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Date Night

Sometimes you get left at home and that is why part of the corporation budget goes to baby sitters.

I like how bitter that sounds.  In fact my opinion on being left at home is not bitter.  It once was bitter in that way that lack of understanding can cause.  Lately, I have come to understand the value of a solid fleet comp without a bunch of randomness to it.  Not that most of the fleet comps don’t pick up something random because people bring the weirdest things at times.

For younger (read: Newer) players; sometimes you get left at home.  I have been playing for just over a year and am sitting at 21 million skill points.  I am very well skilled at some things (Command Ships V) and not so well at other things (no large guns).  Until recently this has not affected me in the least bit.  However, times are changing and new and interesting things are happening.  New and interesting things that require skills and abilities I do not possess.

Content is good.  I've been pushing for corporation content for months and everyone has picked up the ball and started to run with it.  The side effect is that things that are planned and scheduled are planned and scheduled.  As inclusive as I try to keep my Eve world there are just some things that you cannot do until you have taken the time to do it.

For me, having opted out of battleships and T2 large guns until this point, I sometimes cannot participate in specialty fleets.  Specialty fleets are when a fleet composition has been called for and roles are being filled.  My Jaguar, as much as it pains me to admit it, is not going to be viable in a sniper fleet vs sniper fleet.  Now, I could attempt to compensate and say that I am there to fight off tackle that they may bring.  However, in reality, they will alpha me off the field and the entire fleet comp is about speed and ability.  I’m not helping.

This is a good time for scouting.  Yet, scouting for more advanced fleets is a skill all of its own.  Normally, someone experienced and/or part of the fleet comp is going to have an alt character doing the scouting.  As much as I want to involve new players the chances are high that they do not know what they are doing or relaying well and succinctly enough to go out and scout important pieces for the fleet.  With time that skill can be gained but it is still about time.

It is not something to be bitter about.  It is not something to feel inadequate about.  If a group is willing to include you and accept that you will not be able to join in every single activity appreciate that.  Minimum skill point requirements make sense for the corporation or alliance but suck for the player waiting to reach them.
It is easy to feel inadequate.  To feel that one is not contributing.  But there are more ways to contribute then to bring guns to the field.  I often run last minute logistics for major operations.  Inevitably, people need stuff.  Ammo, modules, ships.  Sometimes I’m running two or three accounts running back and forth from corporation hangers to staging systems to trade hubs to make sure that when the fleet undocks someone doesn't go, “I don’t have ammo” or “Not enough fuel in the dreadnought.”

Trying to integrate new characters has taught me a lot.  I’ve also used the knowledge I’ve gained from my own integration into my corporation and more skill intensive fleet operations. The corporation is an ever malleable puzzle.  Each new member is a piece to try to fit. Due to my corporations nature and the environments nature self sufficient, self motivated people are what I want.  I’m sure it is what everyone wants.

I am more than sure, I know.  I was listening to a recruitment conversation in another corporation as they are working on building their numbers.  It is the decision between newer players and older players.  Older players come with skill points and skill points make it easier.  New players come as a blank slate.  They often turn out excellently but it takes a lot of time and energy to raise them.  Everyone wants active, older players in their lives.

Being the talker for our recruitment I understand that a bit more.  Trying to learn how to help others as I was helped has shown me why people have skill point requirements   But until that is forced upon me as a decision, I'm okay with being inclusive and not chasing off brand new players.  Many of them don't know what they want and quickly grow bored when not given a piracy tag immediately   However, the ones that stay are often quite worth the time.

I'm sure it is a mixture of my own beginnings as well as my personality that causes me to desire the ability to hand others what I was given.  At least, to give them a try.  I try not to cringe when the topic moves into skill points and minimums.  I think people forget how few I have.  It is not an attempt to single me out but I don't think its unreasonable to say that many people feel that invisible poke when a topic is not about them but they fit into it.  I often bite my tongue because I want to say, "I'm worth it!  See how well I turned out?  Don't ignore newer players.  We can be amazing.  Give us a chance."

I don't, however. I just attempt to prove myself.  I don't know who I'm proving things to most of the time anymore.  I suspect myself.  I've been given those chances that I wanted and been included.  I've even proven useful.  DP stealing my Stiletto and switching me to his Loki was a wonderful moment for me.  One, because my Stiletto was useful and I have no problem with the fact that he flew it better then I did/could.  For two, because he trusted me with his shiny thing.  He only checked in once when I was not on grid and that was because I was docking to contract it back to him and pick up a second Stiletto.

It may sound odd that I council the new player to patience and understanding.  Sure, I'd love for vets to remember being new.  However, I think that new players can carve themselves a spot into a vet corp by showing a calm, understanding attitude and a willingness to participate when and where they can.  The enthusiasm they bring invigorates the vets.  And for the ones that are just bitter, nothing can help them but themselves. If they can only find joy and pleasure in people who are equally bitter well...

"Miserable being must find more miserable being. Then is happy".

Back at home I'm building forts out of couch cushions and enjoying myself.


  1. Ceptors. Nobody (sane) ever turns down a good ceptor pilot.
    Even if you can't tackle anything for some reason a mobile pounce/tactical is always useful, just don't expect to get on many mails :)

    1. ^^ this. I spent most of my time in -A- fleets flying a Ranis at 200k off the main fleet, providing a mobile ping point. No mails were had, but to me it was more fun than "press F1, receive killmail".

  2. I understand the idea behind fleet composition. I really do. I've been in RL situations like this (NATO) and it can be a huge pain when forces with completely different capabilities (or even ones with comparable but different capabilities) mix and match. That's why the main NATO power started pushing hard for standardization back in the 80s.

    In EvE, though, while the fleet comp/doctrine standards do make sense, they also have a side effect of sidelining people for weeks or months as they struggle to train for ever-changing doctrines. Most fleet comps I've come across are almost invariably shiny (i.e. t2 ships or T1 with all T2 mods) or very, very specific (i.e. shield hurricanes instead of just shield BC, etc).

    It does make it easier on the FC, as he doesn't have to have notes stating what each pilot can do. But in some corps/alliances, it also has the side-effect of shunting newer players (or even older ones that have different ships/skills) aside as the "fly exactly what we wan't or don't undock" command gets issued. Also realize that not everyone who can't fly [doctrine ship inserted here] can fly an interceptor/whatever.

    What's wrong with deigning to allow someone to come out with the ship that best fits the general doctrine? Drake fleet but you only have a ferox? Bring it along, I say. Yes, it might mean the ferox pilot will have to use his own initiative during the battle (getting to optimal, etc), but so what? Why can't we have a culture where flying the doctrine ships (whatever they might be) is very strongly encouraged, but alongside the axiom of "never turn down a gun"?

    I'd rather have a fleet of 40 where 20 were flying doctrine, than a fleet of just 20 flying doctrine. I've been on fleets where a large number of folks that showed up couldn't fly doctrine ships and so instead came in tackle. And were never used. One fleet in particular had over 30 frigate pilots - mostly industrialists who responded to the Call to Arms as they should have done, by grabbing a gun and mustering on the field even though, especially though, they didn't have the correct gun - and the FC couldn't be bothered to use them for anything other than bounces. And that experience was common.

    Turn too many people down for fleets because or a lack of willingness to use all available resources (and lets be honest, that's what this really is), and sooner or later you'll look around and wonder why your group is stagnating (or even shrinking).

    1. It depends on. What the fleet is doing. I may not have been clear that if it was Erryday I'd be unhappy. Yet I also see why people do it anyway. Its not how I want to run things hence my attempts to bring in people vs skill points.

      I am learning that many people have particular fleet comps in mind and they can be amazingly effective. On the flip side they need people who are willing to create in various ways. It is what unhinged me to start trying to take new players out and show them around. Someone has to make sure that prebranded fleets are not everything. I realized I needed to stop looking for someone else to do it. Hence staying and making my own forts.

      I think that both are supportable depending on the group. Successful ops are also a key against stagnation and social collapse.

      I've really been thinking on the gulf between newbies and vets of late. Both sides have to give somewhere otherwise everyone just feels stomped on.

    2. Heretic has a point, and I get the point he's trying to make, but I think the NATO thing was more a red herring than anything.

      To put it in Army terms: do you run a column of Armor down the tight streets in Fallujah, especially without infantry support? Do you send in infantry to an open land engagement without armor or artillery support?
      Sadly, most of these "doctrines" are just that. And just like those scenarios, they're great if you can play to their strengths, they will pwn away. As soon as the enemy hits a weakness with them, though, game over.

      "Bananaboat" -- nano beam Oracles, is great, provided you can pull range and stay there. Soon as someone manages to land in the middle of your fleet, you're fucked. Just sorta how it is. Mukk learned that the hard way a couple times.

      I'd really rather fly with a smaller group where everybody has their own strengths, whether in-your-face with blaster-Raxes or Vexors, or plinking at forever with a Railrox, if you have both elements present, and people with the ability to perform their element accordingly (and realize when their element is at a disadvantage and gtfo), you should be able to beat pretty much any "doctrinal" comp, by always having forces available that play to its weakness.


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