Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shalee Lianne: A Chat on Role Playing, Faction War, and Being Female in a Male Universe

I was first introduced to Shalee more than a year and a half ago, when I joined Amarr militia via Locus Industries. It wasn’t until I returned to militia (the Minmatar this time) that I began to more actively read Eve blogs, and specifically her Sovereignty Wars Blog—a blog offering tons of interviews and faction war information.

Interviewing Shalee was fun for a number of reasons. For starters, she's a fellow gamer chick. It's always interesting to hear how other girls' Eve experiences are similar or different.

Also, she is in the Amarr militia--and we are frequently shooting at each other. It's always fun to interview someone you kill/ get killed by on the regular basis.

Thirdly, she does so many interviews herself, I'm often curious as to what her own answers would be to many of the questions. I finally got my chance to ask...

To get started, How long have you been playing Eve? What got you into the game?

"I had seen the ads for the game years before I ever actually played. Randomly I had clicked it once and went to the web site. I fell in love with the gallery, the pictures of space were hauntingly beautiful. I read some of the chronicles, checked out fansites, and listened to the music. I was completely in awe, but at the time I didn't consider myself a 'gamer' or really into sci-fi, so I didn't actually try the game.
However, I would keep coming back to it. I loved the photos of space the most, having always been a bit of a stargazer in real life. 
Eventually a few things happened. A friend got me into BattleStar Galactica and I completely fell in love with it, the storylines and atmosphere was very dark and intense. I devoured season one within a weekend, I think. Then I became obsessive until I had seen them all! 
With a taste for sci-fi, it was a natural progression to try the game. Come to find out, a friend had been playing EvE for years and he talked me into trying it finally. I'm glad he did!
It's been two and a half years-ish now."

What made you choose Faction War? What other things have you tried in Eve?

"I've always been in FW. I was fascinated most by the Amarr and knew I wanted to play one for roleplaying reasons. PIE is a well known Amarrian RP corp, so I applied and was accepted.
I have tried other things but they rarely hold my attention. I've been on a few mining ops and the funnest part was the comms chatter. Do not like mining! I've also done a bit of research for Sab0tag3's alt corp last year, though I didn't stick with it. I'm not good with alts, I forget to train them etc lol. 
I have been to null sec a few times on random patrols, both with Amarr and Minmatar. Not a fan of null sec with their evil bubbles. Nor do I like the jumbled up numeric names of the systems. 
Currently I'm doing trading and I like it the most. (thanks to your blog Susan! It's how I learned how to do it.)"

What is your most memorable ‘Eve moment,’ and why is it so memorable?

"Probably the fights for Arzad summer before last. Up until that time, I hadn't really pvp'ed a whole lot, mostly all I had done was plexed (a ton) and roleplayed. 
Anyhow, the Minmatar were keen on taking Arzad from Amarr and this time it wasn't just the plexers involved, it was every-damn-body. 
Amarr & Minmatar both had constant alts in system scanning for plexes, and tons of people were out in neighboring systems constantly plexing trying to bounce plexes into Arzad. 
It was a constant vigil and so much fun because I was such a sparkly-eyed pvp noob and there was just such an intensity about the whole situation. There were a lot of great fights then, lots of explosions and reshipping, etc. I mean, hour long fights for some plexes. It was grand.
In addition to that, it was during the time that I met Eran Mintor who at the time was one of the FCs for the Minmatar Militia. 
After about six weeks or so, we lost Arzad, but eventually we gained Eran. I'm happy with that trade off."

In addition to Sovereignty Wars, a blog I link here frequently, you also have a role-playing blog. Do you do a lot of in-game role playing? What is your Character’s general back-story?

"EvE truly is a sandbox and is what you make of it. I started the game as an rper and so most everything I've ever done in the game is related to roleplay somehow. 
For instance, I wont become a pirate because it's something my character would not do. I have sat through long, long CVA rp events because it is something she would do (even if I was bored IRL by it). So for me, all in-game actions have consequences. 
I came into EvE with the idea of playing against the grain of the sterotypical Amarr. She wasn't going to believe in God, for one. Though her family was once prestigious and she was the daughter of a Holder (an Amarrian aristocrat), her story would start after the disgrace of her family due to her Father not releasing the slaves after the Empress Jamyl's emancipation proclamation. 
She ran away from home and eventually ended up in the world of capsuleers.
The lore of EvE is very dark and makes for some incredible rp. I love to rp but unfortunately I don't get to do it as much as I used to because I'm more focused on pvp lately, I think. It can become a challenge to balance both. 
Though a lot of guys will roll their eyes at rp and troll it, there are just as many who eventually end up trying it out and liking it. For instance, it took about three months before Predator Elite would even try it but he ended up doing it, and liking it. Now he asks me to RP. 
Really, rp is like writing a huge interactive story. I love to read stories and write stories, it's why I'm so drawn to rp."

How long have you been blogging? Do you have any other blogs?

"I've been blogging since I started playing EvE, though I started out on the PIE website, and just used my current blog as a backup. I have another blog about my IRL opinions on EvE, which is linked from my rp blog."

In Sovereignty Wars, you have done a lot of interviews. Were there any in particular that stood out to you or were your favorite to write up?

"Hmm. The one that stands out the most is MO220H. He asked to be interviewed many, many times and when I finally get around to doing the interview, he gave the shortest answers known to mankind. I tried to probe some gossip about the whole Galatica789 drama out of him and I got nothing. Nothing! 
I don't really have a favorite though, I like them all for various reasons."

Has anyone ever refused to be interviewed?
"Not yet."

If you could interview any one person you haven’t interviewed yet, who would it be?

"Players are really good about doing interviews, so I think I'd have to say someone from CCP. Also it'd be kind of awesome to do an RP interview with someone like the Empress Jamyl. Or Sansha Kuvakei, though he has already done a short interview elsewhere."

Have you found any disadvantages to being one of the few female pilots in this game? How about advantages?

"I think some of the things I've experienced were not due to just being a female, but a 'bubbly' female. When I joined PIE, they had mixed reactions. The newer pilots and I got along great, but some of the 'brass' really didn't know what to do with me. Some of them considered me a disruption, as if I were somehow invading their 'good ole boys' club. 
So being a female in this game isn't always a great thing. 
The advantages would be things like gifts and invitations to corps and what not. Guys are usually nice, but I'm okay with that because I like nice people. Go figure. 
The disadvantages would be an overabundance of testosterone, sometimes I'm drowning in it. Like when the guys link a parade of fukung boob pics. Ugh! I've pretty much broken them from that though, cause I started linking pics of hot naked men and some with naked men's penis. Haha. 
Another disadvantage is when some stupid trolls in Minmatar started calling me things like whore in local just to illicit a fight from my guys. At first I was really upset over that kind of thing but then people like Lukka, Zenton, and Eran would point out that they were just trying to get under my skin and everyone elses. After reporting them to CCP and to their CEOs (thanks Baha) etc, it stopped, and most have since apologized for being a douche."

I know I’ve often gotten a lot of crazy reactions when people hear me for the first time on voice coms. Have you had any similar situations?

"A few. When I was in PIE I was pretty sheltered from the main militia. Not long after leaving PIE, I joined a random militia fleet. I didn't know anyone but I was keen on learning pvp. So I hop onto comms with this small fleet and they were already out and about. The FC asks me something or other and like, the whole fleet goes eerily quiet for a few seconds followed by a few rounds of OMG ITS A GURL. The rest of the fleet was a bust really because all the FC kept doing was flirting to the point that the other guys had to ask him to knock it off and actually FC the fleet lol. 
Another crazy time was when I was in a militia fleet and we went through some random system and one of the wartargets said in local 'Shalee please say something on comms' (because I'm usually pretty quiet in fleets). Anyhow, a couple of the Minmatar had heard the Amarr had a girl and had infiltrated our comms to hear me."

Have you ever felt that people have made assumptions about you, your pvp abilities, or your game-play style due to being female?
"I think one of the biggest assumptions about females in general on the game is that all girls are carebears and like to mission. Personally I loathe missioning, and I love to pvp. Nothing is more satisfying than blowing up ships. 
Nothing else comes to mind really. I don't know that anyone has made assumptions of my pvp abilities."

What kind of unique perspectives( if any) do you think you bring to the game as one of the few female pilots?

"I think sometimes I'm a bit more softer than the guys. Like say, the other night we were out for a roam and we got into a fight with some neuts. They had a POS in system and were about to move it, just needed like half an hour and it was ready to go. 
I started looking up the guys we killed and saw that they were noobs to pvp. I felt really bad about it and guilted the FC into letting them keep their POS. 
As we left the system and started back home, one guy had private convoed one of our fleet mates and was talking smack, threatening I said it was okay to go back, kill them again and take their POS. But the point is, our guys were going to leave them alone! 
Another time we killed a guy moving some Drakes, and I felt so bad that I gave him my share of the loot back, which was like three Drakes. 
I'm a sap."

What is your favorite ship to fly in Eve?
"Forever it was the harbinger, though currently it is the arti hurricane or my abaddon in a BS fight. However the lachesis is becoming a favorite too."

If there was something you could change about faction war, or Eve in general, what would it be?

"So many things!
  • I would make plexing worthwhile. The idea of it is already great. It forces people to ship down if they fight inside of plexes. I would just give a better reward for capturing them like LP or some kind of ISK reward even.
  • I would make it that you had to kill all of the rats inside of a plex before you could capture it.  
  • There would be some kind of tangible reason for holding occupancy other than bragging rights.
  • I would make it so that corps of the same militia could not war dec one another.
  • Have your allies show up on your overview as allies instead of neuts.
  • Make it so that plexes spawned more rapidly and take the focus off of downtime plexing."

Who do you most admire in Eve?
"I deeply admire the FC's. People like Eran Mintor, Predator Elite, Almity, First General, and Zero2espect really make militia worthwhile. They spend countless hours herding everyone around and I know that is a stressful job, but they do it."

What are your thoughts on using neutral support, and the recent drama about Minmatar and Amarr militias ‘batphoning’ neutrals on each other?

"I'm tired of it really. We shouldn't be calling in other people to fight our fights. Both sides do it, but I wish it would stop. As much as I loathe flying frigates, I'd rather have a frig fight with the Mims than to have some outside alliance come in and slaughter their carriers. I want to pvp, I don't want others doing it for me."

What are your thoughts on super capitals in faction war, and in low-sec in general?
"Most people join faction war for small roams and good fights. Super caps have gotten way out of hand lately. It's not enhancing fights, it's usually just a slaughter. 
Super caps are too powerful, they do not belong in low sec."

What are your thoughts on Pandemic Legion moving in recently? (And moving out.)
Seriously though, they don't belong here, I think. They are far too powerful and blobby for our little section of EvE. What can we do against them? Even if all four militias joined forces to fight them I still don't think we'd win. 
They have forever changed things. Until they moved in, I never once heard intel like 'four titans on d-scan'. I mean really, wtf. Titans??!!"

The Amarr have been involved in several battles with PL. Have you been involved in any? What were your thoughts?
"The first time I flew my Redeemer it was hotdropped by them. I made it back to the gate with a sliver of structure left. 
The other night I was in a fight against them, managed to kill a few things before we had to warp off because the brought in the titans."

What are your plans for the future? Any exciting blog posts coming up, or ships you are training for?
"Right now I'm tidying up skills to fly my archons, which I'm super excited about. As for blogs, I have several interviews to post on Sov Wars and some other interesting things, and my RP blog is a never-ending story, so I will always be posting on it."

1 comment:

  1. Good call on doing this interview Susan. I've often thought that someone needs to interview the interviewer. We are lucky to have you both in our little slice of EVE. You both bring unique prospectives to those who know you. Thank you both for peeking my interest in the other aspects of EVE as well. Dagren Darius