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Nullsec and the CSM: New Voting System, Same Results.

For the past couple of weeks I have been catching up on the CSM candidates, the new voting process, what the past CSM has done, and overall changes in the game. Needless to say, it was a huge amount of information to process given I was absent for over a year. I laughed. I cried. I pondered the lack of foresight and mental capacity of some of the players. (As I’m sure we all have at one time.)

One thing stood out to me most from all the changes, nothing has really changed when it comes to CSM elections. Nullsec will still get anyone and everyone they want on the council. Wormholers will probably get one person representing them maybe two. Low/high sec dwellers are screwed again without any real chance of getting a serious representative elected even though they are the majority of players due to their fractured nature.

I’ve listened to the candidate interviews/debates on podcast and read articles/post made by the candidates. The number of serious candidates who know what they are talking about isn’t that high once you dig a little beneath the surface. It is depressing really.

Then I listened to the Voices from the Void podcast that came out this morning or last night.  Dani did a good job moderating and asking questions no problems there. What got me a bit aggravated was the fact that Mike Azariah, to have a serious chance of getting on the CSM, has to get approval from the nullsec powerbloc and be included in the list they are “recommending” to their members. This reminded me of “The Godfather” and asking Vito Corleone for a favor and all that entails. It’s setting a bad precedence and giving the nullsec powerbloc even more power than they have a right too. And to make it worse, the nullsec powerbloc wouldn’t have even offered that if James315 was still running. They pretty much said so flat out. Anyone besides me see a problem with that whole situation?

None of this bodes well for the upcoming year if you live in highsec/lowsec. Sure nullsec might need the some of the industrial goods from highsec. They will even say that some areas of highsec improvements are a priority for them. But its the same priority a company owner would give his laborers work conditions in a third world country. He doesn’t respect them. He doesn’t care how they live. He doesn’t care if they are injured as long as the goods keep being made.

CSM 8 Pre-elections are NOW!

That’s right. Go put in your vote (one per account) to endorse your chosen candidate.

Here is the Link to the page: http://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/

Personally I voted for Mike A. and Roc W. Reason being I have been following these guys for years in their blogs and discussions. They both are what I think the CSM needs right now. Good luck guys.

 

 

Being back and a quick PSA about CSM 8

Well it is good to be back. I’ve been gone from EvE for little over a year for various reasons, some game related some not. One thing that surprised me though was that my blog post about the exploration Loki and Proteus still gets read everyday. Which is cool as hell considering how much time has passed and the changes that have gone on in game since then. I’ll revisit those ships along with the Tengu in another post later.

CSM 8 is currently right around the corner along with Fanfest. CSM 8, yeah. Here is what voting boils down to this year:

1.  Does your candidate of choice know what the fuck he is talking about (ie. has experience in the area in game or irl)?

2.  Can your candidate of choice actually work with other people and wants to?

3.  Does your candidate’s history (both IG and on the forums) show them to be competent at communicating in English? CCP communicates in English with the CSM. The CSM members must be able to not only understand English but also speak and write it effectively.

4.  Does you candidate want to better the game for all players and not just one section of the player base to the detriment of others?

5.  Is your candidate a troll? If trolling is the majority of a candidate’s forum history and/or in game reputation why the fuck do you want them on the CSM? Oh right, you’re a troll yourself then.

Basically those are the only questions you need to ask yourself about this year’s candidates. If 1-4 are yes, then ya got a good candidate. If any of 1-4 are no or if 5 is yes, then don’t even consider voting for them. The majority of the candidates this year are good folks who would benefit all of us if they got on the CSM. There are a couple that, though popular, would be a detriment on the CSM or just be a waste of space doing nothing. Please people, think about and research your candidates at least a little before voting for them. The decision is important to the future of the game. CCP actually is listening to the CSM now and seriously taking their advice into consideration as to what the players as a whole want want.

Re-examining the Exploration Loki and Proteus

I was reading over my old post today and generally looking at reader stats from while I had been gone when I noticed that two of my post still saw traffic on a daily basis. Both of those post were for exploration ship fittings of T3 cruisers: the Proteus and the Loki.  I figured why not revisit those post and fittings to see what had changed. Lets look at what I am using now in comparison.

My first Loki posting can be found right here. The past two months, I have been using my Loki for lowsec exploration in Bloodraider space (combat and radar sites). This was its original purpose and it still performs admirably at doing so. My current fitting is the same as it used to be with an upgrade to a Caldari Invulnerability Field.  I, once again, tried replacing the 220mm’s with 425mm’s, but I just didn’t like the loss of tracking. Replacing a Republic Gyro with a Tracking Enhancer II was an overall loss of dps when taking into account tracking disruption. Bloodraider frigs tracking disrupt constantly in the combat sites so it is a major concern for me. When fighting other factions be sure to take the specialized ECM of the faction into account for your fitting and do not only look at tank and dps. Just because EFT says you do 1337 dps doesn’t mean squat if you cannot actually hit anything.

Orbiting just outside of optimal by 500 or so meters with the AB running seemed to be the sweet spot for hitting everything while lessening just about all damage coming in from the target using the 220mm’s(result may very). One technique I did use was to just orbit the largest npc ship in the pocket and take out the frigs as they came within 12km. Remember folks, in lowsec spending less time completing a site not only increases your isk/hr ratio but also lessens the chance someone will “interrupt” you.

I was wary at first of being cap stable at less than 50%. This ends up not being a problem though unless you have more than one battleship neuting you. Often times it was remedied by turning off the afterburner or pulsing the shield booster. On the extremely rare occasion I still was not able to keep cap at a safe level (damn neuting towers), a quick warp out to rejuvenate the capacitor was all it took to continue on.

Final Build for the Loki:

[Loki, Trickster/ scan]
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Damage Control II

Corelum C-Type 10MN Afterburner
Pithi B-Type Small Shield Booster
Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field
Large Shield Extender II
Codebreaker I

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Medium Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Loki Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Loki Defensive – Adaptive Shielding
Loki Engineering – Augmented Capacitor Reservoir
Loki Offensive – Covert Reconfiguration
Loki Propulsion – Fuel Catalyst

All lvl 5 skills:
DPS 414
Omni tank 292/ Bloodraiders 452
EHP: 56057 omni/ 87939 (Bloodraiders)
Cap Stable at 48%
Speed: 809 m/s

The Proteus build here underwent a major overhaul in comparison. I replaced the active hardeners with Darkblood Energized Membranes, upgraded to neutron blasters, dropped the mag site stuff completely, and redid the rigs. Getting rid of the mag site gear allowed me become cap stable and increase my overall dps while still using the cov-ops cloak. I was also able to add a Tracking Enhancer II to help the blasters out a bit. I now strictly do combat and radar sites with this ship in both Gurista and Serpentis lowsec. If for some reason I really want to do a mag site or two, I swap out the codebreaker or the probe launcher as needed.

The rigs can be played around with a bit. Cap stability with the MWD running is not a priority. The MWD is used to close distance to the target and then usually shut off. Leaving it on not only increases the amount of damage coming in, but reduces the dps of the blasters due to potential tracking issues. I just like being cap stable when possible and neuting is not usually an issue when dealing with Serps or Guristas. Unless you run into a neuting tower or two. I really hate those things. Really. Hate. Them.

I toyed around with using 250mm rails since the hybrid buff. Having the range was nice, but the dps left something to be desired and made completion times for most sites uncomfortably high. Not to mention, you almost have to downgrade to an afterburner or risk getting smacked around by any long to mid-range battleships that may be in the pocket due to MWD signature bloom.

You could also change out the Nanobot Injection subsystem for an Augmented Plating subsystem if you do not mind the loss off 100+ tank versus Serpentis and 150+ tank versus Guristas. This would give you another 18,00-24,000 EHP skills depending. I played around with both and just came to prefer the Nanobot Injection subsystem. Attribute it to my old missioning habits.

Final build for the Proteus:

[Proteus, Scanner]
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Dark Blood Energized Magnetic Membrane
Dark Blood Energized Thermic Membrane
Tracking Enhancer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Republic Fleet 10MN MicroWarpdrive
Codebreaker I
Large Capacitor Battery II

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

Proteus Defensive – Nanobot Injector
Proteus Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Proteus Propulsion – Localized Injectors
Proteus Engineering – Augmented Capacitor Reservoir
Proteus Offensive – Covert Reconfiguration

Hobgoblin II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5

All lvl 5 skills:
DPS 472
Omni tank 153/ Serpentis 498/ Gurista 677
EHP: 25373 omni/ 59685 Serpentis/ 81496 Gurista
Cap Stable at 43%
Speed: 1600 m/s

Next I’ll be looking at something I acquired since returning to EvE, a Tengu. And yes, I have a bit of a crush on it at the moment.

The CSM and Problems

As some of you may or may not know, I returned to playing EvE after being gone for over a year. My previous experience dealt with lowsec and highsec both. Lowsec was as a pirate, explorer, and FW participant while highsec was as a carebear miner, industrialist, missioner, and explorer. There were two months I spent living in a wormhole somewhere during that time. This experience took place on two separate accounts. I belonged in various corporations during that time and two alliances; TEARS and a now nonexistent lowsec alliance. I’m telling you this not only so you understand my point of view on certain matters, but so you have some idea of the my play style.

With that in mind, I would like to discuss my feelings on the CSM. The December minutes disturbed me for a number of reasons. The main reason being that the CSM is dominated by nullsec players. Regardless if they have highsec/lowsec alt characters, the majority of the current CSM have staked interest in nullsec with little to no reason to suggest any change unless it benefits them. This is readily seen when reading the minutes and the “advice” the CSM gave to CCP in all matters.

It is especially visible when it came down to discussing lowsec and Faction Warfare as a testing ground for any future sov mechanics before implementing them in nullsec. Really? The CSM supposedly listened to and read post from current lowsec/ FW players and they thought this was a good idea? It has been my experience that lowsec dwellers are there to have freedom. Freedom not only from the restrictions of highsec mechanics, but also freedom from the nullsec style of playing. Yet the CSM wants to change that to make it more like nullsec for some reason. And CCP actually agreed with them. This showed me once again that CCP is disconnected from certain portions of the player base.

But wasn’t the point of the CSM to let CCP stay connected with the player base; all sections of the player base and not just the nullsec players? This will not happen unless CCP does something to change the way CSM candidates are elected. Nullsec power blocs will continue to dominate the CSM to the exclusion of lowsec/highsec representatives purely because they can bring a solid group of votes for whomever they put forth. I personally like the suggestion of 2/2/2/1 representation someone put forth on the forums. Two representatives from each high, low, and nullsec with one representative from wormhole dwellers.

Now, some folks will say “Then the highsec and lowsec players need to better organize themselves and get behind a couple of candidates.”, which is true and I agree with. Problem is the majority of these players do not even know what the CSM is. I spent time over the past couple of days traveling in game throughout the majority of the highly populated highsec mission hubs asking if anyone knew what the CSM was and to x-up in local. I usually only got a handful of x’s and a lot of people asking what it was. As for lowsec, well its very underpopulated but I asked when I found people. Only a few of those asked knew what I was talking about.

One reason for this, I believe, is that most of those players do not care about the meta game aspect of EvE. Most of those players do not visit the official forums if they visit any EvE related forums at all. Where as the meta game aspect is one of the things that draws nullsec players to nullsec. CCP needs to bring the CSM and its elections to the attention of more players in a direct way outside of a couple of days advertising during the elections. Send an in game mail to all players notifying them about the upcoming candidate process and subsequent elections including a link to the relevant Dev Blog or forum post. Advertise it a lot more often on the character select screen news feed and login screen. Something, anything to get more players involved in the process. Until CCP actively brings the CSM to the attention of the players as something they should care about, the CSM will never live up to the potential it could be while nullsec power blocs whisper suggestions to CCP.

The last CSM I actively cared about was CSM 5 before I left the game. That CSM had, what I consider, a good mix of representatives from all   play styles and viewpoints. One of the things that soured me to the game then was the way that CCP treated them and suggestions put forth by the CSM. But something back then that the CSM did include was accountability to the players. There was no hiding who gave what opinions or how anyone voted. Everything was transparent to the players. The current CSM is keeping everything hidden. There is little to no accountability for individual members on their votes, suggestions, or opinions in the December minutes.

I have read how it was supposedly difficult to figure out which member said what on the video/audio recording of the minutes. I call bullshit on that. There are to many differences in not only regional but international pronunciations of words to not be able to tell who said what. On top of that, for supposedly talking on voice comms so much between each other, you should have easily been able to tell the difference between each other speaking. Anyone who has spent any amount of time talking to people over the various voice communication programs out there knows that it only takes a short time before you can tell people apart and know who is who strictly by their voice.

The way the December minutes came out allowed any member of the CSM to either take credit for or deny an opinion recorded therein. Unless this is changed soon, this precedent allows the CSM to do pretty much anything they want, put forth any opinion they want, to push their own personal agenda without voters having a means to really call them on it.

It is my opinion that the current CSM has sever problems when it comes to representing the players as a whole. None of the current members should be re-elected given that some already stated they do not care about anything but putting forth their own nullsec agenda, the active lack of transparency from all members, and the fact that they showed little to no knowledge of what players outside of nullsec really want pushed forward to CCP even after supposedly listening to those players.

The EvE Online Community

I debated long and hard about starting this blog back up after being gone for so long. Having recently returned to EvE, I was not sure if I wanted to put forth the effort into keeping a regularly updated blog, writing fiction, and staying in touch with the ongoing changes in the game. After spending roughly a month playing again, I decided to give it another go.

Upon returning, one of the first things that I noticed was how many of my favorite bloggers had moved on much like I myself had. Mynxee is gone, though still keeping tabs on the game. (I see you lurking on various forums.)  Shae Tiann is, hopefully, enjoying her new job and I wish her the best of luck. Escoce seems to have fallen off the face of the universe. Crazy Kinux moved on as well with a new job and I wish him the best of luck (even though it is late in coming). And soon to be, the Eve Players Blog portal will be coming down. It will be missed by many I am sure. Myself being one of them as it kept me in touch with the game even when I wasn’t playing. These are just a few that have moved on to other things.

I also realized that a lot of those blogs I loved to read are still here and ultimately helped me decide that returning to writing was something I should continue. Not for the readership per se, though I hope they enjoy what I write, but for myself.

Recently, there were a couple of occurrences which brought to light perceived favoritism CCP had towards the various player media outlets (blogs, podcast, and websites) which caused some rumblings within the community.  One question came to mind when I read the various posts and comments about it. Who do you write/podcast/v-cast for besides yourself? Those are the only people you need concern yourself with to my way of thinking. If CCP decides to turn the spotlight on you for whatever reason then awesome. If they don’t though and instead highlight someone else, does it really matter to those who regularly read, watch, or listen to you? Being one of those unknown listeners/ readers/ watchers myself I can tell you it doesn’t. You do not lose any credibility because of it. We the audience will not lessen our appreciation of your works for lack of a spotlight from CCP. We enjoy everything you put the effort into creating even if we do not necessarily agree with the message contained therein.

I guess what I am trying to say is keep doing what you are doing. It is the vibrant community of EvE that brings a lot of us back and keeps even more of us still playing year after year. Every time we lose an active member within the EvE online community it diminishes us as a whole. The only thing I hope for is someone else will be there to pick up the torch and keep the light shining.

Exploration Loki

Having had a couple days to play around with the Loki, I decided it was worth the isk. As a exploration vessel, the Loki performed admirably with any task I gave it  from dodging lowsec gate camps to handling a 6/10 plex with only a couple warp outs. Those warp outs were due mainly to my nervousness about getting a brand new expensive ship blown away by rats more than anything. Here is the fit I decided to go with while exploring in Bloodraider areas:

[Loki, explo eft]
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Damage Control II

Codebreaker I
Corelum C-Type 10MN Afterburner
Pithi B-Type Small Shield Booster
Large Shield Extender II
Invulnerability Field II

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M

Medium Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Loki Defensive – Adaptive Shielding
Loki Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Loki Offensive – Covert Reconfiguration
Loki Engineering – Augmented Capacitor Reservoir
Loki Propulsion – Fuel Catalyst

With my skills and implants:      DPS: 403 close / 321 Barrage   Tank: 242 omni / 337 bloodraiders      Capstable@ 37% w/o the codebreaker    Probe scan strength: 95  Speed: 750 m/s   EHP: 47232

I juggled between an active and passive shield fit for a few days before putting this together. I could find no way to make a passive tank work while still dealing adequate DPS. The low slots had to be moved from gyros to SPRs. That coupled with the blooming signature meant the trade offs were to great for me. I opted for a large extender over a boost amplifier for the increased shield hitpoints as I felt 3000 some odd just wasn’t enough. The 220mm ACs help deal with tracking problems of frigates versus medium turrets without the need for a web or TE.

If anyone has ideas about how to improve the overall performance of this loadout please let me know.  ( Aside from upgrading some of the modules to faction or better deadspace as appropriate. )