Friday, 4 April 2014

News: Dispute in Brave Collective Alliance's Leadership Ends with Resignations

I am not one to comment or post about what I perceive as internal disputes and power struggles in Corporations and Alliances around New Eden. For the most part, I believe such news has its place, and that is in the tabloids and gossip columns, rather than front pages of news outlets. This is born out of my own firm belief that accurate, objective reporting is impossible when passions and interests collide in such a fierce manner, and that anything I may write on the subject will end up hurting many people who took no part in the proceedings only to become collateral damage due to their allegiances.

That said, I cannot ignore the fact that the Brave Collective Alliance dispute has made headlines in the past few days, and by sides who have more to gain from stirring the pot, and are not themselves divorced from taking part in the events which unfolded. Thus, I am forced to break my own rule, hopefully for this one and only time, in order to try and make sense of what has happened, trace the reasons behind it, and report its aftermath in the most neutral tone I can muster.

The Beginning

The roots of the dispute were firmly planted by the unprecedented success of Brave Newbies Inc(dot). The Corporation's rapid growth, as well as its creation of a different gaming culture in the landscape of EVE Online, one centered around a "Fun per hour" concept, led to the founding of the Brave Collective Alliance, which itself gave birth to the H.E.R.O Coalition. In just the space of one year, Brave Newbies Inc(dot) went from a small corporation of new players, to being the second largest Alliance in EVE Online, at the head of the third biggest Coalition in the game.

So long as they were content to live in Low Security space or the Syndicate region, the many  deficiencies that were caused by the rapid growth of the Alliance and the inexperience of many of its members would have taken months to grow and deepen, and could have been handled better and far easier in the low pressure environment presented by these locales. However, the decision to relocate to the Sendaya system, Derelik region, and launch a campaign centered around the disruption of regional infrastructure in the Catch region by engaging in full scale sovereignty warfare, proved to have disastrous effects on the Brave Collective Alliance.

The Pressures of War

The state of the current mechanics of sovereignty warfare and its many deficiencies has been discussed in detail in the past and needs no repeating. Suffice to say, it is a chore, requiring the sacrifice of many hours of gameplay, often times with little to no reward for the individual. Add to that the location of the Catch region and the Sendaya system, which neighbor both the Providence and Curse regions, who house many active PvPers that often times interfere with operations, adding further complications.

Another problem that could not have been foreseen was the disbandment of Darkness of Despair Alliance, which caused a radical shift in the battle lines of the Halloween War, bringing the Catch region closer to the front lines, as well as freeing many pilots in the N3 Coalition, who took the opportunity to return to small scale PvP, at the expense of H.E.R.O Coalition.

The stress brought by all these factors only further aggravated the situation Brave Collective Alliance was in, turning those deficiencies from small fissures into gaping chasms. This could be seen in the loss of a Capital fleet, attributed to failures in communications and organization, the lack of progress, and, even reversals in the gains made in the Catch region, as well as the difficulty of H.E.R.O Coalition fleets to even undock and leave their own staging system, which caused much frustration and dissent amongst allies.

Recognizing the Problem

To the credit of Brave Collective's Alliance Leadership, they did recognize the fact that they had quite a few urgent problems on their hands, chiefly among them was that of communication and delegation of roles and work. However, quite a few voices on the Brave Collective Leadership Council believed that the top priority should be given to the restructuring of the Alliance, as it seemed the most important issue at hand.

Up until this point, Brave Collective had functioned as a Republic, with certain CEOs, Directors and "Floaters" (i.e. people without a defined role) given the power to vote and take part in the Leadership Council, where they discuss and made decisions. Lychton Kondur acted as a benevolent dictator, allowing the council to function and only intervening if things got out of hand. So far, not the most standard of New Eden's ruling structures, but hardly a wild departure from the norm.

Yet, this structure was now deemed insufficient to run an Alliance the size of Brave Collective. In order to replace it, two factions formed with the intent of presenting proposals for the council on the future Leadership structure of Brave Collective. Each faction was given a period of three weeks to discuss, present, fix, modify and prepare its proposal, with the intent that on the thirtieth of March, both proposals will be ready for presentation and a vote at the Leadership Council meeting.

The Factions

The first faction, which can be called the "Restrictors", was headed by draleth, Head Diplomat of Brave Collective, and was interested in decreasing the council's actual authority in favor of a Triumvirate of Directors, who would wield the actual power. The council will remain as an advisory board, with the ability to remove the Directors by an Absolute Majority vote, but not overrule their decisions.

The other faction, headed by Malphas Inanis, a "Floater", wished to do just the opposite and expand the council itself, thus earning his faction the name "Expanders". Under Malphas' plan, the council would increase to encompass all CEOs in the Alliance, as well as more elected members, who would be replaced in a staggered manner, allowing for the council to maintain an institutional memory. The removal of a Director will only need a Relative Majority vote, and it will continue to function as it has been in the past.

Both factions maintained Lychton Kondur's role as a benevolent dictator intact.

The Dispute

On the thirtieth of March, both proposals went into vote, with an overwhelming majority siding with the "Expanders" plan rather than that of the "Restrictors". After the vote, draleth and her second in command, Anna niedostepny, leave the council channel on the Brave Collective mumble server, and join a private room, where Brave Collective diplomat, Nonnak Severin logs in. A brief consultation ensues, in which draleth makes her intentions of resigning clear, and rehearses her resignation speech, with Nonnak Severin put forward as her effective replacement. 

The three join the council channel, where draleth reads her resignation letter and appointment of Nonnak Severin as the new Head Diplomat of Brave Collective. This is not received well by the council, specifically by a DAMN PATRIOT, of Dropbears Anonymous, Brave Collective Alliance, who proceeds to initiate a vote to kick Nonnak Severin from the council channel. After a second attempt followed through with another kick, Nonnak Severin logs into a different channel, when he is moved by draleth back to the council channel, in order to represent the Diplomatic Corps of Brave Collective, who just lost their Head and second in command.

a DAMN PATRIOT demands to know why Nonnak Severin is in the council channel after being kicked twice. Claiming to be the representative of the Diplomatic Branch of Brave Collective, Nonnak Severin demands to know why he was voted to be kicked twice. At this point, a DAMN PATRIOT reveals in the council channel logs received from Seraph IX Basarab, of Hades Effect, Surely You’re Joking Alliance. In these logs, a DAMN PATRIOT claims there is proof that Nonnak Severin is an infiltrator, working his way into Brave Collective for a third, unknown party. 

After this allegation, Nonnak Severin leaves the council channel, joining draleth and Anna niedostepny in their channel, and sharing his experience. 

The aftermath of the dispute can easily be seen on reddit, as both parties, and other individuals have taken to the Brave newbies Inc(dot) subreddit forums, posting their allegations, retorts, speculations or just trying to calm the tempers of all involved, as well as reassure the Line members, who, for the most part, seem to have been left mostly confused.

Lychton Kondur himself intervened in the dispute, removing all Director roles in the Alliance and effectively taking all power from the Leadership Council. Implementations of future plans have been put to a halt, and a new Head Diplomat has been appointed, Lquid Drisseg, of Brave Newbies Inc(dot), Brave Collective Alliance, in draleth’s stead. draleth herself and Anna niedostepny remain for the time being in Brave Collective, continuing to oversee its IT infrastructure. Nonnak Severin, to date, still serves as a Brave Collective Diplomat.
A copy of the letter sent by Lychton Kondur to Brave Collective Alliance informing them of the results of the dispute

The Two Diplomats

The main problem when approaching the subject of the accusations and counter accusations, is the fact that there is little to no proof to any of the allegations thrown around. draleth, in her resignation speech, blamed members of the Leadership Council for, effectively, being spies of entities hostile to Brave Collective and working to undermine the Alliance. On the other hand, a DAMN PATRIOT claims to have evidence of Nonnak Severin’s nefarious plans in regards to Brave Collective, however closer examination reveals them to be a rather confusing conversation that can be interpreted in a few different manners. Part of the problem is, of course, that the parties involved have their own motives and checkered pasts to be considered truthful or unbiased in their reporting.

Seraph IX Basarab - Mostly known for being a writer for EVE News 24, he is a Diplomat in Surely You’re Joking Alliance, and was the man who supplied the chat logs supposedly incriminating Nonnak Severin as a spy, though he claims those were requested and forwarded by his Executor. Surely You’re Joking is an ally of Brave Collective, so it is no surprise they’d be concerned over the possibility of an enemy infiltrator in their allies’ ranks.

At the same time, Seraph IX Basarab is a former Bomber Bar member, who was forced to leave due to a dispute, some say with Anna niedostepny, who was also part of the Bomber Bar crew. The fact that Anna niedostepny was part of draleth’s faction cannot be overlooked, nor the conversation that took place between Seraph IX Basarab and Anna niedostepny after the dispute made news.

Another interesting piece regarding Seraph IX Basarab, was the fact that a DAMN PATRIOT, when interviewed and asked who supplied the evidence, named him rather than Surely You’re Joking Executor, as well as the fact that the logs made their way not to Lychton Kondur or any other member of the Leadership Council, but to a member of Malphas Inanis’ faction.

Not to mention that Seraph IX Basarab also wrote an article on the subject, with speculation on the supposed Triumvirate’s members, naming Nonnak Severin as one of the members, something that the latter has rebuffed, and even supplied a more convincing alternative.

Nonnak Severin - Member of Brave Newbies Inc(dot) and a serving Diplomat of Brave Collective Alliance, he claims he was actually sought after several times before he finally accepted the post. Since he became a Diplomat so soon after his recruitment, this might seem plausible.

However, one must not forget he was implicated in a corporate theft, which damages his credibility somewhat. Add to it that a DAMN PATRIOT claims he has other sources besides Seraph IX Basarab who confirm him as a spy, and the fact he even put corporate espionage as one of his field of work in EVE Online, and the picture muddles again.

Do not forget that whether or not the conversation that took place between him and Seraph IX Basarab was an attempt to ridicule and humiliate the other, is not clear as well. As I said before, the conversation can be read in many ways.

Also, consider that none of draleth’s faction besides him have agreed to be interviewed, so there are few sources that can be relied upon to counter any claims he makes.

It is clear however, from the actual conversation between these two diplomats, that there is a contentious relationship between the two of them, and that Seraph IX Basarab himself has some unresolved issues with Anna niedostepny.
The Third Man

It is not my business to point fingers or levy blame at any person, but in an attempt to create a balanced article, I cannot overlook any side of the dispute, and the one who seems to have the most to gain from the entire affair is a DAMN PATRIOT.

a DAMN PATRIOT - CEO of Dropbear Anonymous, Brave Collective Alliance, his power base clearly lies outside of the main corporation of the Alliance, Brave Newbies Inc(dot). In fact, the proposal to expand the vote base would actually benefit him, as this decreases the actual power of Brave Newbies Inc(dot) in the council.

Add to it that the accusation of Nonnak Severin as a spy seems to come just after draleth resigns and appoints the former to be his successor, that the timing just seems to be too perfect. Not to mention the question of how he came by those logs, rather than anyone higher up, such as Lychton Kondur, or why no action was taken until that moment.

On the other hand, his actions can be easily defended as a concerned Leadership Council member, protecting the Alliance in the hour of turmoil from an apparent spy being given one of the highest positions in the Alliance, granting him a future role as a Director of the Alliance and enabling him to cause much damage there.

As for his push for the inclusion of more CEOs and elected members, this can be explained by the fact that Brave Collective, as an Alliance, is a sum of parts which create a greater whole. As such, even though Brave Newbies Inc(dot) is the main corporation of the Alliance, it is not the only corporation anymore. A part of a representative democracy is protecting the rights of the minorities against bullying by the majority, something that the “Expanders” faction may wish to create through this proposal.

The Underlying Issue

The problem that seems more and more apparent as I try to untangle this plonter of accusations, interests and motives, is the lack of transparency that seems to exist in Brave Collective’s Leadership Council. Though I did manage to interview certain members of the Leadership Council, many of the participants preferred to remain silent. Others who had a hand in the affair have given me either too little or too much material. However, beside Paste Bins and reddit posts, there seems to be little to no documentation of the events themselves.

Was draleth within her right to appoint a successor to her seat at the Council, or was she overstepping her boundaries? What were the actual plans, beside the gist that was given to me in interviews? It was said the debate raged for a good nine hours, yet it seems so little of the exchanges that must have taken place during that time period have made it out to the wider public.

Maybe there is a codified version of the Leadership Council’s rules and regulation, a list of members and roles, as well as an archive of meeting minutes and other important decisions made, and I as an outsider, and a reporter especially, just have no access to it. However, at the same time it seems that the ordinary Line members have little in that regard as well, as confusion seems rife within Brave Collective.

The lack of transparency not only hinders attempts to shed light on any of the details of the entire affair, but rather gives rise to a slew of conspiracy theories and paranoid musings, which are sure to hurt the Alliance in the long run.


The Mittani has released a statement on TheMittani(dot)com in which he denies any involvement in the affair, and that of any of his agents.

draleth, Anna niedostepny and Malphas Inanis have refused to comment on the entire affair.

Lychton Kondur has made it clear that he does not wish to grant any interviews to the EVE Scribe, and was not reached for a comment.

Seraph IX Basarab and Nonnak Severin have both given their version of events, as well as what part they played in the affair.

Markonius Porkbutte gave the EVE Scribe the official version of events, as it was published on other EVE news sites.

a DAMN PATRIOT gave an interview, in which he explained his actions accusations, as well as the responses given to draleth’s allegations.


Sadly, there is no conclusion. Without a full record of all the events that transpired, as well as the heaps of material regarding both the actual proposals, the rules and regulations of the Leadership Council, and a full member and role list, I have little to go on. However, the same can be said on the other major EVE news outlet, who of course, speculated further and with far less, causing me to question some of the motives of their writers.

At the base of it, this seems to be a dispute between individuals about the face and direction the Alliance they are part of should go, something that in itself is not uncommon in New Eden, and usually serves as a defining moment for many of its organizations, impacting their future course. Only time can tell what significance was there to these events in Brave Collective’s future.

What is important to remember, is that neither side is “Right” because this would imply that there is only one correct answer, something that is quite the anathema to EVE Online. Much like real life, it teaches us that there are merits and drawbacks to any approach, and even the most noble of intentions can have the most disastrous results.

Final Words

Usually I thank in the bottom of the article to all those who contributed information, resources or their time being interviewed. However, as this article is already a break from the norm, so will its final lines be. I cannot ascertain how much of what I was told is true or false, and I cannot remove this niggling doubt that I have been lied to and manipulated by some of the participants. Thus, I request that any reading of this article be done with caution and prudence, for I, too, may have fallen victim to the disinformation and manipulations that seem to surround this delicate subject matter.


  1. it's Draleth, btw

    couldn't even copy and paste it out of any of the chat logs -_-;

    1. My apologies, mistakes have been made and since corrected, thank you for drawing my attention to it. I can offer no excuse for this oversight.

  2. interviews of everyone tagged except the members that quit :|

    fair and balanced like fox news

    1. If you had bothered to read the entire article you would have realized that all parties involved had been contacted, however, draleth and Anna niedostepny have both declined to comment on the events, forcing me to rely on their reddit posts alone.

      The comparison to Fox News might have been insulting had it not come from a person hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

  3. I really didn't understand what was going on until I read this. I suspect a lot of people didn't. Very informative; not only is it probably the best written EVE article I've ever seen, it's more informative and open (as far as discussing sources) than any news article I've ever seen the AP or Reuters put out. This website is like the Drudge Report for EVE news: the only place you can go for real news. And I love it. Thanks for putting so much time into this!

  4. You are doing great job as a reporter. Ther is nothing worse than biased/manipulated article. Being neutral is rare in eve but you seems to be doing good despite being part of provi block. Keep it up.

  5. I just stumbled across this post, and it is VERY well done! As a CEO in BRAVE, I will say that your journalistic representation of the events is top notch.

    That said, I'm saddened to see that you haven't written since May 3 - why?

    Email me at if you'd consider picking the pen back up.