Hyperion Wormhole Changes

Wormhole Fleet Storyhead

So yesterday I laid out how wormhole combat differs from gate combat and why that diversity is a good thing. And thus, why CCP’s proposed upcoming change in Hyperion to make spawn points post-jump based on mass is a bad idea.

The TLDR of Fozzie’s entire change devblog? Most of the changes are positive (some hugely so), with these exceptions in my opinion:

  1. Wormhole clone swapping should be considered to make the new frigate holes worthwhile and maximize use.
  2. Actual regeneration of the frigate hole mass should be removed – it’s the first step toward a wormhole stabilizer.
  3. Mass-affected spawning is terrible and should be removed.
  4. CCP should continue to consider removing the discovery scanner in w-space and reverting to pre-Odyssey scan mechanics.

TheMittani.com did a very nice quick analysis of things that’s worth your time, so I’ll try to add a bit of additional flavor on top of what they listed.

Here is the shortlist from Fozzie’s blog.

These changes consist of:

  • Wormhole effect rebalance
  • A second static for Class 4 wormholes
  • More randomly spawning wormholes
  • Mass-based spawn distance after wormhole jumps
  • K162 appearance only on first jump
  • Loosening of bookmark copying restrictions

Wormhole Effect Rebalance

As long as I’ve been in wormhole space, there have been two common comments, almost nightly. One of them is how bad Black Holes are. They’ve been the laughingstock of w-space for years because they were all but guaranteed to be empty. No one wanted to live, farm or fight in them.

Now, they clearly have a set of capabilities designed around speed and missiles that make them interesting and useful, if not for everyone. I applaud the Black Hole changes. The rest is a bit more of a mixed bag.

Magnetars (focus: Damage) got a bit of a nerf and honestly probably needed it. Wolf-Rayets (focus: Armor) and Pulsars (focus: Shield) also got pulled back a bit but in ways I think were balanced.

Red Giants (focus: Bombs) have always been pretty “meh” – and I think still are, but the changes might inspire a few more tries at things. I doubt it but maybe. I’ll admit that Cataclysmic Variables I expected to be in higher use than Fozzie’s charts showed, and I’m a bad enough theorycrafter with capacitor that I’ll admit I’m not sure whether I like or dislike the changes there.

Verdict: Good! On the whole, these changes are welcome, especially the Black Hole.

Second Static for Class 4s

Remember I said there were two common complaints? This is the other one. The TMC article, while correct, somewhat misses the “why”. Yes, C4s aren’t great farming and so go unoccupied pretty often. And they are “an uncomfortable wasteland”, but here’s why: Class 4s are most heavily connected to … other class 4s. Of 505 Class 4 systems, 144 (29%) are static connected to another Class 4. To make matters worse, Class 4s are also the only system type that has no dynamic holes leave. In other words, you’re either leaving through the static or a K162. This means that the likelihood is even lower that there will be other exits. And to add insult to injury, most C4s are abandoned, meaning you will need to scan through 20+ signatures to find what is likely to be yet another 20-sig C4.

Long story short: Many groups, when they get two C4s in a row, roll the hole for something better or simply quit scanning that chain and work on others. It’s just not worth the time and energy to scan that much for yet another C4 and no content.

Now, with a second static, the hope is that they will be worth scanning, worth living in, and open a whole new playground between C5/C6 and the lower-class holes.

The only downside is that some of the w-space mapping tools will need a minor overhaul to decide which w-space static is the “real static” (this isn’t a problem in dual-static C2s because one will be the “real static” – the w-space static, and the other is “just a k-space”). It will be interesting to see how CCP implements this and how the third parties deal with it.

Verdict: Brilliant! About time.

More Randomly Spawning Wormholes

If CCP wants to increase PVP in holes, this is the way to do it. More holes mean more screwups mean more missed new entrances mean more fight opportunities. It’s just that simple.

Verdict: Brilliant! Fully suported!

New “Small Ship” Wormholes

Now this one is interesting, but not without its concerns. Fozzie’s post says:

The new class of random wormholes will have a very low maximum jump mass, navigable only by frigates, destroyers and multi-bubble heavy interdictors.

So first of all, I think the size restriction is intriguing. Frigate-class vessels play some odd roles in w-space. There are a handful that are used commonly: CovOps, Interceptors and Ventures. One of the problems with frigates and destroyers is that wormhole pilots tend to have expensive heads, so we don’t like getting podded and tend to fly very well-tank ships, since we can’t clone-jump in the current mechanics. So we’ll see if it actually gets much adoption.

While the stated purpose of these holes is to bring more combat opportunities in smaller ships to w-space, I think the long-term impact of these will be to provide an uncloseable link to systems either preparing for a siege or in the midst of one. Here’s how.

Getting a scout into a hole today is usually doable but not without risk. With these holes, it will be a cakewalk. No problem. Siege planning and insertion just got a little easier. But the second is more insidious: in a hole under siege already, a good attacker gets hole control with bigger ships, closing any new connection and critting the static, while preventing anything from entering or leaving, and in any fight you pod your opponent out to k-space to take them out of the fight. These little uncloseable holes plus bubble-immune Interceptors mean that people can get back in much more easily than before. This adds a new tactical element that should be fun to watch in action. Sieges might get a little more competitive.

But Fozzie then goes on to say:

They will also enjoy a very high stable mass and will be the first wormhole connections in EVE to regenerate mass over time. This means that collapsing these wormholes will be nearly impossible, and they will virtually always last to the end of their 16 hour lifespan.

Emphasis mine. Here’s where I part ways a bit with this one. I’m OK with the high mass. I’m not OK with regeneration. This has a very “slippery slope” feel to me. It smells like a test of “well, how bad would wormhole stabilizers really be?” Mark my words, if this doesn’t end up being problematic, it won’t be too long before you have uncloseable holes between k-space and the lower classes so the sov null boys can not have to worry about frustrating things like not being able to get the whole blob to the fight.

Verdict: Split. New hole type to force ship size choice is interesting and a good experiment – it has done well for FW plexes. On the other hand, regenerating mass is in fact a wormhole stabilizer built right in – a bad idea and will lead to even worse things down the road. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Mass-Based Spawn

I wrote about this yesterday at length.

Verdict: Terrible. Stop fixing what’s not broken.

K162 Apperance On Jump

Before Odyssey, you had to have probes out and be scanning to know that someone had found a new way into your system and was hunting for you. There were many chances to catch people unaware that were being lazy or stupid. Then Odyssey came along and with the discovery scanner, effectively put a giant intruder alarm on every pilot’s scan window when someone merely warped to the other side of the new hole. “Bing! Incoming hostiles in 5 minutes, back to the POS!” This of course pissed off just about every PVP pilot in w-space.

CCP has all but said that they will not de-dumb the dumbscovery scanner in w-space. But they are trying to find some compromise that will not screw the defender (like an earlier suggestion that the K162 simply not appear for a while, even to probes) nor the attacker (like things are currently on Tranquility).

So this is their compromise – that it doesn’t show up in system until someone actually jumps. This means that a combat fleet will have to be ready to go in quicker time to do it, but that ganks are again theoretically possible. Time will tell if it actually works, or if it will simply reduce the number of wormholes opened and thus paths to content.

Verdict: Improved. but going back to the old way would still be better.

Looser Bookmark Copy Restrictions

More bookmark capability is more goodness. ‘Nuff said.

Verdict: Good. Especially when Fozzie says: “ongoing work that will eventually enable the long-requested alliance bookmarks”. While SSC doesn’t suffer much from this, there will be many people who would joyously welcome that.

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Wormholes are Not Gates – And Never Should Be

Archons Landing Storyhead

I’ve been meaning for a long time to write a full-on post about the differences in combat between lowsec and wormholes, as someone who moved from the former to the latter. I never quite got around to it. But now there’s a more compelling reason to give you a mini-primer on one of the key differences between k-space combat and w-space combat.

In k-space, you have gates. When you jump through a gate, you reappear 15Km off the gate in some random direction. This means with a small gate you could be as far as 30Km from the person you are chasing or flying with. In the case of big gates, it could be even farther. With those kind of distances, what makes the most sense in most cases is that you want to be fast – either to get back to the gate or to tackle something or to warp off. K-space small gang combat outside of places like Faction War plexes heavily favors shield-tanked kiters. If you shot someone, you couldn’t jump, so your only option was to bail out as fast as possible. When I lived in Lowsec and NPC Null, I had the skills to fit a T2 armor tank, but I never flew one. All shield unless the FC demanded armor … and almost every time we ran armor we couldn’t get tackle or maintain it, because your targets always flew shield.

Then I moved into a wormhole, and got the slow sad head-shake for my great shield ship flying skills. No one in wormholes flies shield ships, you see, unless you live in a Pulsar or are going to go fly a LOLfleet in k-space. All armor, all the time. Why? Because wormholes are not gates. Wormholes, you see, drop you less than 5Km from the hole. They have almost zero object radius so in most cases you will be no more than 10Km from your friends and enemies. HIC bubble goes up, and you are most certainly not going to be flying away. It’s either back through the wormhole or guns out, preferably short-range, high-DPS guns. You can also jump through the hole fully agressed … once each way. Out, back. And then you’re stuck for 4-5 minutes – it’s called polarization. Usually in a bubble. So plan it well.

All this taken together means if you encounter an enemy on a hole, you’re almost certain of a fight – whether you want one or not – unlike a gate in k-space. It’s one of the things wormholers love about w-space. But the key to the whole thing is being able to tackle and lock the trap to force either a fight or polarization – either with an interceptor or a HIC in most cases. A HIC bubble reaches out 16-24Km from the ship.

So over the weekend a few wormhole pilots were messing around on the Singularity (SiSi) and discovered that the base mechanics of the wormhole jump (everyone shows up 10Km or (usually) less from each other) were no longer working. In fact, capitals jumped were 40Km from the hole! To make matters worse, after the non-answers (don’t panic, guys, there’s a devblog coming) that came on that forum thread, more wormhole dwellers tested on Sisi and found that polarization had been shut off on inter-region wormholes.

People were shocked at the venom this prompted from the wormhole community – between the two forum threads it hit rabid pitch. The above should explain why. Nothing discovered from the list of wanted items, instead a direct push of the wormhole meta to be more like k-space. Thankfully, the polarization item was later determined to be a bug, but by then the trust was on shaky ground.

Even taken alone, the large-distance projection of capitals and battleships destroys the entire “everyone materializes within brawl range” meta. If the whole game was like that, it might be understandable to want to change it. But if you want that sort of long-distance behavior, you can go kite in k-space. What it said to the wormhole community was: “Hey, good news guys! You get to have gate combat like k-space! Yay!” and the community none-too-gently sent a reminder that most people in w-space left because they weren’t enjoying the k-space meta. The only things that would have been worse would have been an announcement that POS now had docking ability, bringing the loathed docking games to w-space, or that the sov null guys were getting permanent wormhole stabilizers to fly in supercaps and wrecking balls.

To make matters worse, it forces choices that discourage fights, rather than encouraging them. To understand this, you need to understand not only the brawl mechanics above, but also a phenomenon that has two different names based on their intent. “Critting” generally refers to intentionally collapsing or forcing to critical your static wormhole in a defensive posture – usually either to block enemy entrance during vulnerable farming time or to lock out an overwhelming threat. “Ragerolling” generally refers to intentionally collapsing because your chain sucks and you want to try another one to look for PVP, and if you get a garbage chain, rolling again and again until you find a fight.

Today, the easiest way to Crit or Rageroll is to pass capital ships through the hole. Two capital passes and an Orca pass and even the largest holes generally collapse. It is easy for most w-space groups to muster this. This encourages Ragerolling, because it makes it easy to get another hole, and another. Flinging the capitals out to 40Km slows that down, and puts the capital ship at risk. So what will likely happen? Instead, the larger groups will bring a horde of battleships to accomplish the same task, but the little guys will be SOL, POS up and log off until tomorrow.

The problem that Fozzie & co. were likely trying to solve is the problem of Critting – the defensive variety. It allows farming in near-safety unless you get the unlucky new hole showing up midway through. So CCP wanted to give people a way to catch that capital. The problem is that it will do no such thing. A capital flung that far will either escape or have to slowboat back – and so what will happen is that they will not bring it at all, and will resort to alternate methods. And then the most fun fights in w-space simply won’t happen any more. The caps will stay home. The big boys will still Crit with battleships, and the little guys will get ganked.

The good news is that CCP Fozzie’s Hyperion w-space devblog came out today, possibly spurred on by the foaming of the w-space community. And it has lots of good stuff in it (I’ll touch on that stuff in the next post). Sadly, the mass-projection item is still there. It’s less terrible, but not gone.

Back to the HIC bubble. 16-24Km radius. A HIC can make itself ridiculously low-mass, so it will generally still be right on the hole. A carrier or dreadnaught now rematerializes at 19Km. Yes, this is within the HIC bubble, so the trapper will be OK so long as there is a well-skilled HIC pilot (T2 bubbles are rare, so this really still is too far) but so far out that the jumping capital pilots will generally not take the risk. It’s still too far for both parties. Simply put, the approach does not address the design goal of putting caps at risk, if that is in fact a goal – it is more risky today just because the caps will be flown in the first place. Under the proposed Hyperion changes, the caps will stay home.

Reduce capitals, Orcas and battleships to a 10Km distance, leave the others the same as Fozzie proposes, and it could still work. But then it adds effectively nothing. So why do it?

Don’t. It ain’t broke, stop fixing it.

And the new thread on the topic shows broad agreement with me on this one. I encourage all w-space pilots to leave a polite and ideally a specific “kill this idea” response in that thread.

Next post we’ll talk about the rest of Fozzie’s devblog which, unlike the mass ejector proposal, has a lot of w-space goodness (as well as a few other concerns worthy of note).

Posted in Non-Fiction, Releases, Test Server | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

RL >

shoot_the_moon

I don’t often talk about RL here – this is a space I reserve for amusement, hobbies and to keep my writing skills functional. I have plenty of stress in my real life and games generally speaking are where I go to escape that.

But this week, I’ve been writing about something other than EVE, something more important. My grandfather passed away this week, having lived a full and happy life, at age 92. I was very fortunate to share more than 40 of those years with him. I took a day off work to write his eulogy, and then read it at the service this morning.

He was a decorated veteran, an optimist, a man with a great sense of humor and someone who knew how to min-max a card game like no one else I’ve ever seen (bonus points for those of you who get the reference from the picture above). My love of games in general goes back to playing with him and others in that side of my family. He was a listener first and a talker second, more likely to answer a question with a question than an answer. He worked hard, played hard, and gave a lot back to his family – most often in opportunities for experiences.

As I got ready for the funeral this morning, I saw the announcements of layoffs at CCP blip past on Twitter, and thought of the many concerns and fears that come from that event (I’ve had that experience, and it’s not fun), the scrambling to make ends meet. I thought of the lives and families of those employees, and the stress they must be under. I wish them the best in the coming months. It is times like this that they will need to lean on their friends and family.

This is a rambling way of reminding you: RL > EVE … or any other pastime, really. Make sure that a job or a hobby serves its purpose, but don’t lose sight of the main event. Make sure you take the time to go make memories in the real world as well – “make hay while the sun shines,” as my grandpa might say. In time, most things pass, but your family and closest friends are what matters in the end.

Posted in Non-Fiction | Tagged , | 8 Comments

The CSM You Deserve

CSM 9

“Bad officials are elected by good people who do not vote.”
– George Jean Nathan

So today CCP Leeloo posted the actual CSM 9 voting results. I’m going to apologize now for what I expect will get a little ranty.

Let me start by congratulating Mittens, Sion & Mynnna for an election approach excellently planned and expertly executed. You’ll see why in a moment.

Here is a table of the results, looked at three ways. The first (STV-14) is the order in which they were elected in the CSM selection. It is a good approximation of the actual order in which seats were won. The second (STV-2) is the method that selected the permanent attendees, and is a decent measure of who had the broadest support. The final (FPTP) is a count of #1 votes only – which while not a literal match to what first past the post would have been (with different rules the null blocs likely would have taken a different voting strategy), is a reasonable approximation of who else had a chance if it had been FPTP and really highlights who benefited from STV rolldown.

STV-14: Order of Election STV-14 1974 Quota Round STV-2: Breadth of Support STV-2 Count FPTP (Approx): If it had been the old way #1 Votes
Sion Kumitomo 4495 Ali Aras 7784 Sion Kumitomo 4314
Coreblood 3122 Sion Kumitomo 6055 Coreblood 2944
Sugar Kyle 2315 Steve Ronuken 5685 Sugar Kyle 1915
Ali Aras 2230 Sugar Kyle 3930 Steve Ronuken 1692
Steve Ronuken 2142 Coreblood 3721 Progod 1655
Progod 2042 Progod 3141 Ali Aras 1521
Mynnna 1974 Corbexx 2897 Matias Otero 1453
Xander Phoena 1974 Matias Otero 2606 Mike Azariah 1418
Matias Otero 1974 Mike Azariah 2177 Corbexx 1171
Corbexx 1974 DJ FunkyBacon 2008 Major Jsilva 970
Mike Azariah 1974 Mangala Solaris 1420 DJ FunkyBacon 959
DJ FunkyBacon 1974 Major Jsilva 1384 Mangala Solaris 857
Mangala Solaris 1549 Asayanami Dei 1302 Psychotic Monk 853
Major Jsilva 1475 Mynnna 1237 Asayanami Dei 828
==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ====
Asayanami Dei 1395 Psychotic Monk 1087 Mynnna 786
Psychotic Monk 1146 Xander Phoena 893 Xander Phoena 775

So what can we learn from this? Well, disclaimer first – I’m betting that Foo will weigh in on my conclusions, and he’ll have some good insights, so check out the comments below (he understands STV better than I do). But here’s what I see in these results besides the obvious items I hit in my general analysis post.

  1. The CFC vote was solid, organized and disciplined. Because CFC had their shit together and as The Mittani predicted, “Given how poor a job CCP did with getting the CSM8 minutes out the door, my personal take on this election is that turnout will be at an all-time low. If I’m right, that’s hilarious news for the CFC, because there’s nothing this coalition does quite like marching and voting in lockstep. In a low turnout situation, the impact of organization, unity and force is magnified. Even if you don’t care about the CSM, vote the way we tell you to, simply because it’ll make a gaggle of shitlords who hate us very, very angry should we succeed.” The CFC landed three in the top nine, practically unaided, without breaking a sweat. If you didn’t vote, for god’s sake you better shut up with the Grr Goons, because your non-participation achieved it. The #1 votes for Sion alone were more than enough to elect two people. For the record (as I told Mynnna) I have nothing against Goons, I find them fun gank targets and their leaders are smart people. I endorsed Mynnna in the top tier and Xander in the second tier. But people bitching about them and then having them land three seats tells me how serious their detractors are.
  2. If the CFC had been less organized and disciplined, or if turnout had been larger, it is entirely likely that Xander Phoena would not have been elected. I expected Xander to have very broad support, but instead it looks like he was elected purely by the CFC and Tweetfleet – and most of it CFC. Xander, make sure to write Mittens (rather than Ripard) a thank-you.
  3. Mynnna’s seat was also a rolldown victory, and while he had broader cross-ticket support than Xander, it wasn’t by much.
  4. Corebloodbrothers’ coalition is larger, stronger and more motivated than I think anyone anticipated. I really want to understand why. All I’ve seen from Core so far is complaints on Twitter about getting blobbed by the bigger sov null guys. I find it really ironic because we generally avoid Provi these days because individual ships and tiny gangs get blobbed so bad by Provi-bloc!
  5. Ali had the broadest support by far, even though she wasn’t as high on the #1 lists as I expected her to be.
  6. Sugar Kyle and Steve Ronuken had far better support than I expected. Kudos to both for beating expectations handily. Those in the top 6 slots were solidly top 6 in all three views of the rolldown.
  7. Mangala Solaris’ support has really dropped off from last year. Last year he had large, broad support – this year not so much.
  8. Psychotic Monk just can’t quite get there. I actually think that if the griefer crowd was ever going to get someone in it would have been this year, due to the flap over Erotica1. But it just isn’t enough – I hypothesize that the griefer crowd just isn’t big enough to get the job done.
  9. If you’re a wormhole voter and didn’t vote a full wormhole ticket, you have only yourself to blame that we have only one representative. As is plain to see above, Asayanami Dei just barely missed out. What if every wormhole voter had listed the top as the wormhole 5? Here are the #1 votes for wormholers: 1171 (Corbexx) + 828 (Asayanami) + 653 (James) + 518 (Proclus) + 141 (Karen) = 3311 votes. If we use STV-14 numbers instead it’s 1991+1395+888+561+151 = 4986. Final quota was 1974, so that means that we could have elected 1.7 to 2.5 candidates. Asay should have made it without a problem but the wormhole community couldn’t get it together. There was even an outside chance for James if we had been able to muster the turnout. Son, I am disappoint.

So that quote at the top? Not at all meant to insinuate that this CSM has bad apples – in fact right now I am very optimistic that most will be very active and will represent their constituencies well. The problem is the unbalanced nature of what’s there:

  • Null: 7 (Sion, Core, Ali, PGL, Mynnna, Xander, Matias, JSilva)
  • Highsec: 3 (Steve, Mike, Mangala)
  • Lowsec: 2 (Funky, Sugar)
  • Wormholes: 1 (Corbexx)

Sure, you can argue semantics about Core and Ali and Xander and Matias, but they’re all null players – that is their experience and their focus.

Now let’s get to the real dismal number: Turnout. Of hundreds of thousands of characters, only 30,000ish accounts (even less actual people!) voted. That’s a 1/3 drop from last year. Terrible, terrible participation. CCP, you need to step up your promotional game next year. In a player base as large as EVE, this small a voting population is a travesty.

DisenfranchisedWho voted? The organized (sov null and to a lesser extent wormholes) and the disenfranchised, fearful and angry (lowsec, highsec & Provi). Just ask lowsec players how well they feel like CSM 8 did for their space – you may hear they did well in general, or for communication, but I guarantee you won’t hear how great they were for lowsec space.

The bottom line is that we, the voters, got exactly what our participation dictated. We have the CSM we earned, the CSM we deserve through our action or inaction. If you want to change this and get heard, you need to take the null strategy on – not the one of back room bargains, etc. (Sugar Kyle and Steve Ronuken prove that isn’t required) but you do need to vote for your playstyle, unless you truly believe those of your playstyle are so bad that you’d rather have those of a different style represent you.

If you didn’t vote your playstyle, I hope the person you did pick can represent you – they may be a good person, but they likely won’t get some of the critical specifics of your kind of space. Me? I wish we had another wormholer on there.

Oh, and if you didn’t vote at all? Then you should STFU with any complaints you have, and vote next year. You failed in one of the most basic tenets of democratic responsibility.

Posted in Non-Fiction | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

This Game is Going to the Dogs

barghest_paintingLet’s talk briefly about the new Mordu’s Legion ships and their names – current and recent past.

First a quick shout-out to CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise. On the heels of the success of my ferreting out some of the things behind the Sisters of EVE ship names last time around, our favorite ship guys decided to move from real names of the ships to code names to confound all the speculators.

This led to them putting false names out for the three new Mordus ships. I did an analysis of those false names and bit hard on the troll.

FozzieAndRiseTrollingWell played, gentlemen, well played.

But before we go on from that, let’s look at a couple of interesting facts, shall we? First off, this still leaves the story arc around the compact gravity well generators unresolved. Make no mistake, this is an important story arc; my bet is it’s connected to the future gate mechanics and the research being conducted at the Ghost Sites.

It also does not in any way invalidate the names of the ships presented. If the miniaturized gravity well generators are to be incorporated into ships of various sizes, they will likely be Boundless Creation ships in the Minmatar line, and these names would be quite useful – Freyja in particular is a good Minmatar ship name IMO.

So what about the new Mordu’s Legion ships that are in fact the real thing? They are:

  • Garmur. Or as I understand is more appropriate, Garmr. This is a Norse name, and thus fits the Minmatar piece of the puzzle. It is the hound at the gates of the underworld, much like Cerberus in Greece.
  • Orthrus. So right off the bat there’s a bit of a problem with this one. See, the name is already taken. As any C5/C6 wormhole dweller knows, this is the name of a Sleeper gun emplacement. Orthrus is the brother of Cerberus in Greek myth. UPDATE: CCP Abraxas (@cloisterphobe, official lore guy and Keeper of Names) confirmed this on Twitter, saying: “Probably going to rename all the Sleeper sentries. We want to use those names for more high-profile stuff.”
  • Barghest. A spectral dog from English lore who would appear in times of death.

So we definitely have a theme here, although I find it a bit jarring with what I know of Mordu’s Legion – generally known as mercenaries with honor. Maybe this is somehow tied to Valkyrie. Perhaps they think of themselves as the Dogs of War, but these are the Hounds of Hell – I personally would have associated such more with Sansha or Blood Raiders … but maybe that’s just me.

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CSM 9 Results

csmlogo-blackWe don’t know exactly how the voting went yet, but I do know that my predictions post was almost spot-on. There was only one real miss, and another that I made the right prediction first and should not have made my last-second tweak.

The big bummer is that this also means that my corpmate and CSM 8 veteran James Arget didn’t make the cut. We’ll talk more about why below.

The Winners I Called Correctly

  • Ali Aras (Permanent Attendee). I think that Ali was the MVP of CSM 8. Great outreach and communication, hard work, strong representation not just of her constituency but of the game as a whole. Picking her as a permanent was a guess, but a good one. My opinion is that Ali should be the Chair if she wants it. She’ll be great.
  • Sion Kumitomo (Permanent Attendee). Top of the Goon list. An easy call both to make it and to know he’d be a permanent. I don’t know much about him but his image is that he’s a Goon’s Goon. If The Mittani is CEO, Sion is COO – and if you’ve spent any time in a large RL company, you know that often the COO is the real driver. Doesn’t spend a lot of time in-game, he’s a metagamer first. It’s not a pedigree I love in a CSM member. I hope he’ll come at this role with a broader perspective. I’m honestly interested to see if he will have time to do it properly, with running all of the CFC also on his plate.
  • Corbexx. The only wormholer this time around. Corbexx was right on message with most of the wormhole community, whose perspective is one of cautious optimism. The first principle is: Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broken. Wormholers have an almost mantra-like short list of things they do want fixed, and Corbexx recited all of them properly. He also has a lot of experience across the game and deep depth in wormhole space knowledge. I had a great discussion with him during the campaign about my removable POS idea, which he is supportive of. I think he’ll be a solid representative.
  • DJ FunkyBacon. The Faction Warfare rep. Funky is forthright and a good communicator, even if not everyone loves his message. I hope that he (along with Xander) will leverage their podcasting platforms to talk with the community this year. I think he’ll be a good voice for his constituency and the game.
  • Major JSilva. I know nothing about him except that he is the PL candidate. Guess I’ll have to read up on him now.
  • Mangala Solaris. Mangala is a leader in RvB and a proven content creator. I find Mangala likable and there’s no question he loves the game. He did a workmanlike job last year and I think he will again this year.
  • Matias Otero. Brave Newbies was one of the great success stories of the past year at some level due to his vision. I don’t know a lot about him other than that his corp is fun to fight with and they seem to like him. I hope that he will be a strong member but his campaign was lackluster and BNI has been having an ugly stretch, so time will tell.
  • Mike Azariah. I am glad Mike got in again. I think he was a great rep, a hard worker and counter voice to the nullsec majority. I think it will be valuable to have him there again.
  • Mynnna. Mynnna is smart and capable, essentially the Goons’ CFO to Sion’s COO. I think Mynnna did quite well last year and I expect the same this year. While I understand why he was #2 on the Goon ballot (it was actually a pretty brilliant strategy, IMO) I wish he was a permanent rather than Sion.
  • Progodlegend. I started with a pretty negative view of PGL last year, and through December felt like I had called him right. But then he stepped up and finished his term strong. I am hopeful he will continue the upward trend.
  • Sugar Kyle. I am really pleased that Sugar got in. I think she’ll not only be a good worker but will bring an extremely well-balanced perspective that will benefit the whole game. Non-faction lowsec has desperately needed a good voice since Mynxee (CSM 5) left and I am confident Sugar will be that voice. I really hope she picks up where Ripard Teg left off in blogging weekly. She’s been doing it through her campaign and I would love to see her continue this through her term. (Update: A couple hours after I wrote this but before it posted, Sugar put up her own post stating that she is going to try to do this. Very happy to see it.)
  • Xander Phoena. Call it what you will – the insider candidate, the Tweetfleet candidate, another CFC candidate … Xander got in on strong endorsements and broad name recognition. He’s a very likable guy. I suspect we’ll see a very broad voter base for him in the results. I think he brings an unquestionable passion for the game, an incisive view of the CSM, and will work hard. I hope he leverages his podcast platform to reach out. I think it’s going to be interesting to see how he holds up with the shoe on the other foot (he hasn’t always weathered criticism well) and it will also be interesting to see how CSM work meshes with life on an oil platform. I like Xander and want him to be successful.

The Winners I Called Wrong

  • Corebloodbrothers. As I noted in my predictions post, “In fact, when I wrote the final draft of this post, I had him in and James/Proclus out – I changed my mind literally at the last minute.” So I can’t say I’m surprised he got in. I think Core has good intent, and from what Ripard Teg has said, it sounds like there is a complaint the Provi folks had that drove them to the booths. I’m not sure what it is, so am looking forward to Ripard’s analysis post he says is coming. I think Core means well, but I also know what it’s like to have a hefty career along with kids, so I hope his schedule can handle the load.
  • Steve Ronuken. Russian out, Steve in! In truth I see this as a very happy outcome. Steve has been tirelessly campaigning and building tools for a year and deserved a seat. I’m happy he made it. Especially with industry and CREST changes on the horizon, CSM needed Steve’s background and understanding. Based on his perma-campaign I have no doubt he will work hard and serve the team well.

Called But Didn’t Win

  • The Russian (Alner Greyl). I am frankly amazed that there is not a Russian on CSM 9. I just take it as a given that a Russian will be on the CSM. It’s a happy result from my perspective, and I’ll be very interested to see the voting rolldown and what happened. Maybe the Russians finally decided to put playstyle before nationality.
  • James Arget. Last and most disappointing for me, my friend James. We’ll know more when we see the vote rolldown numbers, but I think two things did him in.
    1. I think that the wormhole vote was both smaller and fractured. Smaller as in both a smaller pool to pull from and a smaller number that voted. Fractured in that last year most wormholers voted for 4 or 5 of the candidates, assuring rolldown to a wormholer. This year I am less sure – I suspect that many voted for 1-2, some 3, and very few 4 or 5. If the number show we did so, we screwed ourselves. I suspect we’ll see the opposite from Lowsec, who I suspect overwhelmingly had bot Sugar and Funky in their top 2-3.
    2. James made a couple of missteps that were blown way out of proportion. He was always planning to run. Except for one day. Only one day – in fact, I actually missed it and wondered what the hell people were talking about him not running. James in fact said so on a podcast, and rescinded it the next day. Then he was late posting things up and getting interviews all done. This combined to make it look like he was taking a win for granted and indecisive to boot, when in fact neither was the case; from being on comms with him I know he was continuing to do CSM work to the detriment of his campaign in many ways. James worked hard as a CSM, and I’m disappointed that he didn’t make it back in. It will, however, be nice to have him back in fleets more often!
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CSM9 Results Predictions

csmlogo-blackSo the voting for CSM 9 is just about to close. I’m going to keep this short and to the point. Here is my guess on the voting outcome to be announced at Fanfest in a couple of weeks. In the end, I think that only 3 of the 14 seats are truly “in play” – and those three will have a ton of competition. With so many different large blocs voting, exact order is a turnout-driven crapshoot, so I am only calling the top two as far as order – the rest are listed alphabetically within a likelihood category.

  • The Locks (Top 6) – If these people don’t get in there was a disaster at the voting booth or a massive shift in sentiment no one ever expected.
    • Permanent: Sion Kumitomo. Top of the CFC list
    • Permanent: Ali Aras. Broadest support with highest listing in endorsements of any candidate
    • Corbexx. Actually this should be Wormhole Winner, the wormholers will absolutely get one in. My bet is it’s Corbexx, but if not it will be James or Proclus.
    • Major JSilva. Top of the PL list
    • Mangala Solaris. Top of the RvB list
    • Mynnna. #2 on the CFC list but with broad support and disciplined voters
  • The Probables (7-11) – Strong odds that they get in.
    • Alner Greyl. As with the wormholers, this is actually Russian Winner – the Russians always get someone on and form ranks nationally rather than along playstyle lines. Ripard is betting on Alner, and I have no idea, so I’m going with it. If not Alner it will be Podli
    • DJ FunkyBacon. Top of the Faction War list – the only “maybe” here is that not everyone loved his stance on the Erotica 1 flap.
    • Matias Otero. Top of the Brave Newbies list – but Brave has had the worst two weeks of its existence smack in the middle of the voting period, including another candidate bailing on CSM elections and doing a virtual AWOX on BNI – I think this drives votes away from him that should have been Locks.
    • Progodlegend. Top of the N3 list – but N3 isn’t renowned for disciplined voting.
    • Xander Phoena. Second most broadly endorsed after Ali, including high placement on everything from the CFC ballot to Ripard Teg’s endorsements.
  • The Guesses (12-14) – I think these have the best chance to break into the tail end of the vote rolldown. These are the truly tough to guess slots in my opinion.
    • James Arget or Proclus Diadochu. As above, this is actually “Wormholer #2″. I think that this person is the last one in, #14. The reasons is that the Wormhole 5 vote is a lot sketchier and less solidarity is being seen beyond the top 3. If someone does get in, my money is on James Arget due to strong CSM 8 service and endorsements, but Proclus has run a great campaign. Asay is seen as too focused on the community sites where the focus needs to be in-game (although he raises a good point that these are different teams – but it isn’t resonating), and Karen is seen as too new.
    • Mike Azariah. Mike is almost a “Probable”. He did a great job in CSM 8 and has gotten very good endorsements. But the highsec vote is fickle, disorganized and could go to Ali or the suddenly real candidacy of Steve Ronuken.
    • Sugar Kyle. Sugar has run, in my opinion, the best campaign of anyone. She unquestionably deserves to get in, again in my opinion. But her election falls on the shoulders of bloggers, largely unorganized lowsec casual players, and a handful of organized pirate groups. I think it’s going to be a close thing, but I think she gets in.

So that’s 14. Unfortunately it also leaves some good candidates  out in the cold. So who else might get one of the last three seats in place of one of The Guesses?

  • The Wild Cards (15-21) – These folks have a strong chance of displacing one of the Guesses – especially the second wormholer.
    • Awoxing Pizza-Spymaster McBlushooter. No one is really sure whether he’s for real or a joke. The only things that are certain is that he is in Brave Newbies, on multiple lists, and that he has an amazing name – and one that doesn’t bode well for the CSM (if your ROs let a guy with this name into corp they should be fired!). He’s the wildest of the wild cards.
    • Corebloodbrothers. It’s going to be a close thing for Core. In fact, when I wrote the final draft of this post, I had him in and James/Proclus out – I changed my mind literally at the last minute. He has Provibloc to himself this time (Ali is no longer there) but in the end I am betting on him for #15 because he has almost no cross-ballot support and Provi isn’t big enough to elect him singlehanded if turnout is what it was last year. He also had a more lackluster campaign this time. He has to pray for good turnout from Provi and bad from everyone else to get in.
    • DSNBLACK. Promoted by Trebor. DirtNap is a strong independent entity with good visibility. He’s made a handful of lists.
    • Gorski Car. Gorski has run on a bit of an unusual platform – small gang in sov null and lowsec. He’s gotten some nods and some interest from various parties but I don’t think it adds up to election. There are other more high profile candidates (like Jayne and Sugar, or in slightly larger circles FunkyBacon and Mangala) who will siphon votes. He’s also a member of PL, which means many won’t buy the small gang image even if it’s technically accurate … and I don’t think JSilva will have many votes to pass down from the PL ticket.
    • Jayne Fillon. Jayne has run a good campaign and has strong visibility – CCP even did a profile of his work right as CSM voting was gearing up. I don’t think it’s quite enough to get him in, especially with the big pile of null candidates that are likely to make it.
    • Psychotic Monk. Monk ran a good campaign last year and missed by a small margin. The ganker community is motivated this year and strongly disagrees with the Erotica 1 decision, and this should drive voting participation up. Monk also has a broad endorsement base, since he is the oddball “normal, reasonable” ganker.
    • Steve Ronuken. Steve also ran a good campaign last year and missed by a small margin. This year his campaign has been even stronger and he had great achievements to stand on unlike last year. I’m betting that if it’s not Core that knocks out Wormholer #2, it’ll be Steve.

I don’t think any of the others running have a realistic shot.

So that’s it. I’ll be back to do some analysis once we know the real results. Good luck to all the candidates!

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