As always, there’s not any specific information to share due to the confidentiality of the discussions.
May 22nd, 2020
New in-game efforts for players
Revisited various balance & gameplay topics to check status
Discussed imminent Second Quadrant releases
Discussed longer term Third Quadrant plan
Last week I posted a short note on CSM voting dynamics. This sparked a little discussion and some people asked what could be done to change voting to create a wider diversity of CSM members.
Here’s a review of some of the options that have been discussed.
ALL OF THESE OPTIONS CAN AND WOULD BE GAMED, just some less than others.
Limiting ‘block’ candidates to one per group – The idea would be to disallow block candidates, typically at the coalition level, from putting multiple candidates on the CSM. Or even disallow multiple candidates at the alliance level.
This idea is trivially easy to get around. With coalitions undefined in-game and alt alliances trivial to create, this is a non-starter. Some may call for CCP to decide who is and isn’t in a ‘block’ but this would open a can of worms where CCP is asked make subjective decisions about out of client player affiliation.
Creating spots for specific playstyles – This idea would create slots for specific playstyles such as high sec, low sec, small gang PvP, industry, wormholes, etc. and ask players to campaign for these slots.
The issue here is how do you define if a player is qualified for a slot or not? As an example, I am a director a large null sec alliance, executor of a high sec alliance, and top 1% industrialist. Can I run for any of those slots? Most large groups could field candidates that qualify for any spot imaginable.
There is thought of limiting voting on slots to characters that partake in the playstyle. Again, this becomes untenable scale. Again, as an example, on one account I have my null sec PvP main and a high sec hauling and market alt. Which slot does this account qualify for in terms of voting for “playstyles”?
We have seen that CCP’s tools are not perfect when attempting to determine a player’s playstyle from data and metrics alone at the character and account levels.
Hybrid CSM – This idea is to have part of the CSM filled by open voting and part of the CSM reserved for “playstyle” candidates in slots created by CCP.
This option has the same issues as the wider “playstyle” slots idea, it’s too difficult to prevent gaming the system and making characters designed to be eligible for “playstyle” slots and receive block voting help.
Voting based on players not accounts – This idea would have voting based on players not accounts. Each player would have a ballot as opposed to each account having a ballot.
This would reduce the influence of players with multiple accounts (widely seen in null sec groups), skill farmers, and other serious multi-boxers. Also, this idea would attempt to move to a voting system that cannot be ‘bought’ as we have seen in previous elections.
CCP’s ability to determine actual humans owning multiple accounts is fairly good. However this too, could be gamed, but only with significant effort that doesn’t scale.
However, this doesn’t guarantee any prevention of multiple CSM members from a single group or ensure any single playstyle is represented more strongly than before.
I would prefer this idea, as it solves some problems, but it doesn’t address everything.
Unfortunately, these is no simple way to lessen the influence of powerful social groups on the CSM election. It’s true that political parties make a difference in real life and New Eden.