Hello, faithful Biomassed readers! It has been a long time since I’ve posted, and I apologize for that. I have been very busy IRL traveling. I am back for the remainder of this week, then I am off again for a week. I have been wanting to make a post for some time now, but I could not find anything interesting to write about…that is until I saw this post (now locked by CCP Frame), regarding the CPM2 candidates. I saw this as a golden opportunity to look at the community’s outlook of the CPM and what they do. I’ll break down this forum post and then analyze the community’s views on the CPM based on my past personal beliefs and the beliefs of those that I play with on a regular basis.
Slim Winning, the post author, says that he has looked at the candidate list for CPM2, and realized, “Oh my God! There are people from the same corp, and they have lots of money! I don’t have lots of money, therefore the CPM2 is bullshit!” Y’know, to an extent, this guy is right. There are multiple people from Negative-Feedback. on the list. Negative-Feedback is notorious for being a very active Planetary Conquest corporation with a few “multi-millionaires and billionaires”, to use Silm’s words. I mean, look at Kain Spero of Negative-Feedback. Dude has probably got at least half a billion ISK, if not over a billion. He’s a solid guy who just happens to have butt loads of money. Aeon Amadi, also of Negative-Feedback., has said that he’s got over 175 million ISK. Viktor Hadah Jr., notable EVE player, has millions, and millions of ISK (again, if not billions), because of his EVE/DUST ISK exchange service and selling Templar BPO codes. These people have found something to do in New Eden to make themselves money, whether that be selling BPOs, playing PC battles, or just being good at the game. Slim Winning, I see that you’ve been playing this game for quite some time. You should know this by now, but that’s how New Eden works, man. Welcome to New Eden, and enjoy your stay.
His next accusation, for lack of a better word, is that these CPM candidates don’t want to help the community. Why would you even bother running if you don’t want to help the playerbase, man? There aren’t really any benefits to being a CPM. CCP does not pay you, as far as I know, for being a CPM. At best, you get to know about things that are coming before anyone else knows, and you get a kick-ass badge next to your name on the forums that says, “CPM”. Obviously these couple of things are highly coveted in the DUST 514 community, because so many people are running for CPM (Just between you and me, I’d rather have the kick-ass forum badge than know about things). These people that are running generally want to help the DUST playerbase. Look at people such as Cross Atu, Breakin Stuff, and Kevall Longstride (Dennie Fleetfoot). Cross and Breakin are notorious on the forums for making spreadsheets, collecting data on a topic, and submitting it to CCP for further review. I have seen Cross Atu ask countless times, on the forums, for data about a certain topic. Everytime he asks, the community floods him with responses. I’ve seen Breakin Stuff do the same on Skype. Same thing happens to him that happens with Cross. People flood him with data. Dennie Fleetfoot is the CEO of DUST University. There have been about eight thousand people that have gone through DUST Uni since its inception, according to Dennie. Eight thousand people. What’s the point of DUST University? To educate people. If somebody didn’t like the playerbase, why have they helped at least eight thousand people and counting.
Our good friend Mr. Winning then goes on to ask how many of these candidates have trained new players. Well, I can’t speak for all the candidates, but as was talked about above, Dennie and DUST Uni have trained about eight thousand new players. I’m sure, however, that most, if not all, the candidates have at some point trained a newbro.
Then, as if he thinks he’s being clever, he asks how many of the candidates regularly stomp (I assume proto stomp) in a match (assuming pubs) with millions of ISK. Let’s start by stating the obvious; Nobody likes to get proto stomped in any gamemode. If these guys want to use proto gear in public matches, let them. It’s their right. Here’s the thing some people fail to understand; Proto gear does not equal unfair. It’s good, yeah, but people can be bad, and do awful in a game, while running proto. Take myself for an example. I’m awful at this game, and I’ve said it many, many times. My corp mates at the Demonic Cowboys will confirm this statement. Just last night, Don Kiebles was saying “Holy shit! Bait went positive for once.” It was great. The point is, I don’t go positive in matches, despite what I run. I’ve been known to run proto Gallente assault with those Allotek Burst Rifle (you know, the ones you get from Daily Mission rewards?). Every time I do, I get like, one kill and then 6 deaths. Don’t believe me? Leave me a message and I’ll post my stats. These candidates are just good at first person shooter games, therefore when they run proto, they do well. It would seem that Mr. Slim Winnings has a serious case of butthurt-itis. I recommend a strong bottle of Get Good, Scrub. Just because somebody is good at a game doesn’t make them a bad person.
In his final attack on the CPM candidates, Mr. Slim Winning says, “You’re all the same… looking for more power in your elite percentage of players until the game all out expires.” You’re right, bud! All of these candidates are the same. They all want to help the community. Why? Because they actually care about us, us being the playerbase. If the candidates for CPM2, or even anybody else on any other CPM didn’t care, as Slim Winning suggests, why were then even elected? Why did they even put in a ballot to allow people to vote for them?
I used to adopt the same views as Slim Winning when I first started playing seriously. I believe it was the end of CPM0’s term and CPM1 was just being elected. I, and my corpmates thought, “CPM don’t really do anything at all, much less do something important. Their role is pointless.” I realized something though. The CPM is the mediator, the go-between, between CCP and us, the playerbase. You could argue that the forums serve the same purpose, but forum warriors don’t give you hard data like somebody who actually plays the game like the CPM. I’m not saying that there are people on the forums that couldn’t give hard data, but the forums aren’t necessarily a direct communication line between us and CCP. Remember the perks of being a CPM that we talked about earlier? Yeah, direct communication with CCP via a Skype channel is a perk. It’s a blessing, really. You, as a CPM member get to directly voice the concerns of the community with CCP Shanghai. The CPM do a lot more than nothing, as I had originally assumed. They work their backsides off to get data points and topics together to bring to the attention of CCP. They also look at ideas that CCP presents to them and give their constructive criticism on the idea or topic.
It’s my observation that the community feels the same way that Slim Winning feels, and the way I felt. I play with about 6 or 8 people everyday who feel that the CPM don’t do anything (though my CEO is starting to get curious about elections. He just doesn’t wanna admit it in front of everybody). Every time the words “CPM” come out of my mouth, the first words from somebody’s mouth are almost always, “Man, fuck the CPM. They don’t do diddly shit except sit around and j*** all over CCP.” I’d take a gander and insinuate that the overall forum population feels this way. While there are users who aren’t like that, most probably are.
What could the CPM do to change player’s opinions? Nothing. You cannot force somebody to change their preconceived notions. However, what you can do is give players a reason to reconsider their opinions and beliefs. Do things that make them do so. I barely see the CPM in-game. Even the ones that play in the United States, I barely see. CPM1 has been in office since FanFest 2014. Out of the seven CPM1 officials, for lack of a better term, I’ve played with maybe 4 of them just once. For clarification, by “played with” I mean I’ve either had them on my side in game, had them in my squad on coms, or had them on the opposing side. I understand these people have lives, responsibilities, jobs, and families. I get that. From the perspective of the avergae DUST player, however, it’s discouraging to listen to the CPM say they want to help you when you don’t even see them in battle.
With all that said though, I feel this is changing with these CPM2 candidates, however. I’ve seen many of them (excluding those from CPM1 that are running again) in battle. I play with Ripley Riley at least once every two weeks, sometimes more. Allow me to take a second to suck up, real quick, dear reader. Kudos to you, Ripley. Kudos to you for consistently being on and playing with the community. That’s not to insinuate that nobody else does. I’ve played a single game with SirManBoy, Kane Spero, and Soraya Xel (though Xel isn’t running this term, unfortunately). Ok, sucking is done, back to the post. When moral is as low as it is, the CPM needs to be a thing, a beacon of happiness, to uplift the troops (us, the common folk). So, my challenge to the future CPM2, whomever you may be (but let’s face it. I’ll predict it now, in no particular order; Pokey, Zaria, Cross, Kevall, SMB, Darth, and Breakin), you need to do your best to be around in order to sway peoples’ opinions about you, and to boost morale. If people don’t like you, or know you (because let’s face it, who’d believe a stranger who said they want to help you? This is New Eden after all), then they won’t give two craps what you have to say, even if it will help them in the long run.
Thank you all for reading this rather long winded post, everybody! Remember to get out and vote for the CPM2 elections. It’s a very important thing to do, especially now in DUST 514’s life. It is my belief that CPM2 will be the last CPM on the PlayStation 3. These are very interesting times we’re gaming in.