The first CSM seemed to have a very difficult job, given that they had to structure their operating guidelines as they went, and of course deal with skepticism from the playerbase. Do you think the situation is different for the CSM now?
Vastly different. A lot of time during CSM1 was spent on administrative stuff which was often inefficient. We now have a structure which works fairly well, even if it leaves some things to be desired. We are yet to reach our max potential, which won't happen for another few CSMs I'm afraid. But CCP has certainly realized that the CSM is a useful concept and is useful for them. I think in the future we will see more tools for the CSM being implemented as Xhagen manages to tie up enough people at the office so that they will commit to doing these things which will benefit the CSM and community. Once we have streamlined ways of doing things, while leaving us room for being creative, there's immense potential for a CSM which will not only work great while people who have experience with being on it, but once an ENTIRELY new set of people take office and start working with this foundation that is built.
Continuity is EXTREMELY important. The idea that an entirely new set of people will take office and there's no real guidelines or continuity gives me nightmares. That's why I think it's important that CCP in the future is even more helpful towards the CSM and that there is more communication. We have build a solid foundation for now. However it's not hard to tear down if people aren't taking responsibility.
Despite the challenges the first CSM faced, what made you want to come back and run for election again in the 2nd Council?
One might quickly assume that I'm attention whore. But I like thinking about EVE as a society (as I said, I love social science and economics) and taking on and discussing major issues within EVE. Also the interaction with some really smart and engaged people has been a very nice experience. For instance getting to discuss and interact with smart guys like Serenity Steele and Omber Zombie is really awesome. Also talking to average the average Joe and find out what some of the smaller issues with EVE are, is interesting as it gives perspective. I'm absorbed in the macro and meta aspects of EVE mostly, so getting into the details and getting a better perspective that way is immensely valuable.
So the interaction and a "purpose" is what keeps me going. If I had the option, I would run for the 3rd CSM too!
"I think it's important that CCP in the future is even more helpful towards the CSM and that there is more communication. We have build a solid foundation for now. However it's not hard to tear down if people aren't taking responsibility."
Certainly, it does consume your time. Just ask anybody who has been on the CSM, people are trying to talk to you at the most inconvenient times. But that's a part of the job. However I think it's all worth it, because it's frankly a fun job to have. I'm fine with spending more time on things that are more fun, even if EVE by itself is fun too. But I get the best of both worlds I feel.
Now that you've had some degree of interaction with CCP Games on EVE's development pipeline, does it change your perspective on -- or expectations of -- how the game may evolve?
It has become apparent to me that EVE will eventually become a really large game. It's of course in everybody's interest that EVE become a large community, because it frankly gives more opportunity for having fun. I for instance have a major problem finding people to play with who are active when I'm online because I'm on at stupid times. So getting a larger audience is not a bad thing despite what some die-hard EVE players might say. With the boxed release of EVE I expect to see a large peak.
Also I get the feeling that CCP really wants EVE to be more than pew-pew spaceships. I might even suggest a sci-fi simulator. While people might resist it, I think it's an obvious evolution.
But that's not to say that's a larger priority in my mind than it is to revamp, for instance, the sovereignty mechanics.
CCP has however committed to this already, as evident from the CSM minutes where CCP presented us with an idea for how it could be done. It's important to remember that CCP is still growing. As they have more resources at hand, they can take EVE more ways. I welcome that.
"There have been some ideas being bounced around the CSM with live-events and the like, which will compromise EVE as being a completely sandboxed environment. It's not a simple issue, and it's largely ideological. "
Well, there have been some ideas being bounced around the CSM with live-events and the like, which will compromise EVE as being a completely sandboxed environment. It's not a simple issue, and it's largely ideological. So while I'm sticking to my guns by saying that it would compromise the sandboxiness of EVE to a certain degree, I'm open to the idea if it brings justifiable value to the game.
Personally I would like to see EVE go a number of ways. I hate to limit my perspective to just one area of the game, as it's an ecosystem. However I feel that there's a number of systems which needs a complete overhaul, that mainly being sov. mechanics, mining, and industry. Once that's fixed, we can start talking about more interesting ideas like a stock market and more social structures through game-mechanics. I'm not suggesting that EVE should stop evolving before it revamps these things, I do however think they ought to be MAJOR priorities.
A lot of the things I would love to see are immensely complex. I thrive on complexity, but I do find that a lot of the features that are released are fairly shallow. While that's a feature of it being a video game, I think we should raise the bar a little and allow for more endgame-like things. I'll obviously be called an elitist and whatnot for this, but I think it's an area which has been ignored a bit.
That's not to say I don't like the idea of EVE expanding with new things to do, I just want to be able to absorb myself in just one feature at times and see a progression in my skills. I find that space-pewpew is one of the few things today where it's the case beyond the initial learning curve, but again that's the curse of video games. But that's not to say we can't try to break this habit of games being somewhat shallow.
Thanks for speaking with Massively, LaVista.
You are most certainly welcome!