Guest Post: CSM Status

Today's post comes from the world's greatest CSM candidate and the man most deserving of being YOUR representative in this once esteemed council - Joffy Aulx-Gao.

CSM Status and What Can Be Done

The Problem:
Recently a lot of distrust and bad relations have developed between the CSM, CCP and the player base. The CSM leaks like a sieve and rumblings have developed that wonder if we even need a CSM at all? So what can be done?

The Solution:
It is easy to say the CSM needs more integrity. But specifically perhaps one way to solve this problem is taking legal action against those that breach the NDA. Currently breaching the NDA is without real consequences except being kicked from the CSM, perhaps we need to re-establish trust between CCP and the player-base.

Most companies do something similar and CCP would not be that different if they enforced the NDA more strongly.

The Consequences:
The consequences of this can be big and devastating for all of us. The CSM might end up being shut down or changed because without trust the CSM is useless, can’t give feedback, doesn’t know what to ask the community, nothing.

With no CSM how will we give feedback and suggestions before the ideas are thrown out to the masses? In EVE it’s very beneficial to have a group of players that really knows the game and can "foresee" what will happen with certain changes.

In my opinion we need to maintain the CSM.

My Plan:
I plan to do my best to get into the CSM but if it fails or CSM is disbanded I will offer to help CCP to make EVE more accessible for disabled even if I have do it by myself.

CCP has given me so much joy, happiness and friends, it’s about time I give something back to CCP.

If I am fortunate enough to be elected as your representative to the CSM I will bring integrity, honor and hard-work back to the council. This is my promise.



Thank you,
Joffy Aulx-Gao


  1. Your statement on the NDA seems incomplete. What do you mean specifically by stronger enforcement of the NDA? What exactly to you propose the consequences be?

    As a follow on, other MMO developers managed to get feedback from their players without resorting to an elected council. Why do we even need a CSM? If you think that, as an example, the EVE Online forums are somehow uniquely contentious, I would ask you to visit other similar forums. I will personally vouch that the LOTRO forums will give the EVE forums a run for their money on any weekday, and more so on a weekend when it comes to animosity. Yet Turbine feels no need to go with an elected council. When they need a focus group, they pick players who are versed in the systems under discussion.

    Finally, voter participation in CSM elections would seem to indicate that for the player base as a whole, the CSM isn't all that important. How to you counter that rather telling indicator?

    1. Personally I'm torn. I've never been a fan of the CSM myself, but Joffy really wants to be on the council and I really want him to be on the council - so if there is no CSM council then he can't be on it.


    2. I think the CSM should be scrapped. The thing is, if the CSM didn't exist, then CCP would still look for feedback and Joffy could still put forward feedback there. In addition, there are many brilliant players who for whatever reason, such as lack of spare time to commit, couldn't server on the CSM, yet they could be valuable in the areas they excel at. Because they aren't on the CSM, their opinion feels less valid (whether it really is or not).

      That said, I think it would serve Joffy better to go more into what else he stands for in a post such as this. The post here reads like "I want to be on the CSM to fix the CSM" which is a bad platform, as people are unlikely to push for a representative that isn't focused on the game, and once fixed, no longer has a reason to be there. I've read Joffy's CSM thread so I know that's not actually the case, but others may not read that far.

    3. @Rixx - Do you suppose I'll get a response from Joffy here, or was this just a campaign poster, stapled up to your blog and forgotten?

      @Darren - I read his CSM forum post and, frankly, I think what he wrote here is more interesting. But his forum post is the usual high school student council level of statements, since the CSM effectively has no power unless CCP allows it (or if the CSM takes their opposition out of school) so you can't promise anything since there is no way to tell what can be delivered. At least "clean up the CSM!" resonates a bit more clearly.

    4. In EVE it's very tricky when it comes to feedback, the playerbase is really passionate about the game,I strongly believe that the CSM has an important role to play as a sounding board to help guide CCP forward into the future. The issue has always been the wall of the NDA, which doesn't allow players to see all of the things that the CSM does on their behalf. Granted, voter participation is low and that is certainly a concern of mine as well.

    5. @Joffy - Excellent. Four questions asked, none answered in any direct or tangible fashion. I officially declare you an internet spaceship politician.

  2. One of the benefits of the CSM is a safe space to have ideas.

    Just because other games don't feel the need to do it, doesn't make it a bad idea. They're good as a soundboard before pitching an idea as a whole. With EVE if CCP release on the forums that they're even thinking about a topic then out come the pitchforks in preperation.

    It's a place where they can ask the "maybe we can do this?" questions without causing a total shitstorm, if you tried to have that preliminary conversation with the the playerbase through the online forums it would take too long to have any kind of real discussion.

    1. Saying it is either the CSM or the forums is a false dichotomy. You could have a "safe space" with focus groups, which could include a wider (and likely better) range of parties with experience in the area in which CCP wants to explore. Elections are not a great way to pick a panel of experts.

  3. My personal opinion in regards to the CSM is and has been the same since the day it was created and that is simply that it was never needed and served primarily as a public relations instrument in the wake of CCP's missteps in ignoring the player base which ultimately resulted in Incarna and the mismanagement of WiS, Jita riots, etc. Now that CCP has changed, especially since the appointment of CCP Seagull, the student council is even less necessary than before.

    Especially given the rise of interaction between the player base and CCP since those events that created the CSM. The rise of Twitter, Slack, and other social media engagements has increased substantially the opportunity for individuals to express concerns and comments directly with those responsible in ways we could not have done before. Primarily this works remarkably well given that those at CCP also engage with us, it truly is a two way street that no longer needs an intermediary.

    Having said all of that however, I remain a realist. And as long as the CSM exists, however perfunctory I may believe it to often be, I shall remain its advocate. Because if such a body exists then it is deserving of my support as a player and as a member of the community to which it is supposed to represent.

    And I firmly believe that Joffy would be an excellent addition to the next version of the CSM.


Post a Comment