Thank you for doing this interview, Garst. How did you come up with your name?
Garst is the combination of the first few letters from my first and last name. Tyrell doesn’t have a specific influence but I could possibly have been thinking of Blade Runner or that imperial commander from Star Wars in the back of my mind. I’ve been using the Garst Tyrell handle since I played my first MMO Star Wars Galaxies back in like 2005.
How long have you been playing EVE? Is Garst your original toon?
Garst is my main and first toon. I started playing in FEB 2009 on trial after Age of Conan got boring.
What is the most appealing thing about EVE? Also, least appealing?
I love the high skill ceiling for organizations and individuals. More preparation really does pay off and the more organized, more dedicated party will reap the rewards for their hard work. There is always something new to learn, a more innovative or efficient way to do something. Fights are unpredictable and are about as far removed from a tourney 6 v 6 counter-strike or DOTA match as you can get. The flip side is the high barrier of entry to some parts of the game. Groups that have historically done something very well are able to shut out new contestants from the most lucrative arenas, which leads to my answer to the next question…
If you could change one thing about EVE what would it be?
The stagnation of coalition politics. Its natural after 10 years that leaders would learn to work with each other for their benefit and CCP has done little to encourage conflict between them. The years N3 spent with sov stretching from Cobalt Edge to Period Basis was a low point for the game that I fortunately missed.
What other games do you play besides EVE?
Loads over the years but since stepping up for TRI I mainly play single player games during luls to unwind. I don’t play any other multiplayer games at the moment. I just finished Dragon Age Inquisition and I’m currently playing through Pillars of Eternity. Next up Witcher III.
I know that you pretty much started your EVE career in Amarr FactionWar, and now you fly in Null. What did you enjoy about FW? Why did you leave it?
In 2009 FW was a lot different than it is today. There were no FW missions that encouraged gimmicky LP grinding for isk that dumbed everything down to frigs vs frigs. The EVE population in 2009 was much higher, and so there was an equally larger proportion in FW and low sec piracy. FW was a great place at the time to learn the game and pick up FCing as you could regularly get into battleship and the rare capital fight. You just don’t see those anymore. I had the pleasure of Fcing some of the largest fights in low sec in a while including a Amarr vs Minnie POS fight over a Star Fraction staging titan staging pos in Kamela on Halloween in 2009 and then later an Amarr vs minnie POS fight in Heimatar over a Dark Rising corp POS in which I was able to get CVA involved. I left because it was time to take my corp out of FW and prepare for my long term goal–nullsec warfare. NoMercy pirated around a little and then joined the old Gentlemen’s Club alliance (no affiliation to the current incarnation) in Scalding Pass as part of the ATLAS bloc. We had a lot of fun there and that was my first exposure to null sec wars, but that’s a story in its own right.
Have you tried other parts of the game, like wormholes or high sec?
I briefly roamed into wormholes as a noob with my bud Raphael Saint, both of us in navy omens. We lived out an anchored can in a safe in the earliest day of their addition to the game when they were fresh and still wild areas. I think CCP allowing anchorable POS in wormholes killed a lot of that wonder and it was a missed opportunity to develop them as a roaming, nomadic experience for EVE players. NoMercy dabbled in offline high-sec POS bashing and war-decs while in faction war, and had an ongoing war-dec from Star Fraction that bled over into high-sec.
What are some of the benefits of living in null versus other sec’s of the game?
Bubbles. Its amazing how much a single game play mechanic can drastically change the quality of play and options available for fleet pvp. In low-sec fights are consensual or require brawling with hard tackle in order to keep enemy fleets from running. For this reason almost every low-sec fight is based around armor, usually t3 doctrines. Throw bubbles in the mix and everything changes. All of a sudden the geometry of fleets fighting each others matter. Defensive bubbling, slings, walls, every angle allows you to control range or suck enemies into a trap. Bubbles can also force enemies to commit or suffer losses while running away. Bubbles keep supers tackled when they would otherwise be able to escape in lowsec. In a nutshell they change the calculus of fleet pvp completely for FCs which really encourages higher level game play and more challenging fights where a better FC and his fleet can shine over superior numbers that would lose a warp-to-0-brawl. Brawling doctrines still exist somewhat in nullsec, but the doctrinal choices are much more interesting and range control is paramount. In the end this is just one factor that encourages far superior fleet and individual pvp in 0.0. Other factors are just the nature of the beast that nullsec is fought over higher stakes and attracts people who want to do ‘srs business’ pvp so the skill level can be very high.
You are both CEO of No. Mercy and Alliance Executor of Triumvirate. How did you become Alliance Executor?
NoMercy joined TRI when I restarted the corp in August 2014 after coming back from a 2.5 year absence. NoMercy was enjoying the catch thunderdome for small gang roaming and pvp when TRI deployed down to Curse as our neighbors and invited us to join. I stepped up as one of the lead FCs using my prior game experience and as the existing leadership became busier with RL and Wargod eventually resigned, I naturally gravitated into the spot.
What are some of the trials and tribulations of being Alliance Ex?
The same as any senior leadership position. You must be willing to accept public scrutiny and the fact that you will never make everyone happy, all the time.
You will put in long hours and be expected to be around daily. Alliances whose leaders disappear or perform the cliche afk-executor role are circling the drain.
Discuss some of your most memorable moments within Triumvirate, and outside of Triumvirate.
NoMercy had a t1 cruiser roam for our first corp birthday while we were living in Derelik after Gentlemen’s Club. Someone posted it on scrapheap challenge and turned into a gank night 🙂 We had 150 people show up, jump into ahac omens and travel with us to provi where we brawled down a 80 man drake fleet. We had so many ships left over we flew to stain, dropped fleet at the star and did a FFA thunderdome to see who the last man standing would be. I almost made it to the end 🙂
I remember doing supercap hotdrops onto an supported PL dread fleet bashing NC towers in venal with Elo Knight and Ben Booley, lighting the cyno, alt tabbing back to my aeon only to find the client crash. Shouting ‘oh fuck oh fuck’ in comms as they loaded grid, giving elo a heart attack because he thought I just cyno’d him into a trap… but they ganked a naglfar and slipped away. Too ez.
But then I got elo and booley’s supers killed a couple weeks later while fcing a nice battleship/cap fight against venal residents to save our POS. Somehow I ignored the fact that PL was deployed to H-PA in jump range during the entire fight, bumping our supers into the shields when PL’s entire cap fleet jumped into local. Their titans promptly vollied what was left of the POS’ structure and killed our supers. Bad times.
In TRI we continue to take fights outnumbered, many times it goes well…sometimes it does not. TRI took 100 in fleet including 60 rattlesnakes against 400+ CFC in domis and AFs over a cadmium moon in vale. We were winning until euro goons executed a nice jump clone trap from fountain to 40 pre-staged dreads in tribute which blapped us, wiping the rattlesnakes almost to a man. Gee gee.
There are so many good fights its really hard to pick just a few. Faction war, low sec, Gents Club, Venal, Solo super hotdrops up north on jump freighter logi routes, small gang in curse, TRI’s winter 2014 campaign against the CFC, and now TRI’s offensive to the east… In the relatively few years that NoMercy has existed in the game, we really have punched above our weight class in picking fights and creating content for everyone.
From your perspective, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Triumvirate?
TRI is one of the highest SP alliances and oldest names in EVE. This is a double edged sword. TRI is unlike any previous incarnation with brand new leadership and ideas for EVE in 2015, not stuck in nostalgia of what EVE was in 2007. Although we have a lot of rich and high SP players with a high individual skill level, we also face high attrition rate of bitter vets who understandingly have diminished interest in the game after playing for a decade. Wargod is a good example of this. I choose to leverage this weakness into a strength by providing an environment where the old guard can play and mentor the new generation of aggressive PVPers who are keen to move from one challenging campaign to another and crush everything before them!
How long have you been an FC? How did you get started FCing?
I have been FCing since I started the game in Amarr FW. I had some experience in guild management and leading raids in Age of Conan during the 6 months I played that and its been a learning experience and long road ever since. I guess taking a leadership role was something I naturally gravitated to–“if you want something done right, do it yourself”.
What advice would you have for a new FC?
Have a plan. Put yourself in the enemy’s shoes and ask yourself how you would fight your fleet if you were them. Then take those most dangerous courses of enemy action and plan against them to pre-empt their actions. Give the enemy as few opportunities to put you in a position of weakness as you can. This applies not to just to strategic fleet fights but also to small gang roaming. There are no fair fights in EVE, and if you expect otherwise you are being naive. Take any advantage you can in a fleet fight.
What is your favorite fleet comp to FC?
Battleships! I was known in the old days for running armor Amarr battleship doctrines when Hellcats were still a thing, and before that brawling battleships in low sec and faction war. In TRI I pushed hard for a heavy Rattlesnake doctrine during our winter war with the CFC post-Phoebe but it never really came into its own until the spring offensive against the drone lands. The Rattlesnake has probably become TRI’s most iconic doctrine of incarnation but we also use armor machariels for sniper gangs.
Are you looking forward to ‘fozzi-sov’? How do you think it will impact the alliance?
I am not. I believe its a flawed mechanic that just isn’t fun to play based on feedback from the duality war games and entosis links on TQ. We will have to see how the meta changes in July and adjust accordingly. TRI should be able to defend its sov easily enough as we took it before the changes, avoiding any beacon grind. TRI has strong allies in the region and owns “shit sov” that most people don’t want anyway since they underestimate the real value of Etherium Reach as the gateway to the east.
Tell us a bit about No. Mercy, and what you look for in a potential recruit.
NoMercy is a family. I cant genuinely recall the last time we’ve had drama or even arguments in corp despite flying in high stress, high stakes combat daily.
Many of the current members since the rebirth of the corp have applied in groups from previous corps that closed down so they have brought this previous working relationships into the greater whole and gelled. NoMercy is always selectively recruiting experienced and competent PVP pilots who aren’t looking to be spoon-fed.
Any potential member must understand I hold my corp to a very high standard and expect them to be the role models for whichever alliance were in.
If someone wants to join N.M, what is the process?
Simply join No.Mercy pub channel in game and ask to speak to a recruiter, often myself. Be prepared to give full APIs for any relevant accounts.
What is your most embarrassing killmail/story?
Other than jumping my titan into a NCDOT cap kill fleet instead of bridging? 😀 I remember my first loss in EVE was running hydochloric acid between low sec stations in my bestower for 12 MILLION ISK PROFIT PER RUN!! Until I met Mr. Tachyon Abaddon on the lowsec side of the gate. Rude.
Please link any blogs, kill boards, or videos that you’d like to share.
70 Merciless Abaddons vs 300 NC Maelstroms.. we won 🙂
Battleship fights in Venal
AHAC fights on the 6NJ8 undock against the Northern Coalition
NoMercy t1 cruiser scrapheap gank night against Proviblob
TRI + Solar + BL vs XIX domi CTA blob featuring yours truly doing some driveby doomsdays
TRI and Solar take a cap fight with S2N that escalates into PL rushing over to finish off the S2n scap fleet
CFC 40man dread hotdrop onto TRI rattlefleet taking on 400+ hostiles
Word Association! First word that comes to mind when I say:
CCP – T2 BPOs
Monocle – Wargod
No Mercy – Professional
Noob – For A Few Finns More
Troll – Reddit
FC – Lawgiver
Boobs – http://www.bonjourmadame.fr
Fleet – My domain
Amarr– Faction War
Beer – Yeungling
Failheap challenge – Babe Thread
EVE Related Celebrity: Elo Knight
Ways to make isk: Moon Goo Embezzlement
Ammo: Scorch L
Corpse: Jade Constantine
Star System: K3JR
Food: Chinese Takeout
Song To Fly To: The Island Part 1 – Pendulum
Thank you for the interview!