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Darth Carbonite: Putting Community First

Random Gunz
#1 Posted: 2015.07.20 23:02  |  Edited by: Darth-Carbonite GIO
Voting begins today! Do your part to help shape the future of Dust, and elect your community representatives now! Good luck to all o7

Why do I Want to be a member of the CPM?

This is, I think, the most important question a candidate can be asked. Forgetting what makes me qualified or even how I intend to help the game we play, I think every candidate should have to explain why he or she would want to volunteer for this position in the first place, and that is the purpose behind why I am writing this today.

I have played Dust 514 for nearly three years, from beta to launch and beyond. In that time, I have seen Dust at its highest peak of greatness and at its lowest depths of uncertainty. My experience is by no means unique, as I have met and bonded with scores of Dust players that have experienced everything Dust has to offer right alongside me. Many of these bonds I have made have turned into friendships, and many thousands more have simply been fleeting acquaintances as we pass on the battlefield.

This community, from those that were here on day one, to those that have only just begun, is what makes Dust 514 what it is. The community is why I want to be a member of the CPM.

We, the players, are the single most important aspect of Dust. Full stop, end of story. Without us, there would be no Dust in the first place, and it certainly would not have come as far as it has were we not here to support it. This is why I believe the CPM is so crucial. Not “Important” Not “Powerful” But simply crucial.

We are fortunate that CCP regards the opinions of their player base to a such a high degree that is increasingly rare in today’s gaming industry. With this much freedom to impact the game we love, I feel that we must continue to provide the detailed, quality feedback that CCP has come to value and act upon, because if we don’t voice our concerns, whether they are good or bad, how can we expect Dust to improve?

I want to be a member of the CPM to help voice those concerns, and to improve the game I love. With no delusions of ambition or power, but rather a true desire to make Dust 514 a better place to play in.

Why Should I be a member of the CPM?

In the end, each CPM member is elected by what you, the voter, think they will bring to our game. To this end, I will attempt to explain what I think makes me a good candidate, as well as address the flaws that I most certainly do posses.

First off, I have very definite Passion for Dust, as I believe anyone that has continued playing for as long as many of us have will share. As I mentioned before, the community is the lifeblood of this game, and there would be very little reason to continue playing were it not for the people that inhabit it. So I suppose you could say that I don’t have a passion for the game so much as a love for the people I’ve met within it.
As a CPM, I would have zero power to push agendas, no ability to fulfill promises, and little time for personal ideals. Instead, If I were to become a member of the CPM, my main concern would always be for how every proposed change or addition would affect You. In my role as a community representative, I would put the players first, as that is what I am most passionate about.

I have Experience in every playstyle and opportunity Dust has to offer. From Scouts to Tanks, Logis to Dropships, I enjoy each and every role and play them all on a daily basis.

Beyond suits, I also have spent the majority of my Dust career managing and building player corporations. From the small, European, Corp Battles of Dust2Dust, to the North American, Faction Warfare focused Abandoned Privilege, and now the Growing, Planetary Conquest enthusiasts of Random Gunz, I have discovered the joys and challenges that come from being a member, director, and CEO of each one.

I believe that this wide array of in-game experiences will help me to carry out the responsibilities of being a community representative while also giving me the knowledge needed to weigh in on Dust issues both big and small.

And if there were two traits that I would like to say describe me, I would say Determination and Positivity. I think these two work hand in hand, as I will endeavor to describe.

I am positive about our community, and the constructive criticism we provide every day to improve Dust. But I also know that for every well intentioned player there is also an unhelpful one. I am confident in saying that I am determined enough to sort the good from not-so-good, and interact with the community in a respectful and patient way, not matter how long it takes.

Furthermore, I can promise you that no matter what happens, whether my ideas are constantly rejected, or if I’m not even elected at all, I will never lose my positivity for Dust 514, and will be determined to keep playing and experiencing it regardless of what happens.

Now, I believe that any honest candidate should acknowledge his or her flaws openly, and bluntly. I have never worked in the tech or gaming industries. I am not a coder or programmer, and I’m not all that great at crunching numbers and whipping up spreadsheets. This sort of knowledge would be invaluable to CCP, I’m sure. But it’s just not what I am.

I’m a team player. A never say never, get it done, hard worker. I’m a guy that isn’t afraid to speak his mind, but is ready to shut up and listen when he needs to. But most importantly, I’m a guy that loves Dust 514.

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

Random Gunz
#2 Posted: 2015.07.20 23:03
Feasible Goals Vs. Dreams

Doing what should be done with the resources available, rather than aiming too high and ultimately failing spectacularly because of it. This is the kind of practical approach that I believe CCP needs to follow, and it’s the message the CPM as community representatives need to stress.

We can do so much to improve, polish and even add content without resorting to ambitious promises. Until CCP confirms a move to new hardware, we must focus on making the Dust we have now as good as it can be.

Among other things, this means a better New Player Experience, refined Matchmaking, and a more streamlined User Interface.

Project Legion/Porting Dust

Let me preface this subject by saying that I am not so delusional as to think that anything I say or do would ever influence CCP’s decision to Go Ahead with, or Cancel Project Legion. That is not a job for any one person, but rather for every player that cares about Dust’s future. If you want it to happen, or if you would rather just see it go, you need to let your voice be heard. Tweet, Post, Facebook, everything. We as paying customers are what CCP cares about the most. Let them know how you feel.

Now, I will not be dramatic and say the PS3 is dying, the apocalypse is nigh!

Instead, I will say that the PS3 was a great machine, but its time has come. If Dust is to continue, whether as Project Legion or something else, it needs to continue on the next generation of gaming machines. PC, PS4, XBONE, whatever it is, it needs to happen for two simple reasons.

The first and most important is that for a game to survive, it needs an active playerbase. No players, no money. No money, no game. And where are all the players Dust needs? On the next generation of hardware.

The second is of course that the PS3 as a machine simply cannot handle what Dust can and should be. Something that extends beyond the addictive but limited shooter we have now into something bigger, greater, and more like the scope CCP has prided itself on delivering.

Primary Roles

As I mentioned earlier, I’d like to think that I play every role consistently. However, there are roles that I can play, and those that I excel at. In particular, that role would be as a Dropship Pilot.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Run for the hills! It’s a vehicle user! You would be forgiven for thinking that way. After all, we do not have the best track record when it comes to community feedback, and an even worse record regarding CPM candidates.

Let me reassure you then, that while soaring in the sky, dodging swarms and and delivering my bluedots to their objectives safely is my favorite pastime, it is by no means the only way to play Dust, and I will never put the desires of vehicle users before any other subset of the community, or vice-versa.

And before you ask me about my other “Claim to Fame,” yes, I agree that Scramblers need a tweak, and Shield Suits require quite a bit of love.

Refining Vehicles

Let's cover tanks first. The good news is that we now have a choice between Standard, Advanced, and Proto with the ability to build a fit for nearly every situation. The bad news is that we still have major imbalances, namely the difference in effectiveness of Armor tanks versus Shield tanks.

The viability of the double hardened Madrugar is great. So great in fact that most other tank builds pale in comparison. The scales need to be rebalanced, with armor hardeners no longer remaining the end all be all, and shield tanks gaining enough survivability to excel at the high damage hit and run role they were meant to fulfill.

The Dropship situation differs somewhat from tanks in that Dropships don't have a clear winner, but rather a very clear loser.

As it stands, the speed and firepower of the Python is not worth the tradeoff in overall durability. Players wishing to wreak havoc with small missiles should not be forced to fit them on an Incubus to be effective. The Incubus is an AV machine with small rails and should never outclass the Python in the role it has bonuses for.

I would like to see dropships receive the ability to choose between Std, Adv, and Proto like tanks do, with each tier giving tangible rewards while also increasing dramatically in price.

I want ADS's to fill niche roles, Python for infantry harassment, Incubus for mobile anti-vehicle support.

Standard Dropships should be the clear choice for maneuvering squads, with transport pilots getting rewarded for doing their job, not punished for playing the role they enjoy. Standard Dropships should receive bonuses to gunner effectiveness, reinforcing their presence as troop dispensing gunships.

Vehicle mounted CRUs should outclass infantry variants in most cases with the investment of maintaining a vehicle in a certain area paying off with reliable and efficient spawns.

And lastly, let's fix the awful hardener animations, allowing our gunners an unobstructed view of the battlefield.

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

Random Gunz
#3 Posted: 2015.07.20 23:04  |  Edited by: Darth-Carbonite GIO
The New Player Experience

When you ask the average Dust player about how many people are playing this game, their answer will probably vary with the time of day, lunar tides, and the stock market of India.

But it doesn’t take an analyst to know that our playerbase is the most important thing for us as players desiring content, and for CCP trying to make money. So, if an increasing playerbase is good, how can we help that to happen? Or more relevant to this discussion, what can I do to help that happen as a member of the CPM?.

The obvious answer is Legion, but we’ve already gone over that. Rather, I believe we should put a far larger focus on the New Player Experience. Nerfs, buffs. Hotfixes and Racial Parity. These things are important, but pale in comparison to the problem of keeping a player that has just downloaded Dust, playing.

Consider your first few hours of Dust. You create your character, probably spending far to long deciding your race and bloodline, despite that fact that the time you just spent will mean absolutely nothing in the long run.

Then you’re in the game. Greeted with a “tutorial”, you spend the next few minutes putting a weapon on your suit, and then before you know it, you’re sternly asked to join the Academy. You soon find yourself in a place of ever changing mechanics and utter confusion, witnessing players just as confused as you are, tripping over themselves thinking that this is what Dust really is.

We know it’s not, but how is a newly made character supposed to know about Laser Damage as opposed to Projectile, or that you should stay away from Caldari Faction Warfare at all costs, or how in the hell are you supposed to know you had Push to Talk on this whole time?!

We need an in-game New Player Channel available to players day one on their Neocom, populated by GMs and concerned community members. We need an overhauled tutorial, created by CCP, but crowdsourced by respected players and guide writers. And we need constant reminders that the forums exist, and yes, CCP really does want to hear your voice.

Planetary Conquest

I believe Dust currently has three main pillars of Gameplay. Public Matches, Faction Warfare, and Planetary Conquest.

When someone starts up Dust for the first time, what do you think they are expecting? If they’ve watched any of CCP’s promotional videos, probably massive space battles, political intrigue, and player freedom. PC can be all of those things.

Just as the greater Dust playerbase flourishes when new players enter it, so too does the PC community. This means that we need to keep the players that try it for the first time, and not crush their dreams with a tidal wave of arbitrary mechanics and overwhelming difficulty levels.

Lowering the cost of Clone Packs was huge, and will go a long way to open up PC, but we need more.

We need better recruitment tools for CEOs to build their membership. We need a simple and intuitive Team Deploy option to eliminate the unneeded frustration that comes from setting up a battle. And we need real, meaningful rewards for those that play PC. Something to actually incentivize players to leave the comfortable confines of Public Matches.

EVE Online

Do you play Eve? Yes!

Are you good at Eve? Hell no I’m not!

Internet Spaceships are serious business, and I’ve become very aware of this fact in the two years that I have played. Starting with a trial account, my current main capsuleer came into being a little over one year ago, and that’s when things got interesting. Beginning with a focus on how Eve interacted with Dust, I dropped many an orbital strike for my fellow mercs on the ground, giggling in delight as I imagined the chaos I was causing below. Now I’ve branched out into exploration, and you can find me (hopefully not) scouring wormhole space in search of ways to pad my wallet.

I would really like to see more interaction between Dust and its older brother. Orbitals are great, but as it stands now, it’s pretty much all risk and no reward for the Eve pilot. I think this should change, and I would like to see a future where every Dust corporation is allied with an Eve alliance, the pilots of which would actually have a reason to fly over to Molden Heath.


Non-Disclosure Agreement

For me, this is a pretty simple topic to discuss. If I am elected as a member of the CPM, I will abide by the NDA. Simple as that.

The Agreement is put in place to allow CCP to speak openly to Council members without fear of information leakage. However, the NDA should never stop a CPM member from talking openly about every subject that he or she can. Abiding by the NDA does not mean that you are exempt from engaging in meaningful discussions.

Do I like the NDA? I neither like nor dislike it. It is a fact of business, and if I truly seek to make this game better, then I must follow it.

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

Random Gunz
#4 Posted: 2015.07.20 23:04

As Dust has grown, so has its in-game marketing. I shudder to think how much I’ve spent on Dust… No, scratch that. I’m proud I’ve bought Aurum, and lots of it! Without whales like me, where would Dust be? My pride aside, there is a right way to do microtransactions and there are wrong ways.

On one hand we have micro transactions like your standard Aurum weapons. Impulse buys, and chances for players to get a taste of what they might not have yet. And on the other hand we have macro transactions. Packs of Aurum with which we can buy gear in bulk or more expensive things like boosters.

The trouble comes when we get stuck in the middle, selling single items like skins or blueprints for upwards of ten dollars. Vanity items they may be, but I have to wonder how many people look at a single skin and walk away, unwilling to pay such an exorbitant price. Instead of charging large amounts for these single, relatively low worth items, I would like to see subscription models experimented with. Want each Aurum skin as it is released? Sign up to the Skin subscription, paying less for each individual skin, but benefiting CCP in the long run as more people flock to the lowered prices. Want to Passively train that Alt? Just pay a monthly fee and never cause CCP to worry about alt farming again.

Am I a economist? Nope. Can I influence CCP’s notorious marketing team in any way? I highly doubt it. But in imagining a better Dust, I would like to see CCP take a more proactive, long term approach to their in-game marketing.

What have you already done for the community?

Most recently I have been involved with the Planetary Conquest Think-Tank. This is a group of Corporation CEO’s and concerned players who have gathered together at CCP’s request to provide structured and detailed feedback on the changes we can expect to see PC undergo in the future.

I have also recently been trying to figure out just what makes the Scrambler such a divisive weapon, and have engaged in quite a few in-game and forum discussions about the weapon. Sometimes defending it, sometimes pointing out ways it needs to be changed, but always in a manner which I believe to be constructive and to the point.

I am very excited about the chance to weigh in on the upcoming Dropship changes, whatever they may be, having already delved into the minefield that was the Tank discussion. The road to reintroducing Proto tanks was a long one, but I’m very glad the community and CCP made it through alive.

In-Game though, I am constantly engaging in various official and community events, and you can almost always find me enjoying the sandbox that has become Planetary Conquest. The stories we make with each other are what I think makes this game so special, and I’m proud to have been a witness to so many.

Please ask me questions!

I can't always promise I'll have the best answer, or that you'll like what I have to say, but interacting with the community is my goal, and that means You!

If you'd like to contact me another way, hit me up using any of the methods below:

Skype: Darth Carbonite
EVE Mail: Darth Carbonite Tokila

And you are always welcome to send me mail In-Game. I will gladly squad up with you and discuss the game, the weather, or the daily fluctuations of the Star Wars EU.

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

Random Gunz
#5 Posted: 2015.07.20 23:05  |  Edited by: Darth-Carbonite GIO
The TLDR Section

  • The Community is more important than anything else.
  • A port to Next Generation consoles will ensure the Community's future.
  • The New Player Experience needs to be overhauled, better tutorials, multi-stage academy, help channels etc.
  • Vehicles need further rebalancing along with racial parity.
  • Dropships in particular require tweaking, and CCP must define the dropship's role on the battlefield.
  • Further Refined Matchmaking, allowing players to join something other than Domination.
  • Continued streamlining of the UI, particularly in regards to cooperation management.
  • CCP must continue to push for more EVE related content, incentives for pilots, shared events etc.

Biomassed CPM2 Interview

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

Random Gunz
#6 Posted: 2015.07.21 00:01
I strongly support this candidate. I know Darth very well, and I think he has an excellent head on his shoulders.

(I do not support him because I am in his corp, I joined his corp because I support him.)

CPM1 Elect. Thanks for all your support. for ideas, thoughts, and feedback.

Immortal Guides
#7 Posted: 2015.07.21 16:47
Well, it looks like Darth takes the record for the most complete platform.

Hand/Eye coordination cannot be taught. For everything else there is the Learning Coalition.

Nos Nothi
#8 Posted: 2015.07.21 16:58
With your over all support for a console port, do you think Dust can stand up next to Planetside 2 which was recently released? Do you see the EVE community portion buying a PS4 for Dust over using their current PC's?
Not against a PS4 port BTW.

Delt for CPM3

CPM1 MISSION : FAILED / CPM2 MISSION : FAILED / Moss-delt on skype

HavoK Core
#9 Posted: 2015.07.21 18:29
Some well thought out points.

Dust Veteran. June 2012 - ?

True Logi. Flying DS from the start.


Random Gunz
#10 Posted: 2015.07.21 18:57
Mossellia Delt wrote:
With your over all support for a console port, do you think Dust can stand up next to Planetside 2 which was recently released? Do you see the EVE community portion buying a PS4 for Dust over using their current PC's?
Not against a PS4 port BTW.

I can most definitely see it going toe-to-toe with Planetside, at least in a critical sense.

Dust's character progression and player engagement blow most games out of the water, let alone Planetside. It might be strange to say, but I think Dust is the more complete game in general, with a greater variety of choice and defined goals.

Commercially though, Dust would have its work cut out for it. Planetside has already spent time on the PS4 and established a repertoire with gamers and the media. CCP would really need to push through with strong marketing if it wants to avoid the slow burn approach that Dust and EVE took.

I think more EVE players will be willing to buy a PS4, considering the nearly ubiquitous positivity surrounding it as opposed to the PS3 which was already on the way out when Dust was released. That said, the majority of EVE players will not be happy until it comes to the platform of their choice, and will continue to decry it as an inferior product until Dust's devs and community prove otherwise.

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

#11 Posted: 2015.07.29 20:41  |  Edited by: BEAST ESD1
with everything you have going on in dust. will you have time to talk with the dust community on a day to day base. (in game or on the forums) ?


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Random Gunz
#12 Posted: 2015.07.30 08:06
BEAST ESD1 wrote:
with everything you have going on in dust. will you have time to talk with the dust community on a day to day base. (in game or on the forums) ?

A good CPM will strive to reach out to as many players as he or she can, and that means being approachable and engaged in game and out.

I will continue to play inordinate amounts of Dust, and my forum presence will grow as my responsibilities increase.

I'd like to set an example for future CPM members by not only being active in internal discussions, but also by having a very real presence in the game itself, demonstrating that to be a good community advocate, one must actively engage said community.

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

Random Gunz
#13 Posted: 2015.07.30 17:17
Voting begins today! Do your part to help shape the future of Dust, and elect your community representatives now! Good luck to all o7

Fanfest Ghost Status Achieved

Why does everyone fellatiate darth?! -Aeon Amadi

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