Friday, November 22, 2013

Becoming Both Gear and Cog

I crouch upon a fork in the road and two paths lay before me.
One is wide and clean and straight with all the things I know.
The other vanishes into the unknown.
Both roads hold my attention. 
One is safe and sane. 
The unknown path is now swept in rain.
At my feet are equal choices. 
Nether is right. Nether is wrong.
And in my soul there are choices. Dozens upon hundreds. 


I am not a spontaneous person. I will label myself boring due to my habits of planning and decision making. Spontaneity does not distress me. It does not interest me. When ideas hit I often sit on them. The longer they simmer the more interested in them I am. When I found myself rolling something around in my mind for around a week I started to become concerned. I didn't like the idea but it was there. A few times I debated writing about it, but each time I stopped. I thought about it some more and finally, I found myself voicing it to my boys. I'd blush - if I could - because I feel like an egotistical fool for the thoughts.

I need to move forward to the point where I can FC my own Jaguar fleet. It seems to be a reasonable enough goal and it ties into my general future in Eve nicely. I want to improve my technical knowledge of the game. I won't spew numbers. I doubt I'll ever be an EFT warrior. I remember once when I was told that I needed to spend hours and hours in EFT learning all the ships and fittings to become a competent PvPer. I decided I'd be a shitty one instead because that was incredibly uninteresting to me. I play by feel for the most part and instead of rejecting that I'll embrace it and add a bit more coherence to the song.

There was a time, I was ashamed that I didn't want to spend hours and hours working on fits. I still don't. I've developed a basic ability to put together a reasonable fit but I have no interest in sitting for hours and hours in the fitting screens out of game. I still find I have to excise a lot of opinions from my early days that are just that, opinions from others about how the game should be played and seen. I've felt that I needed to fly solo, have a solo killboard, fly certain types of ships, scout well, run links, min/max as I eat and breath and basically be everyone that I see around me before I could do anything else. While its been a good goal I've come across roads in the path that seem insurmountable. At the same time, I've developed a base line of competency in the areas. I find that I start to question decisions, debate alternative strategies and in general not always blindly agree. I sometimes want to do things different or try another approach. I realized that I started thinking.

But, I've never felt that I was good enough for very much. I've always had a confidence problem about my playing. Not that I cannot succeed in what I do but that it has never seemed to be good enough. Someone is always ready to beat down your accomplishments with a sneer while making sure to thoroughly stamp it out. I'm not the type of person that just assumes that I am amazing, even when I say that I am. Mixed with the respect I have for fleet commanders I simply felt that it wasn't something I would be good enough to do.

Fleet Command is a lot of responsibility. I've watched some people enter the game and run, from day one, towards fleet command. With almost no knowledge of the game I've seen them migrate to groups where their sheer personality would give them the presence to take control of fleets. They would take them out and everyone would die in a fire. They'd do it again, leaving a wake of shattered, confused, unhappy people behind them and they did not care. They were going to lead fleets and the people who flew under them were pieces of a game they were playing, not individuals.

I never wanted to be like that. If others were going to put their game time into my hands I want to treat it like the people I fly under treat me. I want to be the fleet commanders I fly under but to me, they are so high on a pedestal of my own placement, it only made sense that it wasn't a place for me.

But why, when I made my Jaguar fleet this last time, did almost every person ask me if I was FCing the fleet?

That made me settle down and mull the subject.

The first question was, did I want to lead my own fleet? The true answer was yes. I just don't know how.

The second was, do I think I can lead my own fleet? The true answer was yes, I just need to learn how to express what I see and want to do to other people.

The third question was, would anyone want me to be a FC?" The true answer was yes. I might not believe it on a personal level but I had a stack of people who flew with me every day and have no qualms laughing and saying no, willing for reasons I did not understand, to put their time in my hands. Looking through other peoples eyes is important in an equation such as this. Is it my own ego motivating me or is there a reason for this path my thoughts have started to climb?

The entire topic, as a whole, is intimidating. Yet, when I seperate it into its individual pieces it becomes reasonable. I am not asking to take our capital fleet out for a spin. I'm attempting to work on the area I am more comfortable at and flesh it out even more. I have been playing for two years even if it often feels as if it has been two months. At the same time, across the board, I hope to improve basic skills such as scouting, baiting and target calling. One of 7-2's greatest strengths is that taking down the FC does not behead the dragon. We are more of a hydra and someone else takes charge and starts calling targets. Because the fleet flies on its own the individual management of the pilots is not something killing the FC can shatter. But, I feel as if target calling is something I should be able to do and comfortably. I've found myself wanting to speak up sometimes, but I don't because of embarrassment.

A lot of my embarrassment centers around the fact that I believe I am a subpar player and everyone else around me is vastly better at everything at any given time. I have this concept trapped in my mind that I will die, stupidly, whenever I try to be aggressive at things. I don't mind dying. I mind dying stupidly while being a fool. The thought of being at the head of the PvP machine that is 7-2 is disturbing. Should I? Can I? Who am I to think this? While a magical confidence may never be gained where I think I am amazing, I'd like to put the time and energy into being better. Even if my idea crashes and burns and it turns out that I am the most terrible of FCs, I believe I can become a solid target caller.

It is not a fast project. It will take some time. But, I realize that I have to follow my own personal philosophy. I have to put my money where my mouth is. I hate that I swarm the FCs when they log on. I need to at least try to do what I want other people to do for me. It is about fair play and giving back. And instead of setting my sites on the huge, grand vision I should look a bit lower to what is reasonable and currently obtainable.

Some would tell me to just go and lose ships, lol, have fun, its great. I'll say no to that. Like anything that I do, I need a game plan. There is no game plan in just go and lose fleets until you get a clue. If I had no other resources, perhaps. Instead, I have talented people who love me enough to take my hand and teach me to walk. It seems unreasonable to not accept those resources.

It is a serious thing to me. Thus, a serious post. When one takes up command of the fleet they are taking everyones time, energy, fun, and trust with them. The ships that will die are ships someone earned. The roam that is finished is time people spent doing your bidding. The targets gained and the targets lost are all decisions that you make. Instead of seeing it as a heady soup of power and control I see it as a great responsibility handed to me by people who trust me. I can be told, "wee, go lose a hundred spaceships its fun!" but those are just words, not fact from my side of the screen. To approach a project seriously is for me to enjoy that project. I'm not sure how to explain that to all of those who ask me to pitch reason and sense out of the window and dive in with no thought. I'm not that person.

At the very worst I will discover that it is not for me. I'll gain basic competency to become a head of the hydra and I may be shot at a bit more. I will be able to give more back to those thsy improve my day to day game. At the best I can run things the way I want to run things and see if anyone wants to come along. Instead of bitching, disliking, and avoiding I can instead step up and do what I want to be done. It is an irritating part of my personal value system. The belief that one should go and do something about something if one wants that thing accomplished.

Even in a game.

7 comments:

  1. In this blog post: wisdom. Also, a healthy undervaluing of oneself. Prepare to be positively surprised.

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  2. "I need to at least try to do what I want other people to do for me. It is about fair play and giving back."

    Just a side note: While I agree, I don't think it needs to be the same way. It is completely okay to give back your way (like doing markets instead of FCing).

    That said, good luck with your new goals!

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    1. I think, on this, that to try and find that it is not a thing for me is an okay approach. I am not making this leap because I feel that I have to. I am making it because I feel that I may be able to do this.

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  3. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
    -- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Ch. 7, Section 3 (1992)P. 190.

    Why mess with EFT or PYFA all the time when people have done it for you? Why waste time trying to reinvent the wheel when you can see one in action? Failheap challenge has all the dirt on PvP fitting pretty much raised to an artistic science. I doubt there is much that has escaped their collective eyes or gun sights. People tend to fly certain classes of ships in PvP, you can likely read up on most of the PvP fits pretty quick, not many people go with "individual snowflakes" because in Eve, they typically under perform or are hugely specialized. You can do what you set your mind too and I imagine that your corp will be fine losing jaguars and T1 cruisers and so on with you at the helm. Not all FCs are solo masters and most have lost lots of fleets. Partner with a few and see if they will lend a guiding hand. In the end, just do it and learn from your mistakes. I am not some great FC maybe one day when I change jobs I will have the opening to do more in Eve.

    Enjoy your blog and the more human approach you take to it.

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    1. For many doing brings understanding faster than anything else. It has never been that way for me. I do need to pay a bit more attention than I currently do but it is not something that I believe I will ever be in love with when it comes to fittings. I have no shame about taking from others who are talented in the art of ship fits but I do need to make sure I understand why things work as they do. I dislike wallowing in ignorance, even acceptable ignorance.

      In general, I have only what is around me to compare myself to. If everyone around me is amazing and multifaceted in the art of pewpew, it is only natural to see that as the baseline normal and to lament my lack in those areas. To me, my boys shine and I am but a shadow.

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  4. use an alt to fc t1 frigates.

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  5. Every great solo/small gang pvper learns to fc. It is part of what we do. The trick is setting a fleet comp you know how to use. Beyond that with 2 years of experience you will find that target calling becomes second nature. I prefer skirmish cruisers with frig tackle/anti tackle. Small fleet fcing 10-20 is pretty easy its the big fleets where u need to call 3•4 primarys where shit gets crazy

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