Thursday, March 6, 2014

Eve Online: Fleet Etiquette and Protocol

Every fleet out there operates with different expectations, rules, and standard operating procedures but there are some things that have become standard among most fleets. I've flown with countless number of fleets and seen hundreds of good and bad habits pop up on a regular basis. I've been playing Eve for one year now and I'd like to think that even though my skillpoints aren't as high as many people in Eve, I don't tend to make the same mistake more than once unless I completely derp the moment (which happens to everyone from time to time)

I would consider the alliance that I belong to be fairly small in comparison to other alliances but 99% of our members are experienced and exhibit strong fleet attributes. Lately though, we've been combining forces with another alliance out there that pretty much has an open door policy on recruitment which in turn forces us to have to fleet up with extremely new toons that either have never been in a fleet, or don't know standard etiquette.  Not knowing proper etiquette in a fleet with not only get you and your fleet members killed, but inevitably you will eventually become the target of the fleet's anger and the FC's hate, something you don't want.

In an effort to try and alleviate some of the frustration out there, I  thought I'd take the time to write up some "Do's and Don'ts" for you to think about when joining a fleet. Please feel free to comment and add your Do's and Don'ts as well :)


  • When your FC says ALIGN to an object like a gate or station, DO just ALIGN yourself, but DO NOT warp or do anything else other than ALIGN to the destination. If 10 minutes go by and your FC still hasn't told you to do anything, you should still be aligned and nothing else. 
  • If your FC says "Warp To _____" click "Warp To", DO NOT click "Jump". This is a HUGE no-no, and probably one of the most common mistakes that a fleet member makes. When fleets are moving around the people all to often hear the FC say "warp to ___ gate" but when they go to do it, they click JUMP instead of warp. 
    • I never use "Jump" as a command anymore even when I'm moving around by myself, just to break that habit (plus you never know what will change while you're in warp). I always click warp and when I land on the gate, I decide if I still want to jump or not.
    • If you don't know if you clicked Warp or Jump, while you're in warp click CTRL-SPACEBAR and it will cancel you jumping just in case.
  • Shut up in your TeamSpeak channel unless your FC tells everyone that the "coms are open". The FC will often have multiple teamspeak channels open listening to intel from multiple locations and needs to only hear what he needs to hear. 
  • Cut the FC some slack if he gets angry, starts yelling, and humiliates you in front of everyone. It's a very stressful job to be an FC and to be responsible for everyone's ships in fleet. During fleet ops his job is to keep everyone alive, not be your friend or to be nice. He needs everyone to do exactly what he says when he says it, otherwise everyone will die. 
  • Learn from your mistakes. 
  • Be prepared with doctrine ships if possible. Ask your corporation or alliance if they have doctrine fits that they typically fly so that you can go out and purchase them, and be ready immediately if the situation calls for it. It's extremely annoying when an FC says "Ok, everyone grab your shield cruisers and let's go" and an hour later he's still trying to get everyone into a shield cruiser. 
    • Ships and fittings cost ISK, I know. But if you are going to be part of a bigger group and reap the benefits of being with that group, you owe them the courtesy of being prepared. Don't ever say "Oh yeah, I can fly that, but I don't have one". If you can fly it, then get one. 
  • Do inform the FC if you have to leave fleet for whatever reason. You don't need to talk in Teamspeak to do it. Just say in fleet chat " -1 Thorax, sorry gotta go" or whatever ship you are flying. This allows the FC to know that he's lost something in his fleet and needs to potentially adjust his tactics. 
  • Have a good time. We all play Eve for fun, but if you're not having a good time, then you're doing it wrong. 
  • Respond in Teamspeak if the FC asks for you to respond. If he says "Val, how many jumps away are you", you should immediately respond with your answer. He shouldn't have to ask twice, otherwise he will start to think you're not paying attention. 
  • DO broadcast for reps when you are being targeted (NOT when you are already being shot). There are exceptions to this, but the point is that the logi ships need time to target you so they can start repping you. If you tell them you are taking damage, they may still have 5-10 seconds before they can lock onto you, and you might already be dead. If you aren't taking any damage for a long while, but the enemy has you yellow boxed, just be ready to broadcast if they start shooting. 


  • Unless you are 100% certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, absolutely positive of your action, DON'T DO ANYTHING unless the FC specifically tells you to do it. Sit perfectly still doing absolutely nothing unless told otherwise. PERIOD.
    • Don't Undock
    • Don't shoot anything
    • Don't Talk
    • Don't Jump
    • Don't Warp
    • Don't Align
    • You get the point...
  • Don't make the same mistake twice, especially in the same night or the same week. Most FC's will be able to tolerate you being stupid once, but don't push your luck by screwing up twice on the same thing. Learn from your mistakes and even if you start off screwing up, just write down what you did wrong, find out what you should have done instead, and do that from now on. 
  • Don't drink so much alcohol that you have no clue what's going on (UNLESS THAT IS THE POINT OF THE FLEET). We have drunken roams all the time and they can be tons of fun, will even make drinking games out of it. If anyone accidentally jumps a gate, they have to drink, stuff like that. People make mistakes when they're drunk, and if your part of a fleet with a serious objective, and you are so drunk you start shooting blues, you're going to die quickly or possibly be kicked out of the corporation or alliance.
  • If you are dying, don't scream in teamspeak "HELP I'M DYING!!! I NEED REPS NOW! HELP!". The FC is still busy trying to command his fleet and doesn't need you getting everyone else killed because they can't understand. The FC "should" have priority speaker turned on if possible, but it's still really annoying and confusing anyways. Instead, use the fleet window and broadcast for reps instead. If there is no logi in your fleet to heal you, then do what you can to get away, and if you can't then just kiss your ship goodbye. Once you die, let the fleet know in fleet chat and try to get your pod out safely. 
  • Don't fly super cheap ships with super expensive implants plugged in and then fly into combat. If you are flying a frigate and have +5 implants plugged in you're asking for trouble. Don't get me wrong, I love killing cheap ships, and then grabbing your pods and finding out your ship was worth 5 million, but your pod was worth a billion isk. Get jump clones, have an empty clone just for cheap combat roams, save that expensive clone for non combat situations or when you're flying ships that it makes sense to have the implants. An FC will look at his fleet and say "I've got 10 cruisers worth about 50 million each. If everyone dies, we only are losing about 500 million ISK worth of stuff" but then he finds out that some people lost their 1 billion isk clones in the process too, it changes everything. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Eve Online: Next Expansion?

I find myself more and more eager for the next expansion, hoping there is something so profound and awesome delivered that everything we know about Eve is forced to adjust. Large alliances are the backbone of Eve, but they are a thorn for everyone not in them. I'd like for something to happen that weakens the large alliances' strength in numbers to be obsolete.

There have been announcements that players will be able to construct their own stargates at some point in the future, but where those stargates will lead, the conditions for building them, resources needed, etc are still a mystery.

In my dream world these newly constructed stargates will lead to uncharted systems and constellations that are so far away (in terms of light years) that capital ships will won't be able to easily (or completely) jump to and from them.

What I envision (in my perfect world) is that you are out scanning one day and you come across a rare wormhole that is stable enough that when you construct one of the new stargates, you effectively force that wormhole open forever on that location. Now that new location you are connected to would be over 100 light years away and is part of a constellation or group of 5-6 systems that are all within a few light years. Those other systems that are close cannot be immediately accessed, you'll have to scan your new system until you find another rare wormhole that connects to another system in your constellation. Meanwhile someone else may have found another system in that constellation and have already moved in, but you can't jump to each other's systems until the proper wormhole connection is found and secured.

These wormholes are not the same wormholes that appear all over New Eden right now, these newly constructed wormholes won't have Sleepers in them, in fact there won't be ANY NPC faction initially. After X amount of time whichever system you connected from, the NPC's from that system will travel through your gate and start to inhabit it. In the event that your system eventually connects to two different NPC regions, whichever NPC faction inhabits the system first, wins by default.

Back to my point on capital ships though, currently most capital ships are not able to use stargates and that will remain the same, but eventually you may decide to build capital ships in your new constellation but they would be stuck there just like in a wormhole, but now you'd have an 5-6 (your constellation) systems that your capital ship could jump to and from.

This new format would allow smaller groups to control a constellation and be able to hold it easier from invaders because they would be the only ones with capital support. The larger alliances would have to form fleets of battleships to combat smaller but more effective groups with heavier support. Your 50 man corp or alliance all of a sudden can hold it's own against the huge meat sticks of Eve that blob over anyone that gets in their way.

Again this is just something that I think would be a perfect addition to Eve, but I have no clue what is truly coming soon.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Eve Online: Still Alive and Kicking

Wow, it's been a while since I've taken the time to post on how things are going. I'm definitely still active with Eve but I have mellowed out quite a bit over the last few months and don't spend 50+ hours a week gaming anymore. I've been spending around 10-20 on average a week now due to life events but still love playing when time permits. I've been in my current corporation for over 4 months now living out in Stain which is NPC null sec.

When I first moved out to join the corp I belong now we were living at the end of a pipeline down in Stain and life was safer that living in high sec to be honest. There were so many blues around you didn't have to fear much at all. You could fly within 6-8 systems and never see a hostile target. The problem with this living situation though was there were too many blues in one small area. If you wanted to run combat sights, do some belt ratting, hunt for relics, moon mining, etc, then you had to compete against everyone else in the area.

So our alliance decided to take over another pocket in Stain instead, not too far away that we couldn't help our neighbor blues or vice versa, but far enough so we wouldn't be so crowded anymore.  Doing so would increase the PvP opportunities and ISK making for everyone.

That was about two months ago and we have most definitely made a strong footprint into our new pocket and have a good presence in the region. We don't control the entire pocket we moved into yet, but at the rate we're going it should only be another month or two before the other group decides to pack up due to being sick and tired of losing their ships to us.

We typically run small gang fleets, between 10-20 pilots on average but through our alliance and the other alliances we are blue with in the region we have fielded over 100 for a few fights when the situation called for it.  Not long ago we called in a favor with one of the big alliances to help us jack-stomp a few super carriers that got dropped on us.

Typically our opposition tries to hot drop us but when they do they always drop in overkill ships (like carriers dropping on our cruiser fleets) so they almost always lost their ships because we can call in backup if needed. So over the course of the last two months we've killed over a dozen carriers and about a half dozen dreadnoughts. They were stupid enough to drop dreads on our remote repping domi fleet one night and that ended badly and fast for them. We chewed up all six of their dreads in just a few minutes, it was glorious. The only one in their fleet that was able to get away was their CEO in his black ops Redeemer. Local lit up with their own corp members yelling and screaming at their CEO for being so stupid and abandoning them.

All in all I'm very happy with my new home and the pilots I fly with. There isn't a lot of patience for people making the same mistakes over and over again, which I like. It's all good to be stupid once, but don't be stupid over and over again, otherwise you'll just get booted from fleet, then from Corp entirely if it continues. We trimmed a bunch of fat a few weeks ago and our fleet compositions are much tighter now.

I've probably got ten billion in assets spread across a few stations in our region and the best part about NPC null sec is that nobody can take over the system and lock my stuff out so I can't get it anymore. If a hostile fleet comes in that we just can't take, we don't have to worry about losing all our stuff which is nice. Plus we never have to worry about TiDi.

Anyways, I've rambled on enough for now. I'll try to remember to keep writing when I get time.

Fly safe.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Eve Online: Something Fishy with the Stratios

So I just saw an article about NASA could someday achieve warp speeds and I noticed something a little strange.

I probably don't even need to add a link to what I'm referencing, but just in case here you go.

The Stratios looks scarily like the image used in the first article. I googled Vulcan Command Ship and sure enough, there is was staring me straight in the eye.

I'm not outright saying anyone copied anyone else, but there are a few similarities that are hard to ignore.

Any thoughts on this?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eve Online: Rubicon First Week

So it's been almost a week since Rubicon was released and I've really only had a chance to play with a small percentage of the new features since last Tuesday due to focusing on one specific aspect of it.

We all knew that ghost sites, new deployable modules, new ships, etc were going to add a bunch to everyone's game play and that everyone would be busy trying to make as much ISK as possible in the early days, but we decided to spend out time laying down POCO's.

Our group spent almost a whole week bashing both Interbus and player owned POCO's in the .5 and .6 systems and then setting our own up. The first day was chaos with people constantly ninja dropping POCO's right after another group finished bashing the Interbus POCO. This only happened to us once and we immediately declared war on the 3 man corp that stole a planet from us. The following day we found their very poorly defended POS in high sec and put it in reinforced. They agreed to turn over the POCO they stole from us if we promised not to destroy their POS. We agreed and in the end made three new good friends that will probably join our alliance.

Another aspect to day one is that we noticed everyone flying around in tech 1 hauling ships carrying POCO's to be dropped. We protected our own POCO's by keeping them off grid and in freighters until necessary. In addition we put together a small gank squad and every time one of these ships showed up on grid ready to try and steal another planet we were about to take, we would suicide gank them to secure our resources. We popped three different ninja haulers on day one of Rubicon, each killmail valuing around 150-200 million.

After one day of dropping POCO's I heard the FC's say they were earning about 20-30 million a day so far, and we've dropped about fives times as many throughout the week. I would estimate we're earning about 100 million a day with as many POCO's as we put out there but I can't be sure since I'm not privy to that information. Obviously it cost us a huge investment up front to be able to secure that many but they should pay for themselves fairly quick and they don't require us to do any maintenance at all, other than defend them if a group tries to steal it, which they would have to declare war on us first.

Now that all that's done, I've jump cloned back to my home in null sec and plan to start playing with some of the other new features such as how frequent the ghost sites spawn and how easy they are to find. I'm hearing they are extremely rare, so I doubt it'll be one of those sites people go hunting for specifically, it'll probably more like one of those sites that when you happen to notice them you take advantage of it. I got to play with them on the test server so I already know how to run them, just need to see how it goes on Tranquility now.

This week I think we plan to drop a bunch of small mobile siphon units on our enemy's moons to start draining their income.  I trained interceptors to IV prior to the Rubicon launch, but since I'm not an experienced interceptor pilot I don't plan to use them for combat just yet. I only plan to use them for the nullified aspect that is new with Rubicon. I've got a Cloaky Nulli Proteus that I use a lot already, but Interceptors are much faster to go scouting with, so it will likely be my new exploring ship when checking out nearby systems.

Stay tuned for more updates. Cheers!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eve Online: Logistic Pilots on Killmails

I know that this has been brought up to CCP attention already and I'm not the first person bringing this up, but I'd like to also jump on the bandwagon and say that logistic pilots need to be added on killmails. They are the unsung, unremembered heroes of New Eden. Although every fleet is extremely grateful to always have that logi pilots there, in a day or two when people are looking back to see who contributed to the kill,who was involved in the fight, the logi pilot is always left off that war story.

My initial thoughts are that if a logistics pilot actively helps a member of the fleet that does get on the killmail, then they should as well. For example, if a Thorax and Exequror are fighting a Vexor, and the Thorax kills the Vexor, as long as the Exequror repaired the Thorax (during the combat and before the Vexor was destroyed) then the Exequror should be present on the killmail as well.

I know this is probably way easier said than done, but it'd be nice to recognize the members of our fleets that keep the fleet alive long enough to make the kills.

All that being said, where do you draw the line? If I'm in a command ship and giving active boosts to the fleet, but don't contribute any DPS, does that mean that I should get on the killmail as well? I'm not sure. I guess I would be ok with it as long as the booster was on grid and actually risking their ship, and not remote boosting  from a safe location somewhere in the system. (I know that you can't boost from inside a POS anymore, but you can still boost from a safe spot in system). Fleet boosts can be very powerful tools in a fleet, and most definitely influence the results of a battle.  If command ships did show up on a killmail somehow, but never engaged during the fight, then the pilot blown up would know all the factors that contributed to their loss. I'm not set on this though since command ship pilots can easily get on a killmail if they want to, by just engaging during a fight. They are strong and capable ships that can handle themselves just fine in a fight.

Ultimately I'd like to see the logi pilots start to get some recognition. I think more pilots would be willing to learn to fly logistics if they had the ability to be recognized. Early on in my training I loved flying logistics for my corporation. I enjoy being the supporting character in a fleet and helping everyone else do their jobs. When I used to play D&D I enjoyed playing a Cleric so that I could help everyone else. I stopped flying logistics in Eve, because when the fights were over, and everyone was linking killmails and talking about who did what, nobody ever said "Oh and Val did an awesome job at keeping us alive" or anything like that. In the end there wasn't any proof at all that I was even involved in the fight, unless I loss my ship in the process.

So, I changed over to flying other types of support instead. I learned the art of EWAR and now if I remote sensor dampen a bunch of the enemy ships, my actions are noticed and remembered.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Eve Online: World Peace

I may be completely naive to how the world really thinks but in my ideological mind I believe that the majority of the people on Earth would welcome world peace if it could somehow be magically obtained. Obviously this will never happen because we all have different ideas of what "World Peace" means, but ultimately I believe that most people want the killing to stop at some point. Maybe that means they successfully exterminate an entire group of people to obtain their peace, but I think the end goal is that there would be no more fighting. "If I could accomplish XYZ, then I could live in peace" kind of theory. Again, this might mean XYZ equals killing millions of people, which entirely goes against "Peace" but that's just how it is. There are exceptions to everything, and I know that there will also always be people that do not want peace.

That being said, I do NOT think that peace is the end goal of Eve and New Eden, nor should it be. People want to blow each other up, conquer each other's territory, steal their ISK, and ultimately find new and creative ways to kill.

There is also an industrial and economic group of people in Eve that don't care first hand about blowing someone else up, but they do indeed embrace (even if they don't know it) people blowing each other up, otherwise their craft and contributions to Eve would fail.

This goes both ways. Without the industry and marketing people in Eve, the PvP aspect of the game would fail.  If nobody was around to build ships and ammo, and sell them to us, we'd have to figure out how to all live with fighting in our noob ships that get provided every time you dock with just your pod. That or we'd all be running the tutorial missions for some free tech 1 frigates and destroyers.

Throughout time in life and in Eve countries (solar systems) and groups (corporations) would ally together to strengthen their standing in their regions and then combine forces when an outside evil threatens to disrupt their way of life. Ultimately though these alliances always fail because someone offended someone else, someone gets greedy, the love of a woman, or a multitude of other reasons. People like their safety net though and like to know that someone else out there can't just destroy everything they've worked for with little to no effort. If I was a lone corporation that owned one system in null sec, but I refused to be part of any alliance, I would have to always fear someone bigger and stronger just taking what is mine and not being able to do anything to stop it. Hence why we form alliances.

Too many allies is also a bad thing in Eve because then there isn't as many people shooting at each other. No pew pew =  no ships blowing up = no industry needed = no marketing needed. It's a long negative domino effect when there is peace in New Eden.  It's a very sensitive balancing act that is controlled by the players and nothing else.

On that note, a big war just broke out again in Eve, and you can read more about it on Stabs blog, but stuff like this is very good for Eve in my opinion. Even if you have no stake in the war at all, thousands of ships blowing up is a good thing (well, unless they are your ships being blown up). We're only two weeks away from Rubicon being deployed which will add a bunch of new elements that will also shake things up, so if this war continues longer than 2-3 weeks expect drastic changes in the market prices of a bunch of items on top of what was already expected.

I'm interested in seeing how many of the mobile deploy units such as the new tractor and cyno jammer are going to be carried into battle after the Rubicon release, and how much more TiDi (time dilation) occurs because a 1000 vs 1000 battle just dropped a few hundred modules not currently used in battle into an already slow fight. CCP better step up their ability to handle large scale fights or prepare yourself for tons of rage when the server crashes during a fight.