Something new happened. Siuil asked me to write about a topic. For some reason he thinks my perspective on it would be interesting. The amusing thing is that I've discussed the topic before but as with many things it is buried in the depths of the blog and I get to write about it again!
The topic is: Waiting for one more skill before PvP.
This topic is one that is early to my time in Eve and closeish to my current thoughts and opinions on being a newer player and PvP. When I was still in my carebear corp I randomly made friends in local with another miner. This is yet another reflection of my bad habit of talking in local to other players. I just can't seem to control myself. He was running an Orca and Hulk combo. He was training his Orca pilot into a combat pilot and training to gain elite certificates before he started doing level 4 missions. His goal was to finish some elite gun certificate and then he would start PvPing.
This is the first place that I learned about the endless, "Soon to start," PvP. It is a very common theme. For whatever their reasons people have various barriers to entering PvP. Often times, due to early interactions they feel that they are not good enough or not ready enough to PvP. They see people swirling around in battle cruisers and pirate ships and faction ships with T2 weapons and expensive implants and they peg a certain point in their mind that they will need to reach to become competitive.
The problem with goal points is that they are easily moved. Sometimes it is a particular ship. Then that ship needs to be fitted perfectly. T2 mods, racial cruiser V, T2 drones maxed out and then it's a bit more navigation, maybe sharpshooter V and multitasking III even though the ship only can target 5 things. Or maybe they want to work on their resists and let's just get the rigging skills a bit better to skim off another 10% penalty and that certificate...
And they never get there. They never make the step. They wind up with a beautifully trained character that they do not know what to do with. Then they die to a vicious, three week old pirate who attacked them in a T1 fit rifter because they were pointed at them and told to tackle.
As someone who spends a lot of time fretting I can say that there is no ready. There is just the day you shut up and go and do it. The thing is that doing something is different from doing something successfully Going out and trying to PvP with a group or alone does not have to end in success. It just has to be done. There is a barrier there and most people can see it in front of them. It doesn't look like it's a very high barrier but it tends to grow higher the closer you get to it. The thing is you don't have to hurdle it. You can walk around it.
After Siuil asked me about this topic I went to lunch with a co-worker and we chattered about video games. He is the Plansetside 2 player and is a Something Awful member. I wound up explaining the big fight the other day and discussing how Eve's barrier of entry into PvP is so very, very low due to the lack of simple power scale mechanisms in the game.
One of the things I said was, "You might not be very good or very effective but you can join in and do things."
Many of us grade ourselves on our success at something. In PvP there are many times where to achieve success you will fail. It feels like it goes against the grain but at the same time it makes a lot of sense. We discuss Hero Tackles but they are a very important thing. When someone asks you to go tackle something for them, anyone that enters into a tackle ship understands that they may not be bringing that ship back to dock. It is easy to see the loss of the ship as failure but many times tackle swings the battle in one direction or another.
Ahh, I remember how I get into discussing tackle with him. It was about ISK efficiency He said that he is used to Kill-Death ratios. I explained to him that Kill-Death ratios do not give a proper image of fleet combat in Eve because a ship may die but what it did before it died is what made the battle even happen. If you only judged kill-death you'd not get a broader vision of the fleet composition that needed to occur to get the fight.
And that is why an inexperienced or unskilled player can engage and why the 'just one more skill' mode of thinking is only an excuse. Often people see well known names of players and corporations or alliances that PvP and think that they have to start there. But, as I am fond of saying to those that come and talk to me about PvP, no one forms experienced and capable from the void. It takes time and you have to learn somewhere and start somewhere and that place where you start and learn is not going to be the Land of Badassery. Nothing will save you from learning so you might as well learn sooner rather than later.
What you do in the fleet, who you are, how you help, is not defined by Skill Points or DPS. It is defined by what you learn about being in the fleet and being a part of the group. Things like DPS come later and they come eventually. The world is not defined by them nor is PvP. By the time understanding has started to sink in, suddenly T2 battlecruisers are a thing. It all works together and fretting about needing X and Y and Z will only start you at the top of the alphabet as you think of another A, B or C.
At least, that is how I try to encourage people. I'm not particularly good at what I do. I have good days and I have bad days. I do think that for the most part I'm a pretty solid member of a fleet. I'm going off the fact that I am invited to things that people are not too terribly horrified at my performance on the field.
It's easy to look at the people who have developed intense levels of badassery and use them for self comparisons It's a self defeating situation. While they may be a goal, on that path there are thousands of steps. Those steps all have to be taken one by one. If you start running you will only tire yourself out and perhaps even, unfortunately fall backwards and hurt yourself. It's easier to just start and work up them. The top will still be there when you reach it.
As for the story at the start, let me finish it. He did finish his certificates and undocked his ship to go forth and do level four missions. He promptly died in the first one. He was scramed by a NPC and did not know how to escape the situation. He then died. And after that the rage started. Scrams were bullshit and ridiculous and on and on and on. Because he had waited for skills he had never learned what to do. When he tried PvP it was a disaster. He sailed forth in battleships and died.
I'm a believer in the tackle frigate. I think many in Eve are. But it is not just about the tackle frigate it is about the actions and responses that come from doing something. I've never been an advocate of fit a hundred frigates and go lose them to learn unless the person learns in that fashion. I use the example to say that not everyone has to enter in the same fashion. They just need to take that first step into the surf if they want to eventually swim in the ocean.
As Siuil asked, these are my thoughts.