This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

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: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

13 Oct 2012

OOC Entry 51 - Recruiting and Background Checks - 2

So now I have re-read my last instalment a few times and found some horrible spelling mistakes as usual, it's time for Part 2.

We'll get into things right away.


I have mentioned in the first part how sec status can be misleading. If you consider someone's sec status and combine what you see there with information on a killboard, things become clearer.

Many corps and alliances have their own public killboards, but there is of course also EVE Kill and the Battleclinic Killboard. My personal favorite would be Griefwatch because it also has sec status statistics, but only people who pay for it are on there.

It is in any case advisable to check more than one because the information will vary.

The first thing you will notice here, is of course the kill to loss ratio. If that is something which matters to your corp, take note of it. Also, if you look a bit closer you will see where a pilot gets most of their kills and how many others participated. Do they mostly kill haulers and miners by suicide ganking in highsec? Do they mainly fly in big fleet engagements in nullsec or are they usually in small roaming gangs.

With this information available, start back referencing to what you already know.

What have they told you about their playstyle, their attitude to PVP and the corporations they have been with? That information should match with what you see emerging as a PVP profile here.

If - for example - a character has a lot of highsec suicide ganks on their killboard, but they do have a positive sec status, then they took an effort to get that sec status up again. Be sure to ask them why.

Do not only look for the player's personal kills, also check what the rest of their corp does and what their alliance - if any - gets engaged in. It is entirely possible that your applicant is an alt account appearing be an industrialist while the rest of the corp or alliance appears to be a bunch of griefers.

Allies and Friends

Another very valuable thing you can learn from killboards is who your applicant flies with. Of course they have corpmates and alliance members who are on there with them, but there may be others too.

Look for kills with lots of participants and go through the list.

Check who the people are that are recorded on those kills and are not member of the applicant's corp or alliance. That can tell you a lot about informal relations they have with others.

At this point you can go several layers deep. You can look up those other pilots and corporations on EVEWho again and see what they are all about. Maybe that pilot is actually flying a lot with people who are red to your alliance while their corp looks like it has a clean record.

If they have been with any alliance or coalition that is or was involved in major conflicts, make sure you ask the player later what their attitude towards the opposition is. If your corp recruits from many different sources, you don't want to have some ex-CFC pilot always having arguments with your other corp member who is a former member of Against All Authorities. 

Also, you might find obvious alts in other corps that show up on killboards. Many people are not very imaginative with their names. Some name characters similarly and can be spotted that way. It may be that you find such an alt in a corp that has an entirely different MO from what the applicant is telling you.

Further Information

From EVEWho you will also find a link to EVESearch This tool allows you to search all posts made by players on the EVE Online forums. The things they write can tell you a lot about their attitude. Are they people who are constantly raging and complaining? What do they agree with and what not. Are their posts mostly helpful information or useless trolling?

There is a chance that you wont find anything at all. Some people never use their main to post on the forums, others never use their alt. An empty forum record does not have to be a warning flag, but if a character is six years old and never posted a single thing, it's worth thinking about why. It might be an indication that they have some other account or character they use for that. See whether you can find anything under other names they use (you should be able to see those on their API key).

Bought Characters

One thing will be of particular interest is whether they posted on the character bazaar.

Maybe their character is bought, and then the question is why.

While it is common for people to buy characters, it should be a thing that raises a warning flag. There are all kinds of shenanigans possible by hiding behind an assumed identity. Also, that throws a lot of the conclusions you can draw about a character's corp history and kill history out of the window.

It might mean that they come across as much more skilled than they actually are. A player buying a supercapital pilot might have all the skills to fit and fly one, but that does not mean they have the experience needed to field one in an engagement.

One very interesting thing that can be found out that way, is who the main or alt may be that actually bought that character. That person should certainly be checked if they do not appear anywhere else in your dossier so far.

Filling in the Last Blanks

I have already mentioned back-referencing and cross-referencing a few times.

At this point you have several sources of information checked and they should result in a rather complete picture where every piece fits with the other. Always compare each piece of information you get with all the information you already have. If question marks appear, try to dig deeper and note them down for later.

Finally, you will of course be asking your applicant to submit an API key.

It is advisable to ask for a full API key that lists all characters. Check out whether their skills actually match their claims, but also see whether they get income from any source that is suspicious. Do they have an income that matches with their playstyle, or do they have way too much or way too little. If so, ask yourself where that money went to or came from.

If you want, you can also check all their other characters with the same process you have just used on this one.

If you have not decided that an applicant wont be fitting with your corp by then, you will have a list of blanks you might want to fill in, and you will have a number of questions you like to have answered.

This is where the last part comes in.

The Interview

Set a date for a voice interview with your applicant. Voice communication is faster than the written thing, so people tend to react more spontaneously.
They wont have the time to think about every response, and if they have a hidden agenda, they might accidentally reveal it or at least slip up in some way.

Also you can sometimes hear from a person's voice whether they are being truthful or not. Not that this is a sure way of spotting a liar, but it can work.

Collect all your notes that you made earlier and have them ready. Tick off each particular question you still had.

If you can, get a second person to join in. Two people are better than one to form an opinion and notice things that seem wrong or raise a warning flag.

When you interview someone, start with easy things. Begin with questions you already asked or which they already wrote about in their application. Take note whether they say things the same way or whether they contradict earlier statements here.

Use information you gained during your background check and build questions out of it where you imply that knowledge. Specifically target things here that raised flags or questionmarks earlier and things that they did not tell you initially.

For example, if you found out that someone ended up in roaming fleets with an alliance they never told you about, ask them how they enjoyed flying with those guys. If they got on a particularly valuable freighter gank in highsec, ask whether they bought anything nice with the loot share.

Chances are you will get them talking about things they would not tell you earlier, for whatever reason. That might reveal inconsistencies or it will tell you more about the person.

In every question you ask them, try to be as open as possible. Never suggest an answer or ask questions that can be answered "yes" or "no". If you noticed that someone worked their way up from a low sec status, don't ask "Was it hard for you to get all the way back from -7 by ratting?" but rather something like "I saw you had a few highsec kills, how did you deal with the sec status hits."

The more you can get a person to talk about themselves, the better. If you can, build in rephrased questions that should come up with the same answer as before and see whether they contradict themselves or tell things in a different way.

For example, ff you asked them earlier about their experience in a strategic alliance fleet op, come back to the subject later by asking them how the war that was going on then influenced their gameplay.

If you have found out that they bought their character, try to find out why and which of their skills are actually supported by experience.

Again, use implied knowledge. Many people who try to deceive you will become insecure if they find out that you already know quite a lot. They might entangle themselves in their own web of lies. For example, ask them how they made the ISK to afford their character. Did they mind that this character's history marks him as member of a hostile alliance? Which other character did they want to supplement or replace by getting this one.

Many of the questions at this stage depend on specific things you want to know or which matter to your corp, but if you stick to the general guidelines you should get a pretty clear idea how to conduct the interview.

Closing Words

All that work may seem like a lot to do just for one applicant. Whether you want to really go that deep depends on your preferences. If you want to grow your corp rapidly, you may not have time for this. If you are looking for quality instead of quantity, you will benefit a lot from taking the time.

Like I said before, this whole procedure becomes very quick and intuitive once you get the hang of it. I myself often need more time to write down what I found out about someone than actually digging it up. Many people are also very easy and straightforward to profile. Usually it becomes harder with older players who have a long and varied history.

As stated in the beginning, even if you dig up every last piece of information about someone and conduct a really in-depth interview, you will never be 100% sure that they wont betray you one day or end up not fitting in at all. You can minimize the risk though. Most people are not all that cunning. If they have some dodgy character traits or in-game history, it might not be hidden all that well.

If you have doubts, always ask yourself whether you want to take the risk or rather wait for someone who looks more like a person you think you can trust.

Again this is something where your recruitment strategy plays a big role. If you are really desperately looking for lots of capital ship pilots, you might not be able to just send one away and have ten more waiting, but if you are starting a new corp and you are looking for a core group of good people to build on, you should take every effort and better refuse someone than just take everyone in who sends an application.

So, I'll end this here. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them below.

I hope that was a helpful guide for you, and you don't feel completely intimidated by the workload I presented here.

Happy recruiting.


  1. Copied both posts, edited to fit our particular bent on things and saved for corp use... Thanx and well done. =]

    If I may to add -

    1. I thought you only recruit personal friends anyway?

      Thanks for the tip, I actually have been to that site before, but forgot about it :)

  2. Nice posts. Some helpful tips in here I hadn't thought of.