Monday, July 16, 2012

ContrabanJoe Interview

Contrabanjoe needs no introduction. He is famous in FPS circles for his ability to herd large groups of players effectively. The infamous 128 player stampede has over 300K Youtube views and will go down in online history. After long last, he finally agreed to sit down with our blog for something we don't often do.  A live interview. In his piece he gave us his NDA friendly opinions of Dust 514 at this stage, the infamous AIR situation and how he feels about KDR requirements.

This interview has been a long time in the making. why did u finally agree to it?

Recent activities on the PS3 community scene are shaping up in entertaining ways, and with the approach of Dust 514, I felt it was time to come out of the bunker for a moment, to fling some opinions in the air.

Recent activities? could u be more descriptive?

Two notable things being firstly, the emergence of MAG related Corporations in New Eden, and the re-emerging epeen stroking teenage punks that troll our gaming communities. (In the case of MAG, the same folks that set out to destroy it and its community forums.)

I see. whats your opinion of the mag related corps?

I have many opinions, and it would depend on the specific Corporation. That said, New Eden as many will know, is a much bigger place than just what you see within the games client. Your recent article is a perfect example of why security is important. Its entertaining to see so much information being leaked, even if its of little relevance to others.

Its going to be a very very interesting time for the MAG "clans" as they transition into Corporations when implemented in Dust. I expect we will see a number of children fall down the stairs before they learn to use the railing, or tie their shoe laces.

thats pretty cryptic. so what about your opinions on the latter, the teenage punks you mentioned?

Very strong opinions indeed. As many will know from MAG, and now with Dust 514 "related" forums. There is a small percentage of repeat offending assholes out there, with the intention of stirring up the pot.

Many will know who these people are by name, and these thugs will ultimately be responsible for scaring away "good" people from the social sites, most importantly the Official Forums. They did it in MAG, they WILL do it again. (* Maybe there is a way we can all help do our part to exile them?)

exile is pretty harsh. a group of corps recently sent us an advert to display that seemed to address it. any clues to who is behind it? groups like yours were mentioned as suspects

I can say two things about this with absolute certainty.

1) That parody site is funny as hell, (and that particular advertisement/pic is a great statement.)

2) Me and my Corp have absolutely no hand in it whatsoever. We did meet with a contributer in video chat, but they did not cam up with us, and used a voice changer. (We have a couple suspects fingered on the voice, but cannot confirm it.)

getting back to ur earlier point. you're famous for managing large groups of players. is it possible to prevent leaks?


how are u enjoying your time in beta? give us some non NDA violating feedback.

Sure thing. This is shaping up to be a very very good shooter. With the implementation of Corporate Management tools, and from what CCP has publicly released, I can say at this stage that my expectations will be met, and that CCP will live up to the "hype" for this title.

Nearly all of my corporations current testers agree that this IS going to be our replacement for MAG, and by replacement, even at the current stage of the Beta, its an upgrade. (those in disagreement don't yet understand how to redeem their beta vouchers)

I see. why havent we heard your name mentioned in an alliance? you mentioned a Corp. Is PRO coming to new eden?

We have our pilots and backing, our security systems and recruitment standards in order, we have our identity determined and our objectives outlined.

That said, expect to hear very little of us until the release of Dust.

We always show up to the party!

well said. EVE corps have addressed some of the bad blood from the MAG "border skirmishes" have u seen the ads?

I think there will be room for many to put aside their differences, there will be instances however where certain clans/individuals will be targeted for their doings in MAG.

Its unavoidable that there will be conflict in Dust/EVE that is rooted in the sphincter of MAG. Revenge awaits.

Revenge can be a great motivator. any old scores from the skirmishes for you to settle? some have wondered if AIR has some payback on the horizon.

Actually, AIR clan relations are good at this time, the embarrassing event that would suggest there would be resentment, actually highlighted one of their weaknesses whilst displaying our strengths, we have put that historic moment behind us.

That said, we do have scores to settle, and those individual(s)/Corp(s) will know who they are.

understood. so are these self-serving mercs tempting fate by calling veteran EVE corps?

Yes, they are tempting fate, but thats not relevant, for they walk a different path.

The "elite" squads of epeen sucking butt monkeys will form into a barely manageable team of internal conflict.

They will spend the first couple months crying about this and that on the forums and bragging about how good they are.

Then before we all move into NulSec they will point to the leader boards, declare themselves the undisputed champions of New Eden. They will declare that the game is garbage, and move along to their next high school project.

BUT WAIT.... they are not done. Some will stay with the game, and may find a halfway house to babysit their sorry asses, others will jump from corp to corp ripping people off........... But MOST DAMAGING OF ALL..... they will remain on the forums and community pages being complete assholes and making their mothers proud to have raised such cunts.

So does Dust need prox chat?

No. Not the way we MAG players understand it. I could see technologies added to the game that might allow for intercepting enemy communications, but would expect items and skills to facilitate such an ability.

Maybe a communications jack where you can either broadcast to the enemy for a short time, or eaves drop on their MCC commander.

There is no need to hear people on the battlefield in proximity like in MAG, and it would defy conventional wisdom that you probably can't yell loud enough for your voice to escape your dropsuit..

thats different. but refreshing. So, CCP says you get to decide on the size of the largest game modes. How big are they?

Are you asking me If I could decide how big they would be, what size I would want?

Or suggesting I may know how large the maps actually are?

the former, how big would you want?

Thats a good question. For things in high sec, the sky would be the limit. When it comes to SOV however, there is the need to balance the number of players available in a corp/alliance at any given time, in order to actively fill the battle.

If its just one MCC on a map/mode as a given, one must also factor in command and control logistics. I would think that 8 squads would be manageable, more than that and it could become quite a chore.

For now I'll go with 64vs64 for Corporate/Alliance battles. Maybe 512 vs 512 Special events could be handled for High Sec?

thats a lot of pew pew. tell us, is Dust too complicated?

With all games, there is a chance that its learning curve is too high for some. From what I have seen that is public, Dust 514 is in no way too complicated for your average gamer. It however does have the level of complexity available to keep those with a sharp mind entertained sufficiently

so does it need a detailed tutorial?

In my experience, the guys that most likely need a tutorial, would be the first people not to use it.

describe the following groups using one word. The Goons.




The EV.



Bruce Harmon - Global Conflict.

I cannot comment on other corporations at this stage.

virtual training facilities for corps have been mentioned. yay or nay?

YAY! I do not think anyone would be opposed to having training facilities for new and veteran forces in their Corp.

we offered you a guest column in the past, we assume time constraints prevented you from working with us. the offer is still good.

The time I have available is currently being devoted to nurturing our Corporation, and as such must humbly decline the offer.

I will however be available from time to time to provide insight or opinions to complement any of your contributors works.

we understand. so what is your opinion of the anarchist led burn new eden movement?

If those are genuine quotes from said people. One word. SAD!

you mentioned objectives. what are some of ur goals inside new eden?

Openly, to maintain and grow our adult only communications based community. Our success will depend on how large CCP will allow our Corporate player base.

If there is no limit to the number of players we can roster, we will shoot for the stars.

CCP is always listening. give them three areas to focus on for Dust 514.

1) Community: Mandatory/Permanent forum bans for repeated and intentional troll threads in general areas (allow them to make a mess of their own corporations boards so as to keep the place clean for new players, and all around "Good People". (note to trolls/Epeeners: "Go fuck yourselves."))

2) Vision: Stay with "your" vision, and the vision of the EVE community. Make us PS3 folks learn by New Edens rules, and DO NOT listen to the cry baby's that will flood the forums soon.

3) Gameplay: Get the game play right, and nobody will give a shit about graphics. Public videos show that Dusts current build looks great, and in my experience handles very well. Subsequent builds should not put graphics above game play mechanics. (More gear, more toys!)

Its early but what under the radar corps or groups do u see being overlooked so far?

I think the MAG related Corporations that one needs be most concerned with, will be those without the stringent KDR requirements of others.

There are many clans in MAG that come to mind, but I will avoid posting as I would not wish to upset anyone by leaving anyone out.

The MAG clans with rosters in the hundreds may well have an advantage over the 20-60 player "elite" clans.

we like to end interviews by allowing our subjects to share whatever they like. the floor is yours.

Sure thing Bruce.

1) Justin Carson/PSN: SmellFeet1337 Should NOT be trusted by anyone... blacklist that asshole.
2) PRO Corp(TM) is GARBAGE!
4) GOAT bless you all!
***(If your over the age of 20 and have a working microphone, get along well with others, and have some form of substance abuse issue, our recruiting officers will find you when Dust releases, I would encourage you to look past what you will hear about us, and come see for yourselves.)***


  1. balanced interview. stilling loling about u guys asking him about the air teabag incident.

  2. good stuff for once

  3. not bad.......

  4. somebody needs to link this to justin carson / aka smellyfeetleet

  5. E.L.E.-Extinction Level Event AllianceJuly 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    good read CBJ we may be in contact closer to release there is a business proposition that I believe you would find interesting

  6. Good read, but I diagree with Contra on one thing.

    People coming to DUST do not seem to understand the difference between high sec and null sec. When asked about how many people he would want in a battle he said high sec could be anything , but null sec needs balance.

    That goes opposite to how the high sec and null sec work in EVE.

    I would think for DUST 514 you would see forced balance in high sec battles. In null sec you would see all balancing mechanics lifted. Battle times would be chosen by the attacker and defenders would be responsible for having people their to defend. Maybe allowing larger battles.

    What would be really nice is if null sec maps allowed a 3rd and or 4th force to get on and fight for themselves. I would love to see two forces fighting on a map, and a third surprise attack come from another group and take both of the two out.

    Null sec mean no security. it means to do what you want with no control.

    High sec means high security, and CONCORD forcing things to be fair.

    1. correct Sam he has them backwards.

    2. Thank you for the correction. I've been assuming they would have player caps in both security regions. Bruce caught me off guard with this question, and I answered it without the required information. 512vs512 would be insane if they could push that. (especially on a really small map).


    3. He has them correct if you want a game thats realistic for a console

  7. LoL 13 comments no one cares what ContraJoe has to say

  8. Good read, just i disagree with 1 point.

    Nothing wrong with having standards and setting KDR and other stat requirements. Remember DUST=/=EVE so just having mass blobs wont automatically mean u win, matches are still limited to 24v24 and u have to actually WIN those individual 24v24 encounters. Yes there will be multiple districts but CCP has not stated exactly how capture and defense will work in detail especially things like reinforcement timers.

    My personal opinion (plz respect it) is that teams with 0 requirements are just lazy to actually go out and do the hard work of finding quality among the 100 nubs that apply, instead they let everyone in in the hope that some out of the lot are actually good, wheras quality over quantity teams like to make sure everyone can pull their weight...this is a shooter after all and if u cant shoot then u draggin ur team down in a match.

    Numbers will be important in DUST...but i do not think it will AS influential as how EVE is which is basically outblob the other team for the win. As always i do things the hard way and look for quality, u will also never hear me call my clan/corp "elite" because that word makes ppl lazy and makes them think they unbeatable and egos sometimes arise out of it.

    - Mavado

    1. theschizogeniousJuly 17, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      how do i say this nicely?


      what i think your forgetting or maybe not putting enough faith in is the depth of character specialization.

      while having 24 guys who can all shoot and work well together is great that doesnt mean that you can only win with 24 guys that can pew pew and talk to eachother.

      if a guy doesnt have the best shooting then he can put sp in other skills and so will fill a support role, dropping nano hives and rezzing dead teammates. or he could spec in vehicles so that he can call in a dropship to transport a squad of ringers onto an obj so that there will be a full squad instead of half because some of them died on the march over.

      id rather take th 100 guys and go to the training centre to see where they operate best in then either hire blindly or close my doors.

      and if you got them i have a corpmate who has been given some grief because of his adeptness with remote explosives.

      pew pew isnt the only way to kill bro, ingenuity is just as deadly.

  9. and what makes u think the ppl that can pew pew only good at pew pew? ur assuming just because i said i rather have ppl i know can hold their own only capable of shooting and nothing else, infact if i have ppl that can shoot who are also pilots etc i know when/if the enemy has a strong AV setup they wont be clueless on the ground.

    1. Agreed. Against lower tiered corps I guess it wouldn't be as important, but if you want to play against top tier corps then everyone you put in that match had better be able to hold their own gun game wise while being able to fullfill other roles as needed. After playing so many FPS games I've learned something, that if you can effectively kill when its necessary and carry your own weight with a gun, then you can easily learn how to do anything else like AV, or tanking, and so on.

      It's obvious that there are more ways to help a team win other than shoot, but in the end it is still a FPS game and you will have moments where you'll have to pull that trigger and I'd rather have someone on my team who can do so when needed, eliminate the threat, and continue doing their thing as AV instead of giving the enemy downtime to repair and having to start all over.

    2. However, I still have respect for clans/corps that give new players and low stat players a place to call home in FPS games. Giving them people to play with and the ability to zerg together and use some teamwork, makes it far more interesting than if they were all on their own. Quantity > Quality may work out well enough for them to keep their ways. I just wouldn't expect to be playing against them for really good contracts.

  10. theschizogeniousJuly 18, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    im just saying that not every one needs to pew pew

    you can be the best shooter in the game but you can still get run-over by an experienced pilot.

  11. It sounds like we all may need a few FPS players who can also be good RTS players to take control of the MCC and help command troops. That may be only Null sec and or Low sec, but it will be interesting.

    1. tbh sam i doubt the MCC will be as demanding as a real RTS game like say SC2. And any good leader should be able to direct traffic and know when to use abilities etc. This is the ONLY area i see MAG/EVE players having a slight upper hand early on in game is with the leadership structure but it wont take any decent competitive clan long to figure mechanics out tbh. I just wish CCP would actually give us info on the real meat of the game like the warbarges, reinforcement timers, how the MCC works etc etc

    2. I imagine Warbarges and timers will work very similar to eve. It seems to be a recurring theme here. That way CCP doesn't have to fix what isnt broken. As far as pilots in even shooting warbarges...will probably quite a while off and not on CCPs radar for the time being. They want simple FPS mechanics down first. Which I understand, this game will take time to develop, years. I have a feeling it will be sometime in the next 2 years when this game is exactly what we want.

      As far as good FPS skilling goes. In New Eden you have to specialize. You can't have a jack of all trades. In MAG/BF3/KZ/UC etc. You dont need skills to use a weapon or use it effectively, you can just pick up a repair kit and use it. In NEW EDEN you need the skill points in order to use it...and use it well. Having 24 guys that have the best gun game in the world will probably fail if they dont have the proper fleet doctrine and composition.

      I am not saying you don't currently have that line up. But its something worth considering if you have a group of people that only want to shoot an assault rifle.

    3. It may not be the most indepth for an RTS, but it would be nice to have someone who is at least a good RTS player.

      I am sure there are RTS players out there who have wanted the people they command to be real people before. If that aspect gets rather deep in null sec it may bring a few over from the RTS genre.

  12. Good interview...very strong opinions about some of the MAG players :D

  13. Good stuff, but what is SOV?

    1. SOV = sovereignty. In eve there are large areas of space in the nul security areas that can actualy be conquered by alliances (large player run entities comprised of several member corporations)

      The game recoginizes the plays who hold sov in a system as the owners of said system and with sov comes benifits. Sov holders can build on the infrastucture of a system they own to influence everyting from ore deposits, to npc spawns, and even building their own space stations that can in themselves be fought over and be taken over by an enemy.

      Sov is what drives many of the large aliance conflicts with war lasting months and battles reaching over a thousand players not being uncommon. And this thus has a huge impact on almost every aspect of the game even if not always in a direct way. One of the main purposes of dust is to provide an additional mechanic to influence sov wars with so your going to hear a lot about it as a dust player

    2. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

      I did have understanding of held territory previously but not to the level that you explained. I had never come across the term SOV before though.

      I will be part of RofL.

      See you Soon.™

  14. Well Joe, I liked your responses to this one.. Intelligent questions with careful answers.. Nice... How you got recognized by CCP to put this post in as the community feed back or their email is beyond me by congrates to you and than those running this blog.. Kudos from RocketRob99 leader (TLN)Talon Strike Force..

  15. if ccp stay with their vision you're going to luck out when it comes to banning trolls, the eve universe has much meta and much trolling, be prepared for it

  16. i interview'd contraban joe about the interview!


    Give us a visit!

    We even if your not interested in recruitment or diplomacy, you can use our text chat to sync with us into games of DUST 514

    Look forward to meeting you!


  18. Replies
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  19. definitely a good read through, as you (contra), are always great with your opinions and how you word things.

    In looking at all the responses and reading through them (in which many of the repliers i have played w/ (from Mag->Dust) , i will have to agree & disagree on the topic of Numbers can help win a battle.

    Strictly coming from a MAG standpoint (and yes i will be naming clans in this example, so if i hurt feelings, just grow a pair and realize i dont mean to slander any names/groups) having numbers DEFINITELY was an advantage yet wasnt a determining factor. To the examples:

    1). I remember a game of i was played, grouped w/ 7 others (was on Raven), attacking Sver's map against Sver. Guess who was there ... PRO (including you Contra...I will say it was probably one of the greatest sabo games i played in my 2+ years & 1300hrs into the game). You guys were running 13-16 deep that game, and i figured we'd get our butts handed to us as didnt trust the other 24 randoms on my team to get shit done; yet surprise-surprise got you guys back to C in 3 minutes. It was a tough battle for C, but we ended up pulling it out w/ seconds to spare. At the end of the game i took pics, and ALL the PRO guys went negative (some barely others by a lot). Reason bring this up, as shows, just since you have #'s doesnt always mean you will mean, quality can be better then quantity (also, this is w/ heavy reviving, as not sure how that will play in Dust)

    2). During my final time w/ KEQ , got redlined running 20+ on a acqi game v.s randoms ; and did game to KEQ on a dom game (they ran 28, against my groups 8), and all went negative ... i still remember to this day had a guy go 0-40 and he was a lv70). Again, quality over quantity can win ... this also goes to the idea of you need more then just a "mic & a med-kit" . Throwing bodies in from to save your good players isnt gana help much now, especially when you need to worry about losing $$, and not worrying about getting 30 deaths for a purple heart.

    With that out of the way, i'd like to give input onto KD requirements. Now i understand people want people who can kill; but what equates a good KD, some will say anything from 1.5-2 . That doesnt take into account everything else the person does. Yes some groups say what type of play-style you mostly do, but still, what if you are getting spawn camped, or trying to take out vehicles, or seem to only be getting assists. I'd say you need to give people more of a chance as sometimes by playing with those better then you, they learn and get better.
    -- as a side point though, i DONT like the idea of "interim" or academy/half members; as one if limits they you may allow them to see on forums (which is stupid as how do u expect them to get better when you hide info from them that could make them better). It also seems to be overlooked that by setting certain standards for "academy" members, you make them more worried about their stats then allowing them to play the game as progressively get better; as i know from clans ive been in; every time id have a bad game i figured i was further from my goal. It wasnt until i decided i could care less at a certain point if i was allowed in that i started to play better.

    So yeah, that my opinion on everything that seemed to be said. Granted hope it makes sense as writing this after putting a few down

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