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Sion Kumitomo for CSM 9

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Author
Sion Kumitomo
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#1 - 2014-03-06 17:39:12 UTC
Hi. I’m running for CSM.

For some of you, my alliance ticker alone will be enough to remove any possibility of me being on your ballot. That’s fine, I’m a goon, I’ve been around long enough to understand the reality of being a part of the folks that everyone loves to hate. If you’re one of those people, I’d encourage you to stop reading now and save yourself some time.

For any goons who have for whatever reason strayed here from our forum homelands, I’d ask that you respect your obligation to troll EVE-O, even here.

For anyone goon-curious or interested in what it is to be the chief of staff for a space tyrant in EVE’s largest alliance—or the lead diplomat in that same alliance—well, read on.

Those two broad roles, chief of staff and lead diplomat, aren’t merely titles. But they aren’t particularly comprehensive or illustrative in describing exactly what it is that I do, either. Much has been made about how the fate of 0.0 is decided in the smoky back rooms by a handful of power players as it is on the battlefield. Articles get written, forum posts get posted, and motivations get guessed at, all in an effort to understand why EVE’s actors perform as they do and what it all might mean for the fate of conquerable 0.0. That, to me, is the real meat of the game. The political machinations, the metagame for which EVE is so famous. That’s the kind of game I play.

By play, I don’t mean ‘play at.’ I’m one of the people in that proverbial smoky back room. I’ve literally drawn lines on the map to carve up the empire. I’ve decided the fate of individuals, corps, alliances. I manage the day-to-day work for EVE’s biggest alliance. I have access to the finest intelligence apparatus in New Eden. I’m responsible for the operation of the entire CFC, as a coalition. There is no one—absolutely no one—running for CSM that has my experience and knowledge of what it takes to run a sprawling and diverse space empire from the corp level to the coalition level. And odds are, you’ve never heard of me.

I keep a low profile, and I always have. I don’t desire recognition and don’t much care what anyone might think about me. My work speaks for itself, and I enjoy doing what I do for its own sake and for the sake of Goons in Space. And perhaps more significant is the advice that Vile Rat often gave me: big dogs don’t need to bark.

As for the nuts and bolts of what I do, almost all of it is people-centric management, conflict resolution (or escalation), and creative problem solving. If you’ve run a corporation, you have some idea of what it is to manage what are essentially space volunteers logging in to have fun. But instead of a 60-person corp, I have a 60-person directorate. That on top of a 4,262-person corporation, a 12,413-person alliance, and a 36,275-person coalition. If you want to see how well I’ve done with it over the years, you need only to look at the map. Or if you’d rather something more tangible, look at the CFC’s war machine. That’s what I helped build.

There’s a great deal more to it, of course. But nuance doesn’t translate well into broad strokes anyway, and I realize this is all a touch vague. If you have any specific questions about anything, I’d be delighted to talk with you about it (or anything really) either here, via EVEmail, or via twitter @siggonk. You’re also welcome to check out my articles on TMC if you’d like to get a better sense of what and how I think.

I don’t bring a platform. I bring a skillset and experience.

On twitter @siggonK

Bam Stroker
Van Diemen's Demise
Northern Coalition.
#2 - 2014-03-06 17:44:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Bam Stroker
This man talked to me for a while about Eve one time, and what he said made sense.

Also, I'm in NCdot so I guess we're supposed to be enemies or something? F**k that noise; he'll be high on my ticket.

EVE Down Under - a community for players in the AUTZ

In-game channel: evedownunder // Twitter: @evedownunder

https://www.facebook.com/evedownunder

Arafelis Keikira
Perkone
Caldari State
#3 - 2014-03-06 17:57:24 UTC
You bring experience. But how are the skills of dividing a map and managing sixty or sixty thousand subordinates relevant to the role of CSM?

It's impossible not to be impressed by those qualifications. But I wouldn't hire Donald Trump as a secretary, no matter how essential the position was to an organization.
I've got himtackled
Doomheim
#4 - 2014-03-06 18:04:36 UTC  |  Edited by: I've got himtackled
If I vote for you, will you promise to make CFC leadership stop using these ******* dumbass siegefleets?

I want to fly a real ship.

Sion Kumitomo wrote:
Or if you’d rather something more tangible, look at the CFC’s war machine. That’s what I helped build.


oh **** you're responsible for it aren't you

okay undo it we have caps now
digi
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#5 - 2014-03-06 18:44:03 UTC
I've worked with Sion for a number of years and his knowledge never ceases to amaze me. He can be business when he needs to be business and technical when he needs to be technical. Sion effortlessly bridges the gap between the two worlds and is capable of communicating to any audience. I'm very proud to say that I know this man and I know that he can handle any challenge that is thrown at him.

Aryth
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#6 - 2014-03-06 19:35:11 UTC
Pffft. He doesn't point out that both CSM candidates for the CFC members are part of the Cabal. Clearly there must be causation!

Leader of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal.

Creator of Burn Jita

Vile Rat: You're the greatest sociopath that has ever played eve.

Xander Phoena
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#7 - 2014-03-06 19:38:54 UTC
I've spent a wee bit of time over the past few days speaking to Sion having been aware of him and his position in the meta for some time before. I believe Sion will be a fantastic addition to the CSM due to great ability to reason and organise as well as his fundamental understanding and knowledge of Eve Online.

www.crossingzebras.com

Aatrek's School Bus
#8 - 2014-03-06 20:10:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Aatrek's School Bus
i heartily endorse this event or product
Speedkermit Damo
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#9 - 2014-03-06 21:06:27 UTC
Why dol you want to be on the csm?

Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.

Sion Kumitomo
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#10 - 2014-03-06 22:46:08 UTC
Bam Stroker wrote:
This man talked to me for a while about Eve one time, and what he said made sense.

Also, I'm in NCdot so I guess we're supposed to be enemies or something? F**k that noise; he'll be high on my ticket.


I'm already sad that I'm not going to be there for EDU this year. You guys put on a great event, and I certainly had a blast. Of more immediate concern though is surviving the shift from the summer down there to the winter up here. So cold.

Arafelis Keikira wrote:
You bring experience. But how are the skills of dividing a map and managing sixty or sixty thousand subordinates relevant to the role of CSM?

It's impossible not to be impressed by those qualifications. But I wouldn't hire Donald Trump as a secretary, no matter how essential the position was to an organization.


You're essentially asking a space politician why he is standing for an election. The vast bulk of what I do is political, and the CSM is at least in part a political entity. Beyond that, essentially what I do is space project management: Matching the right people with jobs they enjoy doing and that we need done, making sure people have the tools they need, ensuring follow through, building consensus, that sort of thing. Perhaps you see the role of CSM differently than I, but I'm quite certain that such skills will be useful.

I've got himtackled wrote:
If I vote for you, will you promise to make CFC leadership stop using these ******* dumbass siegefleets?

I want to fly a real ship.

Sion Kumitomo wrote:
Or if you’d rather something more tangible, look at the CFC’s war machine. That’s what I helped build.


oh **** you're responsible for it aren't you

okay undo it we have caps now


What if I promise to lead a siege fleet instead? I'm sure that would end in hilarity. Or tears. Maybe both.


Speedkermit Damo wrote:
Why dol you want to be on the csm?


I think it important to have someone on the CSM who is familiar with the complex interactions of people, events, and mechanics that serve to give nullsec its distinct flavor. That and, as many others have said, EVE as a game is at a place that legitimately worries me as a player. Since I enjoy fixing things and helping other people fix things, I figure that perhaps my first hand knowledge of what drives alliances in nullsec will prove to be a useful asset in making the game better for everyone, goons included.

On twitter @siggonK

Ranamar
Nobody in Local
Of Sound Mind
#11 - 2014-03-06 23:37:58 UTC
Sion Kumitomo wrote:
Speedkermit Damo wrote:
Why dol you want to be on the csm?


I think it important to have someone on the CSM who is familiar with the complex interactions of people, events, and mechanics that serve to give nullsec its distinct flavor. That and, as many others have said, EVE as a game is at a place that legitimately worries me as a player. Since I enjoy fixing things and helping other people fix things, I figure that perhaps my first hand knowledge of what drives alliances in nullsec will prove to be a useful asset in making the game better for everyone, goons included.

Just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly... it sounds like you're running primarily as the metagame representative. (In the very broad sense that, for example, Mynnna is primarily the market representative.) Is this impression wildly off-base?

Also, is there anything in particular that you'd like to speak to about what worries you about the place EVE is in? You may be running more as someone with a skillset and a set of experiences than someone with an agenda, but that doesn't mean you don't have opinions going in. As someone with a high level of respect for the CFC bureaucracy, I'm interested to know what you think and how you arrive at those conclusions.
Arafelis Keikira
Perkone
Caldari State
#12 - 2014-03-07 02:02:32 UTC
Sion Kumitomo wrote:
You're essentially asking a space politician why he is standing for an election.


Possibly. Not sure. Might be asking a large dog why he's barking so loud. I don't know Goon politics in the slightest. Were you elected before?

Quote:
Matching the right people with jobs they enjoy doing and that we need done, making sure people have the tools they need, ensuring follow through, building consensus, that sort of thing. Perhaps you see the role of CSM differently than I, but I'm quite certain that such skills will be useful.


I do see the role of CSM differently. I feel as though you are saying your qualifications as a writer and dispatcher of messages ensure that you would make an excellent messenger. You might find it more natural to stick to ruling than serving.
Kapytul Gaynez
Hedion University
Amarr Empire
#13 - 2014-03-07 02:54:00 UTC
1. With all of your CFC related time commitments, do you have the time to devote to being on the CSM?

2. Even without breaking the NDA(I don't think you would but alot probably do.), how could you possibly not let that information influence your dealings in the proverbial "Smoky back rooms"?
Sion Kumitomo
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#14 - 2014-03-07 05:06:46 UTC
Ranamar wrote:
Just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly... it sounds like you're running primarily as the metagame representative. (In the very broad sense that, for example, Mynnna is primarily the market representative.) Is this impression wildly off-base?

Also, is there anything in particular that you'd like to speak to about what worries you about the place EVE is in? You may be running more as someone with a skillset and a set of experiences than someone with an agenda, but that doesn't mean you don't have opinions going in. As someone with a high level of respect for the CFC bureaucracy, I'm interested to know what you think and how you arrive at those conclusions.


While I appreciate the need for candidates to acquire labels and build constituencies for backing, I have a natural constituency already. I'm a goon running as a goon candidate who happens to metagame. So it isn't what I'm running on particularly, it is just what my background is and informs the way I play the game.

As I said, I don't think EVE is in a particularly good place, at least in 0.0. In the years I've been doing this, space politics has gone from a highly complex minefield of dynamic variables to a largely predictable and comparatively boring landscape. The major players haven't changed really at all, they've perhaps acquired new alliance or corp tags, but the same battles have been playing out amongst the same people for years now. The trend is toward consolidation of power, and the elimination of diversity of smaller, newer entities. The more power consolidates, the less room there is for genuine surprise, and the less room there is for significant new entities to make their mark on the game.

In general, there are two major lines of thought on this. The first is that coalitions are ruining the game. The second is that EVE itself is broken.

There's no question that coalitions have changed the game. But if not the CFC, another entity would eventually fill that particular role because that is currently how the game is incentivized and what mechanics promote. What the CFC embodies is indeed bad for the game in the long run, unquestionably. This is generally the point where I get asked "okay, but aren't you responsible for this? Couldn't you just reset people for fights an hooray things would be fun again?"

The answer is yes, I'm certainly responsible, at least in part, for this. But my responsibility is to our membership, and to make sure they have a place in EVE to have fun with Goons in Space. There is no policy I could change, no decision that I could make, that wouldn't necessitate the sacrifice of the well-being of goons so that someone else might get some kind of fleeting joy at our expense. That's not leadership. More importantly, all that would accomplish is kicking that particular can down the road until someone else found the same measure of success that we did, which would happen sooner rather than later. Remember, New Eden is an extremely hostile environment, and the evolutionary pressures found in 0.0 are pressure cooker that weed out all but the hardiest. Mixed metaphor there, but it holds.

So the answer then, if you buy the reasoning above, is that coalitions would have come about and survived because of, not in spite of, mechanics and the metagame. Again, if EVE selects for the strongest, the the casual arrow here is pretty clear. If the mechanics didn't demand or reward coalition type game play, coalitions would not exist. They'd have been fallen like so many other failed experiments in EVE.

The problem then is rooted in mechanics, incentives, and risks. The mechanics set a prohibitively high bar for the entry of more new players into 0.0. There's no real incentive, save ego, to hold space. The risks are simply too high to justify the gamble, given the rewards. This sets up a self perpetuating cycle of n+1 where the big get bigger, and the small are either assimilated or bulldozed.

Goonfleet could never have come to be in the current environment of EVE. We were lucky to have the chance to grow in a linear fashion, to make mistakes, and to slowly learn the lessons that are required to make a capable alliance. Now though, someone trying to do the same would run up into one of the major blocs regardless of where they turn. And there is no compelling reason for a major bloc to gamble already scarce resources on newer players instead of funneling them into the endless maw that is n+1.

This is why the meta of null is slowing down. The few major players that are left have worked with each other for years, know what to expect, and tend to have similar goals. Sov war is too demanding and expensive to indulge in for sport, and there's no compelling reason to fight over space that at best provides marginal additional benefit to already sprawling empires. New and aspiring space tyrants can't compete with these well established groups, and the incentives even if they could compete don't justify the required risk.

Montolio and TEST are the case study of what I mean by all of this. They were a new player in 0.0, made waves, got brought into a coalition, flourished, and founded their own coalition. They took space, fought well, and had a lot of fun along the way. But then, presumably feeling penned in by the restrictions of running a coalition, dissolved what they had worked hard to build. And inexplicably afterward, their leadership decided to break a diplomatic deal with us, which brought the full weight of our entire coalition down upon them. Had TEST leadership made a few different and more pragmatic leadership calls then, they'd still hold space and likely would have taken the bulk of the south. But they didn't make those pragmatic leadership calls, and opted instead to try to have fun on their own terms.

So if a former coalition leader and megacorp can't retake sov in today's EVE, what chance do any new people have?

On twitter @siggonK

Sion Kumitomo
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#15 - 2014-03-07 05:29:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Sion Kumitomo
Arafelis Keikira wrote:
Possibly. Not sure. Might be asking a large dog why he's barking so loud. I don't know Goon politics in the slightest. Were you elected before?


Alas, the bark bark bark gimmick is already taken or I should have appropriated it myself.

Kapytul Gaynez wrote:
1. With all of your CFC related time commitments, do you have the time to devote to being on the CSM?

2. Even without breaking the NDA(I don't think you would but alot probably do.), how could you possibly not let that information influence your dealings in the proverbial "Smoky back rooms"?


1a. See above wall of text. I didn't know there was a character limit here, it is like some kind of overly generous twitter or something.
1b. I have a strong team of highly capable people to whom regularly delegate those time commitments out to already. Our diplomatic wing alone is twelve people.

2. Bias control and information custody is something I'm required to do already, even without legal threats. And I don't particularly want to be known as "that guy who broke the NDA." That's the kind of blow a reputation doesn't recover from, so even if you don't think I'd do the right thing for the right reasons, I've got plenty of reasons to do the right thing just out of self interest.

On twitter @siggonK

Kapytul Gaynez
Hedion University
Amarr Empire
#16 - 2014-03-07 05:43:37 UTC
Sion Kumitomo wrote:
2. Bias control and information custody is something I'm required to do already, even without legal threats. And I don't particularly want to be known as "that guy who broke the NDA." That's the kind of blow a reputation doesn't recover from, so even if you don't think I'd do the right thing for the right reasons, I've got plenty of reasons to do the right thing just out of self interest.



My intent was to imply that I don't think you are going to break the NDA. Maybe I did not imply hard enough. I, probably naively, assume that you wouldn't even run if you weren't sure you could resist the temptaion to talk. I suppose my real question is, do you have the willingness to recuse yourself from Coalition or Diplomatic talks if your CSM knowledge would color your decisions?
Speedkermit Damo
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#17 - 2014-03-07 16:33:29 UTC
Sion Kumitomo wrote:
Ranamar wrote:
Just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly... it sounds like you're running primarily as the metagame representative. (In the very broad sense that, for example, Mynnna is primarily the market representative.) Is this impression wildly off-base?

Also, is there anything in particular that you'd like to speak to about what worries you about the place EVE is in? You may be running more as someone with a skillset and a set of experiences than someone with an agenda, but that doesn't mean you don't have opinions going in. As someone with a high level of respect for the CFC bureaucracy, I'm interested to know what you think and how you arrive at those conclusions.
Interesting stuff


Having identified the issues regarding the stagnation of nullsec. do you have any ideas or opinions on how to breathe new life into nullsec and sov?

Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.

Konrad Kane
#18 - 2014-03-08 07:43:07 UTC
Sion is a very relaxed and considered chap. He'll make a great CSM.
Sion Kumitomo
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#19 - 2014-03-08 13:57:43 UTC
Kapytul Gaynez wrote:
Sion Kumitomo wrote:
2. Bias control and information custody is something I'm required to do already, even without legal threats. And I don't particularly want to be known as "that guy who broke the NDA." That's the kind of blow a reputation doesn't recover from, so even if you don't think I'd do the right thing for the right reasons, I've got plenty of reasons to do the right thing just out of self interest.



My intent was to imply that I don't think you are going to break the NDA. Maybe I did not imply hard enough. I, probably naively, assume that you wouldn't even run if you weren't sure you could resist the temptaion to talk. I suppose my real question is, do you have the willingness to recuse yourself from Coalition or Diplomatic talks if your CSM knowledge would color your decisions?


I'm curious as to what you mean here. What kind if situation do you envision where CSM knowledge might create a conflict with diplomatic talks?

Speedkermit Damo wrote:
Having identified the issues regarding the stagnation of nullsec. do you have any ideas or opinions on how to breathe new life into nullsec and sov?


I have some ideas and opinions, sure. But my assumption is that CCP is at least aware of this issue and has some plan in some stage of development to deal with all of this. That being likely, I think it prudent on my part to wait and see what might already be planned and to go from there.

If, however, CCP hasn't started on this issue, Marlona Sky's blog post (http://marlonasky.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/cancers-of-eve-online-teleportation/) is a really interesting idea and a potential starting point. There's a lot to it though, it is a huge multifaceted problem that would require a near total systems overhaul. Which presumably explains the reluctance to mess with it, too.

On twitter @siggonK

Tarek Raimo
Eleutherian Guard
Villore Accords
#20 - 2014-03-08 14:17:12 UTC
Sion Kumitomo wrote:


In general, there are two major lines of thought on this. The first is that coalitions are ruining the game. The second is that EVE itself is broken.

[...]

The problem then is rooted in mechanics, incentives, and risks. The mechanics set a prohibitively high bar for the entry of more new players into 0.0. There's no real incentive, save ego, to hold space. The risks are simply too high to justify the gamble, given the rewards. This sets up a self perpetuating cycle of n+1 where the big get bigger, and the small are either assimilated or bulldozed.


Coming from that point-of-view, what would your major concerns and/or wishes be that you would express during a hypothetical meeting where CCP present you their vision for new space that can be reached via player-built stargates?
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