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.