(Editor's note: This is the opinion of Marc Scaurus only, not TheMittani.com.)
While some may have doubts about the CSM’s effectiveness, pointing to a relatively quiet term this past year, I actually hold a different opinion. I believe that CSM7’s silence was not an indication of a do-nothing Council. Quite plainly, they have had significant impact (and will continue to have impact well into CSM8’s term) in helping to further define what the CSM is. And while a great part of this progress can be attributed to the willingness of Executive Producer Jon Lander (now transitioning to the mobile strategy department of CCP), credit must still be given to CSM7 for taking advantage of the opportunity, rather than letting things slip by.
However, things have changed. Wright STV almost completely eliminates the prestige of having tons of votes. The election of Chairman by the CSM (and not be virtue of receiving the most votes) probably reflects the opinion that CCP has of Seleene, and the job he did over the last year. Finally, there is no longer a top and bottom seven, with those who enjoy the favor of large voting blocs guaranteed a vacation to Iceland. Instead, only 2 plane tickets can be secured by way of capturing massive vote totals, with the other 5 being determined by effort and work ethic.
EVE Online is also at a bit of a precipice. Rushing towards us is the grim reality that Dust 514 is not going to be simply a faction warfare device - it is going to expand out into all the other moving parts that make up warfare in EVE. We have a renewed commitment from CCP to revamp industry, with huge economic changes coming. We have work being done for the first time in a long time on Player Owned Starbases. In short, things are changing - and changing fast. CSM8 must not only be able to stick into the work to be done, but they must be chomping at the bit to do so. Enthusiasm and work ethic will go miles in the coming year, whereas entitlement and snobbishness will spell certain disaster for the game as well as the Council.
For this reason, you may see some peculiar names on my endorsement list - names that you would not expect to see on this website or written by my hand. However, I am a firm believer of representation for all parties, and able representation at that. Here is my ideal CSM8 composition:
mynnna - Unironically a person with in depth knowledge of markets, economy, and all that that entails, mynnna also happens to be the official Goonswarm candidate. Win/win really.
Ripard Teg - EVE’s most prolific blogger since his failed run at CSM6, Ripard has proven that he has a very wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to the game. His ability to speak on several different topics will serve the CSM well.
Malcanis - A man of ~words~, Malcanis is a great communicator and, though he does live in Nullsec, has always struck me as a person who ‘gets’ Empire in all its various flavors.
Ali Aras - If you had asked me three months ago who Ali Aras was, I would’ve had the blankest look you’ve ever seen on a person’s face. However, it is clear that Ali knows the struggle of the average EVE newbie, which is something that simply can’t be said for the CSM in the past.
Mike Azariah - Mike’s passion is for high sec, and high sec needs addressing along with the rest of EVE. While he may fall on the more conservative side of things when it comes to risk/reward, Mike is first and foremost a gentleman and a scholar of EVE.
Nathan Jameson - Nathan is the odds-on favorite to scoop up the wormhole vote, and for good reason. He has expressed a desire to work with the community and will in all likelihood make an excellent CSM representative.
Psychotic Monk - Despite the laughable name, Monk brings to the table a clear vision on what war decs are like in their current iteration, as well as some solid ideas for how to continue from there. Should the topic be broached by CCP at all in the coming year, this is someone you’ll wish was on hand at the time.
Trebor Daehdoow - While he gets a lot of grief for his pro-carebear stance on many things, the fact remains that Trebor makes an excellent CSM member, particularly in the role of Secretary. By playing the role of ‘anti-griefer’, he brings a unique viewpoint to the table, which even though I disagree with it, it should still be present.
Banlish - Banlish is an HBC bloc candidate who I’ve spoken with personally a few times in the past. A solid guy who does what he says he will, he was thrust into the role of CSM candidate rather abruptly - but has handled himself well, despite the drama and turmoil surrounding the HBC.
Kesper North - Another solid guy who will bring a well-reasoned and logical voice to the Council, Kesper is the master of puns that make you groan. However, he’s also a very hard worker and could end up being one of the surprises for many on CSM8 in terms of production.
Roc Wieler - I’ll get this out of the way first: I really don’t like the Roc Wieler character. However, you have to admit that the man behind the character is as dedicated to the game as any other. Solid faction warfare and lowsec experience is often overshadowed by the big personality - but sometimes a big personality is just what’s needed.
Mangala Solaris - As representative from Red Vs. Blue, Mangala will have access to a wide variety of opinions and can serve as potentially one of the most efficient conduits between CCP and the players since The Mittani.
James Arget - Another wormhole candidate with solid knowledge and experience, James can help ensure that the wormhole population is heard loud and clear.
Korvin - It was a shame that Korvin didn’t get in last year. A hard worker and previous CSM member, Korvin has the unique ability to really bridge the gap to the Russian crowd in a meaningful way, unlike other RUSRUS candidates.
And that makes 14! However, those 14 aren’t likely to be the 14 elected. For posterity’s sake, here’s the most likely turnout in my opinion:
- Kesper North
- Sort Dragon
- Ripard Teg
- Sala Cameron
- Nathan Jameson
- Ali Aras
- Trebor Daehdoow
- Mangala Solaris
- Psychotic Monk
- James Arget
With less than a week to go until the polls close, now is the time to vote if you haven’t already. It will be very interesting to see whether the low turnout of candidates reflects a low voter turnout, or if the importance of the CSM has been sufficiently communicated to the players at large. Either way, we’ll find out everything in just a couple weeks, so stay tuned.