Friday, February 15, 2013

Degrees of Interactive Satasfaction

Are unpleasant fleet commanders a take it, leave it, or deal with it situation?  Few enough people step up to run fleets.  Even fewer are good at it. There are times that fleet commanders are a take it or leave it situation due to the circumstances.  What is, if there is, the point when the fact that they have stepped up to FC excuses behavior?

I'm curious.  If I find a FC to be unpleasant to listen to I have no interest in joining fleets.  I am not asking anyone to pat me on the head every time I do my job. I do wish for a situation where my FC does not start to rant and rave when something goes poorly.  Even not directed at me, I don't enjoy the situation.  It may be  a of having good, calm even tempered fleet commanders.  I may be spoilt.

I find that some people agree with me.  Some agree that if the FC is in the right and the fleet member in the wrong then they will defend the FC even if the FCs behavior is ridiculous (to me).  Other's do not care.  Their only interest is in the probable success of the fleet.  This success depended on the Fleet Commander and an effective Fleet Commander is the most important factor.  Attitude and behavior are secondary factors even if they are outrageous.

I recently experienced the above scenario.   I'd never had the person as a Fleet Commander before.  They are not one of the regular FCs.  Things did not go as planned, the target got away, and I, on my way to the fleet to join up and go on whatever adventures turned around, docked up and left the fleet.  The later fall out expressed three opinions and in those three opinions I could understand why each opinion was presented the way it was.

It was eye opening for me.  I'd often wondered why people stayed with abusive fleet commanders.  Some of it is the lack of wanting to lead.  I know that I'm a 'not it' person when it comes to fleets.  If someone forced me to be the FC I'd reject it.  I'm not the easiest person to force to do anything.  I'm very comfortable with saying and meaning, "No." I love fleets but I have a full plate of things to do in Eve and it is very easy for me to redirect my energy to a more pleasurable task then listening to someone rant.

But, I've been puzzled about why anyone would stay in that situation.  Again, I discovered that I'm not everyone.  I also focus a lot on the interpersonal communication between players.  Those glossimer strands created by words and actions that link one player to another.  They can elicit the deepest wells of passion and erupt volcanic rages.  It is the internet and it is a game but people are always people and dealing with them means that it is people dealing with people.

I play video games because I enjoy them.  I don't consider it an escape from reality because reality is still right there.  I make dinner, fold laundry, feed the dogs and go to work in the mornings.  I sip my hot tea and put on a sweater when it is cold.  Reality is here and it is tangible at every moment.  I cannot escape it but I do indulge my free time in a virtual occupation.  It is the same way that I indulge myself in books.

However, that virtual occupation is full of people and it is full of people that I work with in various ways and for various reasons.  Eve is well known for its diplomacy.  A staggeringly complex network of agreements connect groups together.  I experience that myself within my pirate corporation within a pirate society in the low sec area that we live in.  Depending on circumstance and reason the group will go from unaffiliated social groups in constant friction to an integrated and focused mass.  Many of us share communications channels and we bounce in and out of coms and fleet with each other.  One moment together and a cohesive group with a goal and the next in battle with each other again.

All of it works because of the social interactions that we have with each other.  Let one person become a jerk and they will quickly find themselves ostracized from the greater community.  No one has to get along with anyone else.  Some people are focused on having no allies.  But there are reasons for people to work together and they do.

Being the social happy butterfly that I am I like this.  I enjoy slipping between groups and having productive conversations that do not discuss automatically start with information and diagrams on reproduction and the various levels of psychological aggression someone may or may not have when confronted with a situation.  I've been told before that not debating a topic or responding to an argument is a sign that I do not have an adequate response on the subject.  I will counter that I simply do not want to delve into argument and debate when I could instead be puttering around enjoying myself.  For me, arguing for the sake of arguing is not a pleasure or a pass time that I wish to bring into my free time.  In Eve, unlike at work, I can walk away from such situations. I indulge myself and do.

11 comments:

  1. There is one positive quality of "unpleasant" fleet commanders: they force bad players to improve or leave. A fleet commander who doesn't comment on bad performance will soon have a fleet full of bad performers.

    You might remember that I was in TEST, flying in HoneyBadger Coalition fleets. Pandemic Legion fleet commanders had the tendency of yelling on failers. TEST fleet commanders often had a "nevermind let's have fun bro" attitude. Guess which fleet commanders had the tendency of losing fleets to the last man and who won strategic timers against then-powerful adversaries?

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    1. One of my favorite FCs never yells. He is so good and so respected that a disappointed tone sends people into fits of apologies. People want to please him and the fleets are fantastic enviorments because of that.

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    2. Yeah, and now you have a "new" PL FC who doesn't yell, but still has a bitchin record against much larger and "powerful" opponents -- formerly including PL, HBC, and the CFC: MukkBarovian

      Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum, Makalu, whose raeges are the subject of legend, not to mention poetry, songs, and badpoasting parodying him. I never derped on a Maka fleet sufficiently to rate one of his raeges personally, but just the constant yelling, cussing people out, etc, was NOT fun, and I opted out of every fleet or CTA he led after flying with him a couple times.

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    3. The main PL FC, Shadoo, pretty much never yells. The only time I remember him being really pissed off he just didn't speak for several minutes.

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  2. Gevlon seems to miss one important point. EvE is not real. I was an NCO leading troops in the field. I was not "touchy-feely", but neither was I an asshat. I have served under commanders who were the classic example of EvE abusive FCs and there's one big difference between EvE and RL. EvE is a game and RL is not. I didn't have a choice IRL. For the record, abusive commanders rarely are able to sustain any sort of accomplishment from their troops as resentment sets in and the troops start performing at the lowest level possible.

    On the other hand, being a "tough but fair" commander is entirely appropriate and is also entirely different from the type of FC I believe Sugar is describing. In EvE, I have flown with the abusive FC, the touchy-feely type, and the tough-but-fair. Since this is a game, and since I'm doing this to have fun and to not get treated like I'm at my RL job, I bail on abusive FCs and refuse to fly with them, regardless of the cost, be it a CTA to defend a CSAA or even the station where all my stuff is.

    Pointing out where people have made mistakes is fine and needed. humiliating them while doing so is not.

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    1. ^^ this, this, and this some more. +1 from a rl Fire Captain as well. :-)

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  3. I'm with Heretic here - an FC can be tough and demanding, without being abusive. It's the difference between "Battle Comms, dammit!" and "Shut up you retards, shut up shut up shut up! Brainless idiots!"

    Actually this applies to any kind of manager.

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  4. I am somewhat puzzled about your last paragraph. Your are a respected blogger and apparently you enjoy to express your opinions, discuss and write on various topics ranging from battlereports to game design.

    So considering that you like to present your point of view one can only suppose that you will be willing to discuss the content of your post/suggestions especially if that discussion is conduct in a polite way. Refusing debates in that case is really frustrating for your interlocutor.

    On another topic, i have only quitted a fleet once or twice due to a bad FC. The most frustrating case, to me, is clearly an FC that makes bad decisions. Even if i will probably never step up to be an FC myself i still expect FCs to have some level of competence. I have never encountered abusive FCs.

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    1. I wrote "For me, arguing for the sake of arguing is not a pleasure or a pass time that I wish to bring into my free time. " That is the crux of the paragraph.

      Arguments and debating are not the same thing. An argument does not have to be nasty or mean but it often requires a lot of energy and a lot of mental dancing around to defend the point and attack the oppositions point. Lots of people find that fun. Spirited debates and spirited arguments and such. Once I did but now I prefer to mull over a topic and examine it from many sides to see where all of its pieces go.

      Too often for my taste the argument just becomes two people verbally or in writing sparing with each other for the pleasure of the argument or just because they are entrenched in their opinion and unwilling to back down even if they have been proven wrong. I don't find pleasure in such a thing. I'm happy to defend points and express why I hold the beliefs that I do about various topics. I like to listen to other peoples view points and opinions.

      Our discussion in chat the other night was that we are not
      seeing the same definitions of argument and debate and what it means to each side that is experiencing it. I attempt, here, on the blog to write complete thoughts with the reasons I came to that thought and what that thought means to me. I also attempt to freely express my lack of understanding, my confusion, or my ignorance. I have my soapboxes that I stand upon and I am more than willing to fight from those soapboxes. But every opinion or thought I have is not something that I feel the need to fight about. And from our discussion and seeing you argue in the past your debates move into the arena of 'spirited discussion'. As I said in chat, I do not think that we are defining these things in the same way.

      This is why I will never get into game politics. I accept that I will never be a blogger full of spark and fire that ignites the readers passions. It is not who I am.

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  5. Armor HAC's anyone ?

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  6. In the larger null alliances it's pretty much a given that there will be some FCs people won't fly with. There's a small minority of Goons for instance who will never fly with DBRB.

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