June 12, 2010

How To Be A Better FC

Last night I didn't do much on EVE. I was on for about 30 min before going out with friends, namely seeing The A-Team. Funny movie, and Jessica Biel is foxy.

That being said, I do have something to talk about concerning EVE.

In my Corp recently there has been quite a bit of chatter in chat and on our forums regarding how to FC and become a better FC. Even in my open channel I have had some of the same questions from random New Eden dwellers. So here are some tips and ways to get better at leading your roams succesfully in PVP.

The first is probably the easiest. Go on roams with a good FC. Instead of numbing your mind and following orders like a robot, however, you are actively gauging the situation and making your own decisions as if you were FCing. When the FC gives orders that are similar to yours, congrats. When they differ, mentally (or physically) write them down for later. Agro has been learning quite a bit in our corp as of late doing exactly that. Often I will get "why did you do this" or "why didn't you do that". I'll give him my reasons and the lightbulb turns on.

Take out roams yourself. Obviously be smart about shiptypes and route planning. If you are taking out your first roam, don't choose HACS and Recons and go to Detorid, or Delve. More than likely you will make a mistake (no offense) and your entire gang will die. This tends to hurt your reputation among the corp/alliance, more so due to the high isk loss suffered by the gang members than anything. Instead, choose T1 Frigs/Cruisers, even T2 Frigs if your guys want to take them out. Choose a less populated part of space, like Fountain or Drone regions and find targets of oppurtunity. Those roams are always fun (even for me) and if your gang is annihilated the loss is minimum. So is the loss of confidence in you from your guys. These work best if you have an experienced FC with you, especially as scout. Have a convo open with this individual, so they can give you pointers and tips without speaking on comms and undermining your authority.

When not FCing in a gang... scout. Scouting is just as important as FCing. The scout can save the gang with early warning of trouble. The scout gets the gang targets. He is the eyes of the FC. A shitty scout = a blind FC. Your intel makes decisions for the FC more times than not. He's just the one that says it on comms and is responsible if things go south. Its a good stepping stone for a newbie FC, and it makes you engage your brain... unlike many gang members who get stuck in a zombielike trance. Those idiots are usually the same ones that lemming into a system and give away the gang presence to a potential target. I am guilty of this myself at times, like the last alliance roam into Providence. I was folding laundry during most of the travel :) That being said I didn't lemming, instead falling behind the gang half a jump... but better late than lemming.

Talk out scenarios with the FCs and experienced members of corp during downtimes, gate camps, carebearing, etc. Beware, however... scenarios are great but there is NEVER a cookie cutter A = B situation. Combat is fluid, and there are always variables that make the situations different. Even exact numbers, shiptypes, pilots, and location can vary decisions (not that that ever happens) due to new patch nerfs/changes. But these scenarios can better enable you to make sound decisions in the future.

Study ships.


Yes, study ships. While at work, or bored or whatever, go to EVE Wiki and look at the ships. First off, know what different classes mean. Second off, know what ship types belong to each class. Thirdly, know what each ship has bonuses too. Lastly, with time/experience/discussion with colleagues know what each ship typically fits. This helps in engagements, as you know (in a general sense) what a ships hole is for tank, strength is for DPS, etc. All of these are important because each ship, even in the same class, is different. For instance, I would not tackle a Zealot in an interceptor (unless I'm feeling suicidal) as his tracking and range will eff me up. But I would tackle a Cerberus in a ceptor... even with faction/precision loaded I can hold him long enough for my gang to arrive and finish him off. Yet both are HACs. In my godlike Tengu I will tackle most things except Pilgrims/Curse's. Why? Because his neuts will eff my tank, despite a cap booster. On the flip side, when engaging a Tengu its safe (usually) to assume that hes active tanked. Why? Because he can absorb a crap ton of hit points that way... and if he passive fits it he might as well have bought a Drake for a tenth of the cost. These are common sense things to me.... and probably to many of you. For newer pilots it is not... and understanding the common mechanics of your opponents can get you kills and prevent losses. Knowledge is most certainly power.

Know your terrain and regardless of your familiarity... keep DOTLAN open. This helps on many levels. Easley Thames wrote an article on this subject called Knowing the Neighborhood. Basically, knowing the terrain allows you firstly to know the inhabitants. This can help you gauge situations, such as: Will this guy have buddies nearby? Is this an active time zone for the inhabitants? Am I stuck in a pipe? Where will a counter attack come from? Do I have bookmarks/offgates/safes? Although nothing is certain... most things are predictable. For instance... Drone regions are largely Russian. Therefore I can safely assume that roaming through around 4am Moscow time will be safer than 4pm Moscow time. There will still be targets... but far less chance of getting blobbed and dying in a horrible fire. When familiar enough with an area you may even know individual pilots and are familiar with them.

Keep Battleclinic open next to DOTLAN and look up pilot names. Sure stats don't mean everything, but you can see what kind of ships they fly and standard fittings they use. Take kill #s and k/d ratios with a grain of salt, however. Even take pilot age with a grain of salt. The Insterstellar Brotherhood of Gravediggers pilot I solo'd (and Easley solo'd later that day) was an old toon with lots of kills. But he got most of those kills camping high sec gates and killing 0.0 wartargets who are stupid enough to travel through high sec, often on autopilot. Not a great indicator of actual skill. But always remember, the moment you disrespect your opponent he will punch you in the face. Opponent can be one pilot, or one FC of an opposing gang. My personal philosophy is to assume your enemy is very smart. Plan on it. More often than not he isn't and will suck. But, if you don't treat him with respect and he is smart, what may have been a killmail can mean a lossmail for you or your men.

Practice makes perfect. All of the above work best with frequency. Get out as much as you can. Stop carebearing and start killing. And NEVER treat PVPing like PVEing. Tanking is different, fittings are different, opponents are different. Practice helps with all of the decision making... and most importantly, it helps make these decisions quickly. Hesitation is about as bad as you can get, best case it loses you a kill. Worst case it gets everybody killed. Both are bad. Hesitation can be from lack of confidence, or overthinking a situation. With practice its like riding a bike... eventually you just make the decisions without having to think.

Once you start getting to the more experienced side of things... experiment! Typical fittings, typical gangs, typical anything is.... typical. Expected. Predictable. Try something new. Use common sense... like active shield tanking Amarr battleship gang is pure fail. But try new things that make sense. Your opponent will undoubtedly be unprepared for new things, as they are new. I recommend this for lols and fun times.

Feel free to talk to me, or other visitors to PK's House of Love. I've noticed more and more visitors, and I welcome questions and have questions of my own. If I don't respond right away, don't get butt hurt. I am probably focusing on something at the time :)

That is all.

1 comment:

Calderus Rex said...

Just to echo one of your points: SCOUT! Imho, its the best way to get experience without risking your mates' confidence in you, as well as their ships. You'll be out looking for targets, evaluating how to bait, trap, or gain tactical advantages, not just following orders. The one downside is in 0.0, tacklers are often primaried early - not always of course. But when you're not, and you're in a tackler / inty, you'll typically be alive for most of the fight, gaining you the chance to think through target calling and maneuvers. And tacklers are rarely primaried in low sec - so another option, consider starting an alt and FCing in one of the FW militias. Scout, scout, scout - its much more fun than 'warp here, align, F1, F2, F3'.