Your EVE Online Story:
I start every YouTube video I create with the same opening because I want you to know who I am. Every person who plays EVE, because I unironically and non-sarcastically call each and every one of you a friend. You’re my space friends. I started playing EVE because of my RL friend Grahame. I kept playing because of you. I started teaching people how to play EVE because I want there to be more of you. I want more space friends. This community is too awesome not to.
I started playing EVE 12 years ago, rage quit, came back, burned out, came back, and finally stuck with it from 2013 onwards. I joined EVE University because it seemed like a good place to learn. Hint: It was; it is. I made a lot of friends over three years and then – as everyone does – I grew. I decided to try null-sec, and I’ve been there since.
At some point during my time with E-UNI I decided that I liked their teaching slides, but figured I could raise the production quality a little, so I moved to YouTube. It also gave me the ability to help more people, on their time, on their schedule, and not just when I was online. I started writing for INN, appearing on Talking In Stations, and hosting RL EVE Meetups in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
I still mentor and teach new players, and every day I receive earnest, open EVE mails and comments from new players who thank me for helping them get into EVE. Those messages mean the world to me, because they keep my fire for this game ignited. You, my space friends, keep me going.
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 strengths lie in helping to attract, train, and retain new and existing players and connecting with the community and others. As someone who teaches and mentors new and existing players every day, I am required to have a good operating understaning of all areas of the game, and specialized knowledge in several. There are really only three areas where I cannot myself claim deep knowledge: solo PVP, Pochven, and living full-time in Wormholes.
I am very happy to call current and past CSM members and candidates my friends, and several notable streamers, writers, and pilots besides. I am active in the community and I keep my ear to the ground and watch the new development for areas where someone needs to give a dissenting opinion. My number one concern for this game is that it continue to grow, and that with all new developments we ask ourselves, and CCP, “Does this make the game more fun?”
In the real world I’m a IT Systems Engineer. I work with executives, management, developers, techs, and leaders every day. I have been management and a project manager myself, and I can appreciate the aims of CCP and the challenges they face finding a happy milieu between what will keep the community engaged and what will keep cash-flow positive. As such, when I ask for things I try to make my requests concise, actionable, reasonable, and limited in scope. That’s an important and often overlooked skillset. I’m also an excellent communicator; something often missing in IT staff. While it’s not the role of the CSM to ask for new development, it helps to speak the same language when asked if something is a good idea for the health of the game.
Why are you applying for the CSM?
It’s the best place for me to apply my skills, talents, personality, mindset, critique, and community engagement. Being on the CSM is an extra EVE job, and there’s no surpirse that it burns people out. A lot of former members stop playing altogether, or go hide in the weeds. It’s a lot of work. As much as it’s a personality and popularity contest for the duration of the election period, it’s a big ask the other 36 weeks of the year. So why me?
I’m the right person for the job. This is my fourth year running for CSM, and I’ll continue to run as long as CCP allows it. This community deserves someone who will stand unified with the rest of the CSM in forestalling the worst of CCP’s harebrained schemes, and who will be an active and vocal representative of their interests and engagement in Reykjavik. Someone who will help connect new and existing players with the resources and communities they need within the game by virtue of knowing those communities. It’s a job I already happily do for free.
What can players expect from you?
EVE players can expect that I will always be available to them and communicative; example - I am one of the few people I know who reads literally every YouTube comment (despite the warnings from others to “never read the comments”). This community is just too awesome not to carry forward and hear your concerns, thoughts, and ideas for improvement.
That said, I strongly advise everyone to remember that it’s not the purpose of the CSM to tell CCP what they should/shouldn’t be developing, but to act as a focus group and to counsel them on their approach to new features which they already have in their development sprints/road map. We can ask for features, and we can shine a spotlight on those areas of the game that need some love, but how the developers address those gaps is ultimately up to CCP.
My role will be to help be a positive voice for the community and players of New Eden before the developers, to counsel reason and moderation in changes, and to act as a go-between for the players so that they can be certain their concerns are heard and their questions answered.
((Updated: May 21, 2021))
Resources & Links
Where can players learn more about you and what you do?
And, hey, since Xenuria did it last year, I’ll throw my personality profile in there, too! Read it Here
- Placeholder for 2021 Campaign Videos (Coming soon!)
Links to my ballot selections:
You can find my Official list of Ballot Endorsements here on the EVE Online forums.
This being my fourth year running for CSM, I can tell you that it’s no joyride. I’m not doing this for the giggles, I want to represent the players of EVE Online before CCP and do my part in ensuring that CCP has the best interests of the players in mind. How do I arrive at that list of interests? You tell me. Just as you have been telling me for years.
The difference in my platform from a lot of candidates is that I am not interested in only a single platform point. I’m not just here to talk about botting, or faction warfare, or the roleplaying community - though all of those things are valuable and deserve representation. In fact, I think these communities need to be more cooperative, collaborative, and engaged in selecting a single representative for themselves and then supporting the hell out of that person because competing with the null blocks, they won’t get that voice if they’re not organized.
Unlike many of the candidates, I am most concerned with the overall health of this game as a competitor on the MMORPG market. My interests and the business drivers of CCP are aligned. I want EVE Online to be successful, and to make gigantic stacks of cash, and to make the CCP team hilariously well-off so they can keep doing this forever. Where CCP and I differ on this is how we get there.
The answer is a constellation of factors, not the least of which are balance and development which continue to address botting, faction warfare, and the deeply passionate communities in this game. But playing whack-a-mole with all of them is dividing the efforts of the CSM and CCP to fruitless ends; if you’ve ever tried your hand at project management you already know what this feels like.
So you have to pick big items the community brings you, and not just those from the loudest voices. Then, you have to take each of those ideas, and the new development CCP puts in front of you, and you have to ask the question, “How does this make EVE more fun, and more playable?”
Because, at the end of the day, if it tickles the brain of an esoteric group of players in the game, but it doesn’t meaningfully move the needle when it comes to attracting new players and keeping the community at whole playing, it’s a zero sum game; development at the best of one group which robs time from development which can benefit all groups.
So what are the big priorities then?
Over the last four years running for CSM I’ve put together this list of priorities which come from an amalgam of feedback I’ve received from players, and ideas that have sparked in my own brain pan while I beat my head against my frustrations with this game.
Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Improved Transparency and Use of Data to Drive Recruitment to EVE Online
What does this look like for the players?
- Integrating Activity Tracker data with data from corporations to build a model for suggesting active corporations to new and existing players
- A complete rebuild of the corporation finder and corporate tools to focus on management simplicity, ACL groups, and the removal of corporate advertisements
- Transparency on the raw effectiveness of our efforts as players to recruit people to the game, and to our corporations, retention statistics, and dashboard views of player engagement
This data should be available in-game but abstracted from ESI, at the start. (Doesn’t mean it can’t change later.)
2. Better Tools for Onboarding Players
We don’t need another redux of the NPE. Leave it alone, CCP Ghost. Let our friendships work where the NPE falls short.
What this looks like for us:
- Opt-in flags/icons next to character & ship names that indicate “I’m a new player, and I want help” (this flag should be auto-activated for all characters under 30 days age)
- Opt-in flags/icons next to character & ship names that indicate “I’m a mentor, and I can help you”
It’s a simple concept, and one which was introduced to me recently by Isaac Collins. Good dude. This accomplishes really simply two things: a. it opens avenues for new players to enter the community with a sense of community and being able to ask for help, b. it opens avenues for subterfuge and counterplay.
If this option is made available to players, I can guarantee I’ll be one of the first ones out there pretending to be a new player so I can hunt griefers. Just as surely as I can guarantee there will be griefers hunting. It’s content.
Other features I’d like to see in this vein are:
- The ability to link our in-game profiles to YouTube, Twitch, and our Discord communities
- The ability to share links to the EVE University Wiki directly from a UI window
3. Give the CSM the Ability to Run Delegate Focus Groups
We are, as experienced players, infinitely more in-tune with the actions, behaviors, motivations, and impacts of changes within the game to the players. We’re also much better at using your own data than you are, just look at the things we’ve accomplished with ESI, CCP. And we do it for free. We are a volunteer workforce.
The players who make it to CSM should be able to leverage their access to the developers to take a more active role in soliciting feedback and direct channel from the player base, and filtering that feedback in a meaningful way to CCP.
Faction Warfare, Lowsec, Roleplay, Lore and Content Development… these are all areas woefully in need of some serious love. Determined, spiteful, hot love. Deadpool love scenes love. They’re emotionally starved and need hot loads of development love. And, y’know what? Call me pessimistic but I think CCP’s punching in the dark when it comes to how to fix these areas of the game. Help us help you, CCP.
4. Sure, All of The Other Things
Honestly, Brisc does a great job of covering a lot of the other items in his post. He’s pretty exhaustive, in fact, and his post is a good read. Seriously, go read it. He’s one of the few candidates running who I openly endorse.
Brisc and I agree on a lot of things, and while there are a few things we don’t see the same way we know how to work together. Vote for both of us.