Some might say TEST are an off shoot of Goonswarm Federation, but in reality they are much more different than that, i had been eager to do this TEST interview since day one because i love all the crowd-sourcing / think-tank funny stuff they come up with and mostly because they stay true to what i believe it’s the most fundamental fact about EVE “it’s a game and your really should enjoy it as it is”, so I fired up an interview with Dreddit CEO and TEST alliance leader Montolio and boy what a fun interview it was: ^__^
EN24: thanks for accepting the interview Montolio
Montolio: No problem
EN24: well, how is TEST going, being the third alliance in game, what’s your retrospective look from it?
Montolio: TEST is going pretty well, we’ve grown rather large recently and have been cutting out the corporations that have failed to integrate properly. Being one of the largest alliances in the game was never really the goal, it just sort of happened. TEST corporations have a great deal of freedom and are expected to contribute voluntarily, that can a be draw for some people.
EN24: what’s TEST corporate culture?.
Montolio: TEST doesn’t have CTA, we don’t have mandatory ops, and we try to avoid fees and taxes whenever possible.
Montolio: We try to keep it in mind that this is a game, we are doing it to have fun.
EN24: But! But! Internets Spaceships = Serious Business
Montolio: I only fly internet spaceboats while wearing a tie.
EN24: Ok, let’s get on with current stuff first, tell me about the NCDOT affair
Montolio: The temporary blue standings?
EN24: yeah and how do you see that conflicting with Nc Relationships which I would like you to define, since most non-TEST guys seems to have an identity crisis with the TEST blueset.
Montolio: TEST isn’t an establish EVE entity, one benefit of this is we don’t really have any mortal enemies. We are open to working with pretty much anybody as long as they aren’t incredibly serious or difficult to get along with.
Montolio: We respect a lot of the NC alliances, some of the others, not so much. TEST doesn’t consider itself an NC member, but we are definitely friendly with the NC.
EN24: which is the same mindset GEWNS haz right?
Montolio: More or less, yes. Goons do have established and long term relationships with some NC alliances though. TEST doesn’t have those connections yet.
EN24: Some see TEST as Goons’ little brother or even an evolution of goons, what would you say of it?
Montolio: We have similar origins and share a lot culturally. They’ve done a ton for us and have been strong and generous allies.
EN24: What happened to TCF, it was a dying great old alliance (almost senile some would say), did they merged with you guys to some extend?
Montolio: Some of TCF is now inside of Goonswarm Federation and other NC alliances.
I don’t think we took in many TCF members when they disbanded, we do have a french corporation though – TRantor Corp.
EN24: I have to say, I admire Dreddit approach to “noobs”, giving them a chance of doing real internets-spaceship harcore stuff very differently from EVE University, like when a kid gets his first truly serious porno mag before seeing that cheap sex-ed films, I remember TEST granting free rifters and skillbooks to their newest members when TEST started, do they keep being that noob friendly?
Montolio: We try to stay newbie friendly, we have a free frigates program and hand out skill books. We’ve also got a channel that is specifically for newbies to ask questions in, deedeereddit. Most of this is done through donations and run independent of the leadership.
EN24: Ok, what’s up with Curse? we got word of a deployment there -___0 c/d?
Montolio: TEST deploying to Curse?
EN24: yeah, we got that intel, is it true?
EN24: blame it on the SPAIS!
Montolio: We are discussing it internally right now. Basically we’ve been seeing how well Stainwagon has been doing and we want to come down and participate against The Initiative.
EN24: some of our readers would say “ What a blasphemy TEST + StainWagon!?”
Montolio: We’ve offered to set standings with Stainwagon for the duration of the campaign, if they do the same in return.
EN24: who else is coming with?
Montolio: This would be a TEST only deployment. The rest of the Deklein Coalition would stay to defend Cloud Ring and attack Fountain. The Eye of Terror jump bridge network from Deklein will be active in less then 20 days.
EN24: very interesting, a while ago I got this piece labeled “the TEST Masterplan”:
TEST ALLIANCE PLEASE IGNORE WORLD DOMINATION TOUR:
* Settle into Deklein, build up TEST strength
* Earn Goon and NC trust by participating in defense fleets and campaign against Ev0ke
* Begin NC destabilization by subverting/sabotaging NC pillars BCA and OWN; convince Goons to kick them out, absorb their best corps for our benefit
* Finish Cloud Ring campaign to increase revenue and remove an unknown factor (Ev0ke) from the area
* Cover our true intentions by dropping fake sov in Delve, to make it look like we hate IT (insert fake Montolio / Molle chat log planning the diversion)
* Become 3rd largest alliance in game
* Get CR bridges functional
* Make our true intentions known: blue IT, invite them to stage in Deklein, attack Stella Polaris in Branch
* At the same time, Russians push into Vale of the Silent
* Through combination of military pressure and sabotage from our internal agents, NC guests begin to cascade
* Combined TEST, Goon, Wildly Inappropriate, and IT forces take down RAZOR
* Russians take down MM
* We lure Goons into “turning against” IT, but it’s a trap – IT is losing ground, but in crucial battle, Goon supercap fleet destroyed by TEST and IT, goons disband, some of their corps join TEST, making it the largest alliance in the game
* TEST and WIDOT crush what’s left of IT
* TEST and Russians rule the galaxy
Montolio: This is 100% true.
EN24: Wow, you got it all figured… ballsy
EN24: ok, back on topic, Stain-Wagon main enemies are INIT, is that’s mainly what you guys would be aiming?
EN24: the Initiative(Dot), so you guys just going there to “pack some heat” and “shoot some shit” or there are other intentions?
Montolio: We are going there with the intention of having fun, support Stainwagon, and inflicting as much damage as possible.
EN24: damage to all StainWagons reds that would be, right?
Montolio: From what I understand Stainwagon doesn’t have a lot of US TZ presence, we would be helping out with that. Filling in the gaps.
EN24: should I presume that after Ev0ke left, things got boring around TEST hood?
Montolio: Fountain roams have been entertaining and we’ve had some action in Syndicate/Outer Ring
EN24: so Curse = Goodfites?
Montolio: Curse is for good fights and strategic purposes as well, The Initiative. is one of the only major IT Alliance allies left, removing them will weaken IT and make any future action in Fountain easier.
EN24: I just finished reading an article the the mitanni posted last week at TenTonHammer.com, tell me about this “Flotilla”, personally I believe it was a terrific idea, yet I wasn’t really aware of the true genesis of the idea, how did you guys come up with stuff like that!?
Montolio: They sort of form organically, our forums are drama filled – when people find something to latch onto, that seems funny they go for it 100%.
EN24: like 4chan’s crowdsourcing at it’s best?
Montolio: We have the 4chan EVE corporation, FYI.
Montolio: Autistic Sharks
EN24: way to go!
Montolio: They used to be Haters Gonna Hate
and before that they were Broski Enterprises, So yeah, these sorts of things just form organically whenever something interesting/funny goes on.
EN24: Some epic names there.
EN24: what’s the main driver behind TEST
Montolio: In general? Have fun, collect tears.
EN24: LOL, what do you guys think of the current OWN – NC arrangement, the basically got thrown in the drone ghetto, so to speak.
Montolio: OWN are terrible, if anything this gives them a chance to prove themselves. One of the downsides of the NC structure is it provides a safety blanket for alliances so that many of them never have to face a real external threat. Putting 4 guys into every NC fleet so that you end up with thousands of kills on your killboard doesn’t make you an ‘elite pvp’ alliance
EN24: what do would you count as a better way to appreciate an “Alliance Worth”? I mean, I do agree that some CEO just has to make sure he get one of the guys on kill-boards and then he is “set”, am thinking maybe a collective damage dealing counter? 0__o
Montolio: I’m not sure to be honest, I wouldn’t want to get into the habit of measuring performance or requiring people on ops or whatever. I don’t know what a better system is. OWN had a major entitlement complex as well, they thought everything they had done in the past was a justification for everything they were doing in the present. Like doing something great in the past automatically excuses you from any sort of judgment in the future. Coalition structures and defensive pacts will always lead to bloat and corruption internally, but its hard to hold such large regions of space together with any sort of stability without having these pacts.
EN24: Rainbowland indeed.
EN24: let’s talk IT
EN24: this whole INIT assault as I get it, is in preparation for a larger anti-IT campaign?
Montolio: I would be lying if I said IT didn’t factor into a decision to attack INIT
Montolio: A larger anti-IT campaign I can’t really speculate on right now though
EN24: but basically could be said to “keep IT at bay”, right?
Montolio: It would isolate IT
Montolio: Stainwagon has no love for them
EN24: TEST made international headlines with this “incident” where according to CCP, you guys “exploited” a game mechanic and somehow stole some land from IT, could you elaborate on your view?
Montolio: The Delve/TCU/extended downtime thing was never really an invasion. We saw an opportunity and took it. People had been using downtimes and extended downtimes to accomplish these sorts of things in the past – even before CCP introduced TCUs people would time towers to come online during downtime or to come out of reinforcement during downtime, so on. We assumed it was just use of a normal game mechanic, CCP had never enforced anything like this in the past. The main argument CCP had was that it was unfair that IT Alliance had no chance to defend that space. I can see the issue there, but I have to call bullshit. Those systems have been empty for months, they are not IT Alliance space. It IT wanted to defend those systems from us they could have put a TCU in them at any time.
EN24: as a CAOD graduate (oh boy this is going to hurt) I couldn’t help to notice the tremendous response in CAOD, TEST basically high-jacked the forums
Montolio: The initial reaction from GMs was inconsistent at best. They removed TEST TCUs but left SBUs & TCUs that had onlined during that time, until we pointed it out. Then they removed some but not others. We asked for a clear policy and CCP refused to give us one. Best we can assume is that a TCU has to spend 51% of the onlining time outside of downtime.
EN24: you guys happy with the outcome?
Montolio: I think it is good
Montolio: Check out
EN24: What the!..
Montolio: Dreddit tits
EN24: ohh god =_=
Montolio: This guy provided tits of his girlfriend for Dreddit
EN24: what the deuce! tell me about the redditors, how does that work with dreddit?
Montolio: Yeah, if you don’t already know, Dreddit is based off of users of the site reddit.com
EN24: Right but was it a “pre-meditated” idea or just something that spun out of it?
Montolio: A group of redditors decided to start a corporation, it went from there.
EN24: and to be in there is the requirement of being in reddit right?
EN24: spai proof?
Montolio: Joining Dreddit
Montolio: Not spy proof, no.
Montolio: We have an authentification system that automatically runs against a large blacklist pulled from several NC alliances. We use this, limited API keys, and some common sense to try and prevent the spies that don’t want to put in a lot of effort.
Montolio: A limited version is available publicly at our Public Black List
EN24: You guys seems to be very high profile whenever TEST get wardec’d, do you guys actively follow and respond war declarations or just decide to ignore them and let them “thin out the herd” during the War duration?
Montolio: We pretty much ignore any war declared against us, the majority of our membership shouldn’t be in highsec anyways.
TEST only declares war if:
A) I am bribed
B) It will be funny
C) It will create tears
For example, once we declared war on a high-sec corporation a while back called :Exodus Development” and they decided to make peace by gifting us with this video of the CEO signing to us:
EN24: OH GOD, you guys were really serious with the tears! 0.o, i gotta say on behalf of our readers…
…thanks for that.