Hi, my name is Luke Anninan and I am applying for CSM 17. Below I have summarised my EVE experience, thoughts on the current state of the game as well as my skills and knowledge I can bring if I was elected to CSM17. If you have any specific questions please feel free to comment on the post, find me in discord (I am in most of the EVE community discords) or mail me in game.
My EVE Story
I committed to EVE in 2018 (I had tried it on and off before but it had never really stuck). Spending the first couple of weeks in HighSec then later on moving to scanning Wormholes for exploration sites. After about a month of this I decided to take the plunge into NullSec and joined an ill-fated alliance called Deus Vult. At about the time Skillu evicted them from Wicked Creek, so it was time to find another home.
We moved to Fraternity in December 2018 months before the second war with TEST kicked off. It was the most fun I have had in my entire EVE career, yes TiDi was awful but there is nothing like the fights that you are invested in. I became an FC (albeit not a very good one, but found a knack for the planning side of things, even if my grid awareness was terrible) flying with all the friends that I had made. For 6 months we fought tooth and nail to hold Detorid. The end was always inevitable though but I like to think we put up a good fight and didn’t just give up. During this time, When I wasn’t in fleets I spent most of my free time running and learning about incursions and other methods of generating income while our home was camped.
As is always the case with the loser of any war we started the migration to our new home towards Oasa and Perrigen falls. Those corps that had stayed for the war, burnt out and most went to find pastures new outside of Fraternity. Being too stubborn to quit (and maybe a glutton for punishment) and I took on the role of director in Fraternity looking after the non-chinese speaking corporations (even if there were only a few of us left at the time).
Slowly rebuilding FRT-EN, one-by-one recruiting new corporations and FC’s, it taught me about a lot of the sides of the game that you don’t always get to see. How to manage large organisations of players, ensuring there is something for them to log in for, understanding how sovereignty and income generation works as well as the complex industrial chains required to have the big fights people log in for.
It was about this time I created my own corporation, Into Oblivion and started recruiting both veteran players and new players alike. It was a great insight into the new player experience and how they found the NPE, how to foster new players and support their journey in Eve. Also along the way pointing players at other areas of the game that they may find more enjoyable when/if they decide the NullSec life may not have been for them. Most of all though creating a place where people can just hangout, chill and play the common game that brought us together as a community.
Then the BRM changes hit and there was a clear need to diversify gameplay from just NullSec activities and expand into LowSec mission running, Pochven, Incursions as well other things like NPC burner missions and exporting to markets etc. Which led me and my alliance to Vale of the Silent, an area steeped in constant small gang fleets, and LowSec shenanigans.
Between the lines there is a lot that has been missed in this story through the retelling but it has given me the chance to experience a wide range of the game from HighSec mission running and exploration through to LowSec warfare, small scale skirmishing and the larger activities of Sovereignty, Infrastructure, strategy and the unique politics of NullSec all while building a community of players and ensure they have a reason and the desire to login.
Areas of Expertise
As you would imagine a lot of my areas of expertise are centred around NullSec, I am highly experienced in large scale PVP, and the execution of wider campaigns and the pros and cons of how the current sovereignty system operates.
The wider NullSec eco-system and things like how Upwell structures afford for a level of force projection that creates challenges outside the large groups, and the activity planning that would be nearly impossible without third party tools in a growing player community.
I have also played around in Wormhole space on the odd eviction and how they are utilised for fast travel.
From being a director of an alliance and a CEO of my own Corporation I have seen first hand the challenges in bringing new players into the game and making them want to stay around, whether this is introducing them to content they don’t know about or taking them through some of the elements that make EVE feel challenging at first (Looking at you default overview).
I have a strong knowledge of the various tooling provided by CCP through things like the ESI, SDK etc and how they can create and enable powerful tools for players but also where this creates barriers for entry for smaller groups due to the lack of potential internal skills.
Beyond all of the above a little insight into my life outside of EVE. I spend my days designing and developing technical strategies for many large organisations and planning how changes affect their wider eco-systems. I think this gives me considerable strength that could be used when discussing things with CCP’s Designers and Developers alike.
Why am I applying for CSM
I love EVE ONLINE. I want to see the game grow and continue to be something spoken about in another 10 years. In order to achieve that there are always things that need to change, whether this is due to bad design or simply that the mechanics are now understood too well that they lead to stagnation. I believe I am positioned in a place where I can collect, focus and impart player feedback as well as my own experience to CCP.
It would be remiss without saying I also have an ear to the Chinese community that makes up a major part of the player base on TQ but for obvious reasons are not always represented and feel all parts of the community should have a voice.
On top of all these things, you can choose to listen to the complaints (and make them at times) but be quiet when you have a chance to help. Or you can choose to try and make a difference.
What Can Players Expect
I will never profess to know everything about everything as such I promise to engage with all parts of the EVE community and listen to their concerns about whichever part of the game they want to discuss. I am approachable and am always willing to be contacted whether in game or on discord to discuss people’s subjects, interests or frustrations and pull them together in a form where I can best represent them to CCP.
One of the biggest challenges and skills I have had to develop in my current role in Fraternity is that of communication both in terms of communication with players whose English may not be their native language but also relationships between alliances and coalitions. I believe this skill is something players can expect to see put to good use in the CSM.
Whilst I am a member of a null alliance, I tend to take a largely unbiased view when it comes to things that need changing, trying to focus on the whole health of the game.
List of things that I personally think need changing (not exhaustive):
Sovereignty and Force Projection: The current mechanisms around jump bridges and ADMs make it far too easy for larger groups to hold swathes of space with a vice-like grip. While I do think larger groups are always going to have that ability to a degree, I think there are things that could reduce their dominance, or ability to hold large areas of space. For example the removal of ACLs on Upwell Navigation structures, fatigue etc or a penalty to ADMs the further a system is from an alliance’s capital system.
Things to fight over: the citadel changes were a step in the right direction by reducing the oppressive nature of some citadels and making medium structures easier to destroy, but the value of a medium structure is so low it’s easier to be risk averse and just drop another when it dies, rather then trigger a confrontation. One of the things that passive mining did was create a situation where people needed to fight over it. I think this is something that should be looked at again in line with the changes to medium structures.
Faction warfare, while I don’t profess to understand its details but a large portion of the player base take part in it so should be revamped as such, this is something that has been promised already so I wont add more to it until I see the final proposal.
PVE: A lot of the current PVE content is too systematic; it’s the same thing every time, not ignoring the issues that creates with things like scripting it needs to be more dynamic, new players come into the game experiencing the revamped NPE, then maybe jump into a couple of story arcs, but from there it becomes a relatively rinse and repeat exercise which begins the process of the game becoming the same and boring.
Quality of Life: there are a whole slew of minor things that would just improve the QoL of the game, for example the default navigation overview, the way the PI system works (for example adding PI templates rather the manual exercise of positioning everything), some tooling like ESI checking in game (why does an external API give me access to more information than a player can give in game?). There are many more things I could think of in this camp.