This is the second in my series of interviews with Eve University directors, this time with Silentbrick, E-Uni Fleet Admiral. So without further ado…
So, you are Eve University Fleet Admiral, what does that mean exactly?
I’m basically the military director for the Uni. I effectively run the Uni during Wartime, which is how MM set it up really and it evolved over time. I set and create military police and while I could do it all on my own, I prefer to work with the other directors since they have good ideas and help me try to see all aspects of the policies created. I do try to stay out of the non-wartime decisions as much as I can, since I don’t want to be imposing my will on our civilian directors. Honestly though, I don’t really feel much need to do more than give my opinion as one of many when items are debated for most things and it’s rare that we need a serious decision about Military policy.
I consider my main function to be ensuring that people learn about PVP and leadership, since they are very important parts of the game while also ensuring the Uni has adequate defenses against griefer corps.
What’s the best thing about the role? And the worst?
The best thing is watching griefers not only die to Eve Online’s noobs, but also noob lead fleets most of the time. That is the greatest pleasure I get from this game. The worst is dealing with drama. It comes in cycles, but it’s rarely anything new, just the same things again and again, that in the long run, don’t change because of what the Uni is.
If you weren’t in the Uni, where do you imagine you’d be by now?
If I wasn’t in the Uni, I probably wouldn’t be playing EVE, I was very close to quitting when I joined the Uni. If I left it now, I don’t know what I would do really as I don’t plan on leaving.
If you had to sell the University to a new player, how would you do so?
I’d point out that we’re the only place in EVE Online where someone less than three months in the game has gotten to be in the Alliance Tourney and gets to lead fleets of 150 people. I’d also point out that we’re one of the few places in EVE where the likelyhood of one of your corpies ripping you off is very very small.
What’s the ILN, and who can join?
The ILN Is the Ivy League Navy and any Uni member is allowed to join, if they agree to remain in the Uni for 3 months. There’s no time requirement to be online or activity level, joining the Navy is simply a way to learn more about PVP and for those active and willing, a place to learn leadership.
With the creation of the Battlegroups the ILN has been divided into Time Zone based groups, what is the vision behind this?
The idea was to create official groups of pilots that would operate together as well as open up the possibility for pilots to gain a variety of experience. Each battlegroup has 6 officers that each have differing functions as well as slots for squadron commanders. It also gives those pilots with the same general playtime more opportunity to do things together, with the same pilots. This is very effective for building teamwork and promoting people to take more active roles.
How would you like to see the ILN develop over the coming months and years?
I’d like to see more pilots remain in the Uni for longer periods of time, permitting us greater ability to match corps that war dec us in skill points as well as in number. I would also like to see us gain more cap ship pilots, because taking down POS’s with battleships just takes way too long.
Is there a plan to implement a progression and/or rank structure into the ILN that offers the opportunity for unistas to develop their ILN career?
That has already been done with the battlegroups, the six main positions are all tied to a specific rank in the ILN and there are additional slots based on the squadrons of each battlegroup. The main positions are the CO and XO, which are ranked Captain and Commander respectively and then the four staff positions which hold Lt. Commander Rank. Squadron CO’s are Lieutenants and XO’s are Lieutenant Junior Grade.
If I were a University player looking to learn to fly a particular role in combat, what would you recommend I look to specialize in? And where would that take me in the medium to long term?
I don’t generally tell people what they should specialize in as that’s a function of their own temperament. Someone that likes flying EWAR ships will perform that function better than someone with more skill points that is only flying it as needed. So my recommendation would be to try each role, tackler, damage, ewar and logistics before deciding which you like most and then concentrating on that role. That’s the real path to becoming the best pilot you can.
Given a free choice of role in a combat fleet, what would you choose to do?
I typically fly damage, as that’s been something we usually need in Uni fleets, particulary long range damage. But it’s kind of rare I get to really participate fully in battles as commanding them means you’re busy and once you’ve set your weapons on a target, you generally ignore it while you monitor and control what else is going on.
And what’s your favourite ship, and why?
My favorite ship is the Raven, because it’s the most flexible battleship in the game. Sure other ships can do certain things better, but no other ship can handle as many roles as well as the Raven.
Are you planning to play Dust 514?
I haven’t really decided. I think the kicker for me would be finding out if Ubercado plans to play it and then I probably would.
Would you like to see an ILN infantry division in Dust 514?
It would be interesting, though I’m not sure how that would fit into the political structure of the universe, since the Uni is neutral generally.
When you aren’t playing Eve, what other games (online or offline) do you play?
The other ‘game’ I play most online is actually Mushing, though just World of Darkness Mush’s. I also play Left 4 Dead online a good bit. Offline I enjoy things like Rome Total War, Starfire and a rather large variety of wargames and games with strong plots.
Any forthcoming MMOs that you’ll try out?
There are other MMO’s? I’ll probably give the World of Darkness one a try, if White Wolf ever gets it out.
Back to Eve, what change would you most like to see to the University?
I really only handle one aspect of the Uni, and I can implement any changes I need in it. I’d much rather change aspects of the game, such as being able to use the title system to give ranks to people but it’s so limited we can’t do that.
And where do you see your Eve self in 2 years time?
In the Fleet Admiral’s chair still. I have no ambition beyond that. I certainly don’t ever want the Chief of Operations job again.
And a last few questions:
Beer or Coffee?
Pirates or Ninjas?
Legions of Terror
Dogs with hats or flying monkeys?
Flying Monkey’s armed with plasma guns.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’ve been in my job at the Uni four years now….can I have a vacation? Say, no wars for 6 months?
Thanks very much for your time…
You can follow the exploits of the University Fleet Admiral on his blog.
Next interview will be up sometime next week, when I talk to University Director of Education and CSM chairman, Dierdra Vaal.