[Player Story] A Newbro’s Tale #3

A short tale by EVE University’s Doctor Taunu – full credit to them.

My career as an explorer surely but steadily advances. The training of the last few skills to fly a fully fledged Buzzard instead of my trusty fledgling Heron are almost at an end. I would fly it into a sun as a goodbye, but it will reside in my hangar instead.

With this advancement in skills also comes an advancement in experience. Scanning a system down takes less time, the hacking game is becoming increasingly easy. But wealth is a hit or a miss. My usual point of entry is an empty system in high sec, but more often than not is the wormhole at the other end plundered, leaving only some tunnels to the next pocket in J-space.

So, time for a strategy change: on to low sec to venture forth from there. And yes, first try, great findings! I started my chain of wormholes. I paused, if only briefly, to marvel at monolith floating in space, full of stars. I collected a nice 75 million, and as that felt quite enough, I went to a nearby station, calling my hauler and trader alt. She flew to my current system, where a nice contract was waiting for her. She picked up the goods, and flew back home.

That was the plan. That monolith was a bad omen it seems. At one of the waypoints in low sec, a squad of Catalysts was camped where a moment ago space was empty. A skirmish so it appeared. But I needed to pass, and I tried for the next system. Tried is the key word here, as right when I uncloaked and started accelerating, I was held down by a few tracking beams. It spelled my doom. My loot, my Sunesis, and my trusty pilot went up in flames.

I mourned the loss of the ship and of the cargo.

Next time I’ll slip away before their eyes. But for now, they got their spoils, just as I will from the next exploration.

[Player Story] A Newbro’s Tale #2

A short tale by EVE University’s Doctor Taunu – full credit to them.

Having survived my previous ordeal as an explorer, I got the taste of the thrill in danger. With my newfound wealth, I upgraded to Sister’s Core Probes and Relic II and Hacking II analyzers.

I set out with a plan: enter a wormhole from low sec, go to a safe spot in the system and… log off. I wanted to be sure that I could not return to where I entered. And I did, right before the 11:00 shutdown.

I returned later that evening. And yes, my entry wormhole ended its lifetime, but my adventure had just begun. Scanning actually proved that there was an exit to high sec, but some freighter was going back and forth rolling the entrance. I presumed this wormhole was their home, and they wanted to keep it that way. Further evidence was that this wormhole had no safe relic nor data sites left. So I scanned down the system, found a few wormholes, and one of them went to a C2 system as evidenced by the black cloud on the side of the ‘eye’ of the wormhole. So I went, deeper.

Jackpot, a nice set of cosmic signals to scan. And yes, a few were ruined/central. Loot: 10 million ISK. Not enough. My thirst for adventure and ISK said: go deeper in the rabbit(worm)hole.

An hour later I had traversed 5 wormholes, so said Pathfinder, and amassed loot to the tune of 100 million ISK. And in wormhole number 5: an exit to high sec! High sec far from home, but high sec. I parked my Heron in some station there. My character went for dinner and made a contract to my alt with high Trading skills. She came to pick everything up with a hauling Sunesis, and flew back to Jita to sell it all.

I made back my Heron a few times over, and soon he will be replaced by a Buzzard. But he’ll be my precious, until destroyed.

I will do this again.

[Player Story] A Newbro’s Tale #1

A short tale by EVE University’s Doctor Taunu – full credit to them.

The night was cold, but the will was strong. I ventured out in my basic to the bones Heron, into a wormhole. The nights before, no success. Enemies circled the sites. This evening was no different. Long scanning sessions revealed nothing of interest, but another wormhole within this one. Carefully bookmarking everything, I ventured deeper, comparing the visuals of this wormhole with their classes.

And yes, the scans delivered: all sites were ruined or central. Playing the hacking game, failing, succeeding: the cargo was nice and juicy, more than 70 million ISK. Not bad for a 4 million ship. Not bad for a new student.

Back I needed to go. Jumping back to the original wormhole, and then to my bookmark to exit. The bookmark was there. The wormhole was not!

The panic was as present as that orphaned bookmark, for surely my first haul would not go forgotten? I knew of other wormholes, and one led to known space. Null space. I jumped and jumped, frantically directionally scanning, frantically looking at local chat.

Null space was behind me, low sec, then high sec. Guristas had invaded! Luckily, I killed a singular drone in Pochven. I was merely a passerby. And passing I did by. I entered Jita’s system. I had my bookmark ready for a quick undock. The evening was a success.

The journey however is long. And it will be fruitful, with the occasional wreck. But I have enough to buy 15 more fully fitted ships. I am not scared.

[RP] Take the Gate

Distant stars twinkle in the void ahead. Their beauty is a stark contrast to the depravity we’ve come to stop. Out there, among those stars, the mindless drones of Sansha’s Nation lurk. Bright people stolen from their homes and left bereft of all hopes and dreams, enslaved in service to an “ideal” they never even believed in. Sansha Kuvakei, what a depraved fool he is. It’s a criminal shame there is nothing to be done about saving these lost souls. The cold darkness of space, ripped apart in fiery explosions, is the only reprieve we can yet afford them. A sickening bandage against the bleeding wound of letting more colonists be stolen away to the “Nation”.

Amarr space. Some might say a place in Sansha’s “utopia” is a preferable alternative to the whips and shock collars of the Amarr houses. Nonsense. Even a life of servitude under the slavers is a paradise compared to what Kuvakei puts these people through. This incursion ends here and now, and we’ll expunge every last one of these ships until their Mothership goes up in flames.

“Fleet, take the gate.”

The low warble of the ship’s engines powering down as the warp drive takes over, and in a moment the acceleration gate flings my Vindicator forward into the Nation’s Override Transfer Array. One of the first in, I waste no time setting my thrusters to full, steering up and away from my comrades just about to land. The onboard computer announces their remote sensor boosters taking hold on my targeting systems, and seconds later my neutron cannons are firing out into space, tearing the Sansha frigates down to their constituent parts.

The lasers and cannons of our Marauders sing ceaselessly, one salvo after the other volleying the Nation forces off the field. The first group, then the second, scarce any time for them to get their own shots in. Our logistics cruiser pilot complains of boredom, but I turn my attention back to the task at hand. The final defenders of this complex show up, hurrying to the frantic alarms and calls to action, but they are too late. The entangling grapples of our stasis webifiers take root, slowing their fast, zippy ships to a mere crawl. Another few salvos of ear-shattering cannons, and wrecks litter the field.

“Align to broadcast,” comes the fleet commander’s call. One at a time, we’ll drive the Sansha out of here.

One at a time.

From the flight log of Amfion Bravais, YC126.

The Ballad of Innuendo: A Chronicle of the WHC Eviction

The following is a storied recount of the successful eviction of EVE University’s Wormhole Community from its C2 home. Slight quirks and inaccuracies may be found by those that experienced the eviction first-hand, stylistic choices made by the author to weave this story’s narrative. For an unbiased and factual description of events, readers are encouraged to check out the after-action reports linked at the bottom of this post.

14th of December YC125, 18:01 EVE standard time. Disaster strikes for the University’s Wormhole Community! The alarm rings clearly and loudly – WHC is facing a serious eviction attempt.

EVE University’s Wormhole Community makes up one of its four communities. It is set up to allow interested Unistas to learn more about the specifics of wormhole living, and helps them get their feet wet should they ever wish to graduate and specialize in such a thing as an alumnus. Since November YC114 – 11 years – it has stood uninterrupted, forming a strong and thriving community that has educated plenty of Unistas on J-space, its boons and its dangers. 

Danger that can be posed by an eviction attempt. Evictions are part and parcel of wormhole life, offering the prospect of high-value loot and bounty for the evictors, and -ideally- an epic fight for the defending wormholers. Though attempts had been made on the WHC’s home before, Unistas had always weathered the challenge and protected their little corner of J-space with great fervor and commitment. And yet, the decade-old tale of the WHC’s home hole Innuendo would come to a fiery conclusion across a handful of December evenings, as the final verses of the ballad of Innuendo were written…

Ironically, the first notice of scouted enemy forces entering Innuendo came through mere minutes into the regular meeting of all University Community Coordinators. Moments later, automated corporation channels sounded the alarm of friendly starbases under attack in Innuendo.  Alert Unistas immediately raised further alarms in WHC channels and the matter was swiftly escalated and brought to the attention of the Directorate. Shortly after, the aggressors were identified as a coalition of high-profile wormhole-dwelling capsuleers specializing in evictions. Their fleet of two dozen Legions and an Orca flooded Innuendo and began anchoring an Astrahus Upwell Structure to base their eviction operation out of, with all holes in Innuendo rolled. At this point, the writing on the wall could scarcely be ignored anymore – a serious attempt to evict the Wormhole Community was underway. From now on, every decision made would have lasting consequences. Outcomes could and would be determined by even the slightest scuffle in defense of Innuendo.

Behind the scenes, University staff and line members rapidly rallied to marshal a response and mount the University’s fightback. All Unistas currently in Innuendo were reminded to avoid the destruction of their pod at all costs –  both medical clones and jump clones could not be used to return to J-space, and the eviction had begun hole control operations. If these were maintained, getting back into Innuendo in the event of pod loss would be a painful and difficult affair. Importantly, some prominent Unistas, including Community Coordinator Delaney Truffault as well as Senior FC Archemide who would later lead the final defense fleet, were not even in Innuendo at the eviction’s start. Luckily, with enemy hole control still loose and under initial Uni harassment, these WHC members were able to sneak in with just under a dozen people in the eviction’s first hour. From thereon out however, enemy hole control settled into its role and further attempts to get allied pilots into Innuendo were far less successful. Soon after the initial reports of attack had gone out, the swarm of Legions began an initial bombardment on The Rock, the WHC’s Fortizar home. Half an hour later, the structure lost its shields and entered invulnerability for 21 hours.

A clarion call went out across Uni channels marshaling Unistas to throw bodies into Innuendo in whichever way succeeded. The Directorate launched the Wormhole Community Emergency Operations Center for current WHC members, to coordinate and communicate the most important matters pertaining to the defense of Innuendo. At this point, mere hours into this developing situation, the fog of war still hung heavily. The opposing force had Innuendo under lock and key and information was a precious commodity, especially for Unistas not part of the WHC. Thankfully, the University’s mission of teaching and knowledge is never far away, and a comprehensive and elaborate write-up by veteran WHC’er Alabaster Crescent succeeded in answering many of the questions that were being asked by Unistas unfamiliar with wormhole life and the trials linked to it. One thing that went without question was the unwavering willingness of many from all corners of New Eden to lend a hand and throw themselves into Innuendo. Even with the tireless, unbreakable hole control mounted by the enemy capsuleer force, students, graduates and alumni asked ceaselessly how they could help – doubtless to the happy frustration of those experienced wormholers who had to explain many times that there was very little that could be done at that moment, even if the enthusiasm filled them with fondness.

The Directorate met with the Senior Fleet Commanders of the University to discuss the next steps that could be taken as the eviction unfolded. Contrary to the long-standing white lie, the University did have Capital Ship-class assets in the hole, though it became clear quite quickly that not all of them were immediately usable or even remotely useful for the situation. The arms industry of New Eden is one of constant brinkmanship and strife, a massive effort that seeks to ceaselessly cycle the delicate balance between the four major factions, the assorted pirate gangs, and all those other forces who operate in our cluster. In this tumultuous environment, the ideas of doctrine, fleet tactics and the use of capital assets are a constantly shifting paradigm. The fittings of the capital assets in Innuendo were not modernized in accordance with the latest trends on warfare, and the regretful idea of their destruction became a valid discussion point. Why? Often one of the primary reasons for a wormhole eviction is the potential bragging rights that come with the destruction of so many valuable assets. By destroying the capital ships themselves, WHC denied the eviction force these shiny killmails.

Under the difficult conditions of getting more capsuleers into Innuendo, those already present there continued their constant efforts to gather intelligence on the enemy force – at threat of getting podded and potentially being denied access to their home until the conclusion of the eviction. It became increasingly clear that the eviction group was highly specialized in carrying out such operations, and notably included a handful of former Unistas, some of them high-profile. Undeterred by the betrayal of those once considered comrades-in-arms, University pilots continued attempts at getting additional bodies into Innuendo. Thera was established as a temporary staging point, with its tentacle-like network of countless wormholes providing accessible routes into the WHC home should a new hole appear and before enemy hole control could lock it down. Countless Unistas joined the thankless, boring effort of travel fleets – and yet again, this opportunity did not go to waste. Ingeniously, the more experienced University members used the opportunity of many quiet hours sitting around waiting for a mere dozen minutes of action before the inaction repeated itself, to teach classes to newer Unistas. Under the travel fleet effort, several different classes on a variety of subjects were taught, making ample use of the time given. Credit goes out to all those who were involved in the organization of travel fleets to Innuendo at any point of the weekend, and for their commitment in using this typically mundane activity to contribute their knowledge and hold true to the University’s mission statement.

As the curtain of midnight fell on the eviction’s first day, a bitter picture was starting to form with regards to the WHC’s home defense fleet. Like every University staging area, defense assets were in place in Innuendo in the event of an attack precisely such as this eviction. Yet when it was needed most, the fleet was nowhere to be found. Hurriedly, individual Unistas with access to the defense hangar scrambled to check their personal hangars. Perhaps someone had accidentally moved (part of) the fleet there during routine checks? Coming up empty-handed with an answer to this question, a sinister suspicion began to dawn – had the defense fleet been stolen? Perhaps so, given that both CEO Devalt Yotosala and then-Fleet Commander Team Manager Arps had laid eyes on the fleet in its intended hangar the week leading up to the eviction. Early in the next day, the full picture began to unfold for the Directorate as they thoroughly investigated the matter. Soon enough, a conclusion was reached – the WHC home defense fleet was stolen by an alt of a former FC Team Manager. Extensive knowledge of the University’s defenses was a gargantuan plus for such a betrayal, and it was carried out with gelid indifference, robbing the University of an earnest chance at defending the home of its WHC. Disbelief abounded among Unistas – with the opposing force already fielding such a significant fleet of ships, still they had to stoop to the theft of an (inferior) defensive fleet? If anything, it only steeled the member base’s resolve not to go down without a fight. If the theft of the defense fleet had been expected to lead to a “roll over and die” attitude, nothing could have been further from the truth.

Those in the hole began to diligently catalog what was available. Though a kitchen sink doctrine would never be as effective as a specifically-designed defense fleet, it was still better than nothing, and it would have to do. Unistas in the hole came together to check their personal hangars and deposit every halfway space-worthy ship into a central repository to be handed out for the defense effort. Battlecruisers, logistics ships, interceptors, ECM ships, tackle support and much more found a home in the Senior FC hangar, ready to be utilized. Any shield-tanked ship or anything of even remote purpose for a defensive effort was taken on. 

All this time, the University’s then-Quartermaster Nexdoom Atruin had been hard at work in helping secure and suitcase University assets in Innuendo. Following this, hauling hulls from the Buyback Program were made available to WHC members to aid in suitcasing their assets. Dozens of haulers, blockade runners, deep space transports and more were handed out as Unistas tested the limits of physics, stuffing their haulers as full as one conceivably could. Every last m3 proved of use. Coordination and cooperation abounded in WHC channels as everyone pitched in to hand out spare modules and offer any free suitcase space they had for those in need.

Efforts to get more bodies into Innuendo had been continuing tirelessly, but after almost a full day of trying, the picture was beginning to form that enemy hole control was on the ball, and especially the WHC’s highsec static connection was under close watch at all times. Thus, a plan was put together. Given that Innuendo was a Class 2 wormhole, one could conceivably roll into it from another wormhole system with a C2 static. With 525 C2 systems in all of Anoikis, the odds were painfully slim, but absent a way to break enemy hole control on Innuendo’s highsec static, it was worth an attempt. Following approval of the plan, Unistas anchored a POS starbase stick and began the tedious work of rage rolling the chosen C2 static over and over and over in the hope of stumbling into Innuendo. Though eventually unsuccessful, credit is due to all those involved in setting up this effort and spending the many hours sitting inside of a forcefield, hoping to hear the triumphant call of Innuendo being reached.

At 17:00 EVE Time on the second day of the eviction, another attack run was launched on The Rock as it came out of reinforcement. Its armor was destroyed, and a two-day reinforcement timer for its hull began. In the following night, plans and coordination began with regards to the defense of The Rock’s hull timer. Absent a final decision, the preliminary plan ended up as a kitchen sink shield-tank fleet formed from the assets that had been thrown together by membership and the various departments into the Senior FC hangar. Even at this time, donations continued to pour in from generous Unistas.

Permission was given for all those assets that could not be suitcased, and ships without a use case, including some capital assets, to meet a fiery end on the tether of The Rock, signaling the kick-off of a wild and wondrous insurance fraud party. In a highly successful effort to deny the enemy force loot and bounty from their eviction, an effort that would see many an accountant faint from sheer stress, Unistas destroyed over three hundred billion worth of ISK. The Rock’s Point Defense Battery fired ceaselessly at every cargo canister ejected from the station, raining fireworks into space with every asset exploded. The Directorate explicitly put out an ask in the WHC Emergency Operations Channel to destroy all assets that could not be secured or used to fight. In the event that the battle for Innuendo could not be won, the evictors had just seen a portion of their loot be reduced to atoms.

Throughout the eviction, the University’s diplomats had been hard at work reaching out to outside organizations willing to lend a hand in defense and travel operations. To centralize and coalesce these efforts, an external channel of communications was set up with all interested parties. External helpers and Unistas ceaselessly ran Locator Agents to find enemy pilots running hole control. If they could be located in a highsec K-space system, that gave a clue to travel fleet organizers where the current highsec entrance to Innuendo was situated, facilitating efforts to run an attempt at slipping past hole control. Whispers speak of a fleet loaded with Nighthawks and support, ready to charge into Innuendo if an opening had been found. Permission was given to our outside helpers to make any attempts they deemed appropriate to break enemy hole control. In the end, these efforts were largely unsuccessful, but a solemn thank you goes out to all those capsuleers and corporations who took the time to assist the University in whatever way they could. For some, the WHC was their first J-space home, memories of their time there not easily forgotten, driving a heartfelt desire to aid in its defense.

By now, it was clear that little remained possible. The Last Stand of Innuendo rapidly approached, and when the alarm of The Rock’s hull timer blared through the Fortizar, that would signal a final valiant attempt at a defense of the WHC home. The defense Fleet Commander Archemide’s clarion call rang clearly. “It’s time. Once more into Innuendo, dear friends, once more.” With a frankenstein shield doctrine, those in the hole readied their ships for the gargantuan undertaking ahead – be that the unlikely triumph of The Rock, or a glorious blaze of explosions and burnt steel that would make Bob giddy for weeks to come. Even at this final hour, efforts to get Unistas inside were still ongoing. It is little wonder that, after days of uninterrupted hole control, the enemy pilots were likely to be caught napping, which is exactly what happened. Through the continuous efforts of the travel fleet organizers and those outside capsuleers who saw fit to help, Unistas caught enemy hole control by surprise and secured an entrance into Innuendo. Though the hole was rolled before the whole shuttle fleet could get inside, this effort nevertheless succeeded in rushing an additional two dozen pilots into the WHC home. “Welcome to Innuendo,” the call went, and as the shuttles warped to The Rock, they were greeted by the sound of blaring alarms and a station surrounded by a mass of Strategic Cruisers and friendly HAW Dreadnaughts. 

Ships were quickly handed out, the Unista defense fleet undocked, and an earnest attempt at defense began. The eviction force continued their underhanded tactics (which are part and parcel of life in New Eden), warping off part of the fleet into the enemy’s claws with a spy, though no one was lost to this attempt. Over the course of more than an hour, fielding whatever flight-worthy machines were still around on The Rock’s hangar floor or in the depths of space, the fighting continued. Though all present stood valiantly against overwhelming odds with no lack of enthusiasm or zeal, it was ultimately a futile effort. At the end of the fight, The Rock’s metal carcass littered Innuendo, its loot spat out in a sea of containers, a plethora of Unista corpses strewn between it all. A gargantuan thank you goes out to all those involved in the superhuman effort that was the defense of Innuendo – all Fleet Commanders, scouts, those involved in setting up travel fleets, staking out the enemy force, handling reships, asset denial, coordinating efforts, getting people up to speed, liaising between groups, manning the Dreadnaughts, the station guns, those offering to coffin their characters inside the hole unable to get out for weeks or perhaps months, the outside groups that assisted, and so many more.

And of course, to you – the fearless Unista that threw themself against insurmountable odds, right into the fray, to help out your comrades and do what you could. It did not matter whether you came to be in New Eden a decade ago or just weeks before the eviction. You were there, and you sat around for days waiting to find out how you could get involved. Thank you.

A plethora of lessons is to be learned from the tale of Innuendo’s demise. Learnings that will take time, effort and understanding. Already, deep introspectives are ongoing and the future is being assessed. One thing is a certainty however, no matter what – WHC will be back. Better, stronger, more prepared. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, carried on the winds of goodwill of its members up and down the hierarchy. Even now, many WHCers speak of how the eviction showed them many things, good and bad – but above all, how it showed them that J-space, the dangers of Anoikis, is the one for them. How they thrive and excel in this wild, uncharted space, and wish to call nowhere except that their home. The fire to find a new home and rebuild WHC burns brightly. Let it thus be clear…

A big thank you goes out to the Communications Department Officers for their efforts in proofreading this work, and for all those that agreed to interviews and chats with the author to make this tale as comprehensive as possible.

Those that are interested in further reading on the WHC eviction are encouraged to sate their thirst with the following reports:

Learn by Teaching

Article by Hippla Tsero

Getting started with teaching can be daunting. Speaking in front of others is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Speaking in front of others with authority, let alone speaking on a topic that you might be new to you will feel challenging.

Folks that learn with the aim to teach will ask themselves questions such as “How can I best present that knowledge”, which helps significantly to retain knowledge. And just as Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”, we can take advantage of that.

But you should do it anyway!

Why? Because it’s the best way to learn. Educational research has long shown that teaching is the best way of learning – mainly because you will approach a topic differently when you know that have to hand on that knowledge you later on.

EVE University allows you to engage with a topic, by providing you with slide-decks for 14 CORE classes in addition to a comprehensive UniWiki that has elaborate articles and guides on a wide variety of topics.

In addition, there is a fantastic guides on How to teach for EVE Uni to get you started.

Still in doubt?

Let me share my teaching story for EVE Uni with you!

I got started with EVE at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, when we were forced (allowed) to spend way too much time in front of our computers. I quickly got routed towards running missions at our then High-Sec campus in Amygnon. However, I found those extremely dry and boring and the skill training to get into a Battleship took what felt like 2 years. So I was looking for an alternative activity and a friend I had made early on in the Uni recommended Exploration to me. So here I went, bought myself a Heron and dove into my first wormhole. I obviously forgot to bookmark the exit, despite being told 3 times to not forget it. I think I was just too nervous that someone would blow me up and immediately warped away when I entered it.

After only a few weeks, I had made real bank! I also lost a few Herons but got over it quicker than initially thought. However, when I talked to my friend about my exploration adventures, he mentioned a whole bunch of things I didn’t understand. Scan strength? C1-3 Wormholes? Sansha space? What was he on about? I was just looking for Relic and Data sites.

So I opened the UniWiki and found several pages full of material for hacking, scanning, exploration in Null-Sec etc.

That’s when I decided – let’s put my knowledge to the test. I scheduled a class a week down the road. The date came closer quickly and the day of the class I realised I still hadn’t prepared at all. So here I was, sipping my morning coffee, reading all the material again, going through the slide deck and changing some of it to make it easier on myself. And suddenly it was 18.00 EVE time and I had 8 or 9 people join me for my very first class. I mentioned that it was my first class and everyone was super kind!

It had been only 3 months since I started EVE again and my biggest fear was that I would get questions that I couldn’t answer. But fear not! I had some more experienced players join the class, that helped me out with some of the answers.

After the class, I felt a huge relief and satisfaction. I was able to share some of my knowledge, but most importantly: I knew way more about exploration than just a week before the class, when I had scheduled it. I also realised I had some knowledge gaps that I need to improve upon. But my initial fears were irrational. EVE Uni provides such a nice and inclusive environment, that even a newbro can teach as class. After all, there’s always someone less experienced around in EVE Uni that appreciates having someone take the time and explain a topic to them.

So whether you are new, or you have never liked speaking in front of others – use the opportunity EVE Uni offers by teaching a class (or more!!!). Choose a topic you like but want to upon and challenge yourself to use teaching as a tool for yourself to learn! And most importantly: If you have any questions or fears, simply ask on the EVE Uni Discord. The teaching staff is amazing and will help you in any way they can.

So what are you waiting for?

[Opinion] What makes a good CSM candidate.

Author: Hippla Tsero

CSM voting has officially started and especially newer players can find it challenging to know who to vote for.

So who do we vote for?

Besides the official CCP interviews, EVE University conducted two extensive CSM candidate round-tables, which brought together many of the current CSM18 candidates. Besides, we could observe a myriad of community shows with different formats, giving the candidates the platform to present themselves and advocate for players to vote for them. 

What is striking is that most shows had a very large focus (as is tradition) on the arm-chair development discussions. Candidates went on to present what they felt are the major pain points of EVE right now, their long or sometimes a little less long experience of playing EVE and how they would design EVE if they would just be elected to the CSM 18 this year.

A question much less discussed, despite it being asked by CCP Swift to pretty much every single candidate: What makes a good CSM candidate. A question so central that it’s worth looking at it a little bit closer.

What makes a good CSM candidate? I think there’s broad consensus that experience of playing EVE, even if it is just in a certain niche, is central to what makes a good CSM candidate. If the candidate can now also engage in the fun intellectual exercise of formulating aforementioned EVE pain points and come up with some cool ideas on how to solve those, this surely gives them some extra credit. But what truly makes a good CSM candidate has very little to do with EVE and is pretty evident to anyone who ever had to work in a large team trying to come to an agreement in a board room.

What makes a truly strong CSM member is the ability to work together, build consensus and clearly communicate a position. Talking to any incumbent or previous CSM member, it’s clear that the CSM is a focus group more so than an advocacy group. A group of players that helps CCP cover their blind spots, a group of players that can help CCP avoid implementing new features in a way that would negatively impact the game and its community. Yet, most of the discussions by CSM candidates focused on how they would develop EVE if they were just elected to the CSM.

No matter your ingame affiliation or your ideas on how EVE could be better. The moment you step into the CSM, you will be invited to attend meetings with developers and provide feedback on an already set developers road map. If you don’t like the changes or want to influence them, you and the other CSM members will need to have the ability to overcome your differences and find consensus on how to best convince CCP of how to move forward, without fundamentally questioning the core of CCP’s next expansion or feature.

During every show where potential CSM candidates discussed their ideas on how to develop EVE with current or former CSM members, those with the experience of having been on the CSM all said the same, no matter whether Null-Secer, Wormholer or independent candidate. As much fun as the intellectual exercise of arm-chair development is, it won’t help you much with your day-to-day CSM work. If anything, it will stand in your way if you are too insistent on a particular issue (e.g. bring back abyssal pvp arenas) or think that a particular group of candidates is over-represented (e.g. too many Sov-Null candidates). The message is loud and clear, yet seems to have largely been ignored by potential CSM candidates: Being a thick-head will make your time in the CSM miserable for yourself, for the other CSM members and for CCP.

The CSM is not a group of market experts versus fitting gurus versus sov-null leaders versus scary wormhole enthusiasts. It is a group that will need to work together closely to find a way to communicate potential concerns of the community to CCP and help to keep the car that’s already going at full-speed on the road, rather than in-fight about the colour of the car.

In light of this observation, it might be worthwhile going back to not only our own EVE Uni round-tables but to the CCP interviews and have another look at how your favourite candidate answered CCP Swift’s question: What makes a good CSM candidate? While some candidates gave some humorous answers, a striking number of potential CSM 18 members focused solely on their EVE experience and the ability to have great ideas on how EVE could be better.

And yes, while I argue that the CSM Is not an advocacy group per se, most previous or current CSM members also let shine through that being part of the CSM also helped them build trustful relationships with CCP developers. It’s these relationships that have helped them advocate for some changes they feel strongly about, rather than the actual day-to-day CSM work..

What do you think makes a strong CSM candidate apart from their EVE experience? Join the conversation on the EVE Uni Discord. And most importantly: Don’t forget to vote!!