Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Fit of Opinion

Ship fitting in Eve is a technical art form. There are the basics aspects of numbers. Damage put out, damage taken in, speed, agility, regeneration, etc. But then one starts to mix and match those things. Do I select this damage or that? One damage may be superior across the board but not against a planned target. Do I select damage absorption over damage output? Do I sacrifice speed for signature or tanking? What are my goals? What are the reasons? And then, will it work out in space as well as it does on paper? Will it work best alone or is this created to support others? All of that is taken, mixed, swirled, and on top of it graced with a dollop of creativity and understanding of game mechanics.

I plant fits in the same realm as religion, politics, and sports. Something that is deeply personal and prone to huge arguments when it becomes a discussion topic. Often, when someone sees a fit posted I hear comments over why that fit is bad. It made me chime up in Jabber to ask someone if they wanted to write a weekly fit post since everyone has an idea of what is good and what is bad.

That turned into a much broader discussion of the personality and personalization of fits as well as giving people other's hard work. There is a difference between ones social group and the public at large. In corp chat and our social chatrooms fits and opinions fly back and forth at the speed of light. It is later, out in the public, that a fit changes a bit.

And, there is personalization. That is one area that I understand. My Jaguar fit suites me quite well but it does not suit many people because they do not fly it as I do. I fly a Jaguar that is all about being tackle. I sacrifice DPS because I do not need it. Speed is my ally and when I am tanking it is to warp off from gate guns or to hopefully receive the sweet taste of shield reps. I am not fit for 1v1 combat and I have been told several times that people have tried to make my fit work and just can't kill things fast enough. "That is not what it is for," I tell them. Yet that is how it is judged and the Jaguar dismissed as sub-optimal.

It is the hard part of sharing fits. I once was trying to put a fit together and muttering about it. Someone asked to see what I had. I asked them if they were going to be snotty about it if they didn't like it. They told me they probably would. It seems that being nasty about fit selections or fitting ignorance is a right to some. As someone who can put together a ship that is not embarrassing but not spectacular, I'm not interested in granting that right. I told them I wasn't going to share the fit. And I didn't. What would be the point? There is a difference between a bad fit and a fit that does not match what a particular pilot likes. There are fits that work well in a doctrine while terribly badly alone. One of our Rupture fits needs tackle support to pin down targets and people have made snarky comments on the killboard over lost fits as if the ship was out on its own.

And there is the question, "Are you giving someone else your hard work with no effort on their hand?" Maybe, but I discovered during the conversation we were having that some people are more bothered by that than others. I, for instance share whatever wanders across my desk. That is my market, my booster making, my exploration activities, whatever I do. I write about it all and some may find it useful. Yet, I've often been told that people do not want to give up their perceived advantages, be they strategic discussions by FCs on how they would handle tactics to people staying mum about manufacturing boosters.  The booster manufacturing part I have seen quite often when I went looking for help in starting. "I'm not going to share trade secrets," is very commonly heard in Eve and I wonder how much of it stands true.

Sharing anything, fits, tactics, etc may be shooting oneself in the foot. But, at some point it becomes a tangle. One is sharing ones work and giving others things that one has discovered but at the same time in the area of fits these things are personally motivated. So, one may give something amazing away that another cannot appreciate or may even disparage due to the difference of habit and interest. Also, it must be noted, that not everyone is interested in helping random strangers that may stumble upon them. It cannot be demanded.

As for the secrecy of fits, one can always look at the loss board. I've known some groups terrible paranoid that their fits will be discovered. Paranoid worries about hard counters. That may be an area where creativity does matter. Some groups seem to fly the same thing all of the time. Every loss is a repetition of the one before. That does allow a group to fit for a particular opponent. But even then, a fit is only a fit. Like clothing, even the most popular style may not work out for the individual. (I'm looking at you men in skinny jeans *shudder*). It will still require an understanding of what it was for and what its limits in actual use are.

I've been raised in a more flexible fitting environment. Shield armor, active, passive, buffer, logi, links, tackle, kiting, brawling it is all covered. I'd love to share it because it is fascinating but I'd need someone else to take up that mantle. I could just post fits and rattle out gibberish but that would be foolish. I may not be able to wrangle someone else into the task but rolling over the various view points was interesting in itself. I'll also not become an EFT warrior. Paper and space are two separate points of existence with this game. The best fits are created by those who understand their connections and can also explain the why of the fit to another. It is an area that I often understand but find myself at a loss to explain. I create enough words as is without making up random ones about fits.

The conclusion? Fits, most definitely, belong with religion, politics, and sports.


  1. Sharing fits itself is pretty useless without the explanations of why that module over that one. When you give your jag fit to other people, and they say it's not working is a case of ritual behavior over principled.

    They fit that way because you said it worked for you, and they never really understood the principles or reasons behind the choices.

    The analogy to religion/politics and sports, and even the snotty attitude some people have to fitting is generally related to this lack of understanding... in essence, "I know I'm right because I got this fit off the top ranked capsuleers in Battleclinic, and therefore you must be wrong."

    Good and bad are really relative. So long as you know how to adapt a fitting for a purpose, that's the important part, and the things that should be discussed.

    (Shameless plug: Ritual vs Principled Behavior discussed in more detail over at my blog.)

  2. ^ this 100%

    A great 'public' example is comparing this:

    to this:

    First author just brainlessly lol'd at an unusual fit, second one actually took the time to investigate the reasons behind it. Turns out the fit wasn't silly at all and worked fine to get the specific job done (finding and escalating sleeper sites, closing down wormholes).

    TL;DR ships&fits are just tools for a job: don't mock other people's fits until you understand what the job is!

  3. Commenting on fits is akin to Monday morning quarterbacking...

  4. I am criticized for my fits daily. The simplest solution is to direct them to your kb and show them your progress lol.

  5. Shameless Industrialist/Trader plug: whatever fit that keeps you undocking and something exploding is a "good" fit.

    Mostly solo PvPer thought: there are "more optimal" fits for a given purpose that are highly dependant on pilot SP and skill (target selection, quickness of decisions, etc) as well as a host of other factors that make a fit "good". I rarely have the luxury of having a bunch of friends coming to help kill whatever I tackle, therefore I must rely on my own ship totally and base my fitting decisions off that.

    Tangential to that, I believe being able to explain the rationale behind those fitting and engagement decisions is a mark of at least having a thought process behind it all, which to me is a sign of some competence.

  6. I see where you come from with "sports and religion", but I'm inclined to put it more in a category with cars and text editors. There are people who *really* care about cars, and there are other people who don't really care, as long as it gets them where they want to go. I'm one of the latter, so I'm not too familiar with this. On the other hand, I'm a programmer, and that's where text editors come in: people are extremely, extremely opinionated about text editors, as it turns out. The classic joke is that discussing whether you use EMACS (a venerable, heavyweight text editor that does everything) or vi (a venerable and arcane text editor that requires much fewer resources than EMACS to run) is a religious matter. It's a practical consideration, and it has to do with personality and previous experience, but, at the end of the day, it's about what works for you to do the job that you need to do.

  7. Hi Sugar, I have a brief, tangential question for you: do you explore on your main character (e.g., Sugar), or do you reserve that gameplay for alternate characters? I'm trying to decide if a PvP-oriented character is worthwhile to explore with as an occasional extra if I'm in low security space already.

    1. Yes and no. I haven't do t exploration since Odyssey. But when I do or Vov drags me along with him Sugar is the DPS. Chella runs logi. I have a fully trained scan alt to find the sites and watch the gates for me

      Most of us have a scan alt while our pirate main takes care of red cross business.

  8. Hi,
    actually I Would love to see your jag fit, I love unortodox fits and my main role is to be the tackle frig in a big WH fight wit capitals (wich works wonders often because you can catch stuff warping away ) and after some somer blink luck I have a bunch of jaguars and wolfs around but I can't make them work ... A rifter is a rifter but the bigger versions .. I son't know .. just not working ..