The recently completed Crowdsourcing effort by CSM member Trebor Daehdoow was initiated and completed with some dissatisfaction among members of the forum community. To others it was completed with the exact result they had intended. Thus, ladies and gentlemen – we have cleavage (not the kind that Christina Hendrix sports! you dirty dirty internet spaceship pilot, you!). And its not the first time – Member of the CSM, Trebor Daehdoow has conducted crowdsourcing in the past:

  1. August 2010
  2. November 2010

The way it was conducted was that each account could post their name followed by a number that represented the issue or bug in a long list of issues and bugs. You also had the option to vote down a number, making your own votes count for more in the process. Finally,  157 pages of votes was then compiled and appropriately prioritized. What you’d normally expect is a fairly rough representation of how the players prioritizes their frustrations or wishes for improvement. But this is not the case, and surprisingly not because people were Bloc Voting.   Lets take a look at how the wiki defines Block Voting

Block voting and Bloc voting may refer to:

Does any of this apply to EVE Online, and how so? Well, lets take a look at those 4 options; In this case only one really applies – Bloc Voting.

A voting bloc is a group of voters that are so motivated by a specific concern or group of concerns that it helps determine how they vote in elections. The divisions between voting blocs are known as cleavage. A voting bloc can be longstanding and institutionalized, such as support for business or labor, or it can be created from scratch as the result of the saliency of a new public issue, such as a war or the potential resumption of a military draft. Ethnic groups are sometimes considered to be voting blocs, but it is unwise to simply assume that a majority of a given ethnic group will vote in one particular way, as economic status and religious beliefs also play an important role. Voting blocs grow and wane according to the development of issues and personalities. These blocs can often disappear and reappear with time and are not necessarily motivated by one single issue.

The result of the crowdsourcing effort by the CSM was that 4545 voted for issues or bugs that affected them. When you have +300,000 subs those 4k players does not make anything resembling an even fairly rough representation of the playerbase, but to be honest – the first one only sported a few hundred voters so its not like these votes haven’t progressed.

Each player do have the opportunity to make their voice heard. This time the players of EVE University (a corporation in the game with ~1800 members) was given a list of issues that affected the corporation and could improve the situation for the management and members of their corp. The members of the corp then voted for these issues, some spiced it up with their own vote as well and the result was that the list of issues that was presented to them made it into the top 10 (more or less). They weren’t forced to do so, they were merely presented with a list of choices that affected their corp so they could make an informed choice without going through hundreds of wiki entries and doing their own research.

Is this fair? Just like a corporation will have silent partners and a board of directors, players in EVE Online will either be ignorant or unaware of any forum activities or simply just don’t care and then you’ll have players that will be actively involved in helping their representatives correctly prioritize issues of importance (to them) or make CCP aware of what affects them negatively. Are they entitled to have a vote and should that vote have influence?

We asked CEO of EVE University; Kelduum Revaan these questions;

Was there a purpose of you asking Unistas to participate in the crowdsourcing?

With the previous turnouts being fairly low, it was a chance to get some of the issues which affect corporations the size of the Uni, as well as introduce many of our members to the CSM, and what they are involved in.

CSM members haven’t previously broken down the demographics of the participants in the crowdsourcing, have they? Do you feel that your vote or the vote of your Unistas or indeed anyone that made an effort in voting has had their effort diminished by Trebor Daehdoow?

The previous two times, the items were grouped and various analysis was done, but not down to demographics of the voters, which this time has certainly provided some interesting results. With the analysis done, I don’t think it has significantly diminished anybody’s vote, and after all it is still down to CCP to prioritise changes based on resources, preqequsites and so on.

How much weight do you personally believe the crowdsourcing votes has? With more than 300,000 subs it isn’t exactly providing the detailed picture that most of us hoped it would. Its obvious that the lack of involvement from pretty much everyone else has allowed EVE Uni to skew the result, isn’t it?

Yes, its pretty clear that E-UNI has ‘skewed’ the vote, and a great deal more than I expected, but I suspect its a little less likely to happen in the future – if nothing else the results have raised the profile of Trebor’s crowdsourcing. Unfortunately, when presented with so many options, without block voting or any clear ‘winners’ presented that everyone would agree with, you typically tend to see the results being spread out significantly. It’s difficult to say how much sway the crowdsourcing actually has, however if you look at previous runs, there are a number of small changes which have been implemented – remote destruction of jumpclones, fixes to rockets, the ability to view ship fittings without boarding it and so on, so I don’t think its entirely a waste of time.

Do you feel that your class; Block Voting 101 was a success?

I’d say it was… Maybe I’ll run it again sometime…

There are some key points to take note of here guys.

  1. Crowdsourcing is not – I repeat – is not some kind of democratic vote and does not – I repeat – does not represent anything other than the interests and sentiments of the involved voters.
  2. Crowdsourcing is not something CCP asks you to do and at no point have they used the crowdsourcing to dictate how their development resources should be managed. They allready have their own schedule and if some of those issues overlap, then you’d likely see something changed – allthough they are not obliged to use the proposed solutions.

So, while crowdsourcing is a great tool for CSM members to help them get an overall feel for how some in the community are affected by some issues – it cannot be anything than a very big stick thats very cumbersome to navigate in the right direction. It is not a quick fix guide on “how to appease EVE Players”, nor does the result show what is “wrong” with EVE or how to fix it.

Its just a vote among actively involved players – nothing more, nothing less.

Untill CCP comes out and say; “Ok guys – we’ve found that the crowdsourcing is a wonderful tool that we’d like to implement gamewide and we’d like everyone to participate!” – then it won’t be anything then pixellated numbers on a webpage.


Simply because 4,000 players does not represent anything other than 4,000 players. Untill the majority wants to participate you won’t have correct representation and even then – the majority of the votes would point to high-sec  improvements because thats simply where the majority of the players are hanging out. This wasn’t a result of Bloc Voting – it was a result of gamewide non-involvement – if thats even a word.

The results being split up is simply a result of the crowdsource project developing further and starting to become a useful tool for the CSM. Allthough you as a player have to consider what is going to happen when the rest of the corporations of EVE Online starts applying the same strategy – do you still not care what other players are deciding on your behalf? The number of votes that E-UNI presented was only ~550 . What happens when they all vote?

But really, there is no reason to get nervous about this. Best case scenario is that you’ll get lumped into the same category as others in the same situation and it looks like thats the road theyre going with it for now. Just because a high-sec corp has more votes does not mean that those are the priorities of CCP or the CSM. If that was the case, you’d only ever really see improvements for high-sec players.

But don’t just take my word for it, let me know what you think. Spend the time voting or spend the time QQ’ing on the forums when they implement changes you don’t want. The choice is yours to make.

And thats cleavage ladies and gentlemen; Thats cleavage.