Thank you for having me, Shalee. Let’s see.. I wanted to come up with a name that blended two separate and distinct cultures. In this particular case, I drew upon a name associated with Victorian England and the surname of a daimyo clan from Feudal Japan.
How long have you been playing EVE, and how did you get started? Is Reginald your original toon?
I first learned about EVE when my younger brother showed me a Coercer-class destroyer in 2011. I found the graphics to be really eye-catching but didn’t start a subscription until a couple years afterwards. It’s actually a bittersweet story, if I’m allowed to expound a little. Essentially, I started out in one of the new player zones (Dresi, I think?) and was contacted by someone who promised that they would help me get started in the game as long as I made a new account through one of their buddy invitations. Being completely unaware of just how cutthroat EVE could be, I accepted the offer and, while I was at it, paid for a three-month subscription. I haven’t heard from that guy since, but here I am.
How would you describe your experiences at the two local, EVE meet-ups that you’ve attended?
They were fantastic! Getting to meet people who have similar interests in a setting outside of staring at a computer screen while on a Mumble or Teamspeak server was a lot of fun. The best aspect is that while there were people were from rival alliances or corporations, everyone just swapped stories and had a good time. Out of game, the EVE players I met were pretty respectful and were happy meeting other pilots who lived close by. After all, EVE is just a game played by real people.
How did the meet-ups differ?
The venues provided distinct atmospheres. The first one I attended was at a family-style diner, so most of the conversations were over chicken fingers and in a pretty quiet setting. It was also a meet-up made entirely of players, some of whom had driven three to four hours just to attend!
The second meet-up was at the Southern Pacific Brewing Company in San Francisco, which was sort of like a warehouse converted into a bar. There was a lot of music, people talking and laughing and conversations were harder to follow–partially, I suppose, thanks to the consumption of alcohol. Regardless, one of the salient differences was that this meet-up was attended by CCP Manifest and CCP Logibro, who simply happened to be in the area. My favorite moments were when CCP Manifest said I looked sophisticated and when I revealed to CCP Logibro that my original toon, Reginald, was unable to fly an interdictor. He responded by saying, “You are literally the worst.”
Would you recommend them to others?
Definitely! If you’re in the California Bay Area, I’d heartily recommend checking out the EVE meet-up website to see when the next ones are coming up. They’re great opportunities to meet some of the people you fly with or try to blow up. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the last couple, but I hope to make a reappearance in the near future.
Do you participate on out of game forums like EVE Reddit or listen to EVE related podcasts?
I would have to say that I did a lot more of those types of things when I first started playing. I basically learned about EVE by reading the EVE University wiki and watching youtube videos covering subjects such as the economy, pvp, and famous large-scale battles like Asakai. As far as EVE Reddit goes, I lurk far more often than I post. That said, much of the time, EVE Reddit and #tweetfleet are great ways to stay abreast of game developments as well as New Eden current events.
What is the most appealing thing about EVE? Also, least appealing?
The most appealing thing about EVE is loss. I know that that sounds counter-intuitive, but there’s a certain satisfaction that derives from the knowledge that whomever you scammed, ganked, or conducted a corp theft on has to grind their way back to where they were before you struck. Loss, combined with the immediate consent to pvp simply by undocking, are the two great things about EVE.
The least appealing thing about EVE is loss, or more accurately, fear of loss. Fear of loss leads to risk aversion, which in turn leads to less content due to an unwillingness to engage an opponent. I suppose there’s a poetic irony in there–EVE’s greatest appeal is also a feature that can lead to blue-balling and frustration.
If you could change one thing about EVE what would it be?
One thing? That’s a tough one to answer. I suppose that the cliches would be “get people to undock,” “create more content,” or “get rid of off-grid boosters” (which will actually be implemented soon). All the same, there are a lot of people in the game far more experienced and qualified than I who have opinions of what should be changed about EVE, so I’ll just focus on a boring aspect.
I think that it would be great if there was an out of game chat service that logged you into the in-game chat channels. Basically, it would be an EVE gate-esque evemail service but for real-time chats. This would make it far easier for people to communicate from outside of the game without relying on third-party resources and would also be a great way for people to just check in when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to commit to playing the game. Combined with status markings like away, inactive, or available like any traditional instant messaging system, an out of game chat service would be an easy way to handle discussions and keep up with your corporation or alliance when you’re away from your computer, traveling, or otherwise in a position that wouldn’t allow you to log into EVE.
What other games do you play and how do they compare to EVE?
I play a wide field of games, I suppose. Firstly, chess is amazing. Everyone should play chess. As far as computer games go, I enjoy single-player games with strong narratives that allow the player to decide what sorts of actions they want to undertake (Witcher, Mass Effect, Dishonored). As far as multiplayer games are concerned, I spend time with fellow No. Mercy corporation mates playing games like 7 Days to Die and Life is Feudal. An interesting observation of these latter games is that, thanks to EVE, we never let anyone we don’t know join our groups–we all know better than to let someone in who can steal our stuff. As one of my corpmates put it, “EVE ruins other games for us.”
Who do you most admire in EVE, and why?
I really admire you, Shalee. You are easily one of the nicest, balanced, and all-around amazing people in all of EVE–even if you’re too modest to admit that. You enjoy success as a great blogger, you’re a role model in the roleplaying community, and you just want people to get along and have a good time. Thank you again for inviting me for an interview.
Have you tried other parts of the game, like wormholes or high sec?
The only time I dabbled in wormholes was to help a friend of mine hijack things from corporations with lax security policies. His most memorable heist involved us having to self-destruct a Rorqual because the wormhole connecting to our lowsec exit was too small.
As far as known space is concerned, like many new players, I started in highsec in a mining corporation: Unexploded Ordnance [UXO]. That corporation didn’t last very long, so a number of members reformed under Improbability Drive Inc. [NO42] (the Inc. is important because “Incorporated” was already taken), which continued along on UXO’s industrialist path until we were wardecced by a one-man griefer corporation. Even though we ended up losing a lot, it whetted many appetites for pvp, so many of us went on to form a sister corporation: Heart of Pyerite [NO45], which would be our pvp and alt corporation. That corporation made its way through a number of lowsec alliances: The Mandalorians, Vitoc Health Services, WINMATAR., and then Imperial Outlaws. A number of the older members of Heart of Pyerite have come to agree that that corporation was cursed, as every alliance that we joined collapsed or dissolved within six months of our starting dates.
What are some of the benefits of living in null versus other sec’s of the game?
What has surprised me the most about nullsec–specifically, the sovereignty that Triumvirate holds–is that it is the safest space I have ever flown. If supported by an intel network and bolstered by pilots itching for fights capable of rapid responses to distress calls, there is nothing that is really equivalent elsewhere in the game.
What advice would you give to a new player starting out the game?
Find friends. At its heart, EVE is an MMORPG and interacting with others is the fastest way to obtain knowledge and skills crucial to thriving in EVE’s otherwise hostile environment and challenging learning curve. That being said, friends can often be wrong about game mechanics, so make sure they can back their statements up with recorded experience or reading material. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for questions like “Will CONCORD kill me if I enter Amarr with -5.0 security status?”
What do you think of ‘fozzi-sov’ so far?
I think that “fozzi-sov” has a lot of parallels to faction warfare. Much of the fighting around command nodes is reminiscent of the small gang-style pvp that can be common in the novice, small, and medium plexes throughout faction warfare space. Unfortunately, EVE online players are really good at pushing things to breaking point, which is why fozzi-sov battles can be heavily influenced or even decided by gangs of artillery Claws–ships fitted with sensor boosters and warp core stabilizers for fast locking and to augment their invulnerability to bubbles, making them incredibly difficult to catch let alone counter. From the perspective of a line member in a pvp alliance, fozzi-sov can be exhausting and tedious, especially when the side invading your space simply runs the TCUs, station services and IHUBs to make you form a fleet only to disappear back into the aether once you actually respond.
How long have you been a part of No Mercy?
I have been a member of No Mercy since July 2, 2015.
What do you most enjoy about No Mercy/TRI?
The thing I enjoy most about No Mercy and Triumvirate is that the pilots are held to razor-sharp standards. In EVE, you have the option of becoming the blunt instrument sledgehammer that demolishes things or the sharpest knife in the box that executes with precision. No. Mercy and Triumvirate synthesize aspects of both philosophies by working to ensure its ranks of pilots are highly-skilled, well-disciplined, and respond well to contingencies.
You were once the CEO to your own corporation in FW. How does being a ‘line member’ now compare to running your own corporation?
As the CEO of Heart of Pyerite in the earliest of our days in FW, we often had a joke going around about how we had “one hundred percent participation of our active membership” in fleets: all four of us. During those days, I was carefree and flew around the Bleak Lands in unlinked gangs of frigates prowling for prey. This all changed when Winmatar. dissolved and we saw our active membership increase by over a thousand percent overnight. As we got bigger, I spent a good portion of my time handling diplomacy, reviewing recruitment applications, trying to keep the militia from falling into civil war, and managing POSes for the corporation. Unfortunately, time is a finite resource, so I would find myself bogged down in the minutiae of operations rather than flying around in space killing things. The biggest pressure of a CEO is the generation of some sort of content and Heart of Pyerite simply didn’t possess a wide pool of active fleet commanders. This simple fact served as a big stressor from the dissolution of Winmatar. to the closure of Imperial Outlaws. Following the latter event, I announced that Heart of Pyerite would be closing.
As a line member, my responsibilities are far less myriad. Basically, I get to serve in fleets to protect sovereignty and assets that are managed by others. Intriguingly, it’s the first time since I started playing where I haven’t possessed some form of leadership or managerial position. In some ways, it contributes to a feeling of restlessness, but on the other hand it’s refreshingly relaxing.
What are your favorite ships to fly? Least favorite?
I like to fly battleships and capitals. The raw power and survivability of those main-line ships has always been appealing to me, though if you asked me the same question when I was a militia pilot, I would have told you that I had no interest in them.
As for my least favorite, though I may get in trouble for saying this–triage excepted–I loathe flying logistics. I’ll do it and I enjoy keeping my fleetmates alive, but there’s no feeling of disappointment quite like standing down in a Guardian after a three-hour form-up with nary a volley exchanged by the belligerents. Flying logistics is fantastic if there is a fight and you feel like your contribution matters.
What are you favorite fleet comps to fly in?
I do enjoy my battleships, so Triumvirate’s Machariel and Rattlesnake fleets are the most fun to fly in. In the past, flying in Did he say jump, I greatly enjoyed the Apocalypse Navy Issue doctrine.
What is the best thing you’ve done in EVE?
What is the worst?
I once missed a zero while station trading. We’ll not discuss how much I lost.
How long have you been role playing in EVE?
I began roleplaying in EVE shortly after Heart of Pyerite was accepted into the Imperial Outlaws alliance. I was invited by alliance mates to lurk inside a roleplaying channel–the famous Cerra Manor–and I found the concept fascinating and a lot of fun. I’ve been roleplaying ever since.
Tell us about your role play character, what are his motivations and goals.
Reginald Sakakibara is a member of the Amarrian nobility, a Holder–though that title has been in question on multiple occasions. He recently suffered a divorce following a dark spiral of a year that saw him purge his Holding of Sani Sabik influences in a brutal crackdown as well as an affair that eroded the sanctity of his marriage. He finds solace in service to the Empire and working to make New Eden a better place for his son and his niece.
What advice would you want to give someone who wants to try out RP?
RP has a lot of emotions associated with it, especially if you become invested in your character. If you choose to live a double life through the lens of your character, you risk merging your real life emotions with what happens inside of a computer game. Avoid this at all costs. Roleplay is about writing a story with other people. Good stories have conflict, drama, passion, romance, intrigue, and mystery. Don’t take things personally, read up on your prime fiction, respect others, and just have fun.
Word Association! First word that comes to mind when I say:
CCP – Logibro
Cyno – Up
Monocle – Ibrahim Tash-Murkon
Jump Freighter – Expensive
Entosis – Not again
Alliance (other than ours): Did he say jump
Pirate Corporation: Death By Design
EVE Related Celebrity: Grath Telkin
Ways to make isk: Station trading
Corpse: Grath Telkin
Star System: Huola
Faction: Amarr Empire
Drink: Old Fashioned
Song To Fly To: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 Allegro Ma Non Troppo Opus 23.
Thank you for the interview!