Sunday, 10 August 2014

Trial, Error and EFT

The shakeup in wormhole effects has restarted debate on fittings for use in wormholes with effects.  Mostly this has revolved around the Cataclysmic effect rebalance, for two reasons.

One, it is a point of interest for all EFTwarriors and PYFAnatics (yeah, I coined that there). It's interesting and vital to sort out how to respond to the changing landscape.

Two, we live in a C2 Cat var and there were vague discussions about building capitals because, a week ago, we had more or less decided that we were growing a lawn, may as well put up the white picket fence around our home. The rebalance of wormhole effects killed that off instantly seeing how Cats will now be an inimical environment to capitals, and any cap-transfer rep doctrines.

Which brings us to doctrine discussion. Again.

A Doctrine, in EVE, is a fitting philosophy, with a set of ship types and classes, which are designed around a type of warfare. Ael Ra is right, and wrong, in saying a doctrine has a set purpose and cannot be used outside of that purpose. He's right because the doctrine has a specific capability and work well with specific types of battles - eg; Ishtarblob vs Foxcats is common, and neither setup does particularly well at brawling, but you can do it. It's down to the FC to structure the fight so that you don't get hard tackled in your Ishtars or bombed to death fruitlessly in your Foxcats. In this way, a doctrine has it's strengths and weaknesses, and it requires people to know what they are doing.

A doctrine is more than just "RR Domi". What's your tackle, beyond honour? What's your EWAR, beyond neuts? These questions, and their answers, need to be worked out. 

The next level down is that a true doctrine requires the EFTwarriors and numbers men to work out the fittings of ALL the ships associated with the doctrine. This is equal parts strategy, tactics, PYFA numbers (IMHO EFT is lagging PYFA at the moment), and skilling and cost. Cheapness is a doctrine in itself - just look at goons, or the Fatcat meta-0 Tristan doctrine GalMil used so devastatingly last year.

For wormholes, where SRP is never a thing, cost should not be an issue. Traditionally, wormhole mass limits place a theoretical size on a 'roaming' gang, and therefore wormhole doctrines develop around DPS per tonne, tank per tonne. Cost is a secondary concern, as is skilling your organisation's members into something. This leaves fittings, ship types and fleet composition flapping in the breeze, and in wormholes this is rarely ever hammered out. To give you an example, SWIFT's 'doctrine' is "armour" - and that's it.

One thing NC Dot and Nulli do well, aside from being rich elitists, is have a definite set of skilling and capabilities. They also do their PYFAnaticism to the nth degree, considering signature, damage projection, resist profiles, mobility, cost, skilling, etcetera.

Some of the larger elite wormhole organisations obviously have taken things a step further than SWIFT. There's obviously a preference for HAM Legions, Legions and armour ECM Tengus and Guardians.

Consider this battle report. All of the Hard Knocks Guardians have the same fit, more or less. Of the four legion lost, two hadd essentially the same HAM-Damp fit and the other two had the same Neut-Scanner fit.  Having never been into the inner circle in Hard Knocks, it is no surprise that theres a restricted set of fits. it's a doctrine. They have a reason for demanding and enforcing a limited degree of lateral movement on their fittings, formed by trial, error, and EFT.

The point of all this?

Firstly, discipline and uniformity of fittings helps an FC know what he has in his sleeves, what his gang or fleet is capable of, and what his ships can do. Having someone come along with, eg, a Geddon packing torps when your FC has in his mind "Geddon. 4 heavy neuts, cap injection, ship scanner" fucks everything up.

Second, to get that discipline in people following a doctrine, whether it is simple like "If I call for a legion, fly either HAM legions, Neut Legion" or complex and nuanced like some of the NC Dot doctrines and fleet comps (down to specific SRP-able boosting Lokis), requires organisational discipline. This forces players to give up training, eg, refinery gayness 5, and knuckle down on the basics.

Thirdly, removing the cutlery from the kitchen sink simplifies your logistics choices, and your logistics fits. The Guardians, above, are the typical Ironclad fit typified by RnK. But every logistic choice your organisation makes has to, without fail, ahve a proper logistic ship fit which is, without fail, the one to use. You can't fuck this up. Logistics ships must function, and function well, or everyone dies.

Finally, it provides you with opportunities to grow and learn as a player, and get more from EVE. Dying in a terribly fit ship without learning why you died, if the fit was to blame, is the worst thing. But you have to die to learn - even if all you learn is get to PYFA and figure out why your fit is shit.

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