Brave’s “Not-a-SOTA”


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)

Brave’s Culture

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.

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  • mbox

    I’m a bit more cynical with this speech. Everyone knows Goons does not forget or forgive. Seeing this war stagnant and talks of alliances trying to reset the goalposts to give themselves a reason to leave, Dinkle is attempting to placate goon leadership. Perhaps if he says, “it’s just for content” enough times then goon leadership and members won’t remember Brave’s part in this war when we’re in their neighborhood.

    December 1, 2020 at 7:44 AM
    • Moomin Amatin mbox

      I felt it was more of a “prepare the troops for tough times ahead” type of thing. Brave know what that is like, unless they have forgotten that as well.

      The funniest thing about this is that it is for no reason. PAPI could have been in the situation that they are in now months ago. The Imperium lost this war the moment 150k chars formed up against them. The Imperium has been really honest in how it would defend as well. It would try to be a pain as much as possible and fight out of NPC Delve. Every day The Imperium is not there is either a testament to the determination of The Imperium or the incompetence of PAPI.

      December 1, 2020 at 12:36 PM
      • Rammel Kas Moomin Amatin

        Not so sure that many of the current crop remember the Coups, the collapse and evacuation of Catch years ago. I had a medal from Lychton for some minor heroics a dozen of us did in bombers to save a sov transfer gone bad. Some minor functionary in Brave revoked it. Since Lychton is no longer there I seriously doubt they even know what they did, and why that part of their history means.

        December 1, 2020 at 4:21 PM
        • Moomin Amatin Rammel Kas

          Just like the current crop of TAPI seem to have no recollection for what they have done.

          One of the best lines so far for this war for me has been “you evil gons kicked us out of our home in Dek”. I then asked them who they got Dek from. Things went quiet after that.

          December 1, 2020 at 4:35 PM
          • My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I’m like 90% sure that Test was gifted Fountain after CFC took it back and they moved out of the Testagram all on their own.

            I do know for certain that we handed Test their asses on a platter when we did kick them out of Fountain for being complete shitlers and trying to star a civil war in the CFC for 2 years.

            December 1, 2020 at 7:10 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Zaand

            TAPI were gifted Fountain. The only reason that there was any need for an agreement at all was due to the moon changes by CCP. Even then the deal was ready to be signed but then TAPI had a change of heart. TAPI also really hated FA.

            TAPI again dogpiled onto The Imperium during the Casino War. Now for World War Bee. For some reason The Imperium saved TAPI on more than one occassion.

            No matter what happens in the future I would think that another agreement with TAPI would lead to civil within The Imperium.

            December 2, 2020 at 1:22 AM
    • Guilford Australis mbox

      I read it differently. Goons historically have liked Brave and enjoyed a good-natured rivalry with them. A couple Goon directors are former Brave guys. We appreciate that they always form to fight, even if we bring 150 Kikis to Catch and all they can toss together is a 20-pilot kitchen sink fleet. They’ll still fight.

      I think the PAPI coalition is less unified in its goals and motives than the rhetoric suggests. In that respect, it’s ironic that Dunk talks about spin and narratives, because it’s clear Brave is not calling any shots in this war and doesn’t seem particularly thrilled about its position in the grand scheme despite Dunk’s attempts to put a rosy shine on things in these “Not SOTAs.” I can’t imagine either Dunk or the average line member seriously believes they’ll end up in a better position even if PAPI prevails in this war.

      It’s obviously up to Brave to determine where they want to end up after this is all over. But I doubt that continuing to handcuff themselves to TEST is going to get them anywhere they’d want to go.

      December 1, 2020 at 6:30 PM
  • Rammel Kas

    The Issue I had with Dunk’s video was that he seems to hinge the whole economic future of Brave on a few uncertain events and outcomes turning in their favor. As well as ALL their coalition partners nearly bending double to accommodate those. While admitting they are now stretched thin with a lot of infrastructure commitments for the coalition. That is almost exactly the mistake that the then-CFC made at the onset of the Casino War. Too many potential commitments, sprawl, over too much space. And they then say they don’t have certain plans yet except to un-anchor a few of the less-used smaller citadels. It’s a bit alarming to see them in a precarious dangerous exposed position and NOT already having a firm enough hand to give a clear path forward. If you don’t have next level geniuses like Aryth working your case as well as stockpiles to flip you are screwed in such a case. One or another key commitment will fail to be paid. We shall see.

    December 1, 2020 at 9:21 AM
    • Simon Chui Rammel Kas

      I think he has plans that he can’t talk about yet. Otherwise, I totally agree with you, far too much confidence for the amount of uncertainty, and telling his line members to move all their stuff into the heart of Delve, too. He better has something worked out already.

      December 1, 2020 at 11:20 AM
  • Moomin Amatin

    “War of extermination” was a gift from TAPI. To set the bar unreachably high was perhaps lacking in foresight. But TAPI has set this bar and then doubled down on it and then backed away from it. The thing is, it is still there and it is never going away.

    We saw PH make a statement a couple of weeks ago. The strategic goals of PH that were set out were in broad terms already well met. At any point Panfam can declare victory and it would be hard to argue against it.

    In the Brave “not a SOTA” we see Dunk making sure that the troops know that things are likely to get worse before they get better. The talk about The Imperium trying to sow discontent is fine but it does excuse some facts. TAPI started this war. TAPI lead the largest blue donut ever. TAPI tried to go to war with one of their “vallued allies” but The Imperium said “no”. TAPI have now stated that this is a land grab for the best space in the game. The Imperium had 4 regions at most. 3 of them they did not even want but just ended up with them more or less. The Imperium has tried to get new alliances and corps into Querious for years. TAPI and its allies had more than twice the space and less members.

    There is no need for The Imperium to try and poison anyone against TAPI. Anyone looking at the history will know it was The Imperium who helped TAPI into null. They will know it was TAPI who started The Fountain War. They will know it was only TAPI who pursued The Imperium to Delve at the end of The Casino War. They will know it was The Imperium who saved TAPI at UALX. They will know it was TAPI who broke the NIP with The Imperium. This is only covering very briefly the history between TAPI and The Imperium. Many other alliances also have their own history with TAPI and their deals.

    TAPI and their word now has little value to anyone.

    December 1, 2020 at 12:28 PM
  • George Ewing

    Dinkle has a reputation as a ‘nice guy’ but his tone in this and other not-SOTAs is creepy. He’s referring to the extermination of an entire coalition as “having fun.” Spare me the sociopathy.

    December 1, 2020 at 4:19 PM
    • Moomin Amatin George Ewing

      Let’s not let the words of one person let us define a whole group. “For us, this is a war of extermination” is a TAPI thing. Anyone can get off of that bus any time they want. We should also be grateful Vily was not drunk and wearing a wizard hat. I mean Vily repeated this in the cold light of day many times while one of his corp CEOs is running around making jokes about “ovens” and “final solutions”.

      December 1, 2020 at 4:43 PM
    • We’ve had some fun fights against Brave. Sometimes they blob but there’s also plenty of times they’ll come play with us on fairly even terms if we come poke at them. We had a great cruiser / battlecruiser rolling skirmish tonight. It was fun: both sides lost many ships 🙂

      December 2, 2020 at 5:54 AM
  • Garreth Vlox

    “Our opponent Is still pushing some narrative—they’re trying to split up the good guys coalition” Didn’t CCP dispel the “good guys” narrative with the FRAT neg walleting?

    December 1, 2020 at 8:10 PM
  • Havish Montak

    We’re gonna make them pay.

    December 1, 2020 at 10:11 PM
  • Dunk Dinkle

    Thanks for the article. You can reach out if you have questions. 7o

    December 2, 2020 at 12:11 AM
    • Moomin Amatin Dunk Dinkle

      Vily stated on TiS that he approached The Imperium first in order to attack PanFam. On a scale of 1 to 10 fow funny do you find this?

      What real strategic value has there been in not staging in Delve earlier? With 100k chars more it was never a question of being able to stop PAPI merely delay them.

      Have you seen the KS I left in K-6K? I am sure I left one there but have now misplaced it.

      December 2, 2020 at 1:34 AM
    • We had fun fighting your Querious guys tonight! Big grab-bag cruiser brawl: tons of fun.

      December 2, 2020 at 5:51 AM
    • kwnyupstate . Dunk Dinkle

      Do you think attacking the Imperium and saying its just for good fights will make you not an enemy in the future?

      December 6, 2020 at 1:32 AM
  • DrkyDrky

    idk, feels like Brave and rest of Legacy and being dragged around by Vily & PGL.

    December 2, 2020 at 5:46 AM
  • kwnyupstate .

    Make Brave choose between becoming enemy of the Imperium and giving up those “good fights”. I bet they would then back down if they see they won’t be seen as good guys.

    December 4, 2020 at 6:17 AM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    Culturally and mentally Braves are much closer to Goons vs. Test. To bad that alliance leaders dictate the wrong choices for his soldiers.

    December 18, 2020 at 5:56 AM