A few years ago, I ran a questionnaire for CSM candidates regarding lowsec. This year, I’ve decided to do the same, with a twist: there is now a bonus round of questions tailored to each individual candidate that fills out the questionnaire. As quickly as I can, I’ll be posting up their responses: without edit or commentary. Next into the questionnaire octagon is Trinkets friend.
Character Name: Trinkets friend
Candidacy Thread: TF for CSM X
PART 1 – The Questionnaire
What single part of the game do you feel requires the most work in terms of iteration by CCP?
Do you feel that lowsec is ‘fixed’? If so, explain why. If not, explain what you want to see done to fix it.
I particularly don’t see lowsec as broken. I think the problems of lowsec are not mechanical they are mostly cultural – for example, the game mechanics don’t prevent people making money, living profitably, doing industry or even mining, doing missions. People’s inability to take risks, get over losses, or indeed the ability to engage in risk-free PVP by using orthrus and remote sebo gate camps? Entirely cultural.
Do you have any plans to push CCP, if elected, to iterate on lowsec in general?
I’d like faction warfare missions to be brought to heel. It is a virtually risk-free, overly farmable and LP rich sinecure. it’s ridiculous to see pods spawn 50 missions and bombers not even in militia go around and blitz them. An element of risk needs to be brought in somehow.
Beyond that, as said in the CSm pitch, more content and richer types of content to lure the weak and greedy into lowsec, thereby creating content opportunities.
In your opinion, where should lowsec rank in terms of priority for iteration by CCP?
Behind nullsec and highsec.
What, in your opinion, are the main factors that make lowsec more attractive to its current residents than other areas of space?
It’s safer than highsec, for one, and less lame than nullsec. It is a place where, at the cost of adherence to some arbitrary rules of behaviour, you can swing your nuts around in ever increasing arcs and indulge in good small-gang piracy and “solo”. It is a great place for newbros to hone their survival instincts and make shed loads of cash in relic, data and gassing. it has a decent wormhole ecology and this can act as a transit hub for trade and raid via low-low connections, low-null and low-J space.
What is your thinking regarding piracy in lowsec – is it good, bad, or ugly?
Piracy is good. With experience, I’ve grown to not fear the pirates. Gate camping is pretty lame, but not as lame as camping 4-4 or trade hub undocks, in my opinion. But gate camping is only the slow witted child’s view of good piracy – some of the best PVPers and best pirate organisations provide challenges to all PVPers in terms of skills, shipping and cohesion. It’s also a game style suited to the time-poor who can’t nerd out in a wormhole or stab F1 in a 300man Tengu blob in nullsec.
What are your thoughts on the notion that increased protection for PVE players in lowsec will result in a better lowsec?
Crap. Better rewards alone will draw in the players, and they can sort their own protection out. I live in wormholes, and we don’t get this socialist bullshit notion of hand-holding mamas boy crap. You live and die by your instincts in wormholes, and in lowsec you get Local to assist you in developing these instincts, plus the alleged protection of gate guns. its entirely up o the layer to learn the rules of the game and the culture of lowsec and fit around that. Lowsec shouldn’t be made carebear heaven with a hint of spice.
What are your thoughts regarding Faction Warfare, particularly the idea that FW is the killer feature of lowsec?
FW as the killer feature is like saying sov is the pinnacle of all nullsec experiences. FW has had its moments of amazing – the grudge matches when Fweddit was in Amarr militia in 2012-13, the Gallente rickroll of the warzone, etc. But mostly it’s just farming and muddy-footed plowshares, which is fine as long as Augoror Navies stay at 45M. The farm provides fences for the crows to sit on and a venue for people to come, but the real lowsec experience is just as much Aridia as anywhere else – MMBA. Miles and Miles of Bloody Aridia.
FW has its place for easy frig PVP but you don’t see many big ships and big swinging dicks – most of that goes down in POCO wars.
FW needs to be monitored. Does it need a big rejigger? i’m not sure. As I said earlier, culture and player behaviour are as much at play as the mechanics. No CSM is going to change peoples behaviour in FW or lowsec. Game balance needs to be applied carefully to a farm and field model where you often need to afford, fit and find ways to move to the war zone a half dozen or more ships per night. If you cant afford it because the farm has been pillaged, FW sucks, and I would consider tweaks to the LP and reward gradient between tier 1 and 5 – but you have to look at the data and consider the effects of any tweak.
If elected to CSMX and subsequently informed by CCP that lowsec was the ‘hot topic’ for iteration in the coming year, what input and advice would you have for them?
Make reasons for people to go to areas of lowsec beside FW space – the Field of Dreams concept. More pirate missions and the like – maybe via in-space agents if the pirate factions can’t own stations in the low security space owned by the empires. Decent pirate faction PVE content will provide income, not just for bears but for local pirate folks who want to run missions on alts (under the idea that you want to keep neg 10 so you don’t PVE). income provides a life, and when people see rewards being had by others, they move in and fight you for it.
FW changes need to be approached carefully, not just because it affects so many, but because the flow-on effects and unintended consequences can be large. Nevertheless, FW missions which require more than a pod and a bomber to complete are worth looking at.
BONUS – What lengths are you willing to go to in order to make pirates flashy red on overview by default again?
I honestly didn’t know this was a complaint. Would you not want a certificate of badassery to be unlocked if and when you go actually -10.0? Kind of like the Elite Hull Tanking Certificate, this achievement should be recognised and commemorated.
PART 2 – The Interview
What’s your personal background, in real life? What kind of work are you in? Does it help your chances of election, in your opinion? Why or why not?
I am a geologist and entrepreneur – I dig gemstones in the desert of Western Australia and resolve African money laundering and mineral tenement scams for a company. I am on to all the Jita scammers, they have nothing on the Malagasy or Aussie mining executives, I know this for a fact. I did a personality test for some IRL recruitment thing and I came back as extremely logical and extremely creative. This help more with EVE than you’d think.
If you weren’t running, but you could singlehandedly ensure that any other person in EVE would be elected to CSM, who would you pick and why.
Cynthia Nezmor. Apparently being on the CSM is like being whipped with hagfish in a barrel of hippo puke, a fate to which Cynthia Nezmor is ably suited.
Other than EVE, what was your favorite game last year (2014)?
Goat simulator. It’s basically how I approach EVE. Maybe I’d stretch to Watchdogs. There’s something about sniping pedestrians from a boat on the lake.
Do you have personal experience with lowsec? If so, what’s that like?
I have spent two campaigns in FW for Minmatar, once with Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams [FRICK] and once with Sudden Buggery in association with Swift Angels Alliance [SWIFT]. I lived in Eszur-Frerstorn and FCed fleets versus FWEDDIT in the Aset campaign, that was some hot as hell action. I never went neg 10 but I respect the lifestyle and play choices of those that do. I also respect the heavy rollers in lowsec – BALEX, Shadow Cartel, Tuskers, etcetera. I fear lowsec not at all but don’t touch it much inside a C4.
You state in your candidacy post that you are for ‘more valuable and varied content’ than that currently found in highsec. How much time have you spent in highsec, and in what circumstances?
FRICK went mercenary before its CEO got too alcoholic and we quit his ranting dictatorial crap, and we did a lot of highsec merc work. These days I can go for up to 4 weeks at a time in a wormhole without touching highsec in a meaningful way besides transiting to reach a batphone transmission. I shop with alts, sell blue poo with alts, I wish I could block Jita Local entirely. Since tags for sec, I have barely done a level 4 mission. Throw a match on the place as far as I’m concerned as far as my interest in it goes. Proudly never done an Incursion, and never will. Which is kind of my point – there’s not a lot of interest in highsec for mature players not camping undock or Niarja, who either go low, null or J-space.
As a followup to the above, what kind of content would you consider ‘more valuable and varied’ than that available in highsec currently?
Highsec exploration escalations which are challenging, meaningful and take the missioner/explorer for a cook’s tour away from their mission hub. Level 4 content which takes bears out of their two jump radius and forces them to explore. Secondly, more COSMOS opportunities. Thirdly more dynamic mining missions – some are incredibly lucrative right now but it’s not exactly an engaging activity. At level 4 you ought to have some ladders to climb to achieve the mission more demanding than “This is my Hulk. My Hulk is Amazing. Give it a Lick. It’s fucking boring.”
As with many other candidates, you’ve recognized that the New Player Experience should have some sort of priority within CCP. Do you believe that CCP Seagull’s desire to prioritize the improvement of the game for existing players (such that they will, in turn, do the heavy lifting on the retention side of things) is correct, or do you think more direct action is needed with the NPE?
The improvements with the NPE are threefold – first, ease of understanding, which is better tutorials, tooltips, etcetera. Second, instant engagement – starter level missions which focus on the thrill of PVP (even in a PVE setting, c.f. burner missions). Thirdly – community bridging; getting players to engage with other players. I think if there’s a focus on this, newbros will come in, get a hang of the basics faster, get a taste of more than ‘click orbit at 5000m press F1 hope tank holds” which was my view of the game for 3 years, and then if they make contact with the older players, they’ll get hooked on the community aspect.
However, CCP’s bread is buttered with the vets and old hands and the balance issues in front of everyone are mostly with apogee gameplay and are complex. Seagull is doing the pragmatic thing but the NPE is important or in ten more years EVE will die of old age and burnt-out retirees moving on to lawn bowls and bingo nights.
Faction Warfare is seen by many as one of the best things to happen to lowsec. It has attracted organizations large and small to lowsec and kept things relatively fresh. You would like to see faction warfare nerfed on the income side of things. How would you like to see this balanced to ensure that faction warfare does not revert to a dormant state, as it was when it first came into existence?
I didn’t say I wanted the income nerfed, I wanted the risk increased to match the rewards which I consider disproportionate. There’s a vast gulf between bombers flipping missions in seconds for astronomical LP and a nerf to income. Most people conflate LPs with ISK by ignoring the fungibility dynamics of LPs themselves. Nerfing LPs won’t nerf income as a decreased supply will equate to more ISK/LP. A million LP’s at 150 ISK/LP is equal to 100K LP’s at 1500 ISK/LP. In fact, you don’t even need to nerf LP rewards – just make it riskier to get 1 million LP’s an hour from farming missions.
In your candidacy post you stated that you ‘will get’ a number of items for your core constituency, the wormhole community. Do you feel that it is appropriate for a CSM candidate to make promises of this nature? Nothing is a guarantee and CSM members do not dictate content development to CCP.
On your blog, you stated that you “really wonder about a community which expects their CSM representatives to do things the Corbexx way,” in reference to the months Corbexx spent fact-finding and -checking in aid of the wormholer cause. Do you mean to imply that Corbexx was working harder, not smarter, and how would you have accomplished the same things he did differently?
My comment comes from the feedback directed at me, with multiple comments implying that only Corbexxian levels of grift are going to cut it and intimating that I need to promise the same level of effort to achieve the same result. That’s the community misapprehending how any CSM member can achieve a task and demanding candidates commit to insanity.
What’s better, to sit in front of PYFA for 15 minutes and decide a 65K EHP, 800 DPS Gila is going to wreck C2’s faster than a 450 DPS active tanked Tengu, or signing on to the test server, spending 30 minutes at a time flight simming the thing and coming to the same conclusion? All respect to the guy, but it’s patently false to conflate effort with results when effort is misdirected.
Finally, if voters knew nothing else about you, what would you want that one thing to be?
If the AHARM defence fails don’t blame me.