CSM Stuff – The MER changes

If you’ve been paying attention since the second CSM summit happened, you’ll probably have notice that there’s been some controversy kicked up by a change which is planned for the MER (Monthly Economic Report)

The short version is: Aryth asked for the figures to stop being on a regional basis, out in nullsec, because it exposed information which isn’t available anywhere else; the information being useful for keeping an eye on what people are doing, in a way that can’t be countered.

For a real world parallel, in war-time, people don’t publish their GDP figures.

Was this a self-interest request from Aryth? Yes, of course it was. But just because the person making it has their own interests in mind, doesn’t mean it’s inherently wrong.

When it came up, it was at the tail end of a session, and not extensively discussed. Aryth just asked that it be considered by CCP, and suggested that the data be presented in quadrants for nullsec, rather than regions. Lowering the granularity, rather than total removal.

I fully admit, when this came up, I didn’t put in any arguments against it. I can fully understand where Aryth was coming from, and I was working on the idea that it’d be reduced granularity, rather than total removal. Still allowing for trend analysis, but not letting specific groups be targeted. (Yes, I know there are sub-regional groups out there.)

I didn’t expect the level of backlash against it. (I did expect some. This is eve. Change the color of a couch and you get people saying the sky is falling.)

I have passed along to CCP that people have concerns about this. I’ve probably been a little more combative than I should have been, when asking people why they wanted the data. The why is important, because “Because I want it!” is a very bad argument. As is “Because we used to get it.” (Remember, it’s not me you have to convince. It’s CCP. Who have accepted that Aryth’s request has merit.)

I’m not ignoring you. I have passed on concerns to CCP. What I can’t do is tell you “Things won’t change.” Because the CSM cannot tell CCP what to do. Not one member, not the whole council. All we can do is collate and present the arguments.

CSM Stuff – The Voting System

You’ll have seen (probably) that the elections for CSM 12 are coming up in the near future (Voting starts on the 6th of March). I’m not going to go into details for what the CSM is (There are resources out there.), or who to vote for (Me, obviously πŸ˜‰ )

What this post is about is the voting system itself. The elections use what’s known as the Wright Voting System. The key part of the system is that you don’t vote for a single candidate; instead you vote for a number of candidates, in the order you’d like to see them elected.

If your first candidate doesn’t get enough votes to get elected (we’ll get to this), then your entire vote gets transferred to the next on the list. If they get more votes than they need, then part of your vote transfers down. So if they get double the votes, then 50% of your vote transfers (and 50% of everyone else’s who voted for them. All going to the next person who voted)

There’s a quota to get elected. This is the total number of voters, divided by the number of seats plus one, plus one. So if you had 20,000 people voting, and 10 seats, that’s (20000/11)+1 or 1819 votes.

This does make things easier for large blocks, such as Goons, as they don’t need to make sure they split up their votes to make sure they get two people. You can just have people vote a set ballot, and let the system take care of it. If you have enough votes, they just transfer over.

It also makes things easier for more marginal candidates. If they arrange between themselves to have people who support them support someone else too, then the votes aren’t going to be totally wasted.

Here’s the key part: If there aren’t enough people hitting quota in the first round, you knock off the person with the fewest votes, transfer all the votes to the next person on the ballot, and start over. If there were people who only voted for the eliminated person, their vote is ignored, and the quota is recalculated, so you have to hit a slightly lower number.

Ideal world: you vote for the people you’d like to see on the CSM, in the order you’d like to see them elected. If lots of people agree with you, then your vote will help multiple people get elected. If a smaller number (but still enough) agree, then your vote gets one person on.

An example would be: There are five wormhole candidates. None of them would attract the votes to get elected. But if they all have everyone voting for them also vote for the others (in whatever their order they like) then whoever gets the fewest gets eliminated, and the votes redistributed. If there are enough votes to elect 2, and they all vote some combination of the list, then there are 2 wormhole CSM. It handles the organisation for you. πŸ˜€

This is a total pain in the ass to do manually. Thankfully, there’s no need to do so. There’s software to do it for you. CCP have made it available. This is how the election for CSM 11 would work out, with 10 places available. It’s the full audit log, so you can see how each round works out. (I’ve pre-eliminated Apothne, which makes a few differences.)

The only way to not be represented, with a STV system, is to not vote. (Or to be so marginal that there aren’t enough other people who think like you)

Memoirs – Flying

(Fiction! Yay!)

I guess this is the key feature of being a capsuleer. Piloting a ship, flying with just your mind.

I’ve been told the experience is different for everyone, so I can only speak for myself. It’s a hard thing to put into words, but I’ll try.

Have you ever driven? Where you don’t think about steering, you just do it? Where you’re one with the vehicle? And if you start thinking about it, everything goes to hell? That’s what flying is like for me. Achieving that state of mind where you just act, rather than thinking. There’s probably a word for it, but not one I know. I don’t think about going faster, or think “I should set speed to a hundred meters per second”; instead I just travel at the right feeling speed. Sure, it isn’t as precise, but it works for me. You get used to it, knowing how far away things are, and travelling there. Or twisting away from danger.

Some ships make me feel sluggish, others fast and nimble. I know some people find it hard to work with camera drones, your viewpoint no longer connected to your body, but it feels natural to me. When I want to look at something, I just do. While also knowing where I am, and what’s around me.

If I’m flying a long time, it takes a while to get used to my body again. I’ve seen some people who’ve spent long times in micro gravity have trouble getting used to the idea that things don’t stay where they put them. It’s similar, but on a bigger scale. Walking is harder than most people realise. And having to move yourself, to get a better view of something. Bit of a mind fuck, really. And kind of limiting.

Actually flying? There’s nothing like it. That feeling of power. Sure, there’s pain, when your ship gets shot to pieces around you. From an itch, to a deep burning pain. But you learn to wall it off. Keep thinking clearly, while your body is falling to pieces around you. The feeling of weakness, as someone drains your energy. Being stuck in molasses when you’re webbed. Explaining it is hard. There aren’t words for it. I guess, eventually, there may be. But when you’re a capsuleer, you just know. Though it makes some conversations hard to have. Imagine having to explain taste, to someone who’s only ever eaten the one food? It’s an overwhelming experience. But one I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Memoirs – Humanity

(Fiction, yay πŸ˜€ )

Am I still human? That’s an interesting question. I guess the technically correct answer is no. I’m not. This body isn’t born, it’s made. My brain isn’t grown, it’s forced into a state when my last body died. While it’s probably now a match for my original genetic structure, it didn’t use to be.

Technically, I’m an infomorph. A being of mind, that inhabits various bodies. That’s hardly human.

But I still think of myself as human. Not post human, as some capsuleers believe. Not better than the baseliners who surround me. Just different. Sure, I have plastic bones, plugs in my back and more metal in my head, but I still feel. I still bleed red blood.

 

Maybe if I spent more time in my capsule, I’d think differently. Maybe I’m wrong. But surely it’s how you feel, that determines your humanity?

Memoirs – Becoming

Calling me a loyal son of Matar would be a stretch. If I was, I’d probably be in the Military, exercising my talents there, and furthering the goals of the Tribes.

Instead, I broke off, shortly after graduating; going my own way, forming my own corporation, and setting up business in Gallente space. I mean, I employ a bunch of ethnic Matar, sourced from all over New Eden, from former slaves, to those like myself, raised on a Gallente world.

There’s some guilt from that. They put a lot of time and effort into training me, and how do I repay them? I run off to do my own thing. That’s not exactly showing gratitude. But I just couldn’t hack the military life, far too many rules and regulations, people telling me what to do, and what to think.

I was raised by a family, proud of our Matari heritage, even if we didn’t live in our own Republic. No Clan, as such, just a Circle. I’m not going to go into exactly what we did. Skirting on the edge of legality at times. But they were good people. I don’t stay in contact as much as I should, but I helped them with repatriation. They didn’t want to go back, to be a drain on the Republic. I helped them get set up when they returned, transporting them myself, and arranging purchases on planet. They also help out with some of the slaves I’ve emancipated, getting them back into decent society, helping them with the side effects of their treatment.

What I wasn’t a fan of, at the time, was the fact they made me go to school. I mean, I learnt everything I needed for the family business from them, but they wanted a well-rounded education, and not to have “the Authorities” looking too closely at the clan, as to why I didn’t go. It’s not a stretch to say I did well. Top of my class, for the majority of the time. But I’m a capsuleer. I’m exceptional for a baseliner, but middle of the road, with my current peers.

I had some corporations come sniffing round, some pre-testing done, and some offers for scholarships made. I turned them down. Prideful, I wanted to help my people, so I travelled to the Republic, and tested there. Again, the offers came in, and I took one. That was a hard time. I almost quit on several occasions. University took work. Capsuleer training took willpower. Watching people ring out, walking away from everything they’d worked towards. But I hit that wall, and fought through it. Shame I couldn’t do the same, when it came to following orders, especially from a baseliner.

Egotistical? Yeah, sure. It’s hard not to be, when you’re part of that elite group that got through. Less than one percent of those who try, make it through to the end. And you need that ego, that feeling of self-importance, to carry you through the final test. Th unshakable knowledge that you will survive, even if the body you were born in doesn’t. I try not to let it out too much, but it’s always there.

You may have noticed I don’t have any tattoos. I used to. I shed them when I cut my ties with the Republic. My parents still argue with me about that. When I see them. I’m not the person I used to be. Those Tattoos weren’t mine any more. And how can I wear them, when I’ve abandoned my people? It just didn’t seem right.

 

Memoirs – Self Image

(It may not be good, but I don’t care. You don’t need to read it πŸ˜‰ )

Self Image

I’ve been asked before, why capsuleers aren’t all perfect specimens. Why some of us are scarred. Why some bear the legacy of the human endurance program. Why, when we can shape ourselves in pretty much any way we please, most of us chose to stay close to how we were, when we were baseliners.

I can’t speak for the others. One thing I’m not is a mind reader. And I guess I’m more unusual than most. I mean, every time I die, I wake up in a body which has had an eye and its arms replaced. There’s discomfort. There’s some relearning of how everything fits together, that I never had with a more natural body. [A snort of laughter] If you can call anything about these so-called clones natural.

But I think it’s all down to seeing a familiar face in the mirror when we wake up. I mean, we spend hours, days, sometimes weeks without being able to see ourselves. Where our bodies are the ships we pilot. Where our eyes are the drones we can send to see anything which we wish to. It’s a heady sensation, which can leave you feeling very small when you unplug. Limited. Vulnerable.

So, for me, I want to see myself in the mirror. Something to anchor myself, when I come down. Scars give you something to focus on. Something to say, “Yes, this is me.” Something to fool the mind into forgetting that this isn’t the same body as you were born in. Or even the one you woke up in that day. That might be half way across the cluster. Little tricks to ground you. Stop you forgetting who you are.

It’s one of the reasons I unplug when I can. Sure, there are risks to it. This me may die, because I’m not in my capsule, ready to be whisked away at a moment’s notice. But you can’t let that rule you. Even if this me may die, another can go on, branching from when I last got backed up. That won’t be me, but it’s a legacy, of sorts.

So that’s why we’re not all perfect. Because no-one wants to see a stranger in the mirror.

EULA Changes – Gambling

I’m not going to talk in detail about the EULA changes wrt the alpha clones. Which is the rest of them. There’s nothing substantial in there. Even the 90 days thing isn’t. (before, it was ‘account expired; we can delete it now’)

What I am going to do is talk about the other change. That to gambling with EVE Online currency and assets. This is a pretty big change. It won’t directly affect a lot of people, who just play EVE and wouldn’t think about giving their money to another player to gamble with. But it will affect people more than some will think. I’ll explain that a bit further down.

Reaction

When I saw the devblog (Same time as the rest of you. The CSM didn’t get advance notice.), I was a little surprised. But not as much as I would have been a year ago. Over the last few months, there has been much more coverage in relation to gambling in video games, with some high-profile (in the industry) court cases. I was surprised, not because of the content, but only because of the timing. On reflection, with Alpha clones entering the scene, I shouldn’t have been surprised at that either.

CCP have a very big incentive to clean house. The removal of a subscription fee being required to play means that we’ll probably have a number of younger players joining us; younger players leading to greater scrutiny in this time of elevated concern about gambling in video games. CCP seriously don’t need that attention. It could prove very expensive for them, especially as it’s not something that they control.

While it’s unfortunate that some sites, such as EVE-Bet, are being hit by this, I fully understand why CCP are taking this tack. Unless you take the stance that all gambling sites are banned, you have to ban them one by one. White listing isn’t possible. Only black listing. So the ‘well behaved’ sites go down with the ones with a shadier reputation, instead of CCP opening their selves up to

Side Effects

This is where I have my only real problems with what is happening. Regardless of how you feel about them, some of the sites being forced to close did a lot of good for the EVE community, funding a variety of projects, and allowing for a richness of content which it will take time to recover. The common example is EVE-Bet. They’ve stayed above getting involved in the meta-game of EVE, instead funding a variety of streamers and other community content providers, such as EN24, Crossing Zebras and Eve-NT.

That’s something I’ll miss. I seriously doubt that donations will match that income. Even when you have something like Patreon, the number of people who will kick in real money is low. Probably because itΒ is real money. The number of people who will donate ISK is similar. I’m lucky. I don’t run up much in the way of EVE expenses. Some of the other sites, well, they’re going to have to seriously change how they do things.

 

Long story short, this is a positive change for the game. But not one without collateral damage.