Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Air Crash investigations

Last night we lost an Execquror and a Vexor Navy, not so much to enemy action, but to avoidable mistakes made by various people prior to engaging with the enemy.

Firstly, intel mistakes were made, where our scout communicated (on noisy comms commandeered by two guys playing Battlefield) only part of the intel picture. This included the ship comps, pilots, and tactical situation, but not the fact the target hole was a C4 Wolf Rayet hole, which tends to put rather a different slant on a mixed fleet compsuch as Legion, Caracal and Cerberus (plus later, Orthrus).

Our grunts, thus misinformed, chose the wrong ships with the wrong weapons. Some, indeed, appear to have internalised that it was a W-R but didn't realise it was a shield debuff, hence the VNI. Thus, shipping choices were malformed and contributed to poor performance.

Our FC (yeah, me) had just signed on and so the gang was formed in haste and put into battle before the correct checks and cud chewing had been dne.  Frankly if this hadn't been a W-R it would have gone significantly better, but RLML Cerbs in a C4 Wolf Rayet are a different kettle of fish by about 200% DPS - going from annoying kiting shits to deadly kiting shits.

One thing about being an experienced player is that you can see the play happening as it's underway, and can adapt. This of course happens faster, and importantly, ahead of schedule when your intel is correct. Nevertheless, even though the Exec got blapped almost instantly, the remainder of the gang disengaged and withdrew fine. Kiting off a wormhole is dandy if people follow, so the smacktalk was unjustified.

At the end of the day, it comes down to a set-piece move which works when all the holes in the swiss cheese line up against your opponents. Our opponents, being resident in a C4 W-R, have chosen  set of plays which work fine in and of themselves, but aren't very flexible when properly approached.

The RLML Cerb and Orthrus rely entirely on their range, extreme DPS and damage application from RLMLs in W-R. The pitch to kite off the hole and keep a tanky tackle legion close in while the kiting ships do DPS is fine versus shield fit VNI's (anything would be fine, honestly). But as with anything, this all cuts both ways, and the key is to field the right ships, and have your tactics down. Had we fielded the right ships and fits, things would have gone significantly different.

Suffice to say, this has prompted a review of what we all fly, and why. Light bulbs are going on as people begin to understand that there is no such thing as just picking a ship from your SMA and warping to a hole, dumb and blind. There's a reason for our ships, our fits, and the way we go about things.

This is what sets apart the good organisations from the bad, in my experience, and what makes EVE PVP so much more than other games. it is complicated, yes, but when you grok it, when you internalise what's going on, you begin to experience the rewards. Not only is PVP about personal skills (piloting, positioning, reacting, and self initiative) it is also about organisational discipline on the behalf of the individuals (shipping, fitting, skilling into the doctrine) and organisational coherence - getting the intel chain right, having reasonable FCs, and having the support network and processes in place.

This, importantly, includes gorily going through the bad experiences in a frank and open way, to identify the errors and mistakes, and rectify them. It is like an air crash investigation, where you identify the cause of the crash and take measures to eliminate the causative factors.

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