Your EVE Online story.
I started playing EVE Online in 2007 with my younger brother, after we became a little bored with World of Warcraft and other games. We were both hardcore Star Wars fans, so the thought of a spaceship-based MMO sounded awesome. I played EVE on and off while I was in college, and still remember to this day how we were told to make a Caldari character and train up a Raven to run level 4 missions to make that sweet, sweet ISK. I have always been a person that likes to grind to make money and build things. The complexity of EVE Online was just the right thing to scratch that “looting and building” gaming itch. It led me to set up my first POS to do T2 inventions and start my market activities. I enjoyed the game, and my accounts grew in both numbers and SP as I explored wormholes (I tried to live there on my own), built T3 ships and mined my heart out.
Fast forward several years later, and I had made a home with some good friends who I met by exchanging gifts of ammo at each other’s ships. We were a part of several alliances over several years, and we finally settled down to rent some space in the dronelands as a corp to take a break from being a part of an alliance. I took a few months off after we moved to renting, and then when I came back, it turned out my corpmates had decided to try their hand at forming an alliance and called it Phoenix Company Alliance. In its infancy, our new alliance was just our core corporation trying to make ends meet on our own. Nobody really wanted to run the alliance, so I ended up taking over and started working towards building things up. As nice as it was to have a system to rat and mine in, the cost of renting out systems was very tough to make depending on our singular corp activity (if memory serves right it was between 10-15 bil a month).
Luckily at this time, CO2 decided to invade the dronelands and we took up arms with XIX and the people in the dronelands to defend the space. We earned ourselves some recognition, and were in a position to potentially stop renting, with a focus on building up the alliance to help fight and protect the area. We were eventually given a constellation in Etherium Reach, where we worked on recruiting new corps and slowly building up the alliance. It was not an easy thing, as we were a very small group at the time (sub 1000 characters) and making isk on the alliance level was pure cancer. I was managing about 25 R4 and R16 moons in an attempt to provide ISK for SRP and pay the general bills. Then, when Aegis Sov was getting ready to be implemented, we were given the chance to take up space in Malpais and help protect the renters from any troll sov warfare. I know many people dislike the style of sov warfare, but at the time it gave us a unique opportunity (as a small alliance) to hold space without paying rent. It was a great challenge and there were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but having a chance to build a sand castle, even if it is knocked down, is still probably one of the most satisfying things to do in EVE online.
After stepping down from my alliance leadership role, I spent some time in wormhole space and other alliances to take a break. I was really burned out at the time – ready to quit the game, almost – but I finally decided to do something different. After spending most of my EVE career within “Grr Goons” groups, I decided to join the “bad guys” and see what their situation was all about.
Almost 8 years later I am still here and loving every bit of it. I had enjoyed some rudimentary spying and meta-game experience during my time as an alliance executive, and I had really enjoyed that. So when I joined goons, I dedicated myself to being a spy, and also later became a diplomat for Goonswarm. As a spy and a diplo, I have had the unique opportunity to see EVE through the eyes of many different perspectives and cultures. I do a lot of outreach to small groups and alliances on a daily basis to get to know them and what they want to accomplish in the game.
That outreach is so interesting because I get to listen to what people want to create and build with their alliance. This is something I don’t feel that many people or organizations do and really spend time getting to know some of these smaller groups. The more smaller alliances you speak to (in my opinion) the better idea you get of their struggles and what their hopes and dreams for their alliance is.
Your areas of expertise. In which areas of the game do you feel you are the most knowledgeable? What qualities set you apart from other candidates?
My area of expertise revolves around building space-castles, understanding how small alliances work and their struggles to build up an alliance. As a diplomat and spy with Goonswarm I talk to a lot of people, both learning about their struggles and what might make it easier for more alliances to spring up. I have a unique perspective, in that I both talk to a lot of small alliances and their leaders and also through spying I see how things are from a line member perspective amongst the other alliances. Most null sec candidates have a view that is shaped around their organization and their time in that organization. My view is not limited by just Goonswarm or the Imperium, I secretly infiltrate and view other organizations from the inside and evaluate them.
Why are you applying for the CSM?
EVE Online is more than a game to me after playing for 15 years, at this point it is a hobby. With my space-job I talk to many independent alliances, as well as large blocs. The long and short of the matter is that to have an effective alliance that helps promote their alliance members to buy into their alliance, we need to not burn out their leadership by developing tools outside of the game to help their alliance. A lot of time is spent on getting new players accustomed to the game and how to enjoy it but that is generally the end of the help. They are encouraged to join a corp and alliance to get plugged into a community but where is the help and support for the people that want to build up an alliance?
I believe CCP needs to give alliances more tools so they can spend more time playing the game instead of having to recruit and hire volunteers who program to make tools for alliances to make money and survive. When I was the leader of my alliance I faced the same problem that many alliances face even to this day… “how do we pay our bills’’. Giving an alliance tools to earn income to help facilitate fun for the group needs to be a tool available in the game. The mining ledger is a great tool that was introduced but requires tens if not hundreds of man hours to develop a program to help an alliance track what is getting mined and the ability to have the choice to tax those activities.
EVE needs people in the system, fighting, mining and manufacturing goods in game, not having to spend hours upon hours coding and making new tools just so a new alliance can be successful. In addition to that, what also gives alliances and their members motivation to play, fight and build up is the ability for them to plant a flag in space and say “This is mine”. Some might say that is a bit of vanity but people want to be able to see a beacon of their efforts to take space and the countless hours they spent doing that. In the current set up of EVE, it is not very conducive to allowing smaller alliances to plant their flag without either getting into bed with a large bloc, renting space, or being large enough to hold your own. EVE Online needs more alliances and giving them space to lay claim to space without having to worry about a large bloc taking it from them.
What can players expect from you?
Players can expect an ear to talk about their issues and bring up what they believe could help EVE online grow and keep our hobby going for decades to come. I am a strong proponent that no idea is a bad idea and I am always interested in wild and wacky ideas on how to make things better. I am almost always reachable and always accept conversations to chat about whatever EVE things you want to talk or ask about. Probably the most important thing is I want to help give feedback to CCP to help keep my favorite hobby alive and available for other people to enjoy it like I have.