Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Woes of Communication

[TL;DR: A morning rant]

Communication is about giving information to someone or something else. It seems a simply enough concept. We communicate through words, through writing, through pictures, body language, hand gestures, signs, symbols, and anything else that works for us. We may do it in many, many different ways but its is there to exchange information between people. We start at birth with our parents and improve and expand upon this until we have created languages, imagery, mathematics and complex, theoretical sciences.

I am, therefore, constantly boggled at how terrible people are at it. So, some thoughts and words for poor communicators.

Eve lacks magic and I think sometimes people forget that. When I am in the station I cannot click on your name and 'teleport to group member'. Therefore, the only was I know what you are doing when you scream for help is for you to tell me. "Can I get some help here?" is a good start but it is not also an ending.

Is there a fleet up?
What do you need help with?
What type of help?
PvE? PvP? 
What ship types do you need incoming?
How many people are killing you or are you killing?
Where is this happening at?
Which of your several logged in accounts is it happening to?

I know it is a lot of information but something needs to come accross. When there is nothing but the sweet, serenade of crickets in the darkness, I can't help you. I don't even know what is going on. Or where you are. The pissy, "never mind" because you died doesn't do anything but make me think you somehow thought I am responsible by not helping. I guess I could blindly undock and warp around the system trying to figure out what is going on. I could spam fleet invites everywhere and hope that you accept it. I can also undock in my default ship, a Jaguar and burn in a fire because you took bait and a fleet of twenty is now burning you down.

I know that, in the heat of the moment, communication isn't easy. That is why the simplest thing people can do is have a fleet up and open to at least the corporation (or in our case, our associates as well) so that people can help you.

Or be on coms. I rarely hang out on them and tend to only join for fleet operations. I love the people I fly with. I have a good time on coms with them. I just don't like wearing my headset and I really enjoy silence and not talking when I am at home since those are two things that are denied me at work. Yet, as soon as I hear anything going down or a call for help I'm logging in as I'm undocking so that I can offer up another means of communication.

But it has to be taken. It doesn't have to be perfect. I understand as one is turning into a brief bit of brilliance that information may stutter and slow down. It is good to tell people running to help that you died however, so that they don't land in the trap that you took.

Okay, done ranting.

1 comment:

  1. My old alliance had very strict communication protocol designed to alleviate the very concerns you mention here.
    My current corp doesn't, but years of living in dangerous space with other people means you either get humiliated for doing this poorly, or you learn to do this well and have more in-space success because of your learning.
    A similar problem is when people get in the habit of using "I" or "Me" or "Here" in fleet voice. You'll notice I'm firmly in the habit of referring to myself in the third person, as this clearly gives a name that can be warped to or locked up by logistics ships etc when I am in trouble.
    Effective combat communication is a balance between brevity and clarity. But you can't go wrong with a simple (but without pronouns) Who What Where report.
    "Altaen is engaged with 2 Drakes in Bosena on the Oddel gate, point on Sard Caid."

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