Greetings and salutations citizens, today I had the chance to meet with Zamaro from The Eldritch Nation. Usually, I would describe my travels to reach my destination but, for this interview, things were a bit…different. How different? I was asked to sign an NDA in a room without windows by a grim faced man. I would like to say the two men behind my chair weren’t as threatening, but I wasn’t allowed to look at their faces. The Eldritch Nation is an organisation that has its feet firmly planted in military doctrine. As such, the NDA was just the first process in a month long series of processes to check my background to see if posed a security risk. I say a month long, because that’s how long I was aware that my Alioth Defence Force sticker was missing from my door.
One of the conditions stipulated was that I was not at liberty to disclose their location. So, I will let your imagination run wild as to where The Eldritch Nation is located. A small, unmarked shuttle picked me up in Tortuga, I suspect this was done not to attract any unwanted attention. The pilot was borderline polite, but more on the side of curtness and never did fall for my disguised questions to reveal more about the organisation or his life. With no one else to pester with questions and quickly bored with staring at opaque windows, I decided to do some surfing on my device. To my dismay, I found that there was no signal within the craft. High command was definitely not taking any risks in their safety protocols.
For all the secrecy was worth, I was greeted with all the considerations you would give to a foreign diplomat when we arrived at the organisation. I don’t know if the area we arrived in was the HQ, a major base or a citadel… The massive quad barreled cannons certainly made it seem like one of the latter two options. A row of soldiers stood guard as I stepped out of the shuttle, clad in black and their faces hidden behind dark visors. I saw squadrons of recruits running around while being shouted at. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but as far as first impressions go, this humble reporter was impressed. Yet, a small voice in the back of my head reminded me that this could all be a smart display of propaganda – I hadn’t exactly forgiven them for leaving me without internet for three hours or taking my ADF sticker away. Either way I didn’t have the time to think about that as I was escorted to meet with Zamaro, the commander in chief of this particular place.
Nice to meet you Zamaro. As a first question can you introduce yourself to the reader?
My name is Zamaro. Some call me different things, but they all start with Z. I’m a co-founder and leader of The Eldritch Nation, part of it’s oligarchical rule. As the man in charge of our foreign affairs, I am outwards the main representative as well.
Great, and before we dive into the meat and potatoes, can you give us some background on you as a gamer? Are you coming from a solid MMO background or is this a new genre for you?
I have a wide range of games I’ve played in the past. Even if my recent go-to has been Tactical FPS games as well as a bit of strategy, I have many years into MMOs as well. I played WoW from Vanilla to Cataclysm, a bunch of TERA and I tried Blade and Soul as well. I can’t say that the genre is foreign to me.
I notice those MMOs are all theme parks. What attracted you in Dual Universe? Is this your first time leading an organization?
Well, thing is, I’ve played sandboxes before too, of course. I’ve also played some space engineers and further back, Minecraft. Naturally, seeing Dual Universe having a voxel based building mechanic, it felt like I had some idea of the potential with the game Also, the whole thing about cities being built from scratch and politics, war and markets too being run by players was what attracted me mostly. Outover that it’s not really my first time leading a guild/org. We’re not talking about huge numbers but I’ve lead some smaller (up to 60 members) guilds before in those MMOs or been part of the leadership. What I looked back to most however, going into this was a long history on an Arma 3 RP server that was pretty serious. I was part of a police force that I ended up leading after spending months climbing the ranks. We were about 30-40 in it at any point and we had really well functioning tactical communication, able to deal with all gangs and rebels on the server and so on. I wished to recreate this in Dual Universe, which is why when I first joined, I originally created what would be a military band but, pretty quickly picked up an invitation from the Terran Union where I asked to get to either found a police force of sorts or an intelligence agency.
I would say that is a very solid background to get involved with the more… volatile aspects of Dual Universe. Definitely a resume that would inspire confidence in the leadership of your organization. Can you talk a bit about your organization? What is the core idea behind The Eldritch Nation?
Good question. We’ve always had a vision for it over here, but we also acknowledge how it may have looked when it broke off from the Terran Union a year ago. Naturally, since almost every single member was into the military side when The Eldritch Nation was formed, we are considered a militaristic nation by ourselves and plenty of outsiders. The focus there is pretty clear, but the core idea is that we will operate like an actual nation. TEN is run by a government of five ministers who make up the leadership that is an oligarchy. We have always been clear on us not being a democracy – the ministers will decide everything in the end. However, we are not dumb: it takes a lot of people to cover and manage every aspect of a nation. Certain people will most likely get to have free hands with what they do. The ministerial council won’t micromanage everything from the top – we won’t have time for that. We simply want to find a home-world of our own and build ourselves up from there. Future military aggression is something we leave to just the future. Regarding diplomacy, we have plenty of relations, contacts and deals out there and plan on securing the interests of TEN above anything else. We will never prioritise outsiders over our own people.
Can you give us some background on why you broke off from the Terran Union? And how has it impacted your position as an organisation?
So, we have some history in the Terran Union. Half of the current TEN members roughly made up most of the Terran Union Armed Forces (TUAF short) back in the day. I founded the military intelligence organ Terran Union Military Intelligence (TUMI) there. Imperator lead the National Space Fleet and Palleon, the Orbital Defense. Now, noticeably there was a thing there for making all kinds of branches. There were 13 ministerial posts at the time, it was a mes -, communication wise. Due to the inefficient administrative structure and no show of will to change even after we requested it, the leaders of the Terran Union Armed Forces, TUAF (mainly me, Imperator and Palleon) decided to take it upon ourselves to tidy up the military side on our own. This was not liked by Darius nor most of the ministers. I won’t go into detail for the whole story but to sum it up, the military started becoming self governed and with the inactivity in the ministries and conflict of interests internal struggle rose up over the span of many months, ultimately leading to Darius resigning, ministries being overhauled and/or scrapped, people leaving (Soul Nebula and us) and a change in leadership in TU. We were a fresh organisation, although we had planned the exit well.
There was a need to make a name for ourselves quickly and maintain internal stability for a short period of time so that our lads didn’t go having second thoughts. I was pleasantly surprised of how well our good bond with the military guys translated into the new organisation as well. It wasn’t easy the first two weeks and we had daily meetings with the newly formed leadership to weed out the overall vision and structure for the nation, Coke and UniG were not too happy at the start, since we had gotten a couple of ministry members with us that were not part of the “deal” of us leaving as a military. I totally understood them, but I had spoken with these people (Flamingforce, Kazlir, Quaken and Simpletech) a bit and seen that not only were they a great fit by competence, but also vision. This cooled down though after a few weeks and we now have great relations with the current Terran Union leadership. Evidently, us sitting on the front page of the org list for a long time now and being just a month from celebrating our first anniversary since the split is a sign that all did go well in the end.
I would agree and say you are in a good position to establish yourself in Dual Universe. Thank you for giving us some background on that piece of history. And I’m happy to hear you ended up having good relations with the Terran Union. Everybody loves a happy ending. It seems that TEN does not mince words either.
Your motto is: Strength, Ability, Totality. Does that make people nervous?
It doesn’t make us nervous and that’s the important part. If outsiders feel nervous after reading it, it may be for the better. We prefer to see ourselves as a lawful neutral entity. The values we put in the spotlight: Strength, Ability, Totality; are supposed to represent the ideal traits of The Eldritch Nation and its citizens. We will strive to have the nation itself be portrayed as strong, able and united.
That makes a lot of sense to me. You are projecting perfectly what TEN stands for. In a sea of gray inter-org diplomacy, I can imagine that this excites quite a few people. Does that mean TEN stands alone? Is there no clear defined line between the military and the citizenry of TEN?
There is. You are a citizen the moment you are accepted into the org. Being in the military is well, being in the military. Imperator has the absolute leadership and every newcomer who desires to be part of it has to talk with him or have his approval. It is very possible that every citizen will have to be military capable to some extent, but the military is very clearly differentiated from civilian roles.
Regarding what this means, I don’t think we stand alone. We’ve got plenty of friends in the community, deals, relationships and cooperation plans in general. However, we first and foremost will do what we need to make sure that we can survive alone at any point; and as we mentioned earlier, we will never put the interests of our nation and people secondary to any outside party ever.
Let me give you an example for how we think about this. Let’s say we had a huge trade deal with Organisation X, and Organisation X comes into dispute with a group of our citizens for whatever reason. We will investigate the situation and if there’s evidence our people are in the wrong, we will attempt to correct this and give out punishment as is due. This would be in our interest to uphold professionalism and base our decisions on what we see is right. Should – on the other hand – there not be any evidence and Organisation X says that we need to punish our people if we value our relations as orgs, we stand by our people every time. We’d rather go to war than try to salvage a deal with another org based on false premises against citizens of our nation. Caving in to outside influences is not something for us.
That’s quite admirable in a way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really a player who is combat oriented, but I can appreciate the integrity in your answer. And that inspires people to do great seemingly impossible things.
You mentioned you had to quickly establish a name for yourself. Can you give us a glimpse of how you did that? It might help someone trying to do the same thing.
Sure, but the usefulness in hearing this will vary depending on how you understand it. So, the situation was that we were just splitting off. Word of that was not very widely spread and we knew that it could take time to reach the front page. Exposure was needed to not instantly become stagnant. What really helped there was the fact that I knew someone in almost every major org. Getting to know people is really useful – doesn’t even have to be the org leader, but just an active member in an org to spread the word. We weren’t aiming to get everyone else’s members but rather just make people aware of the event, making sure that the split was seen as more dramatic than it actually was. Drama sells.
The best we could hope for was to have everyone talking about us for a while, and also using my relations to start talking to most major org leaders, to make them aware as well that we exist and can be negotiated with for whatever deal someone could have in mind. I was very proactive myself, often taking the first step everywhere because you can’t just count on everyone else doing it for you. Dumping a topic in the discourse of the community and blowing it up was just a tool of assistance there.
To be honest though, we have always been preparing to be able to support ourselves and not have to rely on any outsider to keep our things running. That is still a policy, but we never shut ourselves in and lock the door to the outside world, so to speak. All we wanted at this point, was to make sure we had diplomatic relations with orgs of our interest, a place in the frontpage for as long as we could hold it and that was it.
So, in true military fashion, you made smart use of propaganda. Do I see that correctly?
Absolutely. Everyone is using propaganda one way or another. We are not an exception. To attract the kind of people we want to attract, we have to paint up how we envision ourselves, even if we are not quite there yet. I think that in the end, every veteran member will be able to look back and tell themselves that they made the right choice to be a part of our development. Until then, we will sell the dream. But the thing is that we are confident in realising it sooner or later.
Going from what you’ve told me so far, I tend to think your members take great pride in being part of your collective. Are there some things you do to enhance that? The moral of the troops sorta speak.
Lately, not much has been going on, but in the past around the split, we held a lot of game sessions together, military meetings and other events. To be frank, we haven’t done much for some time now but the old members haven’t showed any drops in loyalty which I think is proof of a good member base. Heck, not too long ago people from other orgs gave their members an ultimatum to choose which org they would be sole members of and we only saw one person hesitantly leave for Tortuga.
I know that we should up our activities, but a lot of people went hibernating when the NDA came out. So, once it goes, we will invest a lot in DU related events.
In closing this interview I was wondering, if you could add or remove one thing from Dual Universe. What would it be?
If I could add or remove one thing from DU, I would add the ability to go prone. When I asked in the AMA before, they later said there were no current plans and it probably won’t be there. Being able to lie down would change so many things in DU, from camouflage and overall combat dynamics to digging tunnels or making entrances to ships or interior spaces where you have to be prone.
If you had to choose, coffee or tea?
Coffee or tea? I’ll take both.
And so concludes our interview with Zamaro from The Eldritch Nation.
In closing, I want to say that interpreting the past is difficult and predicting the future is impossible. Yet if I had to take a guess, I would say The Eldritch Nation is poised to be a serious contender in the political landscape of Dual Universe. The Eldritch Nation is not short on ambition and has a clear vision for its own future. If you want to take part in their vision and future success follow this link and apply to their organisation. You could be their next decorated hero!