May 22, 2010

The Psychology of Eve

There are two types of fleet commanders in EVE.

There are those that lead because they have played longer and know more about the ships and engagements because of tenure with the game itself. In most situations they perform admirably and can depend on predictable situations and results to win the engagement for them.

The second is the type of FC who operates on instinct. He doesn't just look at the ships and weapons. He gets inside of the head of his opponent and thinks beyond the now and to the future. He is a chess player of EVE PVP. This type of FC doesn't necessarily need to have played the game for years. Knowing the chess pieces and their capabilities is very important, don't get me wrong. But they are not the end game... merely pawns that can be used predictably and unpredictably.

The first type of FC inevitably runs into a situation that he has not seen before. This is when he falls apart (or chooses to run). Unable to think outside of the realm of possibilites he is familiar with, he is doomed to fail. These FCs are needed without a doubt. They are valuable in providing combat experience to a corp. But in situations of importance they are not as reliable as the second type.

The key to the instinctive FC is remembering that you are not fighting in a FPS. Being quicker with the mouse is not going to get you a win. You are playing a real person who thinks and has emotions just like you. You have to put yourself in the position of that pilot or FC and think, what would I do. Then you make a plan to counter that strategy. You think ahead more; what would I do after seeing what he is about to see? Then you plan the next move. Not always will these predictions come true... but more often than not they will, or they will manifest themself in a close rendition of what you had predicted.

These tactics operate not outside of having numbers or skilled pilots, but include those factors in the planning process. This does not mean that you should fight against all odds and get annihilated... this means that you can look at those odds and say, "I'm not going to kill all of them, but what can I kill and get away with".

Combined with an understanding of mechanics of the game, the ability to read your opponents and counter their moves before they have even shown their cards is almost unstoppable. This is not a talent that can be taught, it just comes naturally to some.

So for those new/aspiring FCs.... don't give up. You don't have to be an 04 toon to win at EVE.

That is all.


Parasoja said...

Just fyi, chess metaphors are sort of verboten in eve. I wasn't really paying attention to politics during the original but apparently molle compared war in eve to chess after winning a battle during MAX, then a few weeks later lost two titans and >100 capitals and the campaign was abandoned. It's been an in-joke ever since.

stoicspoon said...

I'm not sure experience and instinct are mutually exclusive.

If you're saying that most FCs tend to rely on one or the other, I think that's somewhat mistaken because really what your "instincts" tell you are the result of how you've become conditioned to react.

However, I will completely agree with you that FCs who rely only on past-experience and cannot react on-the-fly are inferior in most situations.

Perseus Kallistratos said...

The point was not to say mutually exclusive. I leaned in that writing fashion because too many people think they are awesome because they have played for 3 years and in reality they suck.

As for the metaphors... I don't really care. I like metaphors and chess was a very appropriate metaphor in this post.

Nitor1013z said...

Great post, its all valid :D

My first fc experience was leading a home defense gang (in defi4nt *cough*) against an Ev0ke hac and scimi fleet. Talk about outta the frying pan and into the fire. And ,to my surprise, we obliterated them, killing their whole fleet for a few t1 losses. \o/

Back then it was instincts, and to be quite honest with y'all it still is. The thing i find most that helps when fcing though, and while this may not be relevant, is having competent scouts. Knowing the enemy's fleet helps HUGE. So all you new fcs out there, get some scouts and dive in head first. Just don't blame things on me.....