Welcome to the Of Sound Mind whitepaper. This document lays out what we're all about, what we expect from you as a member or prospective member, and what you can expect from the alliance in return.
Of Sound Mind was formed in mid-2011 out of dissatisfaction with what other alliances offer. Since then, we've lived in sov null as part of a couple of different coalitions, in NPC nullsec either as part of coalitions or on our own, in lowsec, and recently in wormhole space in C2, C4, and C5 systems.
Nobody in Local is our main corporation for members. It is run by its CEO and a small number of additional directors.
All members are expected to agree with and adhere to these principles; we take them quite seriously. If any of these seems disagreeable to you, Of Sound Mind is not a good fit for you.
Members are expected to behave in a mature fashion at all times. This means talking problems out or bringing them up with directors, being polite to both our friends and our enemies, and behaving reasonably well on voice comms and in text chat. Raging, trash-talking, and vitriol are not mature behavior. If another member asks you to tone down your behavior, you are expected to listen; if you have a problem with another member's behavior, you may bring it up with them (in private conversation; do not call out another member in a chat channel or on voice comms) or with a director. Eve is ultimately a video game, and everyone you meet is another human being sitting behind a computer; you should treat them accordingly.
Note that we do sometimes swear like sailors on comms. Profanity is fine, slurs are not.
Also note that some phrases, behaviors, and topics are already known to make members uncomfortable and are to be avoided:
Regardless of how you personally feel about these, you should avoid them in alliance voice and text chat, since they make some of your alliancemates uncomfortable.
Of Sound Mind tries very hard to foster an environment of inclusivity, which means that people of all ages, races, sexualities, gender identities, belief systems, and so on feel welcome and accepted in our community. We have a large and vibrant LGBTQ community within the alliance. Making any member of the alliance feel unwelcome on any of these bases is uninclusive and unacceptable. In particular, racist, homophobic, and sexist language is forbidden and the alliance directors and your peers police this rule very actively, although problems with it are rare.
In addition, since Of Sound Mind focuses heavily on newer players, it is important to be specifically inclusive of newer or lower-SP players. This means calling fleets that have room for players of all SP levels, but it also means that denigrating other players for being new or low-SP is frowned upon.
As a member, you are expected to be learning and helping others learn, and you are expected to be thinking about what you are doing. You are expected to read and understand documents and guides, and to learn from your own mistakes and the mistakes of your alliancemates. Your alliancemates are eager to help, but the responsibility for listening is yours. Dying repeatedly in an ineffective fit, even after discussions with alliancemates about it, is not using your brain. Dying to an enemy gang that you have already been warned about is not using your brain. Doing things in highsec while we have an active war is not using your brain.
Of Sound Mind stands alone as an alliance, insofar as we can. We generally do not call on others to defend our space or our assets; we would often rather lose a fight alone than win it as part of a group. Like all alliances, we have friends and enemies, but we tend to keep both at some distance. We very rarely work with other groups to the extent of sharing comms or fleets.
As part of being independent, we try to have a good mixture in our alliance of PvP, PvE, and industrial capability. We have members that are interested in all of these things and regular group activities in all these areas.
We believe that patience is often the key to victory. This means being willing to wait, sometimes for a long time, in order to get something important done. You should be willing to wait when needed without complaining. It is fine to leave a fleet that is taking too long for your liking, but it is not fine to complain about how long a fleet is taking.
We will not use an expensive ship if a cheap ship can do the same job. For our doctrines, we strive to have a mix of t1, t2, and t3 ships in each of our comps, with impactful options for low-SP players as well as realistic options for low-ISK players. We also prioritize reimbursement on cheaper ships. We often roam in t1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers. Sometimes more expensive options are appropriate to bring, and many of our doctrines explicitly include them, but some of our FCs will not be comfortable taking gratuitously expensive ships on their fleets at all. You should be willing to adjust your ship choice according to what your FC asks for (to the best of your ability.) Also, while you can add more expensive fittings to certain doctrine ships where appropriate, any such changes should be sensible, theory-crafted, and done with excellent reason.
There are some things we expect of you as a member that are not described above:
You are expected to be able to listen on voice comms when you are playing. Being able to talk on voice comms as well is very useful. Voice comms are generally quiet and calm, but sometimes urgent announcements (enemy gangs sighted and so on) will be delivered only on voice comms.
You are expected to join the "standing fleet" when you are in space in or near our home and not on another fleet. The standing fleet lets other members quickly warp to you if you get into trouble and has saved many ships.
You are expected to come on defensive PvP ops. If someone in standing fleet is in trouble, or a gang is in our home system, you should be willing to stop PvE-ing and help defend. If you are in trouble, your alliancemates are equally expected to come and help you. If our towers or other assets in space are under attack, your directors will frown at you if you are doing PvE instead of helping defend them. That said, real life comes first in all cases, and nobody will ever be upset at you for not attending an op, scheduled or otherwise.
You are expected to integrate with the alliance. This means signing up for our forums, using Slack, and having your in-game "home" where we live. Your alliancemates should recognize your name and know roughly who you are and what you're up to. This means you need to be somewhat active, but a couple of hours of playtime a week is generally enough to meet this expectation.
If all of this sounds good to you, stop by the in-game channel "[Of Sound Mind]", with the brackets included, and fill out the form linked there. Feel free to ask us questions there too and if we are around we'll be happy to chat.