by Max Barry

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by Trivene. . 312 reads.

August Featured Warden: Varax


News from TGW:
  • TGW joined Europeia for a Turning Red movie night early in the month and also signed the Treaty of Par Vollen with the region in a celebration of new friendship.

  • Warden Varax was promoted to Lieutenant after months of hard work and dedicated military missions within The Order in another fantastic addition to the Command team

  • Constable Nakari reascended as a Warden Commander with a warm ďwelcome backĒ after frontlining integration and training projects throughout the region

  • The Guardians saw a change in leadership as Silverite Guardian Insupekuta stepped into the role after years of working as a Guardian Captain

Featured Warden: Varax

Starting their gameplay career long ago, Varax served in organizations such as Hydra and The Black Hawks until recently barring a brief stint in Aenaroth in 2017. Since joining The Grey Wardens in 2022, she has been an experienced and reliable contribution to the Order, quickly becoming one of our top recruiters and earning a promotion to Warden-Lieutenant. As a newer Warden, though one with a long history in gameplay, she brings a unique backstory and legacy to the table for this featured Warden article.

August's Featured Warden
Varax Zwei

General Information



Joined NS


Joined TGW

May 12, 2022



July 12, 2022 - Present


July 12, 2022

Senior Warden

May 12, 2022 - Present

Rank Attained

July 11, 2022

Varax:: Hello! Iím Warden-Lieutenant Varax. (Varax Zwei is my main nation)

Moon: Thanks for agreeing to this interview Varax! When and how'd you find out about NS?

Varax: So I found NS in June 2004 through a communist forum called Several members there had joined a region called World Socialist Alliance so I joined as well.

Moon: Oh wow, I didnít expect you to play for that long lol. I thought you were a 2012 person >_>

Varax: Yep! My activity has come and gone over the years. First active in 2004, then mostly gone until 2007-2009 in another region (The Alliance of Dictators), then on and off in 2013 and 2015 in PoFo regions founded by members of 2015 was when I really started to get involved in GP.

Moon: You were a raider first, right? How did that came about?

Varax: Yes that's right. I started as a raider in gameplay when I became more interested in GP mechanics and wanted to try something different in NS. I thought focusing more on GP would be a welcome change of pace from solely focusing on internal regional politics and RP as I had during most of my time on NS. My first stint as a raider was due to me trying to leverage the mechanics to have what I considered at the time to be an "outsized" effect on the wider world.

Moon: Sounds interesting! I've occasionally wondered about what motivated raiders to continue playing for so long, apart from the usual "it's fun" answer we get, and that's a new one I haven't heard of yet. Would you say that still remains a part of your motivation to remain involved in GP, to make your mark on this game by using its mechanics?

Varax: To some extent yes. Mostly just because itís fun. Now that Iím a defender I enjoy protecting regions that need it and making sure raider plans fail. Also after being around as long as I have I find chasing to be a good challenge for me.

Moon: I see, I see. How'd you find the R side of R/D to be, compared to defending, then?

Varax: I had a series of bad experiences on the raider side, then my alignment shifted, which led me to coming over to defending.

Moon: Ahhh, moving on.

Was there anything specific about TGW that brought you here, or was it a random thing that just happened?

Varax: So I've had my eye on TGW since it was founded. Benevolent thomas was one of the defenders I respected the most when I was a raider so when I saw he was forming a defender military I took notice. I had considered joining for awhile and when my alignment shifted I knew this was where I wanted to be. There were a lot of things to like. First I like the strong focus on the D aspect of R/D and the fact that's it's a military order, because I want focus on R/D without political infighting getting in the way and it's the kind of region I enjoy. Second was the efficient way TGW approaches GP, constantly innovating to meet the challenges of evolving R/D. Certain initiatives such as encouraging activity through awarding DKP I came to see as a model of incentivizing productivity. There was also the community factor since I enjoyed being in the TGW server and I knew quite a few members here that I raided with who also switched over as well. I even like the DA theme being a fan of DA games and BioWare in general.

Moon: Oooh, a DA fan! What's your favorite game of the series?

Varax: DA: Origins.

Moon: Oooh, a fellow Origins fan! Any favorite origin story or do you like them all equally enough?

Varax: I like them all to some extent but Iíd have to say I found the City Elf origin the most compelling.

Moon: Same! I'm also partial to the Dwarf Noble origin, since I'm a sucker for the (SPOILER ALERT) "you get framed for something you didn't do" trope.

Anyway, before we get way too sidetracked with DA talk (:P), let's move on. As someone who's been on both sides of R/D, if you're comfortable talking about this, how'd you say the mechanical aspects of each faction differ from? Would you say that raiding is "easier" than defending, or does it come with its own set of challenges that people outside can't really comprehend?

Varax: So mechanically speaking I would say that defending is harder overall. Chasing is more challenging than tag raiding due to the reactive nature. As a raider you have the advantage of knowing the target, moving on go and moving first. As a chaser you have to do a lot very fast and be able to react extremely quickly, and be constantly alert. Even then you might not make it in on time if the raider trigger is good enough. For ops liberating is also harder due to the fact that raiders can move pilers in between updates whereas defenders have to bring their full force at update. There's also the difference in op planning and command that happens on the raider side. The need for stealth with respect to sleepers and op planning, as well as greater need for opsec and security in general is one thing that raiders have to contend with much more than defenders, given the reactive nature of defending and the fact that defender sleepers don't require stealth the way raiders do.

Moon: Interesting, would you say that this heightened need for secrecy in raider operation planning has led to a decrease of "full-on" sleeper operations of the past, and has placed more focus on large, obvious occupation attempts like we're now used to?

Varax: That's an interesting question. So I was trained in sleepers and stealth ops by Gest and Knot. In those days us DEN officers were required to maintain a large number of sleepers in pre-determined regions, and DEN used stealth as a part of its main ops fairly regularly. Several years later during my most recent stint in TBH, there were no such requirements, and a much less focus on stealth and sleepers in general. The general knowledge and emphasis amongst even the officers there of stealth was less, almost as if in the process of raiderdom culling itself of certain elements, a lot of experience and knowledge wasn't passed down as much as it used to be it seems, or simply not emphasized. The large, obvious occupation staging efforts have always existed as well, and indeed they are increasingly favored for their expediency. Stealth ops take a lot of planning in advance and raider sleepers require careful management. Their potential payoff in terms of being able to hit larger, more appealing targets than might have been possible otherwise, while attracting less defender attention in the face of increasing defender activity, is not something that should be overlooked, however. With the knowledge and execution of stealth ops not being practiced or emphasized as much, they've become both less frequent and often sloppy in terms of execution with cleans.

Moon: Is there anyone you consider to be your mentor in defending?

Varax: That would have to be Red Dusk II, back when I was in Aenaroth.

Moon: Oooh, you were a defender before? How did that go?

Varax: My first stint as a defender was back in 2017. It was a nice change of pace at the time, there were some things I went through that I was looking to distance myself from. It's a shame Aenaroth didn't last longer, though.

I rather enjoyed it.

Moon: Anything you're particularly proud of doing over the time you've spent in this game?

Varax: Not much sadly, it's been interesting I suppose, though. I'm glad to be where I am now however. I suppose I could say I'm glad I got the opportunity to lead Hydra when I did, it was an interesting experience, even if the circumstances surrounding it were contentious.

Moon: Don't think I'm familiar with Hydra much, what happened there?

Varax: Hydra at its peak was led by Tom in 2016 and some others who mostly came over when DEN fell. I had helped run some ops when I was with The Invaders then moved over to focus on Hydra for a bit. Tom retired in December and left Hydra along with some other senior members, so Hydra was looking for new leadership and I became Director from the start of 2017 through to the beginning of February. There were a few ops I helped run during my time there notably the DonaldTrumpland and Coastalia occupations. I did what I could to bring activity back up but a lot of updaters left when Tom did and some things behind the scenes were making the situation unpleasant and unenjoyable for me, so I stepped aside.

Moon: Interesting, the more you know!

Best memory during your time here? Worst regret?

Varax: My fondest memories would really just be enjoying the time I've spent hanging around chats and updating in general. Unfortunately I have a lot of regrets, most notably some rather poor personal decisions I've made, as well as my involvement in the Predator scandal.

Moon: We're nearing the end of this interview, since I'm honestly out of questions to ask >_> Anything you'd like to say to bring this interview to a close?

Varax: Thanks for the interview, twas fun.

Moon: No, thank you for giving me your time of the day!