Saturday 7 August 2010

Faction War Interview: Julius Foederatus

Welcome to the latest FW Interview. Many thanks to Julius for agreeing to take part. I have enjoyed seeing his different view and insight into things, I hope that you do to.

Name: Julius Foederatus

Corp & Role: Armoredcore Armed Forces CEO

Militia: Gallente

Most likely to be seen: Leading general militia fleets, and occasionally carebearing

Tell us about your background, what did you get up to in your time before Faction War? What was it that lead you to sign up?

Well I started EVE as a filthy carebear, doing missions and being very cautious with my money. I was in the FNA npc corp for a long time so I had to be since I wouldn't have lasted very long in pvp with my skills and without a way to make some good iskies.

What are your preferred ship types and fleet set-ups?

My bread and butter is BCs and down, but honestly I'll do anything to fit the situation. We even did anti-frig cruisers and frigate hulls to go fight one of Hidden Snake's 'wolf packs.'

I noticed that AC-AF spent its early days as part of an Alliance before joining FW. Can you tell us a little of the corps history and your pilots currently get up to together?

I don't know much about the Alliance days because I joined up at the tail end of them, and I was a clueless noob who just enjoyed doing missions and getting loot. I started getting into PVP with some roams with corp friends or with Terrus, who showed me the ropes, and I kept wanting to do it more and more. We also did some WH piracy for a while but I kept badgering Terrus to join the militia, and he finally relented. This current batch of pilots almost exclusively came to the corp during our FW tenure so we're all about pewing, although we do fw mission fleets sometimes so we can make some isk.

Quite a lot has happened during the last year such as Gallente loosing all system sovereignty, followed by many prominent corps leaving the militia and then the MDP formation. Later came a huge downturn in Caldari activity which has now come full circle to a period of high activity again. How have the various ups and downs effected you and your corp? Has it been a case of carry on regardless or were there times when you thought about leaving Faction War behind? Did not being part of the MDP leave you isolated?

We've stayed in militia the whole time, so we've taken it all in our stride. The only time you could say we were seriously affected was when we went to WH space to live for a while cause the Squid activity was so low. But that was not very fun, and squids started getting their shit together again so here we are.

I never felt isolated from the MDP myself, but then I would just get a general militia fleet up and we could have fun regardless. It might have been different for other corpies if I wasn't on or other people outside the MDP.

I understand you have at times been a prominent plexer, what is the big attraction? Do you do it for PvP opportunities or simply to help capture systems back from the Caldari?

When I first started in militia, it was during the time that we had zero systems, so the little RP troll inside me was very gung ho about retaking systems. After the initial enthusiasm wore off it was the challenge of taking on The Pervs and overcoming the obstacles that were laid before us. We had to understand the plexing respawn mechanics and form a strategy to win based on them. It was challenging and that's why I liked it. When something becomes too easy then it just isn't fun anymore.

You are one of the very few Gallente FC's who has continued to run fleets with the general militia throughout the past year. Is working with the militia something you enjoy or simply a means to an end? Have you found the spy problem as prolific as people make out? How do you deal with spys in your fleets?

It's true that there are a lot of noobs in the general militia for sure, but there are also a lot of skilled pilots who for whatever reason don't want to join one of the MDP corps, or are members of corps who don't want to join or don't meet the requirements, and they are always fun to fight with.

And I do enjoy it, much for the same reasons I enjoyed plexing: it's challenging, and also it's never boring. As an FC you have to work with whatever is put on your plate and try and form a winning plan with it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's always different and never boring.

As for the spy issue, I've developed a screening process to try and weed out spy alts from fleets that I believe has been successful over the year (I hope anyway lol), and I have to deal with spies only very rarely. Sometimes its still hard to tell and you have to err on the side of caution or maybe take a risk, but the worst that happens is that you lose some internet spaceships. If we do get a spy in fleet then I try and identify him and then isolate him. It's an imperfect process but it's the only way really.

Do you think general militia pilots are unjustly given a hard time when they sign up these days? What advice would you give to someone who was joining the Gallente militia for the first time?

I'm going to take a risk and get on my soapbox a bit here. I do believe there is a tendency among certain members of the former MDP to label anyone who's not in the MDP a spy or unfit to work with and simply leave it at that. Perhaps that's changed a bit since the organization dissolved but I can still see it happening.

For sure there is a spy problem, but I think more damage is done rejecting people simply because they just joined than letting in the occasional spy and then having to hunt them down later. There are plenty of people, new to faction warfare, who are not necessarily new to the game and who probably shouldn't be labelled spies right off the bat.

As for the REALLY new players, this is my advice to you: Intel. A good way to prove you're not a spy is to give intel on enemy fleets. Give good intel, give it often, and we can check it to make sure it's accurate and after a while people will see that you're not really a spy. If you do it enough and do it consistently, that is, imo, the best way to be accepted into the militia tent.

CCP has clearly indicated that it has no plans to dedicate resources into improving Factional Warfare for the time-being. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think FW is suffering because of the lack of dev attention? If you could ask CCP to make one change to FW right away what would it be?

I think it's bullshit. I don't think FW is dying for lack of attention but its certainly not thriving either. I think CCP is just trying to herd players into 0.0 space as much as possible and not wanting to support a more casual pvp experience, for whatever reason. I think the biggest change that they could make to FW is to make system occupancy really mean something.

My personal opinion is that they need to remove docking rights at stations where the corp or faction standing for a player is below a certain amount. Now if one of the FW systems is captured by the opposing militia, the faction who owns the system is now tapped for docking rights.

I think it would do a great deal to enliven FW, and I think it would have the side effect of actually diversifying the eve economy and creating a little less lag in Jita. It's a bit ridiculous to see Gallente militiamen going up to Jita to buy and sell quite regularly.

What, for you personally, are the big pluses in Faction War? What is it that keeps you here?

Casual Pvp, good friends, fun times, and navy domis :D

Favourite memory from your time in the militia?

I think my favorite moment from FW was the first time I lead a successful BS fleet. I formed a general militia BS fleet that was designed to bait the squid blob into engaging. We had a spy in fleet and we knew it so I used him to relay bad intel about us having no support.

We managed to get the squids to engage us by jumping into us in the Hirri system, and then we sprung the trap. Vickers came in leading an MDP fleet, and then Admiral Goberius bridged in a third fleet that came down on the squids. It was the first time I could remember breaking the power of the mighty squid blob, and damn did it feel good.

I think a close second was when we retook the first Gallente system, Covryn, after months of trying to plex.

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