The New Cormorant

I am delighted by this new Cormorant design. This is a massive improvement to an already quite interesting design style. I like the skin as well, in particular the emphasis towards oldschool  Homeworld design, and tip-of-the-hat towards Chris Foss.

Without color, here’s the new design for the Chimera. Design done by Pavel Savchuk – and he really gets it. I hope an artist will step forward to do similarly evocative Gallente vessels.


Truly Awesome.  One day he’ll do a second Minmatar and Caldari Titans. I guarantee it.







I have made myself available for the electoral cycle of CSM12, starting march 6 this year.

I won’t actively lobby at this stage. I just run as a candidate, and gradually building towards CSM13 I will cautiously aim to make myself gradually more visible.

My relevant identies are,

(in game character)  – Daugar Draaken, male

(real world identity) – Khannea S. Dirven, female

Yes I am member of the mining corporation Mine ‘N Refine, which is an active member of the Goons. Goon political and gaming values are not part of my running for CSM. My interests lie in a completely different direction.

This is my candidacy text

CCP has been alleged to have a cautious, defensive, “status quo” oriented design & development style. It can also be alleged that CCP game design relies insufficiently on world building centered design. Nonetheless there are many ideas out there proposed by a solid minority of the player base that visualize a more proactive, encompassing world building effort.

That’s why I run. I am personally not all that interested in the same old ship pew, but I’d love see new game affordances that center on better storytelling, more player input and a substantially more diverse style of play.

:Let’s face it, a lot of militantly status quo players want nothing changed that upsets their power base “apple cart”. This mindset has infected the game, to the point CCP can be argued to be intimidated by the old school crowd. This alienates a lot of new players. Thus i strongly advocate creating a far more diverse gaming environment in eve where new players have a substantially wider range of game options.

As CSM I will represent a position that will help CCP to evolve in to a game where more people try the game, more people play the game, more people subscribe and more people return to the game over time. That will require a paradigm shift from the same old – and yes, it entails advocating a game design style that does collide with the “more of the same” status quo mindset.

Meanwhile on reddit

I jokingly posted some ideas for a future Eve on Reddit. The post is here. Let me copy the content of the post. The question is “It’s 2022. What’s happening in Eve?

  • there are no tech-4 ships (yet). There are however Tech-3 modules which are exceptionally rare, are difficult to trade, have very intricate and confusing benefits as well as striking drawbacks.
  • All ship models for all ships, as well as Citadels, have been overhauled – primarily focusing on animation and rendering of “close up” structures – that is, if you fly very close to a station more detailed close up structures render in view and make the experience a lot more aesthetic.
  • all grandfathered stations have been completely redesigned and look awesome, extending the improvements offered by citadels, with multiple docking bays, varied docking and the option to exit the station from a specific angle.
  • inside stations environments have been completely revamped and upgraded. When you are docked you see you ship in a docking clamp, with umbilicals and bridges and robotic activity. When you insert a feature in a ship, this now takes a small amount of time and you literally see the feature being embedded in the vessels before your eyes, i.e. deckplates being opened and robots working inside the ship for some 15-30 seconds. This is beautiful to see. When docked you see other ships that are docked. Docking is now realistic and *there are docking limits for stations for small stations vis-a-vis large ships. In other words, small stations will allow only a limited number of capital ships docking, etc. I.e. a LOT more realism and persistence.
  • there will be a new mining mechanic involving a mass project, involving an alliance, where a small moon is detonated in to a humongous and very volatile mine swarm.
  • ship crews have been announced and implementation is under development. The new emphasis on ‘people’ in eve creates for a plethora of new narratives, mechanics, interaction models and game affordances. There are a lot more NPC mechanics, NPC territorial disputes, a lot of NPC system traffic. You can pirate NPC cargo ships, and new cargo ships have been introduced. There is a new ablation layer to ships (shields, armor, structure, crews) and it is under rare circumstances possible to destroy a crew, leave the ship somewhat intact – so the ship can be boarded – these features are introduced too slowly, too cautiously by CCP.
  • there is now an in-game wikipedia that describes planets, offers lore and background fiction, describes systems and their history. This is a very popular feature and CCP allows players to propose lore to the wiki, and you can literally watch history of systems (and occupation by alliances) affect the history thread in the wiki. These stories are actively read outside the game and become a major recruitment feature drawing in new subscribing players.
  • stellar systems have been massively revamped in favor of astrophysical realism. That is – a whole bunch of new planets that follow current as well as evolving understanding of real-world astrophysics . There are temperature ranges in systems from hot to temperate to cold to cryogenic, each zone having profound effects on ships features. THis has major effects on occupation of systems (say – certain ship categories function a lot better in the kuyper belt of a system whereas completely different vessels are benefited in the inner zone of a system. New categories of ships monopolize on these system zones, including specialized categories that operate near jovian planets – which now are an awesome and intimidating part of the game, with deadly radiation zones. Fleet activity near a large gas giant (or even worse – a brown dwarf) functions completely differently.
  • there is a system with a black hole (neutron star, wolf-rayett star, multi-star system, giant red star on the verge of exploding) with a massive accretion disk in realistic, credible and awe inspiring graphics. These “exotic systems” are a damn lot more realistic and game play challenging than the current “underwhelming” crop of exotic systems and are intensely popular places to explore, and a lot more dangerous. Most these systems are part of the now extended range of wormholes (although some are also situated in nulsec) that runs from 1 to 10. Level 10 systems are near impossible to survive for any lenghh of time by even the most well-equipped and experienced players.
  • there is a completely new environment that allows combat “under very extreme circumstances”, i.e. something like subspace or warpspace. In this environment there are dangers, strange artefact NPC’s, and a great way to destroy new ships
  • a fairly new feature of the game involves players with new 3D design and VR technologies, acting out major scenes of drama in real time that are treated as major parts of the game lore. You can now watch alliance commanders in game give instructions, motivational speeches, etc. There is a new school of “eve online acting”, where people enact key scenes. These scenes are occasionally introduced as critical backstory machinima in the game lore wiki. To the chagrin of CCP these machinima are abused for VR porn, and for some reasons these feature a lot of futanari scenes.
  • the amount of ships has increased significantly, extending to a lot of NPC vessels, a second tier titan (which is hyperspecialized) and a range of T3 variants of established ships.
  • there is a range of very cheap ships that offer no skilled bonuses – these vessels are used by NPC’s.
  • the balance of powers has been largely disrupted by an NPC faction, probably jovians. Planets have been destroyed, systems have shifted alliance, there’s a large patch of neutral and destroyed systems inside highsec space, controlled by Jovian occupyers. These have an “understanding” with the four empires.
  • there might be a fifth faction in addition to amarr, gallente, Minmatar, caldari.
  • there is a range of a few dozen citadels with very intricate, hyperspecialized and quite beautiful citadels. There are factional citadels. There are citadel skins.
  • You can order content from CCP collaborative design agencies. The design agencies approve content by these contracted agencies (such as ship skins, factional ships – such as Goon faction frigates) and players are able to express their design, third parties produce the item, propose features to CCP, and CCP decides if they are good to introduce. This feature works fairly well – the new vessels start out weak (low bonuses) and gradually the bonuses increase to the point of consolidation and stablization.
  • There is a new way to travel, say a giant artefact ship asd big as a station. This ship goes around in circles through a few dozen systems. You can dock inside this massive structure, and get teleported from system to system, whereupon you can disembark. This allows players to reach systems that can not be reached by ordinary methods.
  • A few rooms have been added in “ambulation”. These are “low hanging fruit” solutions to the otherwise dead-end of ambulation. These features are very popular and very useful, but limited.
  • Players can invest in to massive trade, commerce, industrial, servicing structures on planets, or as systemic and visible add-ons to citadels. These add-ons require very esoteric and intricate skills and are thus quite difficult to realize. A citadel is can now be studded with a range of servicing entities (with visible objects) that offer a massive and wide range of services, tricks, specialties, benefits, etc. Players can rent citadel real estate, make profit in this manner, and often players are hired to service citadels in a very rare manner.
  • some features of the game are now played on handhelds, phones and other environments. These are unpaid and serve to hook in new subscribing players – and this genius strategy by CCP actually works, believe it or not. Where in 2015 people were playing pokemon and ingress, many people world wide now play similar game that actively mesh in to the Eve Online universe. You can see kids in high schools now occasionally discuss the merits of certain Caldari ships or more arcane aspects of eve space.
  • Players can rent mercenary NPC factions, after attaining respectability in such organizations, and can instruct NPC action – such as incursions, a high NPC pirate presence, etc. These “puppeteer” actions remain elusive and mysterious, and you never know if there’s a faction behind an incursion or whether it’s just random NPC hickups. These power games are becoming a rather important part of the game.
  • There have been added several completely new gameplay modes, that draw in new prospective players. These features are strikingly novel, mesh fine with established gameplay, and have resulted in a steady increase of new players. Many of these new subscribers ignore the staple of eve (spaceship pew) and focus on these new gaming models (and hence, skill structures) and at times benefit, bewilder, hinder or plan old annoy established player power factions. A Very popular feature introduces trade, traffic, exploration, commerce, transport, servicing with a whole category of new (and relatively small, frigate sized) ships, that function inside the game with a by and large new gameplay philosophy and ship interface.
  • CCP is now a widely admired, competent, a lot bigger game company. Paying subscribers have doubled since earlier peak concurrency. Players are now more satisfied with service, game design and affordances. Eve is Great Again.What do you think?

Lacking in Vision and Depth

Lets get one thing out of the way – gameplay is nice and all, but I am in eve for the storytelling, worldbuilding and immersion. I like to win, but since I have attained only 22M SP since 2006 it stands to reason to conclude I am not here to conquer the known universe.

I have a great objection to eve and that’s universe design. Eve is by far the most ambitious, immersive and beautiful space game in existence, but competition is hot on its heels. Eve needs to significantly increase appeal, and I am not talking appeal with its already completely addicted fan base. People who are in eve will by and large keep in eve or regularly return to eve – and most will be dishing out money to grow the already lopsided (say – absurd) skill demographics.

To increase interest in more players by far the only easy strategy is to start a design initiative to significantly increase detail and immersiveness of space. Yes, I understand that to regulars most couldn’t care less, and those people were probably born with a spreadsheet up their ass and consequently I don’t give a damn about ‘those people’s’ interests in the game. But if CCP actually wants to grow (and not wither on the vine a couple of years down the road, as new games emerge, a far better space experience is necessary. I believe it is extremely important to start doing so right now.

Take for instance this rather small bit of software.

It’s been around for ages. There are others, such as Universe Simulator, and they look a lot better than eve, period. They look like space ought to look, and not some hollywood-level superficial CGI cardboard mockup for people to play tag in. The typical solar system is a far more rich and diverse environment than eve online. There are far more enticing, beautiful backdrops, as well as spots where players would be able to interact meaningfully with the real estate.

1. I call on CCP to radically improve the level (or even the pretense of) science. No, ice worlds do not orbit in the second spot in a solar system and no, barren worlds do not orbit in the respective ninth spot. This is pathetic. The current level of design is plain pathetic. Hire a specialist (or better – crowd source system design to volunteers), let them “enrich” systems, come up with better planet graphics, at least somewhat more realistic orbital dynamics. Maybe a few twin star systems wouldn’t hurt for crying out loud.

2. Add some real estate ok? O Neil habitats for starters. Solar farms with vast industrial complexes. I mean, I love Citadels, but they come a dime a dozen only a few months after introduction, and even though they look good, they are about as realistic as Flash Gordon about now. Make these structures a little more diverse.

3. In the real universe solar systems have things like culture. There’s people living there. So why, the hell do I get only a 2 paragraph, two tab description of a planet on which I can literally see continent spanning cities?? I mean, what the ****, why not write a short 2 page description of the uniqueness of such a planet. Even better, shoehorn a wiki in to the client, with approved descriptions of the science , history and ethnographic backgrounds of star systems. Add at least a dozen orbital structures for the typical planet.

4 – there is now what, 13 years of player history to quote. In the past star systems and regions were added. Yet I see nothing, or very little, of this expansion. Why? Why no cultural reference of “the colonization of this or that planet”, or the “fallout of a huge battle that happened in 2011 at precisely that spot”? Take for instance Jakku, in ‘the force awakens”. Holy **** there was a battle there. From orbit the planet looks positively scarred. Yet in eve CCP treats its own player base almost with palpable embarrassment. If a battle happened, why not create a permanent wreck belt on that very spot, that lasts for the entirety of the game’s future? If a Citadel explodes that was in orbit about a temperate planet, why do I not see mention of such a titanic event in the planet’s history? If a Citadel blows up and a hundred million people die or are scattered across the universe, why do I not see ragtag refugee caravans looking in raw desperation to find a new home? No, I am still transporting a dozen space hookers with my Iteron. Come on, seriously, at least try.

In all the above, serendipity is the goal. Just do it. If you create an orbital structure on a high lagrange orbit of a densely populated planet it doesn’t immediately have to have a purpose – but you can count on it that design wise, it will be used in some productive game mechanic before long. It’s like – if you build it, it will eventually generate meaningful purpose.

I characterize CCP as cravenly cautious in this regard. CCP only introduces content that has immediate implications for the existing game and shyes away from experimentation, creativity, art, content. I predict again (as I already have in 2009) that this will bite CCP in the ass hard, as the game will eventually be unable to overcome its own ponderous, gargantuan inertia and be able to compete with a game that has a late starter advantage. Remember, it only takes a few months of players deciding to not subscribe (because they are doing something else) and CCP is bankrupt.

So my insistence is clear – enrich the universe. Build it, plant that garden, grow that universe and beautiful things will happen.

Anyways, I will do my best to affect this side of the game, and if you agree with me, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

The Lateral CSM

Let’s introduce myself. In 2006 I started getting involved with eve. My main is, Daugar Draaken, and in real life my name is actually Khannea. I live right in the center of the Hague in the Netherlands and this particular venue is dedicated to Eve Online. The keep it short and to the point, during me attending a class in Game Design in 2008-2009 at the HKU in Hilversum, I kinda lost track in tangentials and I wrote an absolutely ramshackle, disjointed by passionate article on directions for the game Eve Online. I haven’t seen much online reference to the article, and despite getting a small and respective vote tally, I got only 10% or so from attaining an actual seat in this elected representative body.

My views were not particularly popular back then. As a person I am primarily interested in stories. Since I am not particularly good at Eve, I don’t feel a need to be especially ambitious or vitriolic in my ambitions and consequently I have no urgency about casual play. That may change as my experience expands.

At the time I collected all ideas I saw float by, and wrote them down in a 75+ page PDF. It was a royal mess – I was a lot more volatile in my thinking back then and my style at the time was so ramshackle and disorganized I won’t feel pressed to reprint that PDF, but I did notice quite a bit of the suggestions I put forth in that article “road-map to expanding for eve online” have indeed been implemented since that time.

At this time now I have shed a considerable amount of that Sturm & Drang I had back then (since I made a few rather drastic lifestyle choices since then)  and the time has arrived to start considering active CSM-centered ambitions again.

So what is the fundamental philosophy for me entertaining the notion of electability at some future date? To put it frank, I am not interested in game balance – I am interested in radical expansion of game features, “affordances” in the game, as I was in 2009. I like Eve for its raw sense of authenticity, its dedication to “everyone versus everyone” mindset, its ambitious scope and I would really like to see a fastpaced and proactive expansion in available options. I am aware that introducing newness in a code Diplodocus such as eve would be a very complex matter and I understand the server architecture of the game “is somewhat lacking” in its flexibility and openness to new aspects.

My philosophy is based on a mix of long term view – in the game and outside the game. In mundane everyday reality I consider myself staunchly “transhumanist”, and I take the long view of existence. Let’s assume that Eve Online still exists 20 years from now, what would be the most achievable realistic, the most compelling, the most encompassing (and thus the must competitive) gaming experience possible? How can eve expand in to new gaming interfaces, new forms of hardware and server architecture? And most of all – if we lay the bar at 100.000 top player concurrency in 2020,  twice as much in 2024 and again twice as much (about 500.000) in 2028 (and a corresponding growth in subscriber base), what would CCP need to do to achieve such lofty goals?

Based on some of the goals I brainstormed on in 2009, let me re-iterate my ambitions.

Very High Priority

  • Ship crews
  • A logical series of extrapolations of implementing ship crews
  • Significantly increases detail and narrative for known space in eve
  • Significantly more diverse skill tree in character advancement
  • The introduction of more advanced strategy game features in-game
  • More affirmation of actual astrophysics in eve
  • Substantially more space real estate in eve
  • The introduction of player-centered politics in-game
  • Player concurrence and subscription rate doubling per 4 years
  • A sharp increase in “gateway drug” starter gameplay experience; a broadening of the gameplay base
  • Significantly more interactivity options in existing stations
  • Significantly more interaction with planets and moons

High Priority

  • Increasingly using player creativity as source for game design
  • Significantly more and more complex NPC activity and assertiveness
  • (More robust) branch-off games such as Valkyrie, Dust 512,
  • A significant upgrade in stations
  • Affirming aspects of latterday transhumanist and cyberpunk value in-game
  • A radical departure from current docking experience, a more enticing as well as interactive visual experience in-game.
  • Players  steering or controlling NPC activity
  • Ship Bridges
  • Space elevators and orbital real estate
  • O Neil Spin habitats

Median Priority

  • A Realistic pathway for Ambulation (Walking in stations)
  • A fifth faction in the game

I understand a lot of established players will not like these ideas. My suggestion if you as a player do not like my ideas is to simply not vote for me. My ideas are geared towards that segment of the player population that wants these (as well as other) types of content expansions in the game.