A year in review: The case of BRAVE

This will be the third of the set of articles that I wrote as the first annivesary as Head Diplo of TEST. This has been on my draft list since a while ago and I was reluctant to post it, since it is already kind of old and I didn’t want to spill any sort of drama. But I think it is worth to post it anyways.

And the obvious disclaimer proceeds as usual:  this shouldn’t be taken as an official statement from my alliance, because it is written on my personal blog. Any official statement may be done by other means, but not here.

I already pointed out the issues that we had with our allies during our year in HERO coalition, that are mostly on the previously linked post. This article is about my point of view on BRAVE evolution since their birth to today.  I did not have relations with BRAVE until the Lychton era, besides what I was gathering from the news about them as a newbie corp that was growing at a massive rate and catching a lot of attention.

Most of my direct relation with them was through their higher ups and a couple of diplomats. Besides Lychton and Lquid, I rarely needed to contact someone else. Usually, when you have a top-down structure, you talk with your counterpart on the other organization. Nothing wrong here. Besides that we always needed to be doing this even for irrelevant and meaningless stuff from daily interactions between our members, to some sort of bigger dramas between our leadership.

They went from an exciting bunch of newbros to a lot of backstabbing bittervets herding a ton of unaware linemembers in the span of one year. But what it is worse, BRAVE was also a sort of experiment, with people from everywhere, without any kind of secretism, with everything exposed to the public, without any kind of top-down structure based on the belief that their culture was the only truth and that everything figured out previously was metagaming and therefore evil lies to not have fun on this game.

 

The root of the problem

Many people blame the leader, Lychton, as the main culprit of how BRAVE is failing. Failing according to what most of EVE says, not according to their own metrics based on fun per hour or whatever. The general consensus is that they are failing, so I’m sticking with that. Not trying to fall into a generalization fallacy, but usually when everyone says that you are shit, you should at least look under your shoes.

Trust me, I’m high leadership in an alliance that has SHIT branded with huge letters on our forehead. Not because it was self imposed, but because everyone kept telling us until we realized that they were partly right and that we were, indeed, shit. Most of my time has been spent trying to erase that word from there, but that’s another story.

The root of the problem is very simple: denial of failure or failure as a mean of life. I’ve already stated at some point that embracing failure as part of your culture is extremely dangerous. We did, and it almost killed us. So I know very well why one has to get the fuck out of that attitude as soon as possible.

“I don’t want that this newbro gets upset when he blows a ship, so I will tell him that losing a ship is fun and he doesn’t have to struggle when it happens, we just give him another ship and no fucks given”.

Hey, that’s awesome! Not only we are encouraging a newbro that he doesn’t need to feel bad, but also we are giving him a pat on the head so he goes and keeps fighting! That’s awesome!

The problem is when this becomes:

“Losing is fun so why one must bother to improve. Improving is for bittervets and no lifers 24/7, improving sucks, let me play the game as I want because this is how I have fun.”

The idea is the same, but this has been corrupted. When you lose on purpose, it ends bad. Even if it is not on purpose, if you don’t put any means to improve in a game that is constantly evolving and adapting you are doomed. And if you are in a position of leadership, meaning that a ton of people depends on your choices, you should at the very least be aware of the consequences of what that implies.

Not only that, you create a whole generation of players that think that they live in a consequence free world.

Let me use this metaphor. In our “real” world, we have become extremely consciouss with kids and their “traumas” to the point where a kid cannot “fail”. When there is a competition, the winner gets a trophy, and everyone else gets a trophy too. Playgrounds all have soft edges. You have personal protections for everything. Children outside alone get arrested. Everyone gets a prize. And no matter how hard a kid tries, he will not be allowed to experience failure. This creates a consequence-free world where the kid doesn’t experiment failure until he reaches the adult life and faces the reality.

Coming back to EVE, the newbro that has been educated in this consequence-free world will at some point realize that losing sucks. That no matter how much you keep trying to convince yourself, at some point you want to be better than others. That you don’t want to lose. So you either try to fix it or move from there. This is where the one year old bittervet is born.

At this point, he might also have been swallowed by a gigantic disfunctional leadership that has a plethora of levels to make sure that no one is left without a title and a medal. If your leadership is a gigantic circlejerk where people only wants to feel that they are on the top of other people, it is time to burn it to the ground and start over. But this never happens, as we are in the magic world where there are no consequences for anyone.

I’ve seen people fucking up really hard and never had any sort of backfire to them. I’ve also seen people been kicked for arbitrary reasons that are kind of hilarious, as well. All in a self-called democratic organization where some people is entitled to do whatever they want because no one else will pick up that seat and therefore they are needed. Or because they do a good job so they are entitled to shit all over the place. That doesn’t work well either, as it alienates your truly worthy people out.

Denial

No matter how hard you try, there is always a phase of denial prior to solving any problem. Because to solve it, first you have to acknowledgement that it exists. Someone needs to step up and voice “Hey guys, we fucked up right? Lets fix it!”

This has yet to happen. Many people have offered friendly hands to help, that have been neglected based on the fear of metagaming or the fear of external injerence in their culture for the benefit of Bob knows who.

Since they have never had a truly private forum, their public subreddit has been their laundry as well, and there are people that have spent hours trying to advice them. But it has always been denied and buried with accusations of trying to make them implode or whatever, the evil machinery working against their will, that sort of things.

I have to give a shout out to Elise Randolph as he has been trying to give an honest advice since a long time ago. I truly believe that he wanted to make them succeed, because as any player with a functional brain can understand, having a constant stream of newbros in a 12 years old game like EVE is more important than anything else. And holy fuck, he spent there a ton of time giving inputs. But they were ignored, because no one wanted to acknowledge that they were fucking up. To this day.

Usually the same excuses come once and again, like “you are trying to harm us”, “you are a bad person”, “you want to use us in your own benefit”, “you know nothing because you weren’t there”, etc. It is somehow funny that there are still people that think that they have something private to this day, but still.

Narrative can be pushed down the throat of the linemembers very easily and can be used in pernicious ways. We call this “drinking the kool-aid”. Because they are spouting phrases and propaganda as if it was their very original idea, but in reality it is only propaganda at work. Propaganda truly works and they truly believe what they say, but it is not their original idea, they have been mind-fucked to believe that.

I’ve been on that train as well, I know the consequences of blindly believing what X people says because they have a medal and they are space important. I know what happens when you accept the authority as truth without having critical judgement. And holy fuck it hurts your pride so much in the long term thats why it’s better to hide it under the carpet and simply deny, whistle and pray until they forget about the problem.

Denial of the problem only has bad consequences on the long run. They are now wondering why they have 8000 inactive members and why they can’t field 200 guys on a stratop to fight over moons. They are being bankrolled by an idealistic dude that won a shitload of isk in a raffle. They still don’t know what can be failing to them if their model is the best and BRAVE is the best place that a newbro can dream of.

Except it isn’t. The hype post spotlight is long gone. The bad propaganda on Reddit and other means is now paying off. And yeah, they blame others about that. But the problem is still there being denied. The ones that tried to remove Lychton as the root of the problem, were even worse.

I like Lychton and I think he is a great guy. I think he should step down to others that actually have time to run the alliance, but watching the shitshow that they have between their hands I can’t blame him because I’m pretty sure he fears the consequences of that. But the consequence is that nothing has changed post-coup as many of us pointed out that it would happen. He should have stepped down after regaining the power making sure that the alliance was left in good hands.

The solution

In my opinion, as of today, they lost this train long ago. I don’t see how anyone can fix this, even if today everything did a 180º turn, the inertia is just too catastrophic to stop it. But still, lets try, once again.

First of all, there needs to be an acknowledge and a consensus that things aren’t going well and learn to identify the reason. The reason is not always external, blaming others is childlish and doesn’t get you far. Accept the consequences of what you do. This is the most important thing that a leader has to have: responsibility on your own actions and ability to say sorry when you fuck up. Because you will fuck up, and people might get angry, but someone has to decide, and if it was you, understand what it comes up with the power you got. This needs an exercise of humbleness.

Then, they need a massive overhaul in their leadership structure. It is overly complicated and needs to be simplied. Put people where they can help, based on their knowledge, and not on a circlejerk of friendship. You are not making a council to suck your own dick, you need people that you can trust in, people that won’t tell you what you want to hear, people that will tell you that you are a huge stupid when you are being a huge stupid, and so on. Make a functional leadership by appointing people that knows what the fuck is going on, and since you are trusting them, give them leverage to make executive decisions and accept the consequences of whatever they decide to do.

What is the purpose of having leadership if they don’t have leverage and have to come back at you to decide anything? Why would I want to live that massive pain in the ass? I have diplomats on my team to have less headaches, not more. If someone gives me headaches, fuck off, this is not paying me, I do it because I’m a masochistic autist. This is why you don’t need a gigantic and overbloated structure. Have the necessary people to grant redundancies, to grant timezone coverages, but there is no reason in the world to have 40 diplomats, for example. You are not the fucking UN.

Meritocracy can work well here. Make them clear how they can promote and allow them to build a career if they want. If they are useful and are happy they won’t leave. And even if you expose yourself to be backstabbed sometimes, in the long term, it is worth it. At least it is much better than having a gigantic disfunctional clusterfuck.

BRAVE has the dojo, which works pretty well, and should be the core of everything. Since they build around newbros, give those guys more pride and help them to do it better, make the newbro experience in BRAVE worth it and not a quick way into nullsec so they can yolo into a deathcamp and die because thats how you play this game. Be honest with them and teach them, learn to improve, etc.

Moving away from the culture of failure is the single chokepoint that can put an end to the rest of the problems that BRAVE has. Because that’s the root, and cutting the root, makes the tree fall. And it will hurt, it is a pain, it takes time and it takes a lot of effort. Trust me, I’m in TEST, we are pretty good at fucking up things over and over again. We deployed to a system without owning the sov, let me tell you about fucking it up. And i can take at least the 50% of the blame for that. Come at me :D.

A third thing that could be useful would be having their own private forum instead of a public subreddit. Because even with spies and leaks, it is always much better to have at least a first barrier to prevent the pond to leak shit everytime something happens. They live in a constant stress about drama because everything is a drama, because everything is on the first page with huge letters with bright colors and the rest of the universe is there trolling and eating popcorn and fucking them with flair games. This should have been a priority long time ago, but I guess it means effort.

Right now their subreddit has a ton of ex-braves acting as bittervets, some random visitants that are trolling to feed on popcorn, and the newbros freaking out because they don’t know what the fuck is going on. And that makes the whole subreddit a soap opera where half of eve spends their evening because kugu is dead.

To finish this article, I want to say that I hold no grudge with them and I would really like to see them working as an entity because I believe that the original BRAVE project was very good for EVE. But right now, they are a sad shadow of what they were, and they just seem to be asking for a mercy shot that ends the pain. I hope someone comes out of nowhere and fixes that, because the game needs newbro friendly entities that are worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un año en perspectiva: el caso de HERO.

Este es el segundo artículo de la serie sobre mi primer año como Head Diplo de TEST (la primera parte se puede leer aquí).  De nuevo, esto no debería ser tomado como una declaración oficial en el nombre de mi alianza, dado que se ha escrito en mi blog personal. Cualquier declaración oficial se hace mediante otras vías, pero no aquí.

Necesitábamos un héroe

HERO se convirtió en coalición en Marzo de 2014. Comenzó como una joint-venture entre  Brave Collective, Spaceship Samurai, Nexus Fleet y nosotros, Test Alliance Please Ignore. El principal promotor de este proyecto fue uno de nuestros ejecutores históricos: montolio. Pero ¿por qué?

En aquel entonces, estábamos centrados en reconstruir la estructura interna de nuestra alianza para convertirnos de nuevo en una entidad funcional. Pero como una alianza abierta a novatos con raíces profundas en nullsec, necesitábamos un entorno adecuado y nuestro plan era retornar a la soberanía. Sin embargo, con los recursos perdidos y con la mayoría de la gente quemada de tomar roles de liderazgo, no estábamos en el mejor momento para asumir el papel de liderar una coalición.

Nuestra asociación con BRAVE fue evidente. BRAVE fue fundada por un ex miembro de Dreddit, que pasó unos pocos días en 0.0 antes de pensar que era de algún modo difícil para él en aquel entorno y decidió volverse a Jita, publicó un  hilo en reddit y Brave Newbies Inc. vió la luz. Desde el primer momento, TEST tuvo relaciones cercanas con ellos, simpatizando con su proyecto y desde temprano les tendimos una mano. BRAVE tuvo un crecimiento desproporcionado gracias a la gran espectación creada en Reddit y un Community Spotlight en la página oficial, que les hizo crecer rápidamente.

Su cultura sin embargo era muy distinta a la nuestra, desde que forjaron el “stay classy” alrededor de la idea del respeto y desterrar el uso de bromas racistas o cualquier tipo de humor negro, que es uno de los pilares de nuestra propia cultura. Pero pensábamos que permanecer alrededor de una enorme bandada de newbros entusiasmados era un buen ambiente para que volviéramos sobre nuestros raíles. Tendríamos la ocasión de hacer cosas sin tener que preocuparnos de tener que tomar las riendas. Estaríamos ahí para aconsejar y ayudar.

Al principio hubo mucha confusión, lo cual es normal cuando intentas mezclar grupos de gente que no se conocen de nada, que tienen un pasado distinto, aspiraciones diferentes y distinta experiencia. Puedo imaginar que no fue fácil para BRAVE cambiar el chip de ser una entidad en lowsec a convertirse en una entidad soberana en 0.0, considerando lo intrincado que puede ser el Juego de la Soberanía en términos de política y metajuego. Recuerdo que estaban completamente obsesionados con el metajuego pensando que todo el mundo quería mangonearles hacia sus propios intereses, cuando en realidad todo el mundo ya tenía alters metidos dentro.

Aquí es cuando HERO se establece en Sendaya, en Derelik, y mira hacia Catch, que estaba prácticamente abandonado y que tendríamos la oportunidad de atacar la región desde allí. Juegos de Sov de nuevo, la aburrida mecánica de Dominion sin supercapitales, pero al menos los timers no serían contestados. Arrasar una región en subcapitales es extremadamente aburrido, así que llevó un buen rato. Entonces, nos desplegamos finalmente en Catch para para terminar la conquista de una región que nadie quería aparte de nosotros, en aquel momento.

Miles de newbros intentaban mover sus assets entre Sendaya y V-3 (la capital temporal designada) y estaban siendo masacrados hasta que empezamos a utilizar nuestros titanes para bridgear a la gente. Recuerdo su emoción cada vez que saltaban, hordas de newbros que nos bumpeaban constantemente. Fueron unos días intensos hasta que todo el mundo estaba establecido. El principal reto de formar una coalición pasaba por tener a todo el liderazgo aliado coordinado conjuntamente, y para esto decidimos utilizar los servicios IT de TEST, y las comms de BRAVE para flotas grandes y stratops.

Drama

Drama. Es cuestión de tiempo que haya drama. No se puede prevenir, pero sí se puede atajar para minimizar sus efectos colaterales. Teníamos drama constantemente sobre pequeñeces. Desde las fricciones habituales como el drama de rateo o drama en el market a situaciones más serias donde la gente se quemaba y dejaba el juego por disconformidades.

La convivencia es lo que mata las relaciones. Puedes ser un gran amigo de alguien hasta que tienes que vivir con él. Y eso empezó a hacer nuestra experiencia en HERO un tanto desagradable.

BRAVE era enorme y estaban al mando, tenían sus propios dilemas internos que afectaban a los demás miembros de la coalición. Lo más visible era la falta de estándares de reclutamiento, que hacía muy sencillo introducir alters para destruir assets aliados, lo cual nos forzaba a tomar medidas drásticas como declarar Kill on Sight a cualquier nave de BRAVE que warpease en una anomalía nuestra.

En realidad, era un tremendo choque cultural. Pasamos por tiempos muy complicados y, en este punto, teníamos claro las razones que nos llevaron a fracasar. Por eso, ver a otras personas siguiendo el mismo camino que nos llevó a los mismos errores era estresante. Especialmente cuando todo tipo de advertencia o consejo eran ignorados, cualquier crítica silenciada por algún tipo de “no sabes nada, Jon Nieve”.

A menudo pasaba en canales como alliedfc u otros canales de coordinación intra-coalición, pero también en su subreddit público. “Si viene de TEST debe estar equivocado porque son una mierda”. Similar al síndrome de “no se ha inventado aquí” o un aislamiento completo del exterior llevando a pensar que todo fue inventado y averiguado localmente y que cualquiera del exterior no tenía ni idea. Este tipo de círculo vicioso es muy peligroso, especialmente cuando intentas hacer algo en un juego que tiene 12 años donde las posibilidades de que inventes algo nuevo son remotas.

Personalmente dediqué mucho tiempo intentando prevenir daño colateral a mi alianza hasta el punto de que estuve al borde de dejar de jugar. Era una forma de prevenir que mis propios miembros se quemaran o dejasen el juego o causasen drama entre los aliados mientras a la vez intentaba que la coalición funcionara bien para que la gente estuviera contenta, no se sintiera fuera de lugar o que no pensara que no tenía las mismas oportunidades que en otros sitios. Hoy pienso que fue una pérdida de tiempo, porque no puedes prevenir que la gente ande su propio camino, cometa sus propios errores y tenga su propia experiencia vital y no importa lo mucho que te empeñes en decirles lo que duele.

Por ejemplo, abrazar el concepto de fracaso como estandarte. Todo comenzó con el “somos malos en EVE”. Fue una especie de meme que comenzó hace años en entidades amigables con novatos como GSF para evitar que la gente se sintiera mal al perder naves en el campo de batalla. Era algo pensado para que un fc novato no dejase de sacar flotas por perder. Pero nunca significó desdockear para que nada te importe, no era una excusa para no mejorar PORQUE perder es divertido.

Cuando piensas que perder es divertido, ya es demasiado tarde. Porque te estás mintiendo. Perder no es divertido. Perder puede ser divertido esa tarde de sábado que no tienes nada mejor que hacer y montas una roam y la gente está medio pedo. Pero no se puede perder de forma consistente e intentar hacerlo a propósito. No puedes vender que perder es como juegas a este juego. Porque entonces la gente competente se te marcha al momento que se dan cuenta de que perder es una mierda y al final solo te queda en la alianza gente a la que el juego no le importa ¿Y sabéis qué? Para triunfar en EVE hace falta tener a gente al mando que le importe el juego, que le importen las metas a largo plazo y que esté dispuesta a dedicar tiempo de su vida personal en mejorarlo, que sea consciente de los problemas y de los errores.

Tan pronto como BRAVE se fue a Nullsec empecé a ver a muchos jugadores de 1 año de edad convertirse en bittervets (i.e. veteranos quemados) en el espacio de un par de semanas. Esto llevó a un ambiente semi tóxico en el que nos llevábamos la culpa de la toxicidad porque “TEST es tóxico”  y “las comms de TEST son racistas y poco amigables”, etc. Pero yo fui testigo de cómo fleet commanders aliados eran extremadamente tóxicos, poco amigables y desde luego no seguían en absoluto la tan cacareada regla de “stay classy”. Pero nos llevábamos la culpa porque después de todo nunca negamos que todas esas cosas eran parte de nuestra cultura y lo que nos hacía movernos.

Tener un liderazgo efectivo es muy importante. Y esto implica tener la cantidad adecuada de gente en los puestos necesarios para que el show continúe sin quemar a nadie, con la cantidad apropiada de puestos. Estamos aún lejos de alcanzar eso en TEST. Hemos trabajado mucho durante dos años para retornar y sin embargo aunque tenemos un liderazgo efectivo nos siguen faltando cosas.

La saturación de mandos intermedios fue algo que pusimos a debate en numerosas ocasiones. Cuando vas a una reunión y encuentras que hay 50 personas y cada uno de ellos quiere expresar su opinión sabes que esa reunión durará 4 horas y va a ser inútil. Da igual cómo organices las cosas si tienes claro quién hace qué y cuando ese quién está disponible. En un año, yo fui capaz de comunicarme a través de dos personas: el head diplo y el ejecutor de la coalición. Y aunque pueda tener sentido que la comunicación entre dos entidades ocurra a niveles paralelos de responsabilidad (alto mando habla con alto mando) encontré que mis diplomáticos tenían grandes problemas para encontrar gente con la que hablar para resolver menudencias.  Y muchas veces, esos convos eran rechazados o se les insultaba.

Esto llevó a un sentimiento de ciudadanía de segunda clase a mucha gente dentro de nuestro leadership que les llevó a quemarse y a marcharse a otras entidades dado que éramos incapaces de solucionarlo. Teníamos que arreglarlo o marcharnos. Y tuvimos que tragar mucho contra nuestra voluntad cuando demandábamos acciones contundentes y todo eran excusas.

Para la mayoría de nuestros miembros que no eran del leadership todo esto era transparente. Ellos jugaban al juego y no les afectaba realmente. Por eso decidimos seguir durante tanto tiempo. Posiblemente estábamos preocupados o temerosos de las consecuencias de saltar al vacío sin un plan B.

Desde que entramos en HERO siempre quise tener un plan B y un plan C si el plan A (HERO) fracasaba. Porque me sentía mal pensado que algo podría suceder fuera de nuestro alcance y quedarnos de pronto con una mano delante y otra detrás mientras no estábamos presentes. Siempre estuvimos buscando oportunidades, por si acaso, tener un plan de escape. Creo que era cuestión de responsabilidad hacerlo. Mucha gente cree que esto es una traición, solo porque teníamos un “y si…” en nuestro bolsillo desde hacía muchos meses. Yo pienso que era sentido común hacerlo.

El héroe ya no era necesario

Con el tiempo, nos vimos en un espacio que no era nuestro, con bastante gente del liderazgo o bien afk o bien sin suscribirse o quemada, con numerosos fleet commanders yéndose o sin jugar. Estábamos sacando como 20 personas a las stratops. Nuestros miembros empezaban a acusar los problemas de vivir en el safari de 0.0.

La coalición de newbros que nos iba a salvar y dar la vida, nos estaba matando. Dejamos de tener un influjo constante de newbros dado que tener soberanía vende más que no tenerla. Estábamos experimentando muchos problemas internos y todas las voces externas de amigos de otras entidades y ex miembros nos mandaban el mismo mensaje. Y tenían razón. Era lo correcto.

Nos marchamos de HERO para sobrevivir y encontrar nuestro camino.

Yo, sin embargo, no quiero culpar a BRAVE de todo esto. Creo que todo el mundo tiene derecho a experimentar, a cometer sus propios errores, a vivir sus propias decisiones y aceptar sus consecuencias. Nosotros somos veteranos de una guerra que casi nos destruye y no podíamos caminar a la par  que una entidad recién nacida con aquel entusiasmo de hacerlo todo por primera vez. Nos estábamos enganchando con una correa a un carromato que nos estaba asfixiando, y no era su culpa, ni tampoco la nuestra, de modo que nos fuimos para poder trabajar como siempre habíamos querido.

BRAVE estará bien, mientras gente como lychton, que realmente le importa la alianza estén al mando. Encontrarán su propio camino para perdurar en  EVE y la cagarán tanto como sea necesario y sobrevivirán como puedan. Les miraremos desde cerca como hemos hecho desde el día que nacieron, cuando les ayudamos a dar sus primeros pasos mientras nosotros nos lamíamos las heridas en la postguerra. Y tras un año en HERO tengo claro que HERO nos dió muchas cosas buenas, aunque nos llevase a una situación al límite del fracaso otra vez. Y dado que la responsabilidad sobre TEST estaba parcialmente sobre mis hombros, creo que tomamos la mejor decisión para todos.

My statement on the BRAVE coup

Just two weeks after TEST left HERO, Lychton Kondur, the executor of Brave Collective was ousted over night by an internal coup. In this article I will expose my own opinion on this and will try to explain TEST’s point of view as well.

TEST’s history with BRAVE is very close. Matias joined Dreddit and left to create Brave Newbies Inc. Our former executor montolio helped them during their first days, and HERO was born to help each other in new endeavors. Despite our culture being very different (theirs promoting “staying classy” and us being, well, just TEST) we have always liked newbros and we worked together.

As part of the high leadership, my main relation with BRAVE management was with their higher up people and to be more precise, with Lquid and Lychton. Both of them have been always super helpful and it has been a pleasure to work with them. We might have had different opinions, we have had frustration over unsolved problems and many times we would have preferred to get a different response, but so far they were always eager to help and they were just there to make sure we were able to work together.

I can understand the frustration of Middle Management about not getting things done. BRAVE has a gigantic middle management. And for those that don’t know what middle management is, it comprises everyone with a leadership position but the CEO and the high leadership. So yes, CNM, floaters, fc’s, diplos, and everyone that went to a meeting to decide something was part of the middle management.

One of the main things that caused drama between us was the sensation that our issues were swept under the rug. They tried to solve them, but in the end of the day, not only it was not solved, but it came back with a sort of excuse like “we will have a close eye on this guy so we make sure it doesn’t happen” or something like that. Constant issues arise because of lacking of HR standards meaning that spies where everywhere at all the time leaking anything of significance and disrupting our activities multiple times.

This kind of events led to many of our leadership people burning out and leaving because they didn’t want to deal with what HERO meant for them at that point. We lost several corporations, a handful of our main fleet commanders, IT staff and some others. We decided to keep trying to fix the problems that caused this, but it never happened.

The continued frustration over not being able to fix anything added to the fact that we were the zebras in the game pvp preserve led to stagnation and we (TEST leadership) needed to break with that situation, so we left HERO on friendly terms and went to Wicked Creek, just two weeks before writing this lines. We have always been supportive of our BRAVE friends and on our way out we donated several billion worth of minerals and hulls from our test_free program to BRAVE Dojo to support their newbros, and we offered support to have them set up their IT that depended on our services so they were never blacked out over night. We scheduled a mutual reset sometime in the future but there wasn’t a real rush to do that.

Then, the coup happened. Lychton lost the executor of BRAVE and a new management established in using votes and shares. Lychton demonstrating once again his integrity decided to help the traitors to not damage BRAVE at all since he didn’t want to harm the newbies, at all. But we consider him to be a hostage of this entire situation that could have been done in a completely different way.

While we understand the frustration of not being able to fix things, it is extremely unfair to blame Lychton for everything. Of course, as executor he is the ultimate responsible. But the huge amount of useless seats that float around every meaningless decision that needs to be resolved, are equally responsible and should have stepped down immediately.

In my opinion, if you are trying to argue that leadership is not capable of fixing anything and you chop the head of the ultimate responsible, they should have all ceased immediately and the new leader would have reformed a top down tight structure without that enormous amount of irrelevant people all around the place. Of course this is never going to happen because there are many people hungry of a small amount of power and they will never recognize that they are completely useless and making everyone waste their time in huge meetings that never solve anything. I was dragged more than once into meetings like that.

When you pay attention and listen to the Q&A that even had a hilarious threat of taking legal actions against the leakers, you will find how everything sounds like a complete artificial stage where nothing is actually answered, where no plan is shown, etc. If you are removing a leader to place yourself, at least have a plan. Otherwise you are simply a figurehead handed by someone else which seems to be the case.

Lychton is not exent of responsibility. He could have prevented this many moons ago if he nuked the entire clusterfuck of structure they had and established a lighter top down structure that actually got things done. I can understand the reasoning behind not wanting to get into that to avoid drama, but drama can’t be avoided and it is only a matter of time until everything rolls down the hill. I think that he was afraid of the consequences and he never trusted anyone enough to step down and move on. I can see now why.

If you honestly find yourself in a position where your higher management is incapable of giving you tools to do your work, you either bail out or try to stay to fix that situation. They could have, for example, wrote an open letter moving the debate outside. The whole middle management could have then stepped down putting him in a position where he would have been forced to do something. But they decided to oust him because they don’t really want to step down, they just want to move along and Lychton was a very nice scapegoat to simply just let him go like that. Of course, now we are blamed of being bitter ex girlfriends and trying to capitalize on their lowest hours. Because it is always easier to blame others rather than help fixing the problem.

As I have stated in their subreddit, TEST doesn’t consider Brave Collective to be a trustable entity under this new management, and therefore we reset our standings and we aren’t willing to work with them. This doesn’t mean that we hate BRAVE Collective or their line members. But we cannot keep relations with someone that thinks that treason is a legitimate way of solving your problems. Because we know very well the consequences of that.

Therefore, TEST is no longer affiliated by any means to BRAVE Collective unless this situation is fixed. However, we lend our hand to those that are not willing of taking part of this shameful coup.