I feel out of my depth.
A week ago, I watched an EVE PvP video for a second time. The owner of the video was talking about one of his fights in it, and when I asked him how he managed to pull it off he directed me to the video, and I realised I had seen it before. Before being my first few months of EVE. Watching it again, I saw so much more to the fights. What had been utter confusion, with the only understanding being that he had killed another ship, became an in-depth mental analysis of his fight, his conditions and ship he had compared to the method of engagement of his enemies, and their ships. I can honestly look back at all the posts about me struggling through New Eden, constantly dying and losing all that ISK (zKillboard has me at 3.75b ISK lost in PvP), and say that without that struggle, I would not be here, and be able to look at EVE videos that had previously confounded me, and almost perfectly understand them, even at 2x – 3x speed.
But I’m still a noob in every other aspect of EVE, as I have found out today. Today I stuck to my word, and hung up the mantle of the solo PvPer for the time being. I will don it again when the time comes. But for now, I delve headfirst into the world of an FC of a budding alliance.
It’s refreshing to (and I’ve mentioned this before I believe) experience another career in EVE. I can safely say that whilst some PvP killmails themselves no longer interest me so much as the details about the actual fight that I can decipher from it, simple chat about how wormhole statics work or what reverse-engineering grabs my curiosity immediately. If I were this involved in any other game I would guarantee that I would the ins and outs of the whole thing, in far fewer months than I have spent playing EVE.
Fleet commanding is one other such career. I had thought that my experience in solo PvP was going to aid me immeasurably in leading my fleets. I was wrong: it could be measured. It is helping me sound supremely confident before I get us whelped. Hard.
Yes, so we went a-roaming…
Two small gangs of frigates head out into Minmatar/Amarr FW space, and pods came back both times. We did secure some kills, so it wasn’t an absolute disaster but… I was disappointed. I felt like I didn’t deserve the thanks I got for running the fleet.
In solo PvP you engage with other players with intent to win…
…But I’m not totally sure how the player interaction works yet in fleets. Some kind of triangle involving me, my fleet, and enemies, I guess. It is definitely not as simple as solo PvP, but I intend to figure it out to the degree that I can make a coherent blog post out of it, at least.
Anyway, I have managed to figure out some goals for my early FC career.
Firstly, to make PvP something that feels natural to the guys in the alliance. Roams seem too rigid to my liking. I want the experience of taking out a group to find kills to feel as comfortable to me as heading out into danger alone. I want members to be able to join or quit when they like. Right now I have a feeling that our members feel obliged to join roams when I put out calls for them. This shouldn’t be the case at all; these are roams, not calls to arms. I want them to be able to comfortably decline should they not feel like it.
Secondly and inversely, I want to make roams FUN. I want to be a social butterfly during the time spent searching for fights. I want to connect with the members, share a few jokes, chat about current and new patches, discuss life, stories, fun and sad times, memories, pick-up lines, and generally have an uproariously good time on roams.
I want our fights to make our pilots’ hands shake, I want their hearts to beat in their chests as they warp into danger. They shouldn’t feel obliged to join my fleets and roams, but I want them to enjoy them to such an extent that it’s their own choice to do so. Because at that point, it ceases to become a rigid activity that everyone has to participate in or be termed uncooperative, and becomes something that can lead to a lot more fun and memorable fights.
And thirdly, develop myself as an FC. From my limited FC work up until now I underestimated the exponential increase in difficulty that would come with one additional person involved in my side of a fight. So much changes; I’ll put out another blog post on it in fact. A cool opportunity (have I mentioned how many cool opportunities I have managed to stumble upon in this blog? New Eden is awesome!) that has arisen from some new contacts we’ve made with the alliance involves an FC that seems to know a LOT more about it; I’m going to check it out and see what I can learn. Videos and articles are only so useful; actually being in a fleet lets you learn so much more about the FC.
Oh, and that freighter I mentioned in yesterday’s post?