Category Archives: Lessons Learned
So I stepped in it the other night. For all of you who don’t regularly check my killboard (I believe that is… all of you) you missed this steaming pile: http://tfhc.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_id=11573172
When I whelp a fleet I don’t fuck around. There’s a petition going on with CCP about some minor factors, and believe me you will hear about that, but I want to take a moment to take my Fancy Hat off to our opponents. They beat us but good. Active tank mach and tengu handled us roughly, our responses were uncoordinated and confused and we were simply outclassed in this fight. I made the mistake of calling for people to shoot a neutral RR pilot, which may not have been wise, (spoiler alert: It wasn’t) and the confused actions of my fleet, combined with some voice comms fails led to our fleet being virtually annihilated.
I planned for one kind of fight, (lowsec roam) people didn’t show up, got another kind of fight (highsec station games) and managed to come in totally unprepared and got whelped. The other side had a plan, and executed it (and us) very, very thoroughly. Well played and GF (for you… not me)
I love killing failfit ships. I hate seeing them though. Some people just do not avail themselves of the information available to anyone with an internet connection and it costs them. This Guy is a perfect example. If he’d had a halfway decent tank I could have shot him until doomsday came and not made a dent in his tank. However he just assumed that “DRAEKS R GUD” and brought a ridiculous ship out to where it could be easily blowed up by mean old Mr. Corelin.
So I’m going to do some people a favor. I’m going to go through the process of designing a ship fit.
Step 1: Download EvE-HQ. Set it up. Some people prefer EvE Fit. YMMV.
Step 2: Decide the role of the ship. Today we are going to design a simple, low skill Drake suitable for chasing away canflippers.
Step 3: Decide on a hull if you haven’t as part of step 2.
Step 4: Weapons. Go all out. Fit one type. Don’ Mix Guns. That means fit the guns your ship gets a bonus for. Check the description if you don’t know which guns those are. Drakes get a bonus to heavy, and heavy assault missile damage, and shield resistances. We are going to use that.
Step 5: Damage mods. Minimum 2 on armor tanks, 3 on shield tanks. Do it now.
Step 6: Mission Oriented Mods. For this it’s PvP mods. We add a Speed Mod, a Shot range point to turn off MWDs, and a web.
Step 7: Tank. Pick a tank. For Drake’s it’s all about the generous shields. Start with a DCU II (Suitcase) some shield extenders and an Invulnerability field and this Drake is tough enough to chase off pretty much any frigate. The tank is only 70 dps on Randi’s new toon (who can’t actually even sit in the fit for 5 days) but it has a buffer of 51k ehp. It also does over 200 dps.
Step 8: Rigs. This is where you commit the hull to one role. For this one I’ve selected a warhead Rigor Catalyst to reduce the signature penalty when shooting at frigates, a Warhead Calefaction Catalyst to hit harder in general, and a core defence field extender for a bigger buffer.
[Drake, Chicken Chaser] 7x Compact 'Limos' Heavy Assault Missile Launcher I (Terror Assault Missile) 2x Large Shield Extender II 10MN Afterburner II Warp Scrambler II Invulnerability Field II Stasis Webifier II 3x Ballistic Control System II Damage Control II Medium Warhead Rigor Catalyst I Medium Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I Medium Core Defence Field Extender I 5x Warrior I
This may not be the prettiest fit you will see, but trying to fit a ship to do anything creates failfits. Pick a mission for your fit. Fit for the mission. Don’t mess around and try to do a million things.
Some common mistakes
- Empty Slots: Utility Highs are allowed to be empty. Mids and lows aren’t. Utility High Slots are slots that are not required to fit the max number of turrets or launchers.
- Mixing Guns: Don’t do it. Don’t mix types, don’t mix ranges, don’t mix ammos. Only a VERY few ships can mix guns and those are designed to do it. Ships like the Cyclone and Hurricane, where you can only fill up all your highs by mixing guns (and have the fitting space to do it well) are the only ships that should mix to ANY extent.
- Multiple tanks. FFS don’t do it. You are better off using your fitting resources to make one tank as tough as possible rather than try to double, triple, or quadruple tank. And yes, I have seen all of the above on ship. Shield, Armor, Hull, Speed tanked BCs are fail.
First: Go Here – http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_id=10837972
What appears to have happened is a bunch of Renters decided that one carrier in a plex is not enough. 6 is about right. Apparently they were either botting with the worst software ever or AFK plexing. At some point a red comes in local. In an Onyx. This doesn’t IMMEDIATELY trigger everyone to run away somehow. Maybe they thought it would be a covops hotdrop, maybe they were using terrible botting software, maybe they were just stupid. Me, I always bet on stupid.
Onyx lands, bubble, cyno, supercarriers, lulz. Thats what I’m guessing anyway. I may have my mechanics messed up, I may just be wrong, still WOW were these guys caught with their pants down.
Final tally, 6 carriers and 6 pods. Ouch. I’m gonna run down the things that went wrong here.
- Ratting with Carriers – I’m not completely against this, it makes a lot of money and if you do it right it can be very safe as well as profitable. If you do it right, which brings me to:
- Do it in a cynojammed system. Jump Bridge to your safe system and FFS make sure the jammer is up. It’s hard to get hotdropped when they can’t open a cyno.
- Red in local? DOCK UP! PvE ship vs. PvP ship = dead PvE ships every time.
- Not having your full attention on the game outside of hisec. This gets you killed.
Now let’s look at outcomes
- -6 Carriers. I don’t care who you are, that hurts. Add in the pods which presumably have some implants in them and you are out well over 6 billion, maybe even 7.
- Stirring up activity. They know someone likes to rat there now. Think they might be looking for a repeat performance later? My old alliance called this “Chumming the water” if you throw bloody meat into the water, you get sharks. Those sharks are probably gonna be in the area for a while.
- Depriving your corp/alliance of valuable assets. A golem has no place in the pvp assets of your alliance. Trust me. A carrier does. In fact carriers should be getting more valuable after the incoming nerf. Now if you have to defend your space, you just made it a lot harder.
- Finally, these guys were all in one corp. If I were running their alliance they’d be gone. If I were running that corp they’d be gone (except one of them is the CEO) Shenanigans like this can cause all kinds of problems, mostly because they are easily preventable and because they REALLY hurt.
Got ganked in a hauler carrying 6 lokis to market. Ouch. Big Ouch. Been spending too much lately, and this pushes me pretty much to the edge of even being able to operate my industry at a constant rate.
Corelin is continuing to sec up in order to return to hisec. And it may not be a day too soon as a former friend has wardecced my industrial corp. It’s possible its just a mistake. Well its a mistake either way, my alt isn’t defenseless by any means. Well, when she isn’t flying a hauler. But we will see the results before too long.
Hard to do much in eve when all you can do is try to make money and kill rats. I just don’t feel that interesting and I’m not really seeing much else deserving of comment. Yet. Other than Mayhem(dot)’s forums continuing to provide me with traffic.
I propose a view where: An EvE FC is a negative multiplier on a given fleet’s theoretical performance. In a sense an FC is a necessary evil, where you need one to keep a fleet flying together and on task; however a good FC is at his best when, once the shooting starts, he exerts only enough influence to focus the fleets efforts and allow each pilots to maximise his ability without giving too many commands or bad commands. Part of this is the simple fact that no command will actually boost DPS over the statistical damage each pilot can do as an individual. In fact every time he switches targets, there is a pause in DPS where 0 DPS is being done, and people who would normally just target the best target in range of their ship must now find a called target, target it, and possibly approach into range in order to continue the engagement.
First let’s get some assumptions in place:
- Pilots will act to maximise their DPS on the target called, or in the Non-FCd fleet, maximise individual DPS overall
- Pilots will maneuver to minimize incoming DPS unless ordered otherwise.
- Battle is taking place with all NPC Force Multipliers being even. No gate guns, aggression timers, towers/POS guns.
- Leadership Bonuses are also not taken into account as that isn’t a “Player” skill issue, it is a “Character” skill issue. See KK’s Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah for a great article on this. http://www.ninveah.com/2011/03/eve-master-class-mechanics-of-command.html
- The engagement cycle is “Lock the target. Position my ship to hit it as well as possible. Shoot it”
- Switching from a called primary to a called secondary is faster than calling a new primary.
The goal of this is to show how FCs compare to an “Ideal” fleet where pilots are constantly hitting and flying their ships at their individual optimum; and that while an FC cannot boost the damage of the ship over a theoretical maximum, a good FC can minimize the loss of potential damage and increase the fleet’s ability to win a fight.
With no FC, people will potentially shoot at whatever strikes their fancy. Take a fleet with both Harbingers and Hurricanes. Harbingers will tend to chase down shield tankers as they do more damage to them, while the Hurricanes will tend to chase after something with an armor tank to attack their explosive damage hole. Everyone is doing as much damage as possible, however they won’t be an effective fleet as they are not focusing fire. Focusing fire is important because even though, for example, the Harbingers will do less damage shooting at armor tankers, they will be removing enemy DPS (or jams, or repairs) faster. This is where the FC comes in.
For example, an FC who knows his job calls primary, secondary, and even tertiary targets and sticks with them as much as possible. This allows damage to flow naturally from target A to B to C without people having to start the engagement cycle of “targeting, positioning and shooting” from scratch. If there is already a secondary then people should have it locked LONG before they need to shoot it, and as the primary gets into structure the fleet can move into range of the secondary so that it can swap targets fast. Less effective FCs don’t call secondary or tertiary targets or switch them when its not necessary resulting in split fires or wasted time locking up new targets.
Coordinating movement is the other big responsibility of a FC. Again lets look at a non-FCd fleet this time with Brutixes and Harbingers. The Brutixes are going to be chasing the enemy down into knife fighting range due to their inability to hit anything they are not physically touching. The Harbingers will be quite happy sitting 35km off due to the fact that Scorch is the best ammunition ever. If a new force enters local and warps in on the Harbingers while the Brutixes have been off chasing someone else, the force risks getting cut to ribbons before the Brutixes can return and help the Harbingers.
In this case a good FC operates by making sure that the fleet is staying together as a unified force, and upon seeing a local spike getting the fleet to either align to a safe spot, or re-approach the gate/station in an effort to de-aggress and escape. Another case where controlling fleet positioning is key is the use of remote-repair systems. While logistics sometimes have prodigious range, a ship that wanders away can often be destroyed very fast before it even realizes its predicament. To go back to our first example, perhaps the Brutixes don’t do quite as much damage moving in a group with the Harbingers, and the Harbingers take more damage closing in to knife-fighting range, but the fleet it not as susceptible to being defeated in detail.
However a bad FC can make commands that will place a fleet in a disadvantageous position. Ordering a fleet with weak scouting to chase an enemy off a gate, or to try to catch a sniping fleet can place the members in a terrible position, or not recognizing the need to dictate the range and taking steps to do it effectively when it is called for can leave a fleet taking damage that it could avoid, while not being able to respond effectively. Our Harbinger/Brutix fleet, camping on a gate, gets attacked from a force entering another gate that warps in at range. Sitting on the gate will get them nowhere, and chasing the snipe fleet will do very little to help; however having a fast ship (an interceptor, or a covops ship with good bookmarks) get a warp-in point on the enemy fleet, while the friendlies warp out and back might be effective for example.
The key to all this is realizing that every order an FC gives has the potential to greatly reduce the power of the fleet following the order. A responsible FC gives the absolute minimum number of orders needed to employ his fleet effectively, while maintaining situational awareness and ensuring that the orders appropriate to the situation are given promptly.
[EDIT] Replaced dead link with movie link. [/edit]
So I hop on for my alliances weekly meeting. Its been a rough week. We have had a lot of stupid losses, some non-participation by key players, myself included, short tempers, some folks going through some REAL tough times in real life. Just a Piss-poor week by all accounts.
One of our WH spies reports that our hostiles Archon is on the WH in scram range. Why do people do this? Its a bad idea. The carrier can’t get OUT but the hostiles can… easily. So we start organizing a fleet. I start beating the drums with friendlies, no dice. I call PK, no dice (he wanted to but 30j is a long way for a lone carrier)
We get a fleet together. Drake, Domi, Rapier, Prot (cloakey hidey fit) Falcon, Rapier, Pilgrim, Jag, Ishtar, Blackbird, Onieros. I know. Its awful. Its terrible. We went for it. D-scan showed a damnation, two drakes, a Thorax and some stealth bombers wandering about.
Drake warped onto the bubble they had erected on the WH, called point, in come the stampeding herd.
THERE WAS A FIREFIGHT!!!!
We killed the Thorax, podded him, A drake, a Nighthawk warped in, he went down, a kitsune and a manti were next, then another drake. We were getting hit by bombs. Including lockbreakers. Too bad there were two recons holding points. Our blackbird went down early, that pilot switched to a pilgrim. The domi swapped to a Hyperion, the Proteus said fuck that I’ll get in the Domi.
The Archon’s cap was holding, so we started DPSing. Pretty slow since we couldn’t really hit him with drones. We noticed he wasn’t repping. My scanner showed a rep on him. DPS, DPS, DPS, finally he dips into structure. No reps. Scan again. WTF is he doing? He hits low structure and BOOM!
What. The. Fuck.
Guardian warps in. Literally seconds after the carrier goes down. He dies in seconds too.
We kill the pods. Scoop the loot. Exit the area and get back into Empire.
We needed this. We needed this BAD. This is the kind of thing that takes a small alliance and galvanizes it.
Ok I’m going to try to get to sleep. Video should be up tomorrow.
Thanks to BrenDiesel (reactivate your account PUNK!) for the 2nd picture. Your google-fu is strong.
Thanks to Apex for manning up and getting point
Thanks to KHoweveritsspelled for coming along with RR. I know KMs aren’t important to you man but you saved us a couple of times.
Thanks to Aeocas for getting us a warpin and putting up with me stepping all over him.
Thanks to HairlessHarry for replacing his ship and getting back FUCKING FAST
Thanks to Vorg for
Thanks to Alexis for being agile
Thanks to Fuji for DPS
Thanks to Star for DPS
Thanks to M’ing for jams, webs
Additional thanks for everyone, I know I’m rusty as hell at FCing and my commands were far from crisp but we got the job done.