As you probably know, voting opened today 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 had the opportunity to sit down with Loroseco Kross, Executor of Hard Knocks and one of the most famous — or infamous, depending on your perspective — names in wormhole space. We discussed his experience, wormhole politics, and of course, his CSM candidacy and positions!
Twilight Winter: Let’s start with the most obvious question, what made you decide to run for CSM 15?
Loroseco Kross: I heard that CCP were planning for more wormhole changes at some point this year. Their previous wormhole changes had some unforeseen, negative consequences, and I don’t think that CCP currently fully understands the negative impact of those changes.
I’m running because I want a seat at the table to hear these changes and properly understand what their impact will be on the wspace community, and also to emphasize the harm that previous changes have inadvertently caused.
TW: Were those the rolling changes, or something else?
LK: The rolling changes are the #1 issue I’m championing going into the CSM. Rage rolling was such an easy way to generate casual content, and the change was entirely unnecessary. I want to see jump mass increases for medium & for very large holes.
The other, less talked-about issue is the saturation of sigs thanks to the wandering connection changes. We didn’t see anything wrong with this before the fact (I remember advocating for these), but the high number of highclass-to-highclass connections is ultimately resulting in more connectivity between rarely-used PvE bearholes. Scanning out a chain hasn’t been this much of a chore since before Odyssey.
TW: For those that might not understand or be familiar with wormhole mechanics, could you explain what the rolling changes are and why they’re so negative?
LK: Wormhole players used to “rage roll” to find content. This is the act of repeatedly collapsing your wormhole system’s static connection in search of content. You would eventually find a system where there’s fun things going down, ping your corp for help and you’re all only 1 jump away from the content.
The mechanics of how CCP changed rolling are unimportant, but it’s ultimately led to rage rolling requiring double or triple the number of accounts, and also take a decent amount of time longer than it used to. This has made rage rolling much less accessible casual content, and is a middle finger to players and corps who moved to highclass space specifically for access to easier rage rolling.
TW: That makes sense, do you know why CCP thought those would be good changes?
LK: The rolling change was by accident; a related bug fix led to some mechanics changes around how wormholes register mass when someone jumps a ship through. I am aware that CCP have a solution in the works, but it doesn’t seem to be on the roadmap at all. I think that this is because they don’t fully understand how badly this single change has impacted time-to-content for corps like mine, and especially for more casual corps in highclass space.
TW: Exooki obviously was the representative for j-space during the last CSM and is running on a WH ticket again [despite his corp now being based in nullsec with INIT]. Where do you see the major differences between your platform and his?
LK: I have a much more nuanced understanding of wormhole fleet meta, and I also have expertise in small gang & small/medium-scale ship balance that Exooki lacks. We also have a slightly different overall vision of what wormhole space should be.
I am very much in the camp of “give as much control to the player as is reasonable”. Allow players to feel confident and safe enough to undock their shiny ships, but give PvPers the tools they need to hunt down said shiny ships more effectively.
From what I’ve seen of Exooki, he is more in favour of a “wild-west”, more random / uncontrolled ecosystem, closer to CCP’s original vision of wormholes.
TW: That’s an interesting distinction, do you worry that the wormhole vote might get split and leave J-space with no representation on the CSM?
LK: It’s a possibility. But the beauty of the STV system is that wormholers who can’t choose between us can simply put us both somewhere on their ballots, and whoever is eliminated has their votes transferred to the other.
So long as wormholers are diligent in filling out their ballot, we will get at least one rep this year. In fact, with Exooki on the Goon ballot, and myself with some nullsec support as well, we have a very real chance of two wormhole candidates this year.
TW: With regard to support from outside the wormhole player base, one area you mention heavily in your campaign which is likely to appeal to EN24 readers is smaller scale PvP combat & ship balance. Can you expand on your experience in that area of the game?
LK: Through 2017 and 2018, I was a member of Parroto Social Club, a nanogang-focused corp led by some experienced AT pilots. I learned a lot about small-scale ship balance, piloting techniques in nano-gang and, most importantly, I experienced first hand the issues that nano-gang pilots have in their efforts to find fun content in nullsec.
I’m happy to see filaments as a fantastic tool to make roaming eat up less time, but there is absolutely more that can be done to encourage healthy content for nano-gang pilots.
TW: Filaments and drifter holes have definitely become a mainstay of small gang play. Do you think there’s enough content out there for nano-gang pilots or is the combination of capital PvE & instant capital/supercapital response still too oppressive?
LK: Nano-gang pilots either get no fights, or an overwhelming response from a standing fleet. Usually subcaps nowadays thanks to Surgical Strike changes. However there still needs to be a middle ground. I think the issue isn’t ship balance, but rather there isn’t really any objectives for nano-gang pilots to go for that encourage residents to undock and respond.
The best fights I’ve had recently have come from shooting Ansiblex jump bridges and engaging the response fleet. Something along those lines would be a great content generator. I don’t have much in the way of thoroughly thought-out suggestions, but I do think that an ESS revamp would be a good step in this direction.
TW: Talk to me about the current state of wormhole space. Where are things now and where do you hope to see them going in the medium term?
LK: HK led a group of wormhole corps to evict TDSIN due to a personal vendetta. TDSIN rallied support as a response and declared war. A series of eviction attempts followed, the objective being for each side to isolate the others’ lead corps and reduce numbers that they could field in major engagements.
HK’s side successfully defended all allied home systems & bearholes (besides HK’s own home system, which was evicted with the help of INIT and Goonswarm), and evicted half a dozen or so of TDSIN allies & the majority of TDSIN bearholes in what was essentially a turkey shoot. Despite the majority of corps returning to wormhole space after being evicted (besides TDSIN, who we continued to pursue), there is a popular point of view that we are “removing corps from wormhole space”.
I concede that there is a skew in how evictions currently work, and part of my platform is stronger eviction defense. However, I do find it naive when people blame player corporations for stagnation in C5 space, when the people who actually live / have lived in these areas of space will point to mechanics changes (such as rolling nerfs) as the big issues.
TW: How do you think eviction defenses could be strengthened, if that were to come up on CCP’s timeline?
LK: I’m honestly not sure of specifics yet. I have fielded some ideas, such as limited medcloning in wormholes, however any buffs here are huge changes to the wormhole ecosystem. I’m very concerned that CCP may make a significant change to favour defenders, and then make evictions far too difficult to do in the first place.
A good way to deter evictions would be simply to give us something else to do. Eve players of all areas of space thrive on non-consensual PvP, and the best way to do that in wormhole space is through evictions. There is of course PvE ganking, but that can get boring after a while. Reducing the quantity of evictions may well be just a case of giving players other objective-based PvP to participate in instead.
TW: Content drivers have been talked about in wormhole space, but also in nullsec, faction warfare, and even highsec mercenary groups. How would you approach the issue of… well, just getting people to fight more?
LK: The answer in all areas of space is simply to put something in space that players care enough about to defend. In lowsec, a return to passive moon mining would be a great way to do this – I recommend my fellow CSM hopeful Phantomite if anyone agrees.
For nullsec, I really like ESS as a very simple way for smaller groups to get out in space and protect their income. And in wormhole space, my current most developed idea is seeing a return to group-focused PvE content, in order to encourage corps to be out in space in their home system. Currently if you roll into a corp, they are usually docked up or just have a couple of probers milling around. You can ask them for a fight, but arranged honour brawls are only so enjoyable.
If, instead, you rolled into a corp and they had ships & caps out in space, you have a content generator that you can go tackle. The residents may well escalate, and there’s huge opportunities for content here. A happy side effect of this idea is that it would make moving into a wormhole as a new corp much more accessible, since you wouldn’t be as reliant on bearholes as corps currently need to be.
TW: And you answered another question I planned to ask about which other CSM candidate you’d endorse and why.
LK: Phantomite is #2 on my ballot. The embodiment of player dissatisfaction with the game right now. A vote for him is a message to CCP that you’re not happy, and you want shit to change fast. Stich Kaneland is a great choice for wormholers as well. He’s a pyfa nerd, and easily the best candidate for small scale ship balance. He seems to have an informed suggestion for every ship in the game.
TW: Well, it’s been a great interview. I’m going to give you a platform to sum up your platform and why our readers should vote for you.
LK: My platform in a nutshell – With ecosystem changes on the horizon, maybe as soon as this year for wormholes, we need someone to be there to provide an informed opinion when those discussions take place. I believe that I have the knowledgebase and experience to consider the potential impact on wormhole space and communicate this understanding, along with any concerns, to CCP.
TW: Thanks for your time, and best of luck with the campaign.