Wednesday, April 3, 2013
It’s that time of year again. The time where every blog seems packed with over-analysis about every CSM candidate, and where the forums chirp with discussion about platforms and carefully orchestrated propaganda put forth by lobbying hopefuls.
After the election is over, Fanfest will arrive and the winners announced. Some of them will roll up their sleeves and get to work, whether publicly with the community, or behind the scenes as invaluable grunt men. Others will disappear –the warmth, attentiveness, and community spirit they shared during election replaced by the cold reality of indifference. Until, such yammering yahoos as Poetic Stanziel insult and degrade them to the point they burst forth once again into the community eye to forcibly defend themselves.
I have my concerns about this election. The idea of ranking more than a dozen candidates seems daunting to me –a pirate who would rather blow things up then dig through treatises and long manifestos trying to make an educated guess on who will make good CSM representatives. And if it is daunting to me, then it will be even more so to many of the people I fly with –who do not even attempt to keep up with blogs and steer clear of the forums altogether. Many of them will not vote at all this year.
Furthermore, as I glance and skim and try to get the gist of what people think without burying myself I am increasingly frustrated. There are so many agendas. Wormhole candidates. Nullsec candidates. And the idea of running on some sort of a ‘platform’ seems so…important to people. But, I’ll be honest with you, voting for such a person makes me think I’m going to get a fraction of a candidate.
It seems critical that candidates understand things on a much broader level than simply lobbying agendas to ‘fix wormholes’ or ‘improve highsec industry.’ One thing I learned, in the discussion over the last year for all the Faction War changes is that what happens in low-sec….and in Faction War….doesn’t stay here. We can’t just throw up an upgrade for cyno jammers without completely understanding the implications for nullsec groups. We can’t just ‘do what is best for Faction War’ without considerations for many other aspects of the game—the economy, how the game is presented to new players, how our gameplay touches high-sec and neighboring regions, and etc.
I don’t mind candidates who have specialized experience within the game, but I’m uninterested in voting for candidates with horse blinders on –unwilling, and possibly unable to discuss the further reaching implication of their suggestions and ideas.
Furthermore, I hate the ‘us vs. them’ feeling I get when people talk about bloc candidates. "Why vote for them if they’re going to win anyway?" "Stay away from their sekret agendas." Some small-gang pilots and bloggers sometimes give no other reason for not voting for someone than that they are in a big alliance. As if, this is all the explanation needed.
Am I somehow betraying my low-sec brethren by voting for a bloc candidate? Am I voting against small-gang interests if I put a Goon on my ballot?
The Goon who is ‘running independently’ amuses me greatly. What does that even mean, exactly? Why should I vote for someone who seems to want to distance themselves from their own alliance, and why do they even feel the need to do so? How is an ‘official’ Goon different from an ‘unofficial’ Goon…from the perspective of a general outsider? I realize that within Goons, being official or unofficial might mean something, but to me?
The whole ‘I’m a Goon but not really’ was amusing, but the bloggers and forum posters who talk about voting for him with the idea that ‘ehh…he’s a Goon, but he’s running independently so it’s okay’ makes me laugh aloud.
What does the fact that some dude is or is not endorsed by his alliance have anything to do with the quality of the job he will do on the CSM?
Anyway, I’m eventually going to have to choose people to actually vote for. So, what am I looking for this election? I think I have some criteria narrowed down:
1. People skills, and a sense of humor.
Yes, the number one thing I’m looking for in a candidate has little to do with EVE, and a lot to do with how the candidate communicates and conducts himself. And I’m not talking about the ability to produce flowery speeches, or how much ‘forum time’ they have done.
How do they deal with people who really don’t like what they have to say? Are they too stubborn to consider other ideas and opinions? Are they wishy washy –changing their opinion to whatever happens to be popular at the time?
Can they let their hair down and crack a joke? Does it seem like they enjoy EVE and will enjoy being on the CSM, or are they a grumpy bitter vet setting out on a mission of some sort?
If all you’ve ever experienced is wormholes, I’m not going to vote for you. If you’ve never spent a day in null-sec, I probably won’t vote for you either. I realize EVE is a vast place, and that not everything is for everyone. I don’t expect candidates to be experts at everything.
But on the same token, EVE is a vast place, and in order to take educated suggestions to CCP, you have to know the implications of those suggestions outside of the small narrow, world of a specific aspect of the game.
If your experience is limited, I would suggest you go enjoy the game some more before trying to change it.
3. General Philosophy.
Like anyone else, I’m going to vote for people I agree with. But instead of looking at ‘specifics’ I want to know what their broader thinking is. How do they view EVE as a whole? What do they think it means for EVE to be a sandbox? Do they bend toward open, interacting mechanics, or closed off mechanics? What are their views on all the intersections between game mechanics –where Faction War players affect high-sec mission runners and pirates affect null-sec sovereignty holders and wormholes affect economics and etc?
Some other, more specific criteria:
1. If you have the attitude that you’re going to ‘dictate’ things, ‘take back’ the game or ‘fix what CCP broke’ you’re no longer on my radar. This is not a democratic governmental position where you tell CCP what to do –and I’m not voting for anyone that I think will not be able to communicate with, and work with CCP.
Most likely, you will do more harm than good.
2. If you have a very specific game mechanic you are championing, I will probably ignore you. If you have a really good, specific idea, that’s what forum posts, and blog articles are for. You don’t need to go to Iceland for that.
Anyway, I’ll know soon enough who I am voting for. I might tell you. Or, I might have more important things to write about.