Fleet Command: Not Invented By Me Syndrome


I see a lot of upcoming FCs who want to start off in a new corp or alliance or build the foundations of an FC career by designing their own personal doctrine. I’ve had to explain that this is a bad idea so often that it is easier for me to write a short article I can point to later explaining why.

FC =/= Theorycrafter

Trying to prove you are good at both at the same time is multiplicatively harder

A baker is not a restaurant critic. There is some overlapping required knowledge but skill at one is totally separate from skill at the other. FC and Theorycrafter have the same kind of relationship. They are different hats that a player can wear. Instead of both being related to food they are both related to internet spaceship explosions. Trying to prove you are good at one thing is hard enough. Trying to prove you are good at both at the same time is multiplicatively harder.

People already own established doctrines

If you use a popular doctrine the only barrier to overcome is peoples’ doubt in you. They may or may not join based on their best prediction of how you might do. If you make it so that in order to join they have to buy a ship, they also have to weigh the cost of that ship against you in their possibly unconscious cost benefit analysis. By being a new FC with a new doctrine you are stacking the deck against yourself.

Your doctrine doesn’t beat the established baselines

A straight up inferior alternative just to be unique is an exercise in vanity

The absolute most frustrating thing is when a new FC wants to use a doctrine that is worse in every way than the preexisting doctrine it is competing with. For example in a mid-sized gang Vagabonds eat dirt fighting Ishtars. A worthwhile theorycrafter does not present inferior options. The whole point of the job is to min-max to find superior setups. A cheaper weaker alternative is ok.  An inferior alternative that actually does better in another setting is fine. A setup that fits your playstyle better can actually have merit. A straight up inferior alternative just to be unique is an exercise in vanity.

There is a tunnel under the mountain

Do you really want your own personal doctrine anyway? Well if you have some cash you can buy the entire fleet. Ping that you are handing ships out. Say, “You break it, you buy it.” You tip the scales in your favor then. More people will show up than they would otherwise because they do not have to make the initial investment. This is a good way to prototype new doctrines. It is what I do in order to be a special snowflake. Just make sure you write down or somehow otherwise record the names of who got what from you. Eve players will steal everything not nailed down if you let them. Then they will optimize a nail removal technique.

Good luck out there.

Tags: fc, FCing, Mukk

About the author

Mukk Barovian

Mukk is a long time skirmish FC with a penchant for overpropping his ships.

  • IC Wiener

    Look at all them drakes…

    • Indeed. I was in one of those. Always interesting to see where screen shots pop up.

  • autism

    by doctrine you mean fleet, right

  • Dunk Dinkle

    I want all FCs in my alliance to read this.

    • OhTakashawa

      We’ve been trying to get them to think like this for two years. Pls help.

      • callduron

        A bad artist plagiarises, a great artist steals from everybody.

  • callduron

    OK,sometimes it is good to let FCs do what they want;

    1. It can be part of the fun. Stop FCs having fun and maybe you simply end up without active FCs.

    2. Sometimes the FCs are better. I remember a heated argument between PGL and some Test theorycrafter who had never lost a destroyer about talwars. The theory guy was arguing that there’s no point putting MSEs on a talwar because no talwar would ever survive being primaried. The argument got really bad-tempered.

    3. Sometimes what we want is a hammer and what the theorycrafters give us is a saw. Personally I love brawling. In theory “weak projection” makes a comp unflyable. But I know I can FC it – jump a gate and tempt them in to us or whatever.

    4. Theory teams are two slow. If I see a problem and it needs fixing I can devise a fit in 10 minutes. It’s taken HERO almost a year to adjust to their discovery that medium rails dont kill carriers.

    In my ideal set up FCs would come up with fit ideas and theory teams/sisi testers would refine them, tweaking for more tank or a more optimal slot layout etc.

  • JZ909

    This is exactly why I’m not in a big alliance. Doing things that haven’t been done before is what makes the game fun. Often you die horribly, sometimes it works perfectly, and sometimes it’s a good start that needs further refinement. Anyway it happens, it’s fun. It may be more painful when you have to SRP losses, but that is one of many reasons I think that SRP is a terrible policy.

    So let FCs experiment. Let them make mistakes and lose millions. It will make them better. Make sure everyone knows a fleet is at their own risk, and as every small corp knows, don’t fly what you aren’t willing to lose. You’ll probably have a blast, and who knows, you may end up doing something new or better than its ever been done before.