My EVE Online story aka Who Am I and What I Believe
I started playing at the tailend of 2014 after my friend showed me the ‘This Is Eve’ trailer and I’ve failed upwards since. I’ve been involved in nullsec blocs, small gang roams, daytripping in wormholes, capital production and market trading. One of my most rewarding choices was answering Matterall’s call for a production assistant for the Talking in Stations podcast two years ago. Today I’m the head producer for TiS and also help produce The Meta Show. Two years ago, in April of 2018, Matterall advertised a producer position for Talking in Stations podcast. I had listened to the show but I met Matterall the year before and we shared a train car and were introduced. I answered the call because I loved Eve, and still do, probably more than I should. I wanted to understand more of what was going on and how players affected each other in the universe. What I learned and still learn every day is that Eve Online is the story of us, how we log in every day and try to make our fleet, our corporation, whatever group we fly with a little better than the day before. The hopes and dreams that we carry with us and the brothers and sisters that are there to pick us up and rebuild in the losses, the evictions and the starting over. In doing this I’ve built a great network where I hear from many voices and many backgrounds.
That’s important because on the CSM CCP presents us with a lot of metrics, and I am uniquely suited to give context to those metrics, especially because I have listened to those voices that don’t make it past the noise that is r/eve or even the forums.
Why am I applying for the CSM?
I’m running for CSM 15 upon a couple of observations. CCP has taken a vested interest in ensuring the longevity of Eve Online and are taking an active role in that measure. No longer is the mindset of letting perfect get in the way of the good, but more of a move fast and break things. Having good feedback is crucial to ensure CCP doesn’t start down the path of throwing things against a wall and hoping to find what sticks. CCP Dopamine stated in his interview with Jintaan that he welcomes feedback from all sources and I fundamentally disagreed with it. There is so much feedback generated from opinions with no facts, no realistic expectations of what is possible that burnout from the very vocal minority is all but assured. CCP Rise said in his interview with the Less than 10 podcast that Eve’s interconnectedness is often the source of much frustration and often the lack of a balance changes due to the unpredictableness of aftereffect.
Eve was never about being a zero sum game, that one benefit to a playstyle was a complete loss to the other. Eve always grew the fastest when changes had a net benefit over different playstyles. For instance, lowsec saw the most diversity in playstyles in the pre-citadel days. While mission and LP payouts were skewed and FW felt like a stale mechanic, it supported a diverse ecosystem of playstyles and alliances that would fall out of nullsec and come to revitalize and shed dead weight before their next foray in. While citadels lowered the barrier of entry into sov nullsec and gave powerful tools to capital builders, in lowsec it wrecked years of history and there are just shadows of the players that used to be. And so, proper changes to citadel mechanics will not only bring back older lowsec players back to their styles, it will reduce the barrier to conflict in nullsec where structure spam is a criteria for whether or not fighting actually happens.
My Area of Expertise
The point of the CSM is not just advocacy but being a proper soundboard for CCP to gauge responses to changes to a wide variety of areas. Having a background that can understand what makes good feedback, what is reasonable and unreasonable, healthy and unsustainable is what makes the ideal CSM candidate. My job as producer is to understand what the current meta of Eve is shaping to be, to understand the pain points; the struggles of losing, evicting, starting over and on the other side, the victories, the conquests and the building of empires. In this, my background is ideal in providing a neutral, unbiased (or as little bias as possible) point of view on a wide variety of topics. I wake up every day and try to do a little better at understanding and being able to effectively communicate those stories of victories and losses every day. I am not the best at witty tweets, I often don’t speak the most or the loudest on discord but I spend all my energy trying to write better shows that give people great and smaller a platform to share their experiences.
Change is coming to Eve, that much has been made clear from CCP and I want to be by their side helping them make the most informed decision about the direction as possible.
What I Hope to Accomplish and What You Can Expect From ME
The job of the CSM to first and foremost investigate what the fundamental problems are in Eve.
I started the White Papers Initiative as an idea to better bring together the everyday experts of a wide variety of playstyles to form a more complete idea of those problems and use them as a holistic group of people to measure the effect that game changes and mechanics have on a player. This in turn will provide CCP with context to data they collect on the backend to provide a more perfect update. What you can expect from me is what you could expect of any ideal, effective leadership and these are the common denominator traits that are found in all good leaders: empathy, humbleness, willing to listen to sound counsel, decisive pragmatism, effective communication, consistency and a strong sense of duty to the player base. If you are willing to reach out to me and give me your feedback on the game and help me understand your viewpoint then I’m on your team.
Now more than ever the CSM needs a candidate that has excellent cross communication skills, that can listen not to respond but to understand. My job as a producer lives and dies by having the right reputation for finding truth in rumor, understanding the story of players in Eve Online and reaching out in the way that invites conversation.