Friday, June 10, 2016

Such a Small Thing, Such a Big Difference

I'm a big fan of the "lose a hundred ships" philosophy of learning to play Eve. Sure. you need to make sure you learn the right lessons from those 100 losses, but there's no better way to learn to PvP than to simultaneously lose your fear of loss and push the envelope to understand the different ways of flying and the counters to each style. A kiting frigate and a kiting cruiser face many of the same challenges - both when flying and when shooting it - and the lessons transfer pretty well.

Honestly, the biggest pain point to losing 100 ships is getting them to your staging system and fitting them all up. Sure, on occasion I complain about wanting to be able to haul my ships quickly, but generally speaking Red Frog does a great job of moving packaged ships to any high-sec system very cheaply, and a Viator can do the job of getting them into lowsec well enough once you get there.

Yet, until now, fitting was a giant pain in the ass.  Not anymore, ladies and gentlemen.  Bulkfitting is coming to Tranquility with the next patch. Now, you'll be able to plop 100 Tristans and their modules into your hangar, select bulkfitting, and end up with 100 fitted and named ships, all ready to go (after the server recovers from all that work, of course...).

Now, at first, you may think this isn't that big of a deal, but it's an absolute game changer for anyone who does alliance logistics, setting up all those ships for contract. Bulk fitting ships was tedious work that detracted from any engaging gameplay. You'd have to do it one at a time, laboriously flipping through multiple windows and dozens of mouseclicks to get uniform results quickly.

And it's such a small thing.  Much like multibuy and multi-sell, bulkfitting will ease the burden for yet another one of those activities that consumes all our time between the things we really want to be doing, be it shooting rocks, rats, or other pilots, building modules or ships, maintaining your PI empire, or running exploration sites.

For whatever reason, CCP has decided, over the past six months, to deliver on some of the long-awaited requests players had put in. Perhaps it's a recognition that citadels, while necessary and sure to drive the game towards CCP's future vision, aren't really that sexy. They don't really affect players' day-to-day lives. Now, sure, the "stations" can be destoyed, but they replace one station for another.

But multi-buy, multi-sell, and bulkfitting? Those affect players regularly, sometimes every day or multiple times a day. And it reaffirms the designer's pledge to make life a little easier by removing unnecessary tedium... while keeping the necessary delays and struggles that make loss meaningful.

Well done.


  1. James and the CODE. believers will be declaring, that once again, this is a sign that CCP actively endorses them. After all it must be tedious fitting all those Catalysts.

  2. Side note: Most players (most PEOPLE) have a low tolerance for failure. Add in the shame of a killboard and comments, as well as smacktalk in local, or taunting by alliance members, and you'll have people backing off from PVP entirely. You raise that threshhold and not give a crap what people think (including yourself!) then and ONLY then will you see results. Oh, yeah, expect to lose a billion or more before your first solo kill, most likely. Mainly because you wont find a solo player, just gank groups...and THEN you find that single pilot, he has to fight back and not run. THEN you have to WIN. Losing gains you experience but not knowledge; losing ships doesnt teach you what to do. It teaches you other people can beat you a lot.

    1. My experience hasn't been that way; I typically have no problem finding solo fights in FW space.

      But I want to focus on the behavior you describe. At its core, you're arguing that people don't want to better themselves. After all, trying and failing is the ONLY way to improve. If people don't have a tolerance for failure, are afraid of taunting, and don't assess your losses to understand what you did wrong, then you aren't a person who wants to learn.

      That's what I try to change. To take people from being sheep (afraid of failure, not wanting to try) to wolves. That skill isn't limited to Eve, either. Ultimately, the thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful ones is that successful people charge out there, try, and when they fail (not if), they learn what they can, pick themselves up, and try again. Success comes from relentlessness, not perfection.

      And that's what I try to instill with this blog. Losing ships DOES teach you, if you're of a mind to learn. Every loss means you did something wrong. Even if you flew perfectly, you made a mistake with fight selection... so you focus on that and improve. Every loss is a hidden lesson if you have the mentality to uncover it.

      At the end of the day, taunting and smacktalk is a goad to move you forward. When it makes you angry (and it should!), use that anger as fuel to understand what the enemy did (or you didn't do) and become better next time.

      You describe adversity. Either you can be buried by it and shie away from it, or you can charge into it, eager for the lessons and bruises it gives. That tendency isn't instinctive; we each need to unlearn the risk-aversion and expectation of perfection that's wrongly drilled into us if we want to succeed at anything in life.