So. There you are again, the call goes out, the fleets of the large blocks begin to mobilize, and you once again see alliance chat spam with CTA, CTA, CTA. (Or, if in Russian KTA, KTA, KTA; Which coincidentally is really fucking weird because the Russian for “Call to Arms” is Призыв к оружию so it should be PKO, but I guess KTA just looks more familiar? I’m sure that’s more for the pure Russian speakers to decide on.) Anyway, the alarm goes out, and you’re expected to sit at your computer for the next four to six hours on a Friday night. Sure, you could be out at the bar, meeting some nice person of the opposite or same sex, but your alliance leader has just obligated you to a night of lonely solitude. Of course, you could just unplug from EVE, but then there is the endless call out threads of the carebears hiding when the real fighting happens or worse; you miss the most epic fight in EVE since Rhea was released, all because you couldn’t be bothered to log in.
It’s a tough situation. To go out and be part of EVE’s history, or to suffer the horrible failure of sitting in TiDi for what feels like years, while some dude on a power-trip is yelling and repeating every command 20 to 30 times. Luckily, you’ve stumbled upon this article. With my vast experience of alliance fleet battles, which stretches back to the very beginning of alliances themselves, I will help you become better at what those moronic FCs disparagingly refer to as F1 button pushers.
Rule 1: Be your own FC.
So there you are. Sitting in the home station, and some idiot is barking orders like a retired drill sergeant at you, trying to force people into ships that they either don’t know how to fly, or in the case of Brave Newbies, can’t fly. Well, shit dude. You could spend the 20 minutes flying back to Jita, or the nearest market hub in your area, inject the skill books, and wait forever for the skill to train. Then jump into the Vexor, Ishtar, Tengu or whatever the fuck ship this dude has been yelling about for the past two hours. Finally proceeding into the fray with the most basic of skills, barely competent piloting abilities, and this weird urge to just dock back up and go to bed.
Don’t be that guy or girl. You wanted to play EVE, God damn it, and someone trying to shoehorn you into some fit that is going to get you killed anyway, shouldn’t be the way to do it.
Rule 2: Fit your own ships.
Now, I’m not going to tell anyone what ship they should or shouldn’t fly. I think that’s a personal choice. I prefer the interceptors and interdictors, but assault frigates, cruisers, whatever you choose to fly, is good enough for me. Just make sure that thing has at least one gun on it, as that will be important later.
Oh, and this is purely optional, but finding a ship that’s the same tank as the fleet is useful, but you could probably just get by with a local tank. There are going to be two thousand people in system, ain’t no one going to target you specifically because you’re tanked wrong, how would they know, right?
I’ve included a few fits below for some of my favorite ships. These can be used with almost any fleet, and will always be successful, as long as you follow the other rules.
Rule 3: NEVER Fly Logi.
Oh my God, and when they bitch about needing more logi… Sheeeeeeeeeiiiiitttt. What famous logi pilot, outside of the Alliance Tournaments, (Love you BlastX) have you ever heard of? That’s right, none. Oh sure, Dunk Dinkle might tell you the wonderful times he’s had repping up a station in GE- or something, but, I mean that’s pretty much the PvP equivalent to mining. Now, this isn’t to say all logi pilots are shit or horrible or that I don’t like them, but in a fleet when there are 100 God damn Oneiros or something, how hard is your job really? In small gangs that only have a handful of logi, those pilots are amazing, and are really needed. In big sov fights though, with thousands of people, let some other poor schmuck fly logi. You’ve got things to kill.
Now some alliances will try to lure you into being the logi pilot by offering “free” logi ships, or “free” replacement ships, should yours die. I’m here to tell you that’s a complete lie and trick to get you into one of the worst ships in the game. It’s the only way they’ll ever get a logi pilot. Don’t fall for it.
What you do need to do, however, is have one logi ship in your hangar at all times. In the old days, FCs had no clue what ship everyone was flying, so all you had to do was X up when he called for logi. But now, the skilled FC knows he can just look through the list and see what pilots are flying what. You don’t want to be the pilot called out for being in the wrong ship, but you also don’t want to be the pilot flying logi either.
So what you need to do, is sit in the ship until the FC calls for everyone to undock. By then the FC is pretty confident of his fleet composition and won’t bother checking again. So while everyone else is TiDi-ing the system with the undock session change, you quickly cause your own TiDi, but getting into the ship you picked out for yourself from rule no. 1, and then undock. By the time you’re on the titan, the FC won’t care what shit ships are in his fleet. It’s all just grandstanding to look important before the big fight.
Rule 4: Proper Communications.
Ok, so you’ve undocked, you have your appropriate non-logi ship, and you’re sitting on the titan. At this point the FC is now completely useless, and if it’s been more than twenty minutes, you’re probably tired of hearing him repeat everything three times in rapid succession. “Undock, undock, undock” or “Jump on contact, jump on contact, jump on contact” is so fucking annoying. I’ll tell you a little secret. When I was in Waffles the two people I always had muted were MadCat, because well, he’s MadCat, and Apothne, because that little prick was *always* taking out fleets. You know what I say to FCs? Fuck’em, who needs them, not me, certainly not you.
Now if you’ve been playing EVE for less than a year, you might want to have the FC unmuted, just so you can learn the game, but really, you’ll find that PvP is far more enjoyable when it’s just you. Of course, if you have a cool setup like PL or Waffles, and you can make sub channels on your comms, that works just as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’d be found down in the freedom sub with the rest of the elite F1 pushers. Sub channels are great, and if you set up the whisper key to be the main “push-to-talk” no one outside of the channel can hear how awesome you are. Furthermore, if you already have the FC muted, you can’t hear a damn thing that person is bitching about. Chances are, everyone else in that sub-channel has done the same thing, so now you have your own mini-fleet within the main fleet. Awesome. You’re on your way to EVE success.
It probably should be mentioned at this point. If for whatever reason you were pulled into a logi channel when the fleet was starting up, and you’re clearly not flying logi, just go ahead and exit that channel, both in-game and on comms. You can make up an excuse, like that you have to put out your dog that’s on fire, or something else, but really, just quietly leaving is the best practice. Everyone flying logi is lame anyway, and they never say anything interesting.
Rule 5: Situational Awareness.
There you are, sitting on the titan, amazing k-pop blasting through your speakers, the FC is either muted, or completely drowned out as you rock to the latest 9MUSES video or a classic Taylor Swift song. How do you know what to do? We’re all our own FCs, but a fleet of one is really kind of dumb. Unless you’re in an interceptor, you’re likely just going to end up dead. No, what you do is watch fleet chat like a god damn super hawk. You’re looking for anything that will tip you off as to where you’re going. Any linked system, assume that’s the place you’re going. Also, this might differ from fleet to fleet, and alliance to alliance, but fleet chat is also where all the great porn is usually linked. Now, I’m not a hedonist or anything, but if people are sharing good porn, it’s sort of an obligation to at least look, I’d be rude to do otherwise, right?
While glancing between the fleet chat, and the porn links, which usually come up in the handy-dandy in-game browser, you’ll also what to pay attention to what local is at, and where the fleet you’re travelling with is. I mean, let’s be honest, at this point you’re just a fellow traveller on the path, you’re not actually “part” of this horrible fleet. Let’s keep some respectability about ourselves. You’re not “with them” you’re just standing really close to them. If you start seeing people, and I mean the vast majority of people, jump through the gate, wait a few more seconds, and then jump with them. Same thing with titan bridges. If you see the fleet is starting to thin out around you, go with them. Being left alone anywhere is the quickest way to die. Don’t be the first fool to jump through the gate, or through the bridge. The best way to be an F1 pusher is to be as close to invisible as possible.
Ok, so that’s probably enough information for now. This should be plenty for all you aspiring elite PvPers need to get yourselves organized and ready for the next big fleet fight. So let’s recap: 1) Immediately mute the FC, he’s never going to tell you anything important anyway. 2) Always fit your own ships. Feel free to use the fits provided, or come up with your own. There really isn’t a wrong way to fit a ship. 3) Whatever ship you are flying make damn sure it’s not the stupid logistics ships. 4) Go ahead and make your own subchannel if you can, or hide out in some other quiet channel and not the main fleet one. If you keep getting pulled into the fleet channel, make sure you have all the “important people” muted. 5) Remember, you’re not part of that stupid fleet, you’re just flying with them. Don’t ever be the first into the system, but don’t be the last either. EVE fleets fly under the pirate rules.
Next week we’ll discuss what to do with yourselves once you end up in a fleet fight. It’s going to be a good one. We’ll talk about the highs and the lows, and what you can do to quell the boredom!
Tags: F1 pusher, fleet, Georgik
Georgik is a Sniggwaffe graduate and Habitual Euthanasia member who dabbles in wormholes and industry to support a disturbing obsession with kpop which prevents him from investing any more time than he has to in funding his mediocre PVP activities.