Since joining the EVE University I have tried many roles in fleet ops as well as many other options that exist in playing the game. Let us face however, the inevitable truth that explosions are cool so I have gone from a mining carebear to a bloodthirsty carebear. With 5 months of skill points now dedicated to PvP, I can fly a nice little collection of ships. Some of them I can even fly competently.
Before I go any further, it is necessary that I do a little thanking to the Unistas who have selflessly given of their time to help train up someone who didn’t have a damn clue what he was doing, and only really brought enthusiasm to the table. Therefore to BobbyRush, Theon Severasse, Nys Cron, Gareth Correlian and to a lesser extent Guillome Renard, Korr’Tanas, Frood Frooster and Kermit Pental, you have my deepest gratitude. Without you seven in particular, as well as everyone who cares little enough about the safety of their ships to come out on my fleets I would not have had the fantastic experiences I have had taking out fleets and would almost certainly been forced to stop due to sheer incompetence and even kicked out of the UNI for being a saboteur after whelping so many assets (although this is probably still not completely off the table).
Back to story time:
Somewhat surprisingly, I was the FC of the fifth fleet I ever took part. Back in September of this year, the UNI was under a new iteration of the ILN. We had split into three battle-groups for time-zones and the main complaint I heard from everyone that there were not enough fleets going out. We still had a war with U-MAD and various others (which is likely to be the topic of another blog post) which meant the occasional QRF would be formed, but short of the bi-weekly “Noobs on Patrol” scheduled fleets there really wasn’t all that much going out fleet wise. (It should be noted that the current iteration of the ILN is doing a fantastic job of this, and thanks to many enthusiastic Unistas you can be guaranteed at least one fleet a night.)
This is obviously a problem for any corporation or Alliance, but represents a deeper problem to the UNI. With very few fleets, there are very few fleet experiences. How are we supposed to provide a learning experience for the PvP aspect of the game without taking out fleets? Lectured and practical classes are fantastic, and the education department does a wonderful job, but I’m sure everyone reading this will agree that there is little substitute to going out and getting yourself blown up a few times to truly learn how to fly your ship and take part in the most popular aspect of this game.
I therefore took a quantity approach to FCing, hoping that quality would come with more experience. Usually I would just pick a random route through low sec I had never done before, or had done before and found good targets in, do a call up in Alliance chat and just go for it. At the time of writing, I have taken out 38 AAR worthy fleets since the end of September. Looking at the archived AARs of the UNI, the UNI has taken out 288 written-up fleets since I began FCing, meaning I am responsible for just over 13% of UNI fleets since that time. Yes, I triple checked the numbers and no, I still don’t believe it either. My raw activity has lead to recruitment attempts from a particular corp in TEST on 3 separate occasions (I think they may be stalking me).
More stats because I’m a maths student:
Fleet Command positions: 38
General Command positions (Squad Command, WIng Command more than just passing boosts):70
Total Isk killed: 7.907 Billion
Total Isk Whelped: 4.306 Billion
Lifetime efficiency: 64.7%
I kind of wish I had started this blog sooner as I was hovering at a pretty consistent 70% efficiency until a recent welp at the hands of Balkan & Shadow Cartel. This is the second time I have FCed with Cartel on the field and the second time they have dropped me. Both were intensely fun fleets and I very much look forward to running into them again.
As I mentioned before, most of my fleets have been Low Sec Roams ranging between 10 and 50 members, usually kitchen sink comp, occasionally with hull restrictions (dessie & below, cruiser & below etc) with the remainder being fleets to fly against war targets, my two favourites being found here and here. I shall soon be venturing into the realm of Null Sec Roams (very soon), Doctrined fleets and hopefully a DragonSlayer (attempting to bag a carrier kill) in the new year.
One last thing before I round this post off: the UNI sometimes gets bad press for “blobbing”. I’m not going to deny for a second that our fleet comps aren’t mostly blobs, but i do giggle to myself as every report of our numbers is over-exaggerated usually by about 15-40%, while little no mention is made of the fact that the opposing fleet, while somewhat smaller in numbers is orders of magnitude greater in ISK and SP value. Yes, we do use a bait squad or wing sometimes, but if you don’t have the presence of mind to scout the adjacent system for the backup then frankly that’s your failure in scouting rather than our “bullying”.
The main goal of a UNI fleet, especially the ones I do is to get a fight. Winning it is a bonus objective. Personally I’ll engage anything I think we have any chance beating, no matter how small, or alternatively getting ISK efficient by blapping something shiny and running away.
To everyone reading this, I look forward to flying with or brawling with you in future fleets. The past few months have been incredible fun and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.