Leadership in Albion Online is a world which is wide, wild, wily, and wise. Often the interactions and perspectives of leaders and diplomats happen outside of the view of the common line member and gatherer. This interview is an attempt to bring some of that hidden perspective to light.
As part of my interview process with the significant leadership, diplomats, and shotcallers of Albion Online, I used a standard set of questions for each person that is being interviewed. These views and expressed opinions are their own and except where the interviewee is the alliance leader, are not reflective of the views or official position of their organization at large.
The following interviewee is none other than Vocandin.
VOLTEL: For those who are unfamiliar with you, who are you and what do you do?
VOCANDIN: I am the leader of “The Fleet”, I manage logistics as well as lead the open world content like zvzs, skirmishes and the like.
VOLTEL: What can you tell me about yourself and what you do; i.e. your role in your Alliance?
VOCANDIN: I started the game in Beta 2, in Beta 3 I made The Fleet with the help of a few friends from other games and we kept improving, finishing the beta being based in Anglia which is usually the starter blackzone continent. Fleet became really good at open world at release time and we used that as our main strength for quite a while, but the organization also attracted a lot of skilled gvg players (5v5s) along the road. We joined [SAVE]quite later so we just assist where we can on a day to day basis.
VOLTEL: How’d you get your start in Albion? Did you start with planning to help run an alliance?
VOCANDIN: I had a rough start in beta 2 not knowing much about players, guilds or the game but made my own guild for beta 3 after seeing the potential good organization could bring. Alliance was out of question at the start as I didn’t want to be carried or rely on anyone that wasn’t my own members. Eventually I had to learn to deal with other guilds and my own within alliances and through trial and error managed to build a name that people recognize.
VOLTEL: What, for you, was the hardest part of growing (into) your alliance? What do you struggle most with now?
VOCANDIN: Fleet has been through few alliances, and honestly the biggest struggle is finding common ground to all guilds involved to be invested in the war vs whoever else is the enemy at the time. In my opinion, this was best done by OOPS vs WOKE where both sides were very invested on beating the other.
VOLTEL: How did you broach diplomacy when you were first growing your alliance; what were the early growing pains?
VOCANDIN: As anyone starting, not knowing who you’re dealing with is hard. Your diplomacy is most of the times just word of mouth, so knowing who will keep their word and those who will not comes with time. Thanks to the way Albion is set, reputation is something very hard to get rid of after doing something shady.
VOLTEL: How does diplo currently – or continue to – shape your day-to-day and the experience of your members?
VOCANDIN: I have and continue to have different relations with other alliances, guilds and even players, it doesn’t change much to individual players, and even when in good terms we never turn down a fight so open world NAPs (non-aggression pacts) are very rare and temporary.
VOLTEL: From the high-level, what’s the unspoken or unsung role of diplos and leaders that most people don’t get to see?
VOCANDIN: The amount of stuff that is decided by leadership. GVGs, ZVZs, territories raided, who goes to what alliance, all mostly decided out of game. But it’s the sum of the efforts of all members that decides the power a guild has, there’s no leadership without its members.
VOLTEL: Do you ever feel leaders are sometimes in the position of creating more problems than they solve?
VOCANDIN: Definitely, if leadership is too emotional or let a bad day slip through in game with the amount of “power” they have it’s a pretty big recipe for disaster. It’s not uncommon to see guilds being kicked from alliances with no notice for example.
VOLTEL: Let’s talk regional – A lot of recent attention has been paid to Mercia and their residents. What are your thoughts on the region and thediplomatic and political situation?
VOCANDIN: Mercia has always been the “best” continent and since release, who stays there long term is decided mostly by diplomacy after the initial beatdown is over. Naps, agreements etc. Of course, someone without fail always tries to shake off the status quo every now and then, which is now[SAVE] alliance.
VOLTEL: Does the situation in Mercia differ greatly from Cumbria and Anglia?
VOCANDIN: Since [POE] moved to Mercia, both Mercia and Cumbria are pretty much tied continents, while Anglia still has room for smaller guilds to try and make a difference, although with alliance sizes that room is pretty small. But I expect with the addition of Crystal GVGs strategies for territory ownership will change and a bigger focus will be put on activity instead of passive income.
VOLTEL: By your assessment, are there problems that leaders and Diplomats are incapable of solving?
VOCANDIN: As much as the leadership decides where the boat goes, in game skill or willpower to keep fighting is what decides if the boat gets there. No amount of diplomacy will make a group raid another guild 24/7 or fight over castles daily, that’s up to the leadership’s ability to create content and make those things fun.
VOLTEL: Do you feel that building alliances and coalitions in Albion through diplomacy is largely misunderstood?
VOCANDIN: Albion is a weird game where the content comes from fighting, but a lot of times not fighting or picking on the smaller guilds is amore profitable decision. So, NAPs are very frowned upon as a strategy for the weak, yet it’s used and has been used by all major guilds and alliances at one point or another.
Editors Note: If you know anyone that you think that we should interview please join us in our discord and let us know! https://discord.gg/6rPPdJA