Interviews: Elise Randolph and Grath Telkin

In celebration of CZ50, I took the opportunity to sit down with Pandemic Legion FC, Alliance Tournament pilot and commentator, former CSM and all-round chill dude, Elise Randolph as well as Sniggerdly CEO and the angriest man in Eve Online, the legendary Grath Telkin. The original plan was to interview them both together but the weather with Grath decided to put an end to that: B2Ft-xuCUAAI-KS So I had to make do with Elise alone and we sat down to discuss Phoebe, Rhea, sovereignty, what CCP are getting right, what they are getting wrong, the 0.0 meta and what this all means for Pandemic Legion. I’m biased but it’s a fascinating discussion on how nullsec is changing and how the leaders of a major 0.0 alliance deals with those changes for better or worse. Interview_ Elise Randolph _ CZ50.mp3 Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 22.34.01 While it looked like we had lost Grath to the weather, literally five minutes after I had finished recording with Elise, up he pops on Skype. Rather than miss the opportunity to chat with Grath, I sat down and asked him some of the same questions I had asked Elise and it’s cool to hear they different ways they answer even taking into account that they are both high-ranking members of the same alliance. Tonally a very different interview to Elise and fascinating to dissect what they agreed upon and where there were differences. Interview_ Grath Telkin _ CZ50.mp3 Thanks to both Grath and Elise for taking the time to talk to me around the amazing celebration that is CZ50!
Tags: 0.0, elise, grath, null, phoebe, PL, rhea

About the author

Xander Phoena

The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.

  • angrymanfan

    I could listen to grath talk all day long. such a boss.

  • Manas

    Eve would be a terrible as a Theme Park MMO. Eve’s adrenaline rush is derived from risk, not ISK or being powerful. Grath is at peak of both, but he mentions in the podcast how he was close to stepping back a little and unsubscribing (some of him) accounts. Too much candy makes one sick.

    Phoebe is great because it unsettles the ground underneath the major coalitions, and gives smaller alliances/coalitions a reason to hope for their chance in the sun. It may not be enough to do that on its own, but CCP has explicitly stated that they are going to continue to patch Eve until the influence of large coalitions is minimized.

    The clone upgrade mechanic was pretty dumb, but it was a method to add cost to PvP. There will certainly be more PvP now, but won’t each loss be less meaningful? An unplugged jump clone + a stack of poors-fit insured T1 ships => Respawn Eve. Team Fortress does it better, faster and cheaper.

    Eve is suffering from ISK poisoning, but where else can the ISK flow be staunched? Invalidate insurance payout for losses in 0.0?

    I think the only way Eve works is if it has the potential to hurt. Hurts you, or hurts your group. I am hopeful that the CCP team remembers that too.

    • Sticker Jim

      Not exactly a news flash, but for people who believe their own hype, Eve IS a theme park mmo. The mechanics all over the universe are no different than any other mmo out there. What’s different in this theme park is the park owners allow people to be assholes. That doesn’t make it NOT a theme park, it just make it a cesspit where anti social assholes keep away people who would otherwise pay a subscription.

      Thankfully, you didn’t use the same tired Eve “sand box” meme, because it is far from a sandbox, and will never be a sandbox.

  • scrub

    Fucking baller interviews, amazing questions and amazing answers. Both Grath and Elise really have their fingers on the pulse of the game when it comes to understanding what makes it so great.

  • Smokey

    So looking forward to CZ51 with Elise as a co-host/guest. It was a great interview that could have gone longer.

  • GrouchyOldGamer

    I enjoyed these interviews, the sovereignty options were very interesting to me.

    My personal preference would be for CCP to implement a free form system in which the groups can upgrade space but there isn’t a mechanism to claim ownership. Essentially turning player owned 0.0 into upgradable NPC space.

    Timer based fights are an awful play mechanic, I know very few people who enjoy gameplay which requires hundreds of your friends to log on at unsociable hours to grind down a structures. The simple truth is the best thing about sov warfare is the shit talking and bragging rights – not the gameplay. You’d get the same experience burning and pillaging a pocket of space a group claims as their own with none of the sleepless nights and bullshit that sov warfare brings.

    Any convoluted system of points for living in space is going to be superfluous because if groups live in that space they’ll defend it and fight over it. 0.0 is meant to be lawless, wrapping it in rules of space ownership seems to run counter to that concept and has created these huge player groups.

    I would really love to see CCP develop a play style were people living in space can upgrade it for industry, ratting etc but without an ownership mechanic which an opposing based group would have to grind down. They’d own it in the sense that if you tried to live there you’d be harassed out.

    Player owned space would then be transformed from these static blocks into a landscape of armed settlers and roaming hordes living off the land. It would also provide a very simply to understand escalation from low sec – npc 0.0 to player 0.0.

    Obviously structures like player owned stations would need to be addressed, but I would hope that CCP make good on their promises of destructible stations and modular POS systems allowing players to have their own space homes.

    Sadly I suspect CCP will be a little timid here and opt for some sort of points based ownership system. Although I believe eventually 0.0 truly will be lawless.

  • Massive Jackson

    Would it be too much to ask for people outside of the usual PL/CFC circle-jerk to be interviewed sometimes, or part of you podcasts?

    • xanderphoena

      If you knew how much effort I personally put into tracking down non-PL/CFC guests on to the podcast, you would not believe it. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more difficult if you aren’t already a member of said corp/alliance. As you will have noted, Dunk Dinkle from Brave recently joined the CZ staff and I am constantly trying to approach other people to come on the show from outwith the standard PL/CFC circle.

      Of course, I could just ask ‘would it be too much to ask you to start your own podcast interviewing people from outside PL/CFC’? Entitlement much?

      • phox53

        I just join NC. But I’ll talk to you. :),
        On another note how long is the grath Interview, cause I downloaded it and says that it is only like 7-8 minutes long

      • Whiskey

        I second the request though. I’m an independent pilot and might be able to relate better to someone outside that circle. Many of us are not “endgamers”. Thanks for your hard work on all of these podcasts.

  • Kamar Raimo

    TIL: If you are poor you can murder whoever you like whenever you feel the need to.

  • Mr Eibmoz

    A quick point, the whole “does this buff powerblocks and trample on the little guy” thing. You seem to be forgetting that although home territory is going to be a fair bit harder to take in its current form, the larger entities are contracting into a more central mass. That itself gives the little guys on the block a massive buff in that there are now a shitload of systems that the blocks have either dropped or wont care about losing. So easier than ever for the little guy to find some space. Also easier to lock that space down due to the home advantage.

    I’m not saying its going to be easy, just easier. More opportunity. Its a hell of an interesting time.

    Also stupid itunes didnt download the Elise one so I’ll have to listen to that at work tonight.

  • Matterall

    Grath’s enthusiasm for EVE is pretty contagious. He had a couple examples that got away from him though – like when talking about how occupancy sov will make FCON vulnerable to smaller alliances… then halfway through realizes that FCON will sit and make shipyards all day – occupying their space. Well he stretched to get out of that one.

  • Sticker Jim

    Great pod casts and great guests. Keep the good guests coming.