of the most effective and long-serving agents in the GIA, Vile Rat,
has done double-duty as both an agent and a diplomat in Goonswarm.
Often, the lines between diplomacy and espionage blur. I've taken some
of his time to interview him, dragging him away from his current
assignment where he amuses himself ferrying fleet after fleet of
Sc0rched Earth to their doom.
made you decide to get into the spy game?
After flying for a little less than a year in Goonfleet while being
heavily active in both our Outer Ring invasion and our failed Cloud
Ring escapades I was provided a unique opportunity. A friend who was in
a now closed corp called Contraband Inc. had invited me to join up with
him and fly with his group which had just recently joined the Mercenary
Coalition. I had been putting that option on the back burner while
informing Mittani and Remedial as a possible espionage move but to do
so would mean that I had to move my primary character over and really
sever from the corp instead of using a secondary agent like most do. It
was a really tough decision because I'd have to cut myself off from the
social side of Goonfleet which really is where the fun happens. It was
determined that I didn't have enough skill points to join directly so a
decision was made by my ConInc friend to put me in a 3rd corp to get
some distance between Goonfleet and the MC since they weren't great
friends at the time.
have you served your time?
The decision was made to put me in Shinra which was a member of the
Lotka Volterra alliance and he used his connection with Nebba Knezzer
who led Shinra at the time to ease the hiring process a bit. The timing
was exceptional because shortly after moving over hostilities began
between Goonfleet and LV which resulted in abandoning the MC mission
for the LV one. It was all a big accident but somehow things just
worked out. Currently I'm doing the spy thing with Sc0rched Earth but
that's hardly an accomplishment. Having a spy in Sc0rched Earth
requires you have a pulse and little else.
you, what was most difficult part of being an agent?
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Initially I retained GF.com access due to the good relations between
our corps but once things broke down I was booted. This signaled the
severing of my ability to play space ship video games with goons and
really sucked the fun out of the game but I was still able to follow
along on the forums with a parachute account set up by Mittani for my
use. The new culture I had to learn to live with in LV was, to borrow a
rather unfortunate term, "Alien and Ungoony". Everybody was interested
in only themselves and there was no sense of community at all.
Ironically enough the only community I could call a home away from home
while performing this mission was a group of exiled goons inside of LV
and it at least gave me some people to chat with while doing my work
surprised you the most about espionage itself, or about your target?
Easily the culture difference. The pure arrogance that people displayed
on a regular basis not only against their enemies but against their
friends shocked me. We have a reputation as complete bastards in the
EVE community but ironically we are extremely loyal and dedicated to
those we consider our friends and this simply didn't exist in that
alliance. They really believed they were god's gift to EVE and acted
superior in everything they did and any dissent was squished pretty
quickly. There is a reason the term "going lotka.org" is used, they
would delete any post or thread that questioned the version of reality
being spewed by leadership. I think this all hurt their ability to form
a cohesive bond in the end and aside from being counterproductive
(telling people things are great when your own lying eyes tell you
otherwise doesn't help morale) it just makes you not give a shit about
your alliance 'buddies'.
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was your proudest moment or greatest accomplishment as an agent?
My time in LV was mostly mundane recon work and feeling out the various
alliances and relationships the south had. We didn't have a whole lot
of information about what was going on and at the time there was a real
debate going on about possibly joining up with LV as a space holder
under their umbrella. To that end LV didn't have very many 'a-ha!'
moments aside from me giving real time reports about that Mothership
event they cheated on. My time in Sc0rched Earth has been a lot more
fun as I've personally led 3 fleets into the loving embrace of Shadoo's
titan or bridged HAC gangs. There isn't a lot to report on in a dying
alliance so I get to do more direct action which has been a blast. It
gets amusing when your FC expresses disbelief that Pandemic Legion
somehow found them yet again which crushes their morale and makes the
log off in a huff.
do you think is the Achilles Heel of alliances in EVE?
Cohesion. It's been said a thousand times but it's still true that
nothing else matters. If you have some sort of bond, either an out of
game forum or some sort of unified language/nationality, then you can
get through a lot of bad shit without losing everything. Alliances that
are just a bunch of miserable nothing corps that joined up to take
advantage of nice free space that fell in their lap won't last very
long because they have nothing else in common other than self interest.
That's what we're seeing right now in Sc0rched Earth as their primary
corps leave the alliance and they find themselves unable to even enjoy
their space due to the 23/7 presence of cloaking blackops ships. They
feel helpless and abandoned by leadership and start to think that it
has to be better off nearly anywhere else because they get no benefit
out of their effort right now.
you have any 'near miss' experiences where your cover was almost blown?
Not really, no. It's been so easy as long as you don't do anything too
stupid and don't become predictable. It's even easier when your target
has no real community so there's no opportunity to stand out or be
noticed. As long as you show up for PVP ops and don't do anything that
draws attention you are just a quality member of the alliance and
would you compare your time as a spy to other professions/paths in EVE
that you've experienced?
Well I've enjoyed spying, even more so in my current mission, but
there's nothing quite like hot dropping a dread on somebodies cap fleet
knowing they are completely boned. Not nearly as fun when it happens to
you feel any sympathy for your target? Do you think this reflects on
you as a person?
It's a video game. This is something that everybody playing this game
should take a few moments and consider quietly to themselves from time
to time. Do I have any sympathy? Of course not. I blew up Megaton while
playing Fallout 3, but I don't think that reflects on me as a person.
To me it's just part of the video game and a successful spying mission
is along the same lines as soloing a jump freighter with a single dread
at a hostile pos or taking over a region. Spying is, and should always
be considered just one more aspect of the EVE experience and if you
don't take advantage of it you are really handicapping
yourself. It's all about killing the enemy or destroying
their space empires and in the end it's all just video game pixels.
Besides it's nothing personal, just business.
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