When one is a lifelong Trammy, one knows how to procure insurance. One knows red means bad. One knows that a bola is two weights on a rope. One knows that heavy Felucca reporting is likely to start flames. One knows that some things in life can't be helped and are worth pursuing anyway. One knows.... little else. That's where I come into Felucca. I want to report there. I also don't know the first thing about the place. So what do you do when you don't know anything? You ask people. Following that line of reasoning, it seemed to make sense that one of the first groups to ask about Felucca would be... ...El Cartel. Love them or hate them, you know who they are. Perhaps you recall the Veral Hunt, as people ran around trying to slay the nefarious man in a dress. Perhaps you attended the Cartel Celebrity Death Auction and witnessed some impressive survival skills (or hacks, some might whisper in dark corners--the flame wars rage on mighty and proud). Or perhaps you've simply seen the blurry streak of Jewey or PugNasty racing after you or fallen victim to Lt. Snuggle's gender-neutral kiss of death. The infamous Baja (among a few other places) mob is... Infamous! I spent an afternoon with them on Ventrilo a while back. Like, a really long while back. REALLLY LONG. Think, Celebrity Death Auction Long. In fact, I think so long that it's possible they thought I'd forgotten. I could blame other projects or simply a petrifying fear of all things Felucca but here we are and I hope this is the start of many. I hope they forgive me for the delay and for sliiiightly fudging this interview so that it would make sense given that it was conducted mostly before AND partially after their application for township. What follows is ... 95% accurate. What did I learn from my first dances with wolves? That part of the reason Cartel's been sufficiently effective in rising to reknown: they communicate. "What happened to the Pac man?" "He's just running." "I'm coming with a bola right now." "Ok. Let me come grab some bars, too." "Game's running pretty slow." "Yeah, it's draggin." "I fear no dragon." "I had a dragon... once." "Good dismount, Pug." "Thanks." The afternoon starts with some light pursuit but even that is a sophisticated tapestry of PvP coordination and "yo mama" that gives newcomers a little vertigo until you have time to get your bearings. These guys've been playing together for.... well, a while. Q: How many members of Cartel are there? A: Hold on. Let me grab a calculator. A: No, I think he means active players. Q: Yes, let's say regulars. A: Regulars? Maybe eight. Though on any given day there are usually at least four of us around. Maybe five or six. As the afternoon picks up, so does the chase. Today they've ventured over to Pacific, where the meat is still dripping fresh and they're tormenting an old... erm... acquaintence. Ahh, the bonds of friendship. Q: Do you have a preferred method of taking down an opponent? A: It depends on the opponent. If they run, it's key to get a quick dismount. If they try to grind or chokepoint, we're more likely to stand and just dump 'em. A: A lot of the key is to move back and forth listening to each other and coordinating our targets. A: Yeah, it's important that we all just shut up and listen. If we're all running and someone calls a target, we have to turn and run and grab their bars. A: You run and grab bars? A: Yeah. A: That's how I do it too. A: Yeah, if I can't grab their bar, I have spacebar set to Next Mobile to grab their bar. If they stop off-screen, I'll use control+shift to grab their bar that way. A: Oh, I'm the other way. I target first and if I can't target I'll use control+shift or grab bars or whatever as the alternative. This reporter should mention that all throughout the interview, the slaying continued. Intermingled among my haphazardly dropped questions came dialogue that often overlapped, like this: [victim omitted]'s on foot! [victim omitted]'s on foot! Turn on the other one. He'll smoke bomb... we've got to hit him... fast. They stoppin. They prepping 'em. [victim omitted] is on foot. [victim omitted] should be target. Alright. [victim omitted] is nasty--I'd greatly like to kill him and make fun of him. On him? Yeah. Everyone stay with the group. Screw [victim omitted], stay with the group. Did they drop one of you? Naw, I healed him. He's over... ah... nevermind. Ok, I'm gonna sleep [victim omitted]. Q: Congratulations on being accepted for township. But how would you be affected if Horseshoe--err--Cartel Island is selected, and linked to a community portal? Are you worried that people would camp your end of a portal and jump visitors? A: Well, we'll see. We're not like other towns in that I don't think we'll get too many visitors, but it only takes a few who visit to have a bad experience to start a negative PR campaign. One of the things suggested was to have a consistent house theme, and I don't see us being the type to have a tavern or a library or whatever. Our houses are pretty crappy looking. But to counter that, we're doing things like the hunts, the public harrower, the Death Auction. We do want to be part of the community and to contribute in our own way. We're committed to the idea and willing to put some effort into it. Q: I suspect if you were to camp the campers, you'd draw a line and such a situation would end fairly quickly. [gratuitous, embarrassing innuendo and resulting thats-what-my-mom-told-him-anyway dogpile omitted] Q: The Cartel docks have captive dolphins. What's the story with that? A: Inside Joke. But one of the dolphins talks. The other may have more to say down the road. Special thanks to Super Ken, Lt. Snuggles, Jewey, PugNasty and Ezra for letting me listen in and for being patient! This is for you: The Freeborn Press would like to make clear that this article contains PvP-themed subject material and is intended for mature readers. Please keep all rebuttals, complaints, smack, and general backlash in the PvP thread. Thanks! Have an idea for a story? Send it to [email protected].