CSMX Candidates Quizzed: Vic Jefferson

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 Vic Jefferson.

Character Name: Vic Jefferson

Candidacy Thread: Vic Jefferson for CSM X – Chaos and Hilarity

PART 1 – The Questionnaire

What single part of the game do you feel requires the most work in terms of iteration by CCP?

Risk/Reward balance between security bands.

Do you feel that lowsec is ‘fixed’? If so, explain why. If not, explain what you want to see done to fix it.

No. Faction warfare works for part of it, and level 5s keep another part of it fed, but there needs to be more reason for groups to come out there. More sources of income and content seeds for people who cannot do L5s or do not want to commit a character’s standings to FW; specifically newer players that do not want to live in Hi Sec nor want to have to earn their ISK in a place they don’t live in. High Sec and Sov null do not appeal to everyone. Low Sec should be a viable option from day 1.

More accessible income sources and options to spur groups to actually be able to live in Low sec without aligning themselves to a side of FW.

Do you have any plans to push CCP, if elected, to iterate on lowsec in general?

Yes. More things like Security Tags and Mordu Spawns – resources in space that anyone can try to exploit or fight over.

More missions or sites or something that small groups can do that are Low Sec exclusive, and offer things not to be found elsewhere.

In your opinion, where should lowsec rank in terms of priority for iteration by CCP?

NPC null > Low Sec > Sov Null

What, in your opinion, are the main factors that make lowsec more attractive to its current residents than other areas of space?

Small gang PvP. None of the baggage of sov null.

What is your thinking regarding piracy in lowsec – is it good, bad, or ugly?

Right now, the majority of piracy happens in Hi Sec. In an ideal world, most of it would be happening elsewhere, where the rules don’t stringently limit choices on both attack and defense. Of course, there needs to be valuable things worth fighting over for piracy to be alive, and that seems unlikely so long as Hi Sec income and resources are so safe and profitable compared to low sec.

What are your thoughts on the notion that increased protection for PVE players in lowsec will result in a better lowsec?

No. I think more hybrid activities like burner missions, where grouping up with pvp fits is somewhat encouraged, would be better than just increasingly partitioning the two activities and making pve safer. Nothing in space should be sealed off and safe, especially in lowsec, but at the same time, pve fits are often ill suited towards actually defending themselves, and should just warp off and safe up when trouble arrives. Avoidance becomes the best strategy, and this is a shame as it is the most boring. This stifles potential interaction. You could create more interesting game play if the PvE players aren’t just targets. I think you’d create better players too, if the gap between pvp and pve wasnt so large.

What are your thoughts regarding Faction Warfare, particularly the idea that FW is the killer feature of lowsec?

Faction warfare works really well. The problem is that it shouldn’t be the only way to live in lowsec as a newer player, and it currently is. Not everyone wants to tank faction standings either, so its often a game of alts – there needs to be more ways to quickly change empire allegiances so more mains can get into the action it provides.

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?

Try to roll a new character, and survive and prosper in Low Sec. Then look at the storied history of Barleguet and re-engineer this miracle, so that these places spring up everywhere.

BONUS – What lengths are you willing to go to in order to make pirates flashy red on overview by default again?

Not as big of a deal for me. Shoot em all!

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 currently a Ph.D. student studying the transcriptomes of polyploid plants. I do not think this influences my chances, but I am a scientist.

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.

I think Gorski Car should be re-elected.

Other than EVE, what was your favorite game last year (2014)?

Path of Exile was probably my second favorite game of 2014; an unapologetic old school ARPG.

What is your personal experience with lowsec?

Low sec is a fun place; solo frigate pvp in and around FW areas, and sometimes small gang stuff around the hotspots. Barleguet used to be the go to place to show your gang a good time.

You mentioned in your responses that lowsec should be a viable option from Day 1 in terms of a place where players can live. Do you have any ideas about how to accomplish this aside from existing systems and features (FW, Mordu spawns, sec tags, etc)?

Neutral Mission agents, 1-4, that do not require faction standings nor harm your faction standings; wean people off the empire and standings traps. More anomalies, ones similar to burner missions such that pvp fit ships and or small gangs of new people in frigates can do them and contest them in the same ships. Increased ore profitability.

You point to the transformation of Barleguet as an example of the sort of content generation you’d like to see CCP enable. However, Brave moving into Barleguet and the resulting transformation of that corner of space was entirely player driven. Is it the place of CCP to heavily incentivize certain activities over others? Shouldn’t they just be building the sandbox and letting the kids figure out how to use it?

This one is complex. While an over-powerful hand would not be welcome, the current design of lowsec and NPC null stifles local content, except for FW. People simply earn their bread in other places and come there to battle – one security band shouldn’t be ‘for’ something any more than a different one, actually living there should be made more viable. Yes, the move in was player driven, but the move out was due to being too big for the area. Lots of people in Brave found Barleguet more fun than Sov Null. Now, I don’t think a single system should be able to support 200 people at a time, but neither should bigger groups be forced along to Sov Space. I don’t want CCP to tell people where, when, and how to build a your sandcastle, but as it is, there just aren’t enough good spots to set one up. I feel the sandbox is tilted and too neatly partitions income generation from player interaction.

You say you are against anything new in highsec. Yet, highsec PVE is some of the worst in any MMO. Would you be in favor of overhauling highsec missions to be more compelling experiences, or do you feel that those compelling experiences should go to the places that need more attention (npc nullsec, lowsec, etc)?

Yes, but these experiences absolutely belong in NPC nullsec, Low Sec, etc. Get people taking risks from day one, and being rewarded for it, and you just might see a larger portion choose to be more adventurous. Part of the overhaul definitely includes making mission progression less linear in terms of ships required.

How would you suggest enabling brawling pvp gameplay? Would you just tone down the current trend of kiting/fast gameplay in pvp?

There is not a simple answer to this. A lot of this has to do with the ship designs and number balance. Links are another part of the problem, but that has already been said to be looked at later. Mordu ships are just difficult, since they have a double monopoly on speed and range control – I understand they are fragile in other ways, and im not against them, just the current meta did not need another ship like this. We may have to wait and see how the new recons actually pan out, or if medium autocannons are going to be buffed. Battlecruisers need something to put them back on the board, and then there might be more reason to bring heavier things.

Do you feel that Planetary Interaction is a good enough first step for newer characters into the game?

No, as it drains SP away from much needed other skills early in the game.

Does industry have a place in your vision of Eve?

Absolutely. It’s just a shame so much of it happens in Hi Sec. Industrial set ups in every other area should be absurdly more profitable to counter for the security and logisitical challenges.

You believe that standings are a trap – a hard-to-reverse choice that players make, similar to security standings. How far is too far in the effort to streamline Eve, though? If one can buy one’s way out of every previously hard decision, doesn’t the game stand to lose something of its identity?

You are a Capsuleer. Empires, pirates, everyone, should be wanting you on their side, as you are the true brokers of power in New Eden. Like with Sec Status, it should be easy to get faction status to 0, but getting it higher should remain as is. Theoretically, you also make a new economy and a new resource if this is through tags or other items, possibly rogue sleeper components exclusive to low and null. They took out the pos anchoring requirement, I would think this would be just continuing the theme of softening what control the empires have on us. Personally, the idea of capsuleers being capricious little gods that the empires struggle to control seems cool, instead of being eternally bound via the chains of standings.

Finally, if voters knew nothing else about you, what would you want that one thing to be?

I started this game with a group of friends who all quit. The only reason I am still playing today is due to finding a play group.