Thursday, July 14, 2011

Confessions of a FC'ing Hater

I don't like FC'ing! I really don't.

I play Eve Online for fun, and in Eve, people have different definitions of fun. Some take their serious internet spaceships way too seriously for me. I prefer the loose and fun approach and, whilst I can be serious when the need arises, I like to have a laugh and giggle in the game.

Anyway, a couple of weekends ago I was going through my ships to look for something to solo roam with. I had notied that at the time there were no SoTF FC’s on and so far as I knew none of my new W-BR alliance mates that were online were big on FC-ing either. Of course there may have been some super-awesome-FC's-of-pwnage online. Or could all have been just like me; "FC'ing? Urrrghhhh. Can I quote Edmund Blackadder here with, I'd rather french kiss a skunk!"

So I'd just about sorted a solo ship when a pair of pirate hurricanes were reported camping a high to low sec entry gate 3 jumps from us. Seeing as I could jump in a Falcon with a full rack of Minmatar jammers I enquired what ship the guy who spotted them was in, a stealth bomber. Damn. But on a plus alliance chat suddenly woke up with people saying they could bring various ships.

I set up off the gate in my Falcon, watching all the X’s start to appear in Alliance chat.

They were just sat there… all those X’s… taunting me.

The reason they were taunting me goes back to the previous week and a "debate" I had had with my CEO regarding fleets formations. SoTF and WBR had been running some really amazing fleets of late. Fantastic composition with awesome FC's. However these fleets had consisted of very specific ship types with some serious ISK on the line etc.

But some of us still wanted a few cheap and fun fleets where there wouldn’t be hundreds of millions of ISK per person on the line.

I wonder if any of the non-FC's reading this have ever tried to explain why they don't like FC'ing to someone who does. It is a very difficult to get the point across. Professionally, I regularly get up in front of 200 to 300 people and will speak for 30 minutes. But to FC half a dozen corpies? Not my cup of tea! And when you cannot get across that message, it's difficult for you to counter the argument…

 "If you want a specific type of fleet run, run it yourself"

"But I hate FC'ing"

"Why? If you want those fleets step up and run them".

And so on.

So here we are, on a quiet Saturday morning, no FC's, and those fracking X's are staring at me in Alliance chat.

I moused over the first X and clicked "Form Fleet". Then I carried on and invited the others.
Just to make it official I also set a fleet advert up with the description; "Noob FC, you'll all die in a fire, seriously!" Unfortunately it didn't put anyone off.

By the time we were organised and ready, the two pie canes had warped off so our bait Mrym bounced around. Found one on a gate and aggressed.

The pie didn't aggress and he had a mate in a Nighthawk who warped in and aggressed our Mrym instead. So I called it, and the cavalry came charging in.

Cane jumped and Nighthawk was nano fit and came after me. Wht followed as a Benny Hill style situation with the Nighthawk chasing the FC in the Falcon around whilst the rest of the fleet chased after the Nighthawk. The cane came back and was quickly dispatched before the Nighthawk burnt away and warped off.

By the end of that every pie in the area had heard about our gang of half a dozen BC with ECM support. We tried to bait some more on the way back but, as it was so quiet, even a fleet of half a dozen turned out to be an unstoppable force at the time. So I took the fleet back home.

1 kill, no loses and slightly cyan balls (like blue balls, just lighter).

Some might say a successful short roam. A kill, no loses. Still I didn't like it, and for all you FC's thinking what am I on about, let me try and list it out.

1. What are they thinking about me?
I've done lots of small and large gang roaming. I'd say 99% of my 2000 kills are in gangs of 6 or more. So I should know what to do with all that practice. But I've been with poor FC's outside SoTF. I've been the one thinking "Wtf is this guy doing? What a numpty! Why would he do this? Why isn't he doing that?"

2. I cannot compare to X, Y or Z (or is it L, T and G?).
As already mentioned we've got some awesome FC's in the Alliance. I remember a great fleet not long ago when our HAC gang engaged a similar sized pirate BC gang. They lit a cyno and dropped 4 carriers on us. Now if I was FC'ing (hypothetically) I'd be ordering the Brave Sir Robin Manoeuvre. "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" but no, the FC paused a few seconds and then gave primaries and secondaries. I thought we'd all die in a fire, we lost only a couple of ships and wiped most of their fleet including 3 of the 4 carriers. Now if people join my fleet I'm going to feel bad as I cannot compare to that. It's bad enough having regularly corpies in regard to point 1 of this list, when you have the uber FC's as members of your fleet the pressure is ten times worse.

3. ISK can be a bugger to earn for some and I'm about to do a space version of Leeroy Jenkins.
Keeping the wallet nice and healthy when you play Eve just for PvP is not always easy. For those without multiple accounts or rl cash to buy and sell PLEX it can be a grind to make your cash. Those BC's in your fleet could represent 2 to 3 hours of grinding missions for ISK. That's a lot of time to go down the drain when you mess it up! I know people who are ISK poor and losing a BC is a major thing to them. I know all the arguments about "don't fly what you cannot afford to lose" etc. But still, being responsible for other people’s losses is always in the back of my mind.

4. What in New Eden is THAT!
I know pretty much every Caldari ship no problem. I know the vast majority of Minmitar and Gallente (although which is which with the Ishtar/Ishkur). I know most Amarrian. However there are gaps in my knowledge. Apocalypse? Now is that the DPS BS or the tanky one? Call the wrong one primary and that might be what gets everyone killed.

OK So we've got 10 BC and they have... erm.... a giant mushroom....

5. I find FC'ing stressful.
There are more things in this list, such as FC'ing in my fave ECM/sniper boats is a bad choice, some people in the game are likely to emo-rage when losing a ship to a FC's mistake, etc. But going to cap it to 5 as they all lead to the same thing in the end, stress. At the start of this I said I play Eve for fun. And when I'm FC'ing I'm not having fun.

So there you are. I hope this helps shed some light on why some of us FC'ing haters don't like FC'ing to those that do and cannot understand why people won't step up.

When there's absolutely, positively no-one else, I'll step up...... I'll do it, but I ain't gonna like it!

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