Late Night Alliance is one of the premier Minmatar alliances in Amarr/Minmatar Faction Warfare space. With the Amarr-Minmatar warzone now shifting in favor of the Minmatar, I journeyed to Fortress Huola to find a voice on the other (Minmatar) side of the perpetual conflict. In the following interview, ShahFluffers, LNA alliance member of the Ice Fire Warriors corporation, shares his thoughts on the Amarr Spring campaigns in Huola and Lulm, the Minmatar counter-attack, and Factional Warfare mechanics in general.
- Reginald Sakakibara: How long have you been in Factional Warfare?
- ShahFluffers: Since September 2009. Around that time I was riding the coattails of some bittervets who had attempted to run a rookie lol-corp. I was one of maybe a handful they thought had potential. One of them, a man named Reverend Phoenix, made a new corp for all of us to join… Vitharr’s Vengeance. I learned a lot in those early days… especially how to take a loss gracefully.
- Reginald Sakakibara: How long have you been a member of Late Night Alliance (LNA)?
- ShahFluffers: Since March 2010. When Vitharr dissolved I briefly attempted a life in 0.0 and found it unimaginably boring and stiflingly structured. You couldn’t cough on comms without being yelled at. So I got back in contact with one of the guys who stayed behind and asked to join the corp that had taken him in; Ice Fire Warriors. I’ve been there ever since.
- Reginald Sakakibara: How would you describe your position in LNA (director, diplomat, FC, small-gang specialist, industrialist, etc.) ?
- ShahFluffers: Oh god… one of the things that has been both liberating and frustrating about LNA in general is that we don’t have any specific titles or roles or anything. We give people we implicitly trust (a very small group, by the way) the permissions to do everything and then all do what we have to do when we have to. So I’ve been equal portions POS operator, re-supply guy, diplomat (ahaha), court jester, public relations, scout, hero tackle, logistics… you name it, I’ve probably done it (with varying degrees of success).
- Reginald Sakakibara: What are your thoughts on the Huola Offensive led by Vitoc Health Services?
- ShahFluffers: There was an offensive? I mean… I came on one night and saw the system 6% contested one day… “good job” I guess? In all seriousness… I have been noticing that the Europeans have been buying more supplies and contracts from Huola’s markets than usual. So I guess the fighting is going good? Sometimes being in the Pacific time zone sucks.
- Reginald Sakakibara: Huola ultimately did not fall, why do you think the system held?
- ShahFluffers: Probably because we have near 24 hour coverage of the system between multiple corps/alliances… most of them fairly competent and all of them having some serious firepower they can bring to bear.
- Reginald Sakakibara: What are your thoughts on the fall of Lulm, orchestrated by Winmatar, VHS, and Shirak SkunkWorks?
- ShahFluffers: Short Lived. We just took Lulm back just yesterday [April 13, 2014].
- Reginald Sakakibara: In your opinion, why was Lulm captured in the first place?
- ShahFluffers: I’m going to assume you are still referring to the Amarr capture of Lulm. It was a combination of factors. The two biggest being:
• It was too far from Huola, making reshipping up or down painfully slow and not worthwhile (we missed a lot of fights because of this).
• No one wanted to commit any assets (like a carrier full of ships) to a system that was already hovering around 50%.
- Reginald Sakakibara: What do you think was the deciding moment for the Minmatar militia to begin pushing back in the warzone?
- ShahFluffers: As bad as it is to say… when we started seeing the “backwater” systems belonging to the Amarr start inching up in contested percentage we knew the tide was about to turn. We (correctly) figured that some Amarr would be too busy either trying to plex down the systems the farmers were relentlessly picking apart or getting their assets out of places that are soon to be “vulnerable.”
- Reginald Sakakibara: Where do you see the Minmatar militia one week from now?
- ShahFluffers: Probably Tier 4. The Amarr will have consolidated themselves to their 2 or 3 “bunker systems.” Minmatar militia veterans will go inactive again out of boredom.
- Reginald Sakakibara: Where do you see the Minmatar militia one month from now?
- ShahFluffers: Probably at the tail end of Tier 4 and losing systems again. With more Amarr out and about, the Minnie militia vets will come back and we’ll have a grand ‘ol time again!
- Reginald Sakakibara: Do you have any concluding thoughts?
- ShahFluffers: Yes. I implore the DEVs at CCP to look into ways to…
- Curb or discourage FW farming.
- Look back into station lock-outs and whether it is having positive or negative effects on the warzone.
The warzone (especially the Minmatar/Amarr one) is defined less by the PvP and war tactics and more by the farmers that wonder “which side can we earn the most LP from?” It has gotten to a point where it is almost predictable when a warzone shift is about to happen (and I have noticed that the market does somewhat reflect this tendency as well).
As for station lockouts… it does make sense lore-wise and it does encourage some degree of cooperation… but it also discourages people from spreading out within a warzone (out of fear of being locked out due to conditions beyond their control) and makes leaving the militia entirely a very attractive thing (as some former FW veterans have found out).