Monday, May 25, 2009

Blog banter 8: mentorship

Welcome to the eighth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month's topic comes to us from Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."

Cha did her utmost best to understand and execute what everyone was saying, in fleet channel, corp channel, alliance channel, Hellcats Pub channel, and kitten rookie channel, meanwhile also keeping an eye on the local channel and an ear to the audio channel. The fleet commander's voice was measured, firm and professional - each word carefully chosen but with a strong underlying tension that seemed to grow when she tried to keep track on every of Cha's actions, which were plentiful.

For starters, Cha warped to the wrong gate - everybody warped to Arnstur, and she went to Arnher. Then she warped to the right gate, only she should have stayed put. Determined to do better next time, she warped to the next gate and jumped - when she should have held her position at the gate. So she warped to the next gate and held, while the fleet jumped, and it only dawned to her that she should have jumped too when the entire fleet already was 3 systems further. She finally arrived at the killing spot only to discover she had forgotten her ammo - but that wasn't nearly as bad as that time when she arrived at the killing site to discover she hadn't fit anything at all. She forgot to untick the own fleet members option in her settings, which made her overview so cluttered that she couldn't find the enemy targets in it, tackling her own fleet members as a consequence and even once almost shooting one. She apologized abundantly, and when she finally did target an enemy ship it already was a pod and being ransomed, or killed.

She decided it maybe was better to learn some things on her own first.

She made warping spots all over Gultratren, only to realize afterwards that the nearest belt or moon was already beyond the reach of her onboard system scanner. So she decided to teach herself probe scanning, muddling and fumbling with the probe launcher that probably was family of her first hobgoblin drone, since it clearly showed signs of mutiny. She lost probes all over the place, without finding anything. She scanned for hours, only to find that when she finally had nailed someone's location down, her fuel, her time or her ammo was out.
She then decided she would skip all the scanning and just warp from belt to belt, smack right in the middle, so that a possible victim there wouldn't be able to escape. She herself almost didn't escape from some Angel bullies, without getting any decent kill. She vowed she would be more careful, and didn't jump the belts at zero anymore, but at a safe 30 km. Of course, the unexpected happened: she dropped on a possible victim when she warped into a belt. Although - it wasn't exactly dropping on, because she couldn't close the 30 km gap fast enough - he cheerfully warped out from under her nose. She found her victim had fled into the next belt, only right after those pesky Angels had gotten him.

On the way back she jumped through a gate, got tackled and shot to pieces by pirate hunters, was podded, and woke up in a clone bay with a light migraine and a lot less implants.

Still, she had a blast. Once out in space, somehow it just didn't seem to matter any more. The universe seemed full of possibilities; unexplained, undecided and only just around the corner. The pod goo felt fresh in her lungs, the many suns beamed down on her rifter and her whole body tingled with anticipation. She had not felt so good for years. She flew effortlessly, up and away, light as thistledown on a summer breeze. Soaring in an instant over rolling fields of asteroids, she plunged into dark and mysterious systems, then swooped up to dally in the sunlight of the next system. She would just warp from spot to spot and sat cloaked, enjoying the view.
But she sucked at the magnificent skill of piracy - and her flying hours didn't seem to coincide well with when most Hellcats and Bastards were ganging up.

There was only one solution: finding a one-on-one coach, a partner to teach her a thing or two.
Alas, there wasn't such a thing as a personal mentor search board or channel in the entire universe. She decided to put up a plain job ad instead.

"Seeking flexible candidates with a wide variety of experience, casual work atmosphere, duties will vary."
She thought of the perpetual chaos that seemed to surround her flights, and added "Upbeat personality: must neither threaten with any kind of lawsuit nor use drug & alcohol benefits." She hesitated a while, then wrote "Prior conviction of a felony or two no problem."
Okay, that sounded more like it. Although, maybe the job description needed more detail.
"Responsibilities include:"... she thought, and then thought some more, and then some. She eventually thought it best to be as clear as possible, so there wouldn't be any surprises from either side.
"Active, proactive, reactive, interactive knowledge of piracy business practices. Organizational talent for self-directed work team, to provide strategic, ballistic, and/or malicious leadership and bicoordinate fleet-wide planning and activities, including personnel management, both corporeal and incorporeal, along with pan-solar operations and information resources. Play a key role in the aforementioned spiritual guidance; continual management of the integrated coaching system. Instigate investigations into the new and unknown means and manners of exchanging acquisitions and ultra-graphic information between coach and pupil. Actively involved in national, international, interracial, universal, introverted as well as extraordinary piracy initiatives. Requires a demonstrated understanding of pupil's willingness along with knowledge of current trends in schemes, scams and operations. Participates in region-wide planning, policy-making activities, and fleet governance. Must deny vinegar wine. Be forgiving of equivocated and perfunctory communication skills; demonstrated experience as deus ex machina with senior level experience in modern clairvoyance; with progress-organic responsibility in technical services as well as humbuggery and miserly deceiving experience; ability to grasp and assimilate chaotic information on a dime; possess a commitment to serving the needs of an information seeking young woman, even when it's that time of the month.
Excellent planning, interpersonal as well as ultra-personal transcendence, with oral, written, and digital communication skills; the ability to please greatly and work with aggressive acquiescence in a dual team environment.
Instill a sense of piracy pride and fair play; behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, willing to tackle every possible ship without excluding any race, faction, corporation or size, except in cases of possibly suicidal outcomes, teach ransoming and raise self-esteem. Provide a safe learning environment, recognize signs of potential reckless behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation, encourage a respect for the cultural diversity of ships and their fittings.
Technical and services assistance for all aspects related to the acquisition of ships and ship fittings and materials in all possible, sizes, formats and amounts, including budget management, with the ability to communicate on a micro/macrocosmic level while providing guidance in the use of the technologies and skills yet to be realized. Teach the use of supplies, boosters, room decorations, duct tape, repair paste, glue, paperclips, note book paper, ship scanners, fluo markers and star maps. Knowledge of daily universal currency exchange rates and trends in fitting acquisitions, skill collection development; experience with the macabre nature of the market environment."

She pondered on what she had to offer in return - health insurance surely wasn't one of them. She concluded with what seemed reasonable:
"Apart from gaining an interesting experience, salary will be based on the whimsical nature of the universe’s sense of fairness."

Hmm. Maybe she had expanded a bit too much. She deleted the superfluous and kept to the essential.

"Looking for experienced pirate who loves getting booty and wouldn't mind showing his prowess while escorting a young fresh female pilot into unexplored territories."

She pressed the "submit" button, opened a bottle of wine and leaned back with great expectations.

More blog banters:
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing, EVE Blog Banter #8: Care for a little game of SecWars?
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Wow, that new thing is so shiny!!!
  3. I am Keith Nielson, EVE Blog Banter #8 - Return of the Top Gun
  4. Once More from the Beginning, 8th EVE Blog Banter May 2009 Edition
  5. A merry life and a short one, EVE Blog Banter #8: In the Year of Our Awesome
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Planets
  7. Helicity Boson, Bantering the blog
  8. Achernar, Unique adventures
  9. Ecliptic Rift, OOC: EVE Blog Banter 8: Standings and secondary factions
  10. The New Edener, EVE Blog Banter #8
  11. Journey to New Eden, Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?
  12. Life, The Universe and Everything, Blog banter 8: mentorship
  13. EVE Guru, EBB 8: Yarr! Prepare to be boarded!
  14. The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works
  15. Rifter Drifter, Blog Banter 8: Strategic Gunnery
  16. More to come...


  1. That was a real mouthful! If I were a bit closer to your roaming area I'd offer to give a hand, perhaps will setup a JC around there in the future, see how things pan out :)

  2. This is your blog, and your writing is good, but just so you know what I'm interested in is articles not fanfic. Mynxee seems to do a good job of balancing the two-- her posts are done in a fictional narrative style but there is information in there as well.

  3. I can totally relate on the scanner issues, been grappling with that myself lately. In the time it takes me to narrow down a target they could be three regions over already.

    While a mentor of some sort would be cool I suppose, I kind of like fumbling through things myself until I work it out or try something else.

    Also with the complete blog overload I've been reading lately chances are someone has written about the topic in question somewhere ;)

  4. @Ospie: that would be fun!
    @Worg: thank you! But i write because i like to write, not necessarily to be read. I'm not Mynx (obviously), i don't want to provide info, i just want to convey my own (and many) chaotic thoughts in a more orderly way. Yes, this is orderly, imagine the rumbling and tumbling of my thoughts - you wouldn't wanna be one of them. I might not find you anymore.
    @ Mdih: yes, that's what i do now, obviously. I just think it would be fun to fly with someone else more than i do now (i seem to play at the wrong times, i.e. mostly daytimes CET).

  5. Most people seem to find their "mentors" as part of the first corp they join, particularly if they have friends that brought them into EVE in the first place. Valandriana, of Chilled Solutions, kind of filled that role for me and Lexx, though other folks from Chilled helped out as well. We've tried to do the same for others that we've brought into Eve, such as Valorna. (Hell, I introduced Selena to EVE myself, and now she's a total addict and part of the Ralpha Dogs' leadership.) I don't know if there needs to be a formal mechanism for it, unless it's for people that just join EVE and aren't able to join a decvent player corp right away because they don't know anybody. But the need might exist.

    - Erbo Evans, Abbot, Rho Alpha Delta

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I think Erbo's right. A good corporation will have the mentors you need. Even now I've moved on to a life of piracy I keep in touch with the guys who taught me about Eve and I always remember their help when someone approaches me for advice. We don't take green rookies in The Tuskers but I certainly help people who approach us through our Academy forum or contact me after reading my blog.

  8. What if the game would reverse the roles of question/demamnd by giving for instance double xp during a duo fleet op with a newbie (with some exploit precautions with alts of course)? Then nubs wouldnt have to depend on the willingness from others (often strangers); it would actually PAY to teach.

  9. ...ohh btw - i learned a lot from Eran in Stillwater, and now from the Hellcats and Bastards roams - dont even dare to think i'm complaining about them!

  10. Loved this post. You use language marvellously.

  11. All I could think of while reading your banter was "Man, this is deja vu!". I've made all these mistakes, and many more, at least once in my long capsuleer career. A mentor would indeed help out a lot!

  12. I just for some reason totally missed this post! If you're still wanting some mentoring and are available, I'll make it a point in the next few days to schedule a session at whatever time suits you. I have the flexibility right now to do that. Look in our forums for an invitation post in a few minutes that you can reply to.