Interview: Greygal, Amarr Militia
I’d heard of Eve way back when it was in Beta, and over the years was tempted to try it many times, but resisted the urge because I just knew I’d get addicted – just knew it. Then one late night about three and a half years ago, the Eve advertisement was flashing at me on a gaming-related website, I was bored and decided what the heck, let’s just go ahead and give it a try, I can always uninstall it. I putzed around, completely overwhelmed for eleven days, thinking ya, this is cool, but I’ll just play the trial and call it quits. Then I stumbled into a wormhole, left probes behind, got lost in space, got rescued, then with shaking hands and racing heart I grabbed my wallet and subscribed. The rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve used the character name “Greygal” or some variation of it for many years in a variety of games; when I started Eve I actually created a different character name at first but after only two days, realized I wanted to play “myself” and not someone else, so I created Greygal.
How long have you been with Agony? What prompted you to join them?
When I was almost six months old, I attended a PVP Basic class run by Caldak. That class changed my universe – suddenly I could fight back! And even though I kept losing fights, at least now I had a clue why I lost! I knew then that I would one day join Agony, there was never any doubt. I took every class available and never missed an alumni roam over the next nearly two years, before I finally stopped flirting with the idea and actually applied and was accepted to Agony. I’ve been in Agony a year next week, I lead gangs, I run classes, I’m now head of PVPU, and I can’t imagine life anywhere else.
What other things have you tried in EVE besides FW?
Did the obligatory highsec Empire carebear thing for a bit, have a mining/industrial alt that’s mostly collecting dust right now, and I spent nearly two years in wormhole space with my old corp where I did a lot of capital and T3 production stuff.
Describe your FW experience so far.
It’s been a blast, literally and figuratively! There has been some challenges – like recognizing that even though we are not involved in the metagame, we ARE a part of it, having to adapt our fighting tactics around no bubbles and no on-grid warping in the plex’s, learning to work with others (Blue? What’s that?) and the ever-annoying use of multiple booster alts. At the same time, these challenges have also been the best part of FW so far – all of us in Agony *love* developing and adapting tactics. In particular, I’m really enjoying getting to know so many other pilots and corporations – The Amarr militia is a fantastic group of pilots to fly with!
How does FW differ from other things you’ve experienced in EVE so far?
The biggest difference in FW vs nullsec or wormhole PVP is the lack of “hunting.” There is no “hunting” in FW – you just undock and there are targets everywhere. You don’t have to roam 10, 20 or more systems to find a target, you don’t have to chase and bait them, you just undock and explode. I actually miss the hunt. I’ve also never before dealt with such obnoxious smack talk – fortunately this comes only from a small subset of our opponents. On the other hand, I do get a kick out of how Agony’s no-smack-talk policy really annoys and frustrates those same people!
Tell us a bit about Agony.
Agony is all about the PVP: we live and breath the never-ending hunt for the Good Fight. We relish fighting outnumbered and outgunned, we believe that superior tactics are more satisfying than superior numbers. We thrive in target-rich environments, and we never stop theorycrafting, experimenting and learning. We are vagabonds, traveling throughout the universe moving from place to place, always looking for fresh hunting grounds: our home is each other, not a system or station.
More than that, however, Agony is just the best bunch of chill and casual people to fly with. We are not a PVP training corp, even though we offer PVP classes. We are not “L33T” jarheads, we don’t care about killboard stats – being “top loser” for the month is more celebrated and appreciated than being “top killer.” We are RL>Eve, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much everyone cares about everyone else in the corp.
What are the requirements for joining Agony?
While we prefer applicants have PVP experience, having a great attitude is more important than anything else. At a bare minimum, we do prefer applicants have the ability to fly T2 frigates such as interceptors and have a reasonable amount of skillpoints focused on combat.
If you view a ship loss as an opportunity to improve, a blob as a challenge to face (Durka!!), if laughter is your response to overwhelming odds as you pick them off one by one, if you think flames flying out of your ship is the only way to fly, if you play serious without taking the game seriously, and think that the best response to any situation is maniacal laughter while crazily thinking “How the hell is this going to work?” then Agony is the home you have been looking for.
If you obsess over your isk efficiency, rage-log at simple losses, scream at skirmishers for losing tackle, belittle others and never fight unless you have overwhelming numbers, Agony’s probably not the best home for you.
For those who decide to take the leap and apply to Agony, I advise really taking your time when completing our application. Those who answer our questions fully, let their personality shine through, who come across as someone we’d like to get to know and fly with, and who seem “real” are far more likely to get an interview than those who are just boasting about their L33Tness.
To learn more about applying to Agony, go here.
How often does Agony run their pvp classes? What does a pilot have to do to join one?
I am now head of PVPU, and try to schedule two classes a month. It’s not always possible, because I’ve got to schedule it around other
operations and support staff availability. To join our classes, simply register on our forums and watch for announcements. We also announce classes on our in-game mailing list, AGONY PVP UNI, and on several twitter feeds.
Do you find it difficult being a female in a predominantly male game? Discuss some of your experiences.
I’ve been gaming since the days of bulletin boards and 300 baud modems, so I long ago got over the whole frat-house atmosphere of most multi-player games. In general, I don’t find it difficult being a female in a predominantly male game, but to be honest, I mostly just don’t really think about the differences all that much anymore.
When I do think about it, most of the time I find being a woman is an advantage – a female voice is often effective at clearing coms, for example. I find when I am running classes, the students are more likely to open up and ask questions of me, cause they don’t want to appear “stupid” in front of the guys but are less concerned about that with me. In my prior corporation, I found being female a major advantage in diplomacy and other negotiations.
For the most part, because I do my best to keep learning and getting better at the game while maintaining a chill and fun attitude, I’ve been treated with respect and camaraderie throughout my Eve experience. Sure, there is the occasional jackass who thinks its appropriate to talk down or belittle me, but I just call them primary. Repeatedly.
Ultimately, it comes down to how you play and not what your real-life gender is. If a player learns the game, strives to improve, takes opportunities to step up and lead, is fun, genuinely enjoys themselves, and isn’t afraid to fail, they are going to be treated with respect. People will want to fly with them, regardless of their gender. If a player wants everyone to do all the hard stuff for them, is all gimme-gimme all the time, whines and moans and is just plain unpleasant to be around, they are going to be trolled, ganked, and worse regardless of their gender.
Would you recommend FW to new players? Why or why not?
Absolutely, but with the caveat that they MUST get into a good player corporation as soon as possible. Trying to get involved with FW through the NPC corporation is just going to lead to disenchantment, since there is virtually no centralized organization, communications, or access to other corporation’s events and fleet opportunities as a member of the NPC FW corp. Once you get into a good player corporation, you have access to people who are willing to help you learn, fly and die with you, get drunk together, and laugh, a lot! As is true of anything in Eve, getting in a good corp is the key to enjoyment and success.
Faction warfare provides new players with an overwhelming amount of opportunity for practicing and learning PVP within a community of people who genuinely care about the game and the Good Fight. A thick skin for losses is a must, however – you’re going to die, a lot. But over time you’ll improve!
What do you think of the proposed changes for the winter expansion?
I love most of the changes – especially the ship changes! – except for the change where anyone on grid of a plex will stop the timer. I see that being easily abused and not in a good way. I’m not sure about some of the plex ship restriction changes – I like the idea of the Rookie plex size, but I can see that T2 logi/ecm gangs will become predominate in the larger plexs, reducing or even nullifying the use of T1 cruiser hulls (which would be a shame considering the changes coming!). I think defensive plexing will become the new farming FOTM, but much less so than the current farming.
What would you change about FW if you could?
I’d allow us to warp on-grid in the plex’s. Drives me nuts not being able to warp around the plex.
FW System: Kourmonen for the fights!
EVE Related Celebrity: Chribba
Pirate Corp or Alliance: Love the Moar Tears guys, and while I don’t really think of Fweddit as a pirate corp, that’s another great bunch of guys!
EVE Related Website: Too many to list!
Way To Make Isk: I’m always broke!
Ammo: Jammers Otherwise faction antimatter or phased plasma
Ship: Griffin! Most fun you can have for less than five million isk!
Wartarget To Shoot: Thinnish. He is always so classy and graceful in a fight, win or lose.
Food & Drink While Playing EVE: Diet Coke and M&Ms
Song To Fly To: The entire Meatloaf Bat Out Of Hell album! And I can’t get “Fight Us Maybe” and “How to stay aligned” out of my head