Blog Banter 57: The Wrong Question?
Duncan Ringill

instruction01Kirith Kodachi nails up a Blog Banter on the subject of failfits and the prevention thereof.  To his credit, the direction he’s heading concerns the responsibility of the senior player in the education of the junior.  Granting that newer capsuleers’ undocking in suboptimal fits is a problem–for those new players if for no one else–sure, an experienced EVE hand can do a lot one-on-one to train someone who is just entering the game.

I submit, however, that this is akin to a driver’s education class in which the instructor talks about the latest Fast And Furious movie he’s just seen.  It’s sex education via dirty jokes when we could be using Ken and Barbie dolls or better.  Why tell another player how to fit, if the game were developed in such a way as to allow showing instead?

Yeah, in the game we have, you can share a particular fit through chat.  What you can’t easily share are the accompanying stats, or the logic you used to pick particular modules and rigs.  What can’t be shared trivially is the science of fitting itself, and it is one of the fundamental skills for survival and prosperity.

Give us an in-game fitting tool, CCP!  Shove it into the menu right down there next to ISIS, or (better yet) integrate fitting into ISIS.  Make this thing part of the tutorial, with samples engaging players on Day One in the basics of cap, grid and calibration with AURA as guide talking us through examples as she offers tips.  Enable stare-and-compare for the various modules and the sharing of fits within corps and alliances so that other players slip neatly into AURA’s place.

The old hand in EVE can sit virtually with a brand-new player; they can open ISIS at the same time, and talk or type their way through more advanced fittings.  Don’t force the teacher and the pupil to leave the game and communicate on forums about third-party tools that may not be interoperable.  Keep ’em logged in and socializing.  Build a schoolhouse for Kirith Kodachi; make it a place of learning whose products are fun and better killmails that we can share with a proud smile rather than a sneer.

Give the teacher tools, and bring enough for the whole class.

Cheesecake In Space #6
Duncan Ringill

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In the fall of 2012, I flew Poison Arrow from Heimatar out to an incursion in Gallente space.  I believe I was just parking her for a fleet op the next day, and fortuitously made a screenshot  coming out of warp in the staging system.  This was the moment I realized that G-space is probably the prettiest of all, offering nice contrasts particularly to rusty ol’ Minmatar hulls.

Cheesecake In Space #5
Duncan Ringill

These images are from last month, when a pathing error spawned my camera off-center in a Caldari hangar.  This is not that unusual a glitch, and I was able to clear it by shifting first into CQ, then back into the hangar.  An alliance-mate had seen this happen in the Mac client, however, so I decided to ride it all the way down.  My point of view sank slowly, and I was able to look around as it fell, and to look up for the final screenshot.

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Cheesecake In Space #4
Duncan Ringill

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I got started in EVE after Incarna dropped, and as much as I loved the idea of Space Barbies, I kept Captain’s Quarters turned off most of the time as instructed by alliance-mates.  I would enable it for ship-spinning, and kill it when performance was an issue.  It was many months, therefore, before I took a really good look around the hangar end of things, and realized that I could peer over the edge a bit.

You can see a lot of my capsule in the resulting screenshot from two years ago.  I recall some surprise from fellow players who had never bothered to take a peek after CQ caused so much rage.

Cheesecake In Space #4
Duncan Ringill

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Two years ago in the Inferno expansion, v3 ship modeling came around for the Hurricane, my battlecruiser of choice, including the prominent placement of the Minmatar logo.  I recall taking mine to a Caldari station for the express purpose of this and other screenshots, since the ship would get lost against the rusty backdrop of the Minnie stations I lived in.

Cheesecake In Space #2
Duncan Ringill

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Two years ago, when my fitting skills were (more) primitive, I longed to fly bigger ships with more slots, the better to make up for a fit’s failings.  That meant battleships, but I was comfortable for several months flying the Hurricane on shooty ops.  I took my time, and didn’t leap into a ‘Phewn at the first opportunity.  No, when I debuted in a battleship, it was in the baddest boat within my reach.

The Fleet Tempest became my go-to ship when kersplosions were the order of the day.  I loved this thing, christened Poison Arrow after the ABC song.  Its profile even looks a bit like a bow being drawn, if the longbows in your world have attached screen doors.

Cheesecake In Space #1
Duncan Ringill

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My EVE experience has always been about the pretty.  From hulls to starscapes, I want to see, feel and smell the game’s textures.  I’ve called EVE space opera, and nowhere is this more obvious than in its primitive astrophysics, which takes Newton and stuffs his laws of motion where the lens flares don’t shine.  Planets and moons hang there like toys, but toys rendered in precise detail.  The nebulae overpower objects that in a real universe would be much brighter.  Some planets appear only indirectly lit by their stars.

I thought I’d dig out screenshots from my past, so let’s start this show with the very first one in my current computer.  Two years ago, I was still pretty new in New Eden.  I was just learning combat, and as Duncan I was training up some industrial hauling skills to supplement our mining.  Here’s Suz bringing a POS online while I arrive with a load of fuel.  Did you know that the Mammoth is camouflaged for Min-space?  Neither did I.