Blog Banter page.
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“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein
Drackarn pointed this killmail out recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:
Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?
Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...
And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?
"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodach
Deep breath. Hold it. Slowly let it out again. Nice. Feel better? Good. Let's get started. I'm going to warn you ahead of time that you may not like some of the things I am going to say in this post. In fact, I may not like some of the things I am going to say in this post. But... honesty. It hurts sometimes.
The single greatest crime of Eve Online is simply that it has no acceptable, helpful, comparative, or otherwise enlightening fitting tool included in-game. We have to rely on third-party software for these services. When you consider, that at its heart, Eve is a PvP oriented game - this is a crime of staggering proportions. And sadly, this situation used to be much, much worse than it is today.
Because of this oversight, and the mere fact that Eve makes fitting ships so easy, young players often have a very strongly misplaced sense of how to properly fit ships. This often results in hilariously horrible consequences and bad, bad deaths. Having dealt with more young players over the last year, I can confidently tell you that this situation is not improving. Despite the increase in guides, advice, kill-boards, and general in-game improvements - many pilots simply continue apace. Being horrible.
At its root, this situation is directly related to the social aspects of Eve and the increasingly important need to direct new players into organizations, corporations, and alliances. It is, very simply, peer pressure that eventually wins out. Bad habits start from day one and the problem is NOT just limited to young players. I've witnessed many older "should-know-better" players making these mistakes as well.
Ok, now let's back up a second.
What exactly is a bad fit? Is putting a cloak on a Drake a bad idea? Is putting guns and a shield extender on a Badger considered a bad idea? (What if you have 150 of them?) When I started putting rail guns on a Comet it caused a lot of drama in certain organizations, but now it is an acceptable way to fit a Comet. Was that really a bad fit? Was my special Sacrilege fit truly bad? Can a bad fit be responsible for 350 kills? Because that one is. What is the difference?
And who are you to tell me, or anyone else, how to fit our ships?
HAM Drakes? It'll never work. Light Missile Caracals? You gotta be crazy! Dual-tanked Frigates!?! You should be ashamed of yourself! You never, ever dual tank anything! Sheesh. What the Hell is wrong with you?
Name an acceptable fit and at one point or another it was crazy talk. The work of madness. Examples are rife in Eve's history. Try something crazy and eventually PL will steal it, turn it into an effective tactic, and then everyone will think they are geniuses. Then suddenly everyone else is doing it.
The truth is somewhere in the middle of all that. Yes, there are actually bad fits. The only way to know which is which, is to know how to properly fit a ship. Only then can you properly counter-fit a ship. THIS is not a counter fit Dominix, this is simply a horribly fit Dominix.
The other exception is of course Fleet actions. Proper comps demand a unified fitting convention, the fleet only truly works when everyone is on-board with that convention. Large fleets demand coordinated fits, dependable, reliable, and trusted. One bad apple can spoil a big bunch. Trust me.
But beyond that? Innovation comes from trial and error. Trying new things is how things change. Demanding that everyone fly exactly the same way is borderline stupid. Especially in low sec. Counter-intuitive fits often work brilliantly, and just as often die in a ball of fire. But it is trying that makes the difference. I could count hundreds of examples.
The important thing is teaching pilots the standards, the reasons behind the standards and then allow them the freedom to try new things. The essential problems are universal. Knowledge, understanding, and experience. The best place for this is within a Corporation that cares, that is open and willing to help. There is no substitute for this in Eve. Not yet.
I once had an Alliance Leader who will remain nameless tell me that when the Manticore I was flying ended up on the Alliance killboard - that I would be kicked from the Alliance. I flew it anyway. I had a very specific idea about what it was capable of doing. It did eventually die, like all good spaceships do. But not before nearly soloing a Geddon (I ran out of torps and had to ask for help to finish it off sadly) and about 15 Russian Transports out in the Great Wildlands. The loot from that run bought me a Shadow POS Tower and enough mods to deathstar the shit out of it.
And since I was used as an example (without my knowledge!) in this blog banter, I will say this. A ship that kills another ship, no matter the circumstances, is not a badly fit ship. The winner is always right. The only badly fit ships are the ones that explode. When that happens to me, I always say the same thing, "Back to the old drawing board."
As for me? I try to teach, instruct and generally provide an environment in Stay Frosty that is open to new ideas. We share fits constantly and try to help everyone become a better pilot thru continual practice, which is undocking and fighting practice. It is, after all, the only way to learn. Either your ship dies or it lives. Ultimately that is the only way to truly judge a fit. You could have mixed guns, dual-tank, and T1 drones - but if the other guys dies and you live? Well then, that is glorious.
But we need an integrated, fully-functioning fitting tool included within Eve and we've needed one for eleven years. I went three years of my Eve career not being able to use a fitting tool because one was not available on the Mac platform. I can only imagine what insanity I could have avoided.
Or what brilliance I may have missed out on.