Here is the second in a series of profiles with FCs from the most recent war in the north. This time, meet Apple Pear, of the Hogyoku (-HKU-) corporation in the Goonswarm Federation.
Gray Doc (INN): A lot of people choose really tough guy names. How did you create the name of Apple Pear?
Apple Pear (AP): A couple months before I started playing EVE I bumped into my brother and his friend, who were playing EVE. They were talking all about it, so then I started playing. I didn’t want to use the same name I used for other things. So, I saw an apple and a pear laying around, and the name was available. That’s how I got my name!
INN: You’ve risen to be a consistent FC in the Imperium in only about four and a half years. How did you make the journey to be one of the more important FCs?
AP: Well, it started out with the first five months in highsec, just trying to learn a bit about the game. I did a lot of ice mining. After about five months I was ready to do some other things so I joined a corp, Di-Tron Heavy Industries (DTHI), and started the nullsec life. We lived in Fountain and I started ice mining there and also started doing fleets, as a fleet member. I started being a logi pilot from the start. After doing three or four fleets, I always noticed that people had a discussion of who would be the logi anchor. I realized that I could do that, so I started to logi anchor in my T1 logi ship. I started to grow slowly as a logi anchor. We had one FC that didn’t like me, since I was in a T1 logi ship and still was the logi anchor. He whined about it. He was like “Get out!” and was being an asshole and I hated that. I decided never to fly with that FC again. That’s also one of the reasons I’m always very friendly to newer people. I always give them a chance to ask questions and get them to participate in the fleet because I really hated that bad behavior from the start when it happened to me.
A friend of my brother had a chance to get into Goons three and a half years ago. Together with my brother we joined, and slowly grew, and I started flying T2 logi ships. I was getting started in those days with Arrendis. We had three or four logi anchors, myself included, that did all the fleets. We slowly started doing logi classes. I started doing some wars in Cloud Ring and kept doing logi more and more, getting known as an anchor, and also training other people how to logi anchor.
“Let me get this fleet home then.”
INN: When did you start to take on very large fleet FC roles?
AP: That slowly grew. I was doing logi and was in a fleet and the FC decided he was fed up with it and he left. We were nine jumps out and there was nobody in command outside myself as logi anchor. So I said to myself, “We have to get back home. There’s nobody else, so let me get this fleet home.” I brought the fleet home and some other people said, “Why don’t you start FCing?” So I started FCing smaller fleets. The really large fleets started near the end of the Casino War. I had the option of doing pretty much every subcap option we have and when we took Delve that was when I did a lot of work.
INN: How did you feel about the Imperium getting kicked out of Deklein at the time?
AP: It sucked. We saw it coming, but we knew we couldn’t hold the fortress. We made it as difficult as possible for them. We did a lot of smaller harassment stuff. I FCed some of those ops. The whole purpose was to kill enemy ships, but it was probably more to keep people busy. As an FC, that’s pretty amazing, that you always have a fight. I FCed a lot in those days. I FCed maybe 50-60 fleets a month in those days.
INN: Do you find such fights as X-47 exhilarating, or stressful, or both?
AP: Oh, they aren’t that stressful really. It’s necessary. I hate roaming around if I don’t have a goal. As long as my fleet has a goal, I like it. So, I had no trouble doing structure bashes, but if you send me with a well-made fleet into enemy space just to kill some ratters I’d be getting bored. I need to have a goal for my fleet. [Regarding X47], it’s amazing to be a part of such a big group and such a big effort and to do that together with everyone that’s there.
INN: When we talked last, right after the ceasefire, you were planning on restocking your wallet? How is that going? How do you make ISK in EVE?
AP: I love to mine. I mined when I started EVE and I’m still mining, so that’s what I’m doing to make ISK at the moment. I think I’ve made a billion today, so that’s pretty OK. I’ll make some more and slowly get my coffers back up before the next war.
“PL was stupid enough to move their supers . . .”
INN: Are you surprised at the alliance combinations of the recent phase of the war. For example, we saw Vily join Dabigredboat and The Mittani on The Meta Show, talking about our recent cooperative two-front war against the north. Not that long ago, you were fighting Test Alliance, Please Ignore (TEST) and possibly Vily himself.
AP: When I started playing against TEST, that was one of my nicest fights ever. We had a big fight in F4R where they dropped two citadels, but we destroyed them in the end. That was an eleven-hour fleet and that really made my life amazing; a lot of great stuff happening there. That was fighting against TEST and Circle-of-Two (CO2). But when they moved, the diplomats started getting to work. Our two alliances started working together in certain places and if Pandemic Legion (PL) showed up, and other bad people, we were able to work together. I think there was an understanding that if PL or Northern Coalition (NCdot) decided to infiltrate any of our [combined] territories, we would work together to get them out. That’s pretty much what happened. PL was stupid enough to move their supers to TEST space and we and TEST talked about it and we decided we can just go to the north, make it a split war, and that’s what we did. Eventually the offensive in the south died out. We won the strategic victory in the end. The big goal of the thing was to make sure they were forced away from the southern front and that happened. Apparently the north was even weaker than we thought and we got to kill some more Keepstars and other things.
INN: So, with these unusual pairings and the switching of sides of a group like C02, could you ever see a day when the Imperium fights alongside NC and you and Killah Bee are FCs on the same team?
AP: I don’t see us working as a whole group together [with NC or PL] because there is too much bad blood between the alliances and the line members wouldn’t accept it. There are also a lot of cultural differences between NC/PL and Goons. Also, PL has done a thing like switching sides during a fight. I don’t know exactly what happened there. I wasn’t playing the game then. PL is not to be trusted in those kinds of things.
“I have a big hatred for CO2”
INN: EVE history suggests that there are huge pendulum swings, with alliances having very tremendous successes only to have extreme reverses later. The Imperium, for example, was forced out of the north, only to become a current superpower crushing the same aggressors who won two years ago. How long do you think this current win streak can continue for the Imperium?
AP:I think the Imperium has made some big changes from the time of the Casino War, when we were bloated as hell. We didn’t really do that much fighting. You’ve seen in the last few years, with the SIGs and the squads together, people keep busy and people keep fighting. We don’t sit around anymore and get big and fat. We are better prepared now. One thing we have to worry about is hubris. You always have to be aware of what’s happening and someday a big force might come in and want to kick you out again.
INN: Any insight on what might happen when the current ceasefire ends up north?
AP: I’m luckily not on that level anymore and I don’t have to decide those kinds of things. I have my opinions and what I hope we do. I have a big hatred for CO2, so any time we can shoot them, I’m happy. I think Horde has some things coming, but there are also other deserving candidates. I’ll leave it up to the leadership to decide where we go. And where we go I’ll follow and start shooting people.
INN: With the recent purchase of EVE by Pearl Abyss, do you think EVE is going to see some changes regarding performance issues, or is this game fading out?
AP: I don’t think Pearl Abyss has anything to do with it. CCP is always working to make things better. That’s very important to me. If they stop working on the game, and just maintain it, you’ll start to see the game die, but the game really has made big changes [recently]. We now have 25,000 people logging in. There were times when we had 5,000 people logging in. It’s pretty amazing with the numbers we have and where the game is now. The game is in a healthy spot now, healthier than it has been.
INN: How would you sum up your four or five years in EVE Online?
AP: An amazing time. What makes EVE great is the way you work together with people. You get to know many people and make friends that way. That’s what EVE is, chiefly. The game is nice; the game is great. But being together and working together on a goal and being a social part of EVE, that’s why EVE is great. That’s why people stay with EVE, myself included.