TLDR: Read the bold.
Say you already agree with me on these items below:
CSM shouldn’t be a popularity contest
CSM should be a fair representation of most playstyles.
CSM should be made of experts in their areas instead of those with social skills who managed to get in a block ballot, or those who merely outbid others for SP farm votes.
People will tell you a better system is impossible. This post sketches you a better system that is actually viable, so you can go tell these people that there is one.
1) CCP picks 5-10 main playstyles in which they need player feedback.
Something like this:
- Sov null empire builders
- Fw/lowsec dwellers
- Hisec (wardeccers/industrialists/traders/moguls etc)
- Solo PvP’ers
- Fleet commanders
- IT/ESI people
The items here are negotiable. I’m sure we/CCP can sit down and decide 10 most important ways you can play Eve in which CCP needs feedback.
2) CCP creates 10-20 person permanent focus groups in these playstyles.
CCP did create focus groups before and effectively utilized them (e.g. t3c group). You probably noticed that the above playstyles are not mutually exclusive. To do justice to that fact, one person can be a member of multiple focus groups (e.g. a prominent null empire builder who is also a good whaler and hisec ganker can join all 3 groups if he is indeed prominent).
Some will say it’d be “too much work” for CCP to create 10 focus groups. I agree that in the beginning, the amount of work would be higher than usual. But these groups can be converted into self-governing bodies with CCP supervision. Once each year people could be added and dropped depending on activity. But the focus group members themselves could be the ones that figure out who else to invite, and CCP could just be the final decider on who is added and dropped, and the entity that makes sure people don’t abuse these groups (e.g. one entity takes control of a group, etc).
These groups can be in direct online comms channels (e.g. discord) with devs who are making changes or developing new content in their areas of expertise. They would be a day-to-day source of knowledge for devs of every level. However, they wouldn’t handle NDA information so it wouldn’t be like 200 players under CSM NDA.
3) Focus groups elect a CSM member each year.
This would be the usual CSM who handles the NDA stuff. Except:
They are now a diverse body of experts in their fields instead of null empire builders.
They were chosen by other experts instead of people who merely cast their alliance’s blockvote.
Nobody could blame CCP for picking this person instead of that person to CSM, as they were still chosen by their own focus group.