In Dust 514
In real life
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Betting Shop Manager
Dust 514 has one of the most passionate and vocal community's in the gaming world.
It is only right that they be represented by those with a passion equal to theirs.
Throughout my time as head of one of the largest Corporations in the game I've pushed the games UI further than most and even broke it a couple of times, prompting some fixes from CCP.
I want to bring that experience and place it at the disposal of the community and CCP, to push for the changes needed to make this game worthy of the community that plays it.
Experience in Dust
During my first trip to Fanfest in 2012 we given as part of the welcome pack, a code for the closed beta of Dust 514. That was the year at Fanfest that a playable version of the game was on show. And it was awful.
I remember telling multiple Dev's, the many problems it had. Sluggish controls, a lacklustre UI, no racial parity. But the oddest thing happened that Fanfest. The more I relayed its problems to others, the more I realised that should those problems be fixed Dust 514 could be a very special game.
I remember going through the Duty free at Keflavík airport and finding myself, a die hard Xbox FPS player, looking at the cost of a PS3.
So on June 17th 2012, I downloaded the beta as soon as it was on PSN, having got a PS3 about a week after returning from Iceland. I found that quite a lot had been fixed. The feedback we'd all given at Fanfest had been listened to.
As an Eve player, the skill system was not daunting to me at all and I found myself explaining to a lot of team members in chat how they should use it. I was getting in game mails from people who'd been referred to me by others. And I was enjoying being able to help.
I'd been a member of Ivy League and a member of EVE University for a couple of years and met the CEO at the time, Keldumm Revann, at Fanfest. I knew we had a DUST University but nothing was being done with it and I asked if I could help.
He immediately made me Director of Operations and said, 'you run it!!'
Shortly before he stepped down as CEO of both E & D-UNI, he made me CEO of DUST University, one of the largest corporations in Dust 514 and one where several thousand players had had a place to start now for nearly two years.
I've enjoyed every minute of it, loved helping people take their first steps in New Eden and I really want to take that drive to help to the next level.
Real life experience
I've been a gamer ever since my Grandad gave me my first computer, a ZX80, which I still have.
Since then the feature set of my gaming portals may have improved but my passion for gaming remains constant.
I've been on the beta testing of several games in the past including the original Xbox Live service and the games that were used to test it. My GamerTag profile proudly carries an 11 on its age.
More recently I've been part of the Design Discussion Forum and alpha build of Elite: Dangerous after contributing to it's Kickstarter appeal.
I work as a betting shop manager and worked in the industry for some twenty years. This has given me an eye for stats and figures as well as the patience of Job having to work with the public on a daily basis in a highly regulated industry, where the customer is in fact not always right.
I'm also a job instructor and trainer in my role and have trained many to become managers themselves over the years.
Whilst gaming is main pastime, I juggle it around with others that I have including jogging, cycling and snowboarding. When not being active I pursue less physically demanding past times such as reading, movie watching, music and making model kits. I've been known to post pics of my latest projects on Twitter.
What are the top three issues currently facing Dust 514 and why?Player Retention is the number one problem right now. We need new ways to encourage existing and new players that Dust is a game that you can commit time and effort to. We've had some success in this regard in DUST University where for over the last year, our monthly retention figure has averaged 80%. But more needs to be done by CCP to allow the community to create their own events and stories.
The poor quality of the matchmaking is a real concern. Simply put, 2 day old new players shouldn't be going up against 50m+ SP players. Even if these more experienced player were forced to use free suits, they'd still win because of the effect of their skills on that free suit. Scotty the AI needs a complete rewiring.
And vehicles need to have what role they play in the game finally decided upon. Are they transport, support, point defence or slayer? Whatever they are, they can't continue to be able to use a one fit best for all roles like they do now.
Why will you be an effective CPM member?First and foremost, I've already developed relationships within the Dev team at Shanghai and know how and who to speak to regarding any matters that might arise. Secondly, I've already had an influence on some core game mechanics such as Corp Management tools in the game. I have a proven track record of getting work done that has helped players in the game.
In what way do you think the CPM can be improved?CPM0's main problem was that in the early part of its tenure, CCP were trying to douse the flames caused by the launch of Dust 514 being such a mess. During that time of significant upheaval, many of CCP's good intentions regarding the CPM got flung to one side. It was only in the latter part of last year with the hiring of new Executive Producer CCP Rouge and the re-organisation of CCP Shanghai that he instigated, that the role and usefulness of having an advocacy group such as the CPM began to be recognised by CCP.
This is my way of saying that the biggest hurdle to the improvement of the CPM has already been navigated. CCP began to use them.
Thats not to say that there is more that can't be done. Greater, more direct accessibility to the CPM, such as the CSM Town Hall meetings can be arranged in game with a member of CCP being there to answer questions as well. The NDA, so often the bane of a CPM member, could be made less of a problem if the Dev's engage with the community regarding feedback on the forums or in the game itself, much earlier than they have done in the past. This would lessen the pressure on the CPM to divulge what they know to the community and stop being the community's only source of new information. There are many such small and easy fixes that could be used to improve the effectiveness of the CPM.
If a player wants to get in touch with you, the best way to contact you is:The fastest way is certainly via my Twitter feed. But for a more in depth method, allowing greater discussion if needed, use my hotmail address firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your opinion on Project Legion?While disappointing that it became clear that the PS3 wasn't able to fulfil the promise of Dust 514, as well personally expensive for me having purchased a PS3 to play it, Legion represents the best chance for the game to have real impact on New Eden
Having spoken to the Dev's a great deal at this years Fanfest, I support CCP Rouge's decision to switch to PC for its much faster and easier development process because I feel that doing so, significantly increases the chances of Legion to make a return to its spiritual home, consoles.