Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lessons: Roaming With Your Wife

I’ve FC’d a bit before, but the birth of my children made it impossible for me to commit wholly to a fight.  More frequently than not, I have to dock up while roaming because one child or the other is up far later than she should be.  Having no convenient gypsies to sell them to, I have no choice but to be a good dad and sooth them.

But, I am experienced enough with FCing to know that it takes an incredible amount of attention and focus to keep everything running smoothly.  Understanding what the hostiles are doing, what your scouts are telling you, and how soon your fleet is going to land, mixed with trying to remember exactly what bonuses a Celestis gets so you can primary your targets in the right order… it’s a lot of work. 

And, of course, you want to get on the kills yourself.  Typically, the FC flies an easy-to-fly ship (F1 only, please) that can endure for a while, but it’s still another set of procedures to keep in mind.  You need to lock and broadcast every target, while also stating the target aloud on comms.  Then you need to choose the secondary, then promote as the primary goes down, while still locking and broadcasting.  There are a lot of steps to forget, particularly as the circumstances of the battle evolve.

Apparently, roaming with your wife when she’s still learning Eve is identical in its complexity.

This Friday night, my wife came along on the first part of the roam.  She was in a Jaguar, and I was in a probing Rapier.  Let me tell you, my ship selection was not the wisest.  It involved too many steps on its own.  But I also had to explain how to manage all the steps to accomplish the FC’s orders, as well as explain why we were doing what we were doing.

It was impossible, at least for me.  At one point, we caught up with a -10 sec Brutix at a gate (obvious bait, right?) and our scout on the other side told us he had a Harpy and a Jaguar on that side, with nothing else on dscan, so we engaged.  I had to engage for myself (I was preventing him from burning back to gate with my Rapier) while I walked my wife through engaging with the Jaguar.

When hostile logi landed on our side of the gate and immediately pulled range, we disengaged since we couldn’t break his tank.  Everyone aligned out, I kept my web on the Brutix to prevent him from burning down any of our people, and we warped.  My wife hadn’t even gotten into the fight by the time we left.  I had to engage for myself, then instruct her on the steps to engage him as well.  It just took too much time.

Afterwards, while we were in warp, I explained why we disengaged… we couldn’t break the reps the Brutix was receiving.  Being the insightful person she was, she asked why we didn’t kill the logi, and I explained how he immediately pulled range and we’d have had to burn too far, putting us in range of the Brutix and his two AF friends (we were all in very squishy ships).

Fortunately, the mistake of splitting my attention too many ways didn’t result in any losses between the two of us.  But, I think next week, I’ll just assist over her shoulder while she joins the roam.  That way, I can focus solely on helping her.  Probably a lot wiser than trying to tag-team it.

But that’s an important lesson.  When faced with any situation in Eve, face the reality of your own limitations.  It’s better to take a step back than set yourself up for certain failure.  In this case, it means shelving my ship while she learns the ropes of PvP with hands-on experience.  In yours, it might mean not flying a certain ship or flying style until you see it in action, as flown by another, a bit longer.  Try fighting a few Cynabals first, then fly a few cheaper ships (Stabber, certain fits of a Rupture) before flying a Cynabal.

Incidentally, this is where newer players have an advantage over older players.  Low-SP PvPers naturally tend to start with cheaper ships and modules, and they learn the ropes through smaller losses.  Older players who decide to start PvPing tend to start with T2 ships before they really know how to use them in PvP, and their losses are larger.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you can do it well at first try.

And I’m just no good at simultaneously teaching and doing.

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