Interview: Greygal, Amarr Militia



What brought you to EVE? How long have you been playing, and is Greygal your first toon?

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.

 

Favorite…
FW System: Kourmonen for the fights!
Spacestation: Kamela
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.
Corpse: Ewwww…
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

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4 Responses to “Interview: Greygal, Amarr Militia”

  1. Kuan Yida Says:

    I’m curious to know what Agony thinks of FW PvP in general, since they appear to be in it for the PvP (like so many other old-time FW corps, but not the new plexing carebears).

    Do they find low-sec small gang PvP both more challenging and action-filled than null sec, as Greygal’s comments seem to indicate? And did they expect this before they joined Amarr?

    Here’s hoping Agony stays in Amarr for as long as possible, they bring good fights.

    • That’s a question that could fill one or two blog posts! I can only speak from my point of view primarily, as everyone has different experiences, but I think the best answer I can give is it is neither more nor less challenging: it is DIFFERENT.

      Big fights outside the plex’s are pretty much the same, but without bubbles so acquiring and maintaining tackle is priority (it’s always a priority but just more so). Same thing holds true pretty much for small ship fights outside the plex’s: without bubbles, tackling is huge priority.

      I find that I’m often fighting the mechanics more than the opponents, which can be frustrating. For example, I fly Griffins and Blackbirds a lot (totally dig it when people start fitting ECCM to their ships because I’m in local!) Anyways, the key element to survival flying these ships is the ability to warp around the fight (and a key counter to ECM ships is to force them off the field assuming you can’t just kill them outright due to their range). Inside a plex, where I cannot warp on-grid, my tactic of bouncing in and out of a fight can’t be used. So I adapted and now choose to suicide a lot of Griffins as a tactic, flying with the intention of just getting one or two jams off on a priority target for tactical advantage, instead of the more common tactic of jamming as many as you can as long as you can. (Did I just make myself primary even more often?)

      The inability to use bubbles for tactical advantage can be irritating, but on the other hand, the plex size restrictions are nice to dictate the nature of the fight. For example, who gets inside the plex first usually has the advantage, almost regardless of numbers, because the gate causes the targets to warp in and land individually instead of as a cohesive group. Plus you have the ability to simply warp out as they land, should the gang be more than you can handle.

      Lowsec FW fighting is easier in that both the targets and your base of operations are right there. It is ridiculously easy to ship up or down and refit as needed in order to counter an opponent. In NPC nullsec, at least for Agony, most fighting takes place far from home, so you must use what you have with you to the best of your ability and create tactical advantages in order to take a fight.

      Big operations – like the taking of Kourmonen – are very exciting (and exhausting!) That operation was a constant battle back and forth, the struggle of keeping up the pace and the pressure, at one point holding the line at 92% for more than four hours when outnumbered 3 or more to each one of us … that was epic stuff! It actually felt like a “real” war. After two solid days of near constant fighting, the iHub bash was a relief… I slept the next day for 15 hours 🙂

      The everyday small battles are not exactly exciting in and of themselves, they can tend to have a sameness to them unless you shake things up and try out crazy ideas. But the everyday small battles provide their own moments of excitement – like my thrasher escaping with 2% hull left, the thrill of actually catching and blowing up a near billion-isk pod (pod survivability in lowsec is just wrong!), and getting tackle on a particularly slippery opponent (you know who you are!), amongst other small moments.

      Ultimately, PVP is as challenging and exciting as you choose to make of it, regardless of the security level of the space you are fighting in. The challenges differ from pilot to pilot, what excites one bores another, but so long as I keep having fun and lots of giggles, I’m having a great time 🙂

      • Kuan Yida Says:

        Thanks for your reply, that’s probably the most thoughtful response I’ve ever gotten from a null sec PvPer!

  2. […] met her years ago when her former corp joined the Amarr Militia. (I also did an interview with her here, back in the day) Those already on comms were used to being around females and were quite […]

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