Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Fleet Commander Vestik

The most significant changes to my life in New Eden over the past month has been joining EVE University, being involved in my first ever PvP fleet missions, and having my first taste of being a PvP Fleet Commander!

The day after I joined EU, war was declared.

My first experience of war within EVE was as a week-old player in a new corporation. I ran, and hid, and it wasn’t much fun.

This time was different.

I fitted a Tech 1 frigate tackler, and joined my first PvP fleet. The thing that impressed me immediately was how highly organised EU fleets are. I had an extremely good Fleet Commander knew there were rookies in the fleet, and so explained all about travel protocols, fleet engagement, gate camping, and so on.

The next night, as I was waiting for the main EU fleet to return from a hunt, I started a fleet with the other pilots who were also waiting for them to get back. Chatting to the Fleet Commander from the previous night, I made an only semi-serious suggestion that if there were no experienced FCs available to lead the next fleet op, I’d give it a go myself. Much to my alarm, this was quickly agreed as an excellent way for me to gain experience, and communicated to the Corp as a whole.

I was incredibly nervous. I tried to pass the whole thing off to the Fleet Commander. But he insisted I would be fine, and I found myself brought into the new fleet and promoted to Fleet Commander.

It was an amazing experience. With sweaty palms, I gave my first, shaky commands and started moving the fleet gate to gate towards where we were receiving Intel about war targets. EU fleet operations also have a very disciplined approach to TeamSpeak, with a private Command channel for FCs and Intel - and this was invaluable. It enabled me to take advice from the senior Command staff, as well as discuss tactics with my scouts and Squadron Commanders, and learn how to establishing a travel and gate camping protocols, so my confidence quickly increased.

Importantly, I learned about using Forward and Rear scouts effectively. Fortunately, I had some very experienced scouts who were giving me advice on how I should use them best… but also prompting me to make my own decisions.

The Command staff were very patient with me, particularly as I know I froze up a number of times, getting confused over where we were going (an open copy of EVE Strategic Maps is ESSENTIAL I would say!), or overwhelmed with keeping track of where my scouts were, or when we broke the Squadrons up to try and chase the targets down a particular pipe.
The Alliance who declared war on EU showed no real inclination for fighting. EU spend a vast amount of time hunting, gate camping and station camping the targets. But my fleet stuck it lucky, and we got a very lucky Battleship kill on the way to the system where the head of the Alliance was in station.

I felt extremely proud of my fleet for that –and getting a kill kept everyone’s interest levels up in what must have been a 2 ½ hour op.

It was definitely my most exciting and enjoyable experience in EVE to date. By a VERY long way. I’d thoroughly recommend any newer players seek the chance to do the same thing… and joining EVE University or a similarly focused educational corp probably offers you the best opportunity to do that.

The war is now over, and I need to get back into Mission Running and gain some faction with the locals (Caldari State probably). Looking for more opportunities like that in future… I definitely think the adrenaline of PvP is where I want to be!

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