Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So you think you can fly

As CEO of the Tuskers, one of my responsibilities is to keep an eye out for promising recruits. Occasionally I come across pilots such as the one who claimed:
I've been playing EvE on and off since 04' and settled down in 06'...

I currently have around 18 million S.P.
Spread out mostly in Tanking and Damage dealing (like my background says, I'm a soldier pure and simple)

I have Leadership V and warfare Link Spec IV
Been Running My LvL 4's in my Command Ship (Sleipnir)
Will train more leadership skills if asked to

I'm currently training Electronic Warfare skills while not wanting to be a dedicated EW pilot.

I'm also trained in Covert Ops and Espionage Behind Enemy line. In PVE terms that means that I did Exploration Deep in hostile low sec and 0.0: Covert Op IV ; Cloaking IV ; Cyno Field Theory (in progress- can be trained on demand)
PS: I'm not a spy: I will not execute an order to join a corp with intent on deception, that kind of behavior happens on the battle field.

I have a few Logistics Skills: Freighter Pilot (never used)
; Anchoring skills; and will train combat utility skills: Shield/armor transfer Modules (while not being a dedicated Combat Utility Pilot)

I'm a Highly skilled Mission Runner
(Running LvL 4's for Minmatar Republic for a while now)
My main weapons are Turrets and Autocannons. I only fly Minmatar ships and excel at both Shield and Armor tanking (depending on the ship).
Impressive! Training since '04, now has 18 million sp mostly in tanking and DPS, can fly covert ops, command ships, and freighters, also has good skills in leadership and anchoring. Here's another pilot, this one with 15,700,000 skillpoints:
What I offer:
Experienced 0.0 pilot in the following areas
PVP, Hulk Mining, POS warfare,Big fleet Small fleet Ops., and other areas
I can fly small hac,intercept,snipe bs,EW frig,T2 fit on most mods,and also a hulk for any mining(not a miner)but we all have to make the coin.
What I seek:
Bounty Rats ,0.0 with sov,(no npc space,or Drone Regions))small gang pvp,will do Big fleet as well ,I believe in Defense and offense.
That's right, a 15.7 million sp pilot who flies interceptors, EW frigates, HACs, and battleships--all with mostly T2 modules! And on top of that, he flies a Hulk! Or check out this guy:
I want to join a big alliance that has daily battles and need for good pvp pilots on a daily basis to take on the odd's and come up good.
I will Kill Anything and anyone. all i am looking for is some direction.
Can Fly full Tech II gallente BS V
Frig V in caldari and gallente
I have a fettish with faction/officer fit navy megas and Neut Domi's atm.
6 mill in guunery
4.5 mill in drones
This guy actually has more skillpoints than I do in gunnery and drones (though at 18m sp, less overall), and flies full T2 battleships at a skill level of 5, has Frigate 5 in two races, and flies HACs. That's actually pretty focused.

One more example:
  • 19m char with majority of it in missiles and gunnery
  • Own and fly up to HAC and BS working up to Command (will have it in about 3 week)
  • Also able to fly up to Minmitar Freighter (Just need to buy the book)
  • 16m char with near max probing skills and decent mining skills
  • Own and fly Logistics, Cov ops and BS
  • Able to fly up to Hulk and Recon
This team's "support" pilot boasts of flying 5 classes of ships that I don't even fly yet, with more skillspoints than he!

As a point of reference, I myself have been flying for just over one year and have about 18.5 million skillpoints. From the day I mustered out of the Caldari military, I've focused my training on PvP. Though I learned to fly a Crow well, the entire rest of my training has prepared me to fly combat ships designed by the Gallente consortiums: the Incursus, the Taranis, the Thorax, and as of this week, the Myrmidon, a battlecruiser of some repute. How is it, Friend, that I'm not flying fully T2 battleships and HACs and command ships, like some of those pilots above?

When I say I can command these ships, I mean I command them. My blasters are the appropriate size for the ship I'm flying, spewing out about as much destruction as it is possible for a blaster to spew. Mine are high-tech blasters with the most advanced ammunition, and I've studied hard to lock faster and maximize range, tracking, rate of fire, and damage potential. Beyond that, I know my ship systems well enough to push my blasters beyond spec, causing them to overheat, and at times to malfunction, but in the vast majority of situations merely giving me yet another slight edge over a worthy foe. My drones are high-tech whether they be small, medium, or large. Not content with off-the-shelf drone AI routines, I've learned to modify the drone hardware and reprogram them for speed, range, accuracy, damage, and defensive capability.

When I'm hunting for targets, I'm not cowed by an unfamiliar pilot in a good combat vessel with more experience than I have. The experience I do have tells me that the typical pilot has squandered his time as a pilot, or perhaps merely not focused on combat skills as I have. In a large proportion of my fights, I honestly expect my T2 Hammerhead drones to outperform his T2 Hammerhead drones, my T2 microwarpdrive to push me faster than his microwarpdrive pushes him, and my T2 blasters to deal more damage than his T2 blasters. Heck, I'm never surprised when my opponent can't even field T2 drones, guns, or modules at all. I don't really blame people for not focusing as I have; I recognize the need for miners, haulers, manufacturers, inventors, explorers, or what have you. But when it comes to a fight, the dedicated combat pilot has an edge.

Yet when I say I can command ships, I do not at all mean I have pushed them to the limits of which they are capable. I am aware of advances I could make in nearly all my systems. I am learned in armor tanking, with a merely adequate understanding of shields--and yet I know there are situations in which it would be better for my Myrmidon to rely on shields rather than armor. I have mastered blasters to the neglect of projectile weapons or even railguns--and yet I value the flexibility I would have could I fit my ships for longer range or with less cap-hungry weapons systems. Finally, in many cases I've made the decision that "superior" is good enough, and I have not pursued my studies beyond level 4 to the level 5 of training.

My own conclusion is that those pilots above focused more on spaceship command than on spaceship efficiency. They've concentrated on being specced to fly a ship, whereas I've concentrated on being able to excel in a ship. And I'm not going to say they did it wrong; no doubt they in their HACs or recon ships or command ships or battleships would defeat me in my Thorax. Not surprisingly, an adequate pilot in a superior ship can beat a superior pilot in a lesser ship. But I really want to engage some of them and test my Myrmidon or Taranis, and I really believe I'd have a chance against at least one pilot's battleship with my Thorax.

In the end, I'd probably take any of these pilots if they would demonstrate that they have the Tusker approach to PvP (if they could show me the solo kills, including taking out pilots in superior ships). It's not like I haven't provided my share of comedy killmails.

Just know that when you see me in a battleship or HAC, you'll have a fight on your hands.


Shirrath said...

There is an ancient Minmatar proverb: If you only have a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. If you have a screwdriver specialist at hand at all times, great. Otherwise it would be prudent to do a bit of cross-training in case you ever encounter a screw.

Ahnog said...

Old Caldari Proverb--"focus, Danielson, focus."

Or, as the little green guy said=="...eyes always on the future, never his mind on where he is; what he is doing."

Letrange said...

ave on the support skills. One of the biggest slowdowns I've had in my quest to improve my combat skills has been getting the support skills in place. Things like Sharpshooter and Surgical Strike etc... It's one of the reasons that at 23mil sp I'm 5 days away from Medium Projectile Turrets 5. Well that and adding combat skills to an industrial character just takes time. But like most other experienced pilots it's no longer "I must get in ship x" it's "I must fly ship x well before I get in it"

Mynxee said...

Very good post. I'm 22.5M sps almost 100% Minmatar specialized and focused on PVP, with a lot of love given to support skills. It means I get good bonuses from the mainly T2 modules I fit, whether it be for grid/CPU or performance. In fact, I rarely have problems fitting the commonly-recommended optimum fits for anything through battlecruisers.

A lot of people are intent on getting into capital ships; that's not even on my radar. For the immediate future, I'm focused on training skills that allow me to fly BCs and below at their maximum capacity.

Something I notice in looking at recruits' skills in EVEMon--people tend to have lots of partially finished skills. Since none of the skill points invested in partially completed level benefit you, it's best to stick with a skill until the current level is complete. Ideally, the only partially completed level you have is Level 5 on a skill you train overnight or for longer periods away from EVE.

Shirrath said...

Personally, the partially trained skills that I have are artifacts of my real-life schedule. Skills that last for more than 10 hours are great to train while at work, skills that last for 8 hours are great for training while sleeping, skills that last for 0-3 hours are great for evenings. Everything else is somewhat troublesome, and have to be trained during weekends.

Focusing can get you somewhere quickly, but leave you quite vulnerable in other areas. For example, a Caldari pilot can train shields and missiles and proceed quickly along the Kestrel - Caracal - Drake - Raven line and have decent tanking and DPS in EFT, but be quite vulnerable when facing an Ishtar, for example.

Some encounters are decided in the fitting screen, some in the skill tab. You really don't want to bring a stiletto into a shootout on the street, nor do you want to bring a sniper rifle into a bar brawl.

Jeff said...

Its important to focus, especially as a newer player. You will never make up the skillpoint difference, but you can make up the difference in a ship class or two.

I fly all races, I specialize in Minmatar. 57mil SP focused on PVP and the support skills for PVP. I know more often than not that my ship will outperform just about any other of its class.

And if I ever give up being a 0.0 PvPer for the life of an Empire Pirate, I'll probably be headed your way.

Ka Jolo said...

You make some good points, Shirrath, and I support your perspective if it makes the game fun for someone. Perhaps you can detect some of my ambivalence in the OP. However, my philosophy remains my philosophy, and I'm looking at months and months more of training...after which I'll still be flying the same sized ships (mostly cruisers), just better and with more options.

I'll be moving into HICs, HACs, and Recons ships in the near future, then adding shield taking and projectile weaponry to my bag of tricks, before studying leadership (my so-called-charisma will bite me on that). By then, no doubt, T2 cruisers in general will be nerfed into oblivion, and everyone will be in T3 bombers...who knows?