The Fifth CSM emplores everyone to vote for the sixth CSM.

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*This is a guest blog, written by the members of the fifth Council of Stellar Management*

Everyone knows that EVE is special, and one of the ways that it is special is that EVE has the Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a democratically-elected stakeholder group that works on behalf of the entire EVE community.

The CSM performs many useful functions:

  • Provides feedback to CCP on upcoming changes to the game and global game issues, often on a daily basis in a private area of the forums.
  • Communicates player concerns to the devs, by formatting proposals for changes to the game, adding and maintaining pages for them on the EVE wiki, and voting to add them to the CSM Backlog.
  • Travels to Iceland at least twice a year for concentrated 3-day summit meetings at CCP for in-depth face-to-face discussions of important game issues.
  • Publishes comprehensive Summit Minutes detailing the results of the meetings.
  • As a stakeholder, gives CCP a customer perspective on their decisions, asks hard questions, encourages CCP to justify their resource allocations, and, in the famous words of CCP’s CEO Hilmar Petursson (aka CCP Hellmar), “calls bull****” on CCP when necessary.

So does the CSM get results? Well, here are a few examples:

  • The skill-training queue was a CSM initiative.
  • The CSM helped the players give CCP a corporation-wide wake-up call in the summer of 2010, resulting in CCP allocating more resources to supporting and improving old content.
  • The recent removal of learning skills was implemented almost exactly as the CSM suggested.
  • CSM and player pressure about performance issues encouraged CCP to create a special group, Team Gridlock, dedicated to the “War on Lag”.
  • CSM crowdsourcing and prioritization efforts resulted in many CSM-sponsored game fixes being released in Incursion, and the allocation of Team BFF to the task of “fixing potholes” during the current development cycle.
  • CSM lead the effort to ensure than any micro-transactions added to EVE would be limited to vanity items.
  • CSM encouraged CCP to implement staged release plans, as was used in Incursion and will be used with Incarna.

Serving on the CSM is time-consuming, frustrating, irritating, annoying, often mind-numbing and occasionally painful (damn Icelandair seats) — but it’s also very rewarding for those willing to put in the effort. In the current election cycle, 57 candidates have decided they are up to the task and are competing for the 9 delegate seats on the council.

How you can get involved?

Read summaries of the Candidates’ platforms, then head on over to the Jita Park Speaker’s Corner and ask them some hard questions of your own. Inform yourself on what the candidates stand for, then cast your votes (one per active account). The polls are now open!

Your vote makes a difference; last year a candidate missed out by only a handful of votes. Give your preferred candidate(s) the best possible chance —¬†Get to the polls and vote, and encourage your mates to do the same!