Interview: Graelyn, Amarr Militia

Why did you choose to fly under the Amarr banner?

Making an Amarr character wasn’t a difficult choice. Amarr had a really cool back story that was nicely fleshed out back then, especially in comparison to the other 3 empires. At the time, the first big Tournament was gearing up, and it wasn’t simply an excuse for pilots to shoot each other, but were the succession trials for the new Emperor of the Amarr Empire. How awesome is that? Besides, Amarrian ships just had more character, I thought.

Maybe part of me just wanted to play something as opposite of my real life self as possible. Theocratic imperialists fit that bill pretty well.

What other things in the game have you tried besides FW?

Most of my time in EVE was spent doing FW before there was an FW, fighting the many-front wars between the various loyalist factions, and the first Alliances. A lot of those groups were really trying to utterly destroy each other back then, unlike the slightly more communal “Good fight guys” atmosphere FW has today.

I lived in Empire a lot. This has always turned out to be incredibly boring. I’ve been involved in the efforts to ‘Amarrianize’ Providence since the very beginning, but I never really enjoyed that. 0.0, for me, has always been either empty expanses of wasteland, or packed with leeching carebears than The Forge. The best times for me in EVE have always been prowling low-sec. As such, FW, when it was introduced, was a no-brainer for me.

Do you FC?

Sometimes. I certainly don’t FC as much as I used to. I can maneuver a fleet and get it into a good fight with solid odds, but I don’t call targets as fast as I’d like when the action really gets going. FC’ing in EVE has progressively become more and more of a multi-tasking affair as the years go by, and FW fleets are no different. There are better FCs than me by a long shot out there, so I leave them to it. However, if the primary FC gets forced off the field, I try to be the first to step up and see the battle through, or to get the fleet home intact. In that role I think I’m still pretty solid.

What are some of your most memorable FW memories?

The specifics are pretty fuzzy in my memory, but any time the Gal/Min and the Cal/Amarr join up and come crashing into each other, it’s always a special event. Anytime some wandering 0.0 Alliance capfleet decides to hop in for some easy kills and ends up getting its shit pushed in by Militia folks, it makes me smile.

Still, my favorite fights in FW were always the more frantic and maybe even intimate, fights for plexes. Small groups, small ships, fierce battles. I miss that, and I hope that the newest iterations of FW that CCP are cooking up can get more people involved in that sort of thing. As it stands now, only a fraction of FW pilots put in the time to actually ‘fight the war’ of FW, and that’s a shame.

Briefly tell us about the various FW corps you’ve been in and how they have differed from one another. Also, explain why you’ve chosen to fly with Wolfsbrigade.

Most of the FW corps I’ve been in have been run by my good friend Invelious. They’ve all been incarnations of the same general idea, that of Amarrians leading converts of the other races on Crusade.

Often I like to change things up and go help out on the Caldari side of things, to bolster our allies, and see how things are doing on that front. Last time I was out that way, The State Protectorate was on the verge of a powerful conglomeration of skilled corporations. This was set back a lot by the war between I-RED and WolfsBrigade, which I watched unfold with interest. The Wolves seemed to have the better of the fighting by far, at which point they went to help out the Amarr. I felt I had to take a closer look at them at that point, as beating a group like I-RED isn’t easy. Turns out WB-R are an incredibly organised and effective bunch, with a successfully history I wasn’t even aware of. It’s been a lot of fun flying in thier fleets, and fighting alongside such competent pilots. I hope they remain on the Amarr side for a long time, as they have provided a significant boost to the overall combat capabilities of the 24IC.

What do you think makes FW awesome? Also, what do you think CCP could change about FW to make it even better?

The core strength of FW is low-sec itself. Adding a carte blanche wardec to low-sec and letting the two sides have at it is the core of any of FW’s success. The only success, I think. Every other aspect of FW seems to be an utter failure. The ‘war’ itself matters to no one, from the average bystander to the people taking part in it. Plex warfare, while it can be fun, is pointless to most and only a tiny handful participate. The War Has to Matter! Meeting goals pertaining to the war has to hurt the other side, or provide benefits to yours. There are many ideas floating around on how to accomplish this, but as long as that goal is met, any mechanical structure will do, really.

Name some pilots you admire and tell us what they have done to earn your admiration.

I tend to appreciate two kinds of pilots; The professional FC, and the lone wolf.

Years ago there was a pilot named Waywatcher who would take a lone battleship and prowl the lanes from Lower Domain to Catch, by himself. He would choose his fights very carefully, and I never saw him fall. After he had kicked your ass, he’d convo you and tell you what you did wrong, how he got you, and how to avoid it next time. Then he’d get you again with a completely different tactic. Becoming a one-man terror of an entire area of space is a feat I can always respect, and the guy never bragged or filled forums with ‘I PWNED YOO LOL’. A rare combination.

Predator Elite has been commanding the bulk of the heaviest and most intricate ops on the Amarr side for some time now. He juggles a lot of different things and is one of the few who can marshal the confidence and strength of everyone in the Militia on a moments notice, and that’s a feat.

You are an rp icon in the role play community. Briefly tell us what inspired you to try rp on EVE and tell us about some of your most memorable rp moments.

When I started EVE the second time, a lot was going on that gave the Amarr a lot of depth, but I hadn’t chosen to really BE Amarr yet. For several months, I was just another Imperial pilot wandering the space lanes, mining and doing missions trying to enjoy EVE the MMO, dodging pirates and generally being your average cow-eyed carebear, until a fateful supply trip changed everything….

I was heading to the Amarr system in my Punisher, looking to stock up on some new named guns (the top of the tech line back then!). When I jumped the gate into Amarr, the game froze unexpectedly. As I tapped at my keyboard in frustration, the grid just wouldn’t load. After grumbling at the screen for a minute, I was ready to force-close the application, when the reason for the lag became suddenly clear.

My ship was in the very center of a huge furball of multitudes of ships, guns-a-blazing. The Imperial-Issue Apocalypse was being returned to the Emperor. Golan Trevise and PIE were defending it on the trip, and every Minmatar loyalist group in the game had arrived to stop it, 1.0 Security and CONCORD be damned. Imperials, Tribals, and CONCORD were all ripping into each other. Every corp in EVE could only be at war with 3 others at the time, and there were many corps on the field, so both sides were going flashy-red with abandon, and CONCORD was going free-for-all on everyone assembled. Local was filled with hate-filled diatribes, prayers, and cries of vengeance. In the middle was my little frigate, and me going “WOOOAH”…

I had to be a part of this. I ditched my carebear corp and took up the Imperial banner. I’ve never regretted it.

I’ve had some interesting moments with RP. I met an Imperial Heir. I worked with the Tetrimon Order, and the Theology Council trying to stop them. I was at the battle that finally drove the Blood Raiders out of the Bleak Lands and put them back into Amarr hands. You don’t get awesome stuff like that anymore, but those times may be returning. When they do, I hope people give it a second look. RP in EVE is not like RP in other games, it’s not about talking funny or being the biggest dork on the field, it’s about  making a story out of that beat down you just delivered, giving it purpose. EVE is the only place I’ve found where RP isn’t something silly.

How do you think you’ve helped mold the roleplay community?

The community is unbendable. It will live or die on its own whims. I’ve just been around a long time and not pissed everyone off. Running the RP channels in EVE is simply a matter of putting your foot down when lines are being crossed, while not taking yourself too seriously.

What keeps you interested in EvE after all of these years?

Well, there’s simply nothing else that’s ever even compared, really. No one has ever tried to make a real competitor to EVE. Playing EVE allows one to pass judgement on anyone who plays those other wussy MMOs. There’s nothing more hardcore outside of some barbaric text-based stuff.

What do you think of CCP’s announcement about fixing faction war?

I’m not expecting much. Most of Crucible has been small changes that should have been done ages ago. If FW were getting the overhaul it needed, then it would amount to one of the largest overhauls in the expansion. We’re not getting that, I’m afraid. A couple tiny tweaks are all I’m expecting.

Is there anything in EvE that you wouldn’t try?

Jita scamming would bore me to self-harm.

What EvE accomplishment are you most proud of?

When my Alliance (Aegis Militia) picked on an NPC faction (Blood Raiders) and they woke up, fought back, and had an all out war with the Amarr Empire (that we won), well, you can’t beat redrawing the map.

What one thing would you have done differently if you could?

I would have trained caps sooner. I found them boring as hell to fly, so I didn’t bother, hoping I sub-caps would be important in the long run. Maybe upcoming re-balances will change that…

Have you ever been to Fanfest or any EvE meets? If so, tell us about your experiences.

I’ve been to a couple of very small EVE meets arranged in different places I’ve lived over the years, nothing major. I’d like to go to Iceland someday, but it’s an expense I can’t really justify yet.

Which EvE related websites do you read the most?

I like EVENEWS24, EvE BackStage (where all us RPers hang out), and of course Sovereignty Wars! I’ve also been keeping a close eye on for updates on DUST. You know I’m getting in on that shit.

What kind of advice would you give someone new to Faction War?

Fly around. Do some plexes. Look for corporations operating where you operate, and when you operate. Do plexes, and join with any little fleets you can find publically advertised on the Militia channel (There aren’t many). Then look to join one of those corporations. Get voice comms capability, or no one will even consider you. Making it on your own in FW can be a tough way to go, manly because every militia has a ton of spies. Earning some trust (not much, just enough) will take a little effort.

After that, listen and learn, join every fleet you’re able to, and have a blast. Over time you’ll learn everything you need to be an effective part of militia fleets, or a solo hunter wth a chance at success.

What kind of advice would you give someone who wants to try out role play in EvE?

Read the backstory! There’s a lot of it, and it’s good to know what you’re talking about. Join one of the out-of-character channels (like “OOC”) and get to know some of the folks who do this full-time. Never be afraid to ask advice. From there you should get a good idea of what you’d like to try pretty quickly, be it hooking up with one of the established factions, or breaking off on your own direction. It’s all good.

Are there things you’ve wanted to do in-game that conflicted with your roleplay?

On occasion, yes. I’d love to go on a piracy rampage sometime. I’ve also always wanted to do something with the Blood Raider faction; most attempts to do so end up making them look like Space Goths In Space, and they deserve better. One day when RL allows me the time to fully pursue two separate directions in EVE, maybe I’ll get to enjoy some of those things.


FW System: Kourmonen
EvE Celebrity: Chribba
Wartarget To Shoot: Zenton Karvash
Corpse: Valerie Vatale
Space Station: EFA, Amarr system
Way To Make Isk: FW Missions
Pirate Corp: Veto Corp
Songs To Fly To: This is the most Amarrian Heavy Armor Fleet of Doom song I know:

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