I got to reading a bit of the forum thread for the SVT ballot dev blog. There are some wonderful quotes such as “TEST vote, please ignore.” (I love that. Sorry TEST. It’s just funny, in a dark sort of way.) There is the usual tinfoil hat-ery going on, even though null blocs didn’t sweep the elections. There is the important idea that no voting system can represent people who cannot vote. Most interesting to me is the sentiment that null bloc candidates are bad. I’m not a null bloc guy, and don’t currently want to be one. But I don’t understand the sentiment.
Sharing time: I’ve had the fun experience of talking with a wide range of Eve players, with some serious conversations with people from all areas of the game aside from WH space. But I’ve dipped into that area enough to know a thing or two about it. There seem to be a few major types of players. High sec carebears, in the bad way. High sec carebears in the “I can’t be bothered with that paranoia” camp. Low sec FW. Low sec Pirates. Null players. Give-no-shits pvpers.
Out of all of these groups, one particular mindset intrigues me. A particular quote comes to mind. The context first: On my industrial character I was explaining offhandedly that I was going to have a chat with a Goonswarm player, and I was rather excited to see what was going to happen. I knew very little about the upcoming conversation aside from broad strokes, and was just interested to hear a new perspective. The pilot I mentioned this to said “You shouldn’t talk to goons.”
The player who said this is not a bad player. In fact he is a great asset, and knows a lot about the game. But (and I am assuming this) he has bough into the “Null/Goons are Bad” mentality that probably most of the non-goon players have. Being in a new corp on my industrial character, I have been reintroduced to the high sec mindset that low sec and null are dangerous, and people who live there are bad. These assumptions blanket a large number of players. Some rightfully so, some for no good reason I can fathom. Yes, low sec is more dangerous to a usual resident of high sec than just ignoring the orange and red systems. But it’s not instant death, and low sec can be a shockingly fun place to fly around in, chat in, and generally mess around with.
So where is this going? In the forum posts on the SVT ballots there was a lot of talk and inference that null bloc candidates would ruin the game for high sec players. While I think this is categorically false, I think it also shows an interesting lack of perspective. There is, simply put, a lot of game mechanics that do not work or exist in high sec, or only work in neutered ways. Without the perspective of low and null sec players, the CSM would be worse!
Here a few things most HS-only players will never or very rarely encounter: Cynos, Capitals, many POS functions, player-driven industry infrastructure, non-targeted warp disruption, smart bombs, most black ops functionality, the finer points of aggression and crime watch, anything related to sovereignty, bridging, most forms of pvp aside from ganking, POCOs, and many other topics I am forgetting.
Those are huge chunks of the game. Some of them have real impacts on players who only live in HS, even if they do not realize it. At this risk of sounding like an elitist or apologist, many of the mechanics I mentioned above also require more planning, investigation, and critically thinking through the mechanics before actually engaging in something, compared to running missions or mining in high sec. One cannot simply cyno anywhere and hope to survive. Managing crimewatch is easier than it was, but still requires a certain understanding beyond “Wait for the other guy to shoot first”.
I am also confused as to what the alternative would be to a CSM with a healthy dose of null representatives. All High sec players? No offense to my empire allies, but that sounds like a bad recipe. If Eve is to have the conflict and tension that it needs to survive, we need people on the CSM who understand the finer points of what is used to create player conflict, and the mechanics by which that conflict is negotiated. If no one blew up ships, Eve would become a very lonely,dull, and economically sterile place. After all, asteroid minerals, salvage, and meta modules gathered in high sec have to be used for something, or those items will lose any real value. I doubt those NPCs are really helping ship turnover rates in New Eden all that much.
And hey, if all the null sec players bitch and moan about some idea while everyone else is silent tune your ear to understand why the moaning is happening. CSM 7 had, at my count, at least 50% null candidates. Not a peep was heard from them against the moon redistribution. That alone may cause more “strife” for null sec than anything since player sov space was created. You might even think they supported it… So for any carebears in high sec who think null candidates are killing the game, null sec CSMs may just have fought for a huge change that will help keep your goods in demand come this June.