Hello again everyone,
For this article I had the chance to sit down and have a nice chat with FleetAdmiralCoke from the Terran Union.
Lucky for me the Terran Union has an embassy on Alioth so my travelling time was minimal. I only had to take an outgoing shuttle to reach my destination, which wasn’t exactly cheap truth be told. I think these shuttle rats have figured out that they can ask extortion level prices for their tickets. There is definitely room for some friendly competition in the shuttle business, or a hostile take over.
There I was, seated between two strangers. One had a love for liquor, the other seemingly did not care for personal hygiene. I can tell you that a 2 hour flight can seem like an eternity.
But I finally made it to Alioth and there was nothing stopping me from visiting the Terran Union embassy. In case you were wondering, I was greeted with the finest coffee and an assortment of region specific delicacies. Like candied womprat tail. Trust me, it tastes a lot better than it sounds.
Tell us a bit about yourself FleetAdmiralCoke.
Okay, well I’m Fleet Admiral Coke, and even though it’s in the name, I haven’t been in military command for a while. One thing I’ve learned over plenty of years of playing MMO’s is that even though you need someone who knows strategy and defense tactics, what really makes a group great is a leader who can inspire and lead through situations diplomatically and professionally. I never aspired to be that leader, I was always content being a help on the sides, making sure things were taken care of and flowed well, but obviously issues that came up within the TU caused the need for someone to step up or see the whole thing fall apart. I stepped up to the role because I felt that all of DU needed to have the TU stand strong and be an example for other organizations to follow.
Perhaps there is some truth to that old saying, “Great leaders are neither born nor elected, they are called upon.”
The TU is the biggest organisation right now, how does it feel like?
To be the biggest organization, to be honest, is pretty surreal. I mean I know that it was the largest when I joined it, but just since I’ve been around we’ve surpassed so many milestones, with 600 being the most recent. I feel like it’s a fairly large responsibility, I’m acutely aware that now the TU is responsible for over 600 gamers from all around the world, that speak different languages and have so many different ideas, and I feel as though we need to provide a strong foundation for gamers of all types to come and play in their own style. We may not have the largest military in DU right now, but we definitely have the largest force of public servants, entrepreneurs, miners, engineers, scientists, and builders and we intend to use them as a base for something truly great.
Yes, I think the word surreal is perfectly chosen. So tell me, what kind of structure is there behind the TU? Is it a military dictatorship? Enlightened despotism or something resembling a democracy?
Well as much as we’d like the idea and concept of a democracy, implementing such a system in a video game is challenging and has rarely ever worked on a large scale like we’re going to see in Dual Universe. Instead, we’re trying to incorporate the core ideals of a democracy but have it as a solid, stable system of socialist oligarchy. At least, those are the words I use because the government exists to serve the people, and rather than it being a monarchy or dictatorship, we want a group of people to act in the best interests of the TU. As for the military/civilian structure, the military mostly operates separate from the main government but still has checks and balances with the civilian ministers to ensure they’re acting in the TU’s image.
Oh I see and those checks and balances are those written laws? How do you govern such a large group?
So we’ve been in a long term project to rewrite our Constitution to better serve that purpose, and the end goal being we have a solid structure to govern. And basically governing such a large group comes down to putting the gameplay experience first, as long as players are still having fun doing what they do, we can put reasonable organization and systems in place to help support each other and make it more enjoyable for everyone. I mean at the end of the day, this is a game, and if it becomes more work than fun then that’s when you know you’re governing wrong. At least that’s my philosophy on that lol
Sounds like a good philosophy to me. At the end of the day we should always ask, “is this fun?”. Now im curious, can you share some tips on how to recruit? Or are your recruits mostly based on being the largest org in town? I think this is something my readers would like to know.
I’m sure in the beginning it was more difficult to recruit, especially since everyone was about even in their member counts, it came down to the merging of organizations in just the right way that the TU came out ahead. And most players that look for a group always start on the first page, so I think we can attribute a lot of our growth to just having that top spot. But that being said, you still have to have a clear vision of what your organization will be, otherwise what separates you from the next dozen organizations? I have been asked that question before, how to recruit more effectively, and the general advice I’ve given has been to know exactly what you want to do in the game, and start by finding 5-10 people that think the same way, whether they’re IRL friends or from other games, and make your organization. Then, it becomes who you can network with, the more active you are in the community and the more people can get to know you, the better. For example, if your idea is to make a company, you should know what you want to specialize in first, and focus on being really good at that, and then network with other orgs to provide that service for them. I think there’s a lot of potential for the economy to grow if we see more people taking initiative and diversifying their organizations. Sure there’s always going to be a need for mining and mercenary work, but who is going to be able to provide other services like fueling and building construction?
Quite right. I can really see the benefit in having a strong identity and a clear goal. A strong identity seems to be a recurring theme in the more successful organisations at this stage.
What are some of the goals of the TU going forward?
Well our first, main goal is to join up with our close allies and find a separate planet suitable for founding our capital city on. The goal is to establish the largest player-built city and make it the hub for DU’s economy. Obviously a goal that’s been thrown around a bit is to have a city that spans an entire planet, but judging by the size of Alioth, that’s going to be a decade long project at best.
Oh dear, now that’s an ambitious goal if I ever heard one. Best of luck with it! On the note of recruitment, are you looking for a specific profile in your members?For example, is it mandatory to only be in the TU or do you accept people who are part of several organizations?
We’re not really looking for a specific type of player, almost everyone is welcome. The only barrier for entry is that we want applicants to tell us about themselves and what they want to do in Dual Universe, we’re just looking for the desire to be a part of the TU. In fact, we actually encourage people to be a part of other organizations, especially corporations, because it just helps build up the diversity of our citizens. A great example of this is the Hyperion Corporation, who not only has all of their employees as citizens of the TU, but they’re an excellent corporate partner and are going to be a key group in building our infrastructure.
If I were to give you a soapbox moment, what is the one message you would like to broadcast?
I’d like to say this: In the Terran Union, we’ve seen so much development and change before the game has even hit alpha. Normally this would kill communities like ours, but every day I see the resolve and hope from players who want to see Dual Universe become a reality, and it reminds me that this is bigger than any one person. Ever since I joined the TU in 2016, my goal has been to strengthen and build our foundations, both from within and with our allies. We are nothing if not a Union of so many people from all over the world with diverse backgrounds and ideas, and that has led to us being a very inclusive and forward thinking community that is determined to last long after we’ve all stopped playing. If I could directly address the citizens of Dual Universe, I want to extend our hand of friendship. I want to ensure that every organization and every player knows that they have the opportunity to work with us to make their goals and dreams a reality. Only together we can build a Terran Union that is truly great.
Please indulge me in my curiosity FleetAdmiralCoke. How long have you been playing MMO’s?
I’ve been playing MMO’s for a little while, certainly not as long as some of the other members of the community. I used to play a lot of Minecraft back when there were huge servers full of thousands of people and always enjoyed how players found a way to build their ideal creations, but there’s not a lot of games that give you full creative ability to build a real civilization like Dual Universe has planned. I think that’s a major draw for players like me and a lot of the others that join the community.
With everything said and learned today I wonder, who is the man behind the Admiral?
I’m just a 23 year old nerd from Michigan who really likes robots and video games.
Honestly, robotics and STEM education take up the rest of my time that I’m not working or talking to people in the DU community. I like building stuff and teaching students how to build stuff, and then competing with robots to win. That’s my passion outside of DU.
For my last question, super important. Ninjas or pirates?
It’s a tough fight but I’d probably have to say ninjas. Yeah ships with cannons are nice, but once you play AC: Black Flag for an hour you kinda figure out that ninja skills beat pirate skills almost every time.
There we have it folks, a small look into the current largest organisation. I must admit I wasn’t to sure what to expect from a chat with FleetAdmiralCoke. I had all sorts of worries that they might not want to have an interview. That I was not important enough to the organisation and a lot of other scary thoughts. But I have to admit that after chatting with FleetAdmiralCoke I can testify to how down to earth and approachable he is. A fine spokesperson for the Terran Union. It shows once more what a truly wonderful community we have with Dual Universe.
If the Terran Union sounds like your kind of organisation you can follow this link to their community portal page.
Until next time.