Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How not to do it

Until recently the FW blogosphere was rather quiet. I had not posted in almost two months, other blogs I follow were also quiet. I'm sure the holidays and vacations kept some away, but I believe the silence had more to do with a relatively quiet warzone.

After the Retribution changes and new and exciting fights that were had there was just not much to talk about. Sure Amarr took a bunch of systems and knocked the Minmatar down to tier 1 for awhile but besides that there was nothing to report. My corp and our allies settled into some nice small gang/solo pvp. I stopped running larger more focused fleets due to lack of targets.

We found ourselves shipping and fleeting up as needed. Things like Eve Uni or some other larger fleets strolling into our area would let us dust off our armor cruisers/BC/BS fleets and have some proper organized fun. With UK folding and LNA no longer the power house they once were our focus had to change to keep the fun rolling in.

Having the ability to put out a ping and get 50+ in fleet at a moments notice is a great thing, as long as you have something to fight. The sad thing is the US TZ Minmatar do have the numbers they need to counter us. They just don't have the organization needed.

Just the other night we ran into a 50 man fleet shooting an I Hub. There was no LNA and only a few DL in local helping. I believe the problem boils down to elitists within the Minmatar Militia. When UK needed numbers they reached out to general Militia and neutral friends. Once in a great while LNA would even come help. Sadly those days appear to be gone.

LNA has treated the rest of their own Militia so poorly they have no one to turn to. When Amarr pushed Dal, a system where dozens if not hundreds of Minmatar lived, LNA couldn't be bothered to lift a finger and try to stop us. The Euro and Russian time zone Minmatar fought tooth and nail but when they needed help their call went unanswered.

There has always been a fundamental difference between groups like LNA and my friends. We have never been elitist awoxers. Looking back at our little war zone Amarr has always been inclusive. Predator Elite, Eran Mintor, myself, and many other FC's ran open fleets. We included people in our fun. "All you can bring is a punisher? Ok get in it and undock"

The Amarr Militia has always been much more open and welcoming to new people. It has been one of our greatest strengths. We grow pilots. More importantly we make lasting friendships. If I have learned anything from watching groups like LNA  rise then fall is this; Eve is a game but it's the people around you who make it worth playing. Treat your militia friends well and with respect and more often then not they will return the favor.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stop and Think

Last night I received an eve mail from a Minmatar FC that I respect more than a little. Earlier that night, after a little action it slowed down and I decided to watch some TV. When I hopped back on comms LNA had an RR AF fleet in Sis on the Egg gate and people wanted to fight them. I put a fleet up, asked for cruisers with webs, and because I have seen what RR AF's can do, some ECM. In a moments notice I had 25+ people in fleet. Since I was in Sis I warped to the gate, engaged the closest target and had the bulk of the fleet jump in. Points and webs were called, ships were jammed, stuff exploded. We looted the field and I stood the fleet down and went on my merry way.

I didn't think much of it until I got that mail. My Minmatar counterpart was not raging or chastising me about the fight, it was more of a reminder. If you always bring the hard counter people will avoid you. After fighting the Minmatar for such a very long time I know their habits as I'm sure they know mine. It's almost impossible to do anything in our little war zone without the other side knowing whats going on. I can clearly remember when I used to bring my fleets to Kourm area on a regular basis. At first i would sit around and see what came my way. Most times we died horribly as our opponents has time to see what we had, how we were fit, and bring the proper counter. The next stage was get in, get a kill or two maybe, and get gone before they could react. As I said before, if one the Minmatar saw me or one of mine they expected a gank and avoided us as they should till a proper fleet could form to counter, by then I would be gone.

Finally I just started avoiding the area unless I had a proper fleet with excellent intel. If I knew I could match numbers and ships we may have a go. If they couldn't match it was just us waving our e-penis around and some(mostly) good natured smack talk. Fighting LNA became more of a chore than enjoyment. The same people and the same ships in the same systems over and over. My corp and our group of friends started to do a lot more small gang stuff, random enemy's and random ships. I may go a few days at a time now without leading a large fleet from our home to spread havoc across the war zone and beyond. It seemed to me LNA was happy to do the same. Our war zone was split with Auga as the middle ground. From time to time they ventured our way or we went to them.

 A few months ago I took a destroyer fleet to Kourm looking for a fight. Once the Minmatar came out it was in a blob of SFI's that I wanted none of. A few people in fleet piped up in local and complained about bringing faction cruisers(with webs and tracking bonus no less) to kill a random mix of destroyers. One of the more vocal Minmatar(think blog here)informed us that this is not "pick and choose pvp" just because we are in destroyers does not mean they should oblige us and come fight in the same. We were on their turf and should expect to see such a reaction. I have thought about that from time to time. My response to their fleet in Sis last night was my own version of that.

I don't feel bad for bringing the appropriate fleet to counter the enemy. It's my understanding that I had a reputation for running away for a long time. I never saw it as running, more of me trying to be a smart FC. If I see a fight, and know we have no chance of winning why should I fight? Ships are not free, they take isk and time to replace. If I believe we have a chance at victory, or taking down as much as we will lose I take the fight no questions asked. I just want to be smart about it.

Learning to FC is one thing, earning peoples trust is another. I want pilots to think that when they fly with me, even though they may die, it will be worth it. In the end no one cares if they lost a ship as long as they had fun doing it. I told Shalee the other day nothing annoys me more than getting kited to death so when I solo I pick and chose my targets. I'll fight any AF or even a DD in my trusty thrasher and I'm ok with it if i lose. If I get caught by a 7k a sec hookbill that just orbits me at 25k for two min while he chips away at me i wont be happy on my pod ride home.

At the end of the day we all just want a good fight.