February 29, 2016

CSM XI Candidates, Part 4

Voting is open!  Time to try to sprint through the remaining candidates I suppose, though we have until March 25th to cast those votes.  So don't be in a rush quite yet!

Top Notch Candidates

Am I being pickier this year, or are the candidates not as strong?  Another round with no candidates solidly in this category.

Interesting Candidates

Utari Onzo (forum) (interview) (analysis show)
I found him an interesting combination:  a former Amarr FW player who is now in Providence (but not an official Providence candidate, which appears to be Jin'taan if anyone), who also claims wormhole experience, logi FC as his favorite role, and is a lore-focused part-time roleplayer as well.  This is a stronger position for a lore expert than we saw with Uriel (see part 3).  When he discussed some of the problems the RP community has had in the Intergalatic Summit forum it gave me a glimmer of why such a representative might be valuable as well.  His real push is for increasing interactivity between the players and the Eve universe, which isn't strictly just about lore, but included an example of players getting excited that their in-game activities showed up in a Scope video.  With more talk about increasing rat behavioral capabilities it seems this could be a good time to have someone with such an area of interest in the CSM.

Nash Kadavr (forum) (interview) (analysis show)
As the head organizer of #Eve_nt perhaps it's not surprising the Nash is running as a community and live event candidate.  He's passionate about this but ... what exactly does that have to do with the usual CSM duties again?  How does that inform being a sounding board for new sov mechanics, FW changes, or ship balancing?  The frustrating thing is that Nash's experience as a leader of  Kadavr Black Guards / The Bastards is a great statement on that which he didn't get to at all in his interview.  Fortunately he isn't as shy about it in his forum thread, so at least people who read that might have more reason to vote for him.  He might have been Top Notch in my opinion except for the way he responded to the whole mess with IWantIsk.  I'm not as worried about what IWI said about him, and I buy his version of the events (which also doesn't speak well of Bobmon) but it made me wonder how he would handle strong disagreements with another CSM.  "Never doing business with them again" isn't an option I want CSMs to be exercising in this particular case, though it might work well for Eve_NT.  I think the Analysis Show concerns about his time availability are pretty solid here, given all that he does.  It all adds up to not quite being Top Notch, though I expect he may well end up on my personal ballot.

Sogor (forum) (interview) (analysis show)
So he's got a lot of ideas, seems he can communicate them, and has a lot of things he is interested in, and I appreciate that he's trying to present himself as an unbiased "scientific" candidate.  However, that same approach makes him very much of the "Features and Ideas" candidate who seems to want to present a lot of things for CCP to do.  We can look at his ideas as an indicator of the way he thinks, though, and that's better than some of the candidates who were so bland in their avoidance of any position that they don't provide any clue of what's going on inside their head.  On the other hand, it seems like he hasn't thought deeply about the CSM work side (see the "how to build rep with CSM" and "how to communicate" parts of the interview).  In the end, his positive attitude bumped him up into this "Interesting" category though I think what this really means is that I hope he works harder on this and we see him again next year.  ProTip: don't start your CSM interview by saying that you're running because "why not, I can say I tried it." 

Don't Waste Your Time

Erika Mizumi (forum) (interview) (analysis show)
One of those folks I hate to put in this category, but it's for the best.  If you're unsure about her, read her forum post and don't listen to her interview.  Having an industrial representative could be a good thing for the CSM, but her more interesting (if niche) element is for high usability for the disabled.  As with Joffy, I think this also argues well for being high usability for all players.  For instance, her argument for better visual indicators of fleet commands could help with cross-language fleets as well as the hard of hearing.  But the bottom line is that the interview made me think that she could not communicate consistent and persuasively, which is a key attribute for the CSM.  That may be nerves, it may have been a bad run of things, but if so I hope we'll see her again in future CSM runs.

Borat Gureen (forum) (interview) (analysis show)
With a focus on solo and "microcorp" he certainly catches my attention.  The idea of someone focused on the assymmetrical "guerrilla warfare" in Eve is a good one to have around.  This could definitely be seen as a slightly different niche than the solo or small-gang play that would be covered by Apothne, Gorksi, or Mr Hyde.  However, the farther he goes in the interview the more I scratch my head.  His comments about the role of the CSM in the design of the ESS makes me think he hasn't listened to the multiple DoW episodes where Ali Aras talked about the topic.  His comment that he would only work for his constituency (instead of the whole of Eve) is a big knock.  Then we get into his ideas about players having a right of privacy for their lossmails, but he wants CCP to provide him a list of who voted for him so he can better communicate with them, and he has some big ideas about disclosing who is the alt of whom (as if CCP even has that info, as they've commented before).  So some interesting ideas, but it seems generally if you're interested in him you might find better candidates elsewhere.

Bait'er De'Outlier (forum) (interview)
He is a highsec wardec candidate who definitely comes across as passionate.  His cry to "undo the nerfs on Eve" reads as a bit of touch, though at least he clarifies that he doesn't mean the ship-balancing nerfs ... just the anti-ganking ones?  His attitude really seems to convey that he's not in the more modern Eve, but still represents the "everyone should play my way" mindset that was more common a couple years back but which you don't generally see in CSM candidates anymore.  He's also another candidate who seems to feel that a it's a valid communication strategy to just have people eve-mail him if they want to communicate with him.  I do have to give him a nod as a fellow Star Fleet Battles player from back in the day.
Edit: Sheesh, now I see he's not even on the official candidate list.  He really is "that guy" - what a waste of my time.

Billbert Lashlily - apparently another person who bothered to do an interview, but not get on the official candidate list.

February 27, 2016

CSM 11 Candidates, Part 3

CSM Candidate interviews keep on rolling in.  The staff at CSM Watch are doing a great and admirable job and I just get to sit back and try to process it all - which is actually tough as the incoming rate seems greater than my available time to listen to them.  My workload has gradually changed so that I no longer consistently have lunch hours I can use for writing.

I recommend checking out Declaration of War's two CSM panels (panel 1, panel 2), but I think that their approach last year was better.  This time I felt like they were covering the same broad question approach as CSM Watch, just in a panel setting.  Last year the panels were focused on a topic, which I think really brought out more depth in the candidates.

CSM Watch's Analysis Show 4 just was posted.  I've updated my last post to add links for those candidate reviewed therein, though I haven't listened to it yet.

Here is a very nice index to all of the candidates: CSM Watch 11.  

Top Notch Candidates

None this time - though I was pretty on the fence with Hyde and Diana.

Interesting Candidates

Mr. Hyde: (interview) (analysis) (forum)
A CSM to end the frigate menace? Seriously though, Mr Hyde came across very well in his interview. He was well composed and realistic about what the role of the CSM is. That said, his strength is clearly around ship balance and secondarily about the range of playstyles he's tried in his long Eve career. When we have a CSM election that has Apothne and Gorski car (and probably some others I don't know about) then is the ship balance expertise such a great strength. The risk for those who are into solo/small-gang is that all of these candidates will cannibalize each other enough that none get on. That said, the STV system means that this isn't as much of an issue as first past the post voting.

Gorski Car: (interview) (analysis) (forum)
Vote Gorksi CSM for drama? Is that what we really want after CSM X? Seriously, I hear from reputable people that Gorski has put a lot of effort and added a lot of value in his two partial CSM terms. At the same time he's been right at the center of a lot of the drama that has left many wondering if the CSM might be disbanded, and he's completely unapologetic about that. His strength is primarily in his solo / small-gang understanding (and as a FW player, let's be clear that it isn't for his FW dabblings), but this CSM election has some real heavy-weights of similar experience such as Apothne and Mr Hyde. So given that, what is Gorski's comparative advantage again?
(Disclaimer: I am a CZ editor and Gorksi is a CZ writer, though I've had little contact with him in that space.)

Diana Olympos: (interview) (analysis) (forum) (CZ articles) (DoW panel)
Diana is a new-ish player, but he has clearly gone out and done a huge amount of research about the CSM and the metagame. He is a pretty good communicator, but when I was listening to the CSM Watch interview I had trouble telling if his tendencies to sound unfocused are more about his command of English or fundamental to his style. I've included a link to Diana's CZ articles so that readers can review his written ideas and presentation for themselves. Since I started drafting this I've also heard his interview on Declarations of War, where he was probably the second most interesting (compared to Aryth to held a pretty dominant position). I'm wondering if someone who has a wide breadth of (perhaps shallow) insight on Eve is perhaps actually a better candidate than a narrow expert. I'm torn.
(Disclaimer: I am a CZ editor and Diana is a CZ writer, though I've only had conversations with Diana in CZ slack.)

Toxic Yaken: (interview) (analysis) (forum) (DoW panel)
He did much better in his CSM watch interview than he did in the panel on Declarations of War, where he seems to tune out and fade to the back - at one point giving an answer that didn't seem connected to the current question at all. I think people will agree that there is a need for a highsec candidate, but he didn't sell well that the candidate for highsec should be focused on the wardec scene - and if you were going for such a candidate wouldn't you look to Tora Bushido? I do like his idea of the wardec fee providing a pool of ISK that the defender can then win for themselves like a bounty on the attackers, but then we're getting into the realm of CSM as junior developer again.

Not Worth Your Time

Uriel Paradisi Anteovnuecci: (interview) (analysis) (forum)
Uriel had a good interview in terms of sounding relaxed, confident, and clear. The problem really is in the content: Uriel is presenting himself as a Lore candidate. The inevitable comparison is to Ashterothi's campaign last year, but Ash could also present himself as expert on factional warfare, teaching new players to PVP, and fairly knowledgeable on wormholes. Uriel has no alternative expertise to draw on. Further, he is also best known for pulling interesting unpublished nuggets from SiSi and Chaos, which seems to be problematic for a CSM under an NDA. Beyond his lore focus, in the interview he rattled off a list of lore-focused features and ideas, while at the same time acknowledging that this is not what a CSM does. I'm left with thinking that this interview was a great plug for a special liaison position to the ISD, but not for a CSM candidate.

Videran Pahedra: (interview) (no analysis show yet) (forum)
So he seems like a nice guy. Sadly, it's a bad sign when that's where the analysis starts and almost ends as well. He claims his constituency is all Eve players, which is the same thing as saying he has no constituency. His area of expertise is PVE industry, with a weak claim to a couple other aspects of Eve. He talks about CSM getting along with each other and with CCP, then names Xenuria as the single other CSM candidate he would want to serve alongside. That's going to plunge him to the bottom for a lot of people - I can just imagine what the CSM Analysis panel on him will sound like.

February 19, 2016

CSM 11 Candidates, Part 2

Continuing with the CSM Interview reviews - and this was a quite strong batch! The order of my reviews doesn't match the order of the CSM Watch Analysis shows since my podcast player defaults to playing in alphabetical order.  So as soon as I refreshed, Apothne was at the front of the queue.  I'm not sure how I got to Joffy and Jin'taan even before an Analysis Show for them has been published.

As a note again for those who want to just hit the Analysis shows:
* CSM Watch: Analysis Show 1
CSM Watch: Analysis Show 2
CSM Watch: Analysis Show 3

I've also added links for the candidates interviews, analysis shows, and their official forum thread both to this and to the previous candidate review blog.

Top Notch Candidates:

Apothne: (interview) (analysis show) (forum thread) (CZ articles)
Frankly, I think that only people who are strongly grrPL would not have Apothne near the top of their list. Well, that and people who are voting exactly as their corporate masters tell them, but I doubt those people bother reading this blog. Apothne has a well-deserved reputation as a theory-crafter and FC that would make him a strong sounding board for ideas from CCP devs. He rightly calls out his advantage of having worked alongside CCP devs at the AT in a collegial manner.  He also is a solid communicator who can get his point across (see above link to his CZ articles), yet is good at listening to other people's points as well.  These three aspects are all critical to a CSM's job, and we rarely seem to see all three in the same candidate.
(Disclaimer: I am a CZ editor and have worked with Apothne there, though so far only on one yet-unpublished article.)

Joffy Auix-Gao:  (interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
I was very impressed with Joffy. I think he should push more that improvements for disabled players are things that help a wide variety of able-bodied players as well.  His lowsec PVP credentials are a good match for a CSM that is losing incumbent lowsec reps, and the backing of Rixx Javik certainly doesn't hurt either.  The story of Joffy's background and how he plays Eve is amazing and inspirational, but you would be write to say "great story, but how does that make him a good CSM candidate."  Reading over this forum thread provides a good look in on this, including an exchange about Joffy's inability to physically attend summits which includes Mike Azariah's assurance that he feel Joffy is up to it.

Dotoo Foo:  (interview) (analysis show) (forum thread) (Foo's blog)
So let's hit this right up front.  What happens when you have a very competent, level-headed, good communicator for a candidate - who happens to not have a natural constituency that can slavishly provide thousands of votes?  If Steve Ronuken wasn't running then he might be a shoo-in replacement as someone who is super competent on industry and markets.  He has clearly invested a lot of work to widen his experience over the past year, but is his area of focus too narrow?  Is his self-imposed focus on communication through his blog too narrow?  Foo sounds like a great candidate to me with a independant mind that could be great for providing feedback on the future of Eve out to CCP Seagull's vision of player-built gates.  I think he's going to end up getting on my ballot, but I also fully expect that he's more likely to not make it this time but perhaps be positioned even better for next year.  And he is enough of a patient planner that perhaps that's what his plan is too.

Interesting Candidates:

Noobman:  (interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
His interview started off shaky and I think that mentally I was ready to write him off, but then he pulled it all back together.  He is a wormhole candidate, which is a playstyle that we definitely need represented on the CSM, as well as flying with PL which means lowsec and nonsov null experience.  His commentary on wormhole I found enlightening and insightful, though I do that from the POV of someone who only uses WHs to get somewhere else.  His presence on the capital focus group is also a strong positive, particularly given his analysis on what is working or not working there. I think the big challenge for Noobman is how he compares to other candidates with WH experience such as our next candidate, Sullen Decimus.

Sullen Decimus: (interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
His interview was solid, his demeanor was serious and thoughtful. He plays with one toon in WHs and another in nullsec (Bastion, part of the Imperium).  In his forum thread he also answers competently about high-sec incursions.  Interestingly there is also a back and forth where Vic Jefferson comes to pick a fight with him for being part of the Imperium.  This points out a real challenge for him: many won't vote for him as a "goon pet" and unless he is on the official CFC ballot then he won't get their votes either.  In the CSM Watch Analysis Show #2 the panel got a bit wrapped around the axle around his reserved posture towards the NDA and his real-life work.  As they summed up there, it is unfortunate that behaving "like an adult" is a feature for a CSM candidate rather than an expectation.

I have a feeling that either Noobman or Sullen Decimus, but not both, will end up on my ballot eventually for the way they span WH and another playspace, but there are plenty of candidates left to go.

Jin'taan:(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
Good quote here that "this time we're not just voting for CSMs, but also for whether or not the CSM project will continue." It's clear that there is a voting bloc out there this time that is voting to burn the CSM down. Being a representative for ProviBloc and the NRDS engagement rule is good, and I get that game changes can impact NPSI and NRDS, such as the example he gave, but when compared to other candidates FCing competently isn't really a marker that makes a candidate stand out.  If you're looking for a sampling of his analysis of the game, see his EN24 article on Battlecruiser rebalance.  I think he sounds solid, but I'm not yet sure if he is exemplary enough to stand out in the horde of players running.

Not Worth Your Time

 Nameloading: (interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
I was surprised to hear the argument that all players should be working their way to nullsec; I thought that old-null-school bias was pretty much dead. That puts him off my list for people's consideration right away.  The nail in the coffin is his opening comment in the interview that part of his motivation was to make his mark of Eve?  Even if people are running to try to become space-famous, usually they're clever enough not to say it out loud.

February 14, 2016

CSM 11 Candidates, Part 1

The folks at CSM Watch (CapStable + friends) have been doing their excellent interview series with CSM 11 Candidates.  It sounds like we have an even longer list than usual this year, and they've been plowing through them.  My usual Eve writing time is lunch at work, but due to various work projects many lunches have not been open as usual, so I'm quite a bit behind on the interviews.  But I'm managed to get a big pile of the interviews in, so it's time to run through some summaries.  Consider this a way to get a quick review without listening the the hours of interviews.

Note that if you aren't going to listen to the interviews then you still may want to listen to just the analysis shows.  As of this writing there have been three analysis shows you may want to listen to, so here are your shortcuts:
* CSM Watch: Analysis Show 1
* CSM Watch: Analysis Show 2
* CSM Watch: Analysis Show 3

As in the past, I'm going to bucket the candidate into three groups:
* Top Notch Candidates: I recommend that you read up on these candidates and consider them for your ballot.  Note that this doesn't necessarily mean I full agree with them, but I think that if you're interested in the election you should hear what they have to say.
* Interesting Candidates: These candidates interviews (and whatever else I've learned about them) may not put them on the ballot-worthy list, but if you're looking for a particular niche they may be worthwhile for you.
* Not Worth Your Time: I can't recommend expending more time learning about them.  Note that many first-time candidates may fall here because they couldn't articulate a coherent position.  It's possible they got entirely rattled by the interview and are good candidates - I just didn't see enough evidence to make me want to continue with them.

Because of my more limited time I'm going to be saying a much about each candidate, and those in the "Not Worthy" category will get even less.

Top Notch Candidates:

Steve Ronuken(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
There's a reason why Steve is the default answer to the dreaded "who else do you want to see on CSM alongside you."  Until recently he would have been listed as the person that everyone got along with, but then Sion apparently flipped out over him which seems to say more about Sion.  Steve is the exception to the rule that CSM candidates need to have a broad, natural constituency.

Interesting Candidates:

Kyle Aparthos(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
Interviewed as a calm, even communicator with a theme of engaging with players across the playerbase though his experience is clearly focused in null. Listed as a TMC author, but hasn’t written anything looks like in three months at least.  Last article (Local Mobility in Nullsec) shows a heated exchange with Grath that doesn’t seem to fit the “work with anyone” theme, though Garth was insulting in his comments right out of the gate.

Bobmon(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
EN24 leader, PL member, event organizer.  Notable quote on divisiveness within CSM: "if you were playing soccer and one of your team mates was constantly scoring in your own goal, you’d kick them too." He has a shadow on him from IWantIsk connection, which I'm not so sure about. Are we going to go back and ban everyone who promoted SomerBlink on their website or blog retroactively?  However, his strong support of IWantIsk in the interview if nothing else will raise questions about his judgment.

Not Worth Your Time:

Vic Jefferson(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
His focus is on communication and working with others, but he says if you want to talk to him just drop him an eve-mail.  That's not going to scale and seems to show he's missing the point of his own main theme. Also opens up with “I really, really hate Goonswarm, I’ve seen it from the inside, it needs to go.” In CSM 10 I rated him in the mid-range.  Perhaps I’m being more critical now, but I think I’d put him (and more people in general) into the “No Thanks” range.

Commander Aze(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
Overall he's got some good attitude, but just doesn't come across strong and knowledgable. I think it says a lot when you see he's copied quotes from the CSM Analysis show over to his campaign thread like "I wouldn't hate it if he ended up on CSM" (Lockefox) and "I think he's getting the hang of it" (Noizygamer). Third time's the charm for CSM 12?

Nikolai Agnon(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
Now in theory I would be all over the idea of a FW lowsec candidate, particularly with Sugar Kyle stepping down.  I think Nikolai is just not that candidate right now.  He needs to work on forming and communicating what his platform is concisely and confidently.  He rambles a good bit and I expect this would result in him not be convincing to CCP and being run over by the other CSMs.  I was listening to this interview as I ate lunch and found it really hard not to have my attention wander away.

Aiwha(interview) (analysis show) (forum thread)
His heart is in the right place, but he is not coherent, bouncing around. He doesn't seem to have a good grasp on what RMT is and has confused it with microtransactions (perhaps nervousness?). "Know and Regurgitate" has to be one of the more awkward phrases a CSM candidate could use to describe what they wanted to do in the role.

February 1, 2016

BB71: A rich game world full of spaceships

Ah, new spaceships.  When a patch with new ships is coming up I'm sure they can hear the gleeful rubbing of hands all the way to Reykjavik.  The initial theorycrafting has been done, the reports are in from SiSi, but nothing will really compare to seeing the ships in action on Tranquility.  
Everytime there are new ships introduced into Eve, you can expect that a fair number of kills will happen just because people don't have them loaded in their overviews.  Then there are ships such as the command destroyers that give a good ol' whack of a mallet to the spinning top that is the Eve meta.  But can there by too much of a spaceship thing?  I'd say that we should look at how we learn and process these new ships, as well as what design bar should be set for introducing new ships based on their place in the meta.


Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?

We all like important internet spaceships right? The more spaceships the better right? Or are we getting too many to be easily to remember them all. A Mastodon on scan? That the hell is that and what does it do? Oh! Never mind!

Are we getting too many ships. Is it too complicated to remember them all and what their traits are? Do FC's these days need an encyclopedic knowledge of ship types unless they want their fleet to DIAF. With more and more ships being released each year will we ever reach "too many" or do you think there can never be too many important internet spaceship types?

(thanks to Drackarn - see his and other bloggers responses, also the Blog Banter homepage for previous banters)

Siri: what is a Rapier?

As a new capsuleer I remember distinctly a spaceship knowledge problem.  I had moved away from my Gallente early training with a goal to work my way up through all the races.  My brand new Artillery Thrasher with minimal shield skills was set to demolish things.  I decided to wander through belts in lowsec, which was a lot of fun in my Thorax.  I was aligning off to the next belt when a Rapier dropped out of warp nearby.  Rapier?  That's a frigate, right - and destroyers eat up frigates.  I just need to keep at the edge of my long point range, make him come straight at me (my understanding of transversal was largely from blaster-brawling) and ... wait, I'm webbed - at this range?

I got my pod out and had a nice chat with the Rapier pilot.  I told him about my mistaken identity problem and we had a good laugh.  He assured me that my Thrasher fit was pretty standard, and told me a bit about how he tracked me down using d-scan.  Like many 1v1 roaming fights, it ended with both pilots being reasonable people having fun with a game.

I still don't know what all the ships in the game are bonused for, though mostly at the high end of the range.  I certainly don't have the lowest resists memorized, and if I was in a projectile or missile ship more often that would be more of a goal.  When I have a moment for figuring things out I'll hit the excellent Eve-Uni Ship Database.  I know some people are fond of the new d-scan data tool Inflight.

Of course even a tool like this can be overwhelming, and plenty of players won't be aware it even exists.  Teaching new players how to use third-party resources is something all newbro friendly corps should embrace.

For players who are in touch with the meta (and since, Dear Reader, you are reading this then this means you) there have been great blogs in the past.  Rixx Javix occasionally writes a blog about the state of the T1/T2 frigate meta like The 5 Best T1 Frigates post from last September.  I'm sure many of us mourn the absence of Azual Skoll's Know Your Enemy entries from his Eve Altruist blog.  We bloggers (particularly those who are at the higher levels of PVP skill) certainly can help reassess the ecosystem of Eve for newer players or those who simply are looking for a way to wrap your head around what all these ships can do.

All this doesn't absolve CCP of a need to provide better information.  If the new ship icons had been in place when I had that encounter with the Rapier, I would have noticed that it wasn't the tiny little triangle that indicated a frigate and at least been aware that I was facing a cruiser-sized ship larger than my destroyer.  I haven't read all of the other BB71 blogs, but I noticed a good idea in Kirith's Kodachi's post for a (possibly optional?) hover-over affordance that would provide some ship information.

A Chessboard with only Pawns is just Checkers

There is a huge richness to having all of these ships, bewildering as they are.  It rewards the player who builds up knowledge and skill in how to use that knowledge.  You can listen to a top-level streamer like Fintarue roll off the expected range of a medium neut from a capwar bonused ship and see how that is informing his engagement range even as he reloads ammo to match the weakest resist expected on that hull in the current meta.  This is what separates people like him from people like me, and people like me from month-old new pilots who have just joined factional warfare.  I don't think many Eve players would argue for a dramatic reduction in the diversity of the ship ecosystem.

I do agree it's part of the infamous learning curve for pilots.  This morning I was talking to a coworker who recently got back into a game.  He feels like he's a newbie again when he logs into his main with the wormhole corp he hasn't flown consistently with for a couple years.  He nearly got taken out by a T3D gang because he didn't have them on that character's overview.  His subscription lapsed and part of the barrier to getting back into the game is knowing that there is a wall of new information between him and playing at the level he used to.  It's tough... but it's also part of what draws really intelligent, strategically thinking people like him to a game like Eve.  And it's why when Eve players want to take a mental break on a given night they'll fire up some substantially less complicated game.

I do think that CCP needs to think carefully about where each new ship goes.  Adding ships which are particularly special use or PVE-focused (like the Noctis or Epithal) do not add to the mental wall of the new PVP-oriented player.  Extremely rare ships (such as AT ships) also aren't the kind of thing that are going to inhibit uptake of the overall system of ships since they'll be so rarely seen.   New ships at the very top of the food chain (such as Force Auxillaries or concepts like T2 supers) impact a group of players that are already very conversant and in touch with the meta, and thus are also not a problem.  T3Ds and CDs are counter-examples that a PVP player in any area of space needs to be aware of or be wiped across the metaphorical floor.  They introduce something new into the game - perhaps something that needs balance work, but a whole new angle.  Eve is a game that can use such disruptive technologies added once in a while.  I'd argue that the design criteria for such base level disruptive ships to be added should be a high bar.

So I'd argue that Eve should continue to have new ships, but their place in the ecosystem has to be carefully considered and both CCP and those of us in the meta should do what we can to help newer players come up to speed on this complex game.  It's part of what we love about the game, so keep it coming!