Header art by Redline XIII.
In a series of profiles we are looking at some of the FCs, from both sides, involved in the recent Northern War. Meet alphastarpilot, of Horde Vanguard ([TRYHD]) corporation in Pandemic Horde (REKTD) alliance.
“A lot of negativity directed toward myself”
Graydoc (INN): How did you choose the name alphastarpilot?
alphastarpilot (ASP): I started playing this game when I was 11. Honestly, I asked my mom to help me come up with some names and we came up with alphastarpilot.
INN: You started to FC when you were 12 or 13. Tell me about those early FC experiences.
ASP: It was very tough getting respect because of my age, but what paid off were my successes and my willingness to get better and always improve, take constructive criticism and apply that and get better and better. That earned me a lot of respect. I still dealt with a lot of negativity directed toward myself throughout the years, but now that I’m a lot older and more established, I’m now pretty well respected. But, in those early years, it was pretty much of an uphill battle in the trenches. I got through it and it helped me toughen up, grow a thick skin as a person, even outside of this game as well. Learning not to take shit from anyone, just keep being me.
INN: Did being a “squeaker” back in those early years help you approach the game differently?
ASP: Yeah, it definitely did. It made me be more careful who to communicate with and helped me establish true friendships with people in the game. It helped me stay focused. I learned a lot of life lessons when I was young in this game – taking criticism, getting better, ignoring negativity and staying positive – which very much transferred into other aspects outside of this game.
INN: You’ve been in a lot of corporations since joining the game in 2009. Have you found it difficult moving around so much?
ASP: Yeah. In the early years I was moving around a lot. My explanation for it is that I was following the content. I didn’t really like the politics in this game. I like the fights, so I kind of considered myself an FC consultant. When a client needed an FC, a content creator, I would come over and do that for them. But obviously that changed. I unsubbed basically for a year and a half, during the time of World War Bee. Then, I came back to Horde, for which I was director. Then, I had a falling out and unsubbed, then resubbed and have been in Horde ever since—about a year ago. It has been great and I consider this place my home in this game now and I don’t plan on ever changing that.
“I was 12 and 13 at the time”
INN: What do you like about about being in Pandemic Horde?
ASP: I really like the community. I like the PanFam community in general; it’s very strong with lots of good connections. Also, it was really the only place where I was provided with the tools and the assistance to help myself get better in FCing and diversifying. In a lot of other places, there was just so much middle management garbage that I had to deal with, just to do fleets. But here, Horde gives anyone the tools to run fleets. If you have the competency to be a successful FC, Horde will provide you the tools to be even better at your job. That is what really helped me stay and become a director. Then, there was a little bit of a falling out, because I was an annoying, hormonal, 17 year old kid. When I came back, I was around 19 or 20. I had grown up some more and had become more laid back and more focused. Now, I’m running a SIG in Horde called Partisans where we deploy to some kind of front line and get content, so it has been very good so far.
INN: What were some of your most enjoyable moments playing Eve? When did they occur and what were you doing?
ASP: The first enjoyable moment was the Delve Thunderdome, 2011. That was my “breaking out” moment. It was after the old NC fell and everybody pretty much deployed to Delve and fought each other. Nobody cared. Every day there were like three big fights. That was my first coming out of the darkness as a solid FC. I did a ton of fleets, a ton of strat ops. I was 12 and 13 at the time and I gained a lot of respect and had good fleets and good fights.
The next moment that I thought was super awesome was the Halloween War. I joined Triple A. Some friends of mine said, “we could really use you,” so I joined. Also, I’m Russian and can speak Russian; so, being in StainWagon, as an American, and being an FC in the US time zone while also being able to log in to the EU time zone and speak Russian and FC in Russian, made me a pretty valuable asset. That was a very crazy experience. I was on the computer 16 hours straight running fleets. I was coordinating supercap movements to get supers into B-R in two different languages while I was also FCing 150 interceptors for literally 14 hours straight, running around and shutting down any subcap backup trying to get in the system. The whole strategic goal was to keep all subcaps out of B-R, so we shut down the system while also responding to any subcap formups and staging systems. While I was doing that, I was in other channels and other comms, coordinating in Russian and English to get more caps and supers and dreads and titans. So, that was a really crazy experience. That war overall was awesome.
INN: With what you were doing, how did you make it through high school?
ASP: I don’t know. Magic? I don’t know how I’m going to make it through college right now doing all this. I’ve definitely bitten off more than I can chew right now, but that’s OK because Horde has a lot of support when it comes to helping FCs. They have a large depth of FCs and recon people. Everyone is in good hands if I have to go for a little bit to do real life stuff. College is busy. Trying to get a job.
“They were just hilariously bad”
INN: Conversely, what were some of your worst experiences playing Eve?
ASP: When I was in TEST it was very rough, mostly because middle management were just complete idiots and didn’t really know how to manage. I am a Business Management major in college and, looking back on it, they were just hilariously bad. For example, I was one of their only active FCs. I couldn’t get SRP for my FC ships. I couldn’t ping for my own fleets. But I still kept doing it, doing my best and defending as much of Fountain as I could, but I was never given the tools to be successful at it. That was definitely a dark time.
(He ponders for a bit, clearly thinking back on other times.)
The month or two before I unsubbed were pretty rough. I had a falling out with Horde leadership. I was in PL and didn’t really care for the game anymore and left the game for a year and a half. But I got the itch back.
INN: Are you concerned about the situation in the north, now that the reset with GotG has happened?
ASP: No, I’m glad it happened. The more enemies the better. I hate blues. I don’t like blues being part of a massive coalition. I know the game is now geared more toward empire-building, because that is currently the modus operandi. But I never really liked that aspect of the game. I like what Horde is doing; it’s like “We don’t need all these allies; we can hold our own.” People love to underestimate us. We just took on the Russians right now in Branch, in their prime time, and killed their supers and their subcap fleet trying to reinforce our staging fort. So, people can underestimate us and we’ll still keep having a good time.
“We can still do this without you”
INN: Do you see Pandemic Horde moving away from NCdot and even Pandemic Legion?
ASP: Definitely not moving away from Pandemic Legion. We just had our PanFam dinner at Eve Vegas and it was 60% Horde members and the rest were PLs. We are very close with PL. With NCdot it’s a different story. Pandemic Horde and NCdot definitely have some issues. I feel the line members all like each other and are fine with it, but the war in Fade the Goons started was basically a big . . . (pauses, searching for words). I’ll keep it short and I’ll keep it legit. NCdot really pissed me off in the Fade war because after the N-47 battle, Killah Bee—except for one or two big ops—just stopped logging in. They would never merge fleets. I would ping in coordinating channels to do a joint op, but they would never join my fleets. I would go off to fight Goons with just the Horde SIG I run. Having another 100-150 NCdot from the US time zone would have been awesome, but any time I pinged, they never showed up. The two times their FCs formed their own fleets in the US time zones, they just didn’t really talk to me in Discord about what they were doing, then yelled at me on Discord that I wasn’t on grid, even though I was. There were just tons of communication errors. They treated Horde members like shit in joint fleets, like absolute shit, even though their members were the ones that couldn’t anchor properly, didn’t fit ships right, etc. It definitely rubbed me the wrong way.
Fun Fact. We had this big fight in DO6. The Horde SIG and GotG versus this Goon fleet. It was very even in numbers and we kicked the shit out of Goons and I just pinged “Fuck you, guys!” to our coordination channel, because I was super pissed at NCdot. I was so hyped we won, I was like, “Fuck you guys. We can still do this without you.” Killah Bee decided to go on Talking in Stations and say how Horde didn’t commit to the war. That really pissed me off. That’s why I poked the Talking in Stations people, “If you are going to talk about Horde and Horde’s future, you should probably talk to one of Horde’s FCs and get that side of the story, not from a third party.”
INN: Any thoughts on CO2?
ASP: I was in CO2 for awhile. There are a bunch of cool guys in there. One of the reasons we lost the war is because GigX likes to do his own thing. If you turned your head away for two seconds he was turbo feeding Muninns to Goons in Fade and not telling anyone what he was doing. But they are a good group of people. I hope that they can go back to being active. They are kind of just krabbing, kind of not doing anything, and I guess that’s what happens when your spiritual leader, your moral leader, is banned. Nobody wants to do anything. I hope they get somebody else to rile up the troops and start forming 200 dudes again in EU time zone and go do something. So, I wish them the best, for sure.
INN: How would you sum up your experiences playing Eve?
ASP: Very wild roller coaster ride. Right now it has been very chill. I’m enjoying my position in Horde. Overall, it has been a very bumpy road. I honestly don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to continue, but so far it has been good. I’ve been having a good time and I’ll keep doing my best in this campaign and helping out. Definitely all my experiences in the past helped guide me in the present tense of this game.