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My name is Hallan Turrek. This is my blog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interview with Herschel Yamamoto

Links to your forum thread and site.
Forum thread:

So, how long have you been playing?
Since late 2006.

What have you done in Eve during that time?
Pretty much everything a player can do outside 0.0 space. I've missioned, manufactured, invented, pirated, worked as a mercenary, traded, explored wormholes, and a bunch of other stuff.

What real life experiences do you have that will aid you in your elected position?
I've sat on a lot of bodies structured much like the CSM is, and I've seen them work both very well and very badly. I have a sense of how to make such a committee work more effectively, and the CSM could definitely use some improvement. It's gotten better, but there's still a lot of room to improve. I understand how the workload of positions like this can inflate far beyond your initial expectations, and am ready to do the work needed. I also have experience communicating with constituents and ensuring that they're in the loop about what's going on.

What do you think of the recent Bob/Goonswarm fiasco, including the renaming of Kenzoku?
I think it's a shame that Band of Brothers fell like they did - whatever their sins, their role in the history of this game deserved a better end than that. That said, the Goons didn't do anything wrong, and I wish them the best of luck with their new regions. The game mechanics that led to this could use a review, though. High-level alliance work in Eve is fraught with trust issues, but letting someone set standings should not require someone to be trusted with the power to turn off your cyno jammers for a month. As for the renaming, I think it's a simple case of human error. It made CCP look bad, but it pretty clearly wasn't an issue of corruption. Better renaming policies should make sure that something like this doesn't happen again.

What do you think of the re balancing of ECM?
I think it was necessary - they didn't apply too huge of a nerf, and I think the changes are all reasonable. I'd like to have seen SDAs get a bit more of a workover, probably get split into 2-3 modules so that there's actually more choice in ship fittings, but that's minor. Time will tell, of course, but for now it looks good. I do wish the torpedo Scorpion had been added, though - I understand why it wasn't, but that would have been a nifty ship.

What do you think of the re balancing of Stealth Bombers?
I'm not as sold on these changes. The loss of cruise missiles removed a reasonable role from the ship, and I don't think it was necessary. The bomb changes were eminently reasonable, and went further than I expected at first, to the point where I think they're actually usable now. I personally don't fly bombers, so I haven't had a chance to judge the new changes, but I'm a lot less pessimistic than I was when I heard the initial drafts of the proposal. Again, time will tell.

How much of an effect should players have on the broader Eve storyline?
There should definitely be room for players to have an impact, but it shouldn't be absolute. Of course, the 0.0 "storyline" is entirely player-controlled, and I think it has often worked out well - there's a few epics that could be written off of that base material - but there has to be limits. CCP needs enough flexibility to make sure that they can integrate new features into the story without upsetting anything, and their creative people have stories that they want to tell as well. There's probably some more room for players to have an impact on the story of the empires, but I don't think it'll ever be as much as some people might like.

Does it bother you that Veldspar is more profitable than any low sec minerals?
Yes. It's fine that Veld is valuable, but the fact that lowsec asteroids are worthless is a serious issue. Lowsec asteroids get most of their value from nocxium, but nocxium has crashed hard and lowsec has suffered because of it. I have actually proposed a solution to this on the Assembly Hall, and I'd like to encourage people to support it, because I believe it will fix this issue nicely.

What's your opinion on current war declaration mechanics?
They're functional for what people tend to do with them, but they could really use some work. If you want to harass people, extort money, or tear down POSes, it works, but the mechanics are really bare-bones. I am honestly not sure what direction this ought to be taken in, but the status quo is anemic and could use work. Pay-to-grief is amusing, but it's not the right system to have in place.

What is the single largest imbalance in game, and how would you fix it?
Definitely lowsec. Highsec is worthwhile and safe, 0.0 is fantastically valuable and deadly, and lowsec should fall in between, being valuable and dangerous. It manages the danger, but the value just isn't there. I have many ideas on how to fix this - I don't think one big buff is the right way to fix lowsec, I prefer a larger number of smaller changes, to move lowsec to the right level on the whole rather than just throwing one good thing there and having the entire area sink or swim on that one mechanic. I've proposed no less than three threads to help fix this recently - one to boost lowsec ores(mentioned above), one to let players protect their lowsec space more easily, and one that will have a side effect of putting more people into lowsec as part of a mechanism for faction standing recovery. There are more proposals that could be made, but those three would go a long way to making lowsec better, and are indicative of the sort of proposals I favour for fixing this issue.

Anything to add?
I have plenty more info on my website, so take a look around if you're curious about why I'm running or what else I stand for. If you want any more info on any topic, or have any other questions, feel free to drop me a line in-game. Also, thanks to Hallan Turrek for running this.

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