An interview with Azmodeus Valar

Posted: January 12, 2010 in Eve Uni, Interview

The new year is a time for new things, fresh shiny ideas that have never been attempted before. So in that spirit, I’m going to offer a series of interviews with the Directors of Eve University… oh… I started that already…

Oh, well, there goes my neat link piece. Instead, let’s just get on with the next interview, shall we? Without further ado, I present to you, Azmodeus Valar – Director of Logistics.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for us. Let’s get straight on.

So, you are Eve University Director of Logistics, what does that mean exactly?

It means I’m in charge of the industrial side of the Uni. That involves overseeing four separate divisons: Hangars, Production, Research, and Mining. Except for Mining, each has its manager who works under me. The hangar division is in charge of keeping our corporate hangers nicely sorted and stocked for all of our students. This includes the free modules and skillbooks students use, and also items for special events, replacement ships, etc… Based upon the needs identified by the hangar department, the production department uses our extensive blueprint library to build every module, ship, and round of ammo used by the uni. Research is in charge of overseeing student use of the research jobs at the POS, and delivering jobs and maintaining the research wallet. In the past, the mining division would be in charge of conducting uni mining ops and overseeing the mining loaner fleet. Currently, it is primarily concerned with overseeing the mining loaner fleet, but its duties will be expanding with some changes this Spring. I also run the BYOM ship program, catalog and maintain the Uni’s logistical reserves and blueprints, and run the Uni freighter project. I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but thats a decent summary.

And before you joined the University, what path did you follow?

I originally started my eve career in a small low-sec corporation of friends. However, after most of the group fell inactive, I needed to set a new course for my life. I joined Eve University hoping to explore some other areas of the game, and share what little I’d learned with other pilots.

What’s the best part of your job as Director? And the worst?

The best part of my job is dealing with the students and managers. I have a top-notch group of managers who work in my department, and their dedication constantly amazes me. They are always willing to spend time helping the Uni, and the talents they bring are amazing. The students are also a great pleasure to deal with, as it constantly reminds me how important that t1 frig is to a new player, and puts my job in perspective. Unfortunately, the worst part of my job is also due to the students, or at least a very small subsection of them. Thefts are a particular pain to deal with. We keep backstocks of many modules so we can quickly replace what is stolen, but those backstocks have to be replenished. The system works great at meeting the continual gradual depletion from student use, but theft but big demand spikes that require someone to spend some significant time replenishing our stocks.

What is it that the Logistics department offers students?

A lot of what the Logistics Department does is behind the scenes, and its really hard to comprehend the full extent of it. The most visible parts to the students would be the corporate hangers, BYOM ship program, freighter program, research services, and mining loaner fleet. People don’t understand that while their t1 fitted frigate with modules isn’t much in isk, when aggregated across the entire Uni, especially during wartime, it leads to large numbers of modules, ammo, and drones that have to be requisitioned from production, built (which involves pulling BPOs and minerals, and restocking mineral supplies as needed), moved into our logistics hangar, and distributed to the public hangars as needed.

And is there anything that you don’t offer that you’d like to be able to?

To be honest, there are a large number of services I wish we could offer. I would love to have locked blueprints students could produce or invent from as needed, multiple industrial pos for students to use, a stock of discounted t2 items for students, etc… However, things such as isk, and especially flawed corp mechanics make some of these ideas currently impossible or highly risky.

When I was a new student, fresh from the tutorials, I found the whole production/research/logistics side of Eve terribly intimidating (and if I’m honest, I still do!). Where would you advise a new player to begin their industrial journey?

The easiest way to get into industry would be to attend one of the beginning industry classes that are periodically held in the University. These will help players know the basics, and supply them with a t1 BPC to play with (supplied by the logistics department). After that, its a matter of research and perseverance. The industrial side of Eve usually requires someone to understand the market, identify a need, and work to fulfill that need. A basic item like ammo is usually a decent introduction to production, even if only for your own use.

Can the Logistics department help me make iskies out of my industrial skills? How?

If you decide to make production, we have a variety of services to help you. We can loan you the mining ship you use to get ore, or the industrial ship you use to haul it. We offer freighters at a discount for players who need to haul larger amounts. We’re going to expand into refining into the near future. The research division can walk you through getting a blueprint researched for use, or I can loan players a BPC if they just want to try it out. Our staff are always great at answering questions, or you can just convo me if you need anything.

Do you prefer mining, research, production or stock-taking yourself?

I started as hangar manager, so that always will have a special place in my heart, but to be honest, its not the most thrilling work. I like invention personally, as it incorporates a bit of all sections.

Given a free choice of role in a combat fleet, what would chose to do?

I tend to fly damage dealers when in Uni fleets, as we have been weak in that area during some big wars in the past, and its fun to melt someone’s face off. Cap ships are my next step, as I have everything needed, and just need an excuse to use it now.

And what’s your favourite ship, and why?

My favorite ship is probably the taranis. Its fast, strong, and can put out amazing damage for a frigate. Its what an assault frigate should have been, mislabeled as an interceptor. It can get close and melt almost any other interceptor, but does require some judgment when picking targets. Small ships are always fun because they just seem more responsive. Don’t get me wrong, melting an enemy BS in a Mega or Abaddon is nice, but doesn’t have the quick feel of a taranis in combat.

What change do you hope to see come to Eve in the not-too-distant future?

I would love to see Corporate titles and roles completely overhauled, along with the Science&Industry interface. These are two areas that could use substantial work, with a few very small changes making my life so much easier.

Are you planning to play Dust 514?

I’ll probably give Dust514 a chance, but can’t see myself becoming too active in a Dust corporation. I just don’t have the time to do that with another organization.

Would you like to see it interact with the industrial side of the game in any way, as it is intended to do with the conquest aspects?

I would like to see some interaction, but for that interaction to be limited in strategic effect. Eve’s mining and industrial sides have seen very few improvements in the last few years, and really need to be revamped and set straight before attempting to balance its integration with Dust.

When you aren’t playing Eve, what other games (online or offline) do you play?

I honestly play a little of everything. I’m playing Assassin’s Creed II, Brutal Legend, and Mass Effect 1 (prepping for 2 to be released later this month) right now. I tend to like FPS, strategy games, RTS, and RPGs. Other online games are hard to fit into my schedule, as they would interfere with eve. My fiance also likes video games, so I end up playing some of the “cuter” types of games with her.

Any forthcoming MMOs that you’ll try out?

I might give Star Trek a try, but I’m waiting to see some more details.

Back to Eve, where do you see your Eve-self in a year’s time?

It’s really hard to say. I can’t see Azmodeus leaving the Uni anytime soon, but I do have some other personas experimenting with other aspects of the game.

How can the students get involved with the Logistics department, if it’s a part of the game that interests them?

It really depends on which division they want to be involved with. Volunteering to be a hangar officer (when those positions are open) is always a good start, as it helps build trust for some of the more security sensitive positions in the hangar department or research. Mining just involves leadership. Step up, lead some mining fleets, and you could be the next mining manager before too long.

And a last few questions:

Beer or Coffee?

Liquor

Pirates or Ninjas?

Ninjas

Dogs with hats or flying monkeys?

Dogs with Hats

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I think that more or less covers it. If any students have questions for me, or need to get some support from my department, they are welcome to send me a forum PM or convo me. Irjuna Valar is my industrial char in the Uni (strangely Azmodeus Valar has almost no industrial related skills, despite being Logistics Director), and you can convo me on that character as well.

Thanks very much for your time… it’s much appreciated.

Anytime. Thanks for doing this.

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As a side note, but still E-Uni related, apparently we reached 1400 active players in the corp the other day. 1400! That’s a lot of people!

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