A short while ago the 15th Council of Stellar Management (CSM) was chosen by the Eve Online community. The Council of Stellar Management is a player advocacy group, consisting of 10 members. They are democratically elected by the players to advise and assist CCP in the continuous development of EVE Online. The CSM brings focused and structured feedback from the community to CCP and represents their views and interests.
All Eve Online players play the game as they see fit. Some go beyond the game and attend Eve Online gatherings. Some pilots have an Eve Online blog page, organize events and other activities. And then there are people who attempt to make Eve Online a better place, and dedicate their time to become part of the CSM.
One of these people is Brisc Rubal.
Brisc Rubal is a long-time Eve Online player and has been elected in this year’s CSM.
In real-life he goes by the name of Brian Schoeneman, a veteran political professional, commentator and former public official, maritime labor lobbyist, attorney, former election administrator, former special assistant to a U.S. cabinet secretary, father, husband, Baltimore Orioles baseball fan and internet spaceships addict.
Brisc Rubal started playing Eve Online in 2006, after his previous favorite MMO, Star Wars Galaxies, died a slow, painful death. He was brought in by friends from SWG who were looking for a similar PvP based game with the same kind of in-game economy and political scene that had developed in SWG.
“I’m primarily staged out of IGE-RI in Fountain, 1DQ-A in Delve and Kakakela in High Sec.
I enjoy the community and the relationships that I’ve built over the years with people around the world through the game. I also enjoy the in-game politics, the propaganda and videos we make – the fact that such a massive, coherent and long lived community is still thriving in this internet spaceship games almost 20 years after it was started.
Something I will never forget was the last major Titan brawl in X47 – being there and fighting in a Titan, watching what was happening in game and then watching the commentary on Twitch, it was pretty damn cool. I’ve always been a fan of the EVE commercial “I was there,” and this was my chance to live that. ”
“I remember when I first started, and getting to fly one of those was my highest achievement in EVE”
Although Brisc Rubal likes to fly titan class ships and other capital size vessels, his favourite ship goes way back to when he first started, the Raven battleship. Personally I’ve flow the Raven for years. I used it for level 4 security missions before I switched over to a Typhoon and later the Praxis.
The Raven is my absolute favorite ship. I remember when I first started, and getting to fly one of those was my highest achievement in EVE. By the time I finally was able to fly it, they weren’t as good as they used to be and they’ve been overtaken by bigger and better ships, but that was my baby and it always will be. Every time the Raven works itself back into the meta I am a happy camper.
Committing to the game
It differs from pilot to pilot how much time they spend on Eve Online. Some players mine weekly, or take up CTA fleets, space-truck around New Eden or manage their corp or alliance. Brisc Rubal is active in some of the major Eve Online Nullsec alliances, though he has no management position himself. But that doesn’t limit him from pouring most of his time into the game.
“Eve Online is a fundamental part of my life – even when I’m not actively playing the game, I’m available on discords, interacting with folks on social media, planning for Twitch streams, checking the forums and reddit, and active in the CSM areas in CCP’s network. EVE and my day-to-day life have been pretty intertwined the last four years.”
“Don’t get attached to your stuff “
Every player in Eve Online soon finds him- or herself on the other side of the gun. I remember buying my first Cormorant destroyer in my early days. It was the cheapest on the market, but had a longer route to haul. I learned the hard way that lowsec gatecamps are no joke. Soon after departing I lost my 10 mill (a lot at the time) hauler to a group of happy campers. My personal biggest loss was my Anshar jumpfreighter, which I was lucky to replace soon after.
“I think my most regrettable moment was jumping my brand new shield titan on an armor titan fleet and watching it die, lol.
Don’t get attached to your stuff, that’s the advice I’d like to give to every Eve Online pilot.
Losing things is part of EVE, unlike every other MMO, and while you’re always going to be out looking for content, someday you’re going to end up being somebody else’s content. Never let a loss, no matter how big, hit you so hard that you can’t get back up and keep playing.
I’d also offer veterans the advice that some of the most rewarding experiences you can have in EVE is showing new players the stuff that you learned, especially if you had to learn it the hard way. There’s nothing more satisfying than helping out a newer player – especially somebody who has no idea who you are or what you do – and getting a sincere “thank you.”
Brisc Rubal has been active in the CSM before. Luckily he decided to come back and give it another go, and now he’s back in the sadle again.
“When the idea was pitched to me to run, it was largely because my corpmates knew I was a politician in real life, and they thought it would be funny for me to run. It became a running joke. The more we joked about it, the more I thought this might be something that I could do. Once I finally pulled the trigger and decided to run, my natural competitiveness kicked in and I decided that I wanted to show the community that it’s possible to be just a regular player – a line member, with no higher ambitions – and still get on the CSM.
“My political background helps me a lot to get ideas across”
It’s a lot of work. At least, it is for me. I do my best to try to communicate, be available and active in both the community and within the CSM and that means I put in a ton of time being active and talking to folks, internally and externally. It is kind of like my day job, in many respects, and I tend to be the person that everybody can talk to, so they do.
I’m in close contact with all the CSM members and communicate with them a lot. Honestly, it’s more hourly at this point. I’m almost always talking to my fellow members. I’m literally in a conversation with one while I write this now.
My political background helps me a lot to get ideas across. Having to work in an environment where you’ve got multiple cultures, both real life an in-game, people with strong opinions, and a constant need to collaborate makes someone with a political background of doing all of those things valuable. I’ve made my career being the guy who brings people together, who builds consensus and can get groups that would normally be fighting to work together. I try to do that on the CSM as well. “
Changing New Eden
Eve Online players are able to get in touch with CSM members to put forward ideas. They can also point out potential improvements to the game. The CSM members themselves also have their own opinions on how Eve Online could be improved of course. All ideas and improvements are discussed with CCP and they decide whether or not it would benefit the game.
“ A number of ideas that I’ve approached CCP with have been implemented into the game, in one way or another. I can’t go into more detail than that, unfortunately, and I wouldn’t want to take credit for something that CCP actually implemented, even if I gave them the genesis or the push to do it. In the end, this is their game, and I’m – at best – an advisor. “
The full list of current ideas that Brisc Rubal has can be read on his website, http://www.briscforcsm.win/brisc-list/.
There are a lot of good items on the that I hope will get implemented in the game somehow. It’s not a givenfact that all the ideas CSM members have will get implemented though. I asked what Brisc’s top 3 is.
“It’s hard to narrow it down to top three, but I think the three things that I think are the most important for the game are:
1) Conflict drivers – providing more obvious incentives for groups at all levels to fight each other
2) Lowsec and Faction Warfare revamps – it’s their turn and they need the attention
3) Continued capital and subcapital balancing so that every ship has an upside and a downside, as well as a niche that they fill.
I’d like to work with CCP on all three of those issues this term. I think that a year from now we’re going to see a dynamic game, with more things to do, more people fighting, more incentives to fight, a healthier economy with more people playing, more veterans returning, and more new players lasting longer than a week.
I’m looking forward to it.”
Meeting other pilots
As an important figure in and outside of New Eden, Brisc Rubal has visited several Eve Online player meetings.
“I’ve attended a few DC area EVE meets, as well as EVE Vegas 2018 and 2019, and EVE London 2019.
EVE Vegas is always the best EVE meet, in my opinion, and Vegas 2019 was a hell of a lot of fun.
This is stupid, but I remember being in the bar in EVE Vegas and having a group of Wormholers come up to me and introduce themselves and tell me that even though some of the folks in the WH community hate my guts, they thought I was a good dude and thanked me for repping their community when they didn’t have representation. That meant a lot.
I was looking forward to attending Fanfest for the first time this year, but COVID got in the way.”
For me personally Fanfest is more than just going to presentations and playing game demos. Seeing fellow corpmates and friends is a gamechanging experience and lets you bond more on a personal level with pilots. Eve Online has given me some longtime friends which I meet up with from time to time.
You also get to see some ‘space-famous’ people from time to time. I really enjoyed meeting Helicity Boson (the inventor of the ‘Hulkageddon’ event), former CSM member Jin’taan and Charles White, aka ‘The Space Pope’.
“Probably my favorite “space-famous” person I’ve met in real life was Dunk Dinkle, and that was because he brought me booze, lol. Second would be when I finally got to hang out with Pando and Dark Shines in person at EVE London.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been star struck meeting anybody famous”
Honestly, I was more excited to meet my fellow corp mates and get to see folks in person for the first time than I was in meeting anybody who was “space-famous.” It’s been a long time, given what I do for a living, since I’ve been star struck meeting anybody famous, EVE or otherwise. “
I haven’t met up with Eve Online friends in a while – since COVID started I haven’t been able to see or hang out with any friends, ingame or otherwise. The last in-game friend I saw in person was SkepticNerdGuy, one of our producers on the Meta Show, who lives near me. I was supposed to meet up with some INIT friends, but COVID blew up those plans.
Eve Online player meetings draw all kinds of people from all over the world and from all layers of society. Wether you’re tall, short, male or female, blonde or dark haired, everyone is welcome to join a player event. Even if you are enemies in the game, you can still have fun together during an Eve player gathering.
“It’s very easy, when you’re playing a video game, to pretend that the guy you’re fighting on the other side of the screen isn’t real. When you finally get to go out and meet your fellow players, it’s a great experience. EVE has a pretty hardcore reputation, and finding other people who know what it is and who actually play it is pretty rare. So getting to be in a room full of those people is pretty cool. Plus, Ma Bellicose always brings cookies.”