Saturday, October 8, 2011

How to See Things Differently

This is not a discussion on the value of having a Positive Mental Attitude, or always seeing the glass "half full"

Its not a dissertation on the merits of Zen and meditation to achieve a more enlightened vision of the world.

I am talking about how you see when you sit down in front of your computer in your mother's basement.

The EVE world is a complicated one, and your portal into it (okay computer screen(s)) can provide a wealth of knowledge, or a web of confusion.  And how you see the world of EVE depends on one of the most important things in the game, your Overview. 

While there are a ton of in-game and RL skills that can determine your success and satisfaction with EVE, one of the most important is knowing how to setup Overviews, and the knowledge of what you want on it.  A mistake in setting up your Overview can lead to failure in combat, and is probably the number one thing you can do to be prepared as a pilot.

Let's look at a few situations.  

1) A small scale fleet encounter in an Asteroid Belt.  Lets say 15 people a side.  You warp in and have a crappy overview tab on.  All the sudden (well actually after about 5 seconds of lag for you computer to load it all)  there are 200 things on your overview with asteroids, friendly ships, enemy ships, NPC Ships, drones, customs offices, planets, stations, beacons.  The FC is calling primaries and you are trying to sort through this massive list to find them.  As you try to target, the list bounces as new friendlies arrive and you target a friendly ship instead.  By the time you get the primary finally targeted you manage to get off one shot before he pops.  You repeat this process a few times before you are finally targeted and start to go down.  Now you know you are going to die, so you scroll down to find something to warp your pod too.  You Pop, there is a station.  You select it and crap your pod is scrammed and you get to ride the white light express back to your medical clone.

2) You are ratting in a quiet system.  All the sudden a red ship appears on your overview.  You quickly call out on Comms "Red Drake on me, warp to Ben Affleck belt 6-2."  To which, someone replies, "System is Blue dude, WTF are you seeing."  And then you realize its just Ungolas, the alliance's local -9 pirate.  Embarrassed you dock up and go back to playing Hello Kitty Island Adventure.

3) You are quietly mining in W-space.  You are diligently pounding the D-Scan button, but you are tired of tall the crap on it and have the use active overview setting checked.  You never see the combat scanners before the Hound uncloaks and bombs you back to High Sec.

All of these situations could have a much different result with proper Overview Settings.

1) You arrive on the scene with a proper PvP overview and see nothing but the enemy fleet laid out in front of you.  You easily follow the FC's commands of primary and deal significant damage to each ship as it melts under you guns.  You find the secondary and already have him targeted, losing no time in switching targets.  

2) You have your overview filters properly set and you see an alliance drake warp into your belt.  You crack a joke on Comms about mouth breathing WOW players, get a few chuckles and continue to make some isk.

3) You see the Combat Probes on D-Scan and are able to get your butt back to the POS in time. 

And in each situation, only a change in your Overview makes all the difference.

So why is it that so many people have neglected such a basic thing as the overview?

1) It is not obvious.  You can get away with having a bad overview probably 95% of the time.  You have time to click the object in space, or do something else to get the Overview the way you want it.  It is seldom a "life or death" situation.

2) It is your overview.  No one else ever sees it.  We share ship setups, we see kill boards of fits, we notice when a pilot doesn't follow orders, or someone shoots the wrong target.  No one but you ever sees your overview.

3) It is boring to work on.  Why spend an hour working on Overview when I can rat, mine, scan, roam, gate camp, play the market, do PI etc etc.  Setting up a good set of Overviews is just boring.

4) It is hard to know what you don't know.  How are you supposed to know you need a drones tab before going into a battle with a carrier?  How are you supposed to know a logistics pilot needs a separate set of Overview settings than a DPS pilot?  Like most things in EVE there is scant information, and how to properly setup Overview Tabs is just another area that people struggle to figure out.

So I encourage everyone, if you do not have a good set of saved Overview Tabs, seek out the information from someone who does.  Get them to explain filters and brackets and tabs and saving and ....

The next time you warp into a fleet encounter you will be happy you spent the time to see things differently.

Fly Safe,

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