Developing a Competitive MindsetMayrin Hawke
“Attitude is not about how good you are, it’s about how good you’re going to be.” – Wild Things [MIEF]Ask yourself, are you satisfied with your piloting in EVE Online? Think back to your most recent fight; did you play your best and did you win? If not, what mistakes were made? Did you lose a ship because of your or another’s decision? Were you able to discuss mistakes with frankness and sincerity? Did your or your teammates’ tempers flare in the face of criticism? The very first step to reaching the highest levels of play in a game, whether it is a conventional sport or a video game, is to look at it with a competitive mindset. Going far beyond the notion of good sportsmanship, a competitive mindset is the deep seated drive to be the best and to play the game at its fullest. A mindset can be more than personal, it can be the a soul of a group. Those who value playing competitively together will progress farther than any one can alone. Through teamwork and common goals, competitive groups elevate their members. In the face of recent outcries of “EVE is dying” this article is for those who are looking towards the future. For those who wish to take on EVE Online as it is today and to drive themselves up to the level of play they know they can achieve. Along the way, I plan to convince you of the value of playing with a competitive mindset and express what it means to do so.
Playing to WinEVE is a large game with diverse methods for winning. Killmails, killboard statistics, holding the grid, sov in nullsec, and plexes/pushing systems in Factional Warfare can all be goals. It is up to you and your group to decide what is important. If you are not playing to win, then you are not playing competitively, and you are placing yourself at a disadvantage from the very beginning. As a player with a competitive mindset, you must accept the game as it is and conquer opposition using the available tools. This means that you must avoid falling into the “scrub mentality” trap of abstaining from parts of the game that some may consider “cancer.” Besides being a disgusting term for the common phrase “overpowered“, those who avoid fighting and using the strongest ships in the game prevent themselves from ever reaching the highest levels of gameplay. You may be familiar with some players who label certain methods of play as cheap, requiring no skill, or “unfun” and abstain from their use. They are choosing to play their own subset of the game, with their own made up rules, instead of pushing EVE’s true boundaries. These players are not playing to win. While you may not directly control what tools exist in the game, you have full control over how you play. You can learn to dominate with them yourself, develop a hard counter against them, or choose to remain locked into a losing mentality, unwilling to play to win with the tools available. This is the key idea when playing within and pushing the metagame for each patch. The meta is constantly evolving while players discover the best way to defeat their opponents. Competitive players do not use high tier ships to win the easy fights, they do so to be on equal footing for the truly difficult and satisfying fights against other strong players. What is considered high tier for solo play may not be strong for a small scale gang. Likewise, the best ships in a small gang don’t necessarily scale up to n + 1 large scale gameplay. Refer to top players to find what works, use this knowledge to try new things, and above all else: push yourself. Using off-meta ships and fits does have its place. Once you’ve progressed far enough, subverting expectations can open up new realms of play. If you’re still working on the foundations of your piloting, I suggest flying high tier ships and fits. This allows you to approach as many fights as possible with confidence, rather than spending your entire play session practicing how to “choose your engagements.” To learn more about what’s strong in the current small-scale metagame, I recommend the analysis Gorski Car provides in the Small Gang Tier Lists here on Crossing Zebras. Small Gang Tier List – Frigates Small Gang Tier List – Cruisers If you find yourself in disagreement with or put off by the idea of playing to win, I recommend you read more on the topic from game designer Sirlin. Although it’s a contentious term, the “scrub mentality” is a well defined topic in competitive gaming. It is the antithesis of a competitive mindset and will hold you back unless you acknowledge the forms it can take.
Chessur, Confessor small gang (With commentary)