After action reports, known as AAR or battle reports are fascinating things. When done properly they are a look into the who, what, when, why, and how of a fleet. Depending on their creator they may cover greater subject matter and minor details that allow one to look into what happened in a fleet. Was the Stiletto pilot drunk? Did the FC keep disconnecting? Did a logi lose track of the fleet three jumps back watching youtube?
While minor, these details do affect a fleet’s outcome. When presented in the after action report they may be declared excuses by some or seen as the events of the situation by others. Some people will always have excuses lined up. Something always happens when things go poorly and nothing ever goes wrong when things go well.
Honesty is not hard. The problem is that it may not be appealing. Admitting mistakes is unpleasant. Admitting defeat is worse. Similar to those moments when the wrong fit is on a ship and it is a bit to late when the realization is that an afterburner is on instead of a microwarpdrive or even more embarrassing the wrong sized propulsion module.
There is a balance between the demanded goals of the fleet and the accepted humanity of the participants. One can only be but so hard on one’s membership. They will leave without it. Yet, quality must be demanded by the leadership. A good leader leads and reasonable demands have to be made. But, in a video game the participants can just get up and walk away if they dislike the situation. Charismatic fleet commanders and competent fleet commanders are worth their weight in gold.
The after action reports can show these things. They are a door into a place where one cannot go. Of course, like anything, they can be tools of propaganda and often are. Eve players do enjoy their meta games.
For the Syndicate deployment some of my corporation members have begun to post in the Fail-Heap Challenge Forums, Syndicate discussion. It seems that the locals keep a running conversation of what they are up to out there with battle reports and chest beating. This morning, I skimmed the fights from last night and found someone commenting on drone assist in regards to our Ishtar fleet.
I’m not stepping into the drone assist debate. For anyone unfamiliar with the mechanic, the drones can be assigned to another fleet member. They can assist him with DPS or they will guard him. This allows one member to effectively control the drones of the entire fleet. It is a current area of great contention as some creative and game breaking things are done with it.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when someone would call the fleets success a product of drone assist being over powered. I know what a hot bed that is. I was surprised because we do not drone assist in most fights. The last time I did a drone assist was back when drones still uncloaked ships. The tactic was to assign it to the tackle ship and they burn towards the potential target to decloak them with their huge cloud of drones.
But, I’m not told to assign my DPS drones to the FC in my PvP gangs. I’ve been told to do so in Incursion fleets. However, when PvPing, my fleet commander expects us to manage ourselves. It is, in fact, one of the hardest things to learn to do. Independency must be integrated with focused orders. The balance has been very hard for me to find although of late I’ve become comfortable enough with myself to focus on it. The most mindless thing we do is anchor on the fleet commander for particular setups and even then you are expected to leave when you need to leave and move if you need to move. This is one of the reasons we leave so many drones on the field. I don’t think any of us would be particularly fond of that and while we worship our FCs while placing sacrifices upon their divine fleets, there are limits.
Of course, I will just explain to this the forum and it will be all clear!
Hahaha. Let me wipe the tears of hilarity from my eyes. I put my fingers down and backed away from the keyboard. It is similar to reddit. Walking into a discussion and defending a topic never quite works as one wishes. It often unleashes the full force of forum evil upon the poster to drown in a never ending wave of comments designed to one up the last. The eve forums, /r/eve, other forums… I’m fascinated by those who have the moral fortitude to enter upon those battlefields. But it seems that the web of lies and chest beating have becomes their own detriment. I love clear communication and I find myself frustrated at the noise that is tossed up to block it.
Will it change? Probably not. Will I complain? Sure. Will I be believed? I stopped worrying about that a long time ago. Someone will follow my flow, my words, and make their decision that everything I write is a manipulative troll with some great, ulterior motive or they will accept my words for what they are. Maybe I can provide them paranoid content through honesty.