Thursday, October 11, 2012

Power Rankings #5: Shadow Company


The #5 Corporation on our list is no other than the notables known as Shadow Company. In this piece they discuss being a "community", their impressions of the training going on in Mordu Space and some of their goals in New Eden.



1. Tell Us About Shadow Company.
Shadow Company (SC) is a multinational gaming community established in October 2008.  The organization’s mission was to provide a destination for players who sought structured online gaming and shared in our core values of friendship, loyalty, respect and sportsmanship.  Since our founding, we have operated with a “friends first” attitude and with the primary goal of having fun.

Shadow Company is organized under a military style rank structure and while we value its ability to provide a stable Chain of Command for the purpose of logistics and decision making, rank has little value outside of administrative function and battlefield operations.

Since inception, SC has focused primarily on the shooter genre and has supported most of the popular titles over the years.  We are organized into distinct units to handle Recruitment & Training, Gaming and Web Team support.  Each game title is represented by its own Regiment and the each Regiment’s Chain of Command is heavily invested in the unit’s growth and development over the life cycle of their particular title.

While we are a Community of over 400 members, much of the SC experience occurs at the Squad level.  These are small groups of 6-12 tight-knit members training and playing together on a regular basis.  We use organized practice sessions to help develop tactics, rehearse battle drills and learn the specific layouts of map locations.  A player’s skill level is never a bar to entry in Shadow Company and all players are encouraged to provide input and suggestions about in-game operations regardless of rank.

Shadow Company is always looking for new and exciting titles that will help us grow and become a more diverse organization.


2. What are some advantages you enjoy by employing both ground forces?
While we can appreciate and respect the potential advantages that fielding capsuleers and mercs under the banner of the same corporation might have, Shadow Company does not currently support EVE Online directly.  Our initial approach to Dust 514 will be that of an exclusive merc corp.  Our members are rooted in console gaming and while we hope to one day expand to computer based platforms, it is not something we are willing to rush into for the sake of one title.

No, instead we are content to focus our time and our resources on the Dust 514 side of the fight.  Of course that does not mean we are not willing to work with other respectable organizations within the EVE Online and Dust 514 communities or rule out the potential for future alliances.  In fact we currently have former EVE players and active capsuleers affiliated with corps not interested in fielding their own Mercs in our small but growing ranks.  They have provided valuable insight and potential connections to the New Eden currently dominated by EVE Online.

The fact of the matter is, there are still many questions and a considerable level of uncertainty regarding the true nature of how the dynamic between the two distinct communities will play out.  CCP has presented some assurances that Dust corps will have the tools and resources available to operate independently but so much remains to be seen.  At Shadow Company, we will evaluate the realities on the ground and adapt accordingly.  We prefer not to get too ahead of ourselves in the long term strategy of Dust 514 operations.



3. What has been your early impression of the training going on in Mordu Space?
The ongoing Beta has allowed our Research & Development Detachment to evaluate the various aspects of the game both as a shooter and its potential as a persistent MMO.  It has provided insight and helped us establish a foundation and brainstorm a viable framework upon which to tailor our dedicated Regiment (Corporation).  Our operational tempo at this stage has been pretty relaxed, not because we do not take the game seriously but because we recognize that in a Beta, even one as comprehensive as this, there are barriers and limitations that can hinder true performance.  For us it has been an exercise of experimentation and exploration.

We certainly appreciate the opportunity to participate and help the hard working development team at CCP to shape this amazing concept in our own modest way.  Many at Shadow Company believe that the cooperative effort between CCP and Sony has the potential to change console gaming forever.


4. What if any corps have stood out to you early on and why?
Well to be honest our focus has been more internal than external.  The only organization that has really come into my personal radar, for better or for worse, is Sver True Bloods (STB).  I think anyone who visits the official forums on a regular basis is going to know of their existence.  In fact, they have already been featured in your Blog.

I know they have stirred up some controversy and a lot of folks might have a strong opinion of them, good or bad.  I prefer to deal in facts.  In game, some of their members have proven to be very capable fighters and the more of them that are present in a match the better their results.  So I think it is fair to say they have a clear understanding of the gameplay and the importance of teamwork.  I know that our players tend to perform better in matches where STB does not populate the enemy team.  So that speaks favorably to their performance.  In fairness to other corps though, because no one else really seems to be identifying themselves within their profile name, it is hard to know who is working together at this point.

In the forum posts I have read, there is evidence of what I and others would classify as arrogance from certain members of their organization.  People choose to exude confidence in different ways and my philosophy is “to each, their own”.  Anyone who’s taken the time to learn even the most basic lore surrounding EVE Online knows that this type of attitude is not only acceptable but often encouraged.  It is for each corporation to decide whether not they want to embrace that culture.

The meta game of New Eden is as much about psychological warfare as it is physical.  People need to come to terms with that and fast.  Everybody is going to be playing by big boy rules, so you better have thick skin.



5.You often describe yourselves as a Community rather than a corporation, why ?

Being new to the EVE Online universe, thinking in terms of “corporation” is still somewhat foreign.  Whether you call yourself a clan, a community or a corporation, it is all a matter of semantics really.  We called ourselves a clan in the early days but over the course of our development most of us have come to favor the term community.  Mostly because it signifies that SC exists outside the context of any video game.

For me personally, Shadow Company is like family.  It has allowed me to create friendships and bonds with people from around the world.  People bring real-life friends and family into our ranks, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.  I recruited my own son.  The SC community supported me when I deployed overseas and I looked forward to every opportunity I had to “check-in” with them while I was away.  I mean, none of that has anything to do with gaming.

You go on a lot of public forums and you see players from different franchises and different consoles bashing each other.  Within SC we co-exist and share our experiences, not just about gaming, but about all kinds of things both in the virtual world and the real world.  We only have two forbidden topics…religion and politics.  For us, community equals acceptance.

Of course within this ideology exists a structured framework of competent administrators.  We rely on a dedicated group of volunteer leaders to ensure the various bureaucratic elements of the Community run smoothly.  Keeping 400+ members organized is no small feat and our leaders contribute many hours a week, outside of their gaming, to the various administrative duties required.  We have complete confidence we can operate within the framework of an EVE/Dust corporation once those functions are introduced in the game.



6. You're no rookie mercenary. What advice would you offer to new corps in New Eden?
Different corporations are going to have different goals.  Shadow Company is in it for the long haul.  So if you are like us then hopefully your leaders will exercise patience and think long term.  Everyone knows that the Roman Empire was not created in a day and even more importantly, it no longer exists today.  Short term profit will not always yield long term success and the key to longevity is adaptability.  But most importantly, take care of your members.

Shadow Company has sustained itself for nearly four years.  Online gaming is a volatile atmosphere, so we take some pride in that achievement.  It has not always been easy and we experienced our fair share of bumps in the road.  We are not the same organization we were in late 2008 and that is because our leaders recognized when changes needed to be made and then acted accordingly.  We are always looking to move forward.



7. "From the Shadows as One" explain it.

That motto was born of the circumstances that brought Shadow Company into being.  Most of the founding members were break-aways from another organization.  That clan was multi-platform but the majority of its leadership was rooted in one platform.  Many players of the other platform felt like second-class citizens and when they realized they could not affect positive change from within, chose to leave and create their own organization.

“From the Shadows as One” signifies a movement from darkness and obscurity into the light and that within that movement there was unity.


8. What are some of the features we can expect to see at Shadow Company HQ in New Eden?

The core of Shadow Company is composed of its members.  They are at the heart of every victory and they care about the organization’s standing within the greater communities in which we operate.  Within the framework of Dust 514 and the New Eden universe we hope to experience instances of pride and accomplishment not possible in any other titles currently available.

Our experience and logistical capabilities will help to take us far.  The website from which we operate is our true headquarters and provides us with tools to bring our most valuable weapon to bear, communication.  We wield in the form of an instant-chat shoutbox, forums and private messaging.  It is here we can shape our strategies and develop the tactics that will bring them to fruition.

Until recently we were a PS3 exclusive community, so most of our members play on the console exclusive to Dust 514.  As a free-to-play title we expect maximum participation and will have considerable personnel resources to bring to the fight.  Within the ranks of our dedicated Dust 514 Regiment we will foster the development of our best players into great leaders.


9. How important is the ability to talk between capsuleers and ground forces? Does your group have functioning Universal Voice Transmitters?
Outside our headquarters at www.shadowcompanyhq.com is where we will coordinate with various organizations within EVE Online and Dust 514.  Coordinated attacks between cooperative forces will need to make use of the in-game communication assets that CCP provides.  We are currently using a dedicated corp channel via the UVT for internal purposes and will obviously expand its use once the Corporation Mechanics are introduced in the game.

We hope that CPP will take the necessary steps to make UVT’s more accessible to players without the use of Aurum or at least allow corporations to purchase and administer their own channels that provide free access to members and guests.


10. What can clients expect from the Shadow Company when ground operations are finally sanctioned?

First and foremost, we recognize that the most lucrative contracts are going to be issued to those Dust corporations that deliver results.  Therefore, we will be focused on positive performance in the course of our operations.  Consistency will be key.  We are not so na├»ve that we expect to win every battle but we aim to reassure EVE corps that betting on us does not come at too great a risk.

Not to sound too idealistic, but we hope to partake in fair negotiations and create stable business relationships that work to benefit both parties.  I doubt anyone is going to escape a double cross from time to time but we hope to keep those types of exchanges few and far between.  We understand the universe in which we’ll operate but that will not deter us from trying to foster positive rapport with others.

Like most other corporations we have our sights set on expansion and territorial control.  But we are not going to put the cart before the horse.  Such endeavors will take considerable resources and gathering those resources will take time.  Many EVE corps have deep pockets and their own ambitions at territorial control.  But those ambitions will come at a cost.  Slowly but surely the monetary assets of EVE corporations will trickle into the accounts of Dusters putting boots on the ground.

There are ongoing arguments and debates about how much power Dust corps will be able to wield.  Many EVE players are already looking at mercs as second-class citizens, pawns in their greater game and fodder for their potential battles.  It will be interesting to say the least…seeing how it all plays out.



11. As is our protocol, the floor is yours for the last question. Is there anything you feel the need to share?

I suppose this is my opportunity to make our pitch for recruitment?  Look...outside of the context of the game, you gotta ask yourself what you really want out of this.  Obviously we are looking to field the largest army possible but we aren’t focused on the numbers.  We want all of our members to have a quality experience both on and off the battlefield.  It’s not an angle, it’s just the way we operate.

With that kind of approach we are confident the numbers will come eventually.  It is our intent to work cooperatively with all our Dust players, to share resources and put the greater Community…sorry…Corporation, in the best possible position for success.  We are encouraging our members to specialize in a particular skill set so that we can have subject matter experts and ensure a well-balanced team capable of adapting to the ever-changing conditions on the battlefield.

We want our best players to become our most successful leaders.  That being said, no one should expect keys to the coffers until they have proven themselves over time.  Control over Shadow Company assets will reside in our most senior members but this will not prevent newer members from taking charge on the battlefield, where it really counts.  We offer promotion and an in-house awards program to recognize such achievement.  Most importantly we want folks who are capable of putting the corporation before themselves.  The Community has always been greater than any one member or group of members…it’s how we endure.

Thanks for letting me talk about that which I care so much about.  For anyone interested in exploring us further, check us out a www.shadowcompanyhq.com and register if you like what you see.  Good luck to all the other corporations out there as well.  No matter what side of the war we all end up on, I think we all want Dust 514 to be a successful game all of us can enjoy for many years to come.

10 comments:

  1. Maybe it's just me, but it seems most corps, clans or whatever are quick to say that they're a "community" rather than a "corp" or "clan". And to be honest, the definition that was given above applies to almost every group of gamers who have a website.

    With that being said, I thought it was a good interview. Their intentions were clear, their culture is well defined, and gave almost everything one would want to know about them.

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  2. played vs these guys the other day they were purdy gud.

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  3. virgindestroyer7 should do a live interview

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  4. nobody cares about this bitch get a life loser ^^^^^^^

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