CCP announced the beginning of the CSM XII season and I’ve been actively engaged in the process. Before the official announcement was made, I wrote my last article for The Neocom declaring my intentions of running. That article gave me a good starting point for my campaign efforts as the constructive criticisms I received gave me an opportunity to make some tone and language changes to my official forum post.
Following my post, I received a good appraisal from Cosmo on What You Missed This Week. I appreciate the kind words and am very glad that I was able to produce a coherent forum post to support my candidacy efforts.
Soon after that, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Alekseyev Karrde from Declarations Of War, where I was invited as a guest to talk about my CSM campaign. The show was great and I had a lot of fun. However, I could have done a better job at explaining some of the items I identified in my post; namely SOV tax and my opinion on the tethering mechanic.
In order to correct this, below is a direct quote from Caleb Ayrania explaining the SOV tax concept.
“The whole point is that Structures Count Value to GIVE SOV and the Tax system is the gained benefit Reds and Neutrals can NOT avoid a SOV tax, but they don't pay more or less than the SOV friendlies. So the scenario could be that you won't allow XL neutral structures in your space because that could shift the SOV. Reds would then try to launch XL structures etc to get SOV but they can not have "PUBLIC" ISK activity without paying SOV Tax. In short, the SOV holder is the GOVERNMENT and you can only avoid tax if you are dealing outside the public. So contracts specifically for people and for specific corps won't be taxable, neither will direct trade and isk transfers. But anything RIG based will be taxable by SOV holder but ONLY IF ISK moves if your services are "Free" for ACL members, blues etc.. there is no tax or very little tax paid.
The main reason this is fair is that reds, neutrals, and blues all pay the same flat tax rate of all public moving and rig service based ISK. Nothing more and nothing less.
That is the important selling point, if it's suddenly changed to differentiate its a totally different concept and in my opinion not fair and useful.”
On the subject of tethering, I replied that the concept is an example of asymmetric game design. However, I failed to give the main example that I wanted to highlight - Citadel tether mechanics being used to move supercarriers and titans in near safety. In this scenario, it would be fairer if there was a small window of opportunity where the supercarrier or titan can be interacted with by the player. Instead, the supercarrier interacts and is made safe by the tether mechanic, therefore preventing any other ships on grid from doing anything about it. Moments later, the supercarrier logs off after jumping in the cyno; no appreciable interaction was made between the players on grid.
It was at this point that I discovered that I may have a problem with proper messaging for my platform. Although I noted recommendations and suggestions that I solicited from my contacts, those by themselves are actually just a product of my platform, not the platform itself. What I’m trying to portray to voters is my ability to be an instrument of meaningful interaction between CCP and the player base.
When asked by Jin’taan about this, I said that I will be capable of fulfilling this communication role, as long as I do my due diligence and know the material that I would present to CCP. If I don’t find myself in this situation, then I must identify and acknowledge this and come back when I have more details.
I don’t have a direct solution to this messaging problem. At best, I must be mindful of my media interactions and do my best to steer the conversations back to the core of my platform. If I fail to do that, I will be missing out on opportunities to actually discuss what sets me apart from the current pool of candidates. Regardless of this, I must revisit the recommendations that I’ve been given and ensure that I can speak intelligently on these subjects.
A day after the Declarations Of War recording, I appeared on the ">Mind Clash Podcast with Kael Decadence and Meredudd. I was also joined by fellow CSM candidates Commander Aze and Erika Mizune. The guests and I were able to talk about our candidacy runs. We dedicated a good amount of time on war declaration and API functionality of the Citadels.
It was very refreshing to talk about war decs with a personality like Commander Aze. Unlike POCOs that introduced a focal point of engagement, Citadels did one better and could be used to provide meaningful utility by way of EWAR to support a defending fleet. Their presence will result in more use of the war dec system in empire.
Coming from an alliance that specializes in killing Citadels, the war dec system performs as advertised. However, I pointed out that as soon as you go beyond the paradigm of threatening structures, the war dec system immediately shows its weakness. The main problem that Commander Aze and I agreed on was motivation on the part of the defender. Beyond the structure killing paradigm, the war dec system does not offer an equal amount of opportunities for both aggressor and defender to interact with. I also pointed out that changes to the war dec mechanics specifically will offer little to incentivize defenders who don’t have anything to defend. It merely adds on to the aggressive griefer scenario that we are all familiar with. If we are to meaningfully contribute to the improvement of this system, then let’s attack the concept not the mechanics. This way, the limits of the mechanics will be more clearly defined and in line with the prefaced concept.
Finally, Meredudd made a fair response to Commander Aze in that third party tools are more helpful to intermediate and advanced players as opposed to new players. Regarding this, CCP should focus on intelligently designing UI that provides enough information to make decisions and execute actions without relying on out of game sources. I agree but let’s be mindful of the environment we find ourselves in - CCP is not pressured to improve on UI elements because they publicize the API in order for us to fill the gap of the lacking UI and vision. In the future, I hope this will start to trend the other way, allowing us to play Eve with less out of game tools. Until then, the environment feels balanced enough in that one way or another, you can achieve the utility that you need if you have the expertise to work with the provided API.
As the candidacy period goes on, I hope to continue to provide better insight on my thoughts, public interactions, and platform.