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CSM Candidate Spotlight: Phantomite

June 2, 2020

By Twilight Winter

As you probably know, voting opened yesterday for the fifteenth iteration of the CSM, an assembly of players who advise CCP on the pulse of the playerbase and on upcoming changes. Over the next couple of days, EN24 is going to spotlight as many CSM candidates as possible in order to help you — the player & voter — make up your mind about who to trust with the future of the game.

I sat down with Phantomite of Same Great Taste to talk about his candidacy for CSM 15, lowsec troubles, and capital balance.

Twilight Winter: Let’s start with the obvious one — what convinced you to run for CSM 15?

Phantomite: I’ve watched for four years as the game has been destroyed by mechanics CCP dumped into the game and never fully addressed. I have waited in the hope that these glaringly obvious problems would be addressed, but clearly by CCP or the CSM’s hand, nothing that has been done has solved the fundamental problems that deny war to us all.

TW: What do you think separates you from the rest of the field in terms of CSM candidacy?

Ph: There are various types of candidates, and one common type is the candidate that simply proclaims vaguely that they have a problem with something the community agrees is a problem, without being more specific, thereby showing no understanding of the deeper issues.

I am being specific.

I can see that the problem with capitals is not that they’re powerful, but that they offer no depth — they can cover the roles that used to be performed by subcapitals.

The biggest problem with Citadels is that they’re capable of being placed virtually anywhere in unlimited numbers.

The loss of passive moons is one of the largest losses of conflict drivers the game has ever suffered.

Lastly, being able to feed 30,000 players with one single region gives [the empires] no reason to aggressively expand their borders.

TW: You’re based in lowsec, so let’s start there, what do you think are the biggest issues facing that area of space right now?

Ph: First — passive moons not existing. To create fleet fights, painful Citadel timers will not cut it. There needs to be a reward for your hard fighting, and passive moons was it.

The other issue is that faction war, the nutrient of lowsec activity, is broken and bland. The existence of groups oppressively dominating regions with capital & supercapital fleets prevents any growth beyond small ships in faction warfare — not to mention the fact that citadels, even without tethering for non-sov FW pilots, allow pilots to ignore the limitations of operating in an enemy system.

TW: I’ve noticed a similar issue with nullsec citadels to be honest. Your campaign site talks a lot about content drivers, especially the grind of trying to remove citadels. What changes do you think CCP could make to drive better content?

Ph: When an alliance comprised of 10, 20, or 30,000 people fits snugly into a few constellations, it’s obvious why those groups don’t spread out. Mineral shortages are a good start but the other money-making activities also need to be made more scarce to spread huge alliances across a lot more space, thereby thinning the umbrella, allowing far more breathing room for raiders in enemy territory, and expanding the length of the borders that need to be protected.

As for Citadels, here’s a mind-bender: if capitals are supposed to have a role of besieging structures, why have these structures been given the tools to single-handedly deter dreadnoughts from appearing to shoot them? It makes no sense.

TW: On the note of capitals, your campaign site makes a big note of capital balance and — in particular — Cap Booster 3200s. Do you think the Surgical Strike changes has done enough to fix balance issues, or is there still work to be done?

Ph: The existence of Capital cap boosters and 3200s has elevated the capacitor of capital ships to ‘untouchable’ by small and medium gangs. It’s an ability among many that capital ships have been given that move them away from requiring support — in this case, removing the need to screen neuting ships.

Other things that capitals have been given that were once the job of a support fleet include Sirens & Dromis — no need to bring tackle ships, capital neuts — if 3200s were non-existent, this module would not need to exist and could be the task of subcapital ships, and high angle weapons — hugely diminished need for subcaps to provide webbing & painting, the dread can now simply apply its damage with no assistance.

And then we have titans. Massed titans are an apex force that discourages invasions into bloc space, or simply encourages a defender without a titan fleet to roll over. CCP already invented a remedy to massed titans, but never implemented it properly: Boson[ic Field Generator]s cause an AOE cap drain around the titan firing it, specifically to prevent mass bosoning. Why has this not been applied to all types of doomsday? Titan guns outperform dreadnoughts on DPS & versatility. Why do titans get to be better dreads than dreads are? A titan can grind structures without having to lock itself in place with a siege module, while having an order of magnitude more EHP.

TW: A lot of our readership are based in wormholes, NPC nullsec, sov null, NRDS space, etc. Do you have a message as to why they should support you?

Ph: Everyone should welcome war, but not one-sided war instantly won by those with an apex force that discourages defenders from bothering. By redesigning the role of capital ships to require support to be effective, capitals become the next level of depth in eve, rather than simply the next level of power.

TW: A lot of our sov null readers echo those concerns, there’s a big feeling of stagnation with the major blocs. What do you think would be the most effective thing CCP could do to fix that?

Ph: As I’ve already said, removing the simplistic power that caps and supercaps grant — it leads to n+1 being the de facto obvious winner, making it a game of simply seeing who has the most, and then backing down and rolling over to the one with the highest number.

Additionally, it’s easy and clear to see that the power blocs do not need to invade each other, and they have everything they need at home, with no benefit to grabbing more space.

On top of this all, the leaders at the top of the biggest blocs should be appalled with themselves for continually protecting the status quo by electing not to risk anything, presumably because they enjoy being in power more than exerting it with some measure of risk. They will have to answer to their membership when the line wakes up to the fact that the game they love has been perverted by those at the top refusing to go to real war.

TW: Some strong opinions on null, what about FW? What else could be done to create more content in the warzone?

Ph: The anti-botting work CCP has been doing needs to continue with vengeance. The simple power of caps needs to be curtailed to make hot drop oppression much harder — and the biggest non-FW lowsec groups need alliance level content to occupy them so they don’t feel the need to smash every small guy to satisfy the poisonous desperation for killmail collection.

TW: Lastly, sum up your platform in your own words and explain why EN24 readers should vote for you.

Ph: I am Phantomite from Same Great Taste, and I can see the deeper problem beyond ‘x is OP’. I have played for 13 years and I am no longer convinced that waiting a little longer for CCP and the previous CSM will yield the radical results that the game needs.

I intend to focus on these key issues in EVE rather than try and cover the multitudes of smaller issues — the big issues are going to ruin the game forever if they continue to remain un-addressed.

TW: Thanks for your time, and good luck with your candidacy.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Phantomite’s run for CSM 15, you can read his forum thread, watch his video, and check out his dedicated campaign site.

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