My name is Theodred Alabel and I am a reporter for the New Eden Report, an unbiased news outlet that reports on the events that transpire across the cluster. Today I am joined by XIX’s Fredd Riddic, a diplomat for the alliance, who will go over a few topics with us today, our interview can be found below:

Who are you? What is your role within the alliance, and can you give us a brief description of XIX for some of the newer players who may be unfamiliar with your alliance?

I’m Fredd Riddic, and yes I’m a diplomat for XIX and our coalition. My roles include sorting standings, sorting access to ACL/comms/discord, coordinating with allies and dealing with any diplomatic situation that may arise. XIX is one of the oldest alliances in Eve, and one of the most famous RU-speaking alliances in Eve. To put it shortly, we have a long and bloody history. I believe in terms numbers we get on fleets and active people on Zkill we are the largest RU-speaking alliance.

What was one of your most challenging moments as a diplomat for the alliance?

During a campaign over a year ago, when we were at war with Tri and Skill Urself for more than one year. On top of that, Fraternity broke their NIP and attacked us. We simply did not have enough numbers to fight all of them.

But it was also really hard when most of our leadership went offline for 2 months during our Insmother deployment. People saw that Karer and Bastet had dropped in their activity due to real-life. This led to many members losing hope, and we tried to do everything to save the alliance and members. This also made it difficult when interacting with our allies, who wanted to know what was going on, and it shaped the ways they would interact with us. It is not something line members don’t necessarily see, because FC’s and others in the organization are constantly working. It was a really difficult time for me and for the alliance.

What is one of your favorite moments been during your time in XIX?

When all our “old” friends, which used our help many years ago, started to ignore us. They would find any reason to not help us, despite that it was interesting to work with all of them. The majority, however, passed the verge of loyalty and not in our favor, but it was still an extremely fascinating process that allowed us to start all over again from a good starting point.

What would you say to people that might be interested in wanting to become a diplomat?

DONT DO THAT SHIT IT WILL KILL YOU. But actually it’s a really interesting job, every day you talk with a lot of different people with different views on any question. Every time you are trying to sort something, find one decision for both sides. And of course, you get to see the inner workings of Eve politics. it’s like putting your hand in a snake’s nest.

The morale after the war in the Dronelands was very low for XIX: Between the breakdown of the Drone Region Federation (DRF), losing all of their sov, losing their rental empire, and losing a significant amount of heavy assets in the battle of C-L during a move op. Many alliances that experience that level of hardship often fail cascade, how did XIX avoid this? How did you guys reinvigorate your member base? Who played a major role in the turnaround?

It’s hard to attribute our survival to just one thing. Maybe merging into one alliance. We were in war mode for more than a year, a war that was being fought on two fronts, sometimes three fronts. We gave people time to rest and changed our mind about home defense fleets. We were making decisions that would grow our rorqual fleets so that we could begin building vessels, first of which were supers and titans. Lastly, we began listening to our members.

Karer was a great motivator, not only to our line members but also to all of the leadership as well. We changed our alliance rules and focused on activity. We created some good tools for pilots and for CEOs. But most of the time since we take Tenerifis, we were under fire different groups. But, in my opinion, all our members remember about revenge. Because they saw that “friends” can change their mind about the relationship. We focused on our own alliance.

Was there any lesson that you learned from the war that transpired against Triumvirate and Skillurself?

Yes, we learned a lot of things. Bastet, who is our sky marshal, named that war as “war of mistakes”. It’s not so easy to tell that whole story, the main lesson that we learned from everything is that you can only count on yourself. No matter how many times and how often you helped others, no matter what the situation was. Things may change, but we understood it too late.

We have revised our policies in general. And as you can see now, yes, we have become smaller, but we have also become stronger. With the creation of the new coalition, we will be even stronger. People are on fire, people like what we are doing now. Of course, we made conclusions about our fleet compositions. On the use of capital and supers in the current meta. And as you can see, the last time Skill U and their Russian-language “allies”, who eventually disbanded, could not cause significant damage.*

*This is a reflection of the interviewee’s feeling of events that transpired, and does not reflect the position of NER, which has reported on the conflict between the groups in the past extensively.

All they had to do was finely trickle and rule out cheap structures. I suppose that this is the best indicator that we really have done a lot, but we still have more to do, because not all of our plans have been implemented.

After you gave up sov in Insmother, you retreated to Legacy space to crash on Legacy’s couch and recover from the war for a time. Now you hold sov again, in Tenerifis, what does holding sov mean for the alliance?

Identity, I think. It means that we are alive. Yes, we don’t play a super important role in the game at the moment, only an idiot would say we are in the same position we were a year ago. We got help from Legacy (many thanks to them) and it was a good springboard for us.

XIX recently formed a coalition with some of the other Russian alliances in EVE Online. What is the name of this coalition, and what is the reasoning behind its creation? Is there a lead alliance for the coalition, if so who does that role fall on?

Honestly, no one formed the coalition. All RU-alliance leaders came to the decision that individually they were a non-factor, but together they could accomplish a lot more. We weren’t one view on really important things. We have a name, but it will be announced a little later.* Every alliance leader will take care of the coalitions deal. I should also mention that we have a coalition within our coalition, XIX + RZR, and a new coalition with RA, DV, Midas, etc.

*In a post released to reddit on March 29th, the name of the coalition is FI.RE. (Final Reunion). 

How do you unify so many different Russian alliances, especially ones that have storied pasts to be under one banner?

The current political landscape calls for it. It’s a matter of allowing the RU-community to survive and the coalition leadership understands this.

Razor Alliance is also a part of this coalition?

Of course. They stay with us. One single english speaking alliance from the whole of our former empire. We are really good friends now.

Razor is one of the holdover alliances from the DRF, talk about your relationship with them, and what does it mean to you to have them part of this coalition?

Razor was the last alliance of the DRF who decided to not leave us. I’m sure it was a hard decision for them. But now we can call them brothers, and not only as brothers in arms. We can show them our back and we can be sure that they will cover it even if we do not ask them to. We are doing the same for them.

What is the goal of the coalition at this point? Many have stated that the primary goal will be to invade and take over the sov in Detorid currently held by WinterCo. Is there any validity to this claim?

I cant announce that now, but we will try to create a lot of content for our pilots. My opinion is that it’s one of the last chances the RU- community has to show that we can do something on our own, as an independent side. Of course, our current situation on Tranquility shows that everyone must have good allies, and we have good friends, I’m speaking about TEST and Legacy.

There was a dev blog that was released a couple of days ago discussing changes to rorquals and capitals, what are your thoughts on those changes if any? How do these influence the way you think about escalation in a battle situation?

Yes, we’ve discussed that, but it’s only a dev blog, we must wait for the final patch notes with the real numbers. In any case, this nerf-mode CCP is in much better than them trying to do some stupid shit like Fozziesov.

With the EVE Invasion World Tour 2019 kicking off, there is going to be an event held in Saint Petersburg in Russia. How excited are you for this event coming up, will there be a lot of XIX members there?

Certainly, this event is for the RU-community. Yes, we will have some people there from XIX, I already bought a ticket. We are planning to be on one table with RMC.

Will you be taking part in the Tournament Duo’s they will have going on there?

I’m not sure because we have pilots who are actually good that want to partake. But usually, tournaments are not for us. Hard to say why, but its tradition, maybe.

What is XIX most excited about going forward in 2019?

War, of course, war. We want it, our members want it.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate the opportunity of getting to talk to you and get a better understanding of your alliance and where it stands today. I look forward to watching your alliance over the coming weeks and the content that is bound to unfold.


Featured image credit: Adan Dimaloun