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 Sogor.
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.
Hello! I?m Sogor, member of aWayWard, Inc., recent addition of TEST Alliance.
I have been playing since about 2008, though I did try the game before then with a trial account, and I've had a couple of breaks during my playtime. I have mostly stuck to smaller groups over the years, though recently I have been playing with larger coalitions, most notably the Red Menace Coalition and TEST Alliance as the two latest groups that I've played with. Historically I've dabbled in a wide variety of activities, including market stocking, industrial production, large scale fleet fights and small gang PVP.
Who would you consider to be your key constituents? Who you would best represent within the playerbase?
Due to the wide variety of activities that I have participated in, I believe that I have experience that could add to discussion in a large variety of areas. That being said, however, I probably have the most experience in dealing with small gang PVPers and industrial players, and I would be the most confident in representing those two groups in particular.
Please summarise your platform. (Preferably using key bullet points)
-Though the CSM's job is to provide feedback and a place for CCP to bounce ideas off of, we also have the ability to transmit ideas from the players back to CCP as well.
-The CSM should remain neutral through the entire process, and exists to serve the entire player community, not just our own specific alliances and coalitions.
-There are a variety of activities, like PI, that could use some love and quality of life improvements that would vastly increase the accessibility and participation from other players.
-Nullsec needs more small objectives to bring players out and drive conflicts between different groups, either in the form of new resources or structures that give or remove bonuses to different constellations. Things like cloaky camping do not adequately drive conflict and should be limited in ways that will require campers to be at their keyboards.
Why have you decided to run for CSM this year?
I have been playing this game for long enough that I believe I have spotted a variety of improvements that could be implemented, and it also seems like there is a general amount of discontent with the past several CSM groups. I believe that I could make a positive difference in the CSM, and I would endeavor to do so in order to improve the game that has managed to capture my attention for the better part of a decade.
Have you run for or been a member of CSM in the past? If so please list each year and if you were elected.
No, this is my first attempt at running for the CSM.
What makes you a unique representative when you compare yourself to other candidates?
I have gone out of my way to try out and understand nearly every aspect of the game, running in every security status in space, doing industry, PVP, exploration, etc. Because I have attempted to give every activity in Eve a shot, and spent some time working on all of them, I feel as though I am in the position where I can give an opinion on nearly every subject, though I will happily state if I do not feel I have the experience required to give an educated response to an idea. Additionally, though I am in TEST now I have historically stuck to smaller corporations and alliances, often still holding sovereignty space, so I do have the perspective of one of the little guys when it comes to null-sec politics, which is something that the CSM often seems to lack.
Do you have any out of game experience and skills that make you a good candidate?
In real life, I am a geophysicist and I have dealt extensively with the idea of removing bias from experiments and suggestions, as well as using an iterative approach to solve problems. I believe the inherent non-biased approach that I use in problem solving in the real world translates to both the ability to solve a variety of problems using a logical, systematic approach in New Eden, as well as the ability to stay neutral in a variety of proceedings. To the casual observer it seems that the CSM in the past has had some problems with leaks and other actions designed to give different player run organizations advantages, and it would be my goal to avoid this.
What areas of EVE are you weakest at knowledge wise?
Though I am a capital pilot I've never ran any sort of capital fleets, so in some areas understanding large scale conflicts is beyond the scope of my Eve experience, though I am intimately familiar with the sovereignty system. Additionally, though I did live in a wormhole for a while, I would consider my knowledge of them to pale in comparison to representatives who do actively live inside of them.
Additionally, I have very little knowledge of how Factional Warfare or Incursions operate. I've had limited experience with both, but I didn't end up spending much time on either of them.
If you were offered unlimited development time - what's the biggest change you would lobby for in EVE?
More stuff in space. In addition to citadels, I believe that populating space with a variety of player-constructed NPCs, defenses, industrial structures, etc would go a long way towards making New Eden seem like a more bustling and industrial place. In addition to aesthetics, a large amount of new structures would provide opportunity for gangs of various sizes to engage appropriately sized targets, with smaller groups hitting lightly defended structures and large industrial complexes being the target of large fleets.
If you could wind back the clock - what feature or change would you remove from EVE?
I?m actually fairly content with the state of the game, but I think that the jump fatigue as it currently stands is a little bit too harsh on capital pilots.
If you could pick one candidate to be elected with you who would they be and why?
I'd say Mr. Hyde has to be one of my favourite candidates, because he is a pretty neutral character and seems to be going after a variety of balancing changes to help solo and small gang players. Additionally, he understands many of the combat-specific mechanics of the game.
What is your favourite memory in EVE and why?
One of my favourite memories in Eve was rescuing my former corporation's wormhole fleet. They had been running anomalies in an adjacent wormhole, and when I logged on I discovered a hostile battleship fleet perched on our wormhole home, waiting to catch them on the other side. I managed to sneak an alt into the other wormhole with a probe launcher (they hadn't brought one for some reason) and got most of our fleet to safety. It was one of the most fun experiences that I've had because I essentially got to swoop in and take charge of a situation and actually managed to turn a positive outcome in the face of certain doom. Though that particular corporation did not survive the test of time, it was still one of the most fun moments in gaming that I've ever had.
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.)
Reddit is my primary form of communication, and I try to stay active on the /r/eve subreddit. I will also answer emails and I check the Eve forums as well. My primary emails are [email protected] and [email protected]. I can give my Skype or Steam to anyone who wants it as well, though I typically don't post it publicly.
If people wanted to find out more about your platform - where is the best place to do so? (Include blogs, forums posts and podcasts)
I made an extensive forum post on the CSM Campaigns subforum, located here.
Additionally I was interviewed over voice chat by the CapStable guys.
I?m planning on writing up a summary of some of my ideas for Reddit in the near future as well.
In short - what is your closing statement (no more than 500 words please!)
I think that the CSM serves the purpose of giving CCP a way to bounce ideas off of a small, select group of players before implementing a variety of changes. It seems like over the years the CSM has devolved into less of a useful tool and more of a way for different organizations to gain benefits over other groups, through different sorts of leaks and market manipulations. I would not only strive to avoid these biased usages of the council, but I would actively work towards forming the CSM into a cohesive unit that works towards the original purpose of the council: to help make a better game for all of us to enjoy, because at the end of the day we are all players of the same game, and like it or not the game should be balanced for everyone, not just one group over another. I believe that my experience as a scientist gives merit to my claims of staying unbiased in a variety of situations, as keeping bias out of my work is crucial to being successful in the scientific community. Additionally, my historic membership in neutral or small corporations and alliances shows that I do have direct experience at holding a neutral position in New Eden, as well as experience in smaller organizations in the game.
In addition to my goals of providing a non-biased platform for communication between CCP and the players and smoothing over the CSM as a whole, I do believe that there are a variety of quality of life changes and tweaks that could make the game much more enjoyable to play. These changes fall into every category from industrial to full scale sovereignty mechanics. My variable experience in Eve allows me to give opinions on nearly aspect of the game, which I believe is important to any successful CSM candidate. We need to not only have high amounts of knowledge on specific aspects of the game, but also a broad knowledge of every available mechanic to truly visualize how different pieces of the game fit together and affect each other on a global scale.
In short, where the CSM is concerned I bring my ability to solve problems, my ability to retain an unbiased platform, and a variety of ideas designed to improve the quality of life for every player, not just any one specific group. My goal would be to serve on the CSM as the CSM was originally intended; to provide a group that CCP would be able to actively communicate with, to exchange ideas and discuss the direction of the game.