Liquid Catnip joins us to tell us all about the EIC
What exactly does EIC get up to? What are they all about?
The East India Company, like its historical inspiration, is a trading company. Our main tenet is the acquisition of wealth and power for the Empire and, more importantly, ourselves. What this translates to for our members is a large group with a diverse range of playstyles. We have combat pilots, explorers, powerplay contributors, background sim experts, PvPers, etc. The one thing we all do though is trade. In this game, having credits is king because you can afford the ship you need to get the job done. We're advocates of open play and interacting with other groups as well as trying to create our own stories within the Elite universe. Outside of the game itself, the EIC is about having a strong community with good core values that is welcoming and friendly.
What is your involvement in EIC? Were you there when it first started out?
I am the "CEO" of the EIC, or in classic terms, the leader and founder. Whilst the initial idea was mine, it would not have coalesced the way it did without the input of my co-founders, CMDRs Ecco & Maccus. Our leadership structure has never been an entirely traditional one, we currently have 16 admins. Our leadership is spread out across timezones and tend to cover various aspects of leading the team, so some specialise in handling the website and applications, others on generating operational content, managing the specialist teams, the collation of trade and smuggling data, etc.
My job, as the group has expanded and taken on a life of its own, is oversight and delegation. I get to keep an eye on the meta-view and the macro-view while others focus on the nitty-gritty like the Background Sim or Operations. I maintain the relationships with other groups, handle the PR and keep the ship on-course.
How did EIC first get started?
I floated between a couple of Empire groups in my early days in this game. At the time I largely had found groups that were either too objective-focussed at the expense of community and having fun or, conversely, too fun and casual without enough drive to actually achieve anything tangible. I wanted a group that had operations and objectives that was also a positive community to be involved in so I convinced some like-minded individuals to join me in creating a group that embodied that philosophy.
What are some of EIC’s most interesting moments/proudest achievements?
I think our first big milestone was blockading the Federal Capital Ship contruction in BD+03 2338, "Operation: Arm Chop" as it was known to us. We gained a lot of notoriety and fame in the community with that event, as well as our first appearance in Galnet. It was also the first time we had a formal coalition with other groups such as CODE and the now defunct Cosmic State. That event also had a knock-on effect that saw the founding of Adle's Armada and Merchant Marines as Federal opposition to the EIC.
After that I think my favourite moments were our charity events and summits. We've raised a lot of money for the Child's Play Charity. We like to have fun with holidays as well, our April Fool's Day charity event was particularly good fun. Since we got Kappa Fornacis as our home we've been having a lot of fun with Onionhead as well with our Halloween @ Harvestport and "Danksgiving" events recently during which we give out Onionhead to CMDRs visiting our system. We also hosted the first Galnet summit, the OOC summit, the Imperial Conclave and have "yet another bloody EIC summit" on the books for mid-December.
When we were in Powerplay we were able to take Torval, a relatively unsupported Senator, from almost last place up to second. That was pretty special. Whilst we're no longer involved, I'm incredibly proud of what the team achieved during that time.
How can people get involved with EIC?
Those wishing to join us can head over to www.eic.club and put in an application to join. However, if you're already a member of another player group and wish to liaise or hang out with us you're more than welcome to do so. You can apply as a liaison for another group on our page.
Why do you dedicate so much of your time to the Elite Dangerous community?
I feel that Elite: Dangerous is a special game with a unique community. Certainly in my 20 years of gaming I have never been a part of a community like this one. Even before the formation of EIC, I was active on many of Elite's numerous subreddits. I think Elite has an incredibly engaged and passionate community and I look forward to seeing how it develops moving into the future.
How long have you been playing Elite for?
I've been playing since just before Christmas last year, not long after the game's retail release. Elite had not been on my radar but I found one of Isinona's videos from the beta and, inspired by what he was doing, immediately purchased the game. Many CMDRs I've interacted with since were similarly inspired to buy the game from Isinona's videos. He is a national treasure and one of this game's great personalities. I've never run into him in game to thank him personally so I'd like to acknowledge him here.
What’s next for EIC with Horizons out now?
More of the same really. We'll always be looking for opportunities to create new and interesting content and push a story generated by the players. As we've found ourselves in the drug business, there'll be more story centred around the distribution of Onionhead and so on. More than that, I couldn't really say right now, it's too soon to tell.
Do you have anything else you’d like to tell the Elite community about?
I'll take the opportunity to do a shout-out to the Reddit community and advertise it for any of those players reading this that weren't aware of /r/elitedangerous. We've got an amazing community over there constantly generating content and engaging in discussion. The mod team do excellent work and it's become the main place for open play groups to announce, interact and discuss outside of the game.
Also, a quick shoutout to Radio Sidewinder. If people haven't checked out Radio Sidewinder they owe it to themselves to have a listen. Interspersed with the streaming music that makes up the bulk of its broadcast are news pieces that can keep people up to date with what's happening in the game, what the major groups are up to, what's happening in the galaxy, etc. Of special note are the "in universe" advertisements for things like Experience Jelly, Kitten Brand Coffee, Crazy Ernie's Transports and more. They also advertise real products like the HCS Voice Packs for VoiceAttack. The latest one features Brian Blessed, it's actually amazing.