This is a series of posts which contain my opinions on the interviews given to Crossing Zebras podcasts by CSM 8 candidate members. The posts contain only my impressions and thoughts after listening to the interviews given and reading any linked material. As such they should not be used to base your votes upon. The interviews are an excellent listen, and I highly encourage any voters to take the time to form their own thoughts and opinions on who they should vote for. This is simply a public airing of my own personal selection process for a CSM candidate of my heart.
Although I am only interested in candidates of certain sub sections of the game (of which I am a constituent) I have decided that it is only fair to listen to all of the candidates interviews as you never know when their will be some crossovers into sections I am interested in. My end goal of this series is to have a shortlist of 7 candidates who I would like to see on the next CSM which will be announced once I have posted all of my notes on the interviews. Later I will narrow this down too my Chairman of Choice, for whom I will declare my support (for the very little it is worth). My I’m is to find a candidate who represents me the best. For the record I will be casting a vote for each of my top 3, and an extra vote for the Chairman of Choice.
Finally I would like to take the time to thank Xander Phoena for doing these interviews. They are without doubt some of the best journalism around the CSM election process I have seen to date. The questions were hard but fair, and I felt that he really dug into what was important for the voter. Considerable time and effort has clearly gone into research and preparation. Well done Xander. Furthermore if you are looking for a more subjective and neutral breakdown of the interviews you should look to Poetic Discourse for Stanziel’s overview of the subject.
The full list of my thoughts can be found labelled: Impressionable
and consists of 6 parts:
Part 5: This Post
Corebloodbrothers (“Core” from here inwards) is historically very much a nullsec player. During the interview it seemed to me that he had a good grasp of how the CSM should work as well as a great handle on politics. However I did get the feeling at times that he might have been a little naïve on how development works especially when he was discussing how CCP should just fix all the things they need to fix, while still pushing out expansions. Although his views in general were good, I also noticed that Core got a bit caught up in small things which really didn’t need the amount of time he spent on them. Core seems like a good candidate, but certainly not exactly number 1 choice.
Sala is the second Pandemic Legion candidate, and as I stated during Sort Dragons interview I still worry how block candidates, with as much vested interest as PL has in Tech, will do once in the CSM. Since that post however it has become public knowledge that PL has begun looking at other sources for income to replace Tech when the changes come. This lessens my worry a bit, but at the same time I see the amazing work Selene and Elis Randolph did to ensure that the Super Capital rebalancing can was kicked way down the road. Anyway, on to Sala’s actual interview.
Sala was defiantly the better speaker and politician than Sort Dragon (though that isn’t exactly hard), prehaps just because he was honest about what he wanted. However I also disagreed with a lot of his views. I don’t agree with buffing titans, I don’t agree with waiting further on rebalancing Super capitals, I also don’t agree with his stance on Technetium moons (but less than I do on the other points). I also found it interesting that Sala spent a long time talking about the reasons for the CFC vs. HBC non war, expounding the old lines about jaded leadership. I agree that not wanting to structure grind and logistics manage is a big part of the non-war, but I also think we would be fools to blame it on that entirely. Does Sala really believe this? Or is this just justification for kicking the SC/Tech cans even further down the road? Sala is definitely the better of the PL candidates, and he has clearly thought his platform through, but that’s about as much as I can say in favour of the candidacy.
As the interview brought up, last year’s campaign season was not exactly great for Riverini, with his failure to get elected alongside the lambasting he got from the Mittani debate but Riverini seems unperturbed by this. In fact he seems to be extremely happy that it happened, which is kind of disappointing. As far as I can tell he feels that the interview was heavily Goon biast, and was never going to go his way. Therefore he feels it was just a good laugh to be part of. Here is my problem, given all of the above as true, I would expect a good CSM candidate to give a good representation of themselves. The CSM will have to fight in debates with CCP on a very uneven playing field, and they need to make the best of the opportunities given to them. During that interview, Riverini did nothing to even try to save face, and constantly talked himself into circles without any help from Mittens at all, losing with grace is fine, but making a fool of yourself is not. Unfortunately this pattern continued during the Xander interview with Riverini continually struggling to communicate his thoughts, and seemingly rambling on a complete tangent to the subject of the questions. For the most part I think Riverini had a good view on the game and the direction it needs to move in, but unfortunately I have no confidence in his skill to deliver that message. I want to clarify that this is nothing to do with his english, which I can understand. But it is to do with his love of seeming to talk nonsense. I believe that were Riverini to be elected, his voice would be quickly drowned out by CCP and the other CSM members.
Artctura spoke very well during the interview and showed good skill and the ability to word his replies for maximum effect. He also showed that he had a great deal of understanding how development works, especially around expectation management and timescales. Artctura also had some great goals and similar feelings on where the game should head to myself, so good starting marks. I did however feel that there were more important things to base a campaign on than the unification of the CSM; as I have said before that I find the idea of a single member of the CSM being voted in to ensure unification is ridiculous. Not a bad candidate, but neither the best.
Sgurd Battersea, wow where to start. First off let’s not rip this gentleman to shreds without explaining why things are as they are. Sgurd is a pretty new player, and as such had note even heard of the CSM until he applied. Perhaps only now realising that internet spaceships is srs business he is trying to not look like a complete malcontent. I praise his guts for volunteering, and I think it’s a good sign of CCPs outreach (if not their skill at explaining) to newer player to get into the CSM. However in the name of fairness I must judge him by the same standards with which I judged the others.
Sgurd is way out of his depth and to be honest I am not convinced he is not a troll. His main platform is stopping future change (he didn’t like the frigate re balancing) and making the game fun. Despite claiming that he now takes the “CCM” seriously, he has made no effort to actually do so. It is clear to me that Sgurd does not have the time to commit to the CCM, nor does he have the drive necessary to put in the long hours required. To be honest that might be for the best, what Sgurd knows about the issues with our game could be written on the back of a stamp, thrice, in big letters. He doesn’t know what Sov is, he doesn’t know how industry works, finding something he did know was like getting blood from a stone. Xander was clearly pretty pissed with Sgurd for wasting his time, and I can understand why, listening to that interview was a car crash in slow motion. The people on the train when I was listening to this must have thought I was sucking on a lemon from my facial expressions. Well done to Sgurd for facing the unknown, but let’s do some homework before we try again ay?
Travis is another Nullsec candidate (yay) and has a good history in the game. Throughout this interview however I found his views very contradictory. Travis is running for his block, but says that he wants to make Nullsec fun for everyone. Travis wants to make Nullsec more accessible for everyone, but doesn’t want any changes to Super Capitals. Travis wants to help the little guy, but thinks that moons just need to be shuffled around the universe. Travis constantly talked about his general Nullsec platform, but when the cards were down, clearly showed that he is really all about keeping the older players like himself sweet. This was never more evident than when he was talking about the nerf of tracking titans. It comes down to the old argument “we spent more on our ships, so we should win”, seriously he literally said that, I won’t get drawn into a long spiel on this, but needless to say I think 10 T1 interceptors should beat 5 Tornados despite costing less. Honestly Travis’s monolog on this really came across as a long cry: “I want my win button back!”, and didn’t endear me to his cause. As far as I can tell Travis is a Bittervet candidate thinly disguised as a general Nullsec candidate. To his credit his thoughts on how to rebalance Tech without removing it is better than most I have heard, but it’s still not a realistic argument.
Not much more to say on this one after the last (it’s been a rush getting these all finished before the 3rd!). It saddens me that my candidate list is shaping into a list of people I really don’t think are going to get on the CSM, while the list of Nullsec candidates who I think will be actively damaging the experience for the average player consists entirely of people I think will get elected. On the plus side everyone in nullsec agrees that the Sov mechanics need fixing, Pro Tech or not, so at least we can be sure of a consistent message on that. We just have to hope that enough voices can shout about Super Capitals to be heard over the sound of that can landing further down the road.
I’ve also warmed a bit towards Mynnna these days, having actually been looking for more of his views. His Mittani articles make good sense and I am starting to think that his interview with Xander was a mix of a bad day and being the first in the firing line. He’s still not Mittans but honestly it was pretty unfair of me to make that comparison. Im adding this comment to the interview section in part 2 for fairness as well.