CSM9 Selections

The winners of the ninth election of the Council of Stellar Management (CSM9) were announced at Fanfest. Three weeks prior, I published a list of candidates for whom I was going to vote. How did I do?

My winners

  • Mike Azariah - my top pick, for his advocacy for a high sec based, casual play style. I spoke with Mike at Fanfest before the election results were announced, and he honestly did not know if he would be selected again. He is not affiliated with any large voting blocs, and so he had to earn broad support from a wide variety of constituencies. It appears he was able to do that again this year.
  • Steve Ronuken - my second pick, for his demonstrated expertise in EVE Online industry. I also spoke with Steve at Fanfest, and he was also dubious about his chances of being elected. But significant changes to industry, starting with the summer expansion, probably raised awareness of the importance of this critical aspect of the game, and helped push Steve over the top.
  • Sugar Kyle - my third pick, for her ability to clearly articulate low-sec lifestyle concerns. This was a space that was woefully under-represented on CSM8, to their own collective admission. Low sec definitely needs some care and attention from CCP Games - I think Sugar Kyle can help make that happen.
  • Ali Aras - my fourth pick, for her dedicated work ethic on CSM8, and for representing the needs of new players. I met Ali at Fanfest and was once again impressed with her intelligence and thoughtfulness, as well as by her genuine care for new players. She was one of the two top finishers, and thus earned a permanent attendee slot for all CSM9 meetings at the CCP Games headquarters. I think she's the obvious choice for the chairman position, and I hope CSM9 agrees.
  • Mangala Solaris - my sixth pick, for his good track record on CSM8, and for representing new player interests. His leadership of the RvB alliance, consisting mostly of casual PvP players, closely aligns with the objectives of my own corp, EVE University.
  • Matias Otero - my seventh pick. Matias' leadership of Brave Newbies represents yet another large group of younger players who are simply looking to understand the game and have fun in EVE Online - this also aligns with the objectives of E-UNI.
  • Xander Phoena - my tenth pick, for his passion for EVE Online. As host of the Crossing Zebras podcast and news site, Xander has been a prominent spokesperson for the improvement of EVE Online.
  • mynnna - my twelfth pick, for his strong track record on CSM8, and his expertise in industry in EVE Online. Yeah, he's also a Goon, but nobody's perfect. And I've been impressed with his sincere interest in improving the new player experience, too.
  • progodlegend - my final pick, a Nulli Secunda candidate. I voted for progod because of his contribution to CSM8, and reasonable positions on null sec issues.

My losers

  • James Arget - my fifth pick - I really expected James to do better, and continue to represent w-space residents. But his campaign was not well organized, and he faced strong competition from Corbexx. Despite his contributions to CSM8, James couldn't pull enough support together this time.
  • Karen Galeo - my eighth pick - Definitely a long shot, admittedly, I still liked what Karen had to say about representing new player interests. I hope she runs again next year.
  • Asayanami Dei - my ninth pick - I liked Asay's ideas for making more information about EVE Online available in player-generated content. As a wormhole candidate, however, he didn't have as focused a message as Corbexx, so he could not garner enough support from his core constituency to earn a spot on CSM9.
  • Jayne Fillon - my eleventh pick - I like Jayne's attitude about having fun in fleets and supporting new players, but he didn't get enough broad support to earn a CSM9 post. Maybe he'll do better next year, after he develops higher name recognition amongst voters.
  • Psychotic Monk - my thirteenth pick - Clearly, the "content creators" constituency (i.e., high sec gankers) aren't as large or as well organized as they make themselves out to be. In order to win a seat on CSM as a non-bloc candidate, you need cross-constituency support, and Psychotic Monk failed to foster it enough to win.

Rest of the winners

  • Sion Kumitomo - Goon bloc candidate. He got a permanent attendee position, so I hope he enjoys visiting Iceland.
  • Major JSilva - Pandemic Legion bloc candidate.
  • Corebloodbrothers - Provibloc candidate. They were highly motivated this year, and undoubtedly had a higher than normal proportion of votes.
  • Corbexx - This was a bit of a surprise.  I expected James Arget to continue to represent wormhole dwellers interests, but Corbexx ran a stronger campaign.
  • DJ FunkyBacon - Not only do we get Sugar Kyle on CSM9 to represent low-sec interests, we also get fellow low-sec denizen DJ FunkyBacon in support. I did not like DJ's position on the Erotica 1 incident, so I didn't vote for him, but there's no doubt that he's a passionate EVE Online player.

The final tally

So, nine of my selected 14 candidates won, which isn't too bad.

I knew that the large power blocs were going to take a sizable share of the CSM positions, and they did. But the STV method once again showed that it provides a reasonable level of representation of different constituencies. CSM9 includes a good collection of candidates from every type of space: high sec, low sec, w-space and 0.0.

I am concerned that half of the group are hard-core null sec bloc candidates, or affiliated with null sec alliances. On the other hand, sovereignty and power projection are going to be major themes this year, so it's only right that they have strong representation.

However, for the issues of most concern to me (new player experience, high sec play style, industry, improving PvE content), I'm happy with the mix of remaining candidates, who are aligned with my principal interests.

Final vote tallies have not yet been released by CCP Games, but I strongly suspect that the percentage of total potential voters was at an all-time low this year. In a way, that is a tribute to CSM8, who performed well and without controversy. CSM votes definitely rise in times of crisis, and there just weren't any this year.

I hope that CSM9 continues to operate as smoothly, and continues in CSM8's tradition as strong stakeholders, representing the entire community's interests in the ongoing development of EVE Online.

Fly safe! o7


My Votes for CSM9

EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management (CSM) is a unique institution in all of gaming. It is a representative body of players who actively influence the future development of the game. Working in an advisory capacity, the CSM are an important stakeholder in design decisions by CCP Games.

The list of official candidates for the ninth iteration of the CSM has been announced - 33 of them in all, and voting is now open. Elected through the use of a single transferable voting (STV) process to facilitate selection of a balanced group of representatives of all the different styles of play in EVE Online, the CSM interacts with CCP Games regularly through Skype chats and periodic summit meetings.

As players of EVE Online, voting for candidates who represent our individual interests is important. This is an opportunity for each of us to make sure that our point of view is reflected in decisions made by game designers.

Through April 22nd, each subscription may vote for up to 14 candidates, in rank order, which will then determine the composition of CSM9, to be announced at Fanfest on May 3rd.

Getting the Facts

There are a variety of sources that players can use to understand the candidates' positions. These are the ones that I've found most useful, so far:

There are other sources that have their merits, of course, but the above have been the most useful to me thus far. In addition, there are now a lot of different recommendations and endorsements from various EVE Online observers and players, too. I find these lists to be helpful - especially those that include rationales for why they selected different candidates.

How You Should Vote, and Why

In my opinion, your votes for CSM9 should be very selfishly based. I've heard arguments that you should vote for a "balanced" ticket of candidates, representing all types of play styles in EVE Online. You are certainly welcome to do so, of course. However, I ask voters to consider for a moment the effect of voting bloc constituencies, especially by the well-organized and huge null security alliances. They will not hesitate to take every opportunity to secure as many seats on CSM9 that they can, in order to push their own agendas and interests.

If you are one of those voters, and you agree with that objective, by all means do vote as part of your bloc - and all the more power to you. But if you are not, then consider which type of play styles you most align with, and vote for candidates that best represent that perspective.

Under the STV process, if everyone votes in their own self interests, then a representative number of candidates for each play style - nullsec, lowsec, w-space, high sec, PvP, PvE, or whatever - should emerge, assuming that a representative proportion of EVE Online players vote at all.

Also, you should vote for at least a half-dozen candidates. The way that STV works is that your #1 vote has more influence than each subsequent vote, in rank order. Consequently, the chances of your #14 vote making a significant difference in the final results is very low. Please do complete a full 14-candidate ballot if you can, but if you don't think you know the candidates well enough to do that, try to select at least a half-dozen of them, so that your ballot carries a significant impact on the voting outcomes.

So, my advice, in a nutshell:

  • Vote!
  • Vote for at least six candidates - and a full 14-candidate ballot, if you can.
  • Vote to represent your own self interests.

My Candidate Criteria

I have certain interests in EVE Online that I would like to see included in CSM9's agenda, as they work with CCP Games over the next year. These criteria will drive my voting selections:

  • Improving the new player experience - a constant influx of new subscribers into EVE Online is essential to the success of the game, and retaining them is absolutely vital. Any candidate that empathizes with the new player experience, and who has ideas for improving it, is a candidate that I can get behind.
  • Supporting the high sec play style - I spend most of my time (with the occasional dip into w-space) in high sec. I support candidates who understand that level of balance between risk and reward, and who want to add more content and enrich the high sec play experience - this includes those who want to maintain a rational level of risk in empire space. I'm not a supporter of turning high sec into a carebear fantasy theme park.
  • Enhancing industry - I make most of my ISK from making and selling things. I support candidates who appreciate the role of industry in EVE Online. I suspect this will be a major theme for the next few expansions, and we need experienced industrialists on the CSM who can competently represent this aspect of the game.
  • Improving PvE content - Player vs. Environment activity in EVE Online needs a major revamp - it's far too predictable, which gets boring quickly. We need more dynamic and unpredictable PvE experiences, and more kinds of PvE that encourage group gameplay. I like candidates who want more investment in this area of the game.

My CSM9 Votes

Based on my personal interests, here is who I am voting for this year:

  1. Mike Azariah
  2. Steve Ronuken
  3. Sugar Kyle
  4. Ali Aras
  5. James Arget
  6. Mangala Solaris
  7. Matias Otero
  8. Karen Galeo
  9. Asayanami Dei 
  10. Xander Phoena
  11. Jayne Fillon
  12. mynnna
  13. Psychotic Monk 
  14. progodlegend

I've synthesized this list from all the above sources, filtered by my personal interests and priorities. If my interests align with yours, then your final voting list should be very similar to mine.

Good luck to all the CSM9 candidates - may all of my selections win! :-)

Now, go vote!

Fly safe! o7