Howdy, space friends.
I am Xeromus Plague, organizer for BreadFleet and Interstellar Triglavian Collective.
I am writing today to ask your support for election to CSM 16. I think myself well positioned to represent the interests of a diverse playerbase, for reasons I will explain below.
MY EVE ONLINE STORY:
I came to EVE from WoW, which was a deeply confusing transition. I fell in love with New Eden the very moment I logged in for the first time, and yet had great difficulty wrapping my head around the new world I’d come to inhabit. I was accustomed to games that protected material wealth - the effects of shiploss, coupled with my own deep ignorance of game mechanics, led to me suffering preventable defeats.
For context - my VERY FIRST loss in this game was an Astero. Fit with mining equipment. In lowsec.
Suffice it to say, I learned everything in this game the hardest way possible - by throwing isk and ships and corpses at my questions.
Struggling with solo life, I got really into EVE lore… and found myself drawn to the Blood Raiders. I set about learning which player group controlled Delve, and thus joined up with Karmafleet to gain access to Blood Raider space. From there, I RP’d as a Blood Raider, losing a bunch of Bhaalgorns and other ships I had no business flying, ultimately failing as a krab but enjoying the process of being a space pirate. Due to an error in the recording of paps, I was mistakenly kicked from KF 3 months later. Though I’d been participating in fleets, I hadn’t been receiving credit, and so found myself locked out of all friendly stations, unable to access any of my assets, and once again without friends deep in hostile space.
This was the pivotal moment for me - I felt so overwhelmed and frustrated by EVE. I couldn’t seem to find a place where I could effectively learn about the game… I’d picked up some lessons from more experienced players in KF, but ultimately was left to my own devices and didn’t improve much at the game. I couldn’t afford to asset safety my battleships, so I was locked out from everything I owned, and I nearly wanted to quit.
It was from this position of frustration and isolation I formed BreadFleet, a small corporation of philosophical comrades. The goal was to create an environment that would help new players find their path in New Eden, and spare them the unrelenting trial and error I’d endured.
In this small gang lifestyle, I found exactly where I belonged ingame. We tried our hand as highsec miners, and finding that unproductive we took to diving into Nullsec for random PVP adventures. We trained our pilots to fly incursions, to print ISK and fund whatever shenanigans they enjoyed. We helped folk explore whatever they enjoyed in New Eden, and maintained a supportive and friendly environment intended to promote growth. We built a team that, though significantly smaller and less influential than other organizations, was able to achieve quite a lot by virtue of friendship and teamwork alone. We were nomadic, free to wander and explore content at our leisure.
Our team was put to the test during the Triglavian invasion. In keeping with our anti-authoritarian mindset, we made war on the empires of New Eden, and shed blood for the cause of Triglavian liberation. I personally FC’d for 13 hours solid during the battle for Niarja, and my comrades in BreadFleet/ITC threw everything they had at the conflict. Many of my corp and alliance mates were also FC’s, logi, or other key players during the war - we invested everything we had into creating the region of Pochven, and ultimately to settling here permanently.
We, who were once highsec carebears, have been thrust into the life of a wormhole corp. We’ve fought uphill against significantly larger groups, and learned to live in hostile space with no protection. We’ve stood our ground, as friends have packed up and left the neighborhood… we’ve learned to survive deep within the abyss. My evolution as a player is tied deeply to my adventures with my corp, my alliance, and all the friends I’ve met ingame.
MY AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
Though I am deeply invested in the Triglavian community and the longevity of the Pochven region, I also think myself qualified to speak on behalf of small gangs, casuals, newbros, carebears, and as an advocate for the new player experience. I can speak to what difficulties are faced by folks coming to EVE from other games, and how to better communicate the true nature of EVE in a way that encourages greater player retention. I have personally recruited about 70 new players to the game, and found roughly 1/7 stick around long term. Certainly mine is a small sample size, but I still think I may have useful insights into what scares new players away, and what keeps them coming back.
I also really love EVE lore, and though I’m not an expert I did win the GM Week short story contest; so perhaps I have a knack for creativity within the EVE universe that might serve me in this capacity.
In many ways, I think I come to the CSM as a representative of ignorance - I speak for the confused, the befuddled, and the overwhelmed. Those who came to EVE within recent years, and are still catching up with more established players. What sets me apart from the other candidates is, I am quite possibly the worst capsuleer in New Eden, and can speak to the difficulties faced by the very newest and least experienced pilots in the game.
WHY ARE YOU APPLYING FOR THE CSM?
I am pretty good at making memes, and believe I could increase CSM meme production by at least 80%.
Also, I love this game, and have a history of political activism on similar committees irl. I would be pleased to serve the people of New Eden, and think the CSM is a path suited to my personal experiences and strengths.
WHAT CAN PLAYERS EXPECT FROM YOU?
If elected, I will share pictures of my dog. I will be accessible to the capsuleers I represent, and will work to ensure the integrity of the game is maintained. I will speak with a mind towards attracting new players, and encouraging those new players to commit to EVE long term. I will advocate a world with T2 Triglavian battleships, a Trig epic arc, and all manner of refreshing new content in Pochven and beyond. Most importantly, I will try to represent those in this game who feel they have no voice, or who otherwise feel disconnected from the future of New Eden. I want to represent the people of EVE, who may not belong to massive alliances or possess significant ingame assets. I will be a voice of the common capsuleer, and work for the interests of the people who make this community so unique.
I thank you for your consideration, and would appreciate your vote.
UPDATE #1 - Specific Policy Outlines:
Having spoken with some of the people I hope to represent, I am putting forth the following as official positions I would represent or additions I would support if elected to CSM.
A full range of Triglavian ships. Shuttles, haulers, indies, the whole proverbial enchilada. I know a significant portion of the playerbase love this shipline, and would be pleased to see them match the empires in terms of ship variability. Even non-trigs love trig ships.
A TRIGLAVIAN EPIC ARC. Even if PVE isn’t your jam, everybody loves a deep story-driven questline, especially one which might put you at odds with the empires or provides insight into Triglavian culture. Edencom should likewise get a comparable questline, and ideally these PVE activities might bring quest runners into either direct PVP or else conflict for resources.
A reconsideration of current exploits that allow for payout theft in Pochven. I would like to see payouts done in a manner comparable to Incursions, such that an enemy looking to snake a site would actually have to bring a competitive fleet rather than just sponging payouts with no risk.
I envision a HIGHSEC - TO - POCHVEN PIPELINE. Unfortunately, there isn’t much reason for new players to come engage in this space, outside of correcting Triglavian standings to safely move haulers around. Its a shame, because Pochven is beautiful and mysterious and has great potential. I envision some new quest content which encourages both pro and anti trig players to come to Pochven. Perhaps to recover a bit of triglavian ore for a scientific effort, or to scout locations for an edencom strike. Ultimately I’d like these quests to help players who didn’t directly participate in Invasion to have a fun reason to come play in our space. Perhaps introduce Intreguerre as the highsec contact for the trigs.
Allow players to dock in home systems in Pochven (with appropriate standings).
Allow industrialists to create targeted filaments which would permit small fleets to travel more precisely to specific systems or areas.
I’d like to see a system which mirrors Faction Warfare introduced for trigs and edencoms, which encourages us to clash like we did back during Invasion over different objectives. The ability to influence the security status of different stars was really unique and engaging, and I think it encouraged a great deal of community building and teamwork. I’d really like to see that leveraged into a full system of organized conflict, further encouraging new players to pick a side and get involved. (The advantage being, without being actual FW they wont tank standing with any empires and could still use highsec).
GENERAL, NON POCHVEN STUFF:
The new player experience has improved significantly since I joined up, and I’d like to see it continue to go in this direction. The tutorial has become far more engaging, and I love how GMs actually reach out to new players and give them gifts now, it seems like a fine way to keep players around… but in my own anecdotal experience, only about 1/7 players I recruit actually stick around long term. One common point I hear the other 6 cite is that the goals of the game are unclear, they are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. The Agency has provided some help in this area, but I think more can be done to communicate things like how to fit ships, how to manage a personal economy that is viable, and what sort of ingame activities might be enjoyable. At present, the only way for a person to try a new activity is to train for months (discouraging) or pay IRL money for one of these packs (a strategy of which I am a bit skeptical). There should be a simpler and more direct way for newer pilots to explore content they MIGHT like to train towards, without making a serious time or financial commitment to something they ultimately may not enjoy.
I would like to see greater access to LORE. Eve has this incredible backstory, with all manner of awesome ingame events and options for roleplay, and yet this stuff is buried in places where even the people motivated to find it have difficulty keeping up to speed. There was a really nifty event in Tanoo last night, but unless you were lucky enough to hear about it almost immediately it was over before you arrived. I’d like to find a way to make these dynamic events not only more frequent, but more accessible and more immersive. That starts with making the current happenings of the fictional EVE universe more front-and-center - perhaps creating ingame mailing lists to which players might subscribe for updates on specific factions (something akin to a galnet feed, just in-character text updates about the story as it unfolds).
Mutaplasmids for structure modules.
Have wormhole effects spill over into connected systems, and Pochven effects seep into other systems when connected.
UPDATE #2: I am the only CSM candidate officially endorsed by Vermin Supreme.
[More updates will be added as needed! :D]