Leading as a Gentleman

In my last article I mentioned that my next post would explain how I arrived at my decision to become a member of the GCLUB team. I’ve now been in GSP0T for four days. However, I am still on vacation with my parents in Texas, and right after I sent my daughter off to visit her other set of grandparents my folks called in a bunch of contractors to do construction on the house. So I’ve found myself with some spotty internet and in a position where I am playing Eve on just a laptop. This being the case, I’ve spent the last few days moving stuff around and getting set up, and although I have registered on the forums and Teamspeak, I have yet to do much lounging around on comms getting to know the guys. I have been looking at our internal forums, though, and have basically become more informed concerning the initial impressions I have had as an outsider taking a look at the group before joining. Those impressions have been largely reinforced over the last few days. This being the case, I find myself to be in a good position to evaluate my new group objectively, and am therefore deciding to write my post at this time.

Before talking about GCLUB, though, and in order to provide context about what I was looking for, I’ll talk a bit about what was lacking in my previous alliance, the Brave Collective. There were primarily two areas. First, there wasn’t opportunity to expand my playing above an entry level game day of joining up for fleets and earning ISK from PvE. I would never be able to put any kinds of assets in space. Putting an alt into the corp of a friend who was going to let me have some corp roles was actually what originally got me kicked from the Bearded BattleBears. My friend’s corp ultimately got kicked from Friends of Brave in the saddest piece of metagaming drama that I have ever been a part of. And I was ultimately kicked from the entire HERO coalition on false charges of making real life threats simply for being involved at all. Basically, in Brave, if you want to accomplish anything other than logging in and fleeting up or ratting in your home system, you have to be able to get past all the drama, which in most cases will be an impossible task. This leads me to my second issue with Brave. One of the things I always enjoyed about that alliance was the “stay classy” narrative. Being about fun per hour must necessitate at least a bit of avoidance of metagaming drama, right? Well in the case of Brave, “stay classy” pretty much means don’t insult minorities or tell dirty jokes. It doesn’t involve playing with any sort of honor or maturity in mind. Part of that comes from having some real dirtbags around, but part of it is actually just not being competent and organized enough to be classy in the sense that I have come to require. So with this said, my priorities in finding a new home were going to be centered on finding competence and maturity where I could accomplish things as a player.

My evaluation of the GCLUB team centers therefore on three areas: narrative, structure, and leadership.

Concerning GCLUB’s narrative, I took a look at the name and the ideas that it embodies, and checked to see if the history and style of the group made good on it. Now a Gentlemen’s Club represents the merger of a few ideas. Most of the alliance’s slogans and narrative support centers around the alliance being ‘sexy.’ Other than adding a bit of panache to the group, finding out what ‘sexy’ is requires digging a little deeper. Basically, the way I see it, a gentlemen’s club is where a gentleman goes in order to have a good time. There is usually some exclusivity there. Not just anyone can get into a gentlemen’s club. The members must share in the club’s community, ideals, and direction, and the member must be a gentleman. Now that, on the one hand, implies having some class, a quality sorely lacking in Brave, and being a gentleman to begin with requires having some quality of being professional. The guy in the club with the cigar in one hand and a bourbon in the other with a bunny girl in his lap is able to enjoy the club because he is first a successful businessman or whatever. So the club for fun and relaxation is composed of a group of professionals.

So is that idea what I actually see? Yes. The GCLUB forums are pretty businesslike. Standards and expectations are clearly laid out. They are often explicitly explained and justified. In every case they appear reasonable and built my confidence as I read them. There is a complaint section that in no way resembled a reddit flame war conducted in private. Brief complaints were matter of factly stated. In some cases complaints were heavily articulated and generated some mature discussion. There was evidence that elsewhere in the forums complaints were acted upon. Overall the leadership seems responsive and involved, although thoroughly in charge, and certainly did not seem to be drinking a bunch of beer and saying ‘yes’ to whoever was around. Further, GCLUB does not have a reputation for drama, and traces of it have not been found by me thus far in my integration. Overall, it seems like a classy and professional group of moderate but innovative people and leaders who are into having fun by doing things well. That’s what I call ‘sexy.’

So I’ll move from narrative to structure. This is really what appealed to me right from the beginning. I said I wanted to form a corp, but I wanted to do it in nullsec. I also didn’t want to do everything completely on my own, building a corp that relied completely on me for every drop of content. Moving into an alliance would make building the corp so much easier. At the outset, though, I only have myself and a few friends. Other alliances weren’t willing to invest in that. I looked around at renting and found costs extremely high. Also, I couldn’t be confident of a comfortable level of integration as a renter. I had previously rented with NA., and in fact the only time I have ever been blueshot was as a renter watching a battle between CFC and Darkeshi on the border of Perigen Falls. I was told by my blues to go away or join a line alliance. GCLUB, however, has a different option available: Gentlemen’s.Parlor (GSP0T). This group charges dues based on membership count and is actually a part of the team, welcome on CTAs and fleets. It’s cheaper than renting and offers more opportunities to participate. After joining, I also heard that GCLUB also allows renters on fleets as well. So basically, GCLUB offers a more diverse structure with a varied level of integration. It’s a perfect place to join a group and start something up.

Now as a last note on the structure and starting a corp I would like to say that I do have a lot of assets to bring as a player. Also, I was in GCLUB and GSP0T previously during one of my stints back in my old corp International Fleet., so I have a bit of history with the group. Finally, I’ve spoken well of the group here and there on my blog and in other public places. So my entrance is quite likely a reflection of my individual situation. I am not saying that every scrub in New Eden will be welcomed into the team no questions asked. I’m not suggesting that every AWOXER in the game come check out GCLUB. In fact, recruitment into GCLUB alliance proper is currently closed to new corporations, with Sslink saying that uncontrolled and rapid growth is a recipe for disaster. So I make no promises to any other interested parties. What I can say, though, is that GCLUB offers three different structures for individuals and groups to to become part of the team with different sets expectations concerning involvement, activity, and support, with each seeming to offer a lot of flexibility and opportunities concerning growth and development.

Now I said my evaluation would deal with narrative, structure, and leadership, but I think the above paragraphs on narrative and structure convey my impression of the leadership. So I’ll close by saying that I’ve ended up joining GCLUB because its setup is completely unique in offering opportunities to individual players and corporations in New Eden. I’ve therefore written this blog post as an encouragement to other alliances and coalitions to follow this lead in thinking intelligently about how they are to grow their membership in terms of players and corporations. Quite a few groups are still at a stage of ‘rule by clique,’ where an individual has to come in and fellatiate the right people and not make any wrong moves until they graduate from ‘untrusted’ to ‘trusted.’ at which point they can go crazy. For some alliances, moving from untrusted to trusted is too hard and rarely happens. In other cases, it happens too easily. Sadly, people like Toasty Biggums know how this stuff works and can play things well. A better solution is to not rely on a policy of unconsciously letting people into the in crowd, but rather to actually have structures and systems in place which allow people to come on board and integrate into the team after responsible milestones have been reached and definitive directions have been taken and progressed upon. This is what GCLUB does, and others would do well to take note.

Cure

Today we have the third and final installment of my trilogy of posts about my ordeal with the HERO Coalition (the first two are Cancer and Chemo). My drama is over. It’s actually been over for some days, consisting only of my hanging around the Brave subreddit dogging them about the error of their ways until I was finally temporarily banned a couple of days ago as a part of their general annoyance at being reminded of the ordeal. Their reactions were typical, showing utterly no cognition of the idea that framing someone with a false real life threat in order to get rid of a potential nuisance to the Bearded BattleBears was in any way wrong. Their posts were simple ‘get over it’ and ‘nobody likes you’ crap, complete with anonymous BattleBears advocates and mysterious down votes and the like. Thus ends my ride with Brave, except perhaps for the occasional trolling when I’m in the mood or maybe a mention of them in this or that blog post when discussing how not to do things. They provide good material in that area. I already said my goodbyes a while back, though, and this paragraph is more a final word about my parting rather than any sort of statement to Brave or the BattleBears.

Now a good while before this last few days of radio silence I had already started looking for another home. A number of interesting options presented themselves, among them TEST and BL. Ultimately, though, I came to the conclusion that I really wasn’t ready to join another corp just yet. The thought of actually taking a break from Eve did cross my mind. I just felt leery of entering into another group with an expectation that I would matriculate into the culture and hopefully be able to have the kind of fun I want to as a player without upsetting some bigwig somewhere and getting banned for making a real life threat that was never made. Of course TEST and BL are too classy for that kind of bullshit, but nonetheless I am just not up for a bout of group assimilation at this point. It seemed that some options appeared that would give me possibly director or some significant role set and job duty in corps of people I knew who would be able to insulate me a bit, but those deals ended up not materializing. I also thought of holing up in a solo corp and just playing by myself for a while. I’ve done it before, and there is definitely a time and place for that. Now, though, I still have a bug to do stuff and make a mark. This is a pretty tall order for a guy who doesn’t want to dig into groupthink though. With that in mind, I did some reflecting about how I’d like to play. I remembered that some of the best times I had in Eve were actually when I was building up International Fleet. and Amarrian Merchant Solutions (and her daughter corp, Tech Systems) as CEO and director. I thought about whether I could handle all the work involved in building up a corp and decided I was up for it. I certainly was not up for heading to highsec and starting from scratch, though. Nullsec is just too exciting these days, with changes in everything from ore to sov and structures. What I found, though, is that being just a dude, not a part of any group, makes it nigh impossible to just start up from nothing in null. Nevertheless, I found a way.

So I formed the corp, which I’ve named The Black Cohort. The name, frankly, is a tribute to Black Legion. I have no history or claim of relationship with that alliance at all. However, I’ve been Grr Goon forever, and so are they. I’ve been anti-PL lately, and so are they. I’ve got this love-hate relationship with Brave, which currently is a state of hate, and so do they. Also, I am wanting to continue a lot of the black ops stuff that I was trying to do before I was scurrilously kicked and banned from HERO, and a corp with ‘black’ in the name seemed to fit. Beyond the name choice for the corp, however, I ultimately decided to leave the Fountain scene behind and join up with the GCLUB team. The reason I have decided to do so will actually be a part of another post I plan on writing in fairly short order. There’s an issue that needs to be addressed in Eve social dynamics that GCLUB has addressed for me. I am hopeful that other alliances can address similar needs for similar players in similar ways. This upcoming post will be one of my posts about Eve and the metagame that differs from the ones that I had previously mainly written about mechanics and ships and tactics and whatnot. I plan to continue writing both types of posts in the future, as the metagame posts I’d written about Brave have been rather fun. In addition to this, though, I’ve thought about this practice of writing about the details of my own game. Others do it. Sugar Kyle seems to write quite regularly about her daily activities in Eve and her thoughts about them. For me, this idea of starting a corp up from nothing in the middle of Immensea will be a unique challenge, and I’d like to chronicle the experience, successes and failures and all, for others to emulate or avoid.

So with that, I’ll say that as my era with Brave ends and a new one begins with GCLUB, so will my blog enter a new phase. I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out.

Les Légions

This post will be an intermission from the posts that I have been writing about my own Eve experience. It also will not be one of my posts about game mechanics. It will be a post pertaining to a category that I have been writing more about lately: the metagame. Now since I have no home currently, this would probably not be the best time to write such a post, as I may say something about someone who I’d like to potentially make common cause with that they don’t like me saying. It’s a time sensitive matter, however. I have recently been banned from the HERO coalition and the things I know about its goings on will quickly become out of date. Further, pandemicfiction24.com just wrote an article, linked here, trying to form everyone’s perspective on Fountain, and this article needs to be addressed before people consider it to be true. I’m therefore going to be a bit dangerous and tell people what’s really going on in Fountain.

First, a bit about victory in Eve. Anyone who knows a little bit about psychology has heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It states that if you peel back the layers of individual motivation far enough you will ultimately arrive at the fact that every individual is ultimately motivated by the desire to eat. Above that, every individual is motivated by a desire to have a safe place to eat. Now in Eve, groups’ motivations can also be reduced to a couple of basic needs. The second most fundamental desire of groups in Eve is to gain some form of success in the metagame. Below that, though, the most basic desire of any group in Eve, well in nullsec I will say, is to get kills. I’ll add for good measure that the best kind of kill to get in Eve is a supercapital ship. Such kills are so valuable that earning them actually gains a group a measure of success in the Eve metagame.

Now in the above linked article, a few details are not mentioned about the “origins” of the Fountain situation. First, when HERO was handed the Fountain region, Pandemic Legion was considering coming to Fountain to farm more kills off Brave. Aware of the possibility, Black Legion, long time frienemies of Brave, came to Fountain to try to get kills off Pandemic Legion. Now as Frienemies, and not willing to do nothing and wait, BL decided to create some content and create a situation where the entosis links could be tested by grabbing moons and sov. In the process, BL cut off HERO coalition from convenient access to bring supers and capitals into Fountain. That is the origin of the situation in Fountain. However, the article falsely claims that the current situation in Fountain is a war between Black Legion and HERO, with HERO being the poor underdog, protected only by Kelnon Tealth’s program of enabling capital drops to have some sort of a chance. Nothing could be further from the truth. The future of Fountain will be the war of Pandemic Legion against Black Legion in which Black Legion will be the underdog.

Before proceeding, it is necessary to talk a bit about the state of coalitions in Eve. Eve players are used to megacoalitions like N3 and the CFC. Sslink of GLCUB progressively defined what I would like to call the microcoalition in this address here, which will be the wave of the future as groups like Guardians of the Galaxy Coalition, Vanguard Coalition, and others are showing us. Of course we will have the megacoalition in the form of the Goonperium for a while. There is another form of coalition to consider, however. To describe it, I’ll say that I once heard from an Evangelical Christian that “Satan’s best tactic is convincing everyone he doesn’t exist.” This other type of coalition is one that you won’t see listed on Evelopedia. You’ll have to come up with your own name for it. Maybe Pandemic Kelnon, maybe the HEROic Legion, I don’t know. I would say that they’d call it the Bearded Battlebears Coalition but since PL will be running it, that wouldn’t really be honest. Of course these guys don’t like honesty, so maybe that will in fact be the best name. Now let’s take a look at the members of this coalition:

The Kelnon Collective: we might think of Brave as this numerically superior group of noobs out for funfights. The truth is, the This is Eve trailer is now history. There are a lot of inactives in Brave now, and the majority of the This Is Eve recruits are now a part of Brave’s “15,000” number. Numbers are down. Cap pilots are joining regularly and getting trained up. The remaining noobs are months old. Brave is no longer anti-politics, as Kelnon is calling on Pandemic Legion. Multiple stratops and grinds are the norm. Brave has a few advantages, though. The primary one is that anybody who escalates against Brave will be kicking babies in the teeth. Thou shalt not use what you have against Brave. Check out this Brave propaganda:

Brave Propaganda

Those mean old BL guys are kicking babies in the teeth with their Titans because the babies are now doing the concerted blops campaign that Seraph and Jan thought up before Kelnon kicked them. See how it works? The op, which got one of several carriers and was aborted, was touted as a successful carrier kill that was only thwarted by those mean, nasty baby killers and their supers. Folks, it’s not Lychton’s classy group anymore.

The Pandemic Chodes: these guys are a lot of ex-Braves. They’ll be engaging in a lot of gudfights against Brave to create fun and content to heal old wounds. Eventually they will be fleeting up with Brave to fight against the ‘incredibly powerful’ Black Legion. Together they’ll be providing a lot of dictors for those pesky BL supers. Deployments to Fountain are to be expected, and an eventual relocation is likely.

CCP: these guys will send ISDs to fly around noob systems telling new Eve players to join new player groups like Brave and the Chodes. Unwitting coalition allies.

http://pandemicfiction24.com: will switch gears from calling Brave a worthless alliance with poor leadership to calling Fountain a great place for a newbro to get content in a valiant fight as the underdog against the ultra powerful Black Legion. Whether the newbros join the Kelnon Collective or the Pandemic Chodes won’t matter. See the above linked article for the technique.

Lenny: this guy has already given Kelnon 25 billion for his corp SRP (making his fund larger than Brave’s SRP). He has also ordered 100 dreads from Kelnon in order to give Kelnon capital ships as bait for BL’s supercaps. I was helping to make them because Kelnon’s 21 accounts couldn’t handle the production. Why he chose Kelnon for all this I don’t know. Maybe he thinks Lychton is hindering progress too? I don’t know how much Kelnon is charging him for bulk orders, but Kelnon stated to me in TS that he would be charging Brave 2.7 billion per dread, about 600 million above build cost (rape!), giving that J3B SRP a lot of clout if he is actually selling Lenny 100 dreads at that price.

The Rekking Crew: these guys will be working with the Collective and the Chodes to get a lot of supercap kills. Check this e-mail convo.

So now we know the members of the new coalition. This is the coalition that will be fighting Black Legion and Fountain Core. For research, check out all the members that have left Brave and the Bearded BattleBears for Pandemic Legion and associated groups. Check out how Kelnon wanted a coalition against PL in Catch that Lychton wouldn’t allow directly before the coup that Kelnon organized. Failing that, now that Kelnon’s people are flying with them, why not join forces in order to make Brave the kind of alliance he wants: one that can come under a coalition that can win at the metagame and eventually have a chance of taking on the Goonperium, who kicked him out of Fountain when he was a noob in TEST. You can find out these things on your own without me telling you how all of J3B was ready to walk out on Brave before the coup.

I don’t want to get ranting about Kelnon, though. I just really hate it when bobmon commissions propaganda pieces of general description about Fountain characterizing the region as hosting a war between big, bad Black Legion and poor defenseless Brave while telling all the newbros to head to Fountain. PL is farming BL for supercap kills by proxy. Thats the future of Fountain.

Chemo

It’s been a relaxing couple of days for me. The cancer is gone from my Eve, and Brave has its own future to deal with. I’ve just been selling a few things and doing a bit of chatting online about past and future as well as, of course, enjoying the best shrimp on the gulf coast, good wine, beautiful waves, and being a dad. I’ve also been doing some contemplating, and have gotten to the point that I’d like to put some of these contemplations up for others to consider. Therefore, I am writing my second (and not the last) blog post about my own personal experiences in Eve with Brave, HERO, and the Bearded BattleBears (J3B). It’s kind of nice to have a blog. Normally when one gets kicked from a group, when finding another group there is a lot of skepticism from the new group, old CEOs are contacted, there’s trash talk, and the kicked guy will generally have a hard time finding a new home. So if you’re wondering what my personal interest in writing this stuff is, I’ll say it is not a metagamer’s attempt to manipulate some sort of political agenda. It’s merely putting what happened up real time, for everyone, so if anyone says, “how could you manage to get kicked from Brave? Aren’t they just a group of innocent players who just fleet up to have fun?” I’ll just send a couple of links and the question will be answered.

So if there is any confusion, I have been banned from the HERO coalition and supposedly have one week of +1 status in order to get stuff out. Of course a day has gone by and I don’t have it. A meeting was conducted with members of J3B and Seraph IX Basarab. I was invited but was AFK. Seraph informed me of the ban, and I wrote my response, which I link here. My future with HERO is sealed. The only task for me relating to HERO at this point is to catalog what happened.

So we’ll start with a recounting of events:

Team Hades Effect

  1. Jan and Seraph IX Basarab try to start a functional black ops group for Brave Collective with support of Lychton Kondur and Park3r Kalkonen.
  2. Jan gets kicked from corp for spurious charges of abusing J3B’s name supported by charges of trying to advance a personal agenda, commandeer Brave’s current non-functioning black ops group, and being disloyal to J3B by putting an alt in another corp.
  3. Jan gets banned from HERO for making real life threats.
  4. Jan writes an exposition of the process and posts to reddit. The associated reddit post is linked here. The blog post is linked here.
  5. In the reddit post, Jan and Seraph admit to, repent of, and discuss every inaccuracy of presentation or failure of understanding.
  6. In the post, Jan and Seraph spend an entire day addressing every accusation, comment or concern.
  7. A meeting is held where Lychton, Park3r, Tackly Tackleson (J3B), Iakopo Nara (J3B), and Seraph discuss the issue. Hades Effect will be removed from HERO and Jan’s ban will remain in effect. Neither Jan nor Kelnon Tealth (J3B CEO) are present.

Team Bearded Battlebears (the aforementioned J3B).

  1. Kick Jan from J3B with no discussion.
  2. Invent a real life threat in order to ban Jan, as there aren’t very many reasons to ban someone from an open group like HERO.
  3. Spend all kinds of time on Skype convincing people to go along with the ridiculously fabricated real life threat. (More on this below – the escape tactics people are using to justify their support of this will not stand).
  4. Vote to get Jan banned.
  5. Demonize Seraph IX Basarab by proffering an accusation that he “crunches APIs for N3” as evidenced by an unnamed source known to Kelnon Tealth through Anna niedostepny.
  6. Kelnon tells “everyone” privately and in fleets to down vote a reddit post from Jan asking about “API crunching” because he threatened to kill people in real life. The reddit post is linked here.
  7. Respond to Jan’s blog and blog-related reddit post by:
  8. shill posting,
  9. posting doctored chatlogs,
  10. posting inaccurate paraphrases of mumble conversations,
  11. letting a couple of J3B line members who by their own admission were only presented a certain story, participate in the reddit dialog,
  12. letting fellow CEOs and council members that they’ve been manipulating, who would naturally be defensive because they are on the council and like it, participate in the reddit dialog,
  13. avoiding reddit like the plague (if you’re a J3B director or Kelnon, the CEO).
  14. While the reddit thing is happening, talk to ‘people who matter’ on Skype, building a case that Jan and Seraph and the Brave line members don’t know a thing about, thereby being free to make up anything J3B wants without a response.
  15. If you’re Kelnon, avoid the meeting with Lychton and Seraph personally, sending two diplomats to talk for you, but talk to them on Skype.
  16. At the meeting, call Seraph “unclassy” because he made some rough comments in the reddit dialog (as if shill posting and falsifying logs isn’t unclassy).
  17. Tell “everyone” that Jan constantly presented himself as a dangerous killer to J3B leadership to bolster the ludicrous situation of Jan being banned for making a real life threat.

Folks, the good guys address things publicly, directly, sincerely, and honestly. I hate drama cynos. They’re bad for Brave. But some issues need to be considered by everybody. The bad guys address things with lies, and where possible, by presenting things to people privately or in mediums where the other side isn’t present.

So with this situation taking place, Seraph and I have been saying some goodbyes. One of those goodbyes was a letter that Seraph wrote to Lychton that he sent to me afterwards. I am linking it here. Reading this letter got me thinking. During the reddit dialog, Seraph commented and alluded a few times that issues of my being kicked from J3B and my being banned from HERO were not only related to each other, but also related to my association with him. After thinking, I think the decision to kick me and ban me came immediately after announcing an intention to do anything with Seraph IX Basarab. Frankly, this goes way back, and you not only need to read the letter, but the reddit post, and maybe do some talking to some people to get additional details. What I can say, and this was stated by Seraph on the reddit, is that Seraph and Anna niedostepny don’t like each other. I can also say that Seraph and the CSM member Jayne Fillon don’t like each other. Seraph, Anna, and Jayne all knew each other back from Bombers Bar. Jayne and our own CSM member Cagali Cagali know and like each other. Seraph has a long history of supporting Lychton, as you can see from his letter to him, against coups that tend to be supported by Anna, who has a relationship with Kelnon that continues to the present.

As you can tell from Seraph’s letter and my eve-mail to Lychton, we’ve said goodbyes. We are saying this with the understanding that we’ve made our statements and cases publicly and as honestly as possible. Kelnon still runs Brave. This is really not my concern anymore. For those of you still around, though, the guy running the Collective, after accusing Seraph of being a scheming metagamer, has used every dishonest metagamer tactic to achieve his ends, to including kicking and banning a line member trying to help the alliance. He still associates with Anna niedostepny. He incessantly parrots how awesome he and his corp are. Since I don’t have any spies in Brave, I can only assume that he is still MILDIR and Cap Group Leader (in control of Brave’s capital tactics) as well as being Brave’s primary supplier of capital ships. He still thinks J3B leadership is better than Brave’s. But we all know these things. What I would like to highlight is Brave, the “stay classy” alliance, is ruled by a guy, who, with his diplomats, will tell any lie imaginable, use any IT trick available, and pull any string possible, rallying “everybody” and the “important people” to accomplish his objectives.

To illustrate and address this, I’ll mention one final example. I’m gone. I have not received a single Skype conversation from “everyone.” I’ve been banned and accepted the ban. I want it at this point. I’m moving on. Now, however, it’s apparently going around that “everybody” thought I was threatening Iakopo because I mentioned that I was a HUMINT Asset Operator and that remark was ‘scary.’ It was scary because apparently every time I interacted with J3B leadership I touted that I was some sort ninja assassin Jason Bourne type. I shouldn’t be around to counter that lie, right? Well, it’s made its way back to me so I’ll counter it. I’m a PTSD vet. Talking about the Army is uncomfortable for me. The only time I have ever actually told an Army story to anyone in Brave was when I spoke about a unit I knew of during my second Iraq deployment that used funny radio callsigns. The only time I have ever talked about my job in the Army was in one private conversation with Iakopo Nara from J3B. Most of the details of my job are actually classified. However, if anyone is curious about what a HUMINT Asset Operator is, there’s Google. 5 minutes with Google directed to this page linked here. One thing I can say is that my job was about finding out the truth and keeping people alive. Killing people is not in the job description. The reason I mentioned my former job in my conversation with Iakopo after I was kicked was because I had to be able to sit in a cafe in Tehran and talk to a janitor in the Russian embassy about the idea of him betraying his country to commit the crime of bringing the ambassador’s trash to me. If I were to talk to the wrong janitor at the wrong time and say the wrong thing, I would disappear forever. You have to know who you’re talking to if you have a job like that. You have to know people.

Trust me, folks, like I said in my convo with Iakopo, I know J3B. That’s who is running Brave.

So for all you people that may consider recruiting me, the events continued in this post and the one before it, and explained in the linked reddit posts, are why I got kicked from HERO. In short, I got kicked from J3B because I tried to help the alliance by being involved with Seraph IX Basarab, someone who has supported Lychton against Kelnon and Anna for a long time.

For those of you in Brave, fly safe. Stay classy.

Cancer

I think today is the day to write the post that I have been considering writing for some days now, but have been avoiding writing because Brave certainly doesn’t need any more drama. It was a heck of a day for me yesterday, though, and it takes a hell of a day to bring me to where I was. And while Brave certainly doesn’t need any more drama, the Kelnon Collective I think could stand some, at least if Brave is to benefit.

So the thing that finally moved me to go public was an actual PTSD attack I had around four AM in my timezone after the second sleepless night. The attack was during a conversation I had with my former CEO Kelnon Tealth of the Bearded Battlebears. I’ll link to it here. One thing in this conversation that Kelnon was right about was that I sure was mad. After reading it this morning, I thought, “I’ll definitely look like a maniacal moron now,” although the thought did enter my mind that “even with all the name-calling, I didn’t threaten him or anyone else.” Now I hadn’t had a PTSD attack since maybe 2012 or early 2013, although I have been living a generally stress-free environment since I left the Army at that time. Outbursts (and threats) are generally not my nature, and that fact combined with a touch of paroxytone and a low-key life has kept things nice and fine. I’d been pushed to my limit recently by some things that I just cannot abide, I suppose. Betrayal triggers me.

So as the story goes, the reason that I hit my limit and could not avoid berating Kelnon was because in mumble in a fleet he had been telling people to down vote a reddit post that I had written and that I had threatened to kill people in RL and had been banned from the coalition. Now the post itself is an interesting story, so I’ll link it too. It’s a small piece of a larger story, though, so I’ll get back to where I was going. While the reddit post just linked has a story behind it, this was just a precursor to the trigger of Kelnon telling people I had been threatening people in RL. Another precursor was that I had been forced to remove my toons from Hades Effect, my corp in Friends of Brave, because I had been banned from the coalition by a council vote that was made by unknown parties while the HERO Coalition Commander was asleep and told that Hades Effect would be kicked from Friends of Brave if my toons were not gone in 15 minutes (so before the HERO Coalition Commander would wake up). My reaction to this news, not brought to me by any recognizable HERO authority, but rather by my CEO, who had been informed by Tackly Tackleson, a low-level Brave Collective diplomat and Bearded Battlebears member (remember, Kelnon’s corp), is linked here.

So now we are clear that I had been banned for making RL threats. The alleged threats made by me were pursuant to my being kicked from the Bearded Battlebears and took place in this conversation. Being kicked from Brave was very unsettling for me when it happened, as it happened without any sort of warning or any indication that I had done something wrong. I just got this eve-mail. Now this official mail only makes mention of my alleged using Bearded Battlebears’ name to plug a personal group. Well, the group had been approved by Lychton. It wasn’t a personal purpose. Second, and unfortunately I don’t have anything to link because it happened in mumble voice comms, I was merely stating that Bearded Battlebears was a great corp with a lot of effective players and many of these players had expressed interest in blopsing in our group. My previous voice conversation with Kelnon on related matters was about the subject of my becoming CEO of a different corp and Kelnon had told me that he did not want me to claim any official relationship or official endorsement of my proposed corporation with Bearded Battlebears so that Bearded Battlebears did not suffer from any relationships or deals that I may make. No mention was made about me being forbidden to say my corp was great and had members who wanted to blops with us in a Lychton-approved SIG. While I do understand how a misunderstanding could develop, I was shocked at being immediately kicked without being consulted first, as I stated in my conversation with Iakopo above. I think this is poor leadership that burns bridges and creates enemies, and I planned to be plainly stating of the fact that Bearded Battlebears had lost a friend. I certainly was not planning to grovel to come back to the corp, and I was not planning on displaying any false friendship. Now also in the conversation with Iakopo I was charged with trying to contradict Pelter Omari, the leader of Blops O’Clock, or somehow avoid proper channels with going forward with the alliance group. Obviously before kicking me no one checked my API, as they would have stumbled upon this eve-mail in parts one, two, three, and four. Obviously there was no intent to circumvent Pelter as I angrily stated in my conversation with Iakopo. Kicking me was just an uninformed mistake made via poor leadership in not talking to me and not even checking my API.

Returning to this conversation with Iakopo, though, I would like to point out that according to Kelnon, “everybody” thought I was threatening Iakopo. Now I clearly stated only that “I knew people” perhaps a statement that could have been misinterpreted as a threat but was not obviously a threat. However, in the logs I clearly state that I was intending to say that I knew how humans think. Frankly, “everybody” must be completely crazy to react so harshly to a statement that could possibly have been misinterpreted as a threat and then was clarified in the conversation. Or, perhaps Kelnon is just muscling his people into going along with him to get rid of me? What do you, the readers think? Please note also that I would be eventually banned from the coalition by a Brave Collective council while Lychton slept without anyone asking me for clarification, apology, anything. Just banned from the coalition. I think something is wrong with this.

Now I am quite concerned. Kelnon Tealth, a very active and quintessential coup supporter has now been the organizer of three council votes that happened while Lychton was asleep. First, the coup. Second, the kicking of Hades Effect from Friends of Brave, an amazing story that is going to require another blog post. And third, my banning from the coalition. This guy, who is a long-time associate of Anna niedostepny, someone who is not on good terms with Lychton on account of the coup, and with Seraph IX Basarab (Hades Effect CEO) on account of events from Bombers Bar in 2013, is holding multiple significant votes about not only alliance but coalition matters while Lychton is asleep. The kicking of Hades Effect was directly overturned by Lychton.

Folks, Brave has had a middle management problem for a while. I think we’ve learned that we should not let individuals with no verifiable value such as Toasty Biggums get power merely by rubbing elbows with people like Kelnon. Hades Effect, for example, a small corp with a few members, was not invited directly into Brave simply by having some good ideas (and they are great ones, trust me). That was a good move. It should grow in BF4LF for a while. However, there are fundamentals of the middle management issue that apparently have not been solved. I think we need to understand that once a group exceeds Dunbar’s Number it cannot function as a collection of cliques doing their own thing and interacting without an actual government. I definitely think allowing a Brave Collective (alliance) council to dictate matters pertinent to HERO (a coalition), doesn’t make sense. Does Klaus Penumbra of NAGA even know I have been banned? Did he vote for or against my being allowed to enter his alliance? Was Basil Vulpine of Blades of Grass involved in any way? Further, I do not think the council should be passing any votes without Lychton’s prior approval. I mean good governments normally require bills to be approved by the King/President/Prime Minister before making it out of Parliament/Congress, right?

While I have alluded to a great many things in this post, from the aborted kicking of Hades Effect from Friends of Brave to Kelnon’s role in the coup, I want to keep all these issues digestible. Primarily, because this post is definitely a drama cyno. Brave doesn’t need those, although in this case I think a little drama now will certainly prevent some serious drama later. That’s what motivated me to write about some of these events at this time, although they have been occurring for weeks. Previously I talked about the need for us to stay fun and casual while tightening up enough to play a good game. In my opinion as a scurrilously dejected former member of Brave, the council definitely needs to come under control or be outright replaced with something that works. That’s the reason for letting you in on this dramatic little episode of mine that caused me to have the first PTSD attack I’ve suffered in years. My own personal fate in Eve certainly isn’t resolved, but I’m confident I’ll have fun playing this game for years. However, Brave and HERO’s fate is something relevant to you all and something that should be improved now.

Thanks for reading.

AUTHOR’S NOTE (3 June 2015): This post did indeed create a little drama cyno. The post was linked to the Brave subreddit and produced a healthy discussion thread. Over the course of that thread it was revealed that the above post, while thoroughly linked with logs, mails, and supporting evidence, does contain factual errors. I am choosing to let the post remain in its original form, however. The errors were issues of Lychton’s specific activities pertaining to the council meetings mentioned and the timing of the meetings. These issues are not pertinent to the general intent or specific points made in the post. However, the reddit post is linked here, and the reader is invited to read it. A great many counterpoints made by various parties were obviously dishonest and inaccurate, and providing a proper clarification given the situation is impossible. The post itself with its links and the comments on reddit will provide the clearest picture possible. Also, check out my post Chemo for the continuation of the story.