Top Notch CandidatesNone. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the very last people to get an interview in are also not exactly the top notch candidates.
Worthy of ConsiderationXander Phoena: (Null/PL)
CSM Incumbent. My estimation of Xander has fallen a lot over this CSM year, particularly because of the whole Twitter-blocking incident and all of the fallout that came from it. On the plus side, I respect a lot how he stuck to his guns on the jump range nerf even as he got kicked out of the CFC for it. The public media fight between him and Sion make both of them look bad. I think he's going to be polarizing for people, but I think each voter should review what Xander has fought for, what he has done to communicate with the community, and from there decide where and if he should be on your ballot. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)
Ariete does both PVP and PVE in C5, dropping into null and low to roam. He has done a similar role in Star Wars Galaxies engaging with the developers and player representatives, so that's a nice positive. He makes a good argument in response to the usual "this is going to be a nullsec CSM" in pointing out that corp and alliance management are very true for WHs groups, as well as concern that T3 cruisers could be nerfed for their nullsec role and impact their usage in WHs. Then we get into POS work, which is obviously huge for wormholers. I appreciate his wanting to make wormholes part of the NPE, but it really seems at risk of a "run before you walk" scenario. Think of all the things the newbro realisitically has to know before stepping into that WH for the first time. Note that this interview was before the "Opportunities" dev blog which might be a way to level this in as a link in the web out on the edges. In response to the obvious corbexx comparison he states that he wants to assist corbexx in his goals. If you're a wormholer you probably would like more than just one CSM, so you should consider Ariete. I see he's done a Wormhole Town Hall on his candidacy, so I'd recommend WHers seek that out and definitely do read his forum thread. There's a flag for me that he mentions that he's not a blogger and his communication plan as CSM would be to "just talk to people." There is a good point made there that since corbexx is a hard worker but not a big communicator, then a second WH candidate who is also not a big communicator may not be a good idea. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)
Alyxportur: (Null/Kadeshi, PI, Nerf Ishtars/Cloaks)
With a low-key, calm demeanor Alyxportur doesn't exhibit the passion that we hear from some candidates. He has a number of items that he's interested in but it's hard for me to get a feel for how that all pulls together for him. Nerf Ishtars (so sayeth we all?), Cloaky campers (common null hot topic), Corp/Alliance bookmarks (common), Logi on killmails (ditto). He did speak on some length on PI, which is a topic that a lot of capsuleers would care about given how often I hear them mentioned as an income source for people. Then at the very end of the interview when he threw in the concept of corp-set LP tax that we got to a potentially interesting topic that might be relevant to a reworked null, but that's not even one on his forum thread or CSM Wire entry. He seems like a guy that has some interesting ideas sprinkled in amongst the common F&I requests, but he hasn't pulled it all together an polished it. Like some other candidates he seems more like a good person to have on a CCP focus group than as a constantly-engaged CSM. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)
Angrod Losshelin: (WH, Multiboxing, Corp/POS Mgmt)
Presenting a positive platform for multi-boxing makes Angrod a good call for a subset of playstyles, as well as a lightning rod for those opposed. To be clear, Angrod supports the ban on input broadcasting but makes an argument that there has been a witchhunt of multiboxers that labels a wide range of players as all being of the same stripe as the 20+ cloned ship/account variety. His distinction of a "problem-boxer" may undermine his support in the multi-boxer community thought. He also widens the NPE bandwagon to include getting new players into wormholes, and this seems to be an interesting facet that could be positive. He has a number of topics in his personal blog CSM post, including some not covered in the interview. Unfortunately when looking at his blog then I start to have all new concerns - namely his ability to have a professional and constructive relationship with CCP with posts such as this one and this one. In the interview he also seems to come down on FunkyBacon's side of the recent controversy, which doesn't exactly paint him as a diplomat. I can't see voting for Angrod, but I also can't see putting him in my "Ignore him" category because the topics he is engaged with are very hot currently and very important to many players. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)
Thoric Frosthammer: (Null/CFC, Medium-sized Groups, Social aspects of the game)
Official CFC candidate as Chairman of LAWN. He states that the lack of game mechanics that reward conflict leads to groups like the CFC being "the masters of the no-fun game." But it's unclear that he's willing the same kind of strong statement like Endie and Mannie that he's willing to see change on that front. When Thoric says that there is no reward for conflict or for not blobbing then as a FW player I can't help but think again that FW is a good counter-example: LP is higher in enemy systems, LP is shared amongst the fleet encouraging smaller groups. So yes, the player behavior follows the mechanics - now what are Thoric's proposed solutions? It is good to hear him saying that what is best for Eve may not be best for the CFC, following with similar comments from Endie and Manny. Which leads up to the obvious question: we're pretty much guaranteed to have Sion, Endie, and Manny on the CSM. Why do we need this guy too? He seems like a level-headed, experienced guy, but the marginal value on him as a CSM is questionable to me in this context. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)
Move Along, Nothing to SeeErika Mizune: (Null, Mining/Industry)
This was a tough one to listen to just for the presentation/communication skills. I've said before that I sympathize greatly with the nerves that a candidate must have coming into a big interview like this, but they're going to have a similar problem with CCP and other CSMs - there isn't going to be a neutral interviewer working to pull your opinions out from you. On the plus side, it is nice to see someone who is mining focused since that is a specialty we don't hear about from CSM candidates. I do like the idea of trying to make mining something more engaging. Other background in general industry, POS management and such seems well covered by other, stronger candidates. Her position for nullsec industrial self-sufficiency goes against the current structure of having no one area being able to do everything, but with the jump range nerf and the idea of a new player-stargate opened area perhaps that will be need to be revisited. The real bottom line is that a lack of presentation skills here that doesn't match with the idea of a CSM that needs to be able to clearly sell her ideas to an audience. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)
Edit: Erika noted in a comment below about some of the communication difficulty in the interview that arose from the combination of Bhock's accent and her hearing difficulty. I'd recommend reading her blog post about being hard of hearing in eve.
Citricioni: (German, NPSI, Lowsec/Nullsec)
The German community angle here is interesting, since there is a separate election world going on with the separate language communities. I was a bit worried about the rate at which he was having trouble understanding the interviewer's English though, since that's the language that he will need to communicate with CCP and CSM with. It's also tough to interview so late and be compared to everyone ahead of you. As a voter I want to hear why he should be ahead of Jayne or Bam on the NPSI ticker, and I'm not hearing that. There are also some concerns about his tendency to respond to criticism with trolling - that's not something I want in a CSM. (Forum Thread)(Podcast)