Thursday, 12 February 2015

CSM X Candidate Analysis: Tora Bushido

This year, Tora Bushido, leader of The Marmite Collective has thrown his hat into the ring for CSM X.  Marmite is a highsec wardec corp, and so it follows that Tora's campaign is primarily highsec focussed.

Tora's campaign has changed over time.  Originally it started out as effectively a "balance highsec" campaign.  This included ideas such as making gankers have to be in player corps, not be able to dock for 30 minutes, and to reduce loot drops on ganked ships to 25%.  At some point he then decided his campaign was now "EVE is evil", where he will be on board with pretty much any idea, no matter how ridiculous, as long as it's evil.  His nerf-ganking-to-death idea then morphed from what it was to a "hideout" mobile deployable which allows players with a criminal timer to hide from CONCORD to reship, while ticking their criminal timer down twice as fast.  So effectively the change has gone from "reduce ganking and make it less profitable", to "improve ganking and make hyperdunking easier".  That's a pretty big swing considering the CSM application period hasn't even closed yet.

Another idea suggested was a slot machine minigame for miners and a "click me every X minutes" notification for AFK in space players to make them be more active, which has varied over time. His ideas all range vastly in the areas they affect, and change direction rather rapidly, with one underlying feature being that he wants beneficial changes to his playstyle - for example the introduction of dreadnoughts into highsec, or the increase in low-end war costs to push smaller corps into paying more to wardec each other while only minimally affecting his bottom line.

One of the biggest problems I have with Tora's campaign however isn't even the type of ideas he produces, it's the way he thinks of the CSM.  He seems to be more about throwing ideas out there rather than giving feedback himself.  The CSM is about representing the players, and it's important to show in the candidacy period your skills related to that, not to show people how many mechanic ideas you can come up with.  If you want to throw forward ideas for consideration by the CSM, you can do so by posting them in the Assembly Hall section of the forum, you don't need to run for CSM for that.  He also seems to believe that the CSM will have the power to simply reject ideas, preventing CCP from pushing through a change he dislikes.  This is again not the case.  And for campaigning he believes running around forums, blogs and local chat posting up his "Vote Tora" banners like this is some kind of high-school election is the best way forward.  Maybe it is, maybe that will win him a seat, I doubt it, but time will tell.

The way he responds to criticism is also an issue.  He tries to turn it into a joke, or he throws insults about, or he simply starts blocking people.  I've been quite critical of a few CSM members since the beginning of these campaigns, and Tora is the only one that has gone out of his way to ignore me, even going so far as to block me on twitter from reading his feed.  CSM members get criticised.  It's going to happen a lot, and it's going to be considerably more critical than I have been.  If a CSM member can't even make it through campaigning without "losing one's sh*t", then what chance does he have of holding other people's needs forward if bombarded with criticism as a CSM member?

Listening to his Cap Stable podcast interview he also sounded quite confused for the most part, likely related directly to his rapidly changing campaign direction.  One notable point was when asked about the NPE and the upcoming awox changes, he responded with the following:

"That's part of EVE.  I'm in a big large mercenary alliance.  We do security checks, but if somebody looks fine and his killboard looks fine, and his skills look fine and he joins my corp, he could also awox me.  I've been playing for 5 years so that's always an issue.  It doesn't really matter how young old you are."
Now this misses the mark for a number of reasons.  First off he's in a merc alliance, full of PvP players.  The chances of him being picked for an awox are slim anyway.  Secondly, his SP criterion is >20m SP last I checked, with another requirement of a good KB, both things that also keep newbies out.  So his corp is displaying the exact problem CCP is trying to address.  CCP don't want people to be rejected because they haven't played much or don't have a decent amount of SP, and so they are making sure you don't need a player to have enough info and playtime to be vetted.

Overall, I don't believe either Tora or his campaign are mature enough to be considered for a CSM position.  If you are in a merc group, you might consider voting for him on the grounds that he will want changes that benefit that playstyle, but I'm not sure he'll have the staying power if people push against him.  Other highsec players will only benefit from him wanting to keep their playstyles relevant enough so they remain in game and continue to be the fodder to feed his alliance.  Perhaps next year if he's back with a cooler head, a clearer campaign, and a good idea of what the CSM is for, then I'll look at his campaign more favourably.

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