Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to Basics

Logging on last night found me completing a host of administrative duties for our new alliance, followed by some indulgent scanning for something to do/shoot and later a strat op on behalf of the coalition. During the form-up for the fleet, an alliance mate convo'd me and asked if I'd keep an eye on him during the op as he was new and didn't have a firm handle on everything we'd be doing.  I cheerfully agreed, and kept a vigilant eye on our chat window in case he had any questions.

Ultimately, he arrived a little late for the party, with the fleet standing down right as he got into position. I wasn't about to chastise him as he's a newer player and just now getting situated in our new area of operations. I was thrilled he took the time to make sure he got a ship set up that would be consistent with our objectives and that he was enthusiastic about supporting the alliance and coalition at large.

He was a little disheartened about not having the chance to do so, however, and asked instead if anyone wanted to 1v1 for fun-sies. I asked what kind of ships he had available and after figuring out what I had that would be a relatively even match, undocked and warped to a safe. After teaching him how to add fleet members to the watch list, he warped to me as did one other corp-mate interested in a bit of sparring and stress-testing.

As he was in warp, our budding young combat pilot asked me if I wouldn't mind sharing some of my PvP knowledge with him, as this is the area of the game he is most interested in. I was happy to oblige and we began the discussion by talking about the importance of dictating ranges, tackling, and speed. My corp-mate continued the discussion by discussing some common tactics to be used around gates and the like. Having gone well past my bedtime I logged off for the evening, feeling a little dissatisfied with my advice.

It wasn't that I felt the topics covered weren't important or that the advice given wasn't useful, but I felt fairly sure that I could have done a much better job with the time we had. I've just never been in the instructional role beyond answering one-off questions in corp or fleet chat.

Experience is the single biggest factor in a PvP pilot's skill progression, and I made sure to emphasize that. But in those rare moments of down time, I'd like to be able to offer more effective assistance to those taking the initiative to learn. So I'm asking all of you for help.

If you have any advice to offer in terms of effective "learning plans," I would truly appreciate your assistance. I've never been a member of Eve University or Agony Unleashed, so I don't have any experiences to draw on in that regard. Anyone who does, by all means, is welcome to share any teaching insights they may have gained.

I will thank you in advance for your time and advice. As will all of the new pilots I have the great fortune to work with going forward.

Thanks again, New Eden.



  1. most important:

    no one will learn how to swim unless he enters the water

  2. The post above me covers the most important factor: to get used to PvP, pilots just need to go out and do it.

    Starting off a pilot right in terms of advice depends really on how your pilots learn. Some do well with the sort of formal classes some groups offer. Others do well picking up stuff from a FC that's good explaining things to newbies in a gang. Others will read material and test it on their own to learn. Still others learn best just chilling with a few more experienced players wandering around.

    One thing all new players will benefit from is a starting set of ships. A few properly fit frigates, a destroyer or two, and maybe a cruiser isn't that expensive of a starting care package, but with that, and the skill books to use all that material, you can get a player to dip their toes in without having as much of a burden on the initial cost of flying something in PvP. It can also be an object lesson in proper, cost effective fits.

    Good luck. EVE's learning curve is steep, but veterans can do a lot to provide resources to new players for them to learn from.

  3. One of the most general tips I could come up with is: Know your surroundings and it's mechanics.

    I have lost as many ships because of sentry guns, timers, GCCs and because I got stuck with no way out, as I have lost ships because I was outmatched, outgunned and overpowered.

    If you are familiar with the way how your environment works you have an advantage over any pilot with less experience or intel.

    The other thing is, to learn what you can and can not engage.

    I recently lost a Proteus against an Astarte because I was very unfamiliar with that ship type and thought that it's just a Brutix battlecruiser with extra command bonus.

    If you don't know exactly what a ship can or can not do, do not engage it except if you are outnumbering the opponent.

    Then again, out there in nullsec where you live, the numbers game is being played a lot, so maybe my experience does not count for that much because I have never been in fights with more than 5-10 ships on either side.