Eleventh Hour Endorsements

I have a tendency to be sort of a last-minute-type guy, which makes it fitting that this being the final day of election, I decide to put out an endorsement post.

Now, I HAD the makings of a beautiful, insightful CSM election piece about Psychotic Monk, and why I strongly feel that you should vote for him in this election, but my WordPress iPhone app decided to eat it and banish it to that dark hole of the Internet where half-drunk email drafts, lost term papers, and badly executed meme ripoffs go to die; sorry Monk.

So instead, for your consideration, this is a list of who I feel should fill out your top 5 voting slots in CSM 8, for all you fellow procrastinators out there.

The Top 5
Content-Maker Champion: Psychotic Monk

“By and large, we’re content makers. and we get treated, frankly, rather badly despite that.”

I don’t want to say it but hell, I will anyways: as someone who has seen 75% of his chosen game play consistently nerfed to oblivion and back over the past 4 years, I can say without question that Monk is my first choice for CSM.

Over the years of the CSM, there have been plenty of candidates who ran on a “griefer” platform in order to be elected and leave their mark; remember all of them?

Yeah, me neither.

Monk however took a radically different approach to things this year in terms of election strategy. Rather than run on the griefer platform like Larkonis Trassler or Darius, or those who never made it on like Tchell Dahhn, Logit Probit, or Arden Elenduil, Monk went almost out his way to not classify his campaign as such. Part of this was to distance himself from the “designated” greifer candidate of James315 who (thankfully) bowed out of the race. But even after James’ removal from the running, Monk has continued to wisely shy away from that moniker. Instead, he took a position of content-maker, which is really what griefers, gankers, and scammers ultimately are.

CCP has made roads to talk about giving who they consider “Content makers” the “tools” to make what they do, and what they lend to the game easier. The thing is, we, the grifers, the content makers, don’t NEED new tools; we already have them. Our tools are the very game mechanics themselves and out own creativity at exploiting and using those to our own advantage in ways the typical player hasn’t bothered to think of. What we need is perspective.

We’re the easiest kind of content-making player! We don’t need development time or dev resources at all! All we require is a minutiae of perspective to the way a LOT of people play this game, and to stop unintentionally and yet continuously nerfing with new game changes.

Monk summed it up nicely in the first part of his Crossing Zebras interview where he pointed out that Eve devs and GMs are not allowed to partake in things like scamming, mission runner ganking, AWOXing; in short, no griefing allowed.

…In Eve Online.

Yes, devs and GMs play the game (under different characters and names obviously), and though they aren’t allowed to say who they actually are, theres a good chance you’ve had one for a corpmate at one time or another.

Now obviously, there are restrictions on the way they play to discourage the abuse of power, and I agree with that. However, this is Eve Online; tough, mean, unflinching cruel Eve Online, and the fact that NONE of the people who run it or add to it have any depth of understanding about the dastardly parts of this game that make it what it is is a little disconcerting. Moreover, to then make sweeping changes that effect that style of game play is insane. It would be like going after the anticipated POS changes if none of the Devs or GMs were allowed to have anything to do with POSs.

“I don’t feel that ‘badly’ is a playstyle we should be protecting.”

I love this man. Again, if you haven’t voted yet, get off your ass and go do so, and make sure Monk is as close the top as you can put him.

The Little Newbie That Could: Ali Aras

This woman came out of nowhere, and I literally had no idea who the hell she was until she went on the Crossing Zebras podcast as part of their CSM interviews to discuss her candidacy, and I was totally floored.

I think what I love about Ali’s candidacy is the balance she brings combining gung-ho newbie naivete with a firm and unflinching perspective on keeping Eve hard and unmerciful in a very wise-beyond-her years way. She’s managed to achieve the perfect balance of enough time spent in the game to be knowledgeable, and yet still newbie enough to have that fresh perspective on the game. Through her ideas on changing the new player experience, as well as an emphasis on retaining new players while still maintaining the harsh unforgiving quality of Eve, she has also became the unofficial champion of the Brave Newbies movement.

“I don’t think that there’s one part of the game that needs to be hit with a giant nerf bat, I don’t think you can look at one part of the game and say ‘this one part is broken but all the other parts are fine’.”

It is exactly broad and open mindsets like this that we need in Eve. Psychotic Monk touches on this in his Crossing Zebras interview as well, but Ali does a fantastic job of really hammering home the point that Eve is one ecosystem, and there is no such thing as “one fix” to one area that will effect just that area. I think the perspective on Eve that Ali brings to the table is completely unique out of every single other candidate, and I think she would be an absolute powerhouse on the CSM.

Stand and Deliver: Mike Azariah

For some reason, be it star alignment, Mayan predictions, or just plain luck, this was the year where all those little guys from past elections who I always wanted to vote for but didn’t really feel that I could, finally seemed to get their shit together in a major way. I in no way mean to be insulting in saying that, but there were always a few people running who I knew, and who I really wanted to vote for (and even did sometimes), that had great ideas, a huge drive, and terrible campaigns, if they even campaigned at all. Mike is a shining examples of this.

In past elections, Mike has all but disappeared from the spotlight during the campaign leading up to election, which always saddened me. I’ve always felt that he had a ton of amazing idea, as well as a clearly driving motivation to contribute to the development of Eve, and yet come election time, Mike always had a way of humbly shying away from the spotlight, almost quite purposely, to “let the voters vote how they will”. And they did, usually for the much more visible, albeit less qualified, candidates.

This year, we saw a whole new Mike, and I’m so excited about that. He finally made himself visible and available; he went on almost every podcast out there, and hell, he started co-hosting one. Instead of humbly letting people vote how they wanted to, Mike finally stood up this year and showed people exactly why they should get off their lazy asses and vote for HIM; why he was qualified, what he brought to the table, and how he was going to make this a better CSM. And beyond his interesting ideas for the game and bettering its general experience, Mike’s a teacher, which gives him the gold star for being able to effectively manage and work with people. I voted for Mike, and can’t wait to see what he can do on the CSM.

Roc The Vote: Roc Wieler

Roc falls under a pretty similar category as Mike. In past elections, he’d run with fantastic ideas and plenty of drive, and yet would somehow nose-dive his campaign every single year. It was disheartening to watch, because I’ve believed in his abilities every year, and yet I’ve never been really confident giving him a vote. This year, that changed.

The biggest complaint against Roc has always been his inability to separate Roc the character from Marcus the brilliant information architect and project manager. Make no mistake, we are certainly voting for two parts to a person, character and player, when voting for the CSM, but it was always Marcus’s almost adamant refusal to show people the man behind the gruff, somewhat obnoxious and misogynistic role-playing character of Roc Wieler that sunk his election every damn time. Again, this year that changed, with a stunning breakthrough post he wrote in response to criticism by Rhavas in which he finally detailed how he, Marcus, would work as a member of the CSM, and it was awesome. I worry that this much needed insight into the different shades of Marcus vs Roc came a little late in the election, but I know it helped a lot, and he certainly got my vote.

Marcus is an insanely avid player, a huge champion of the community, a 3rd party contributor and developer, and a major player in out of gaming world media spotlight, and there’s really no reason he shouldn’t be on the CSM this year.

I, Robot: Ripard Teg

Ripard in no way needs my endorsement or hype. But I have this horrible fear that many, many people will feel the same way, stick him in at #12, and in some terribly cruel twist of fate and statistics, he won’t make it onto the CSM at all, which is why he’s in my top 5. I’m of the opinion that Ripard as Chairman of CSM 8 would be the best things to happen to it since Mynxee, and can’t wait to see what he does there.

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~ by Aiden Mourn on April 18, 2013.

One Response to “Eleventh Hour Endorsements”

  1. Wanted to drop by and say thanks for your words. Guess we’ll all find out soon enough who the next CSM will be.

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