“I go by Sothrasil,” he said, “but people call me the Angry German. I enjoy making things better. I didn’t think what was happening was good enough, so I stepped in and tried to help.” As a young fleet commander (FC), Sothrasil got great experience, but found that Goonwaffe needed more formal instruction. “We had a great FC leader, but he was a bad teacher,” he explained.
These days, Sothrasil is more known as the guy who taught all of the teachers, in part because of mentors who helped him. When he started, FCs had biweekly meetings with leaders who “tried to teach something in every meeting.” As part of his legacy, Sothrasil spent time developing Repswarm and Linkswarm, two SIGs for support pilots with some of the most in-depth training available both in-game and on the forums.
Soth, as he’s sometimes known, has played EVE for eight years, coming from a top 100 WoW guild. There he put lots of thought into theorycrafting for raids, a skill he said has been invaluable in EVE. “The special thing about EVE is your actions actually become history and shape the world!” he said. “Everything you do in EVE has an impact on the game. We play EVE not for the fight, but for the story of the fight.”
As both an experienced FC and an FC trainer, he has great advice for new players. “You can’t learn everything in EVE at once. You can’t read every guide and expect to understand it. Don’t limit yourself to the theory either – you have to go out and get into the activity.” He also credits Goonwaffe’s culture as being a major aid in helping new players, and particularly new FCs, settle in. He said that “when new FCs ping, people go out on that fleet. I want to have fun and I want the new FC to have fun!” Being around as long as he has, Sothrasil has seen the evolution of the Imperium’s Ship Replacement Program (SRP) from being only for strategic fleets to fleets for even minor things. A big help, he said, has been doctrines for brand new FCs to fly.
He’s a big advocate for players testing themselves in the crucible. “The hardest part in EVE is getting people to not care about the losses. It’s okay to lose, as long as you learn from it. Don’t bother taking out a destroyer fleet, you don’t learn enough!”
Finding A Home
The Angry German said EVE could be improved by CCP pushing “players more actively into corporations.” He said, “The current corp finder is a joke. Every corp basically ticks all the boxes in the corp finder.” He recommends that either CCP or the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) curate a list of new-player-friendly organizations, or force corporations to be more restricted in describing who they are for in the corp finder. Without the ability for new players to really figure out which organizations are good fits for them in terms of culture, activities, and training, EVE’s infamous learning curve will remain as steep as ever for players not in the know.
Like a lot of people, Sothrasil “won at EVE” (a tongue-in-cheek joke meaning someone quit the game) a couple of times over his playing career, but he’s come back for war and particularly the camaraderie it fosters. “EVE is about the players, not the characters,” he said, and he echoed CCP’s motto, adding, “The best ship in the game is friendship.”