Last week, news broke by way of Reddit that a prominent corporation in GalMil, Rapid Withdraw [RDRAW], was forming a “business partnership” with a notorious pirate entity in lowsec, Snuffed Out [<B B C>]. Although the announcement is seemingly dripping with drama, the truth is generally somewhere in the middle. FW.com sat down with CEO of RDRAW, Tek Stalker, to discuss his take on the announcement, the leak, and what the future holds for his venerable corp.
FW.com: So, first off, could you put in your own words exactly what RDRAW is planning to do? Are you quitting FW? Joining a new alliance? Or simply just informing folks you have a new mutually-beneficial affiliation?
RDRAW remains in Faction Warfare and a part of the Gallente Militia. We have no plans to leave faction warfare. We are not joining an alliance. The details of the agreement beyond what we have already shared will remain private. The original corp mail was designed to inform our membership of the new business arrangement.
FW.com: What’s been the reaction of your corpmates to the news?
The deal has been met with a general level of excitement. Pilots have been turning out virtually around the clock to help us push our current objectives and the feedback on our slack has been 95% positive. The other 5% was just clarifications about specific things our pilots should or should not do.
FW.com: The leak on Reddit insinuates that there is some #drama going on between RDRAW and GalMil. Have any comment on that?
That’s probably a bit of an understatement. Once we had an agreement, I went to the rest of Galmil leadership so they could hear it personally. I was willing to answer questions and concerns, and those guys deserved to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
RDRAW generally chooses to remain out of the fray when it comes to Galmil politics. We tend to have a fierce streak of independence. While not unique in Eve or the world, that’s just how we are.
So, on our end, there’s no drama. There was an announcement, which was leaked, and the rest of Galmil is free to react however they’d like to. We will still be pursuing objectives in the warzone and will still work with other Galmil corps that choose to work with us.
FW.com: People have commented in the past that there seems to be a pretty big SP/experience gap between Snuff pilots and RDRAW pilots. Do you think this is true? If so, how do you think this might affect your relationship?
Everyone starts with low skill points. These pilots have value and are the future of Eve. RDRAW is not an elitist corp and that’s reflected in the make-up of our pilot base. Every one of those pilots has the potential to be a great pilot. They just need direction, time and content.
Clearly, Snuff Box and its alliance have been around lowsec for a while. They are well resourced and well trained. RDRAW has a much wider mix of pilots, in terms of resources, skill sets and skill points. RDRAW actually prides ourselves on taking pilots of many different backgrounds and helping turn them into weapons for the Gallente militia.
As far as our dealings with Snuff, both parties acknowledge these key differences and the nature of the deal plays into each other’s strengths and accomplishing individual and mutual goals.
FW.com: How long have you been talking to Snuff about an affiliation?
Snuff approached RDRAW about with a business offer. RDRAW mulled the merits of the offer and spent some time achieving clarity about the nature of the relationship and spelling out the exact terms. The entire process took place over about a two-week time period.
FW.com: Would you even call it an affiliation?
This is a mutual business arrangement resulting in a permanent blue status between the Snuff alliance and RDRAW.
FW.com: Do you and Snuff have a long history of blue status in the past?
Long before its alliance, Snuff Box lived in Sujarento and RDRAW lived next door in Onatoh. So, we’ve been acquainted with Snuff for a long time. RDRAW fleets have tested ourselves against Snuff fleets and pilots for going on three years now.
With that in mind, during the past few months, Snuff reached out on occasion to ask RDRAW to bring small ship support for fleets against the various nullsec powers that decided to come play in lowsec during the initial phases of FozzieSov. Snuff fleets also third-partied on some RDRAW engagements against some of the southern squid alliances. During those individual instances, the parties gave each other a temp blue status.
So, no, the history of temp blue status exists, but hasn’t been a longtime thing.
FW.com: Would you say that this is a natural progression of things or a brand new diplomatic chapter?
To be frank, RDRAW was not expecting any offer at all and were surprised when it was made. As you might imagine, since accepting the offer, it has set off a chain reaction among other corps in Galmil and so, in a sense, we do have a new diplomatic chapter for RDRAW… with the rest of Galmil.
This was anticipated, including the level of vitriol from some individuals in Galmil, but RDRAW is essentially no different today than it was yesterday or that it will be tomorrow.
Trust is earned and we will continue to work on warzone objectives with Galmil. We live and grow and build our corp and our pilots who’ve been with us seem to enjoy our culture. Everyone else is entitled to an opinion, but those opinions generally do not influence our direction or the pursuit of our corporate goals.
FW.com: I have to say this will make the diplomatic situation for the rest of GalMil rather interesting. I for one have flown in countless RDRAW fleets (or rejoiced as you guys land on grid to a losing fight with 2 dozen Svipuls). Now if you’re rolling around with Snuff – things will be a bit more tentative. Is this something you’ve given any thought to?
At this point, we are prepared to help all of our brethren in Galmil to engage in any actions against Squids in the warzone. We’ll even help fight pirate fleets, with the exception of the Snuff Alliance. Snuff Box has neither demanded nor would we acquiesce to attacking our fellow militia members. Snuff is perfectly capable of managing their own affairs in this regard.
FW.com: Thanks very much to Tek Stalker for doing this interview!