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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Repercussus Says Goodbye

So it didn’t take long for that story to break… Yeah, that’s my corp, Repercussus.  One of our CEOs also happened to be one of the Razor Troika.  Another high-ranking member happened to be one of the two Military Directors.

There’s a lot of speculation about what this all means.  The article itself says it’s “confirmed” that “The reason for the move is unhappiness over the current state of affairs in RZR and dissatisfaction with the organizational structure as a whole.”  This is patently untrue.  The author of the article has stated before that he’s a friend of Dograzor, a member of Razor leadership, and it’s possible he conflated RP with Razor.  No one from RP was approached by the author.

Fortunately, I was already planning a post about our move.  I try to be very honest about how I view the game, who my character is, and what my biases might be.  In that interest, my readers deserve to know if/when my affiliation changes.

So, let me put the matter to rest.  I’m not leadership, but I was one of the most vocal members of the “Leave Razor” camp within RP (I know… me, vocal?).  And this is why.

First, let’s get all the silly stuff out of the way.  There wasn’t a single event that triggered this.  It wasn’t the result of high drama on the part of individual people or interest groups.  Troyd wasn’t kicked from Razor leadership, nor was RP’s move a fit of pique.  RP wasn’t asked to leave.  RP didn’t throw a tantrum.  Razor didn’t misbehave or treat us poorly.  Neither side was power-hungry.  No one slept with anyone’s wife (that I know of!).  We aren’t leaving a sinking ship, and RP doesn’t wish Razor any ill will.

And RP hasn’t lost faith in Razor’s leadership structure or the changes they’ve been making over the past few months.  RP members haven’t said as much, and this opinion has never filtered down to me from the corp leadership.  I personally think Razor is stronger for some of the internal reorganization made in recent months.  Tusc, in particular, changed a lot of the infrastructure to be more efficient.  The leadership structure is just fine.

Any time a member of an alliance’s leadership leaves, it naturally hints at drama.  But in this case, Troyd, our troika member, wasn’t the originator of the desire to leave.  Over the past several months to a year, our membership as a whole has been noticing that Razor’s path and RP’s path have been diverging.  I and others started crowing in corp channels about leaving a few months ago, long before the idea was ever taken seriously by corp leadership.  This was very much a grass-roots movement at the member level, not leadership.

And the reason is culture.  I shared some comments about culture here.  And I shared Razor’s mission statement, as I understood it.

Razor has a very firm sense of who they are, and what they want to be.  Their leadership is structured in such a way that they can – and do – achieve it.  And yet, they’ve lost five corporations over the past six months or so – 4S, The Graduates, hirr, Oberon Incorporated, and Repercussus, my corp.  It’s easy to assume these corporations left because of weaknesses or an imminent failcascade.

But you’d be wrong.  They left because they recognized their cultures as corporations were different from that of Razor.  4S and Repercussus wanted different things from Razor.  TGRAD and Oberon has NRDS policies in low-sec that weren’t compatible with Razor’s NBSI policy (and they ended up in the same new alliance), for instance.

The result, though, of all of these departures is homogeny.  The corps that remain in Razor buy into the Razor mission statement fully, and this makes Razor stronger.  RP had a different vision for its corp’s future, and that’s why the membership overwhelmingly voted to first leave Razor, and separately to join Goons.

“I think we should see other people.”

So why did RP leave?  I can’t claim to speak for the entire corporation, but I can speak for myself.  As I said earlier, I was heavily in the “Leave Razor” camp.  For a refresher, here was the Razor mission statement as I understood it:

Razor Alliance is one of the oldest null-sec entities, with an emphasis on fielding defined and uniform fleet doctrines – ranging from frigate/cruiser fleets to supercarrier/titan fleets – in large fleet engagements in support of sovereignty defense and conquest.  With a rich history of interacting with sovereignty, especially Tenal, and the metagame over the past ten years, Razor conducts itself with professionalism, avoiding smack-talk or disrespect of enemies, while acting with deliberate, stoic efficiency in pursuit of its objectives.

The leadership, the majority of corporations, and the attitudes of the members themselves all support that mission.  There’s a consistency there that signifies strength, not weakness.

RP was a dissenting opinion among Razor corporations in regards to its corporation goals.  RP has a strong industry backbone, a PI division, a C6 wormhole, and we take merc contracts.  Many of us roam through FW space looking for 1v1s and we have Friday night kitchen-sink roams that are all off-doctrine.  We take fights when outnumbered or out-classed specifically to see how well we can do.  And that’s all in addition to supplying significant numbers of pilots for fleet operations.  A strategic objective isn’t as important as having a great time, and null-sec is only one of our interests.

And they represent intrinsic differences in culture.  We certainly weren’t going to deny ourselves activity because it wasn’t compatible, so we tended to do our own thing.  When your entire playstyle isn’t shared by your alliance, you have a problem.  Once it became clear that Razor didn’t want to play the game the way we played, it wouldn’t be fair for us to continue trying to force them to change to suit us.

And conversely, Razor had a corp with a sizable percentage of its USTZ who wasn’t focused on the Razor mission. We made up about half of the USTZ members, but like clockwork, every Friday night our members would be in low-sec roaming it up in a gang of about 15-20. A lot of us would head out in groups of 5-6 roaming on a rolling basis. And more than once, a Razor FC would find a nice target and call together a fleet, only to not have enough members because RP was off on its own doing something. No one complained that we were generating content (we’d always invite alliance members along), but the simple fact is that our different vision resulted in Razor missing out on some kills.

I suspect the rest of Razor is as happy to have the differences in culture resolved by RP’s departure as RP members are to explore a different alliance in the hopes of finding a closer match.  We can be better coalition-mates than we can be allies.  That doesn’t mean we dislike each other, though.  On the contrary, I and everyone I’ve spoken to in corp have nothing but respect for Razor.

But it become pretty clear that the relationship wasn’t working.  Respect and friendly relations can only keep you playing an optional entertainment game in a non-preferred way for so long before you start to wonder why you’re denying yourself a desire.  What we each wanted was an irreconcilable difference.  It was a long-time coming, and had nothing to do with organization, structures, or personalities.  Razor’s systems and structures continue to work very well in managing the alliance.  The Razor motor is running smoothly and purring like a kitten.  But you have to get out of even the finest, most-luxurious car if it isn’t driving you were you want to go.

So, why Goons?  We’ve worked with them for many years in the CFC and have always found them to be fair-dealing.  More than that, though, Goons have special interest groups (SIGs) which nurture a wide range of content.  Their mission is quite different from Razor’s.  They like to be the bad guy, like to mix it up in every area of space.  I don’t doubt that GSF would still exist and be having a great time even if the CFC fell and they lost all their space.  For a diverse corporation like RP it’s a natural match.  Industry, wormhole, low-sec, piracy, mission-running, ratting, large fleet, small gang, solo, merc contracts… GSF has groups that are interested in each area – and actively supported by the alliance.  And they have an infrastructure that can support all of those interests equally well.

That’s why we approached them.  They weren’t the only option we considered, but they were the best match for our goals and desires.

Razor Alliance has been my home for three years.  I’m truly thankful for the time I’ve spent there.  The wars, the friends, the experiences, are something I’ll always treasure.  I became a better pilot for being in Razor, and it was here I truly fell in love with Eve.  That’s a gift I’ll never stop being thankful for.  Many in RP agree with us.  We regret losing regular contact with the pilots.  We’re on different paths.  They ran parallel for a while, but we reached a fork.  The left path is taking Razor where they want to go, but our desti is to the right.

But both Razor and RP will be able to have a lot more fun playing the game the way we each want.  And that’s definitely a win, all around.

A Word About This Blog

I’m my own editor (well, okay, my wife occasionally suggests topics and reminds me constantly that I’m too wordy), and no one but myself dictates what I write.  RP has never asked me not to post an article, nor as Razor.  That won’t change with Goonswarm.  First and foremost, I remain true to myself.  I’ve been critical of the CFC, deals they’ve made, and policies they’ve enacted, and I’ve supported others.  The common thread?  It’s what I believe.  That isn’t going to change.

But I have a very clear understanding of Goonswarm.  They have a reputation.  They inspire a lot of hate.  But I also know – for a fact – that they’re a great bunch of guys who appreciate a wide variety of aspects of the game.  And I know they’ll deal honestly with us through experience.  All RP members have a choice about whether they remain in RP through this transition (they’ve been offered homes in other Razor corps if they choose to remain), and I’m actively choosing to join GSF with RP.  Eyes wide open.

It’s business-as-usual for this blog.  The author and opinions don’t change based on the tag after my name.  My goal is still to provide context, guidance, and advice for newer players looking to enjoy PvP, null-sec, and related topics.

So let’s go back to work.


  1. This is what you wrote only five months ago:
    Some more corporations may very well leave Razor in the coming months (though I admit I don’t have any reason to believe anyone’s planning it), but I can tell you the vast majority are pleased as punch about being in the alliance.

    And in the article you wrote
    I and others started crowing in corp channels about leaving a few months ago, long before the idea was ever taken seriously by corp leadership.

    Now I totally understand the decision which in itself is not unexpected except for its timing, but there are some things in those posts which are just incompatible. What happened in the last months that changed your mind?

    1. First, thanks for reading all this time! And secondly, I appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt and a chance to answer. A lesser person would have said, "You're a liar!"

      I realized things could go the way they did with Razor when I wrote that post, and chose my wording very carefully. Sometimes, a writer needs to be as careful about what he DOESN'T say as what he does. This is one of those cases.

      I said I don't have any reason to believe any corps were planning to leave Razor, and that was absolutely true. I personally felt a growing sense that I wanted to play the game a different way than Razor does, but it was by no means an opinion taken seriously by the rest of the corporation, at least not to my knowledge.

      Likewise, the majority of corporations were happy in Razor... I know RG, CEI, DECAD, ZET, and INET were all fully dedicated. RP gave no rumblings about leaving that I heard, and I couldn't say anything for certain about the others (lack of knowledge). I chose "vast majority" specifically because of that uncertainty. So, both of those statements were true, even if my opinion didn't match it.

      Paths don't diverge overnight, and there's always that awkward time when you feel a certain way and you're not sure if anyone else feels the same. I originally thought I was the only one, then had some conversations and realized a few more people felt the same way. Then couple weeks ago the topic was openly discussed at the corp level... only then did I realize everyone felt the same way.

      My mind didn't change, but I was careful to separate what "most corporations" felt, what my corp felt based on everything I knew at the time, and what I felt personally. If you re-read some of those articles about philosophy and theory with the knowledge on what my opinion was and the fact of RP leaving, it takes on an added layer of meaning.

      So, yeah, I was being very careful with my word selection specifically because I knew I'd have to answer for any opinions I shared back then.

      I appreciate you bringing it up, so I get to talk about word selection and phrasing! I love doing that!

      And thanks, again, for reading!

    2. Simply you wanted to be part of the "big guy goons" and now saying that RZR is bad boys...

      This si (what you made9 is called elitism. And you adn bunch of tgrads did the same thing. and caleld RZR as elitists... Just so you know.

      hope you wil be happy in goons and wont have any "culture clash"

    3. That narrative isn't consistent with anything I've written. Razor focuses on pursuing excellence in one area of the game. I and RP like to dabble in a lot of different areas. And Goonswarm does exactly that... with face-punchingly ruthless zeal. I'm excited to get in on some of that action.

      Thanks for reading. Hopefully, the mistakes I make and the lessons I learn (the source of much of this blog's content!) over the next few months are informative and entertaining.

  2. That's what you get for bopping all those field mice on the head.

    1. Interesting you say that... my daughter just got "Little Bunny Foo Foo"...
      There are no coincidences.

  3. Thats alot of words for a post that basically could have just said "Goons absorbing more pet corps"

    1. Not really, when it's also a goodbye to Razor, an explanation, and a full-disclosure for my readers.

  4. Well written and a very accurate view point! Looking forward to the changes as well.