Monday, September 3, 2012

Surviving Fleet Battles Using the Character Creator

Did you know that when creating your character you are defining how long your character may last in a decent sized fleet battle?
What are you going on about Drack? Attributes don't mean Jack in this game!
Yes, you are right. The bloodline, background etc mean nothing in a game where you can change your attributes and any character can train any skill and use any item in game. It's not like other MMOG's where a Wizard with high strength and low intelligence is going to be about as useful as tits on a kipper. I'm not talking attributes here.
What are you talking about then?
I'm talking about how the character creator defines when you get primaried?
Eh? You saying FC's take out the ugly toons first?
No, but that would be fairly funny!
So the good looking toons?
No, that is just silly.
The thing that defines how long you last in fleet battles is nothing to do with your race, bloodline or the look of your Avatar.
It is your name.
Imagine you have the following enemy fleet sorted by ship type. Let's go for a good old fashioned BC slug-fest with no support.
Bob Zeberdy - Drake
Eric Cartman - Drake
Inara Sexeh - Drake
Reet One - Drake
Zurberdee Boing - Drake
Aaron Aardvark - Hurricane
Marcus - Hurricane
Zzzzz Sleepy - Hurricane
Jammy Boogar - Scorpion
Who would primary? Not a difficult question, Jammy Boogar gets called primary as you want that Scorpion off field. Next? Well here is where naming becomes important. You'll leave the Drakes to last, you want to take down the high DPS/low tanks first. That means those Hurricanes. So which one do you chose? Assuming range is not an issue, most FC's will go down the list alphabetically.
Sorry Aaron Aardvark but you ****ed up big style when you chose that name. Unless you are flying something tanky, you are going to be called primary more often than you would like. Zurberdee, you'll be the very last to be called due to the ship that you are flying and your name.
I like flying high DPS/low tank ships, but I need to stop that. As a 'D' I'm usually within the first few to get primaried.
At the weekend we had a T3 armour gang out. I was in my brand new Loki. Dual 1600 plate, faction EANM, specific hardeners, DCU. It was as tanked as an armour Loki can be without spending silly ISK. And it died quickly. I've thought about how it went down and I don't think I could have done anything better.
1. The entire enemy fleet start to yellow box me.
2. Even though I'm not primary yet I broadcast for reps as I know I'm secondary or tertiary. Therefore I give the Guardians warning to get me locked.
3. I overheat my bottom rack so get the 20% overheat bonus on the two active hardeners.
4. I move the camera angle and double click straight up so I'm flying parallel to the enemy fleet and have transversal.
The current primary goes down and I'm next. Thankfully the long cycle time on their big guns mean that from initially locking me when I was called secondary to actually being hit, I had time to do all the above. Their first volley takes me to low shield. I'm assuming only a few fired and the others are awaiting their 1400mm guns to cycle (the enemy fleet was mostly Maelstroms and Tempest). Next volley takes me into structure. The Guardians are repping me but I can see it is not going to be enough to keep me up. The third volley puts me into my pod.
Looking at the other guys to die, they primaried the Loki's and went alphabetically as can be expected. Their other choices where Guardians (heavily armour tanked, small sig radius and already chained up) or the other T3's. Legions and Proteus' have a mean armour tank so no wonder the enemy FC called the Loki's.
And we went down in order. BandWidth was primary at 18:00, I was secondary at 18:11 and guess what, yes, alphabetically we were the first two Loki's at that time. If Ammon had joined earlier instead of when I was back in station I'd have survived (our fleet warped off after I went down). So really my loss is all Ammon's fault for not being there :o).
If only New Eden had a name changing service. I'd rename to Zurtar Zucker in an instant! Then again I suppose it could be worse, I could be called 1sh0t1b33r, right mate?


  1. Some FCs do reverse alphabetical order just to screw with this.

    A name that starts with K,L,M or O is good.

  2. Yeah, was just going to same the same thing as Kristopher.
    I have the illusion that the reverse targeting happened to me while in RvB, the name Zzzzleepyhead is sure to put me as far down as physically possible on the local list :P and either last or first if the FC goes alphabetically

    Love your blog

  3. So, fleets should have pilots with A or Z names fit insane all-tank ships?

    1. Pretty much. Users with impossible to pronounce names can also sometimes be left until the end.

      The name of my main starts low in the alphabet, and I like flying EW platforms. No wonder I don't like PVP much...

  4. Also make sure you are in middle of the Blob in case the enemy FC sorts by range.

  5. Good article. Its surprising how many people still sort primarily by name and call targets alphabetically. In the age of broadcasts, you would figure this methodology would be largely extinct.