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.