Category Archives: Nooblets

BB47: Complexity and the Hunt for Knowledge

this month’s Blog Banter will gravitate around knowledge, specifically EVE knowledge. Some examples of topics to cover: Is EVE too complex for one person to know everything? Is it, in fact, too complex for one person to know everything about one topic? How do you maintain any knowledge or skills related to EVE over time with breaks and expansions? Does CCP do a sufficient job documenting the features of the game, and if not, what could they do better? How does one determine where the gaps in their knowledge even are?

I love watches with exposed gears.  I just think it adds something to it, the precision, the display, the raw beauty of it.  I also love steampunk for it’s more brute-force display of many of the same factors.  You get to see everything, you might not KNOW how things work, but you can see them.  The workings are on display you can see them even if you don’t understand them.  EvE is, quite frankly, a lot like a mammoth steampunk engine.  It certainly works, but one is sometimes forced to wonder how much of it is needed and what the rest of it actually does.

I am sure one person who was focused on and studying the game, who had no job other than EvE and a very good understanding of it could certainly cover everything they wanted to know about it.  Everyone else has to go with “close enough for government work.”  That is, we figure out what we want to do, how we want to do it, and go for it.  We all pick our spheres of ability and work with them as well as possible.

The resources that exist to help players learn their desired skills and pick up the knowledge they need to excel are far advanced over what players had when I started in 2007.  The EvE-Uni wiki alone has more information than I had access to.  The ISK book, tons of Youtube videos, countless blogs.  There’s information out there, albeit somewhat hard to reach.  There’s also whole organizations dedicated to teaching people about this game.  The aforementioned EvE-Uni is the most famous, but there’s others.  

In general people don’t look for gaps in their knowledge.  That is until their face is shoved into said gap while their ass is repeatedly kicked.  The only reliable way of finding out you don’t know enough about something is usually to be stung by it, as has been the case for can miners, market opportunists, practically every investor ever, the triple-tankers, and people fitting against their bonuses in PvP.  

The lessons you learn in EvE can be shattering.  Losing hard earned ships, especially early on, can be extremely demoralizing.  The resources can help you prevent a repeat, if you avail yourself of them, but you have to recover yourself.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, EvE isn’t nice.  

Fly Dangerous, Learn your Lesson.


Hot Stick

So Helena Khan recently commented on one of my more vague and opinionated posts.  Helena said, and I quote:

I’d go a bit further than that and suggest that it’s better to learn to fly frigates, and fly them REALLY well before stepping up to cruisers. Fly cruisers REALLY well, etc etc.

and then goes on to give some REALLY good reasons behind her logic.  I do happen to disagree and, seeing as I write this blog, I’m going to inflict my logic upon you.

Frigates are hard.  Seriously.  They are the most demanding ships in the game to fit and fly REALLY well.  They are very fragile, require a very thorough knowledge of mechanics to protect, and give a crushing advantage to the more skilled player in both SP and Skill level.  Now this last point is true of all ships, but a battleship can’t be practically one-shotted.  In fact I would submit that a Skilled low-SP character is more likely to win a 1 on 1 with a Battleship, where he has a bit more buffer to cushion his lapses (and let his strategy take hold) than in a frigate where there is less room for innovation and mistakes.  That being said DON’T RUSH INTO BIGGER HULLS.

You absolutely want to be able to fit them, and fit them well.  One of the reasons I love the new cruisers is I consider them to be an excellent hull class to learn the game.  If you mess up in a frigate it is almost certainly dead, practically instantly.  If you mess up in a cruiser you are far more likely to have time to correct your mistake (or to admire it if it was particularly nasty, like falling into web and neut range of an Ashimmu that is slowly murdering your buffer) and continue the battle.

Frigates require a “Hot Stick” at the controls.  Someone who really understands the mechanics, who knows how to get everything out of their ship, from range control, to effective damage delivery, to damage mitigation, tracking, signature, the works.  New players simply don’t understand how huge these factors are, and frigate aces understand them instinctively.

Manual piloting is another issue.  I understand the rudiments of it, certainly enough to mess up the more junior EvE players.  This is a skill that I understand in theory, that I understand the concepts of, but that I lack the overall awareness and focus to master.  Another reason I like cruisers, they are FAR less demanding in this regard.

The last reason I really like cruisers is they have enough slots that they are really built.  You can dig into a fitting and really have fun with it rather than deciding what to do with 2 lowslots or 3 mids.  Getting to the more generous slot allocation of the cruisers can be bewildering, but if players educate themselves with the resources available they can skip past the worst foibles that plague many young up-and-comers.

I can’t say every player will enjoy the game more if they spend 2 months in a frigate, or if they race into a cruiser.  I simply don’t have the data to support it either way.  I know a player should wait until they have a certain level of capability before upgrading, but the way cruisers are now, that level looks a lot lower to me than it did a few months ago.

Fly Dangerous.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Learning to Fly

One of the things I’ve been thinking about with Fancy Hats growing, and growing with new people, is how to advise people on when to get in a bigger ship.  I have my own opinions (naturally) and I thought I’d share them here:

T1 Frigates – ALWAYS fly T1 frigates.  They are fun.

T1 Destroyers – Another great ship for everyone

T1 Cruisers – I’m pretty liberal about hopping in these.  They are a lot of fun as well, much more capable than they used to be, and still pretty cheap.  You want to be fitting some T2 mods before you use them a lot.  Especially tank.

T1 Battlecruisers – Full T2 tank, decent fitting skills, and some secondary weapon skills will all make your first time in a battlecruiser both more enjoyable, and longer than mine was.

T1 Battleshisp – T2 tank, good to great fitting skills.  T2 weapons are a Good Idea.  If you can’t even fit T1 large guns… don’t fly it.

I know that getting into a bigger class of ships is fun and exciting.  It will be that much more fun and exciting when you are skilled enough to enjoy those ships and not watch them ‘splode 20 minutes after you get in.  Again trust me on this.

T2 Frigates – T2 mids and lows.  T2 guns for AFs.

T2 Destroyers – Fully T2

T2 Cruisers – Logistics require excellent fitting skills, HACs absolutely require T2 guns.  AB-SO-LUTE-LY people.  Recons require pretty much all the support skills to be excellent as well.

T2 BCs – Command skills, FULL T2 fittings.

T2 BS – Do I have to mention you really don’t want T1 guns on a Marauder?

Now, a pet peeve of mine

Faction ships deserve T2 guns.  Please people.  I know most offenders are wallet warriors wanting a badass Raven with only 2 million SP, but PLEASE, Faction guns are good, but they are no substitute for T2 guns.  Bring the right tools, do these majestic behemoths justice.  Fit them with the weapons they deserve.

Pirate Faction I’ll even go a step beyond.  With Pirate Faction ships you really should consider some faction tank modules.  Unlike the guns, everything else is usually better faction or deadspace in some way.  Sure you can fully T2 the thing, and you should at least have the SKILLS to do so, but improving a ship by throwing faction on there at this price point is probably something to at least consider.

These are my hard-and-fast rules.  The goal is to prevent players from losing isk by flying ships that they cannot really fly properly, that they cannot protect in combat, and cannot utilize to any extent.  Special pet peeves for people using T1 frigate guns on BS, or somehow flying HACs with a T1 fit.  If you can’t take advantage of the ship’s bonuses to a great extent, you should fly a smaller (but not lesser) ship that you can get more mileage out of.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Nooblets Guide: 21 Days to Glory

So, one of the things that tends to hurt new players is they can be made to feel really helpless really fast.  I’m assuming that most new players who find their way to this blog will find their way here because they have a friend who plays the game.  I’m also going to assume that their main goal will be to find fun things to do, and while PvE can be a lot of fun, new players who can contribute in PvP tend to do a lot better.

So our goal today is to find a fit that will put the player in the opportunity to fly a real PvP ship, in a fleet towards the end of their trial.  I’m going with the armor version because I’m still working towards a couple of fits that will go well with a shield version.  Here we go:

Finish the Tutorials on day 1, with all the skills you need for that, NEXT:
Racial Frigate to level 4
Small (Hybrid, Projectile, Laser, whatever) to 4
Drones to 4, with scout drone operation to 2
Electronics to 4
Engineering to 4
Gunnery 3
Afterburner 3
High speed maneuvering 3
Racial Cruiser 3
Hull Upgrades 4
Medium guns 3 (again, the one for your race)
Propulsion Jamming 3
Weapon Upgrades 4
Drones to 5
Energy Systems Operation 1

This will get you into something like this:

[Maller, t1]

5x Focused Anode Pulse Particle Stream I (Multifrequency M)

Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor I

2x Adaptive Nano Plating II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
2x Heat Sink I

3x Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

3x Warrior I

If you can find someone to rig it, and while the DPS is, frankly, anemic, clocking in at under 150, it’s a ship that will get a new player into a fight, other alternatives include the more aggressive, but more fragile Thorax:

[Thorax, Cruiser 4 T1 Guns]

5x Anode Electron Particle Cannon I (Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M)

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I (Navy Cap Booster 200)
Stasis Webifier II
Warp Scrambler II

800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
2x Prototype Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer I
Damage Control II

3x Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

5x Hammerhead I

or the Rupture, giving a bit more speed, less tank, than the Maller, but more damage:

[Rupture, Cruiser 4 T1 Guns]

4x 220mm Medium Prototype Automatic Cannon (Republic Fleet Fusion M)

Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I (Navy Cap Booster 200)
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II

800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
2x Prototype Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
Gyrostabilizer I

Medium Anti-Explosive Pump I
2x Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

4x Warrior I
1x Hammerhead I

These aren’t perfect, refined fits, these are solid “Blue Collar” fits.  They can be handled by a nooblet, and can get them into a fight where they can have fun and see ships explode, including, quite probably, their own.  My next guide will talk about how to get into all modes of PvE in a more controlled, sustainable fashion, building from some of the skills trained here, and some new ones more focused on PvE.

Some notes:

THESE AREN’T POLISHED FITS AND SKILLPLANS I ENCOURAGE AND HOPE THAT YOU CAN AND WILL GIVE ME YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK.  Constructive feedback means “You can do this with the lasers and this with the plate to get this and this in the maller” not “take a shower you fungal faced wookie dung”

These ships are meant to be used in fleets.  Logistics and ewar support can come from more experienced people.

Yes I want nooblets out pew pewing sooner, this will be sort of a “welcome to week three, grab your diploma, your lasers, and start killing shit” culmination of the free trial period.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

How I Help New Players

This is a topic that has become a bit more important lately, as I expect a fair number of Kinship members from LotRO to start joining me in EvE in the new year.  Help comes in many forms, I want to talk about a few of the primary kinds

  1. Monetary Help:  Cold Hard Isk
  2. Advice:  “No you probably shouldn’t put lasers and an armor repper on your kestrel.  How did you do that anyway?”
  3. Mentoring:  “Ok, lets try doing this, to see how you like it”

I’m going to take them out of order, mostly to confuse the readers who aren’t used to my lazy writing style.

Trust me, I play EvE!

Advice is far and away the most critical it can save a new player from making critical mistakes (Always be training nooblet!)  Point out both good and bad things that they are doing “Let me help you with fitting to your bonuses,” by saving a Nooblet from some of the more annoying traps EvE has we can help new players to avoid some of the pain that can crush them early on.  Advice is literally taking a question that has been asked and rather than simply answering it, turning it into a learning opportunity for a wider avenue of EvE.  It also includes anticipating the unasked question, sometimes one the Nooblet doesn’t even realize they should ask.

If you stab your battleship I’ll stab your face.

Mentoring means giving guidance, having a Nooblet try out different things, and not just missioning, mining, and hauling.  Take them to lowsec and blow something up.  Take them to a wormhole, heck take them to the New Eden gate, and get blown up.  More than that, or less than that, show them different ways to do things, speed tanking missions in a kestrel.  Brawling through them in a Punisher.  Go crazy, try new things with them.  There’s a plethora of new ships out there, break out EFT or EvE HQ, show them how to go at it.

THIS is a bag of money. That you cannot have.

Monetary Help means more than cold hard isk.  It means providing a cushion for them.  It doesn’t mean removing all risk.  If a player feels like he can do anything because Papa Corelin is just gonna refill the wallet, then I am doing the Nooblet a disservice.  Or myself if I keep doing it forever.  The goal is to dole out the good cautiously.  To hand them an allowance, to teach them the value of money, and to only provide the tools they need to provide for themselves better.  By controlling the flow, you guide them towards self-sufficiency, and you can find opportunities yourself to guide them with advice, more than isk.

Next Time:  Establishing Independence.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can