The Truth About The Split
A Very Salty Starlord
“You heard his lies, now hear my truth”
There are always whispers and rumours of what happened between Starlord and me (Nam). For a long time, I decided to take the high road and ignore the lies he spreads and the trash talk on his streams. I believed that, over time, he would get over it and move on. But his resentment only seems to grow. He genuinely thought his departure would be the collapse of Salty Zombies. Yet, it was the complete opposite. Nowadays, he and his little posse seem to put more time and energy into an “Anti Salty Zombies Campaign” than they are into their new server. Either way, I feel it’s come to a point where I should not stay silent any longer.
His biggest claim is that he was the owner and founder of Salty Zombies simply because his name is “Salty”. Can you imagine if this was a court of law and a long-term employee of McDonald’s claimed they are the owner and founder of McDonald’s because last week they changed their name to Donald? That’s pretty much what Starlord is saying, and I will debunk his name in just a moment.
But first, let’s talk about ownership for a second. I designed and created the Salty Zombies logo and posters. I made the Facebook page and YouTube channel under my account. I trademarked the logo under my name and opened the Salty Zombies shop on the website. I designed and created the website, and the SaltyZombies.com domain is registered under my name. I made the Discord and Patreon, and the servers are registered to me. I also ran and managed the servers and the bot and built the community.
So I am wondering, what did he do, create or own at Salty Zombies? What aspect of its entirety did he even make?… Well, actually, the PvP server was connected to his PayPal for a little while. So, I guess that negates everything I did above, right? However, that soon changed when he was caught stealing donations for the 2nd time!… But more about that later.
I like how he tells everyone I “stole it” from him, as if I went around his house one day for a chat and on the way out, I slipped Salty Zombies into my pocket.
He also believes I had nothing to do with the success of Salty Zombies. So, let’s put that into perspective. I already listed above some of the things I did. But who do you think had more to do with its success? Me, a guy whose profession is marketing with a history of building successful brands or Starlord, a 30+ year old guy who can’t hold a job down for more than a few months and still lives off his parents?
Let’s look at it another way. Starlord has his own 7 Days to Die server right now that’s been open for about 6 months. Yet, he hasn’t gotten more than 7 people on there. I maxed out the Salty Zombies 30 slot server within our first 2 weeks of opening. Since his departure in January, we have opened up 3 more servers, totalling a number of 5. All of which are ranked in the top 10 servers in the world according to Battle Metrix. Starlord’s server, however, has not reached the top 10,000. The proof is in the pudding, right?
Now, I shouldn’t lower myself to his level and come out with insults and snide comments, but it is a touchy subject. I feel his actions as of late have forced me to write this article. Then again, I am happy to write this article explaining my side of the story. We all know there are 2 sides to every story, and the community has only heard from his side… the losing side. Oh, and if you are a fan of facts, figures and statistics, then let me end this intro with a graph of our Patreon Growth:
Salty Zombies and Salty
So now, let’s get the whole name thing out of the way. I always knew Starlord as “Starlord”. He changed his name to Salty when he began streaming in December 2019. Almost a year after we launched Salty Zombies. So the association of the name Salty Zombies has nothing to do with him calling himself “Salty”. However, he would like you to believe otherwise.
Salty Zombie’s name came from the famous saying, “Don’t Be Salty.” It is ubiquitous in gaming, yet Starlord claims he made it up, hence why his name is “Salty”. But a quick Google search reveals that the phrase has existed since 1938. Before he was even born, let alone the invention of computers. This is just the first of his many lies I will be disproving in this article.
We came up with the name because we wanted to go with something like “Crazy Zombies” or “Angry Zombies” like that game Angry Birds… We tried to be light-hearted and comical with the name. I also stressed that having the .com domain name and Facebook URL was essential. Eventually, after a day of thinking and research, we decided on Salty Zombies. It wasn’t our first choice, but it was a good one with the FB/URL and .com being available.
Who is “We”?
At the beginning of Salty Zombies, there were 3 of us. Me, Starlord and a guy named Devin. We met on the 7 Days To Die PC Facebook group and joined a PvP server called Apocalypse. Absolutely shit admin. He let his friends access the live map, and they raided people via ground glitching. It was evident because there were glitch holes next to their beds and boxes where they had their raiding gear stashed. There were also glitch holes along the tunnel they dug to get into our base. The admin just said, “Prove it.” Apparently, the blatantly obvious wasn’t enough.
Ground Glitching A.K.A “X Raying” is where you put yourself and a block in a particular position so your character glitches through the earth, allowing you can see everything underground.
This is where we mostly hang out, but the story of playing on a server with shit admin, A.K.A. “Badmins“, is typical. I had also personally played on many servers with friends for weeks, only to find the server disappeared one day, and we lost all our hard work.
Tired of playing on servers like this sparked the idea of creating our own 7 Days To Die server. Devin nor Starlord had ever run a server before or knew where to start. However, I had run one with my friends a while back called “Zombie Lust”, just a tiny friend’s only server. So, I had some experience in getting one up and running.
In the BEGINNING
I told them how to do it, what needed to be done and how to make it happen. I explained about the bot, editing the XML files, using the file manager, etc. But I soon realised none of this was entirely sinking in. Both guys could barely use Google, let alone run a server.
At this point, I realised, “I’ve been here before”. Many a time, I decided to do a project with friends where I invested the money, and we agreed to split the workload evenly. But in the end, I found myself doing 99.9% of the work because I still had to pay the bills, and they were still asking for an equal share of the profits. I parted ways with a few friends and lost my passion for similar projects for this very reason. I didn’t want this to be a repeated scenario. I didn’t want to fall out with these guys or lose my enjoyment of playing 7 Days To Die.
So I stepped back and thought, let’s do this differently. I can guide and teach them if they really want to do it. But I won’t physically do everything for them, nor will I take the financial strain this time. We all know how fast people disappear when times get tough, and the financial burden isn’t theirs. So, I set up our 7 Days to Die Discord. I told Devin he should buy and learn how to use the server bot. It was a new bot, one I wasn’t familiar with. So I said to him, “This is your project”. I then showed Starlord where to buy a server, edit XML files, and do various other things he needed to know.
My job was to get people on the servers, using my expertise in marketing, graphic design, SEO, web development, social media, content creation, etc. I would build up the community and bring them to our server. Their job was to run the server and bot and keep it running smoothly. I gave them their roles, responsibilities and structure, and I did what I did best.
The Annoying Love Affair
Devin lasted only a few months. He was a strange fellow who ended up having a virtual relationship with one of the players, Brooke. It was cute for about 5 minutes, but in the end, it just annoyed everyone. Brooke acted like she was in charge of the server because she had this “Relationship” with Devin. She also used to have these crazy emotional outbursts and go mental at community members, Starlord included. Devin would abuse admin powers to get anything she wanted out of the creative menu. He also had a massive attitude problem and wouldn’t bother doing his side of things whenever they argued. Which was unusually frequent considering they had never met in real life and had only been “together” for a few weeks.
An issue arose, and despite being a tolerant guy, Devin overstepped the line with me. It was well overdue, but I eventually decided to kick Devin out, but he had sole custody of the bot. I told Starlord that this was going to happen, and it was happening now! Since Starlord was taking most of the donations, I told him he should buy the new bot. That way, all the financial ins and outs would be in one place.
Starlord quickly contacted High Hope, one of the guys at Botman and got him to transfer all data of the current bot to the new one. Once that was complete, I removed Devin and Brooke from Discord and the server. It was a huge drama, but it had to be done.
We were only a few months or so in, and some epic drama was already happening. But it wasn’t over either. Brooke and Devin decided to make their own server and come into my Discord under fake accounts. They tried to contact everyone and invite them over to their Discord. It didn’t go down too well, Devin was broke and didn’t know how to manage a server, and Brooke paid for the server but had no idea how to run one either. 2 weeks later, we heard they broke up, and both disappeared into the abyss never to be seen or heard of again.
The Admin Duo
So it was just Starlord and me. He was still struggling to figure things out. He was a nice and simple guy, but honestly, probably the most incompetent person I have ever met. I started to regret doing this because I was again on a project doing all the work. Now Devin’s work, most of Starlord’s work and mine. #StoryOfMyLife
Generally, at this point, I would be like, “Yea, I’m out”, but I really liked 7 Days To Die. It’s the only game I play. I pushed the marketing so hard that I wasn’t prepared for the tremendous response. I put a lot of time and energy into making the website look professional. When I designed the server posters, people said they looked better than TFP posters. People started to think I was one of the Fun Pimps and that the Salty Zombies Server was the “official” 7 Days To Die server. We had to keep upgrading our server to hold all the players.
I couldn’t abandon the community like that, I couldn’t leave them in the incapable hands of Starlord… They would lose everything!
So I couldn’t leave, but I was literally doing everything, and Starlord took most of the credit. Salty Zombies became a full-time job for me, yet I had a full-time job already running my own company. Not to mention, I founded and ran 2 charities that were going global and needed my attention. If you have ever run a charity or volunteered for one, you know they are pretty full-on.
Yet, my partner in crime, Starlord, was a jobless, 30+ year old man-child. His girlfriend was a single mum working as a full-time nurse at the time. She would pay the rent, groceries and other bills whilst he drowned himself in Monster Energy Drinks and chips and played computer games all day. But despite his personal life, he, at this point, hadn’t done anything “over the line” wrong. So it was entirely my fault for starting a project with a guy who turned out to be an absolute idiot.
Where the real problems began.
The issues started happening when it came down to donations. At the start, when Devin was around, he took some donations to pay for the bot, $9 a month. Starlord was receiving contributions to pay the server about $30 a month. Despite my expenses, I just paid for it with my own money, and I could see none of them kept track of anything. It was one aspect I didn’t want to get involved in, but I had no choice in the end.
With Devin gone, all the bills were going through Starlord, but he was incapable of keeping records. So I set up the Salty Zombies Patreon page and attached it to his PayPal with just 1 rule.
“1 Rule – All donations go through Patreon, no exceptions!”
He agreed to this rule and understood that we must be open and record everything. But he kept asking, “How much is in the Patreon now?” “How much we got?” I would tell him, and he would say, “Ok, you wanna send that over to me?” I told him I would send it a day before the server bills come in. But he became very money orientated.
I found out he was still taking donations on the side, $10 here, $20 there. So I got upset and told him it had to go through Patreon. He kept telling me, “Oh yea, I forgot.“
A friend I used to play with on a couple of 7 Days To Die Servers called Grandpa John gave Starlord $100 towards server bills. I found it somewhat suspicious that Starlord didn’t tell me such a significant donation came in. I found out two days later in conversation with Grandpa John. I then wondered, “How many other contributions did he get and not tell me? I am running this entire operation, and he is taking all the money and being deceitful about it.
Starlord asked me to send him the money for the server about a week before it was due. I told him to use the cash Grandpa John sent him. That should cover us for the next two months. He didn’t like that and disputed the idea that Grandpa John gave him that for personal use and not the server. I immediately sent him the screenshot of Grandpa John telling me he sent him $100 to help with “the server bills”. Starlord then pretended to misunderstand and thought the donation was for personal use. #Bullshit
Where is the money, Starlord?
Soon after, I woke up one day to a bombardment of messages “The server had been down all night”. I login into Blue Fang Solutions to see the server had been “suspended due to billing”. Starlord had spent the money I gave him via Patreon, Grandpa John’s $100 and the other donations. (The ones I knew about I estimate being around $60+) and when it came to auto-renew, there wasn’t enough money in his PayPal, so Blue Fang shut down the server.
The screenshot above says it all. Starlord had received about $260+ to pay a $50 bill that month, but he has spent the donations elsewhere. At this point, I knew I didn’t want Starlord to be involved in Salty Zombies in any way whatsoever. I needed to get rid of him, but how?
I lost all motivation to do anything with the server for a while. I couldn’t be bothered to improve it. I didn’t bother doing the server-side things that Starlord was supposed to do. I didn’t advertise it—I just abandoned all the ideas I had to take Salty Zombies to the next level. You could almost say I fell into a depression over it.
I would play 7 Days to Die single-player, alone or with Miss Ocean, to pass the time. Then it dawned on me; I missed playing PvE. I played 7 Days To Die PvP for so long, and our server was a 100% PvP. So I immediately bought a second server from Bluefang, this time on my account and created the Salty Zombies PvE server. Starlord was against the idea, but as per usual, I overruled him.
Having Starlord in Salty Zombies was like employing your wife’s useless brother. He couldn’t do anything right, but you couldn’t fire him either.
Along Came The Baptizer
Baptizer came on board as Moderator at the start of 2020 and learned in a few months what took Starlord a year. The guy is motivated and eager, plus his job allows him access to a computer all day long. Over the coming months, he took over the server and bot side of things, and everything ran smoothly. This was a massive weight off my shoulders. It gave me the time, energy and motivation to do what I do best and market the hell out of Salty Zombies.
We had other admins before, but they were all picked by Starlord. He didn’t even pick them. He just asked, “Who wants to be admin?” in Discord and then gave full admin powers to whoever replied. You think I’m joking, but I’m not. Disaster struck multiple times, but this article is long enough as it is, so let’s move on.
Now anytime we do something stupid or have a “blonde” moment. We call it “Doing a Starlord.”
Things were looking good with the new PvE server and our new Moderator Baptizer. Starlord again tried to take a personal donation, but Baptizer caught him. I then forced Starlord to transfer the PVP server over to my Bluefang account, so he had no reason to ask for money from players. For the most part, Starlord was just a “Token Admin”, acting like he was in charge but had no actual say in any decisions. He knew this deep down, and I could see his insecurity grow.
He started acting up and overemphasising the fact he was an admin. You could see it in his language “Namsaknoi does “MY” Marketing”, “Baptizer runs “MY” servers”, etc. If someone had an issue, he would ping us in the admin channel, we would fix it (because he didn’t know how), and then he would take the credit. “Hey, I fixed that for you. You should be good to go now”. Everything was “Me, My, I, Mine”, Yet he did nothing and contributed nothing.
Let The Streaming Begin.
I am not an asshole. Starlord may be incompetent, slow and untrustworthy. But I am a sentimental guy. He was with me from the beginning, and we had some fun together. I always wanted to stream games on Twitch, and I thought it would be a great addition to the Salty Zombies empire. So to help Starlord with his feelings of inadequacy, I told him to look into it. I said I would do the marketing for him if he streamed via our Facebook and YouTube channels.
I had no idea about “Streaming games” I told him, this is now your project. It’s all up to you. But weeks went by, and no streams, and yes, you guessed it, he couldn’t figure it out. It took me an entire 5 minutes to get the first test stream going. Then we showed him how to do it. After that, I started to feel like Starlord was my mentally challenged son, even though he was a few years older than me. But I was glad I found something he could do that contributed.
So Starlord, who is now perceiving himself as “Salty”, started streaming. I pushed his videos and did the graphic design and marketing etc. He got quite a few views on the Facebook streams, and it was a good start. But it went straight to his head! He, all of a sudden, was acting like he was a celebrity. It was comical, but his ego wasn’t destructive, so I ignored it… Until that day, it was.
I decided to take Salty Zombies to the next level and buy a dedicated server. Unfortunately, good game servers that are managed are super expensive, like $350+ a month! But I had a friend, Victoria, who was a wizard with Linux. She said she could manage it for us, allowing us to buy a better Dedicated server for half the price.
This was a nightmare because Victoria wasn’t aware that 7 Days To Die was an Alpha game and buggy as hell, and EAC had issues with Linux OS servers. We had weeks of problems, and she spent days diagnosing and writing custom scripts. And many members were upset, and rightfully so. It was a stressful situation for everyone, but to keep this short, when something went wrong, we had different ways to fix it. Victoria gave us a few custom commands to type into SSH depending on the issue.
Those who know about servers know SSH is the root core of the server. What you type in there matters a lot. Starlord had access to admin chat and knew the SSH password. Of course, without knowing what he was doing but wanted to appear he was a big boy. He logged into SSH, smashed in some random commands, did not know the correct sequence, and fucked the entire server up.
I know we all make mistakes. It happens, but Starlord was making a lot of them all the time. He never took a moment to think about anything; it was always me cleaning up the mess. This day he wasn’t the only one online, and instead of PMing one of us, “Hey, how do I do this?” he went straight ahead, balls deep, ego first, “I’m Salty, and this is my Salty Zombies attitude” BOOM! Dead server. Victoria was asleep and on holiday for the next six days. I wasn’t sure what she could have done to fix it. I logged into iDrac for a cold boot, but nothing. 6 hours later, Victoria woke up and was able to sort it out a few hours later via her mobile phone. #LifeSaver
The argument between Starlord and me kicked off when I said I was changing the SSH password and only giving it to those who knew how to use it. He woke up and read that in admin chat and went ape shit. He was super angry. Later, I woke up after doing a 16-hour shift cleaning up his mess only to be demanded to join him and Baptizer in coms.
A brief argument erupted, and he demanded I apologise to him for saying I would change the SSH password so he couldn’t have access. It wasn’t my exact words, but yea, it was what I was implying. He said that he would walk if I didn’t apologise to him that very instant.
Starlord – “You apologies to me now, or I am gone!“
Me – “You promise?”
30 seconds of very awkward silence… Starlord exits discord coms.
Baptiser – “That went well”
Don’t get me wrong, Starlord and I had argued before. It’s just natural for two people who are very passionate about something. But this was a little bigger. I felt like the explosion wasn’t so much about his mistake. But the long, drawn-out tension between us. He felt insecure and inferior next to me, and Bap and his consistent fuck ups were purely driven by his want or need to look like the boss. Just like Devin, his ego was his demise, and he was doing more damage than good. I was not too fond of his new streaming persona either. “I’m Salty. This is my Salty Zombies, and these are My admins, My servers, and My moderators. Me, My, I, Mine,” etc. It was very disrespectful to me, all the hard work, time and expertise I had put in, and to Baptizer.
I gave Starlord, or should I say now A Very Salty Starlord, a day to cool down. He didn’t talk to Baptizer or me, but we worked on the server and kept everyone happy. Three days go by, and I message Starlord with an ultimatum. His non-reply was the answer I had wanted for months. I removed his admin privileges on Discord, Facebook and servers. I then removed his existence from the website. Perhaps I was a little salty too. I lost a friend that day, and I believe Starlord would have been a well-liked player in the Salty Zombies community. But only if he remained just a player.
UPDATE… 1 year later
Two weeks after this article was posted in his discord and Facebook group, his server shut down due to inactivity and his girlfriend, whom he was sponging from, left him. He streams occasionally, but only on Twitch now. He earned over $1,000 in Facebook Stars, donations, bits and Twitch subs in his first six weeks of streaming with me marketing him. Plus, one member bought him some nice streaming equipment worth a few hundred USD. But, since his removal, he hasn’t earned even a quarter of that from streaming.
Sometimes I think after all this, if I DM’ed him and asked, “Do you still believe you were the one that made Salty Zombies a success?” I wonder what he would say? Would his ego reply, “Yes, of cause!” or did he, over the 12 months, realise he had nothing to do with it and was carried by me the entire time?