/ EVE Online

CSM Downfall

This news may not come as a massive surprise to most people who keep vaguely up-to-date with the goings-on in the world of New Eden. In fact it’s been covered by a few newspapers and magazines and so forth, if rumours are to be believed.

I mean, of course, the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) which CCP have introduced as a (somewhat late) response to the outrage that a lot of players expressed at their atrocious handling of the T20 incident – where a CCP developer in Band of Brothers (BoB) spawned and gave his corpmates T2 BPOs. As a first response, the Internal Affairs division was set up with a goal of ensuring that CCP employees didn’t abuse their powers.

This didn’t work well at all as scandals continued to surface about CCP employees within BoB misusing their powers up to and including banning an ISD reporter for allegedly bumping dreads that were in siege in his Polaris frigate. Full story here.

CCP Arkonon, head of the IA hastily issued a statement saying it was all being investigated internally and for the community to not jump at shadows blah blah blah. Of course nobody cared by that point what CCP had to say as the damage had been done and their refusal to accept what happened and deal with it accordingly had set the community against them.

So finally the CSM was set up in a bid to include player representatives in the decision-making process that governs new features, changes to game mechanics and stuff the devs aren’t aware of, like, say most of the 0.0 goings-on. See my economy-related posts for more examples.

The CSM was elected from a group of candidates who came forward from all walks of EVE – some from 0.0 and others who hadn’t seen a system with <0.5 sec status. The idea was marvellous – players get together and debate on issues that affect the game and consequently put forward recommendations to CCP detailing what changes would be beneficial to the game experience of everyone.

While the idea was novel and unheard-of before in the MMO community – at least not in any of the mainstream MMOs – just look at how much Blizzard listen to the player base – in practice the CSM has not achieved overmuch apart from some loosely-defined ideas about changes to 0.0 and how to make Mining Rocks Online safer for empire dwellers. What was intended as a council for the betterment of the game for all, has turned into a way for each member to make life easier in their particular niche.

The most glaring example is the impending removal of insurance payouts on any ships killed by CONCORD. This is an absolutely ridiculous proposition and it came about as a result of the honourable actions of JihadSwarm who were instrumental in keeping the mining barge and exhumer population of Jita and highsec down.

JihadSwarm was founded by none other than Karttoon of GoonFleet along with members of the Swarm as a way of having fun in highsec at the expense of everyone else. At the core, JihadSwarm was founded to kill off mining barges in highsec mining veldspar or whatever other minerals are mined in those places – I don’t know, I find mining about as much fun as putting your testicles in a toaster. Disposable, high-DPS ships are used in numbers of 20 and above to ensure that enough DPS is dealt to the target before CONCORD warps in and destroys the gang.

This, understandably, caused some irritation to the isk-making, macro-mining population at large as their ships were in danger of being destroyed. The CSM rep also saw this and thought: “We must stop this!”. The masses proposed that CCP change the game to prevent their precious ships being killed in hilarious ways which some CSM reps agreed with and so the idea was now backed by the CSM.

CCP are now planning to do just that – remove insurance payouts on ships that have been killed by CONCORD in Jita or wherever. Argh.

Given that CCP developed EVE Online to be a sandbox experience for players, this constitutes a stupid change of policy. Mass suicide to kill a hulk is all at once hilarious and stupid. But that’s what Goonswarm is famed for. Logic and reason seldom figure in our choice of activity.

The second stumbling block of the CSM is the appointed chair of the council who, in the first meeting almost had a vote of no confidence brought against him for being a colossal self-important moron.

Here’s a chatlog of the first CSM meeting where Jade Constantine, the muppet in question exercises his executive power to generally be an ass to everyone who doesn’t agree with him. And here is the corresponding thread on the EVE forums where debate and discussion rage over JC’s idiocy.

The Empire changes make little difference to me, personally. I hardly ever venture there because I hate not being able to shoot anyone I fancy in the face as soon as I see them for fear of getting shot by sentry guns and/or CONCORD.

What hacks ME off more is the growing cesspit of ideas on how to make 0.0 “better”. Being a resident in 0.0, in principle I should welcome changes for the better. And I would, if they were not thought up by people who have never been outside a 0.5 sec system in their life and consider 0.4 to be dangerous and evil. People who have tried factional warfare suddenly think that they know how to fix 0.0. This irritates me.

If anyone can fix the problems with 0.0, it will be the people who live there. Unfortunately, nobody seems to listen to the residents of 0.0 because they make up only a paltry 30% of the subscriber base in EVE. Bane Glorious and Darius JOHNSON, both CSM reps, have in my eyes been some of the few people who can formulate a coherent argument for or against certain mechanics.

Bane successfully, and coherently argued that titans needed to be nerfed and outlined his reasons for this in a 30-page manifesto