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Journey of an EVE-online pilot

A conversation with Yrathi Tai of the EVE Tribune earlier today.

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Inanna Zuni

A conversation with Yrathi Tai of the EVE Tribune earlier today.

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Inanna Zuni
[16:42:18] Yrathi Tai > well I’m not exactly here on press business more my own curiosity

[16:42:33] Inanna Zuni > nothing wrong with that ;-P

[16:42:43] Lapis Zuni > Hi sis!

[16:42:56] IZ > xoxo L

[16:45:57] YT > So I was wondering what you thought of the other candidates? any that stand out as a particularly good or bad choice?

[16:47:39] IZ > I'm probably in the same position most other pilots are; we only hear of the exploits of other pilots if we come across them somewhere - in space, forums, etc. Unlike 'earthbound' politics we don't find them knocking at the door to our pods asking for our support (which wouldn't be helpful in the middle of pvp anyway!) so some names I know of and mates tell me are "good people" and others not so much.

I'm tending to the view that everyone who has put themselves forward has a good reason for doing so and that, in the main, they are interested in what is good for the game rather than themselves / their corp / alliance. This is the first time around the loop, but as there will be elections every six months it will get easier with time anyway (and someone can only be elected twice so there will have to be new people coming in anyway). Same as I would in a real-world election though I wouldn't say who I would vote for if not myself (I didn't say "real election" as, so far as I am concerned, this is ...). I'd like to hope it might encourage the 'press' or EVE to grow too, in order to widen knowledge about the pilots around

YT > Do you think if this flies regular "parties" will emerge?

IZ > Don't know. For a 'political party' to exist it needs widespread ground support. I'm not sure that could happen in EVE except for alliance-based parties. You could argue there is a "Goonswarm Party" as they have six candidates. however whether their Alliance asked them to run or they are independent of their alliance is another thing. "Suck it and see" is probably the motto this first time around. CCP also have a steep learning curve to see if the concept works sensibly from their end too. Hopefully, it will ;-P

YT > Indeed how much of a "turnout" do you think we will get?

IZ > well the published notes suggest that 25% of *players* have multiple accounts, and presumably if a player votes on one account then they'll vote their other(s) too. Then take off those who don't login regularly - although given the two-week window for voting that shouldn't be too much of an issue - and then the usual apathy of people along the "if voting changed anything they'd make it illegal". I would love for over 90%, I'd expect maybe 60% but will be satisfied as long as it is over 45%. Again, first time around ... if the first Council does well then I'd hope the turnout will increase in future elections.

The second interesting thing on that is the "one account = one vote" even though there are nine places to be filled. Unless there is a lot of pre-arrangement then I would expect to see a steep drop-off in the numbers of votes cast for each successful candidate …

YT > Kinda counts the goons out a bit doesn’t it?

IZ > Not really. If any (alliance / corp / grouping) wanted to get multiple seats they could organise themselves to vote in sufficient numbers across each of their candidates. Same as happens IRL sometimes!

To an extent, in any sort of election, people will vote for the name they recognise; that has a benefit for some of the candidates, and not for others. But this isn't the same as any other election. Candidates can't buy airtime or adverts in papers or on hoardings at gates! So all we have is the hope that people will read the CCP pages and follow the various links to sites, blogs, etc. which, I reckon, makes it quite wide-open and unpredictable as to the overall composition of the first Council and, from what I read on the boards, some candidates are doing a good job of shooting themselves in the foot so again depends on what boards / threads people read.

YT > Like who?

IZ > There was some discussion over the weekend about whether some accusation against a candidate was true or not. The sensible thing to do would have been not rise to the bait, but the candidate did, repeatedly. People develop their own conclusions as to who to choose, but that will change right up to the time they click the button against a name.

The whole "real name" thing is going to complicate matters too. Voters will have to check which real name on ballot applies to which pilot name they support. I hope they list both together, I'm very worried they won't as like most online games, boards, etc. people are known by their handles and very rarely by their "real" name.

YT > That would be just like CCP wouldn’t it? What do think of the Per. Capita idea?

IZ > Yup. Hopefully they'll list both though but like the "one vote only" policy I reckon it might change with the experience they gain from this time around. Money, etc. shouldn't buy power. Different (real-world) countries practice politics in different ways, and my view is that with the numbers CCP are putting on the Council then a representative democracy where people get elected with majority support but then act on behalf of all the player base rather than any segment that shouts loudest / pays for privilege / pods you! The numbers game is the same: the person elected first, with the highest number of votes, will be Chair of the Council, but it is quite likely they may have 10x the votes of the final person to be elected. But they are both *elected* and should be equal once they are serving on the council, otherwise it isn't democracy.

People play this game, pay CCP money, because they enjoy it. This shouldn't be about someone's idea of a power trip over other players; it should be about a shorter route to making the game better, for all, in all sorts of ways.

YT > Would you stand again if you didn’t get a seat this go around?

IZ > Almost certainly, Yes. Obviously I will look carefully at the voting stats; if it is clear that the support fell into Alliance lines then either campaigning needs to change or the election method does, but my aim in deciding to stand in the first place was to offer my experience and abilities to furthering EVE, and that won’t change if I fail on the first time around. There are over 60 candidates; nine will be elected and a few more kept in reserve as alternates. We shall see how it all pans out and, as someone inherently interested in the mechanics of elections and why people choose to support particular candidates when they have a choice on offer, then finding out the result of that is what I want to know. Ideally, it includes the election of me ;-P

I've had people comment on forums and blogs and in email that they support me, which is great. What I don't know - like every politician around - is how others feel about me and what support I'll have on the day (or, in our case, two weeks). Either way, I've kept the days for the meetings free and will continue to do so.

YT > How much support stuff have you gotten?

IZ > More than I expected, indeed it is always a surprise to get any as sometimes reading the forums one gets the idea that there are a lot of pilots apathetic to the idea! I think it is the fact that, except for those in large Alliances, nobody has an 'in-built constituency' of probable voters for them, so any news is good news and so far, all the 'news' I've been sent has been good news!

YT > What would your first priority be if you got on the council?

IZ > Get to know the other Council members. We will have to work as a team, not be competitors with our own special interests to the fore. We also need to work with CCP's team for the same reason. I've listed a few points on my blog entries, and there are clearly some "quick hits" that could be achieved, and I reckon that CCP know very well how bad the lag issue is, for instance, but at the Council can certain /emphasise/ that to them again!

Along with other issues; POS, corp management tools, drones, ship balancing, simple things like overview faults and improvements. The Council is a two-way thing, connecting CCP and the rest of the player base. It isn't a blockage, nor a body to make excuses to one for the actions of the other but a face-to-face type meeting between CCP and player representatives can more easily make progress than the written word on a forum or a petition.

Council = Clarity of information, I hope, and more than just 'information' but also the 'whys and wherefores' of why we love this 'game' so much we sit at keyboards for many hours every day *and* pay them money too.

"My name is Inanna and I am an EVE-online addict" ;-P

Having made it to some EVE-meets, I know plenty of others who feel the same way!

YT > Pay someone to beat us with a stick would feel better and yet here we are as I once put it. Lol

IZ > Ahuh, exactly. Every time I try to explain to my mother (who is getting on a bit) why I spend many hours a day doing this she just doesn't 'get it'. Unlike many 'games' this one is soooooo much more, and has so many more options as to what you can do and, more importantly, you can change your mind and do something else if you want to without being penalised or having to grind for months.

YT > How many people have you gotten hooked on eve?

IZ > About a handful for definite, but I tell lots more who might have signed up since I last saw them.

YT > What’s the weirdest thing you have ever experienced playing eve?

IZ > I don't "kiss and tell" ;-P but yes, my keyboards and screens are usable from in bed ;-0 and I think I'll draw a veil over any more of that! There is, though, something I noted at meets, which is that there is often some similarity between how people create their avatar and how they actually look ...

YT > not precisely what I had in mind either. *reaches for brain soap*

IZ > sorry! Usual things, so now not weird, are talking 'work' on the phone while using another hand to fight in PvP ... but that and similar keeps happening and I'm now getting practiced at it …

YT > yeah eve is excellent at training your multi tasking ability

IZ > … especially with your FC in one ear and the other on a phone call. (btw, I'm also keeping an eye on my alliance channel as we have some WTs nearish so I may get called away)

Lapis Zuni > (at the same time as I am flitting around losec collecting datacores and running missions)

IZ > yeah, the 'family' that plays together, stays together, or summat like that!

YT > no different up here local, security, recruitment and corp open while raid mining; running outta screen (I have a 14in widescreen).

IZ > ahuh ... so many options as to what to do in EVE. If we hadn't been chatting I'd have been mining a while. One of the comments I made on my blog was about better use of screenspace. More things about to become moveable in station, some of the in-space ones need to do the same at some point.

YT > Well they did make some improvement recently but yeah the space usage is just suboptimal

IZ > I've got both old and new clients running and interesting to compare them. One is on a standard screen the other wide, so again you can layout better on one than the other. One reason, I suspect, why I almost never do much with actually being able to see my ship while in space!

YT > Yeah, I’ve got that issue to always making right handed combat approaches because I cant see the left half of the screen

IZ > I now tend to think of things like an aeroplane flying in fog .. trust in my overview. At least one can layout to suit your preferences to some extent. I think the Chinese expansion was very good for that actually; by needing to adapt the language used in the interface it makes it easier to make other changes too, slowly reducing any remaining hard-coding.

YT > Is there any ship you feel has gotten the short end of the stick?

IZ > All of them and none of them! This whole "xxx needs balancing" applies to them all at some point and then others subsequently. CCP can't 'win' on that as there is no winning position. If every ship in the universe was "correct" (by whose decision anyway) then it could become boring. Each patch changes things slightly, as they would in the 'real world' as technology improves.

I have ships of four of the five races in my hangars, but yes I have preferences. Some of my ships have got 'worse' since I started, some better, some weren't in existence back then (!) but it is what makes it interesting. As a pilot you can't know what fit someone will have on a ship - in the same way that 'balance' issues aren't the main thing that will decide who wins a dogfight.

[18:25:23] YT > Have you been doing any particularly aggressive campaigning?

[18:26:58] IZ > Nope. Partially because there isn't a clear way to do so without annoying people (like spamming channels / forums) but more because I think it would be counter-productive to go overboard. I am listed in the right places and have made it as easy as I can for pilots to find out more about me, to contact me and ask questions, etc.

[18:35:01] YT > Well I’ve run dry my well of topics. I wish you the best of luck hope you get a seat.

[18:35:52] IZ > Many thanks; it has been interesting chatting ;-P

This conversation has been edited to remove gaps, correct typos and simplify reading. The original text log from the conversation, which took place ingame in the ZUNI Q&A channel, is available on request
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