Sunday, 29 June 2014

BB57: Survival of the fittest

Drackarn pointed this killmail to me recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:
Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?
Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...

And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?

"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodachi

So not long after I wrote about hull tanking Kirith calls a Blog Banter on fitting. I guess it's already obvious where I stand on the issue.

So let's start by exploring the alternatives - a simple fitting system. You have 10 points. You can spend some on speed, some on tank and some on firepower. So for instance a kiting caracal might be 4 mobility 2 tank 4 firepower, a brawler maller might be 5 firepower 5 tank.

Does anyone want this?

Does anyone want to scrap our marvellous and complex rich spaceship engineering for some dumbed down version?

I love fitting ships. It's a great minigame. "EFT Warrior" or whatever you want to call it. I think people get frustrated because in a group game not everyone can be the fittings person. It's hard to get your special clever doctrine idea adopted in a corporation or alliance setting. What's more "kitchen sink" fleets where everyone flies their own individual choice of ship and fit are terrible and get taken to the cleaners by doctrine fleets.

So fitting is great, fitting drama or fitting constraints are what people chafe at. The Rixx incident in Tuskers was a case of a strong willed individual not being willing to fit the required doctrine. That's not really a fault of Eve's fitting system, it's an issue about people. It even resolved well imo - the individualist went on to become his own boss, forming Stay Frosty. Now that's very like what happens in people's professional lives. Someone works for a boss, hates it, goes to start their own business, becomes a success. I'd call that working as intended.

Now the thing with Eve's fitting that's so great is that there's a cycle of innovation. Dull hidebound doctrines lose to clever imaginative new ideas. Those new ideas become doctrine and individuality and divergence becomes frowned upon. This leads to stagnation which opens the door to innovation.

Now it is hard to be at that apex of alliance power where you're the person coming up with the new fits. It's going to tend to be the most experienced FCs who get to play with new doctrines, and the larger the organisation the harder it is to be one of the people who gets to say what everyone else flies.


  1. Was anyone surprised that someone named "Syco" had a horrible, horrible fit?

    Seriously.. looking at that killmail, I wondered if he was just flying the Drake back to his homebase after buying it, and hadn't actually fitted it out yet. But the fact that it was in lowsec made me scratch my head.

  2. If fitting skills were a specialty in themselves, new players could move on faster to choosing a niche specialty. When I first started playing, many moons ago, I was disappointed to learn that I wouldn't get to be a corporate greasemonkey.

    Luckily, I have space engineers to fill that gap today. There's nothing better than being elbows deep in a ship, only to realize the conveyor system isn't going to fit the original plan.

    1. That sounds like an amazing fun avenue for Eve to develop further down the line. I would love to tinker up my own Millenium Falcon style specialist ship.

  3. Fitting is good complexity. This is true, but the game fails, once again, to actually provide new players with much information on how to start. We have isis, now give us an approximated fitting window. Go into Isis, click new button on the ship "play with fits" even give it a tutorial about generally fitting to the bonus of the ship etc.

    Hell I'll be greedy give it three modes, beginner where only certain mods are available to test fit, and the players are told why, intermediate, more mods, little less prodding, and expert with an in game training plan (not queue mind you but plan: I want x skill levels in y order, maybe be nice and offer to put the next skill in your queue for you if you log in with less than 24 hours left in queue, and you have the skill injected, but that's it) for say a year that can show you the changing stats over time.

    Problem solved. fitting doesn't lose any complexity, and noobs don't have to know about EFT Null-sec, or others just to try and become competitive.

    1. Good idea. Maybe there should be a fitting tutorial line too, one of those 10 mission jobs they run new people through.

  4. As you have mentioned RIxx a few times,I thought I'd clarify the circumstances around that event .....he wasn't kicked for his fitting choices,he was kicked from the Tuskers for trying to incite a leadership coup after falling out with the CEO...the fitting choices was the reason for the falling out,not the reason for being kicked!