In Conclusion

Let's Nail the Landing Wallpaper

This week's posts have been me publicly dealing with the conclusion of the CSM16 elections on Monday. First I posted a well-considered optional plan for choosing the CSM based on representation instead of pure popularity. Then I wrote a double truth-bomb post to talk about some of the various issues I believe are helping to hurt Eve Online. From angry former players who haunt the forums and social media outlets, common misconceptions about the role that CCP plays in a sandbox game, issues with perception regarding the distribution of players in New Eden, and more. These posts caused a bit of a stir, which is good, I enjoy debate and open consideration of ideas. This is how we fix things.

It was always my plan to wrap things up here in today's post. And as I was told this morning on Tweetfleet, "I hope the conclusion is good, because the lead up has been disappointing." That was from my pal The Nosy Gamer. We don't always see eye-to-eye. This doesn't even mention the long reply I got from Brisc on my last post, but I'll get to that later.

There is no way to fix the CSM. There is no way to fix angry former players from haunting the forums. There is no way to fix the idea that CCP is out to destroy your specific play-style. Or the perception that Null Sec is the end of some sort of ladder of progression for players in New Eden. I can't change these things. We're eighteen years into a long, slow, inexorable decline. The sheer amount of momentum at this point is unbearable. Just watch the reactions when anyone proposes anything out of the ordinary, radical, or otherwise against the wishes of the powers that be. Trust me here, I am well acquainted with the results.

I've always taken a great deal of pride in being an independent voice. It guides my choices in-game as well. I could have chosen another, perhaps easier, path. Instead I choose to be what I consider to be the best play-style in all of New Eden - a Pirate. And over the last decade+ I've worked my ass off to not only be a Pirate, but to be the best Pirate in all of New Eden. Leading the last significant cohort of totally independent old-school Pirates left in the game. That is not a popular choice. In a game dominated by other mentalities, my choice is not a populist one. Trust me here, I hear about it every single day.

From a Fan

Independent voice. Independent actor. I was more than curious how that history would translate to the CSM campaign, so I decided to run. I did better than I expected, but worse than I had hoped. I knew going in that I would need around 1,000 initial votes to have a chance and I got 573. I knew what that meant, and while a few surprises remained, the end result was exactly what I expected. I ran a great campaign, a campaign unlike any before it. A total media blitz with as much reach as possible, given the restraints. The numbers were solid, the outreach strong, the behind the scenes deals strong, independent, and true. And yet, 573 votes.

As I expected it is impossible for an independent candidate to be elected to the CSM. Every single candidate elected appeared on a major null-block ballot. 

I rarely listen to null-block media, but yesterday I was curious and decided to listen to the Talking in Stations post-election episode and I found it rather hilarious. The null-centric players preaching to others about organization, and how we can simply do what the null-blocks do and get our candidates elected. Easy, the votes are there. They miss the point of their own perspectives. It isn't the organization, or the diplomacy, or the careful consideration of voters that give NS its power - it's fear. The fear of NOT being on one of their ballots. The fear of being "outside" of that circle. Because every candidate knows that would be the kiss of death. No one else in this game has that ability. Only they do.

Before the campaigns got started, Suitonia, Phantomite, Arsia, and myself got into a Discord together. The goal was to work together to help LS ensure a candidate got elected. Phantomite was the incumbent. The only real solution would have been for myself, Suitonia, and Arsia to not run at all and work to help Phantomite get re-elected. But, of course, no one mentioned that idea. Because none of us wanted to not run. Ultimately I ended up leaving that Discord, because no one talked, discussed, or worked together. We all had our own campaigns to run. And our own deals to make. For others that meant selling out to the powers that be. Which is fine for them I suppose. I'm not making judgements here. I'm really not.

"First, I don't benefit from the existing system. I've made the existing system work for me. Regardless of what the rules are, folks will find a way to win." - Brisc Rubal

I like how people assume you don't know how to win, or how the system works, if you choose not to play in their system. I choose not to play in your system. Which means I won't be elected into the CSM. 

I'm a Pirate. That is never going to change. As a Pirate I know we must work hard every day to adapt or die. Changes to anything impact us immediately and remorselessly. We have to stay up on every tiny little thing, because our very lives depend on it. We operate constantly at the razors edge. You might not believe this, but even industry changes, or changes to WH space, or changes to NS, impact us across the board. I believe this gives me a rather unique perspective. I never think in a tunnel, which most (but not all!) Eve players seem to do. I think about the ecosystem as a whole, because that is how I have to think about it. Cause and effect. 

I speak my mind. I always have. This has led to some incredible, amazing, and rather horrible consequences over the years. But I have never backed down. Nor will I. Out here on my soapbox I am un-encumbered by an NDA. Out here I can remain independent. In order to successfully be on the CSM, I cannot.

The CSM just isn't for me. It never has been. I understand that better today than I did before. I'm glad I ran. I'm proud of how I ran and of the points I managed to get across, especially when it comes to Factional Warfare. But I'm never going to do that again.

I'll be going back to being the Pirate Lord of Low Sec. Annoying blogger. Artist. And behind-the-scenes advocate for changes I believe in. I strongly believe I have the ability to affect change more in those roles than I would have on the CSM. I think history has proven that to be true. There are people who actually appreciate my independence and truthfulness.

As always thank you for reading this far. And for all of you who voted for me a very special thank you. I had a blast running and I enjoyed every minute of it. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. And I learned a lot. Most of my assumptions proved to be true. Sadly.

We can build a better Eve Online. But it ain't gonna be easy.

Not all fights end in victory, but only if you choose to stop fighting.



  1. "I like how people assume you don't know how to win, or how the system works, if you choose not to play in their system. I choose not to play in your system. Which means I won't be elected into the CSM. "

    Then what the hell did you run for?

    1. Maybe to highlight some things that are important to him? Plenty of people run in elections all the time who are longshots to win - they still get their message out, do they not?

    2. I ran to win. I ran to advocate for things that myself and my fellow players feel are important issues that the CSM has been unable to address with CCP over the years. Especially Factional Warfare and Wormhole changes that have been left in development Hell for years and years. I ran to get those messages out to a larger player base. I ran independently, even though I knew it was probably a lost cause, because I have integrity. My integrity is more important to me than victory. In-game and out. I ran to better understand the CSM, the process, and what it takes to win. I ran to see, in person, the way the machinations and political bullshittery work up close. I wanted to better understand why the CSM is so ineffective. I ran to challenge the status quo. I ran to take votes from others. I ran to disrupt.

      I could go on. Is that enough reasons yet?

    3. You're contradicting yourself all over the place here.

      If you know how to win, and you wanted to win, why didn't you do the things you know you need to do (like working with the big groups that do GOTV well)?

      The "independence" and "integrity" stuff sounds good, but it's empty - there's nobody on the CSM who isn't independent and claiming that "it's a lost cause because you have integrity" is a backhanded swipe that implies those of us who won don't have integrity, which is nonsense.

      I know it sucks to lose races - I've lost plenty. But pulling the "didn't want that seat anyway" routine is unnecessary.

    4. I know it's hard for someone like yourself to understand this, but I wanted to win on my own terms. And I ran my campaign the way I wanted to run it. With the support of people I respect both in and out of game. I knew having major null bloc support would be important and yet I chose not to pursue it - because I don't want it. I wouldn't accept it if it was offered. I wouldn't ask. Because I am personally not willing to do that. You can chose to do it. Others can. Whatever. But me, personally, no thank you.

      I wanted the seat. I worked hard to win. I never said, "I didn't want that seat anyway." However, it os obvious now that it is nearly impossible to win without major bloc support. And since I can't accept major bloc support, it is pointless for me to run again.

      I hope that is clear. I don't know how else to say it.

    5. "I know it's hard for someone like yourself to understand this,"

      What is that supposed to mean?

    6. See my comment below. Anything further is just beating a dead horse.

  2. First, about the proposal in Tuesday's post. Proposals like that have been around since beginning of the CSM. The reason one like it has not been adopted is the ease with which it can be gamed. For example, according to CCP's metrics, Merkelchen, the head of Karmafleet, is a high sec player.

    Next, while you were patting yourself on the back about the effort you put in, you didn't come close to running a great campaign. Campaign's like Mike Azariah's for CSM 8 (the greatest campaign in CSM history), Brisc Rubal's for CSM 13, and Sugar Kyle's for CSM 9 put your effort to shame. Sugar Kyle's is instructive because she was a low sec pirate with a blog running at a time people were wondering if a low sec candidate could ever win again. When the dust settled, the only people with more initial first-place votes was The Mittani's right-hand man and the head of Provibloc.

    Finally, you've shown in your posts this week you don't understand how the system works. I'll just confine myself to the statement, "As I expected it is impossible for an independent candidate to be elected to the CSM. Every single candidate elected appeared on a major null-block ballot." Just because you appear on a null-block ballot doesn't mean you've sold your soul to get elected to the CSM.

    Are you seriously claiming Mike Azariah is not an independent candidate because he was 9th on The Initiative.'s list and at the bottom of one of the NC/PL ballots? Are you saying that I Beast is not an independent candidate because he was at the bottom of The Imperium's ballot and #3 on The Initiative.'s? I'm not even going to address your feelings about Suitonia. Looking at the election returns, it appears A Band Apart. had an alliance list and you put Suitonia in the #2 spot.

    Here's the dirty little secret "the powers that be" don't want people to know. If a candidate is not in the top 3 slots on a major null-bloc ballot in the 10 seat CSM era, then it almost always does a candidate no good. And being #3 on numerous null-bloc ballots doesn't ensure success. Ask RonUSMC. No candidate who understands the rules would have, "The fear of NOT being on one of their ballots." Buying into the premise gives them more power than they truly have.

    Rixx, I've covered the CSM for 10 years. For five of those years, I ran a website designed to help inform players about the candidates. I gave that up two years ago because I saw the STV voting system had pretty much locked up who was going to win. I should be sympathetic to you. But reading your blog the past four days reminds me of one of Aesop's Fables I read in grade school, The Fox & the Grapes.

    1. Well I guess I got put into my place. I never knew that 10,000 other proposals just like that one I posted on Tuesday had already been made. I just got here a few weeks ago and I don't pay much attention to stuff. Did you ever stop to think that the entire reason I posted that proposal was because I did know? Nope. You never stopped to consider that.

      I ran a great campaign IN MY OPINION. I never compared it to any one else's. You did that. I'm proud of the campaign I ran, the videos, the appearances. and the message. If you didn't like it, then that 's cool. But don't make me out like I was pounding my chest or something.

      Again, IN MY OPINION anyone that appears on a NS ballot is suspect. TO ME. My opinion on this is my own business. Mike and I are friends and I love the guy. Don't put words in my mouth. These articles this week are me, my opinions, and my own perspective. I would NEVER be on a NS ballot, I wouldn't want to be, wouldn't ask to be, and wouldn't accept it if it was offered. Period.

      I've always respected you Noizy. But you are way off on this tirade. I appreciate your thoughts, but you are missing the entire point. And the point is so obvious, that it makes me wonder at your motivations for being such a dunce.


    2. "I ran a great campaign IN MY OPINION. I never compared it to any one else's."

      From the article:

      "I ran a great campaign, a campaign unlike any before it."

    3. I give up. Seriously. Enjoy your CSM term.

  3. Rixx, I have flown with you and I voted for you as a lowsec player who wanted to see what kind of sh*t you could stir up, but I have to agree with Nosy on this. Lots of sour grapes this week.

    1. I appreciate the support and the votes. I have no idea what constitutes "sour garapes" in your opinion. I can assure you that there is zero sour grapes on this side of the computer. I ran, I lost. The end. Everything else is back to normal.

  4. This guy - wins his race, still comes here to talk shit. What a garbage person.

    1. If you think this is talking shit, you really need to get out more.

  5. So... if we're agreed the low sec pirates can't win on their own because they're competing with each other, could we self-select a candidate on our own that everyone could agree to?

    Now I'll take you at your word, in that you do not want to run again. However, do you think you could put your event skills to good use for next year? I'd like to see a pirate tournament to choose who would be "King of Lowsec" for the year, and thus claim all the low sec votes.

    I'll leave the actual details to one of the greatest scallywags to plunder star ships, but I think this might be a more positive way to make progress.

    I don't think you'll ever get anywhere by asking CCP to make changes, and begging authority to do something is just downright out of character. Lets do the low sec thing, and play by our own rules.

    1. I wouldn't be against the concept. In fact, I would welcome the idea. But I can tell you now that not everyone would. And unless everyone participated it would be meaningless. Heck this year I ended up leaving the Discord we set up because no one would talk strategy. Or at least, not talk strategy with me. In my experience CSM candidates say they are running to help better the game, but they are mostly just running for their own epeen. Especially those with audience facing media accounts. But that is just my own personal opinion. I'd love to be proven wrong.


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