Friday, October 11, 2013

Button Pushed: Ranting Activated

It is one of those nights. I'm logged in but I am not paying attention. I'm not even on coms. I'm writing. The second Pod and Planet Fiction contest was announced and I'm sending my first entry to my proofers. I would like to place again this year. I won't have much time (I think) to write next week creatively. It's friday night and I work in the morning so I might as well spend my few free hours getting this project off the ground.

I'm arguing with people however. I don't mean to. It is distracting. But sometimes my buttons get pushed.

I have a particular, large button related to a very common answer to new pilots who want to get into PvP. They are told to fit up frigates. The number may be 20, 50, or 100 and told to go lose them. At the end they are supposed to know where they went wrong and be on the way to a solid PvP career. Or so it seems.

Today there was an added bonus. Just spam dscan. You can't be pushed into a fight you don't want to take in low sec anyway. Faction Warfare is safe to pick and choose your fights in.

If I didn't have a headache I'd hit my head on my desk.

Over simplification is deceptive. If you were to take your new corp mate, assist them in fitting their ships and explain some basics about that and then send them off to die while telling them to come ask questions so you can explain what happened, that is one thing. Blindly sending them off seems to be the lesser of the choices that could be made.

I'm not stepping into the 'Eve PvP is complex' and 'Eve PvP is simple F1 pushing' arena. Easy or hard Eve PvP like any task has to be learned. People learn in different ways. Some people learn by crashing face first into things. Some learn hands on. Others learn by being taught from other experiences and then applying those experiences. I'm one of the later. I can apply what I have learned to the mistakes that I make and figure out what I am doing wrong. I do not learn when just randomly guessing and hoping for the best. I wind up frustrated.

Frustration is not something that you want in a player trying something new. It just leads them to avoid the situation because of the negative feedback. Eve PvP involves a lot of negative feedback. You want people to accept loss. To accept that they will lose their ships. To accept that winning isn't always about exploding. You have to put some reasonable structure under that.

You can tell someone to dscan. But what does it even mean? First of all it is called directional scan. If they look for dscan they will probably be confused. They either have to find it on a menu or be told/know the shortcut. Is their dscan even set up properly? Or their overview? Do they know what probes are and the differences between combat and core? Are these things that we are going to expect them to learn after they are scanned down and killed? Or ranges? Or that dscan has distances and what those distances convert into AU?

That is why I pull my hair in these situations. It is not that I do not think people cannot learn from failure. Many people can. It is that the over simplification of "fit some ships and lose them" is a terrible mechanic to introduce people to a fun yet stressful part of the game. One doesn't have to hand hold but before they are told to fit a hundred ships and lose them make sure they have some type of reference material or resource to consult if you don't want to hang around and do the hand holding.

Anyway, my icie is done. Work comes in six or so hours so I'm out for the night. Rant off.

5 comments:

  1. This is the purpose of my Strategikon posts. I wasted a great deal of time before, following that advice of flying around and losing ships until victory.

    I write the Strategikon articles to make me think about what I'm flying, and how I'm going to use it. The results are pretty good, even if my kill board isn't bursting at the seams with mails.

    And I can also link people to them, if they're interested in how I shot down their Firetail with an Executioner.

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  2. Theoretical knowledge never equals practical experience.

    The point of "take 50 T1 ships and engage everything" is to gain that precious practical experience.

    I could sit down and talk to a complete newbie for hours about Eve solo/small gang PvP but they're never going to understand and perfectly apply it the first time around (nevermind dealing with the inevitable shakes).

    It's supposed to be taken in stride with the multitude of resources available a google search away (and quite frankly I have a very low tolerance for people who can't be arsed to check the official wiki that a lot of people have spent a lot of time compiling and updating, just piss all over their efforts by ignoring it).

    Being told Void S has xxx tracking in an Incursus means nothing to the newbie until he tries it out and learns why it's difficult to apply that awesome EFT DPS to another frigate).

    For me, using the d-scan effectly (before the tracking option) took a mandatory training session that was taught by the first eve corp I joined, that no amount of explaining was going to do any good until I got out in space and applied it.

    Long and short of it: Theoretical knowledge can not and will not ever equal practical experience, that's the whole point of going out and shooting stuff in cheap ships.

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    Replies
    1. I do not believe that I suggested that it can stand on its own.

      However, when people are handing out their inspirational advice they skip that part. They say, "Go lose 50 ships and you will learn" end quote. I find a lot of frustrated people who don't understand what is going on because they are not learning a anything and don't understand why.

      Were they even told of things like EFT? Are these out of game tools created by players and not the game company so normal to use in every other MMO and FPS game out there that it should be assumed that they should know to go find it, download it, install it, and use it to make decisions off of?

      It is beyond easy to miss step one with people and it sets them up for a poor time.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps it should be rephrased to "go lose 50 ships to get the questions that you need to find the answers to".

      Delete
  3. I agree with you 100%, Sugar.

    I'm a new player to Eve, just started a month and a half ago. Now, I've played tons of game, so getting into Eve has not been that hard. But my PvP experience has been a lot of blowing up, at least in any fight where I wasn't with allies (I joined in faction warfare).

    To see if I could improve, I turned to the Internets. One early article I found was about on The Mittani, about a frigate fit called "The Derptron" which was supposedly effective and cost a few million at most. Great! I loaded EFT to copy the fit so I could reference it later.

    Except, one small problem...my skills aren't good enough to fly the fit. The author of the Derptron article had calculated the fit based on "all level V" skills, which I of course don't have. This is something I run into over and over - there are tons of great fits I can't fly yet.

    Experienced players just don't seem to understand what the new player experience is like. Personally I'm fine with that, but it does lead to a lot of unhelpful advice.

    ReplyDelete