Kirith Kodachi asks three questions: what could be done to prevent new players flying horrible fits? What responsibility do veterans have to teach new players how to fit well? And, is there a place for “comedy, experimental and off-meta” fits?
First, it is important to acknowledge that fitting is an ever-changing and player-driven art, so the goal cannot be to “teach fitting.” The game simply cannot do that. It must fall to the players. So what can the game teach?
Fortunately, CCP has rebalanced all the relevant ships, weapons, and tanking options. All tech 1 ships, fit to their hull bonuses, are viable. This makes answering the first question much easier than it would have been two years ago:
- Tell new players that one ship generally fills one role, and if they want a second role it’s best to fit a second ship.
- Advise a single, size-appropriate weapon/misc high slot type and a single size-appropriate tank type. Mention the Damage Control as an exception to the latter.
- Demonstrate how to find the bonuses for a given hull, and give examples of how to fit to those bonuses.
- Update the fitting tool to show the effects of active modules, not only as if they were all always on. Allow them to be turned on and off so that the effects of the modules are obvious. Allow players to speculatively fit items they don’t own to see what the effect would be on the ship.
That’s it! It’s plenty for a new player to take in. New players do not always have the fitting skills to fill all the available slots on a ship, so that cannot be an early requirement, only a goal to work toward: “Getting the Most Out of Your Tormentor.” These lessons can be refined by experimentation, reading, research, or contact with other players.
This advice necessarily excludes any current metas, clever discoveries, or fleet fits for ships which are bonused for active tanks. Once the player is in a position to be concerned about those, he has overcome, or he is in the process of overcoming, the greatest hurdle he will ever face in EVE: finding other people to fly with. At this point, he no longer needs the game itself as a teacher.
As for veterans? In a game where the players are responsible for the content, the players are also responsible for the new player experience. How each player responds to that fact is up to them. I can only ask that we try to be the veterans we hoped to encounter when we were new ourselves. I can only ask that knowing that the answer will be different for each person.
The last question is the easiest: I am in an alliance called “BadWrongFun.” You can imagine our position on comedy, experimental and off-meta fits!