With the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) Elections coming up soon we at EVE NT have contacted all the running candidates who have announced their intentions to run and provided them with a standardised interview template. The goal of this is to give each candidate a set of standard questions for them to respond to with the aim of helping you, the voter, to choose a candidate who best represents you and your play style to CCP. The same questions have been asked of every candidate as to allow easier comparison. The responses posted are unedited and will be published in the run up to the opening of the voting period on February the 29th in the order that they have been received.
Today's candidate is Petrified.
1. Please start by giving us a short introduction to who you are and your history within EVE Online. Include how long you have been playing and the groups you have been involved with.
Firstly, thank you for the interview opportunity. I started my time in EVE as a late Beta tester followed by the first month of play granted by the purchase of the game. In 2003, I had not yet accepted pay to play (subscription based games) as a good format and because I had absolutely no clue what I was doing in EVE I did not yet see a reason to pay past the first month. I liked the idea and concept of EVE, but I didn't quite understand the value of subscription games. Had EVE come out a year later, after I had gotten hooked on City of Heroes, my story and history would have progressed very differently. Petrified is actually the second character I had created for EVE online on my account, the first one is a long standing member of Doomheim Corporation aka simple biomass.
In 2006 I had run into some online videos of EVE and decided to give it a try again. At this point, I had seen the value of subscription based games from my experience with other MMORPGs. I found things to be slightly different, more people in space, and got into a player corp, that helped me get a clue. (Thank you Lockfox) Unfortunately, like many, I had to leave again due to personal reasons. This happened a couple of times again until my current stint of 6 years.(I blame the alliance tournaments for it). I have been involved in a few groups over my time in EVE (Old Men Online being one), but the most notable and current would be The Older Gamers.
2. Who would you consider to be your key constituents? Who you would best represent within the playerbase?
Myself, really, and those who are similar to me and think like me. I work full time, I have a family, I enjoy challenging games that make me think, and I do not like to be patronized. I find EVE a challenging game in that it is not easy to master (I have yet to master it) and when you die, you lose things... a lot of things. The game has consequences and in many ways reflects how people interact with each better than WoW or other MMOs ever could. It is those things about EVE that attract me and make me want to keep them.
EVE should not be made softer to attract new players but remain one that, without apology, lets you fall on your bum and scrape things back together. There are things that can be done from High Sec to Null Sec to bring more conflict (and as such, more reward) yet not punish a casual player that has an hour or two to play EVE and is trying to pull the isk together to fit a ship. I also think changes should be explained in a way consistent with the storyline and lore of EVE and should make sense. EVE should maintain a spirit of living freely or dying while trying.
3. Please summarise your platform. (Preferably using key bullet points)
Some of what I would bring before CCP during my time in CSM:
* Reintroduce some basic consequences to acquaint new players with choices having consequences. I believe the differences between the starter schools and their effect on the starting skills (the initial profession of a player) was important for players to have an initial foundation. With further improvements to the NPE players will get a better feel for the game - the hazards and profits.
* Application of resource depletion for Null Sec anomalies and Missions - if you are a pirate getting killed, why are you going back to the same place? Better: with AI improvements, have the NPCs counter attack by attacking sov structures and POS/Citadels. Mining anomalies should become rarer the more they are depleted or simply: smaller ore anomalies until enough time has passed for them to regenerate. It is not as if there is a lack of asteroid belts. NPC agents will run out of missions for a time, forcing the player to move to another agent, this will break up stagnation for mission runners and decentralize many of the popular mission hubs.
* The UI should not be a barrier to the game nor should it be simplified to the point that it is not useful for the experienced player. Improvements to quality of the interface not dumb-ing it down.
* Improve High Sec Wars. How many high sec wars result in actual PvP versus legalized ganking if any shots are fired at all? Most anything can be ganked with effort in high sec without a war dec, so in the end, what purpose does a war dec serve other than keep your standings out of the red? Should war deccers have a couple of extra options such as targeted decs against specific characters regardless of PC or NPC corp status? Should player corps have an option to opt out of war decs and behave similarly to NPC corps: fixed tax rate, no corp hangers, no anchoring of structures, etc? I believe the way highsec wars function, at this point in time, is not the way CCP initially intended and that without a significant overhaul of war mechanics, wars are essentially obsolete from that function.
* Overall: Keeping the spirit of EVE: Your Choices have Consequences
4. Why have you decided to run for CSM this year?
I am extremely passionate about Eve Online as a game and a community and it is time I give back. Also, not needing to reveal my real life identity cinched it for me. I have a full time job that supports my family. Last thing I need is someone doxxing me because they have a grudge or don't like my platform/Alliance/character.
5. Have you run for or been a member of CSM in the past? If so please list each year and if you were elected.
6. What makes you a unique representative when you compare yourself to other candidates?
Honestly, that is something to be decided by those looking at my candidacy. I consider myself to be an independent voice; without ties to larger power blocs, providing more balance in the CSM. My purpose is to bring forward and discuss, with my fellow CSM members, potential good ideas that can and will make EVE a better game overall. I am here to bring ideas to CCP to improve the game and give feedback on what they bring up to the CSM as to how it may or may not improve EVE as a whole. I have seen many changes and patches to Eve Online. I have experienced the good, the bad and the very ugly. Ensuring continuous feedback on game changes is what has made Eve such a long-standing MMO.
7. Do you have any out of game experience and skills that make you a good candidate?
My professional job involves figuring out how things work and what is going on with a system. Giving analysis and feedback is bread and butter.
8. What areas of EVE are you weakest at knowledge wise?
It changes with every patch. Usually though: wormhole living and low sec PvP. Is it enough to say that despite my time in EVE, I do learn something new about it with decent frequency.
9. If you were offered unlimited development time - what's the biggest change you would lobby for in EVE?
I don't quite like the phrase unlimited development time. I don't think it is safe for any programmer or developer to have unlimited time. But, I would like to orbital bodies actually orbit.
10. If you could wind back the clock - what feature or change would you remove from EVE?
Some people would roll back T3 Dessies (a natural warfare advancement). Some people would roll back Aegis (Fozzie) Sov, which made the Capital world more challenging. Me? This may sound odd, but the removal of the learning skills.
11. If you could pick one candidate to be elected with you who would they be and why?
Vic Jefferson, because he dislikes GSF and makes ships explode in pretty colors.
12. What is your favourite memory in EVE and why?
There are a lot of memories I can call my favorite. I'll pick one that served as a good learning experience to pay attention and always brings a smile to my face and those who hear it: I CONCORDed myself shortly after I returned to EVE when I forgot what drones I had in my Hulk and applied them to a belt rat attacking me in High Sec. I didn't realize that what I launched were armor repair drones until after CONCORD showed up in the belt and started shooting me. It helps to pay attention.
13. What platform(s) do you use currently to engage with the wider player base? If someone wanted to contact you what is the best way to do this? (Include Twitter/Emails/Skype/Slack etc.)
Best method is via in-game or on the EVE forums themselves. It is also ideal because CCP, as well as the player base, will be able to track it. I want to be held accountable for what I say and do in relation to the CSM.
14. If people wanted to find out more about your platform - where is the best place to do so? (Include blogs, forums posts and podcasts)
My main forum post promoting my candidacy here.
15. In short - what is your closing statement (no more than 500 words please!)
I want to see EVE great as a whole for all players. It should be a challenging game and comforts should be interruptible and sometimes deadly. And more importantly: I want to see EVE Online for years to come.