Controlling Your Fleet, Controlling Yourself
This one has been kinda bugging me for a while. By now the Makalu Cries thing has come and gone, but I want to talk about it a little bit, not as a specific incident but as an example of how not to run a fleet and inspire confidence. This is actually something I have done before.
In 2009 I was in Southeastern Iraq working radios in a Battalion Command Post. I was the primary RTO, the guy people talked to when they called for help. It’s a job that requires only a couple things. You have to be able to stay calm when people are screaming at you both over a radio and over your shoulder. You have to communicate clearly, and you have to understand what someone who probably isn’t communicating clearly is saying. I had more than one leader see me after a nasty patrol and seek me out to tell me he was glad it was me on the radio when the shit hit the fan. They heard my voice and it did two things. They knew I’d been through it myself, and they knew that I’d keep calm and battle for them against the deeply seated REMFs that tend to accumulate in a command post.
What does this have to do with EvE? What would you rather have, Maklku screaming in your ear about how fail you are or a calm voice continuing to give sensible, actionable orders? Sometimes an FC can get excited and inject his fleet with his energy, but this is the double-bladed sword. You get excited positively and things will go great, you start slamming on people, they aren’t going to want to do shit, and they wont even perform up to their own level of skill. If you keep an even keel even when things go to hell you can sometimes salvage, well, maybe not a win, but more than you would if you go to pieces and take your command structure with you.
How best to do this? Practice. Take out fleets, keep it calm, keep it level. Take a video you FRAPSed of a fight, turn down the audio and practice “Shootin’ Star in an Abaddon, is your primary, Corelin in an Abaddon is your secondary,ESS AITCH OH in an abaddon, Ess Aitch Oh, Ess Aitch Oh is primary, See Oh Arrrr is secondary.” Work on having a clear pronunciation and emphasis on each letter when you spell them out. Developing a rhythm is important as well, having a distinct way of giving each kind of order, whether it’s aligning, warping, jumping, target calling, bubbling, having people able to figure out what you want as much by HOW you are saying things as WHAT you are saying is invaluable in a game where you often play with people who don’t speak the same language, whether they are Russian, French, Portuguese, Australian, whatever.
The right voice at the right time instills confidence. The wrong voice instills rage, confusion, and does as much to ruin a fleet as surely as all the spies. Take this for example:
Keep calm, keep in control of yourself and you will control your fleets better and see markedly better results.
Scream at them and be ready to watch participation drop off a cliff until you can’t get the folks together to undock for a fight you know you could win.