TEST Alliance Update

Avatar
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Avatar
Trying to build something as complicated as the CFC takes a lot of careful planning and time. TEST attempted to do in a matter of months what took the CFC years to accomplish. Cutting corners can work for a time, but if you don't have a foundation your floor will become a massive sinkhole. It's good (and refreshing!) to see an alliance realize the problem it faces and is taking a proactive approach to fixing it. Fras is a good dude and TEST is in good hands with him. Also: butts. Also also: FUCK RAIDEN
Avatar
For those wondering, this was written by Fras Siabi.It is clear from the near-instantaneous resructuring of role-specific HBC communication channels combined with more proactive communication to general line members that Sort Dragon has enormous leadership experience. I'm impressed by how dramatically TEST cultural tone has improved after a mere three days of increased leadership viability and involvement with we lowly plebeians of TEST as well.Goals are coming across clearly, HBC doctrines are being pruned and unified to three fleet compositions (four, if you have a carrier), and the mood is generally calmer with a dash of optimism on top.Tl;dr Sort and Fras are good at their jobs so far; TEST awaits continued benevolent space dictator reforms
Avatar
So The Mittani wrote a TEST alliance update?
Avatar
"Goals are coming across clearly"really? tell me more about these goals.What's the purpose of the HBC? What is holding us together? What does it mean to be a part of the HBC? What is our shared coalition culture?What are our mid-term alliance and coalition-level goals in this game? Where will go to wage war? Is war against the CFC still a possibility? Where is the grand narrative people have been asking to be presented with for months?At the moment I see SortDragon tell us to use the next several *months* to build personal warchests and Fras empashizing that literally *any* option (with or without the HBC, with or without sov, ...) is on the table for the mid-term future of TEST.I see progress in communications but I don't see any goals being communicated and I doubt that meaningful goals will be communicated for at least another few weeks (until TEST has re-found its role, Sort has worked out a plan for the HBC, ...).
Avatar
cfc wasn´t a plan. it´s like shitting few years on a same place and watch the thing growing up.
Avatar
This "alliance culture" again? It's just a way of saying "my alliance is better than yours because muh culture".
Avatar
I would suggest you join a Sort Dragon fleet and read Sort's coalition update after this TEST article. The headings "What is holding us together? What is our shared coalition culture?" are included almost directly in his text, and he goes into detail which behaviors are no longer acceptable and those which he wants to see continue.Goals need not always be "we are seizing sov in x region." To be specific, Sort wants to see pilots saving up wallets for war (upwards of 5billion isk--yikes), TRIBE and others purchasing Apocalypses rather than bringing Armageddons to Foxcat fleets, TEST re-acquiring AHACs for coalition fleets, and more granular leadership communication channels.Breaking plans down into lots of small, specific goals makes grand designs far easier to swallow.>"What are our mid-term alliance and coalition-level goals in this game?"Stain.. If you have access to it, http://map.pleaseignore.com/ti... tells you everything you need to know. As of the time of this writing, there are upwards of fifty current and recently-expired timers on that board. That smells like a focused effort.Sort has made it explicitly clear in fleet that he is curently after Stain assets that keep flipping between the HBC and -DD-/Stainwagon and pushing EvE-RUS further out of the Southeast. We failed miserably this last weekend to contest 25+ timers in that region as different alliances brought different armor compositions to the fight; though the HBC outnumbered stain forces considerably, the mix of short-range brawlers and snipers allowed -DD- to counter-compose perfectly.With last weekend's push petering out because of mixed doctrines, we now see pruned doctrines and a clear message: Buy These Now. Now that Sort Dragon has had some time to lay down the word on our three acceptable fleet doctrines, I'm anxiously awaiting this next weekend's massive timer blitz. There's your war.
Avatar
Shit, you figured out the great space-jew illuminati conspiracy. Prepare for goons breaking down your door and the subsequent re-education camp.
Avatar
GOONS
Avatar
fighting the russians is a holding pattern, we can spend the next 6 months doing it without any lasting progress or impact.progress in either direction will only come by through diplomatic means (Russians don't tend to get along with each other for too long, TROLL & friends might split off from the HBC, ...) or through changes in the East (PL fighting solar).If you want to push the russians successfully out of the southeast then you have to leave them an exit route, if you pound on them without there being some other region they can move to in order to avoid your aggression then they *can* only turtle up & wait and the war will drag on for months without progress."we did overextend and now we'll spend our coalition's entire future defending our holdings from outward aggression while trying to prevent our space empire from fracturing, welcome to Rome ca. 250 AD" is not exactly an enticing or motivating narrative.Saving up 5-10b ISK is a means towards an unknown goal, not a goal. It also won't work as the number is in the "too hard to even try" range for the vast majority of players (who never had this much ISK in their wallet at any point of time and have a hundred different ideas how they would spend it that don't involve some uncertain and unknown goal).edit: I'm not saying there won't be goals. There will be after TEST has found its way, the HBC has either stabilized or fractured, Sort has been elected to CSM, ... I just disagree 100% with your statement that any clear goals have been communicated so far.
Avatar
I don't know about you but to many players saving up several billion ISK is in fact a goal in and of itself. Not everyone has large amounts of time available to them to play and it's not like PvP will go away. Still, as a concerted effort, I think it's a good idea. This will encourage people to stop playing other games as soon as the stratops are over and band together to farm their space for all it's worth. Making this ISK is a good medium-term goal but now it needs a long-term goal as the 'reason' behind this amount of ISK.My personal idea on the matter is that the plan is most likely to turn the HBC into a supersized version of PL, who are famous for the sheer power they can bring to bare even though they are a relatively compact group. Having a nice fat wallet will go a long way towards this.
Avatar
Confirming fuck Raiden. Sort has already made :words: about trimming down the fat after our exponential growth, and he has already demoted to couchsitters some of the more incompetant alliances (SQUEE, Zombies, High Rollers - literally who the fuck are High Rollers?) and has been shuffling sov around to make the map more coherant. As long as everyone goes along with his plans (seriously fuck those Raiden. niggers) the HBC should evolve into something that actually works.
Avatar
The problem with 'crafting a narrative' is that there is no way to do that in sov null today. It's not like TEST are the only people with that problem. When the game is comatose and there's nothing happening, not much of a narrative can be crafted.. Unless you identify as a ratting alliance.
Avatar
where is the name of the person that wrote this? i see only mittani's name stapled everywhere.
Avatar
"Fras Siabi, newly annointed leader of TEST in the aftermath of Montolio's resignation, offers his first Alliance Update."
Avatar
we were the broski all along
Avatar
Its me I'm the mittani.
Avatar
TEST Alliance Please Rat up 5b isk personal warchest?You are pretty right about this. For TEST though we recently had Black Legion sitting next door to our sov, putting up pos in our space, reinforcing our moons, and the only thing about it on the forums was a picture someone made about Fleelo Knight. There was a complete lack of any effort to try and say "This is happening, they are bad because x, you should get into fleets, here is some chat porn/comms porn/etc."Even beyond that it doesn't take much to put words into a post and say something along the lines of "This is whats going on with the alliance, your leadership is not dead, here are things to do."
Avatar
Ohshi-.....
Avatar
The "Bobs," nice. "What is it you do here, exactly?"
Avatar
seems like Raiden is spearheading stain conflicts. I could be wrong but from what I am hearing they are a strongly focused group that wasn't taking shit from the spurging lucian.
Avatar
By most of your coalition not being for it you mean just PL right?
Avatar
grrrrrrrrrr
Avatar
BYE BYE TEST LMAO
Avatar
Not only are you not CFC, we don't do 'all caps LMAO' comments here. Take it back to EN24 where your ilk belongs.
Avatar
Really? Reading is /that/ hard?
Avatar
Unclaimed has being doing all the heavy lifting in stain with thorn and test.
Avatar
Hey... You forget a major point: Goonswarm is the alliance you share culture & goals with. You should get back blue with us then we could go burn Raiden, NCdot, INIT, Nulli, AAA, RA etc... lots of fun stuff to do, lots of welp fleets to pull! Reddit & SA are BFF, like it or not ;)
Avatar
As a resident of Stain I have seen many Raiden Ahac fleets (60-90) for tower RF or defence ops. They don't do the RF'ing themselves though, they are just there for the fight. If nobody shows up, they sometimes go back home before the tower is destroyed/RF'ed.
Avatar
GOONS shit cultural revolution a year ago has put you at odds with TEST culture. Also SA hasn't been relevant since 2003. I bet 90% of Reddit doesn't even know who you are.

(Editor's Note: Alliance updates are aimed at an internal audience, read at your own discretion, etc.)

When I decided to take a break from TEST leadership for a couple of weeks, I jokingly picked a Dune gimmick. I figured if I came back to things, it would offer up some hilarious options, and if I decided to stay out of leadership for good then it would be forgotten and I would be able to run off to wherever all on my lonesome.

Lo and behold, I never got my break. I spent the first several days of said vacation dealing with people being upset and confused about just who Ingen was, what montolio (http://i.imgur.com/2RK3D.jpg)'s plans were, and laughing at the fact that people were seriously upset about what some guy in Raiden. posted in coalition discussion. I managed to get away for a couple more days and then was brought into a poorly planned moon auction where several corp CEO's felt slighted. A few hamfistings of the keyboard and a fit of anger later, I returned full time to being the guy who followed montolio around and picked up the pieces or filled in the blanks. Fast forward a week and montolio tells me he's done with TEST because of the horrible drama surrounding Raiden/Thorn sov.

In what still feels like a blur of madness, I have somehow returned from my desert and ended up as the actual CEO of TEST. I am never picking my own posting gimmick again.

The Great Purge and the Diaspora

Test is massive. We have 12,947 12,496 members at the time of this posting, and Dreddit itself weighs in larger than the third largest alliance in the game. Much of this is, for lack of a better term, fat. While large numbers have meant that we as an alliance are capable of throwing huge numbers around in multiple timezones and have a larger skill pool to pull from, it comes at a cost.

We started 2012 with around 4000 members. At the time we had just finished smashing ourselves into the wall of blap titans and tengus that was Raiden and were in the process of shooting Russian sov in Geminate. We were losing fleets daily, throwing around our fledgling capital fleets, and having a grand time. Throughout the year we picked up a large number of corps, tripling our size.  There are many reasons for why we picked up a massive load of members and corps, why we doubled in size between June and December, but what really matters is that many of these corps joined without meeting our standards of cultural integration, meeting our regular activity needs, and without putting forth the effort to integrate.

Boodabooda and Slug Hard have already begun cleaning up Dreddit, cutting down inactives and accounts with expired or missing api's.  We will soon begin looking at TEST corps and trying to figure out where we can make some changes. There will be more details posted in leadership channels about the kind of criteria we are looking at, as well as some further news information for the general membership of TEST to check out.

TEST has changed a lot over the past year. We tried new things, left a big coalition so that we could build a bigger one, and lost track of what TEST is. We purged and blued everything South of Fountain. We then prepared for a war against an enemy similar in size who declared they wouldn't commit supers/titans to unreinforced nodes and who hold similar amounts of space. We stood at the edge of a war that promised to be fun for all of about three weeks or at least until the first major station system either way was lost. We had to sit back and ask ourselves what would be fun for TEST. A war against another massive sov holding alliance, especially one that's primary tactic is no fun allowed, would not be fun for TEST. We didn't have the fresh leadership, the funds, or the backing of most of our own coalition. So we backed down.

Many people became upset. Many became confused. In the time since this we have seen many people hang their TEST hats up on the wall and move on with their lives. I myself was almost one of them. The reasons are many; everything from "I'm sick of this," to "Eve isn't fun anymore." The simple fact is that TEST lost a lot of what it was. We diluted our culture during a rapid expansion and we failed at integrating our coalition members into an existing culture. We failed to craft a narrative and to make people feel included into a grand story. Our forums became a cesspit, our alliance began to eat itself apart at all levels, and then finally our coalition burnt out our leader. We're going to be making changes, working to get TEST back on its feet, and finding out what happened to our balls. If we can't manage this, then we'll ride this alliance into the ground and shit on as much as we can.

 

Moving forward into a fairly brave and boring new world

The immediate plan for TEST's future is fairly simple. Externally, we are going to continue scale back our sov holdings to exclusivly Delve and Fountain. TEST sov in regions such as Catch and Querious will gradually be transferred over to the people who actually live in those regions. This will reduce some strain on our wallet and allow us to stop having to jump shit out to the ass end of some region like Esoteria to fuel jumpbridges or pos that no one uses.

Internally, there will be leadership changes and shakeups. Montolio and I were both in agreement that TEST and the HBC both grew at a tremendous rate, and we as leadership failed to adapt our alliance's internal structure. Our alliance went from running a 4000 member alliance with a singular region and our biggest threat being people like Staff0 or Rolemancer dropping sbu's and then not reinforcing the ihub, to being 13k members with sov in six regions, assets in 13, and doing nothing more to change our leadership other than adding a "subdirector" title to some people's names.

We will of course be dropping in size, but we will also be pushing for a more defined and visible alliance leadership. Gone will be the days where we sit there and try to figure out why someone who has been afk for six months is suddenly making widespread alliance decisions. Ingen and myself will be forming a group of people that I am calling "The Bob's" to sit down with people and figure out exactly how we can trim up our leadership bloat. Our alliance mascot isn't Middle Management Dino without a reason.

Our long term goals are still in a state of flux but are all summarized by the simple concept of making TEST fun again. The first part of this was pulling TEST out of the muck of leading the HBC head on. Sort Dragon has some great ideas and wants to give the HBC the time that it needs, and TEST leadership needs to focus on TEST. We will be looking at everything as an option. Yes, everything. TEST is an alliance with special snowflake needs and we need to make sure that we get back to what TEST is about, not what people tell us we are about. We don't exist for the money, we don't exist for holding massive tracts of sov. We've done the Space British Empire thing, we had fun for a while, but now we've hit the wall and shit is flying everywhere. Its time to get back to basics, and its time to find what we in TEST are about again, even if that means giving the good boys of nullsec the middle finger so that, heaven forbid, we might have fun in a video game.

Goonswarm Federation CEO, Space Tyrant. Likes yoga, Alaskan Malamutes, bacon, and delegation.