Greedy Goblin

Monday, August 12, 2013

The end of TEST alliance

You might heard about the new deployment of TEST alliance. Let me share with you what I wrote on TEST forums:

The new command structure is pretty good, but it makes no difference when it's empty. The only leadership change announced was the removal of Victor Villiance. No new leader was introduced, the people in the well-structured inner and outer leadership, stratop and skirmish commanders are still unknown or missing.

8 corps will be removed, the basis of their removal was not outlined. Were they removed for non-participation? Or for not authing up? Different language? Or simply not having enough "goodposters" who post "yeah it was awesome" every time a 1/4 sized Pizza fleet defeated us?

The abandonment of Delve is understandable. We aren't in the position to fight the unstoppable battle machine of the Pizza-Riot-Init coalition. I mean even PL would stand down against these powerhouses.

OK, we saw the good news, what's the bad?

Soliara and its surroundings are probably the worst place in EVE. I doubt if our enemies could pick a worse detention camp. Let's start with PvE:
These are the closest agents. They all belong to highsec corporations with 700-1000 LP/ISK conversion. There are no FW agents available, because there is no FW in this zone. What about PvP?
In the central system of the constellation, Soliara, 9 ships were destroyed in the July 7-July 30 period. That's 2-3/week. I'm sure this is the best place for our people to learn fleets, to new FCs to emerge. In a month or two our people and their commanders will be ready for the invasion of Deklein after overcoming the elite forces that Soliara can throw at us: Buzzards, empty pods, noobships, and a lone empty T1 hauler. By the way NOL is 2 titan midpoint away, so drops on the ones who take our Delve sov and moons will be impossible. Unless we want to "rebuild" into a lowsec miner alliance, I don't see how the "Testagon" will work out for us.

Honestly I have trouble deciding if this deployment is the most incompetent action in the EVE history, or a purposeful destruction of the largest and weeks ago the most powerful alliance.

What is fundamentally wrong with the plan of BoodaBooda? There is no plan at all! The SotA states the place where TEST shall rebuild but says absolutely nothing of how to rebuild nor what to rebuild into. Compare it with Nulli's plan after they lost Delve: "we lost all our assets in the war, everyone go farm ISK in FW and we come back". They stated what they miss (ISK), the job they need to do (farming) and the goal (to come back full of ships). Do you see anything like that in this SotA? The problem with the worst constellation of the worst region isn't that it's the worst constellation of the worst region, but the fact that no one said a word what the hell TEST supposed to do there!!!

It seems the cultural war within TEST was decisively won by those who don't want to make any effort or gain any level of competency. After all, living in a space which is wanted by absolutely nobody, which is avoided even by lowsec roleplayers is probably the best place for someone who doesn't want to do anything just "have fun": spam porn and memes, duel in frigates and generally be completely useless.

Tomorrow comes a post how can other alliances benefit from this horrible situation, gaining strength and salvage what deserves to be salvaged.

PS: Before you'd think that the idiocy of TEST leadership can't be outdone, check this moron out. Especially his small lasers. This is another strong contender. And another one. And the wardecced (or suspect) 28B freighter.


Anonymous said...

So we have each other freinded on the forums, so take this with that in mind.

We have a saying in the CF. A bad plan executed well is better than a great plan that isn't.

At this point, it requires action, and his new mildir have a mini deployment scheduled, as well as some other super secret minigames. The FCs are getting trained, and those spots are going to get filled up. The plan is there, but you do have to hunt for it, he's not the best at spoonfeeding us info (like he should, agreed)

Anonymous said...

Personally, I agree with alot of what you said and I loved your idea of interfering with Goons' Caldari Ice shenanigans.

My only problem was that you simply left the alliance. I really wish you had made a new corp and said: "This is a bad idea, here's why and here's an alternative corp for you guys who are tired of being welped and expected to smile afterwards."

I think quite a few of the guys going to Aridia are going because they have no other choice. We're too honourable to awox and Test's laughingstock reputation means that our line grunts arent exactly overwhelmed with opportunities.

Anonymous said...

What would you do if you were BoodaBooda? Where would you have moved? What transparency would you provide? What plan would you have outlined for the alliance? You are quick to tear down his plans and quick to declare the end, but not outline a good counter plan. I have been reading your stuff for a few years now, and I know that you are a great strategist when it comes to market wars and logistics (And coming up with alternative ways to play the game (Blue Raiding in WoW)) You invested a lot into TEST, and at one point saw a potential. So what would you do?

folgsam said...

Gevlon rage quit, instead of seeing this time of restructuring and turmoil as a chance to influence the single largest entity in eve online with his ideas and methods? With patience and persistence, I am sure you could have made a difference. Well, disappointing , really.

Anonymous said...

is it true? you left test?

Gevlon said...

@Folgsam: I had no way to influence them. The forum mods deleted everything I posted as soon as they found it. They told it explicitly that I have no right to post on TEST forums as I'm a "pubbie".

C.A. said...


I know that you explained that a thousand times, but I am yet to understand why a result oriented person like you would ever think of joining test.

They are just a massive amount of people who are "in it for the lulz". For them losing is having fun, their goal is to spam local, whelp a capital fleet and post at their forum how fun that op was.

In the fountain war they proved their incompetence in every way imaginable.

You should really stay at high sec where you seem to dominate your game or move to a competent alliance where you can lead their industrialist wing into supporting the military to become a major power house.

I don't see how could you ever fit into test culture.

Sgtbinary said...

I forgot you do not respond to Anon. I will repost the comment logged in.

"What would you do if you were BoodaBooda? Where would you have moved? What transparency would you provide? What plan would you have outlined for the alliance? You are quick to tear down his plans and quick to declare the end, but not outline a good counter plan. I have been reading your stuff for a few years now, and I know that you are a great strategist when it comes to market wars and logistics (And coming up with alternative ways to play the game (Blue Raiding in WoW)) You invested a lot into TEST, and at one point saw a potential. So what would you do?"

Lucas Kell said...

Have you thought that maybe the reason they deleted it and called you a pubbie is because you have only negative things to say? And because you are utterly incapable of seeing the other side of things?

You tend to have a lot of opinions, but you often don't take the time to fully understand what it is you are talking about, and are quick to jump to the defensive whenever anyone disagrees. You also tend to see things only from the most basic perspective and don't take into account individual players and limitations. This is not a very good set of characteristics to have.

Take the time to understand the subject matter, constructively criticize what you believe is wrong and offer realistic, achievable alternative solutions, and perhaps you won't get called a pubbie.

With this as an example, you immediately jump on how terrible the space is for missions, but you don't consider alternative sources of PVE income available. You point out the lack of PvP, but don't consider that that is likely due to a lack of population. The act of begin there will increase the PvP.

It's important for TEST to stage somewhere out of immediate combat so they can rebuild what they have lost. You've lost your military directors, you lost other directors robbing things and jumping ship, you've lost trillions of isk in ships and theft and you are hemorrhaging members. The most important thing at the moment is to move somewhere you can safely regroup and reform. It won't be the best location in the world, but it needs to be secure. The bottleneck of a lowsec pocket mid way between high sec and delve seems like a fairly good choice to me.

Gevlon said...

I posted detailed plans on TEST forums, receiving lot of "upvotes". 2000 in 2 weeks is absolute record. TEST isn't just a hive of idiots, it had a large number of good players who took part in the battles taking Delve and then the South. However the lolling party won the internal political struggle and then they silenced every opposition (not just mine).

Sgtbinary said...

Thought of making your own Corp then Alliance?

Anonymous said...

You will be amused to note that your antagonist DF also thinks that this is the wrong direction (I'm still not sure what he thought the right direction is) and has said he'll be dropping his corp (which is also leaving for another alliance).

Anonymous said...

Caramael said...
Gevlon, you've already proven in WoW that you've got strong leadership skills and know how to get good players to join you by means of aligning self-interest.
Don't serve an existing leader, be one yourself and aim to become the emperor of EVE yourself.

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon "I posted detailed plans on TEST forums, receiving lot of "upvotes". 2000 in 2 weeks is absolute record."
Not being privvy to the TEST forums, I''ll have to take your word for that, but having seen from your previous blog entries how little you understand null mechanics, I'd be surprised if what you posted equated to a well conceived plan of action. For example your plan of making alliance income by multiplying member count by an efficient isk/hour for a guaranteed income, or your equating of capital ships to morale. Both clear indicators of a lack of null experience. You even posted about your recent first big fleet battle. People making decisions for 12000 man alliances need a big more experience than that, and need to be able to see beyond the "right now" aspects of EVE.

Upvotes themselves don't really mean much. I've seen plenty of times when a truly awful post has received plenty of "likes" while a brilliantly written post has gone by the wayside. With the way TEST has been lately, all you need to do is post a bunch of incomprehensible mumbo jumbo, then finish it off with "... and we'll all be rich and smashing the goons!" and you'll probably get plenty of upvotes.

maxim said...

@Lucas Kell
There is nothing much you can do if mods choose to delete posts with dissenting opinions.

Gevlon's story has the advantage of simplicity and coherence. TEST has incompetent leadership, which makes poor choices, is unable to handle the fallout and can only crawl away to a sucky system like beaten dogs, while deleting and ignoring everything the opposition has to say.

The most interesting part here for me, though, is how much you personally insist on bashing Gevlon, even to the point of becoming utterly inconsistent in your message.

Anonymous said...

Isolated pocket with only 1 jump out means that it is easily defendable. It is awesome for mining and could be good for PVE as well if agents won't send you outside of the pocket.

It's far enough from anything, so it could be a good local testie-only trade hub. Nearest major trade hub is Amarr, JF logistics seem to suck very much, but it'll just drive margins up which is a good thing if you're making trade hub.

Again, 1 entry system makes it a nice place for POS-goo and for playing with capitals.

PVP players will have to make 3 jumps to Hier - it's a regional chokepoint. Far enough, but acceptable.

If I read the map correctly, Fountain is in jump range, however Delve isn't. So it might be a good place if leadership wants to get a Fountain back, but it doesn't seem to be happening soon.

So... I think it is as good as you can find in Aridia. Only trouble is that Aridia is very under-developed region indeed.

Lucas Kell said...

@maxim It's easy to show simplicity and coherence when you aren't in charge of the future of 12000 characters. I won't dispute at all the the choices made haven't been wrong, but that's not the only failing that TEST have had, and it's probably not the worst.
Plenty of people can simply say "Oh I would do X", but without a full understanding of the impacts of the actions, it's not very useful to say. Hindsight being 20/20, it's also easy to look back and say "You should have done Y", but that doesn't help anyone. TEST are where they are and all they can do is move on.

Delve is going down, there's no stopping that. The vultures are circling following the loss of fountain, and with their allies now pulled out, it's futile for TEST to try to hold it without regrouping. Regrouping to a pocket bottleneck, as Anonymous above has said, is easier to defend. There's no sov, stations can't be locked down, and up until now it's been pretty much empty, so there's little worry of encountering a large group that lives there. With some structures and logistics set up it can be used as a good start point for now. You can say they are crawling away, but what is the option? Stand against an ever growing force until you've lost everything? TEST are now working for survival as an entity.

With the TEST military leadership chain broken (booting Beffah was a REALLY dumb idea), and with other directors jumping ship, TEST needs to take the time to reform the leadership, train new FCs, train the grunts and get everyone working from the same playbook. Once that's done, and only once that's done, can they hope to push back into sov null.

I personally bash on Gevlon because he state everything as if it's a statement of fact and that anyone that disagrees is too stupid to understand. I can fully understand why the TEST leadership would delete posts like that, especially considering since the fall of fountain all of Gevlons blog posts have been heavily insulting to TEST. That's not the type of thing you need coming from a player that a lot of your members will listen to. Morale is low enough. Gevlon has stated himself that he is relatively new, and he's told us himself that he's only just started to join in as a grunt in fleet combat. Clearly not enough experience to be advising on military direction.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

@Lucas Kell

You know what would be great?
If TEST leadership came out and said that regrouping and getting more experience is their plan.

As i understand, they didn't do that.

Now, that's a fact. It can be stated as fact. You shouldn't have any problem with whomever stating that stuff that really happened did indeed happen.

For Gevlon this fact as important - as it indicates complete absense of leadership. For him, there is a direct casual link between the fact of lack of leadership activity in a crisis and the fact of lack of leadership. If A is a fact, therefore B is a fact, with lack of leadership activity in a crisis beaing A and lack of leadership itself being B.

Establishing these two facts and casual link between them is pretty much the topic of the post being discussed.

And then you come in and say you don't like that Gevlon states facts.

Now, i would understand if you were attacking the casual link. If you were saying something along the lines of "sometimes leaders have to be silent, take their time and shut up all dissenters".

But that's not what you are saying here. You are saying that Gevlon has no right to voice anything about situation because he lacks Eve experience.
Whether the connection he made is real or not doesn't seem to matter to you.

Which makes me wonder whether you are simply crazy, or pursuing some agenda.

If this was a real-world situation, i would be looking for an agenda. But this is an internet discussion about a game, so anything is possible :D

Lucas Kell said...

@Maxim Preobrazhenskiy
Well this all falls down as it's not fact. Check out the test forums yourself, the alliance news is open to all. I'll even link you to the post:

And I'll quote a relevant part for you here:
"What are we doing militarily? Regrouping. Restructuring. Planning our next move. Our focus for the next two weeks is on training new FCs. We will be using our proximity to Delve and Fountain to find fights on all scales. We also expect the reverse to happen too, with fights coming to find us."
The whole post is worth a read though.

What I'm saying is wrong is how Gevlon is rejecting the area they are moving to as a bad idea, when clearly it's a pretty well thought out move and one that a lot of people in their situation will do. I question his experience because he states his experience is minimal, and that comes across in his posts. I question his "facts" because they rarely are facts, they are usually a guess or an opinion stated like fact, with no evidence, then when question he demands evidence to the contrary.

Don't get me wrong, my only agenda here is and always will be to encourage Gevlon and his readers to think about what he is writing. He's clearly got a passion for the game, and he has the time to post daily. If he just took a bit more time to understand things, he could get out some pretty good content.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

@Lucas Kell
The post you linked is a decent leadership post and i wonder why Gevlon chose to omit it in his writing.

However, the post you didn't link is this:

This is, i guess, the SotA post that Gevlon was referring to. And i can certainly see how it can be described by words "THERE IS NO PLAN AT ALL".

I am throughoutly surprised how these two leadership styles could coexist in a single organisation. I doubt they coexist well.

But now i'm a bit interested in the extent to which theDisto's exhibited competence is brought down by Booda's ... whatever the devil makes him think that his posting style is good.

From what i've seen of other organisations, this kind of disparity, especially with someone Booda-esque in position of dominance, can easily be crippling. Criplling enough for all the limited advantages of Testagon plan to be completely nullified.

P.S: a line from booda's post regarding forum moderation policies:

<<... To this end the forum mod team has been expanded under the guise of dear leader Te Tumatauenga. The team has been instructed to purge the forums of shitty Morale threads, and badposts/threads with fire. Expect infractions to flow like water, as well as thread locking/cesspitting... >>

Lucas Kell said...

@Maxim Preobrazhenskiy
While I can see in part that the SOTA is not in depth, this is not a new thing. Previous TEST communications have also been a short SOTA, with a brief overview of what you need to do, in this case it would be:
"Our main system will be Soliara. PACs please get offices outside of that little pocket of space, member corps keep in mind its first-come first-served
We're going to go hang out here for possibly up to a few months. You have about seven days to move." Following TESTs SOTA there was usually a MilDir update from Beffah (obviously not her any more).

I don't think that anything Booda said in TEST 3.0 was something to start throwing yourself overboard about. It was a short post, which he stated to begin with. He'd been away, so he had less of an update to do. I guarantee that Disto didn't just post the MilDir update the following day. Booda would have said to him, this is what I want to do: blam. Then Booda posts his SOTA. Disto then has a day to put his update together for the troops. It's exactly the same as you get in a company. A higher up comes along with some high level goals which makes all the employees go "o...k... more info needed" then their individual managers provide the info relevant to them. Usually the individual managers only found out the day before, if that.

Of course there will be heavy moderation. The alliance just suffered a massive loss, thousands of players have left, and more will follow. There's likely to be more thefts on the way out, and the last thing you need is people on the forums screaming "WE'RE DOOMED".

I think at this stage it's a bit early to judge. Booda isn't the most charismatic leader, but then charisma isn't what TEST need's right now. TESTs needs someone that will say "We screwed up, we've lost a lot, we're not done losing yet. But we will continue to exist, and we will continue to have fun." and that's pretty much what I take away from Booda's SOTA. The next thing test needs is a plan, and Disto has provided that. Now what they need is the logistics to get everything done quickly, and Booda to smash out the purge as quickly as he can. That's where I'm interested to see how he performs.

maxim said...

Being in an observer position (and possibly having some popcorn), I definitely can agree with "early to judge" thing.

But if Gevlon were to occupy the same position, he'd be incredibly boring to observe.

The reason he has readers is precisely because he judges regardless of whether it is early or not, or whether he has sufficient information. The fact that he occasionally has very good points is, of course, important. But it is also secondary (at least to me).

Heh, i just realised that i come here for fun, not for objectivity :D
Does it make me an anathema to all our goblin stands for? /evilgrin