The Faces of EVE University interview series brings you insight into some of the personalities that make up our staff – a group of dedicated Unistas who tirelessly work for the advancement of learning.
Q: Hello Zun Lurrin, let me start by telling you that I am super excited to do this interview. You are the current Hauling Manager of EVE University and I have noticed with how much passion you speak about Hauling. Tell us a bit about your past EVE experience and how you became Hauling Manager.
Thank you for asking about Hauling! It is my preferred way to play EVE and I’m glad to share that experience with others.
Having started playing EVE with my son in 2007 (or 2008) this is my 3rd time back to EVE; I think I’ve even passed all the way through the bitter-vet stage now. I’ve done mission running, faction warfare, Sov Null, and mining with no real love for any of them. Other than being a logi pilot, PVP has little interest for me either.
On the other hand, Market PVP was pretty interesting for quite a while and Industry kind of holds my interest (I used to build Carriers & Supers, but mostly do T2 now). In the end, however, Hauling has always been what I’ve come back to. In particular, I like the strategy required to fly a Jump Freighter (the only T2 capital ship in EVE!). There’s planning the route, setting up cynos in hostile space, and then safely executing the plan – that is what has held my interest through all this time.
This time back to EVE, I knew what I didn’t want to do and I’ve always admired EVE University. This was a chance to help a group I’ve known about for a long time and submitted my application, clearly stating that Hauling is what I wanted to do. After some time working with Hofborn and Cheradenine Zakalve, I was invited to be an Officer and eventually Manager. We all stand on the shoulders of our fore-fathers; and those two created an outstanding foundation for the Hauling Department as it exists today!
Q: Talking of the Hauling Department – can you share some insights with us? How many people are regularly hauling, how do you manage the hauling needs and most importantly, how do Unistas use the services of the Department?
Like many alliances in EVE, Uni Hauling is designed to make it easier for corp members to move from place-to-place without having to move their own stuff. Many of us tend to be pack-rats who accumulate so many items that we may stay in a less than desirable location just to avoid moving all that stuff. Or sell it at reduced price and feel discouraged at the whole ‘moving’ process.
Unistas are informed about the Hauling Service during their introduction & orientation, but that can be an overwhelming time. Fortunately, many Corp members help newbros out with how to get started. On average, moving Unista items represents about half of our monthly volume going strictly between Campus HQ’s and Jita. The remaining volume is done on behalf of the University. Fuel for structures, ships for fleets, buyback items, University asset movements, and loot from wars we’ve won are all shipped by University Hauling. There’s at least as much done ‘behind the scenes’ as the activity that’s more visible.
Moving these goods is done by a surprisingly small group of Haulers that varies in number during the year; roughly a dozen Freighter pilots, half as many Jump Freighter pilots, and 4 Officers that keep the spice flowing.
It all starts with a Courier Contract. Our Forum post provides details for how to do that. Contracts are accepted once a Hauler is available to take the shipment. These dedicated folks travel smart to make sure the route is “safe” and may have to dock up or just wait out a gank squad on their way to the destination. Upon delivery, the Courier Contract is completed and the shipper’s items appear in their hangar.
Q: If a Unista is interested in getting involved in your Department, what would be the best way to get started and what can they expect when joining?
Uni Hauling depends upon volunteers who like hauling, or want to find out if they like it. Our first priority is to help those Haulers learn the skills of the trade and provide an opportunity to see how they like it. If they do like it, they get extensive training and insights to be well prepared to expand their horizons and possibly join one of the commercial hauling services such as Red Frog or PushX.
Like those services, we use Freighters and Jump Freighters for all shipments; except WHC where DST’s are used. Most of our pilots start with a non-Uni alt that is a minimally skilled Freighter pilot. While minimal skills is not acceptable for the commercial services, we are a learning organization and we can work within those limitations while pilots expand their skills and knowledge. So, Unistas with a non-Uni alt trained to fly a Freighter are welcome to apply with University Hauling.
New pilots become members of Uni Staff and a Hauling channel in Discord so we can communicate about available shipments and the status of those that are in progress
Q: It seems like there is a lot to learn when joining the Hauling Department. Could you tell us a bit more about the importance of Hauling in the grand scheme of EVE? What would be a natural next step for Haulers after joining the department?
Colonels & Majors worry about tactics, Generals worry about strategy – and Logistics is all about strategy. Hauling is a key component to logistics. If the materials aren’t present at the right place in the right time, the battle has already been lost. Hauling is one of those things that isn’t an obvious issue until someone tries to move all their valuable stuff in a T1 industrial and watches it all get ganked just outside Jita. All of a sudden, shipping in EVE takes on a new meaning. Many folks in Hauling remember an experience just like that.
If we do our job correctly, moving stuff in EVE will look easy. There is actually quite a bit to learn and understand. Not only does one need to learn the game mechanics associated with hauling. Haulers also need to know how gankers operate in various regions of New Eden. Each type of space has its own hazards – all of which makes it quite interesting to be Hauler.
And it is that variety that leads Haulers in different directions. High-sec freighters, wormhole DSTs, null & low-sec jump freighters all have different ways of engaging the Hauler. Again, if we do our teaching job properly, Haulers will move on to one of the commercial services or become part of an alliance logistics group (and there freighters are bridged with Titans! – we don’t do that in the Uni 🙂
Like so many things in EVE, Hauling is a discipline and skill within its own right. As evidenced by the small number of pilots within the group, it is a niche game style. But for those whom it fits just right, it’s the best way to win EVE!