We heard on various podcasts and media outlets that CCP was going to launch a publicity offensive to make players not plugged into the external metagame of the election and encourage them to vote.
Media watchers like me observed and waited and wondered what CCP would do to drive voters to the polls that traditionally have stayed away. And what did we get?
- The usual splash screen banner that no one clicks.
- The usual news link in the character selection screen.
Both of these are terrible in that a player logging into the game must be taken out of the game when they click on those links. I know that when I'm logging in the first thing I don't want to do is not actually log into the game. At best the player thinks about doing it later and at worst they say "meh, why bother?"
- A horribly unimaginative and uninformative 38 second video. Words do not suffice for describing my disappointment. I love CCP Xhagen but the guy put me to sleep with his one line. This video should have been accompanied or replaced by a larger more vibrant video describing a) what the CSM is, b) how they are important and plug directly into Eve's development process, and c) what great things they have done in the past. And done it with energy like the Crimewatch video.
- A mass mailing that one character of mine got. One. Out of eight.So this year for this election cycle, was there any noticeable improvement?
Now maybe they have some metric for deciding characters that are active and yet still need a prod to go vote, but considering all my accounts had voted by this point and this character was no more active other ones, I don't know what metric they would be using.
To add to these failings I have to say the voting itself was painful. At least it was drag and drop but required my full screen and even then it was hard to get my voting boxes on with all the candidates. A side by side design would have been much better and easier to use.
I expected more. A lot more.
- With the new launcher, we don't have a popup splash encouraging people to vote, and the news links in the launcher are even more obscured and un-obvious with all the other eye candy on there. My complaints about how these are terrible because the voting mechanic is an out of game utility and a player logging in does not want to immediately not log in stands.
- A 13 minute video with CSM8 members from the winter summit talking about their experiences and thoughts about the CSM and working with CCP. While this video is a vast improvement over last year's version, its still very dry and technical and probably only interest to people who are already interested in the CSM and will vote.
- A dev blog post with testimonials from a lot of CCP Devs about how the CSM has helped them do their job and advised on a lot of technical aspects of new development. This is a big improvements over last year but really only is visible to the people who are already plugged into the CSM process already.
In other words, the in-your-face prompts to go vote on logging in are less obvious and still take you out of game to do so, the promotional material from CCP about the CSM and the good it does is a lot better but only really visible to the people already aware of the election and probably going to vote anyways, and there was no mass evemailing to reach out to those more detached from the community. And let's not get on about the fiasco of the Summer Minutes and the marginally better job you did with the Winter minutes to get them out barely before the election started.
Overall its worse than last year. Which prompts me to ask, CCP, as an institution do you actually care about the CSM?
Voting is starkly down this season. I've heard many suggest that since it was a non-crisis CSM term that people are less motivated to vote, but that also implies strongly that your outreach efforts to expand the pool of potential voters, i.e. people who would vote in a crisis CSM term, were ineffective. Not that there has been any.
I have heard many devs from CCP extol the virtues of working with the CSM but the company as a whole seems loathe to expend any effort but the most basic steps (a single video and a dev blog). Expanding the elections to beyond the borders of those invested in the metagame and community requires some effort CCP, and you just don't seem to care.I mean, you didn't even try the mass mailing this time!
I CCP wants to expand the vote from below 10% it needs to take an active role in promoting and developing the election and its mechanics in the same way that effort was expended to promote and develop the CSM itself. At the very least, this should include:
- a voting tool built into the client for elections
- some sort of advertisement built into the client for CSM related activities like the elections
- mass mailing to each account linking the videos and dev blogs
- Hell, there should be a special window available on the Neocom for CSM information and related activities and elections.
You keep saying the CSM is invaluable, and you work them to the bone to get maximum value out of them, so now its time to show you really care in the CSM and make some investment in the infrastructure supporting them.