CSM 8 – Marcus

In response to this post by Rhavas:

I wish I liked Roc. His player, Marcus, apparently does great music – I haven’t bought it myself but others rave. Marcus does good art. I loved Marcus’ EVE app, Capsuleer. But I can’t stand Roc Weiler. I’m sure Marcus is probably a great guy. I am very impressed with how Marcus has re-invented himself and adopted an impressively healthy approach to his real life. And Marcus will tell you that “Roc is a persona” or “Roc is a character”. The problem is that Roc keeps taking over Marcus’ microphone. And Roc is an arrogant, smarmy asshole. Roc is the guy in high school who was a football star, got all the chicks, and treated them all like shit. And Roc tragically answers every question asked of Marcus before Marcus can. Take a listen to Voices from the Void Episode 69 if you want to see what I mean. As Ripard Teg said, Marcus ”doesn’t play to his strengths as a CSM candidate.” It is my contention that this is because Marcus too badly wants Roc, not himself, to be elected. I hope someday Marcus runs from an alt, and presents himself without Roc in any way, avoiding problems with this sort of thing that others have experienced. Because Roc doesn’t want to talk about anything other than his favorite subject: Roc. And that makes Roc unelectable.


Screen shot 2013-04-03 at 2.45.34 PM

When I first read this post, I was immediately defensive, for Roc and for myself. I wanted to dismiss it as “haters gonna hate”, as has legitimately been the case at times, and carry on with the philosophy of “any press is good press”, yet as I read, then re-read the post again and again, something in it resonated with me. It troubled me all night until this morning I was compelled to read it again a few more times, discuss it with a few people I respect ingame and out, and after some soul searching finally managed to figure out why I am so disturbed by this singular post.

He’s right.

He isn’t attacking me, Marcus. He really isn’t even attacking Roc. Sure, he calls him an arrogant, smarmy asshole, and my reaction there was to write an in character response explaining the many layers to Roc Wieler – his slave upbringing, being forced to kill his own friends in the blood arena, the loss of his first love, everything that has gone into making Roc what he is. I could explain the “football star” impression as over-compensation based on insecurity, and Roc’s need to push women away not because he disrespects them but because he’s afraid of rejection. I guess I’m kind of explaining it now. Let me stop.

The real issue is that this post is objective. As I said, he isn’t attacking me personally. More so, he’s nailed upon a very fundamental concept which has made me a three time loser thus far in the CSM elections:

The first impression is the lasting impression.

I am well respected in the community for my efforts through Roc Wieler – the music, the art, the community events and contests, the ingame fun, etc. None of that matters. The author of this post doesn’t care about any of the good things I may have done because that first layer to the character of Roc Wieler turns him off completely.

History has shown my voting audience feels the same.

That hit me really hard. Not in a “Your tears sustain me” kind of way. At the end of the day, EVE Online is just a game, no matter how passionate or dedicated we are to it. I’m speaking more on a self-analytical, how did I not see this, level.

I don’t even think it’s not that I didn’t see it. I simply didn’t want to admit it. To me, I am Roc Wieler in EVE Online. I don’t walk around as Marcus. I don’t talk in chat as Marcus. Nobody knows Marcus. People know Roc Wieler.

But this isn’t ingame. This is a player based election. Real people voting for other real people that best represent their interests in a game we all take very seriously.

He quoted Ripard Teg, who has told me straight to my face I need to play politics and stop hiding behind Roc. Xander of Crossing Zebras has said pretty much said the same, even going so far as to call my stance on character integrity selfish if I really believe that I, as Marcus, can make a crucial difference to the CSM and the future of EVE Online.

I’m rambling now, something I’ve tended to for most of my adult life. My thoughts are still not concise on this subject but I do know this much.

I owe everyone an apology, including myself.

I’ve been selling my campaign short by standing as Roc Wieler. In many ways Roc has been an expression of the strengths I’ve wished I possessed my entire life, and has been an inspiration for me to do better in my real life, which I continue to do.

But Roc Wieler has also been a weakness to me, especially when it comes to CSM campaigns.

So let’s try something a little scary, and a little new for me.

Hi. I’m Marcus.

I’m a 40+ year old Technical Director who has spent his entire life loving science fiction to the point where it has influenced every major decision in my life.  My career for the last 20+ last years has been in digital advertising and marketing.

I bring things to life. I’m a web developer, an information architect, a technical writer, a QA manager. I understand branding, strategic planning in the digital space, mobile, gaming, social media, all of it. I’ve made a comfortable living from it. I’ve won awards for my work. My expertise has been sought after around North America.

On the personal side I am equally consumed. I had Darth Vader and a squad of stormtroopers at my wedding reception. I want to teach my young nieces and nephews the ways of the Force. I read dozens of science fiction books each year and participate in amateur writing events like NaNoWriMo. I’m a geek at heart. A passionate, hard working, disciplined, intelligent, geek.

I know EVE Online. I’ve been playing for nearly 7 years. I have spent most of the last few years engaged in Factional Warfare. I play the market daily on my alts, pulling in over a billion isk each month to pay for the continued war efforts made by Roc Wieler. I know planetary interaction. I know the API. I know how the 3D assets are put together ingame – how effects are rendered, other technical things many players don’t think about. I’m also an avid roleplayer.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing inside the game on several occasions, and the honour of a good relationship with many members of CCP. I’ve written detailed white papers of my own on many game systems I’ve proposed for CCP realizing that every voice should count for something, not only those of the CSM. I’ve submitted proposals to other gaming companies as well though to date none of my ideas have come to fruition.

I guess what I’m trying to say is what I should’ve said from the beginning – I have the skills. I have the experience. I have the integrity and drive to get it done right. Voting for me is a smart choice, and we all need to make more smart choices. Together.

Roc the Vote

31 responses to “CSM 8 – Marcus

  1. Perfect. I can say without question that this is *exactly* what everyone who’s wanted to vote for you has been waiting to hear. Step out from behind Roc and bring this kind of bare honesty to Iceland, and you’ve definitely got a vote from me.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to reply like this – I think I owe you the same. “The author of this post doesn’t care about any of the good things I may have done because that first layer to the character of Roc Wieler turns him off completely” isn’t quite true – I DO care about that, which is why I wish I could be a supporter. But every time I hear an exchange like some of those on VFTV 69 with Roc “ICing it up” in the middle of OOC questions, I picture you around the table at the CSM acting the same way, and that would make me insane if I was one of your fellow CSMs. Your observation that “This is a player based election. Real people voting for other real people that best represent their interests in a game we all take very seriously.” hits it right on the head. If you don’t make it this year, I hope you run one more time – maybe with the above as your launching point. Good luck in the election, Marcus.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to come on over and write a reply, and for being a part in enabling Marcus to step out from behind Roc.

      Having said that, this blog will continue to be Roc based but any work I would do with the CSM would be Marcus based. On that you have my word.

      • Just start a secondary CSM blog if you get on. The two can be separate. You will feel true to what you made here and be free to be the player you doing the work there.

        Frankly, it will allow people like me to have a platform to reach out to you.

    • It will stay Roc as Roc is my virtual avatar in the EVE Online universe, though I do understand and appreciate your sentiment.

      Those that have met me at fanfests over the years or other live events do clearly see the difference between Marcus and Roc, but yes, when I’m “on the air” or in the game, I am Roc and simply have to remember that isn’t how a CSM candidate should be.

      Too little, too late for the election maybe? Just the same, a valuable lesson for me to remember going forward.

  3. I definitely agree there is a line between character and player that I think many players have difficulty seeing.
    I think this may also make some players reluctant to come out to player meet ups.

  4. Excellent. This makes a real difference IMO. I threw my votes at you in the prelims once it was clear CCP had screwed up as I thought you deserved a chance, but I really wasn’t comfortable putting them your way “for real”.

    Hopefully it’s not to late for the election but if it is I too would hope you run once more on an out of character basis.

  5. Not played eve for a few years now but I wanted to drop by and say I really enjoyed this post. Oddly I’ve just realised that I felt the same way about you/your char as the initial poster. I enjoyed your art/blog/community efforts and was impressed by how you got yourself all healthy. Yet “Roc” always seemed like such a dick! Anyway o7

  6. I have had the same problem as Rhavas with you. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know anything about you. Because you roleplay everything about you is covered in a layer of artifice. I am not a role player and have no draw to that community. But I respect it as a play style. But I can not follow you on twitter. I cannot read your blog and posts most of the time. I to do not like Roc.

    Rhavas and I had a chat on twitter. I don’t care for many of the candidates. I have no candidate that represents low sec. Yet, he asked me to try to pick the best people. Others have asked me to pick people I can communicate with. I’ve been very stuck in those areas on picking people.

    I think he can listen to his own argument some there.

    I have not read any of the ‘my vote list’ posts. I will not be reading them. I doubt I will write one. Voting is pretty personal for me. But as I’ve tried to compose a list of people who I could talk to or at least try to, very few names are on the list.

    Yours is. I may not find you approachable because of your roleplay. I may not find your persona appealing. But I do not doubt your passion, dedication, and love for the game. I think past your roleplay you are a very worth while person. It is to bad that I will never know more than the you that you have put up.

    But, this isn’t about me as much as it is about me. It is about we, the players, attempting to pick a representitive body for the game that we all love. That means that I will give you at least one of my first votes and include you on my others. I think, looking through the cracks for the person behind the creation, you would be the type of addition that would help.

    In this, I will take a chance.

    • Very powerful reply and I give you my word that should I be elected, I will continue to work with passion and integrity towards making our game better for all of us.

  7. I threw a couple of qualifying endorsements your way pretty much on Sugar’s logic,even though the Roc persona made me reflexively turn off VoV #69 the first time I tried listening.

    I’m glad you’ve come out of that shell. You were on my ticket regardless, but you’ve just jumped up several places.

    Pleased to meet you, Marcus. Good luck in the election!

  8. Had this been posted earlier, or even first of your campaign posts, you would have been in the top 4 on my ballot and unfortunately I already voted. Your still on it but not as high. Marcus is a much better candidate than Roc. If you don’t make it this year or if you run again next year I think a separate blog for CSM would serve you well. Also one of the reasons I didn’t put you higher is you’ve constantly said that you don’t want to bring your ideas to CCP but bring the players idea to CCP. However I feel that its impossible to separate out you own opinions and experience out from what you bring to the table. So while I respect that you want to try to be a pure representative, knowing what you would do if left to your own devices is also important information for voters, or bloggers who will influence groups of voters.

    • Thanks for taking the time to reply.

      You’re right that my ideas are important. The only issue I have with that which I haven’t figured out how to solve is not to then be pegged as a single idea representative. I know Factional Warfare very well, but does that make me the “FW guy”? No. I know Roleplay obviously, but am not a roleplay candidate.

      For me, EVE is far bigger than any one system and to continue moving forward needs to address every system with more direct user input.

      I need for players to know I will listen respectfully, work through ideas with them before bringing them to the CSM table. That is what CSM is about to me.

      • Absolutely.

        The counter-argument is that if you want a well-rounded CSM then you want to know who’s really lived and experienced which parts of the game, because every part of the game is interconnected. People in other parts of the game will still want to make sure that a fix for sov null (for example) doesn’t break the gameplay that they enjoy.

        It would not be the most important part of your role on CSM, but it would be important, especially for voters like me who want to make sure that as many parts of the game are well represented as is possible. In a game as deep as EVE can be, there is no substitute for experience.

        +3 votes to you. Good luck!

  9. Admittedly I have felt the same as Rhavas. With this post of yours I think you’ve just gotten my support.

    Nice to meet you Marcus. Marc the vote! √

    • Appreciate the sentiment, Two Step. I’d hoped we’d interacted enough that you’d gotten to know me already but in retrospect we never really got the time to sit and enjoy a drink together.

      Maybe this year.

  10. I wish I had seen this post sooner. Too late for my votes I am afraid Marcus. Between this and your crossing Zebra’s interview you went 100% of the way to convince me to vote for you and not Roc. Sadly, my votes have already been cast.

    I wish you luck but still wonder a bit about your role playing stance? I have more than a few alts evenly spread around the world of RP in eve and have never run into Roc, unless I’m more familiar with one of your other alts. When you say you are an RPer in Eve, where does this RP take place? Mostly just in Faction and private chat?

    Best of luck Marcus.

    • When I’m ingame, I’m 100% Roc unless someone requests me not to be in a private chat.

      Out of game (read Twitter, my blog and such) I’m primarily Roc with bits of Marcus thrown in every now and then. And the other way around.

      Roc flies primarily out of Heimatar due to his efforts in the war.

  11. Marcus,

    What I love about you is that I am able to talk to you in private and tell you things I believe straight to your face with the best of intentions and you take it as such. I wasn’t trying to offend you as such when I called you selfish, I just thought that fourth time at this game, you should have done this campaign differently.

    You’d be a great voice on the CSM. Maybe this will be your year. Maybe not. Either way, I cannot wait to meet both Roc and Marcus at Fanfest. Best of luck mate.


    • I am probably more critical of myself than anyone else could ever be. Offending me is quite the challenge.

      Even still, if I am not open to criticism, if I am not willing to listen, to learn, to grow, then I am essentially a hypocrite and my entire platform of “walking the walk” and being “true to the community” falls short. That simply isn’t me.

      I deliver.

      I look forward to meeting you as well. Now sign up for the Mjolnir gym excursion already.

  12. I totally understand people saying that they would vote for Marcus but don’t like the vibe or persona the Roc projects.
    You were 4th on my ballot so its more a show of support vote as a real vote to get you on the CSM but at least this post concinved me that it might not be a waste to put you higher on the ballot next time.

  13. Ross Glenn has done you a good turn referring to this post on his blog.
    Everything about role-play is designed to be divisive in the EVE universe. There is a reason why CCP insists on real names for real candidates.
    Thanks for opening up the Macus, I wish you every success.

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