I'll be doing the interviews in groups of five. Impressions. Link to Xander's interview. And the letter grade. The grading is simply a reflection of the quality of their interview and the candidacy they present in that interview.
Mike AzariahWhat is it with the Canadian candidates? First Roc and now Mike Azariah. Both well-spoken and excellent interviews. Mike is certainly what you'd call the highsec candidate. I'd probably have given him step up in the grade, except I found myself confused with respect to his answers on making highsec safer. I understand that he doesn't want an entirely safe highsec, but I wasn't sure where he wanted most of the security to be implemented, highsec as a whole, or newbie systems only. If the latter, then I support that. A "Protect Our Newbies" initiative. If he's looking at further iterations on making highsec safer (and it's already far safer than it was two years ago), then I can't get behind that at all. The notion that EVE will lose players unless highsec is made safer is a fallacy.
All that said, he's played a wide variety of EVE Online, from highsec to nullsec. In nullsec he was a member of Against All Authorities and now is a member of Against All Anomalies.
Interview / B
Night BeagleThis fellow is running a bit of a strange platform. Night Beagle hopes to get players voting on game proposals. This has already been done before, by Trebor during CSM6, his prioritization crowd-sourcing vote. The results of which were gamed by organized groups. Voting turnout for the crowd-sourced proposals was low, lower than even the CSM elections. If people have apathy for the CSM process, they're going to have increased apathy for a continuous stream of game proposals to vote on throughout the year. It'll be a hard road convincing CCP of the legitimacy of any vote that might have, at most, 10% of the playerbase supporting it. I just don't see the idea as being viable. Democracy is good, but the playerbase has to show an interest in the democracy first and foremost.
Interview / D+
Unforgiven StormHe's from Goonswarm, but he is by no means running with any backing from Goonswarm. Mynnna is the Goon candidate. Unforgiven is running an industrialist platform, and he hopes industrialists will see the value in his platform. That is his expertise. He'll have a focus on trying to convince CCP to start moving on a POS revamp. He's not single note, he'll have other issues regarding manufacturing, research, invention, etc. He is pleased with CCP's new direction and their inclusion of the CSM as a stakeholder into the development process, and sees this as a real opportunity to put forth a lot of small changes that could greatly benefit industrialists immediately.
He currently does most of his industry in high and lowsec, because attempting to do any industry in nullsec is a joke. This is definitely something he would like to see changed. Unforgiven strikes me a motivated candidate, he decided to run because he was upset that CCP was pulling back on POS development, and he sees it as a piece of priority development.
Interview / B+
Hunter BlakeHe's been playing EVE Online for the past four years. He's been CEO of his corporation, The Southern Coalition, since October 2012. He's running on a DUST 514/EVE Online link platform. He wants to see more integration between the two games. Unfortunately, most of the integration he wants seems to revolve around WiS (Walking in Station) development. WiS development is already on the back-burner, so I don't see much movement on this front from within EVE. He has some interesting ideas on using DUST players as a sovereignty capturing tools.
Some of his ideas concerning nullsec sovereignty seem misguided, given Xander's questioning whether they'd actually achieve what Hunter hopes they'll achieve. So he'd probably best focus on better ways to further integrate EVE with DUST.
I do agree with him concerning some moves towards setting up a CPM (Council of Planetary Management) for DUST players, that it's a bad idea. I agree that there should be one council for all players of both games. One Universe, after all.
Interview / C+
AyesonAlthough a wormhole dweller, Ayeson does not want to appeal to only wormholers. The areas of the game he wants to help CCP with -- POSes, CREST -- are not wormhole specific issues. His big wish for the year would be a new roles system. I concur, it's certainly, in my mind, the first step towards a complete POS revamp. He was a good interview and well-prepared. The only interview that's come in under 30 minutes so far.
He strikes me as a solid wormhole candidate and he states that he has the time to devote to the CSM throughout the year. Of course, with five or six wormhole candidates already declaring their candidacy, all of them cancelling each other out (given the same first-past-the-post voting system) is probable. Hopefully they can get together, start deciding on a small cast of characters to represent their constituency.
Interview / B+