someone elected who represents all of the diverse styles of play and alliance sizes that I love, and that makes this game something that I love. I represent the group that doesn’t have dedicated SIGS to handle every aspect of their lives: the group that doesn’t print ISK and instead struggles to pay their bills. We’re the ‘working middle class’ of New Eden and nobody pays attention to us… it’s about time that we had a say!

What can you expect?

Honesty and a commitment to drive change for the better, especially for small and mid-sized alliances, who I see as the lifeblood of Eve. I’m passionate by nature and honestly I’m someone who is not afraid to argue. I can become a bit hot-headed at times, but I feel that I also know when to stand aside or let things lie. I’ve worked in tech for 20 years and have spent quite a while in management. My skill set includes strong communication skills, teamwork-based approaches, and how to set goals and get things done. My main goal is to provide a voice for those who haven’t had one on the CSM. I will work to give them one!

Finally, I thought it might be fun to list the things I’m most proud of over my 9+ years playing EVE Online

  • Raising $7,711.28 USD via Extra Life for SickKids Hospital in Toronto, Canada while streaming EVE Online. I did the easy part here by staying up all night… the generosity of the EVE community is what really made this happen. Last year, we gave away a Nyx, we’ve roamed freighters 100+ jumps, and we’ve welped kitchen sink fleets. I also couldn’t have done this without my alliance, they stay up with me and keep me going throughout the stream, which brings me to the next item on this list.
  • The United Federation of Conifers. I love my alliance. When I was on Pando’s FC chat, I mentioned that we’re a family. I think that we’ve realized that more during COVID-19 than ever before. We’re checking on each other, sharing phone calls and texts, and keeping each other sane. I really do love these guys.
  • Taking PPG-XC TCU in Cloud Ring to plant our flag. I even made a reddit post about this. I love the lore behind this system and always wanted to see it with our sov.
  • Holding the north hostage. For over a year, we slowly wore down DEADCO causing members to leave, killing titans and supers, dropping structures in their sov. They tried repeatedly to push us out and failed every time.
  • The real-life friendships. I’ve lost count of how many EVE players I’ve met up with, had lunch with, and hung out with. The facebook conversations, the phone calls, playing other games, and planning our first Alliance meet-up. This may be a reiteration of #2 in many ways, but my EVE family extends far beyond my alliance. It’s proof that EVE really is a game like no other and I love it for that.
  • My time spent in Signal Cartel. I lead some tourism fleets, gave multiple people their first experience with titan and black ops bridges, helped run their fitting forums, and more.

If anyone wants to talk they can mail me in game or reach out on discord – Darius#0851. Thanks for reading to the end.

16 Likes

First. I endorse this man

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+1 No better choice.

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OH ITS ON NOW

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Official Supported CSM Candidate of AT XIV Commentator / Starsi Chairman’s Board Gorion Wassenar. Give em’ hell.

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+1 Defo getting a vote from me bro, GL!

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Why do you make it sound like UFC rejects the blocs and only fights alone? where is the mention and credit for all the people who help you?

What a brilliant idea, more reason for everyone to be merged into 1 main alliance. Aegis sov follows a similar concept (only the defending alliance can defensively toast) and look what happened.

That was definitely not my intention. Recently, we’ve used our fair share of batphones against the blobs… everyone does these days unfortunately and when 5 or more large alliances push on one little alliance, it’s bound to happen. I’m saying that I want EVE to get back to the point where smaller groups don’t have to constantly batphone. The blocs have many voices on CSM, they don’t need my voice. That’s not the group I want to represent.

I like Aegis Sov and the concept that only the defending alliance can defensively toast… I think it gave a lot of power back to small groups. If we look at Phoebe changes, they were designed to limit power projection. Ansiblexes reintroduced that power projection. Most of the people I’ve spoken with (aka those outside the blocs) want jump fatigue and polarization-like concepts for Ansiblexes. I feel like increased cost of power projection is a good middle ground.

At the end of the day, I think that the CSM should be a variety of voices with a variety of opinions. I don’t think those opinions will all be implemented. I think that it’s about offering valid counter points to further the discussion to find something that works for the majority. The CSM has lacked that variety of voices. I have friends in blocs, I’ve worked with blocs, but I shouldn’t be the voice of the bloc. My voice is that of the smaller alliance and, as such, my ideas won’t necessarily work for the blocs… just as most of the bloc ideas are awful for me but by having different voices hopefully we get to to a solution that is acceptable for everyone.

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100% :heart_decoration:
Eve Online is a great game. It is part of our life and culture. I played Eve Online for almost half of my existence, and I agree on several points you made. +1 :fire:

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Darius!
Great news, I hope you get elected. I flew with you in Redemption fleets as a former trader who developed a taste for PvP and fleets through these fleets and flying with Agony Unleashed. Now I scout and dabble in FCing with Redemption Road’. Love this game. I will vote for you and spread the word!
Regards,
Jeff

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As a former EU member of Deadco (which lets be honest struggled to pull 100 toons in US/EU timezones) now thrown into the clusterfuck that is imperium… I loath being a member of one of the big power blocs to the point ive all but stopped playing… I miss UFC and the 20v20 fights and general fun we used to have with each other…

You have my vote Mr Caliente
Good Luck Sir.

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Just out of interested what keeps you kart of those large blocs that you say you loath? This is fascinating behaviour and I would like to know more please