Friday, 16 August 2013

I'm a Terrible FC

"Life in a Wormhole" is a collection of blog posts documenting my adventures in EVE Online. Together with a small group of real life friends we will attempt to survive in the harshest of space EVE has to offer.

I've never really had to be in charge during my time in EVE - not properly anyway. I can call out targets, "engage" or "run away" when bubble camping. I can communicate to them with calmness; clarity; and with enough time for them to react. However the actual micro management... if their ship doesn't fly the same way as mine, my brain doesn't appear to be able to multi-task the two scenarios.

Not yet, at least. I plan on working on it. Hell I'll have to work on it. I have a fleet to look after!

I've spent the last few days familiarizing myself with the area: making safes, making pings. I'm now comfortable making the trip from our 0.0 base up to Jita - so when Blayzer jumps into fleet, I'm keen to show him the easier route up to high sec.

"If you're missing a ping spot at any of the gates, we can make them as we go along."

Three jumps in, he warps directly to gate.

"Gah. Remember mate, got to use your ping spots. Someone could've been..."
- But the system was empty.

It's a fair point - but this is about forging habits. There might have been a bubble already setup, someone could've jumped through while he was mid-warp. Even slow boating the 100km after getting caught is enough of a reason...

But I start to doubt myself. I wonder if I'm being too cautious.

I fold. I tell myself he wants to fly harshly then he'll make mistakes faster, learn faster. It could be beneficial. Each jump I wait for him to appear in system before I warp. Each warp, I warp fleet to a ping spot.

... and that's all. I don't try to reinforce the importance of ping spots. I was taught their necessity but I learnt through trial & error. Lose enough ships, you start to take notice. Am I being a bad fleet commander right now? Sadly, I think so.

We make it into Low Sec...
"You don't need to worry about bubbles now, they aren't allowed to anchor them here."

We pass a Manticore at one of the gates.
"Remember, even though you can attack people here - don't do it next to a gate; because the gate guns will start shooting at you."

Then Blayzer meets a Drake. He's +1 system.
- There's a Drake here. Should we take him?

My first mistake. I should've just told him to carry on warping to the next gate. He's in a newbie fit frigate, he doesn't stand a chance. But that's not how my brain works. My brain only thinks what I would do against a Drake:

  • Hold at the gate, wait for him to target me. 
  • Start orbiting the gate within 2.5km.
  • See how much damage he's doing to me, insta-jump if he's hurting.
  • See how much damage he's taking from the gate guns.
  • Evaluate if he's kill-able with the gate gun's assistance.
  • Fight or Flight.
I'm not necessarily saying that's the best attitude to take when faced with a Drake - at the gate - in Low Sec - in a frigate. There's a really strong chance he can tank the gate gun damage, I'm not adding much DPS to the fight, he'll have T2 drones. The odds are stacked against me.

Yet there's no danger. So that's what I do. Moments later, Blayzer tells me he's being shot at. I jump through to his system to get a better understanding of what's happening.

"Don't attack him - warp away or jump back through the gate."
- I can't warp.
"No, I figured - jump back through the gate."
- Ok...

At this point, Blayzer's stood still, with a flight of drones on him, and reaching 0% shields. He's acknowledged the need to GTFO - except he's 15km away from the gate; because he doesn't know how this whole gate mechanics thing works yet; because I've not taught him yet.

- I didn't think he would attack me because of the gate guns?
A reminder that I'm only providing half-arsed information.

- I know I shouldn't have been stood still, but he took me out in like 3 hits - surely that's not right?
I really must remember to go over speed tanking in full.

- That's twice now I've died without fighting back. The next time someone attacks me I'm gonna just go for them.
I can't see that ending well, but again, perhaps it's a learning experience.

Sorry Blayzer, I'm a Terrible FC.

I'm reminded that Blayzer is new - new to EVE - not to PvP. When I started to PvP I'd already had years of PvE: trying to kill frigates in a bigger ship. I already knew about velocity and speed tanking, target painters and webs. So when it came to teach me the fine print I already had a decent foundation. He hasn't.

So I've set this up, it's my show. I need to find a way to make it work. I don't think Blayzer would flourish well in a training corporation. His sketchy online times probably means it'd take him months to complete the training. 

I'm not sure. It might be worth a conversation. But for now, it's something I need to get a lot better at - very quickly.

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