After all the comments on that last EVE Online post, I gave it a try for the first time today. I basically just worked my way through the tutorials, but had a good time. I can see how the environment might feel tedious after a while, but I’m sure I’ll be playing some more.
I have no idea whether the choices I made during character creation were reversible, but it didn’t seem like it. Man, the whole irreversible character development mechanic is so backwards in long-term games like these. It will be nice when it’s finally died out.
I also saw that CCP just started accepting candidacies for the Council of Stellar Management, or as their news post was amusingly titled, the Council of Stellar Awesomeness. They announced their intent to do this months ago, so I’m not sure how much of this is old news, but the details are pretty fascinating to me. This is a player-elected council of nine members who represent the playerbase to CCP, and CCP in turn promises to “attempt to accomodate all reasonable [emphasis mine] requests by player Representatives” and to “do everything in its power to resolve the topics presented.” They’re taking it pretty seriously, too — each term of the council requires a face-to-face meeting at the CCP offices, with travel (to Iceland!), lodging, and food paid for by CCP.
It will be interesting, of course, to see how they define “reasonable.” If the populace and the CCP decide that Goonswarm is evil and should be disbanded, is that “reasonable?” What if they want to change a game mechanic that CCP is concerned would unbalance the economy? These decisions are complicated enough as is, but now they’ll have to factor in the risk and cost of defying the populace. Which can happen now, surely, but I think it’s a lot easier to defy the populace when their only voice is the vague cacophony of web forums. It’ll be a harder pill to swallow when there’s a clear, formal request from a democratically-elected government.
There is a brief summary PDF covering the CSM and the election process, and a longer (18-page) PDF that goes into more detail, including fascinating-sounding sections like “A Comparative Analysis of Real Structural Social Evolution with the Virtual Society of Eve Online” and “Political Theory and the Case for Democratically Elected Council in EVE”. I’ll be giving it a read soon.