Header art by Chadstick
Recently, Dunk Dinkle, the leader of Brave Collective <BRAVE>, released another in his series of “not a SOTA” messages, covering topics such as the current war, Brave’s future plans, and the historic fights happening in Delve. His message, one of cautious optimism, also clearly stated Brave’s reasons for being in World War Bee as a part of PAPI.
The Current State of the War
Even though he said his message was not a SOTA, Dinkle noted that the state of Brave was strong. After toasting to his alliance, he moved to discuss several aspects of the war:
When the war started, we said this would be a long war and nothing has changed. We’ve been going on four or five months. It’s been hard. Our enemy continues to fight back. They are not giving up. I don’t think they’re gonna give up any time soon. We are making a lot of advances. (:044; all timer notations refer to the YouTube video linked above and denote the end of the quoted passage)
He said that the Imperium is trying to frame the war’s narrative in order to cause in-fighting among PAPI, and he encouraged his pilots to ignore such narratives and to not participate in such infighting:
Our opponent Is still pushing some narrative—they’re trying to split up the good guys coalition, but it’s just kind of falling flat. That’s their way; that’s what they’re gonna do. There’s a lot of goalposts moving, but it’s important we don’t get too wound up about it. This is just the way they are. This is their culture and the way they talk about the war and the way they motivate each other. There’s no reason to get frustrated or get into internet fights over stuff like this. (1:15)
Brave’s Motivations for Fighting the Imperium
Dinkle moves on to make the following statement, which really gets at the heart of Brave’s motivations for fighting in WWB:
We’re in Delve now and there’s stuff going on every day. Things are going back and forth, which is good. People have been keeping busy. (1:33)
Clearly, for Dinkle, keeping his pilots busy is an important motive to be involved in WWB. He doesn’t even seem to mind that battles over iHubs and other structures aren’t conclusive. “Things are going back and forth, which is good” (my italics). Some people on PAPI have declared this conflict to be a war of extermination, but Dinkle implied that as long as pilots are getting into fights and people stay busy, it’s all good.
After praising Brave’s allies in the war, and raising a toast to them, Dinkle reasserted the position that WWB is serving an important function for Brave:
This year is a pretty terrible year in the real world and if something as crazy as a video game can give a little bit of relief, on every side of this war, then it’s good thing. Giving people fun and distracted from all the terrible things that have been going on. It’s good. So, I’m glad people are fighting; I’m glad we can have something to do this year with all the changes that CCP has been putting through. This is a reminder: we don’t have to hate the Imperium. We love that they show up for fights. We love that these shenanigans are going on all the time. It gives people something to do. It gives people a chance to use their big toys. (2:55)
He went on to say,
It gives us a chance to show newer players what big fights are going to be like. This war has been a lot of fun for a lot of people, despite all the hurff blurff and the Reddit posting and all that kind of thing. This is what EVE should be. It should be people having a good time, going out blowing ships up, laughing, making history, telling stories. That’s what it should be about. (3:20)
Dinkle then moved on to celebrate the anniversary of the creation of the Brave Dojo (BDOJO), a group that teaches new players the ropes. Brave is known as a particularly new-player friendly alliance, and they take a lot of pride in their friendly culture and training SIGs. He linked culture to Brave’s motivation for being in the war, while again discouraging people from getting too intense about the war:
We are really focused on being a place where there’s a fun per hour, that you enjoy logging in, that you enjoy hanging out with other people in Brave and you find it a little bit of a respite from the weary world. So, when people come on board, they may not understand our ways, they may be a little concerned, so I ask you to treat them with a little kindness and understanding. . . . (6:57)
Future Plans Must Wait
Dinkle then discussed Brave’s future plans, noting that they are “up in the air” due to two factors: the war and the changes to game-play instituted by CCP. He elaborated on each of these complicating factors in turn. First, he noted that the war itself complicates setting future plans:
The real truth is our future is still up in the air. What we’re gonna do is still being decided. Number one, because the war isn’t over. The first thing we need to do is win the war. It’s not a forgone conclusion. It takes a lot of hard work. Imperium’s not gonna just roll over one day and disappear. So we are not close to the end of the war. (7:53)
Implicit in Dinkle’s statement is the idea that Brave will not prophecy about the future or develop elaborate plans:
CCP is changing a lot about the game. They are changing things about how mining works, how ratting works, how bounties work; everything is changing in the game. . . . so some of the assumptions about how things work a year ago about what is profitable in the game, those keep changing. We’ve had market taxes changes, we’ve had all the resource changes, the economic changes, all that sort of stuff and CCP is showing no signs of slowing down, so we have a multivariable problem which is not easy to solve sometimes. (10:37)
After once again reasserting that Brave is strong, Dinkle exhorted his troops to move ships into Delve and be a part of the ongoing fighting:
There’s fights every day. We have iHub timers, we have structure timers. We’re burning a lot of structures there. There are a lot of killmails there, a lot of great fights; there are capital brawls that are happening. It is a good time to be in Delve next door to the Goons. This is what it’s all about: having fun and laughing and joking and not taking everything so seriously, but you can only enjoy that if you are where the front line is. So, you are needed. There’s going to be a lot of fights for the foreseeable future. Get where they’re happening. . . . If you have capitals, if you haven’t moved all your capitals to the front line, we definitely want all those carriers and dreads and faxes and supers and titans on the front line because there are going to be some amazing fights coming up. (12:00)
Several things struck me about the “not-a-SOTA.” First, this IS a SOTA, but Dinkle eschews that terminology, perhaps wanting to distance himself from other leaders who make proclamations in their alliance’s SOTA, or at least distance himself from the kind of rhetoric that he, humorously, describes as “hurff blurff.” The tenor of the presentation was very relaxed. Dinkle, dressed in a festive holiday jacket, eating and drinking, epitomizes a chill attitude toward the game. Repeatedly, he cautions against taking the game too seriously.
Second, Dinkle’s stated his motivation for the war: “We love that these shenanigans are going on all the time. It gives people something to do.” Clearly, Dinkle has no grudge to bring to the war, as Gobbins seems to, as is indicated in his letter about gaining revenge for the 40 fortizars Imperium received from GOTG back in 2018. Nor does Dinkle proclaim Goons to be bad for the game or in need of extermination, as Vily and Progodlegend have done. Rather, he sees the current war as content only, and he willingly toasts the Imperium for the good fights all are having during WWB.
Finally, Dinkle also contrasts himself with those leaders who have proclaimed their future plans, as TEST has recently done. For Dinkle, the future is too uncertain to make assurances to his troops. He says, rather, he will consult them when the time is right, but because the war is “not a forgone conclusion” and because “we are not close to the end of the war,” Brave will wait and see what happens. Further, CCP is making such dramatic changes to the game that any prognostication Dinkle will leave to others leaders.
Dunk Dinkle establishes himself, in this “not-a-SOTA” as a likeable guy, one whom you could meet at EVE Vegas and talk about the game, no matter what alliance you are in. Compared to other recent pronouncements we have heard, Dinkle seems a bit “father Christmas,” assuming, of course, that St. Nick doles out cupcakes and booze.