Anomalous Findings

Crystal Ball Storyhead

Please note: This post is about things on the Singularity “Sisi” test server May 7-9, 2015 and as pre-release items might be considered spoilers. If you are sensitive about reading such things before they hit Tranquility, then you might want to not read further. Please also be warned that I do this all the time, so if you don’t like such things you might have to skip a lot of my stuff. Thank you.

It’s funny that I never used to have to have a disclaimer. I suppose that is because until last October, all 15 of us who actually cared about lore mystery hunting already knew and wanted to know more. I had someone ask on Twitter whether it was “ethical” to post Sisi items. Let me be blunt: It has nothing to do with ethics. No one has to read, no one is harmed, there is no favoritism because the entire playerbase has access to Sisi and this stuff will make me $0 and 0 ISK when it hits Tranquility. Don’t want to know? Don’t read it. I’m thrilled that the pool of people interested in lore has exploded, but don’t expect those of us who have been writing this stuff for years to stop because you don’t want to know and can’t stop yourself from reading. It’s just like a movie review, for Bob’s sake.

OK, rant over. On with the post.

The Claw, Vidette. Click to Enlarge.

As you likely have heard (if not, check out Neville Smit’s excellent post at Crossing Zebras), on the latest build of Sisi there is a lore bombshell of a new feature – you can now enter the Unidentified (Drifter/Circadian Seeker) wormholes. And on the other side lie five brand new systems. Each boasts a unique beacon with a maze-like PVE run that has to be done by a minimum of two players – in practice it will likely to be at least several more, and if crazy stuff like 500 Drifters in a site make it to Tranqulity, maybe a full-on fleet.

I however am terrible at PVE and generally experience Sisi solo or in a group of less than five, so I have not personally seen the interior of any of these mazes beyond the first room.

That said, each of these five systems has five Combat Anomalies. On Sisi, they are mostly abandoned but get the occasional Seeker or Drifter visitors. These are directly warpable without scanning, although they do not have a systemwide beacon on the Overview. After multiple visits in some case, I am now certain that these Anomalies are individually placed and unique to the system they are in, spawning nowhere else in the game. Today on Sisi, they have no unique flavor text or info, they are just pretty to look at and have some interesting commonalities. I hope and currently believe that before these Anomalies hit Tranquility, they will be fleshed out with lore-impacting Show Info windows and popups on warp-in.

CCP is playing very cagey with these new systems, and deleted the wormholes entering these systems after two days, eliminating the way in the front door (simultaneously hiding the answer to the question of whether they will be one way holes as well). However, I moved quickly the first two days and thanks to Gentleman Gamer (@etnannarac on Twitter) who had a key to the proverbial back door to Sentinel and Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships, who had one for Redoubt, I got in to finish my survey of these Anomalies, and those of you who are not ethically offended by such things get to reap the lore benefits and start folding the tinfoil along with me.

For each site, I will list the system name & data (both the J-sig and the name of the unique system beacon, plus the system effect and entry wormhole type), the name I have made up for the anomaly so that I can keep track of all of them (these are my made up names, NOT CCP official in any way and likely to be replaced as flavor text shows up) and some thoughts on what we might be seeing and how it might bridge to other anomalies and systems.

Each photo can be enlarged by clicking on it for greater clarity and detail.

J055520 (Red Giant, S877) – Sentinel

The Sentinel system was the first one found, and one of only two where the central beacon site was completed before CCP closed the entry holes and spawned 500 Drifters in it. Most of the pictures of the Hive structure come from this system. It is also potentially home to the destroyed Sleeper Enclave shown being pilfered of corpses in the Emergent Threats trailer.

Photo & Name Notes
The Morgue2015. I have not ever seen a destroyed Enclave before anywhere in w-space. This shattered enclave appears to be nearly identical to the one in the Emergent Threats trailer, but the corpses are now gone. It pulsates and glows with heat. It looks like a destroyed version of the Functional Sleeper Enclave site in Redoubt.
The Rings of Power2015. A crazy combination of items, each of these structures is made of a ring of Sleeper construct items around a Particle Accelerator, which is wrapped around a Spatial Rift.
HoleHenge2015. As originally highlighted way back in the Odyssey marketing material and appearing in several Sleeper sites, the “henges” (boringly named “Rock Formation”) make for some cool but spooky scenery. Several of these are found in the new anomalies. A violent wormhole dominates the center of this one as its unique feature.
The Geodes2015. Another dominant feature of the new sites are “Crystal Asteroids” – blue and orange. Not sure why, but it is a theme throughout the new space.
The Sentinel Monolith2015. This monolith and the one in Conflux, below, are the only two sites that are functionally identical. Rather than being black, they are highly reflective – you can see the nebula in its surface. Monoliths are very common in the new systems – they in fact dominate some of the entry rooms of the new mazes. Make sure to look at this one from the sun side up close, and you can see that it is a massive reflecting mirror to redirect the solar energy, a giant glowing sphere shows in its side.

J110145 (Cataclysmic Variable, B735) – Barbican

The Barbican was also successfully run before the closure and Drifter repopulation, so if you see a Hive picture that’s not Sentinel, it is likely Barbican (it’s the one shown in the photo overrun with red icons of Drifters that’s making the rounds).

Photo Notes
Wrecking Yard2015. Complete devastation is a common site in the new systems this particular one has a heavy emphasis on ship wrecks but is small compared to some of the others.
Crystal Dust2015. Continuing the Crystal Asteroid theme, this one is a cloud of dust dominated by a lone Orange Crystal Asteroid.
RiftHenge2015. Another “henge” Rock Formation, this one is identical to its sister site HoleHenge in Sentinel, except for the fact that this one has a Spatial Rift at its core.
RiftHole2015. This one is a bizarre combination, enough so that I’ve posted a picture with the interface for people to read and consider. It is called an Unstable Wormhole but is clearly a Spatial Rift. The description states: “Your sensors show readings of the chart when you aim them at this peculiar phenomenon. From what little information you can gather you surmise that a stabling mechanism of some sort is needed for it to be safe to venture through the wormhole. But the readings also seem to indicate that this wormhole might not be a totally random natural phenomenon, but rather something that was created. When or by whom is impossible to tell and where it leads is an even bigger mystery.”
The Battery2015. The only thing of its like in w-space, this site is a cube of 24 Inactive Sleeper Sentry guns around a Spatial Rift. Hopefully on TQ they will not be Active, or it’s gonna get ugly in there.

J164710 (Magnetar, V928) – Vidette

The Vidette system appears to have been heavily damaged in comparison with the others, with only one of them (The Grid) seeming to be in good repair.

Photo Notes
The Claw2015. This is a top-down view of the site shown in the header, above. It is very similar to The Functional Sleeper Enclave in Redoubt, but is centered on an Engineering Station rather than an Enclave.
The Asteroid Temple2015. Another “henge” but this time it is anchored by Cloven Red Asteroids and Orange Crystals, while a Ghost ship floats silently nearby.
The Treehouse2015. This is perhaps the strangest of the sites anchored by a Sleeper Enclave. Why is it wrapped by this “coral” structure? And how? And what’s with the unusual red cloud?
The Grid2015. I can’t help but think that when this goes live this site will have some very interesting flavor text. It is a wholly unique structure that suggests some sort of power grid or experimental portal generator.
The Debris Field2015. The future of New Eden? Almost nothing recognizable remains, but it is implied that this cloud of debris, dust and random parts might once have been a station.

J174618 (Wolf Rayet, R259) – The Redoubt

In counterpoint to The Vidette anomalies, The Redoubt anomalies seem to be in the best repair. Given its seemingly robust anomalies along with the fact that it is a Wolf Rayet system, many in the lore community think it is a prime candidate for the location of Hilen Tukoss, who mentioned the light of a Wolf Rayet where he was being held prisoner.

Photo Notes
Coral Graveyard2015. A massive coral structure, dotted with ghost ships. It almost feels like a wall of thorns, something designed to keep intruders out, despite that even with its size it is too small to do so in space. Be sure to zoom in and listen to the haunting flow noise emanating like wind from the structure.
Functional Sleeper Enclave2015. An absolutely perfect Sleeper Enclave. It’s actually rare to find one this nice looking and simple (most are either broken or far more complicated) even in normal w-space. It appears fully operational.
The Crystal Ball2015. Probably the most-noted structure other than the Hives, this very spiky Sleeper structure encloses a violent wormhole. It appears to be a significantly more robust version of The Lidless Eye, below.
The Wheels2015. Sleeper Engineering Stations attached to an array of Particle Accelerators that are feeding – or feeding off – Spatial Rifts. More structures that imply power generation or use.
The Asteroid Interface2015. One of two anomalies (the other being the Mining Colony, below) that seems to have an actually viable mining colony on board the hollow asteroid. The Sleeper Engineering Station appears poised to take the colony’s output.

J200727 (Pulsar, C414) – Conflux

Conflux has also gotten a good bit of explorer view, if you’re seeing pictures on Reddit that are not from Sentinel they are probably from Conflux. Conflux is also interesting in that it is the only one that is not named after a French fortification, so there is some question around why that might be the case.

Photo Notes
The ShipwreckShipwreck The first ghost ship found by most of the current sources was this one – a lonely submarine-looking ship floating beside a lonely blue crystal asteroid at the event horizon of a violent wormhole.
The Mining Colony

Image credit: zaqqsinternetgaming on Reddit

Image credit: zaqqsinternetgaming on Reddit

Alongside the Asteroid Interface, above, one of two sites that appear specifically able to support a mining colony of some sort. It is not clear whether these colonies are peopled by live beings, drones, or simply abandoned with all the lights still on. I unfortunately messed up the screencap of this site but thankfully it was already posted on Reddit.
The SuperacceleratorThe Superaccelerator The most advanced and in depth of all the particle accelerator sites, this one is long enough to create space to support six Sleeper Engineering stations. If you find this, make sure to zoom in and listen to the deep, vibrant thrum of the massive array of interlinked accelerators.
The Lidless Eye2015. One of my personal favorites, it is simplistic yet haunting when you see it in person.
The Conflux Monolith2015. Much like its counterpart in Sentinel, this Monolith is a bright, gleaming thing. It is regularly attended by Circadian Seekers, who probe it for secrets, whatever they might be.

That’s all 25. Stay tuned for more developments.

Posted in Carnyx, Commentary, Lore, Releases, Speculation | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Shattered Wormhole Exploration Phase 1

Sleeper Bioinformatics Complex in J000214 - Click to Enlarge

Sleeper Bioinformatics Complex in J000214 – Click to Enlarge

For the last few months, my former corpmate Uxeric Straevaras (@straevaras on Twitter) and I have been cataloguing every shattered wormhole we have come across. We’ve also added in a number of reports from others, particularly Gora Int, another SSC member.

We have now passed the 50% mark (56 OF 101), so I thought it was time to update the public on our findings so far.

UPDATE 4/13: Since this posted, we’ve gotten five new systems in 2 days! Thanks to Sar Hasarin, Lyndon Byrne, Ferin Maar, Saftsuze and Uxeric for the new contributions! We are now at 61/101 and counting.

UPDATE 4/17: Five more (66 total), mostly found by Straevaras and myself. We are down to only four small shattered wormholes and need your help to finish (see below)!

UPDATE 5/13: We’ve hit 75! Many thanks to Sar Hasarin, Obil Que, Capt Crutches, Adam_Aglaert, Lyndon Byrne and more for tips and discoveries! We’ve now made a major dent in the Class 3s but still need more Class 4s and those elusive last three Smalls.

Shattered System Basics

All shattered systems have a handful of typical characteristics.

As noted in the original devblog, there are two sizes (standard, which are like typical w-space systems with the same classes, and small, which are a class unto themselves and have only frigate entrances), they all have only shattered planets, an A0 IV class blue star, and no moons.

In addition, we have found that they all have Epicenters, made up of five violent wormholes, three Talocan Static Gates, a Talocan Polestar, a Talocan Destroyer wreck, and a pile of Sleeper and Talocan wreckage. They tend to have a wide array of sites, many of which will be of a higher class grade (i.e. Class 6 gas sites in lower-class systems). All appear to have multiple static exits, which vary widely across and within a class, but appear to always have at least one w-space exit and at least one k-space exit.

Key Systems of Interest

There are five systems (so far) that are worthy of mention beyond the standard.

Thera. Of course, all of you know about Thera already. It’s huge. It has stations. It has a crazy number of connections. Thera is also the only shattered system that not all of the planets are in fact shattered. Did you know Thera is the only named system in wormhole space (although it shouldn’t be)? But you can find out about Thera a lot of other places.

The Sansha Override systems (J005299, J011195 & J010556). I wrote about this type of system a few months ago when Straevaras and I first discovered J005299. Shortly thereafter, Gentleman Gamer (@etanerrac on Twitter) discovered a matching system in J011195, which I later verified in person. A third, Jo10556, has had partial (see below) identifying info provided by Wroxton Vee that makes me believe it, too, is likely to be this sort of system. These systems have a handful of identifying markers:

  1. The Epicenter has Sansha NPCs rather than Sleeper NPCs. Verified for J005299 & J011195.
  2. The Epicenter has several unique Sansha Large Collidable Objects (LCOs), including Sansha control structures surrounding the Static Gates, a Revenant wreck, and a Sansha station ruin. Interestingly and disappointingly, the Sansha control structures are hackable objects that are generally found in Incursion sites, but at the Epicenters they are simply scenery. Verified for J005299 & J011195.
  3. The systems have exclusively Sansha Cosmic Signatures. No Sleepers, no other factions. All three systems verified.
  4. So far, they have all been Class 4 systems in the same constellation, C00328. All three systems verified.

Previously, we believed that the Silent Battleground site was another marker, but I do not believe this to be the case any longer (it is possible it changed with the Scylla update: “The site Silent Battleground had it’s distribution adjusted”). I spent a few weeks in residence in J005299 after the update and did not see a Silent Battleground for that entire time.

The Sleeper Bioinformatics HQ (J000214). This small shattered system contains what appears to be a unique site, the Sleeper Bioinformatics Complex (shown in the post header). Thanks to @RadicalDivinity, as of earlier this week I now have an alt living in this system. I have strong suspicions that this system is key to the unfolding story – either the long-term holding place of Hilen Tukoss before his escape, or the place where the Drifters discovered how to reanimate corpses. Unfortunately, like the Sansha control structures in the Override systems, the structures in this site are also not able to be hacked.

How You Can Help

So now what? What’s missing? Well, we still have just under half of the systems still to discover.

What’s going well: We have found most of the Class 5 and Class 6 shattered wormholes, so while there is still some to find the odds are not as good of finding something new.

What’s going OK: We have made good progress with Class 1, Class 2, and Small shattered, but we need more. You’ve got a bit less than a 50/50 chance of finding one we haven’t visited. Despite this progress, the Small systems are obliquely referred to in the stories that have surfaced in this new lore push from CCP – I believe that there is more to be found there particularly relative to the messages of Hilen Tukoss.

Where we need help: We have very little in terms of Class 3 data. For Class 4, which has arguably proven to be the most interesting group thus far, we still need significant and detailed data. It would also be good to get firm confirmation that J010556 is in fact a Sansha Override. This means that we really need data from people who live in wormholes with Class 3 or Class 4 statics! UPDATE 5/13: With the finds in Class 3, Class 1 is the new lightweight. Added below.

Key “Phase 2” systems we want to find:

  • Small Shattered: J000102, J000313, J000461, J000522, J000621, J000726, J000965
  • Class 4 Standard Shattered: J001302, J002423, J002625, J004470, J005280, J005872, J005969, J010247, J011376, J011778, J011824
  • Class 3 Standard Shattered: Any (too many to list) Now down to: J005923, J011563, J012974
  • Class 1 Standard Shattered: J002216, J002757. J005834, J005926, J012402, J015092

What to do if you find one: There will be some very specific information we will be looking for if you find one of these systems. Drop us an evemail or an email or comment here. Here’s how to find the answers to most of the questions we will ask!

  • Travel with Large Collidable Objects turned on in your Overview. This will allow you to see lore-related objects in space that will otherwise be hidden. This is how the Sansha Override items were initially discovered.
  • Visit the Epicenter and each planet to check for LCOs. Also confirm the type of rats at the Epicenter and what kinds they are.
  • Visit any beacons. If there is a beacon other than the Epicenter, contact one of us immediately. Systems with multiple beacons automatically qualify for extra review. If we’re not available, leave a scout in that system. If you can’t do that, join channel FCFTW Public, mention this post, and ask someone to plant a scout there for me.
  • Scan out every signature, and save the list.
  • Visit every wormhole and note the type (e.g. K162) and what type of space it leads to (ideally the actual system it leads to).
  • Run Silent Battlegrounds. If you find a Silent Battleground, note it. If your ship is able and you are interested, run it – they were recently changed and may contain surprise new items or changed loot drops. Report where you find it and the loot drop in detail.

One other thing. We’re not trying to be information hoarders or anything – quite the opposite. But we are asking you to share what you find. Evemail or ping on Twitter, or if you don’t want to make it an exclusive note to us, post it somewhere else – Reddit, Eve-O Forums, whatever. Just make sure you post everything above and then send us a link so we include your findings in our list!

And yes, I have some tinfoil heating up about these findings. But it’s not quite ready to pull out of the fire yet.

Good luck, and happy exploring.

Posted in Commentary, Lore, Shattered, Speculation | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Naming Rights

Nova. Hollywood. Mittanigrad. System names with history. With meaning. Systems in EVE that you will never find on any map.

I’ve been sitting on this post for over two years, since February 2013. It was originally inspired by a tweet from Pandemic Legion to the effect that the only fun thing about taking sov was renaming the stations/outposts they were capturing. At the time, they were naming them for Game of Thrones spoilers.

I’ve been thinking off and on for two years trying to come up for a profound angle on this, but frankly it’s a pretty simple idea, and now that sov is under review, and there is an official named wormhole system (Thera), it’s time for this idea to come to the surface.

Simply put, given a very high bar of system ownership conditions, alliances should be able to rename a sovereign nullsec or wormhole system (of course these names can and should be subject to CCP’s naming rules). The default JXXXXXX wormhole and XXX-XX nullsec names are uninspiring and lend themselves to the vast undifferentiated frontier rather than to the very human drive to name and claim things that are theirs, populated and visible.

In the game this could potentially be done by having a “common name” attribute for the system that would differ from the “true” name of the system. This ties directly to a group’s need for ownership and symbolism of that ownership, which is a (good) goal presented by CCP for the new sov system. What better way to plant your flag and stake your claim than to name your new home?

On screen this could present as <CommonName> (<TrueName>), i.e. Mittanigrad (VFK-IV)

In the case of sovereign nullsec, this is a pretty simple proposition. Set a high bar for sovereignty level and length of time owned. Set a high bar for ongoing usage statistics that move the indices CCP is working on for sov. It is also a clear match or upgrade for the new “plant your flag” version of the TCU.

In the case of wormholes it is a bit tougher. When I originally wrote the post I thought that it would require moon-locking the entire system with POS for a similar time period, as well as a certain amount of site-running and kill activity. With the coming changes to structures, this is now a bit up for grabs but should be considered in CCP’s structure planning. Again, the TCU could address this without bringing weirdness to w-space if properly implemented (an item that does nothing but bring naming rights and a POS fuel bonus would be welcome).

And in the end, it would not be permanent. Humanity is built upon the ruins of past civilizations lost, with new names and new faces. If maintenance conditions passed, a slow timeout would begin – say, three months – and then the “common name” would reset and it would simply be its universal identifier once again, with only Dotlan’s record to tell the tale until the rise of the next overlord of the system.

I’ve lived in Hollywood for almost three years. Let us show it for all to see and know that this is no ordinary system they have stumbled upon.

Posted in Commentary, Mechanics | Tagged , | 12 Comments

CSM X Election – Results

CSM X Storyhead

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the CSM X Election. Those posts are:

  • Full Endorsements – Candidates I strongly recommend for all voters. Under 12% of the candidates earned a Full Endorsement.
  • Provisional Endorsements – Candidates I recommend for specific constituencies, but not for everyone. They generally are solid, interesting experts or good candidates that are made a bit redundant by either each other or other Full Endorsement candidates. Under 16% of the candidates earned a Provisional Endorsement. So less than a third (27%) of the field earned any sort of endorsement.
  • Recommended Voting Slates – A numerated list of who to vote for by playstyle
  • Election Predictions – Who I thought would get in.
  • Election Outcomes Analysis (this post)

Yes I said final. Maybe. Maybe I’ll add another if the actual math or order shows weird stuff. No point beating around the bush, let’s jump right in.

I got 11 of 14 correct, which is actually worse than the last two years (where I was 12/14). 7 of my 9 fully-endorsed candidates got in, plus four of my provisional endorsees, again for 11 of 14 I think will do well. But given the largest and most competitive field in CSM history, I’m happy with the results.

The Endorsed and Predicted (10/14)

  • Sugar Kyle (Permanent, Full Endorsement): Called this one correctly. Sugar was an incredibly hard worker last year, with broad and deep support. She was the obvious person to take the Permanent role of the non-null vote. Well deserved and in my opinion unsurprising. I read every one of her frequent updates.
  • Manfred Sidious (Permanent, Full Endorsement): While I knew Manny would get in, I thought Sion would get the other permanent. What this means is that not only did Manny get broad vote representation, but he was high on the nullsec list across multiple coalitions. To be clear, this makes sense given the ballots that were posted that had him listed high, but my expectation was that the non-CFC non-PL voters would not be disciplined enough to push him past Sion in the STV-2. It looks like they were. Well done!
  • Corbexx (Full Endorsement): Of all the incumbents, it is perhaps not surprising that I’ve worked with Corbexx most. He has been a standout CSM member and a hero to the wormhole world. Unfortunately I think he was so good that it meant that no other wormhole candidate could hold a candle and without Corbexx helping to market, no second wormholer had a chance to step out of his powerful shadow. Corbexx, make us proud again, you’re a great voice for w-space.
  • Endie (Full Endorsement): Endie will be a good addition as I’ve been saying, especially in the sov world. What will be interesting in the actual voting numbers will be to see whether he came in ahead of or behind Thoric. Endie: Don’t stop writing. Start writing about your experiences in CSM. We need not only what you think but the humor you use to present it.
  • Mike Azariah (Full Endorsement): I thought Mike would be a close thing, but I correctly predicted he would make it. Mike will continue to be a contrarian voice. I am sure this drives some of the rest of the CSM crazy (which is likely why Sion called him “an anarchist”) but I do appreciate his “ever-presence” in the community eye.
  • Steve Ronuken (Full Endorsement): Steve deserved to get in for all his great work not only as a rep but as a developer. As long as he can be kept away from the AFK Cloaking crowd I rest assured he will be a huge asset all year with low drama values – what every CSM member should aspire to.
  • Cagali Cagali (Provisional Endorsement): I don’t know a lot about Cagali but everything I’ve heard has been positive. BRAVE and HERO needed a rep and got one. He seemed to be the clearest candidate for the newbie bloc vote. I hope that he delivers.
  • Corebloodbrothers (Provisional Endorsement): I expect Core to be all but invisible to me again this year. But I expect he had another landslide win year, Provi loves him, and it sounds like somewhere, over there out of my sight, he is delivering value. Core, I know you don’t care about anyone other than your Provi bros, but the rest of us out here would like to know what you’re doing too. It’s hard to give you credit when we see nothing from the outside.
  • Jayne Fillon (Provisional Endorsement): Jayne was a long-shot prediction and I’m glad he made it on, and I suspect he was the guy who was voted for by almost everybody but down-ballot, so he gets in on a profile like Malcanis or Mangala did. I think his NPSI world will bring a wholly different point of view to CSM representation. I think it will be very good for CCP to get a voice that does not connect with the traditional corp/alliance structure and encourages just flat-out PVP play. I hope he doesn’t end up going down the FunkyBacon road out of frustration.
  • Sion Kumitomo (Provisional Endorsement): I originally picked Sion to be a permanent, but Manny’s broad support appears to have gotten him over the top. Sion is a very smart guy and will be the CFC hammer-lobby when compared to the “sov play” lobby of Endie. Sion is a very strong proponent for his alliance and his playstyle. I like that he is pushing for transparency, I’ve been saying for a long time that the NDA provides a shield that is too large. But I hope he finds a way to do it that doesn’t make drama the distinguishing feature of CSM X rather than progress. Sion needs to write more too!

The Endorsed But Not Predicted (1/14)

  • Chance Ravinne (Full Endorsement): Chance was a huge long-shot, and like Ali Aras in CSM 8, represented the truly adventurous self-driven newbie. I am pleased to see he made it and I think he will bring a radically different perspective to the CSM. I hope he spends some quality time with the marketing folks. Chance: Bring the voice but it is incredibly important that you do it in a way that is not blatantly self-serving. This was the main criticism of you in the campaign – prove them wrong. Show them you’re right by doing things purely for the good of the game whether or not it’s good for your streams. I want to say great things about you this time next year, not facepalm and apologize.

The Unendorsed Elected (3/14)

  • Gorga (Predicted): Top of the N3 ballot meant he would get in. But he ran the stereotypical “worst case” null bloc candidacy. No thread, no communication, name first heard on the day CCP Leeloo posted candidates. Right now, given that track record, I predict 3 months of activity and complaining that he hasn’t gotten his “free trip to Iceland”. Gorga: Prove me wrong.
  • Sort Dragon (Not Predicted): I don’t know who Sort paid and how to get so many people to put him on their ballots. Unlike Gorga, who is expected bad but we really don’t know (what we do know is that he either is clueless or doesn’t give a crap about the community beyond his coalition), Sort is proven bad at CSM. He was pretty much acknowledged to be the 13-best CSM member of 14 on CSM 8, and the 14th-best was literally completely absent. As promised: If you voted for Sort Dragon, you wasted your vote and should be headslapped. Sort will do just enough work to get to the Summer Summit (as the 10th of 10 selected) and then disappear of the face of the earth. Sort: Prove me wrong.
  • Thoric Frosthammer (Not Predicted): Unlike Gorga and Sort, Thoric at least put in some effort. The fact that he made it in, however, likely 100% on the strength of the CFC with no cross-ballot support, tells you that the CFC vote, getting in three people with two of them solo (I suspect Endie got cross-support), massively outweighed the general public. Again this year, anyone who does the “Grr CFC” thing needs to muster voters or shut up. The CFC knows how to vote and vote smart, and their massive over-representation every year proves it. Thoric seems earnest and I think he will put in the work. The reason I didn’t endorse him was because he seemd to come from a negative (fight to have CCP undo/un-nerf/roll back items) rather than the proactive approach I saw from Endie and Manny. I hope to see Thoric be an addition that helps move the ball forward in good directions (which includes preventing bad ideas as they come) and not simply someone who continues to rehash the past.

The Wrong Predictions

  • Bam Stroker (Full Endorsement): I think that Bam missing is a huge loss for the CSM, even if they don’t realize it. Apparently the Aussie vote wasn’t enough, and I’m not sure the pure community play resonates. Bam, keep building your profile and visibility and run again next year. Try to get PL to make your endorsement official and top of ballot (or just behind Manny if he runs again). CSM 11 needs you.
  • Khador Vess (Provisional Endorsement): I am surprised that RvB was not strong enough to elect a candidate. My bet is that he might have finished 15th. I suspect that Jayne siphoned off too many votes from him and there wasn’t enough left for a second. I think that it is very likely RvB will return to a seat on CSM 11 if Jayne steps down or pisses RvB off.
  • Psianh Auvander (Provisional Endorsement): Honestly Psianh was a pure guess, so it was effectively a coin flip on my part. I think Psianh would have been good but the sov null vote load was simply too much this year.

Messages to Unsuccessful Candidates

  • Ashterothi (Full Endorsement): Tough luck. Unfortunately, even with the lore hype train at full steam, I don’t think the lore vote is very big. I would love to see you up your WH cred this year and work with Corbexx to potentially run as a low-class WH candidate next year with lore as a sidelight. We need good folks to run.
  • Angrod Losshelin (Not Endorsed): The message is: the bulk of EVE players don’t agree with your views on ISBoxer.
  • Ariete (Provisional Endorsement): Good try at it, corpmate! I think you have a shot at better results in CSM 11. Start polishing your story between now and then, get to know Corbexx well, and get visible. I honestly think if you had had more public visibility from last year among the WH corps you would have made it this year.
  • Gorski Car (Provisional Endorsement): Keep writing. You may not “be a blog guy” but your blog is great so far. It’s the kind of EVE play I absolutely suck at but find fascinating to learn from. Best PVP and fit mechanics blog since Rifter Drifter.
  • Tora Bushido (Not Endorsed): I appreciate that Marmite fulfills a niche and have no issue whatsoever with the Marmite playstyle. But the problem is that the highsec wardec / gank crowd isn’t big enough to get an election done. Unless that base grows, it’s not going to happen.
  • UAxDEATH (Not Endorsed): You might need to pay more.
  • Xander Phoena (Provisional Endorsement): The brawl with Sion sunk his candidacy. That said, I am honestly thrilled that he will be returning to podcasting full-time. Xander: Keep up the great stuff the CZ site is doing. I think it’s the best regular features site in the community. I consider it my “EVE Magazine” – where TMC and EN24 are both “news” sites. I would also love to see you return to CZ’s short, tight format from before your CSM days. And I am honestly already excited for your CSM 11 interviews. Welcome back.
  • Xenuria (Not Endorsed): It’s time to be done running for CSM. Your “supporters” are trolling you and it’s simply not going to happen. Your reputation as is can’t be taken seriously by enough voters and you have no base. If you want it to happen, start building an entirely different reputation on an entirely different character and run on expertise in an area of space or capability, not as an anti-candidate. Any good ideas you may have are drowned out by your reputation under this name.
  • Everyone who had no post and no interview until after announcement day: If you want to be taken seriously next year, start your work earlier. Get a post up. Get on interviews. Or you have no shot unless you’re Gorga.
Posted in CSM, CSM 10 | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Beyond Trollceptors

So of course you are already aware of CCP Fozzie’s magnum opus, which describes the upcoming revamp of sov in nullsec space. Honestly, I was expecting to care very little, just chomp some popcorn and yell “Where is your Hyperion laughter now?!?!” at teary nullbears.

And to be sure, there’s a bit of that. But as I read Fozzie’s post, I found that I was surprised how interested I ended up being. At first, I had lots of feedback jotted down but after watching the conversation start and go through the typical wailing spiral I decided to wait a bit for it to mature and pare down to some ideas with a narrower scope. Now that it has, I find there are just a couple things I want to touch on.

I’m not a sov guy. I doubt I ever will be, it sounds boring and limiting to me. However, what I am, and have been since I left EVE University for low sec, NPC null and eventually wormholes, is a raider. So I am going to focus my commentary on that particular viewpoint, what I think will be the benefits to my playstyle, and how I think it can be improved to address some concerns about people of my playstyle.

First, time zones. As someone who plays late USTZ / early AUTZ  (00:00-06:00) I think 4 hours is too small a window. I think at 4 hours and defender-set it limits play in a bad way. The best suggestion I’ve seen around this is that the window size be controlled by the sov level – at low levels it’s maybe 8-10 hours, and at high levels maybe only 3-4. If you haven’t filed your opinion on this specific issue, you should go take the CCP survey.

Second, things I really like about the proposed changes:

  • Expanded footprint. It allows the little guy to have an effect, and have a chance. At worst, to participate.
  • Station services hackable 24/7. Honestly, even if time zones don’t get changed, I won’t lose much sleep as long as this stays in. What I really want is a tool to force people to undock. Hell, if we can bring this mechanic to low sec too, all the better. And POSes next. The ultimate tool to encourage fights.
  • Death of structure grind. Please bring this to POS as well. Thanks.
  • Geography becomes meaningful. I really like that the new mechanic causes people to care about constellations. I think when all is said and done this will be one of the most meaningful changes in how space is used – it will redefine what “good space” is.
  • The new TCU. This is in effect “Do you have a flag?” Depending on how expensive these are, it might be hilarious to run around planting them and claiming meaningless ownership where other people live.

I would have liked to see something to get rid of timers as well, but that is an entire post for another day. As I mentioned on Twitter, I also think that the entire “magically appearing capture points” mechanic seems like so much weird Cosmic Whack-a-Mole and a pain in the butt for all involved on both sides – it makes more sense for it to pop up five and just have those fights without this crazy continual respawn approach.

The bulk of what I want to talk about is the mechanics of the Entosis module. I like how the mechanic itself works, and opens up new harassment capability for smaller gangs. I like the general philosophy behind the proposal. But I would make a couple of tweaks.

All of the nullbears are up in arms about “trollceptors” – interceptors armed with an Entosis link zipping around reinforcing things. I can confirm that if Entosis gets rolled out as-is and can be used on an Interceptor, I will be in one and up to a T2 link as fast as my skill train can carry me. This sounds like endless amounts of amusing (that said, I fully believe that after the first month or so they will be rendered ineffective by new tactics). But frankly, along with the hackable station services that sound so fun, I think this makes the raiders OP, and it also eliminates some potentially fun permutation around the entosis mechanic relative to specific ships.

So instead, how about the following limitations:

  • Use of Capacitor. I’ve seen a lot of proposals for limitation but I think they’re flawed – things like limiting them to ship sizes, which I think is a terrible idea. I think the best game play is a space where as many things as possible can be a choice but that only a handful incentivize it. This one is how you limit frigates – build it so it burns an Interceptor’s cap too fast to be feasible without some uncomfortable modification. However this limitation should be no problem for a cruiser or higher.
  • Forced Immobility. At first I actually thought this was how it was intended to work until Fozzie corrected me. I still think it’s the right way to go – the Entosis module should act like a cyno and freeze you in place for the time required to run its cycle. Unlike the cyno, however, I do not support any call for fuel nor do I think it should spawn a beacon – after all, it should only be used at a warpable object already.

Those two things kill the idea of a trollceptor, but open a myriad of other possibilities. Here are four I would love to see, but that require the above two limitations to work.

  • New Ship Type: Drifter Hybrid Frigate. This ship serves one specific role: the Entosis module. It is what replaces the trollceptor and its primary role is to be bait that forces people to consider undocking. Characteristics: tank similar to an assault frigate, beefy capacitor. Role Bonus: Reduction to Entosis Link capacitor use.
  • New Heavy Interdictor Role. I envision the HIC as a great “bring the fight” machine. It is the announcement that the brawl can begin. Infinipoint and bubble, cyno and entosis. Frozen in place and with minimal armament, but the ultimate statement that the invasion is here. Role Bonus: Increase to tank while Entosis Link is active.
  • New Black Ops Battleship Role. Many have lamented the role of the Black Ops battleships, or lack thereof. I think they need a truly front-line capability that allows them to achieve serious movement on the invasion front, not to force undocks or dig in for pitched battle, but to lay the groundwork for invasion. Role Bonus: Reduction to Entosis Link cycle time.
  • New Marauder Role. With the above three on the offensive, what about defense? Undock, put your shiny toy at risk, and get a cookie. Role Bonus: Marauder Bastion Mode provides cancellation effect – fully cancels one Entosis Link while maintaining a second, effectively like having two links up, but cannot be used to capture, only to prevent capture (i.e. can only be used to defend your own, not to attack).

As for the rest of Fozziesov, I’ll leave that to the sov null people, since I never intend to actually capture sov. W-space best space.

What do you think?

Posted in Commentary, Mechanics | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

CSM X Election – Winner Predictions

CSM X Storyhead

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the CSM X Election. Those posts are:

  • Full Endorsements – Candidates I strongly recommend for all voters. Under 12% of the candidates earned a Full Endorsement.
  • Provisional Endorsements – Candidates I recommend for specific constituencies, but not for everyone. They generally are solid, interesting experts or good candidates that are made a bit redundant by either each other or other Full Endorsement candidates. Under 16% of the candidates earned a Provisional Endorsement. So less than a third (27%) of the field earned any sort of endorsement.
  • Recommended Voting Slates – A numerated list of who to vote for by playstyle
  • Election Predictions (this post)
  • Election Outcomes Analysis

Much like last year, I’m going to break my predictions post up into chunks by how likely the candidates are to get in. There are only fourteen seats, and with the power that bloc voting and incumbency brings to the table, only a very small number are truly up for non-bloc non-incumbents to capture. Several other pundits have already put some predictions out there (I tend to post late to minimize voting impact from predictions – you have less than 24 hours as I post this, so check out the recommended vote slates post and go vote NOW if you have not!). Of the 75, I think there are 29 with even a small chance … but only 14 can get in. While there was some debate at first, CCP Leeloo has now confirmed that there will still be two permanent attendees.

The first seven of those should get in without breaking a sweat.

The Locks (1-7)

There are many slots that can be predicted pretty easily simply by looking at the top-of-ballot choices of key constituencies that vote as large blocs. The only way these folks don’t get in is an abject failure of voting discipline by the bloc voters. It’s rare, but it does happen, as it did with TEST’s failure to get Banlish on the council for CSM 8.

  • Sugar Kyle [Permanent #1] – Incumbent. Top endorsee of all non-bloc ballots, Top of Lowsec slate
  • Sion Kumitomo [Permanent #2] – Incumbent. Top of the CFC slate
  • Corebloodbrothers – Incumbent. Top of the Provi ballot
  • Gorga – Top of the N3 slate
  • Cagali Cagali – Top of the HERO slate
  • Corbexx – Incumbent. Top of the Wormhole slate
  • Manfred Sideous – PL FC widely acknowledged to be one of the foremost authorities on sov warfare in an era where sov is being redesigned, top of PL ticket, top 4 on all three major bloc lists

The Extremely Likely (8-9)

While not quite high enough to call a “lock”, these folks have either deep or broad support and while they don’t have a standing bloc quite firm enough to guarantee anything, the reality is that they have strong backing and should still be able to easily overtop all but the group above.

  • Steve Ronuken – Incumbent. Strong 3rd party development, industrial and the top highsec candidate, top 5 finisher last year and has only gotten more recognition. The primary threat to his election is the chronically fractured nature of the highsec vote, but it would still be a shocker if Steve didn’t make it.
  • Endie – #2 on the CFC ballot with strong cross-ballot support as well as an acknowledged expertise in sovereignty mechanics. The only real threat to him getting in, ironically, is the of chance that running mate Thoric Frosthammer might pick up a surprise level of non-Goon CFC #1 votes.

The Probables (10-11)

After the top nine, the picture begins to get muddier. Now we are past the ballot-toppers and the guaranteed rolldown winners. So next come the key name recognition candidates of smaller but loyal voting groups. These people have a broad appeal but also a small solid voting core to use as a foundation. Based on that I am estimating that they have a better than 50% chance of getting elected, but not much better. They remain vulnerable, especially in such a large group of candidates.

  • Khador Vess – Top of the RvB list. Will they turn out in enough numbers? How many votes will Jayne Fillon siphon from him? Will EVE University back him as a fellow highsec entity rep? Election to fill Mangala Solaris’ empty shoes seems likely but by no means certain.
  • Mike Azariah – Incumbent. For the first time in three years Mike faces an uphill battle. He has lost support in some quarters but gained it in others. He has been visible everywhere but not everyone supports a third term for him. That said, I think his proven highsec and incursion base plus name recognition gets him in one more time – but in a squeaker.

The Best Guesses (12-14)

Beyond the top 11 lies chaos. Anyone who thinks that they can confidently predict the last 2-3 slots is lying or deluded. The field of 75 candidates and the huge potential impact of development on the future of nullsec this year mean that voter behavior has a strong chance of defying prediction. But there can be only fourteen winners, and I wouldn’t be much of a pundit if I didn’t take a shot. So here are my dice-rolls for the last three.

  • Bam Stroker – Generally speaking, I would not expect PL to get two candidates on CSM – they are not big enough to do so all on their own. However, this is not a normal year and they are not running typical candidates. Bam’s alliance-mate Manny might get in almost entirely on cross-ballot rolldown votes, not even needing much of PL’s vote. That means that the constituency that elected Major JSilva is still up for grabs, and I think Bam picks up the rolldown from Manny to get that audience. To boot, Bam is in the unique position of being a bit of a hero to both CCP and to the AU Time Zone, and is likely to get additional votes from all through the AUTZ directly based on his work with EVE Down Under. With all that together, he’s my bet for #12.
  • Jayne Fillon – If Khador wasn’t running I’d be much more confident in Jayne’s chances. But with Khador in and the RvB vote siphoned off, his chances get much shakier. That said, he has pull in some key voting groups that I think will just barely win the day for him. No one has positioned themselves as the Faction War heir to FunkyBacon. Sugar will have more votes than she needs, Gorski is less well-known, and Ashterothi, despite better FW qualifications, did not run on those qualifications (to some extent due to the fact that he has moved to a wormhole). Based on that, I think Jayne benefits from non-bloc lowsec and NPC nullsec PVP voters on top of his lock on the NPSI community via Spectre Fleet, and he gets in at #13.
  • Psianh Auyvander – #14 is a nearly impossible pick. I give myself no more than a 20% chance of getting this right. I think Psianh is the candidate that everything fails down to – as players like Bobmon, Xander, Thoric, Migui … even Sort Dragon and UAxDEATH … fail to get elected, their vote power will roll downward to Psianh. I don’t think the Mercenary vote alone is able to get him in, but I think he will have broad support.

So here’s my election prediction, in order:

  1. Sugar Kyle [Permanent]
  2. Sion Kumitomo [Permanent]
  3. Corebloodbrothers
  4. Gorga
  5. Cagali Cagali
  6. Steve Ronuken
  7. Corbexx
  8. Khador Vess
  9. Endie
  10. Manfred Sideous
  11. Mike Azariah
  12. Bam Stroker
  13. Jayne Fillon
  14. Psianh Auyvander

My history is that generally I pick the right people but in the wrong order. We’ll see how it goes this year.

But since I believe it will be such a close call, who else has a shot to get in and prove me wrong? Well … an ungodly number of candidates.

The Photo Finish

Just to show how much of a crap shoot those last three spots are, I believe that there are another nine candidates (for a total of 12) who have a serious shot at getting in on those last three spots. All of the below candidates have a very believable chance of displacing those I listed in the final three, maybe even Mike or Khador. In alphabetical order:

  • Ariete – Ariete is the #2 wormhole candidate. Wormhole voters, when they choose to vote with the intent to get two candidates (rather than one plus their next favorite non-wormholer) can get two people on the council reliably. We saw this in CSM 8, and failed in CSM 9 (with a late upgrade due to a CSM member resigning and a wormholer getting bumped up). I hope Ariete makes it. But his campaign didn’t make a major splash and I fear that the wormhole vote will be “Corbexx was awesome, we’ll vote for him and have done.”
  • Bobmon – As mentioned above, PL has the firepower to usually get one, sometimes two. Bobmon is #3 on the “unstated” PL list. He’s further down on null bloc lists. He is a major figure at EVE News 24 but I don’t think that lands him many votes. In the end I think his voters are far too fragmented and he’s too far down the lists to have a realistic chance compared to others above. But he does have the visibility and community impact to potentially prove me wrong.
  • DomanarK – DomanarK is the Black Legion candidate. BL is probably not quite strong enough to get a certain seat this year, with so many other sov bloc candidates from the various contingencies in the race. But I have no doubt they will make a strong second-tier showing. If enough NPC null and unaffiliated voters get behind him, he has a chance.
  • Gorski Car – Gorski is a strong expert that I think would add value to the council, but I don’t think that he has a large enough constituency to push over the top. His primary asset for electability is that he is an incumbent. I’d like to see him get on but am not optimistic.
  • Migui X’hyrrn – Migui is the candidate from TEST, which is still fairly sizable and influential. TEST are also hilariously bad bloc voters, having failed to get a TEST person on either CSM 8 or 9 despite being even bigger in past years. The chaos and churn over the HERO ballot this year won’t help either. Again, TEST could surprise me, but at this point I’m betting against them.
  • Sort Dragon – Sort actually might be the most likely of those in this section to get in. Yes, the same Sort Dragon who was nearly a no-show in CSM 8. And yet he’s all over the nullsec slates at ridiculously high levels despite being widely acknowledged to have been a bad CSM once already. Expect me to call people bad names questioning their mental acuity if he gets elected.
  • Thoric Frosthammer – Thoric is #3 on the CFC ballot, and the CFC has elected three in the past (CSM 9 elected three CFCers). I think with a likely higher turnout and some very visible cross-ballot nullsec names this year that Thoric will be edged out, but I also think he’ll make it a very close run. As I mention above, if enough of CFC bucks the official vote list and puts Thoric at #1 or #2 instead of #3, it’s possible that Thoric will get in and Endie will not.
  • UAxDEATH – A couple of weeks ago I had UAxDEATH in “The Probables” above. He is a highly visible Russian candidate and former CSM 6 & 7 member (although his reputation in that role is mixed). Up until CSM 9 a Russian was generally a “Lock”. But in the last two weeks, Death has caused a major amount of PR damage to himself. He has publicly acknowledged and highlighted his program to pay people who vote for him. It has come out that he was doing game development work in the past, and some believe that should disqualify him (CCP investigated and has cleared him). There have been and Reddit threadnaughts implying CCP bias toward him (this has of course been denied). Wherever the truth lies, what I am betting on is that it will reduce Russian turnout to a level that renders him irrelevant, and off the council.
  • Xander Phoena – Xander has had a rough couple of months in his public brawl with Sion Kumitomo. Unfortunately for Xander, unlike Sion, he does not have a big enough single-party bloc to count on for election any more. Last year, the CFC got him elected. This year, he’s not in the CFC or on their ballot, PL (his new alliance) has far more likely to get elected candidates, and his media empire looks unlikely to push him over the top. That said, he remains highly visible and received a significant number of endorsements from various corners other than the blocs.

The Dark Horses

Out on the fringe are several candidates who I don’t think are likely to make it, but do have an outside shot for various reasons. Some would be good additions. Some would be very bad.

  • Ashterothi – Ash had a good campaign, is a positive force in the community, and I think would be very solid. But he drove his campaign primarily on lore and community, and I don’t think that’s a base strong enough to get him elected. This is particularly unfortunate because he has a legitimate story to tell around Faction War and wormholes, and had he pressed his expertise there I can’t help but think he would have gotten in on the votes of those blocs. If he does make it in, it will be on the back of all the work he’s done in the last year around the widely acclaimed Hydrostatic Podcast,
  • Chance Ravinne – Chance has gotten some good publicity, from his YouTube channel to CCP recognition in the “This is EVE” trailer to right here on this blog. I think he would be a great addition and bring a very fresh perspective, but I also think that it probably won’t be enough to get him on the council. But I’m saying there’s a chance.
  • Jenshae Chiroptera – It’s easy to spot the unprepared, unready, and full-on troll candidates. You have to dig in a bit and really read threads to discover the worst sort of candidate, however – the deeply earnest candidate with terrible, horrible ideas (wanting to abolish the CSM, running with no intent to serve properly (“I have no hope of becoming a CSM. That is not why I am doing this”) and various game-breaking suggestions that show a lack of understanding of the game’s intentional designs – which she has now deleted from her CSM thread). Jenshae is that candidate. Her whole thread is about how CSM voting needs to be changed to ensure more highsec candidates. While Corebloodbrothers has not publicly supported her, he also has gone out of his way to tell his bloc “vote for only me” – but Jenshae is also in his alliance, and Core has a ton of votes expected to go to waste from his voters (they threw away hundreds last year). If Provi added her to their list at #2, she suddenly goes from no chance to a horribly real possibility.
  • June Ting – June originally ranked higher on the HERO ballot, and has some coattails from Ali Aras (although this effect is a bit diminished due to Ali’s far quieter year on CSM 9). But I think the shuffling of the HERO ballot plus having some conflicts internal to HERO will likely mean she won’t make it.
  • Tora Bushido – There will be a significant portion of the griefer group (highsec gankers and wardeccers) that will vote for Tora. But I think that group is the only group that will vote for him, and they have failed to get anyone on the council for three years running. I think that there are even less of them today than in the past, and thus the numbers say he’s probably not going to make it.
  • Xenuria – He is widely believed to be the most terrible CSM candidate (I disagree – I think Jenshae is worse). He runs every year, doesn’t get anything in response but trolling, and runs always on some sort of windmill-tilting platform about things the vast bulk of the voting population doesn’t care about or pay attention to. It’s gotten to be enough of a thing this year that a remarkable number of Reddit trolls now have Xenuria ads in their flairs. Let’s hope it’s not enough, because Xenuria is a veritable troll magnet – no matter what subject, how valid his views or where he is, trolls follow him like a cloud of locusts. His presence on CSM would be disruptive and a drag on their effectiveness. But there is a very small outside chance that a group of people who think they are super hilarious (just ask them) might round up enough votes to get him in.
Posted in CSM, CSM 10 | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

CSM X Election – Recommended Voting Slates

CSM X StoryheadThis is the third in a series of articles on the CSM X Election. Those posts will be:

  • Full Endorsements – Candidates I strongly recommend for all voters. Under 12% of the candidates earned a Full Endorsement.
  • Provisional Endorsements – Candidates I recommend for specific constituencies, but not for everyone. They generally are solid, interesting experts or good candidates that are made a bit redundant by either each other or other Full Endorsement candidates. Under 16% of the candidates earned a Provisional Endorsement. So less than a third (27%) of the field earned any sort of endorsement.
  • Recommended Voting Slates (this post)
  • Election Predictions – My bets on who will actually be elected to CSM X
  • Election Outcomes Analysis

If you haven’t already, start by checking out the Full Endorsement and Provisional Endorsement posts above. That will tell you the pool of candidates who will appear on the ballots below. Unlike many people, I am a strong believer in a 14-vote ballot. If you fill out less, you are potentially throwing away your vote. Statistically speaking, it is critical that you have at least five, and ideally seven or eight, to ensure that your vote goes to a winning candidate. Fourteen ensures it. If scripted voting is allowed I will try to come back and add links for those some time after voting opens.

I build these slates and endorse candidates the way I do so that I can present what I believe are solid, viable choices for multiple kinds of voters. I am a believer in a balanced CSM – one that includes various backgrounds and player types as well as both generalist and specialist, both newbie and bittervet. So these slates will reflect that. You will also note that the ballots tend to go in chunks – first: key wins for that playstyle, second: key wins for the CSM as a whole, third: strong mid-tier candidates that connect with the playstyle, and lastly tiebreaker plays for influential groups.

For those looking to jump straight to your own slate, here you go:

I am a wormhole voter myself, so let’s start there.

Wormhole Voter Slate

Wormhole voters have had an interesting run the last five years. Two Step got in handily as the only candidate for a while. Then for CSM 8 we successfully “stack voted” – there were five candidates that everyone was disciplined enough to vote 1-5, and we got two in (James Arget and Chitsa Jason) and almost a third. Last year, the field was diffuse, there was not unity, and we only got one (Corbexx) and almost two (Asayanami Dei, later elevated when another CSMer was kicked). So the lesson is this: Order Matters. If you live in a wormhole it is absolutely crucial to vote the top two as the top two (reverse the order at your leisure) if you want any chance to see two wormholers on the CSM. My ballot will be:

  1. Corbexx – Incumbent workhorse, Wormholes
  2. Ariete – Wormholes
  3. Sugar Kyle – Incumbent workhorse, Low Sec
  4. Steve Ronuken – Incumbent workhorse, Third-Party Dev
  5. Chance Ravinne – Newbie wormhole bomber CEO, marketing breath of fresh air
  6. Ashterothi – Podcaster, new wormhole CEO, lore champion
  7. Bam Stroker – Coordinator of EVE Down Under, PL pilot
  8. Gorski Car – Solo and small gang fitting and tactics expert
  9. Mike Azariah – Incumbent disruptor of groupthink, highsec and Incursions
  10. Psianh Auyvander – Noir Academy leader, Merc candidate
  11. TIE – Pick your favorite
    • Jayne Fillon – Spectre Fleet founder, NPSI candidate
    • Khador Vess – RvB FC and candidate
  12. Cagali Cagali – BRAVE Director, wormholers love shooting BRAVE
  13. Manfred Sideous – PL Uber FC, promoter of sov balkanization
  14. Endie – The Best Goon™, slayer of sacred cows

Next we’ll look at highsec, and the new player vote.

Highsec & Newbie Voter Slate

The highsec showing was generally weak this year, but the good news is that two of the top four incumbents are highsec players. There are also enough incumbent workhorses and newbie-friendly candidates this year to round out a solid ticket.

  1. Steve Ronuken – Incumbent workhorse, highsec industrialist, Third-Party Dev
  2. Sugar Kyle – Incumbent workhorse, famed newbie helper, Low Sec
  3. Corbexx – Incumbent workhorse, Wormholes
  4. Chance Ravinne – Newbie wormhole bomber CEO, marketing breath of fresh air
  5. Bam Stroker – Coordinator of EVE Down Under, community champion
  6. Mike Azariah – Incumbent disruptor of groupthink, highsec and Incursions
  7. Cagali Cagali – Brave Newbies Director
  8. Khador Vess – Red vs Blue FC
  9. Ashterothi – Podcaster, new wormhole CEO, lore champion
  10. Psianh Auyvander – Noir Academy leader, Mercenary trainer
  11. Jayne Fillon – Spectre Fleet founder, NPSI candidate
  12. June Ting – CEO of Of Sound Mind
  13. Manfred Sideous – PL Uber FC, promoter of sov balkanization
  14. Endie – The Best Goon™

On to Lowsec, with the strongest incumbent in the race.

Lowsec Voter Slate

If you live in lowsec, your #1 is a no-brainer. The rest of the slate is rounded out with strong incumbents, community candidates and lots of pew-pew.

  1. Sugar Kyle – Incumbent workhorse, Low Sec
  2. Corbexx – Incumbent workhorse, Wormholes
  3. Steve Ronuken – Incumbent workhorse, Third-Party Dev
  4. Ashterothi – Podcaster, former Faction War Director (Aideron), lore champion
  5. Bam Stroker – Coordinator of EVE Down Under, PL pilot
  6. Gorski Car – Solo and small gang fitting and tactics expert
  7. Jayne Fillon – Spectre Fleet founder, NPSI candidate
  8. Chance Ravinne – Newbie bomber CEO, marketing breath of fresh air
  9. Psianh Auyvander – Noir Academy leader, Merc candidate
  10. Mike Azariah – Incumbent disruptor of groupthink, highsec and Incursions
  11. Khador Vess – RvB FC and candidate
  12. Cagali Cagali – BRAVE Director
  13. Manfred Sideous – PL Uber FC, promoter of sov balkanization
  14. Endie – The Best Goon™, slayer of sacred cows

Next: a nullsec slate for distinguished independent voters.

Nullsec Voter Slate (NPC and Independent)

Maybe we’ll call this first one the NPC Null vote – a vote for those with no bloc overlords to kowtow to, strong independent entities. Also the N3 slate since their bloc candidates were either poor or very late to the table. You will note a whiff of politics in this slate – specifically I have intentionally raised lower-ranked bloc picks like Bam Stroker higher in order to give them some potential chance to rise higher than their top-of-bloc counterparts. That is also why, despite giving them a Provisional Endorsement, you don’t see ballot-toppers like Sion Kumitomo or Corebloodbrothers anywhere in this list – they will handily win election without anyone outside their bloc.

  1. Bam Stroker – Coordinator of EVE Down Under, PL pilot
  2. Manfred Sideous – PL Uber FC, promoter of sov balkanization
  3. Cagali Cagali – BRAVE Director
  4. Endie – The Best Goon™, slayer of sacred cows
  5. Sugar Kyle – Incumbent workhorse, Low Sec
  6. Corbexx – Incumbent workhorse, Wormholes
  7. Steve Ronuken – Incumbent workhorse, Third-Party Dev
  8. Gorski Car – Solo and small gang fitting and tactics expert
  9. June Ting – CEO of Of Sound Mind
  10. DomanarK – Black Legion candidate
  11. Jayne Fillon – Spectre Fleet founder, NPSI candidate
  12. Chance Ravinne – Newbie bomber CEO, marketing breath of fresh air
  13. Ashterothi – Podcaster, former Faction War Director, WH CEO, lore champion
  14. Mike Azariah – Incumbent disruptor of groupthink, anarchist

And finally, yes, I am actually going to try to (partially) contradict the pre-built bloc slates with some good advice.

Nullsec Voter Slates (Bloc)

So this section will be a bit different than those above. Of course my recommendation is that you vote the slate above even if you are in a bloc. But let’s say you want to at least do your bloc duty for the frontrunners. Then give your overlords their top three, and make your own decisions after that. The top three are the primary indicators anyhow and no bloc I’m aware of has ever seated more than three.

Note #1: For N3 the candidates were weak enough, and for Provibloc singular enough that I’m just going to suggest that you insert their top candidate (Gorga for N3, Corebloodbrothers for Provi) at #1 in the above ballot and drop out DomanarK or Jayne from the end and have done.

Note #2: For the Bloc Candidate section anyone with an asterisk (*) is NOT a recommended candidate by me but I expect the bloc leader to declare them one. You are encouraged to buck your leadership in these cases.

For the other blocs…

  1. Bloc Candidate #1
    • CFC: Sion Kumitomo – Transparency and metagame
    • HERO: Cagali Cagali – BRAVE
    • PL: Manfred Sidious – PL FC
  2. Bloc Candidate #2
    • CFC: Endie – Goon Intel and
    • HERO: June Ting
    • PL: Bam Stroker
  3. Bloc Candidate #3
    • CFC: Thoric Frosthammer* – LAWN – I recommend other null candidates instead
    • HERO: Migui X’hyrrn – TEST
    • PL: Xander Phoena – PL / Crossing Zebras
  4. Sugar Kyle – Incumbent workhorse, Low Sec
  5. Corbexx – Incumbent workhorse, Wormholes
  6. Steve Ronuken – Incumbent workhorse, Third-Party Dev
  7. Nullsec Cross-Ballot Choice #1 – Pick one you didn’t pick for 1-3:
    • Bam Stroker (Pandemic Legion)
    • Manfred Sidious (Pandemic Legion)
    • Cagali Cagali (BRAVE)
    • Endie (Goonswarm)
    • Corebloodbrothers (Providence)
    • Sion Kumitomo (Goonswarm)
    • June Ting (SOUND)
    • Xander Phoena (Pandemic Legion)
    • DomanarK (Black Legion)
    • Migui X’hyrrn (TEST)
  8. Nullsec Cross-Ballot Choice #2 – Pick another from that list
  9. Nullsec Cross-Ballot Choice #3 – Pick another from that list
  10. Gorski Car – Solo and small gang fitting and tactics expert
  11. Chance Ravinne – Newbie bomber CEO, marketing breath of fresh air
  12. Psianh Auyvander – Noir Academy leader, Merc candidate
  13. Ashterothi – Podcaster, former Faction War Director, WH CEO, lore champion
  14. Mike Azariah – Incumbent disruptor of groupthink, anarchist

Go Vote!

So that’s all of them. Remember to order is important. But most of all remember that voting is important. Otherwise you get the CSM you deserve. I’ll be back after the polls close with predictions.

Posted in CSM, CSM 10 | 2 Comments