Part Two: What Makes a Good PvPer?
Good PvPer Recipe
1x Cup - A heaping cup of daring chance, half daring and half chance.
We are off to a good start, but one cup of Daring Chance isn't a recipe for anything other than disaster. As my Corpmate Bloody James pointed out yesterday, you also need a healthy dose of smarts. For the purpose of this series, we are going to call that Target Selection.
So let's add one cup of Target Selection to our recipe. But what exactly is Target Selection, and why is it so important? Good question. Let's continue with the Kessie attacks Myrm example from yesterday's post. (For those of you catching up, I attacked a Myrmidon in a large plex, in a busy local with my nearest support 5 jumps away in a Hookbill.)
As bold and daring as that engagement was, until we discovered just how young the Myrm pilot was afterwards, it was also smart. I was flying a kite fit Kestrel with a TD fitted. Unless I landed right on top of him and he got extremely lucky, I'd most likely have the option to leave the fight anytime I wanted. Let's say he unleashed a swarm of T2 Warriors for example, I could just leave the fight. A Myrm can kill a Kestrel, unless the Kestrel just leaves. This is called Target Selection and it is, quite possibly, the CORE ingredient of good PvP.
Shortly after the Myrm exploded, I jumped into a Fed Navy Comet with that Kessie. Now, my Frigate loves blaster fitted Comets and I already knew he was blaster fit. He had recently kilt another Corpmate. The Daring Chance on this type of attack is very high, it is extremely risky and can often end in death. But the reward of killing a Comet with a lowly Kessie is very high. As for Target Selection, he was blaster fit, if I could gain the distance he would be helpless against me. (Well sorta helpless, I mean he still has drones and cunning. At the very least he may be able to get away.) None of that ended up mattering however, since he was sitting at zero and got his blasters right in my face. The tables turned and it was me that was helpless. Although I did manage to put up a good fight to the death.
I've been preaching from this pulpit for a long time and one of the primary lessons I have been preaching is simple - KNOW YOURSELF. Know your skill set, know your ship, know the ships and tactics of your enemy, and know how those pieces fit together. Target Selection is not just determining what ships your ship can engage and win against. That is the most simplistic and ultimately doomed version of Target Selection. There is much more to it than just an answer to, "Can a Condor beat a Firetail."
But that is the core of the issue. When it comes right down to it, engaging anything is all about minimizing the odds. Swinging them in your direction. Anyone can throw themselves at a brick wall all day, but it is the rare bird that brings along a jackhammer to tear that wall down. Be the jackhammer.
Many players take this ingredient to the extreme. The odds are never good and they have a very hard time living in that world. So they swing the odds even more in their favor, by bringing along some ECM, or a booster alt, or a dozen friends. Or flying blingy, faction fitted, win-buttons, or Ishtars. (lol) These are not the tactics of good PvPers. Too much of a good thing ruins the recipe.
A good PvPer knows the odds are terrible. And he or she accepts that world, thrives in it, and finds glory in defeating the odds. That is the heart of any good PvP, the smashing of walls, the climbing of mountains, the stomping of enemies. It is a lot of fun and personally satisfying in ways that are hard to explain.
Tomorrow we take a look at the last few ingredients of the good PvPer recipe.
Until then, fly Bold and fly Smart.
(For additional reading about this subject, check out this post about Target Acquisition, for more detailed information and analysis.)