Saturday, 28 November 2015

Dull Housekeeping Yawn Post

If there is one thing worse than a blogger talking about blogging, it is a blogger talking about the techy side of blogging. Unfortunately, this is about both. I promise not to do it again. I just want to establish a few basic principles in the light of the odd noises floating around the Everati.  Feel free to make your excuses and walk off at this point. If you are still here, take a deep breath, hold your nose and let's get it this out of the way.

Firstly some house keeping.

1) Domain Name

Has changed. Apparently, people read my scribbles on occasion. Prompted by Jason Quixos, I thought out to at least try and have the appearance of being  professional and have formalised the domain name to The old link still works for you luddites but it was a always bit of a mouthful.

2) Boring Techy Bit: 

The site is fully IPv6 for those that do that thing (Welcome Azerbaijan!) . My ISP does it natively so I know it works. 

Also the site now has a partial SSL certificate provided by CloudFlare. You can't have an "HTTPS" address with a custom domain in Blogger so this is the best I can provide given that it is free. Essentially, traffic is encrypted between your browser and the CloudFlare server. From the CloudFlare to Google it is treated as normal HTTP. So if your ISP or public WIFI connection is being 'monitored' you have a degree of protection that you wouldn't normally have. Not perfect but better than nothing. We will see how it goes. 

Now onto some basic principles:

3) Purpose of Blog.

Hasn't changed. It remains simple really. I am a solo player. I rarely get to talk to people in game and the outside world thinks I am deranged when I attempt to explain Eve. This is just a place I can vent about the highs and lows of my journey in Eve. Feel free to join in the conversation. 

In principle, I like to avoid calling out specific individuals or groups. I will always give mentions to those who have done something impressive like Katia Sae. And what an achievement that was!

I also try to avoid discussing areas of the game where there is no personal impact. Balancing Capital ships for example. There will always be exceptions I guess but these are my starting points. In terms of in game politics, the only view I hold is mine and that tends to be anti establishment. However, I am not aligned to anyone and I am not against anyone. Solo players get shot at by everyone afterall. If that changes I will be very clear about it.

4) Declaration of Interest: 

Tinfoil is the raw material of Eve debate. So here are my skeletons: 
  • This blog is a registered Eve Online Fansite. I get a media account as a perk. However, I have subbed an additional account on that basis, I think it is important  that I am not totally beholden to CCP and can speak as an active paying customer.
  • I occasionally contribute articles to Crossing Zebras. My arrangement with them is that I receive no ISK or any other remuneration for anything they may choose to publish. 
  • I occasionally donate ISK to in game groups who contribute to the Eve community

5) Monetization

I don't do it. It is a game, not a job. I also don't want to be obliged to write about 'popular' topics just to drive up income (or indeed be forced to play in a certain way to be able to write about some unfortunate Titan) . Sometimes I just want to write about subjects that interest me - such as Eve in China or making music etc, rather than something that is clicktastic. 

There will be no advertising here and I won't be selling any books. The same applies to the noises I put on SoundCloud (which can be downloaded freely) and Youtube. So just to be clear, any 'creative' work I have ever done for any other group has been for free and because I regard them as decent guys who contribute to the Eve community. This is not to judge those who do monetize. So long as it is within CCP's T&C's it is fine by me. But it is not the way I choose to roll.

Ok. Glad that is done with. Anyone know of a decent unoccupied C2 wormhole?

Thursday, 26 November 2015

In Other News

Eve. You know? The game? Yeah, I actually played some. Space ships and stuff. To recap, I have been looking for a wormhole for some time and sorting out my characters to support the operation. I thought I had found a wormhole that looked promising. It was C2 with a lowsec static, one abandoned POS and abandoned POCO's. Traffic was low and the last kill had been early in the month. My main had been parked there for ages. I am not sure why I was holding back but I had a gut feeling. 

It was more procrastinaion than a desire to do any research but I took another look at the killboard to try and counter the negative vibe I was getting. Looking back a number of years, I suddenly noticed a name that had cropped up three times. The odds of a player finding the same wormhole over a 5 year period and killing someone seemed a bit long. The player's most recent kill was for a different corp in nullsec so they were unlikely to be an ongoing threat. I was in full detective mode by now however. I decided to look up the corp the player had been a member of when they had been killing people in the wormhole. That was illuminating. It was only a small corp but one of the current members had killed someone quite recently and there had been a whole chain of kills by the corp for the hole I was in over many years. My conclusion was this was wormhole was contnuously parked with a hunter from a single player corp. 

Presumably he/she switched the alts when they were sufficiently trained and only played the wormhole character when not doing something else. Either way, I was not alone. A hunter had been in that wormhole for years and was still acive. I was in the pixel space equivilent of a lobster pot. Now knowing you are in a trap can be used to your advantage. But it is not as if things aren't complicated enough already. So I resisted the opportunity destroy my non PVP credibility by hunting the hunter. My search for a wormhole goes on. What I will say is this exactly why I enjoy travelling in wormholes. There is a history and a mystery to them all. The cost of finding that out can at times be expensive. 

I also had another quick stint on the SISI server last night. The probe map has changed again. The probe spheres are now a lot brighter. Not sure why that has changed as I didn't think that as a problem before. They definately give your retinas a sun tan now.

And in other, other news, my Eve Online laptop bag finally arrived! If you have been following, I bought it from Tiancity, CCP's partner for the Chinese instance of Eve Online. A combination of friends and relatives and relatives of friends have acted as couriers. The bag cost about 35 pounds but it is not cheap and nasty looking which was a primary worry. It is well made and nicely detailed with Eve logos both on the outside and on the lining inside. It is also a limited edition. Number 120 of 800 (I think). Why CCP can't do anything like this in the west is still beyond me. I know they are setting something up in the US but the goods on display and EveVegas looked pricey and a bit over-thought. An Eve selfie stick would work for me. And anyway, shipping costs from the US will probably make the proposition a bit too expensive for us yokels living in the uncivilised world

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Camp of the Broken Butterfly Wing

Clever girls. He was right in one respect. Girls are extremely clever. However, he was wrong in another. The Eve demographic being what it is, more likely it was a bunch of men toying with their mid life crisis that had just pulled the rug from under the Mittani. To the casual observer it was a wonderful schadenfreude moment. For us irrelevant untermensch plodding around new eden, it is always heartening to see Eve aristocracy slipping on a banana skin.

No doubt normal service will be resumed and darkness of anonymity will envelope our subterranean lives and we can... oh wait he said what? He wants to "kill pretty much everybody else"? What did I do? What did we do? Turns out you, I, and "pretty much everybody else" are part of a vast anti Imperium conspiracy. Who knew?

Fortunately, we aren't very good at it. Our collective failure has left our challenged minds in an embittered shambles leaving the destruction of CCP as our only recourse. Clever untermensch. Not to worry though because the fine Imperium military have figured out our dastardly plan and will summarily evict us from Eve. But just could we please just support their book project on the way out.

Ok let's just hold it there for a second, grab a breath and try and get underneath the absurdity. When I posted my impressions of the EVEVegas Keynote, the only statement I made about that book was:

"An Eve story book sponsored by The Mittani..."

The three little dots were shorthand for a host foreseeable problems. But that was the point. They were entirely foreseeable. If my minimal intellect could spot them then you would have thunk that the Mittani media machine would have spotted them too. The Mittani is of course a comedy villain to many who regard it as a toxic brand. A media organisation ought to be able to manage that out  in the same way VW managed out the embarrassing fact that Hitler had been their primary sponsor.  That was what I thought anyway, and besides, books about Eve are a good thing. Not something I personally read but certainly something Eve players like as Andrew Groen demonstrated

What transpired was a farce. The Mittani was put front and centre of the Kickstarter campaign. An exceedingly high target was set without initially explaining the need. With TMC's reputation for monetizing the game, it was easy meat for the unpersuaded. The Fountain war meta re-erupted  from its dormant state but this time the battlefields were social media. It was over before it started and now we have the tantrums laced with hypocrisy and the blame game. Oh and now the leaks

The Imperium may have won Null, or what is left of it, but they misjudged the meta game entirely. Something they were once renowned for. Declaring war on everyone and everything won't change that. They have made the irrelevant relevant and have lost control of the narrative for now at least. Something is very broken at Mittani Central and the mob scents blood.  When you are in a hole, stop digging. If they truly care for the game, maybe they should just play game. Keep it simple. Let the Butterfly Effect drive the meta. That way we all have fun and more people embrace the game. And then maybe we could make a book about that. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wardecs: Another half baked idea incoming

There is a bit of a player debate about Wardecs. That is not really news I suppose because when has there ever not been a debate about it? This debate does seem to be more constructive and looks further than the tourettic "HiSec should just HTFU" school of thought. Beating carebears until their morale improves is not the most convincing logic I've come across in Eve. Before I delve into the messy bits, I had better declare my stance on the topic du jour. I sort of care but don't care. Wardecs are easily avoided if your space game isn't dependent on HiSec. So from that point I don't care. But CCP insist you form or join a Corp to build a POS because of CCP's Hisec wardec reasons. Now I don't mind exploding. I world naturally prefer not to. But I dislike everything about the Corp and Alliance system and resent being forced to adopt it. I could go on but I would just be rehashing what I have said in the past about the organising entities in Eve. I must learn to let go. OK I will just say this. Actually, no. Let us do it this way... 

What are 'Wardecs'? There is no such thing. It is a complete misnomer. Wardecs are not wardecs. They are bribes. Bribes to Concord. Bribes to let Concord look the other way if you have the urge to bash a bear. No war is involved because there is no victory condition. You can continually bribe Concord and you can give bribes to cover multiple groups. The process up this point is entirely aggressor driven. The victim is passive and cannot influence the proceedings. Once they get the notification they have 24 hours to prepare. Which often means bunkering down or simply not playing. It is a horrible mechanic so why is it needed?

CCP has a problem. It has a the design view that every player owned asset must be destructible. And so it is outside Hisec and to a degree inside HiSec with ganking etc. Except that is, when it comes to player owned structures (POS). These can only be squished by a Wardec. This is why you have to be in a Corp to build a POS. A game wide solution for a Hisec problem. The additional problem CCP now face is that a healthy mercenary culture has built up around this mechanic . It would be a shame to lose that. So why "fix" it? It is a barrier to entry for new players who want to establish new Hisec corps with here friends. Have you seen the age demographic for Eve? A increasing amount of us are on the wrong side of the mortality bell curve. At least for those of us who can remember our age.

Can it be fixed? Well CCP haven't rushed into the fray and it has been raised every year I have been playing he game. So it is either not a priority, too hard, or both. Most of the suggestions I have seen tend to want additional functionality added to the game or are just variants on the current scenario that don't really address the key issues. So I am no holding my breath.

What would I do? Not sure. It has probably been thought of before but I would probably focus on the bribe aspect. Maybe invert the concept. Let us accept that Concord is inherently corrupt. We all have to pay a weekly bribe to ensure Concord protect us. If we choose not to pay then it leaves us open (or your Corp open) to attack from the Mercenaries who in effect become debt collectors working on behalf of Concord. Concord being the greedy souls that they are will demand more and more each week because you keep paying. A taper if you like. That would incentivise you to stop paying for at least one week if only so you can slide back down the taper an start paying a reduced bribe to the following week. If you own a POS (and you don't have to be in a Corp) then you have to pay an additional weekly bribe to keep that or any other asset safe in Hisec. There are other metrics you add too but, well its a mad idea. Puts me in good company though. Now what did I eat for breakfast?

Monday, 16 November 2015

Progress. Slow Progress. But Definitely Progress

Slowly but surely my demented plans are coming together. For now, Luobote is leading a sedentary life in a C2 wormhole. I have been looking for a base for operations for some time. The perfect wormhole doesn't exist. It is always compromise between accessibility and previous history. The killboard for this hole suggests the last time someone exploded was last month. It only has one static to lowsec so the traffic should mostly be light. I have been sitting and watching to get a feel of the place. 

There are signs of previous occupation. An offline POS run by one solo corp and POCO's set up by another. Both corps appear defunct. In fact, the POS corp's demise looks a bit like a rage quit. His/her fully laden hauler and webbing alt both got taken out over a year ago and they never retuned. The POCO Corp on doesn't look active at all. I will need to form a view about what to do about them. I don't do PVP but then again I have put a few NPC's to the sword. I have always thought of abandoned assets as space litter and players who have left the game as effectively NPC's. Bad for the environment and it would be rude not to do something about it. It is where I differ from Signal Cartel's Credo. But on the other hand, bashing the offending structures will be a pain to organise and will mess up my virginal killboard. So for now I wait and may offer to purchase in the unlikely event they are still playing but somehow mislaid their wormhole and now just want to get rid. The wormhole does seem to have potential at least.

Training for my other alts is coming together. It been a long drag but my Orca pilot can now fly an Orca. That is half the battle. The other half is to be able to tank it so I can haul in Hisec and more importantly for my purposes, train the things to make it a useful aid in Wormholes. I am only days away from achieving the Hisec side of the equation so that will be the next major milestone. Hurrah. The other Alt I am training is learning to fly a cloaky nullified Tengu. It can already fly a Prowler but bubbles are a thing in WH Space so it adds a bit more security and gives options for tackling the harder PVE sites in the future. Currently it is working through the Level V's needed for the subsystems. What I train next will largely depend on the POCO/POS conundrum. I am thinking Oracle but I am open to suggestions. My final alt is my main hauler and trader I spoke about in my last post. As always she just gets down to task in hand. All in all it is all looking rather positive.

Quite when this will all finally come together I am not sure. It is like cooking a complex meal. So many dishes to coordinate and make ready at the same time. Bad analogy. I am a terrible cook.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Spiced Wine and Long Limbed Roes

The shocking weekend news put a dampener on things. My thoughts go out to you guys. 24 hour news channels speak a lot but tell you little. I decided to seek comfort by tidying up some Eve odds and ends. 

My second and ultimately successful attempt to make Eve work was when I gave up on my main. Luobote has had a troubled life. Up until recently he was a jack of all trades and master of none. He was an ISK disaster zone. A man with weapon skills but has never harmed anything other than bothering asteroids and low level NPC's. So I abandoned him as a difficult child and went to work on my alt. She is a much more focussed individual. ISK first and fun later. For most of my time in Eve I have concentrated on her journey to the extent that she has more SP than Luobote.

There have been some missteps along the way and today was the day to cover up some of the evidence scattered across the universe. Early in her Eve career she took a fancy to hauling NPC goods between NPC stations. It was easy but dull ISK and done in a Mammoth. It was all good formative stuff that came to an end once I could fly Blockade Runners and station trade. I still have the Mammoth although it is now more set up as a battle Mammoth to give gankers something to digest. Never had the need to use it though but maybe one day.. But the trail of debris left about New Eden had to be cleared up sometime. 

This is where the Spiced Wine and Long-Limbed Roes come in. These were my main hauling items. 
If you check on Eve Central you can buy Spiced Wine for 1,452 and sell it for 1,708. Multiply it up and it becomes a useful figure but it takes time. Ideally, you need a Jump Freighter to make serious ISK but you might also want a life. Anyway, I had pile of the stuff all over the place. These were the result of purchases that were either too large, or at a dodgy Low Sec station. Low Sec doesn't intimidate me the way it did then so I spent about 2 hours hoovering it all up and selling again without incident. I have some closure on that part of my Eve life now but it is good to know the old ISK making ways are still around if the need arose. And it was comforting.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

CSI Drifters : The case of the strange noises

The plan was to write something else completely. It still is but that will have to wait for another day. Instead, today's free time got hijacked by lore. A tweet by @Ashterothi, a noted lore hound, hinted at a mystery in one of his tweets. Hopefully he will publish the whole background story on Crossing Zebra's at some point. Now I don't pretend to know the details or their significance but from my perspective it was @anteovnuecci 's (another lore hound) discovery of some garbled audio files titled "Drifter Voices 1a-5a" that roused my interest. You can hear them  here along with some other files. 

I'm not sure if they are from SISI or a patch to Tranquility. I missed that bit unfortunately. My limited contribution was to try a clean them up a little to help the experts interpret them. They made no sense to me. The recordings had obviously been reversed and then had effects applied to them afterwards. I only had limited time so could only do a few basic things to try and clean up the sound with mixed success. Some words could be picked out and the accents were certainly more English than American. So whoever they are meant to be they must be the bad guys if Eve is following the Hollywood tradition.

Anyway, if you want to find out more, join the tweetfleet slack #lore channel and maybe help solve the mystery. It still astonishes me how much Eve you can end up playing without even logging in.

UPDATE: Ashterothi has now done a great write up on the discovery. Read it here and everything will make sense. Sort of.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Drifter Complexes Done the Serenity Way

I came across this awesome video on Reddit of all places and it was uploaded by guy called "copyliu" It is a documentary on how a group of pilots on the Chinese Serenity Server tackled and overcame the Drifter Complexes. It is in Mandarin but has English subtitles and also has graphic explaining their approach to the rooms in the Drifter sites. In short, they studied some of the approaches we have used on Tranquility and rejected them. Instead they theory crafted their own approach using Bantams as the focus. If Drifter complexes are your thing then you might be interested because they also use much smaller fleets than the ones I am aware of. It is not quite Rooks and Kings (can they ever be bettered?) but there is a strong flavour of that style of storytelling. Well worth a view and thank you copyliu for sharing.

Window Control + Buzzard Divorce

I confess defeat. I have been trying to learn to love the Buzzard. For the last month or so I have been using it trying to make the relationship work as I wander about New Eden. But yesterday I snapped out of denial and jumped back into an Astero. Reasons? Primarily, I couldn't get a fit that didn't involve off lining something. I am no theory crafter so maybe I was missing something. But If you don't have confidence in what you are flying then you aren't likely to use it to best advantage when you are facing a challenge. And yesterdays challenge was Parallax. Actually it was more than that. It was how I fundamentally interact with Eve.

A few posts ago I talked about the new launcher. I still think it is a great change, addition even, to the game. The downside was I somehow messed up all my settings (Overview, mod buttons, window placement etc). I haven't managed to fully restore everything in a way I was comfortable with. I am not particularly OCD about these things but some semblance of order is helpful when you need to react quickly in tight situations. So it needed to be resolved. And then there is the Parallax release.

On first looks, the Parallax release doesn't offer much to the way I play. But the new Probe Scanning interface is huge for me. The addition of assigning a hot key to DSCAN is also massive. DScan is the dead man's handle in wormholes. Fail to click it and can quickly find yourself becoming the victim of someone who did click it. Problem is, you can only click one thing at a time. It becomes a tough choice if you are in the middle of a hacking mini game. Not a problem now.

Probe Scanning has had a difficult transition with the 3D Map. While it hasn't been a case of going back to the drawing board, it has undergone a number of iterations since its first unusable incarnation. It now has a dedicated map window and the UI has been refreshed. Anyway, the plan was to head off to Thera and adjust my environment as I travelled.

So I undock and use the ingame browser to call up EveScout. Except I couldn't because I had lost my bookmarks. So I spent 30 mins putting putting new bookmarks back for things like Tripwire. The future of the in game browser is limited I understand. CCP hate maintaining it and there is always a security risk with it being ingame. It is understandable but it is had to imagine life without it on my laptop. Anyway, minimising the browser became a problem for me because I keep it as a bar at the top of the screen. But this now overlays where the scanning probe map automatically minimises to. Not a big deal, but it further limits my view of Space.

Anyway, such procrastination resulted in me entering the wrong wormhole. The Thera link had expired and I ended up in a C2. Going onto full paranoid alert when your screen is a mess is not good for your heart. Once I got a tactical safe I began scanning in earnest. My scanning skills were recently maxed to level V so finding things doesn't take long. The new scanning map takes some getting used to. I am sure this is due to the familiarity I had with the old system. If I put that to one side I think I will like the new interface over time. It is certainly responsive and you can filter out things that used to get in the way. There is probably another iteration needed  - the wormhole markers seem very dark for example, but it is really usable with the DAcan representation being a nice touch. It will help new players understand what DScan is actually doing (or not doing).

After scanning down the system, I found two juicy looking Relic sites. However, Tripwire indicated a some Russian on Russian action had happened ten minutes before I had entered the system. Paranoia kicked in and I assumed the victor had seen me enter and the sites were still being watched. So I left it at that. I will concentrate on the rest of the window arrangement in a quieter location. I need to train my fingers to hit DScan while doing the mini-game at the same time too.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Do you get the CSM you deserve?

The idea that people get the representatives they deserve is not a new one. But do we really deserve the Council of Stellar Management (CSM)?

The Principle

Better cover some basics first. Just what is the CSM? Don't be ashamed if you don't know. Many players don't so you will be in good company. Let us start with how the CSM formally describes itself.

"The Council of Stellar Management (CSM) is a player-elected council who represent the views of the members of the EVE Online community to CCP. To quote part of the CSM white paper summary:
The purpose of the CSM is to represent society interests to CCP. This requires active engagement with the player community to master EVE issue awareness, understanding, and evaluation in the context of the greatest good for the greater player base."

This is all marvellous and worthy. The white paper (PDF) is fascinating and really worth the read. It is also flawed. It skips past refuseniks like myself who find the idea of joining the grand civilisation it speaks of as a constraint on our independence or just simply irrelevant. I don't know the size of the constituency my playstyle inhabits but my guess is it is not insignificant. 

The other obvious thing is it is written in English. 25% of the people who view his blog do not come from an English speaking country. Maybe it is my bad maths but I would guess the proportion of people who play Eve where English is not their mother tongue or even understood would likely be much higher. So the original premise behind the CSM is innovative because it acknowledges the benefit of player representation, but then it excludes a proportion of the player base from the outset. But at this point you might conclude it is better than nothing.

The Institution 

Now let's look at the CSM itself. The institution is funded entirely by CCP and they also provide support and infrastructure. There is no independent bureaucracy - the CSM forums are moderated by CCP for example. So without CCP financial input, the CSM would not be viable. Candidates are elected through the STV system. The candidates are not entirely unreasonably vetted by CCP before they can stand but it means they have the ultimate veto over  players voting choices. 

A successfully elected representative will be obliged to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The primary purpose is to allow CCP to share sensitive information with the elected representatives for their opinions. Information that they cannot then share with the players who elected them. So at this point the mandate the representative was elected on becomes secondary to the CCP narrative. If your policy is "Fix Warddecs!" and CCP say it is covered by the NDA because "reasons", then you are effectively silenced. The CSM is for all intents and purposes a CCP controlled institution following the CCP agenda. This is not to say CCP are evil. They want to make a great game that we enjoy and the CSM can and does provide feed back in the manner I posted about earlier.

To recap where we are. The CSM isn't designed to represent parts of the player base and it culturally excludes others. If you get past those hurdles you may still never hear the outcome of your representation because you representative may be shackled by CCP's NDA. But still maybe better than nothing because at least someone is looking at what CCP is up to in theory. Let us think about how it works in practice.

The CSM In Practice 

At this point we are thinking about human level.  Some organisations are stronger than the sum of their parts. Others are only as strong as their weakest link. This year's CSM has had some hard working and diligent people on the council. But it hasn't taken much for it to be sabotaged by weak individuals (or at least the perception of sabotage through an NDA breach). This is not a unique event. The temptation to use NDA information for personal or group advantage is overwhelming for some. In consequence, the working relationship with CCP is in tatters to the extent that they didn't even get a mention in the Eve Vegas keynote speech. A point that was made by the some CSM members at the roundtable.

CCP's use of the CSM is consequently limited to only where trusted relationships can be forged between individual CSM members and individual Devs. In fact they don't need to use the auspices of the CSM to even do that. I don't think it is a coincidence that CCP has set up subject matter focus groups independently of the CSM. It wouldn't be unreasonable to conclude they were set up precisely because of the problems they have with the CSM. Even if that is not the case, the focus groups' existence undermines the role of the CSM regardless.

Are CCP right to turn their back on the CSM? It is actually hard to judge. CSM members have no accountability and there is no notion of collective responsibility beyond abiding by the NDA once elected. They do not have to participate nor report back to the players who elected them. They are not even bound to tell the truth. They can choose to hide behind NDA as even when it is not appropriate. A CSM member may say one thing in public, and then something completely different to CCP. We can't know. Without accountability there is no basis for trusting your representative to do the job you elected them to do.

Lets recap again if you are still following. The CSM is not representative and it is not bound to represent those who elect it. It isn't trusted by CCP who are circumventing it by selecting their hand picked friends to "represent the views of the members of the EVE Online community to CCP"  The institution is not fit for purpose.

What to do

The sad thing is the CSM is in principle a great idea. To say goodbye to it is to cull something that made Eve and CCP unique. Can we avoid that? What lets the concept down is the CSM is CCP driven rather than Player driven. If it is to continue there needs to be clear blue water between CCP and the CSM that isn't muddied by NDA restrictions that inevitably cause all the dramas. The CSM needs to represent the diversity of New Eden as well as the power and egos. It needs to be accountable, responsible, professional and credible if CCP and the players are to engage with it. It is a big ask. If you read Reddit then maybe you think it is fantasy. But if we truly believe Eve is the amazing community we say it is then it must possible you would think. 

As for the CSMXI campaign, I will follow it with interest if only for the drama but as things stand I will not be voting this time. This is not because there won't be some good candidates. There probably will be some excellent ones. Take a look and see for yourself.  No, I won't vote because I genuinely have no idea of what I would be voting for.