Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.05 21:11

Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

So the skill-changes for Alpha clones finally hit Tranquility, and I took another look at my initial idea of finding a way to adjust our skillplans and fits to enable pure Alpha clones to train into and enjoy Incursions.

Looking at the skills, there are a few skills that doesn't quite match the minimum skills as they stand today:

- Capacitor Systems Operation III instead of IV (no modules affected, just less cap).
- Signature Analysis III instead of IV (no modules affected, just slower locking).
- Long Range Targeting III instead of IV (this blocks the use of Sensor Booster II modules, but shouldn't cause range issues).
- EM Shield Compensation II instead of III (minor reduction in tank but shouldn't cause any problems).
- Amarr Drone Specialization II instead of III (minor reduction in drone dps but shouldn't cause any problems).

Now, I'll simply ignore the "slightly lower efficiency"-related skills, as allowing us to include Alpha accounts will far outweigh the slight reduction in efficiency from said pilots. Especially since they will, once they start running, be able to buy faction modules to more than compensate for that. Heck, they can even more into pirate faction hulls like Machariels, Nightmares and Vindicators (or with that kind of money simply pay for Omega status).

So that leaves us with just one issue, Long Range Targeting III which would mean changing the requirement down to III and dropping the mandatory tech two Sensor Booster II module in favour of the meta sensor booster. Again, the price is low if it means allowing for 100% inclusion of alpha clones for our dps lineup in incursions, basically allowing them to come ongrid (even though they won't be able to logi or OGB).

So what am considering doing, exactly?

- Lower the requirement of the above mentioned skills for the minimum skills plan.
- Changing the minimum battleship fits on the wiki to replace the Sensor Booster II with a meta variant.

I'm curious to know what people think about this. I'd appreciate any kind of feedback, be that pointing out things I've missed or simply agreeing that this is good for the community.
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Logan Zauber

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Post 2017.12.05 21:30

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

If one assumes that having alpha clones is good for the Uni Incusions Fleet then:

1. Dropping those requirement levels makes sense
I would suggest a concrete training plan from minimums. While I discussed training with more senior pilots and read the wiki many times, I am still encountering Uni Incursionistas that did not understand that "minimum skills" are MINIMUMS and that increasing skills can have dramatic effects in dps and fun per site.

2. I would suggest showing a new "minimum fit for Alphas" for each ship, a "minimum fit for Omegas because better and cheaper" and a "End Game" fit that is not all blingy but is a workman like solid fit that gets the job done and allows the pilot to have some fun and pride that their ship is not "crippled" or would not get scorned in a public fleet. (Example: back to the 'why don't we list the pith b, 2web vindicator fit?' I know, I know, but people keep showing up odd HQ fits for Vanguard duty that cost more than a proper fit and it's getting old.)

3. I'm told we used to let battlecruisers fly Vanguards. If dropping the bar is good, why not keep dropping the bar?

In the end, we need more pilots in the Uni Fleet. Maybe if we all make a ton of isk then the alpha bros can plex their account and get properly skilled and ships that are not third-rate.

just my thoughts
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.05 23:40

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Logan Zauber wrote:If one assumes that having alpha clones is good for the Uni Incusions Fleet then:
Any reason why that would not be the case? Is there an argument that alpha clones are bad for our fleets?

Logan Zauber wrote:I would suggest a concrete training plan from minimums.
Currently we have concrete plans for the three basic ships we recommend people start with the Maelstrom, Rokh and Hyperion in EVEMon format linked directly from the Preparing for Incursions page. There's also individual plans available in the skill certificate section on Fleet-Up.

Are those the kind of concrete plans you're thinking of? Or something more?

Logan Zauber wrote:While I discussed training with more senior pilots and read the wiki many times, I am still encountering Uni Incursionistas that did not understand that "minimum skills" are MINIMUMS and that increasing skills can have dramatic effects in dps and fun per site.
...
2. I would suggest showing a new "minimum fit for Alphas" for each ship, a "minimum fit for Omegas because better and cheaper" and a "End Game" fit that is not all blingy but is a workman like solid fit that gets the job done and allows the pilot to have some fun and pride that their ship is not "crippled" or would not get scorned in a public fleet. (Example: back to the 'why don't we list the pith b, 2web vindicator fit?' I know, I know, but people keep showing up odd HQ fits for Vanguard duty that cost more than a proper fit and it's getting old.)
It's always a balance act in giving information. Over time I've found that being short, to the point; one fit, one skillplan (per ship), is far superior into getting people properly prepared for incursions. We can always discuss improvements and such things afterwards. It's not worth potentially confusing new players by adding such things too soon. At least not in my opinion.

So while I definitely think you and everyone else should talk about such things when new people have settled in with us, I still think it's best to leave that for "later", when they have already started running with us. We don't have much of an issue once people have started running with us, as then they are here, we can talk to them, we can explain things etc. Our focus should be on getting them informed and prepared to join us.

Also, I avoid any notion of "crippled" as that does nothing help our reputation or make people feel welcome. Instead I focus on things like "you'll be able to contribute as long as you meet the minimum requirements" and "you can improve by training this and upgrade to that" ... but honestly that comes naturally once they are running with us. Most of the time the pilots themselves will ask such questions, or complain about not being able to hit as far out or align as fast etc. There's no need to even imply that they are not contributing enough with the minimum skills and fits.

Logan Zauber wrote:3. I'm told we used to let battlecruisers fly Vanguards. If dropping the bar is good, why not keep dropping the bar?
Not comparable anymore, the sites changed, the comparable damage changed, the skill needed to hit battleships is negligible compared to what it was. It was simply a different game in many aspects back then. If we were to adjust and accommodate for battlecruisers now, it wouldn't shave that much time off of the training plan and we'd have to start requiring specialized ships for our fleet compositions, which would cause a whole slew of other problems that would very likely negate any positive effect of enabling battlecruisers entry to our fleets.

It's not so much that I think dropping the bar of entry in and by itself is always good, but if it can be done with a very small "cost", it's definitely worth considering.

I'm arguing that the main difference between our current minimums and what an Alpha clone can achieve, basically boils down to ~10% slower locking speed. Naturally the upper-end is more limited for Alpha clones due to the lack of tech two weapons, but faction tachyon Nightmares and faction modules in general can easily turn even a limited Alpha account into a high-performing member of the community.
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Atomsk Agittain

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Post 2017.12.06 00:14

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

I would second having a separate section for the Alpha fits, although there isn't a good way to check if someone is Omega or not.

The bar isn't getting lowered all that much, the only issue I'm seeing is the Fed Navy sensor boosters are 100m over the Serpentis and the Drone versions and there aren't that many of any of them on the market.

Personally I don't think battlecruiser hulls have the stuff to make it in the fleet without being a liability. Trying to mock up a battlecruiser such as the Talos nets an Alpha of 3356, which is 300 more than the Hyperion. However, has two less low slots and one less mid. Even with a Pithum B it is sitting at 61% Thermal resistance, and a whopping 21757 EHP vs 70%+ across and 84000 EHP. So while they can do the DPS I dont think they can tank well enough.

So if we can get enough meta sensor boosters I say we go for it.
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Analiese Aubernet

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Post 2017.12.06 00:16

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

SPOILER WARNING!
Dropping the bar to allow inclusion of those who would otherwise be prohibited from participating is good. Dropping the bar to the point of "whatever" is not good, at least in my opinion. The standards of communities are what defines them and sets the tone for the way the community operates. In the case of E-UNI, those standards are focused on fleet safety. Many T1 battlecruisers would not be able to successfully be able to tank the sites, and those that could would likely have to be fitted with tank to the point where they did not contribute much. Allowing a pilot to fly something that would get them killed is a good way to drive them away from incursions. /endrant



To say what I actually came here to say, I realize that cost is a significant factor in your fitting calculations, but you could also encourage alpha pilots (or veteran pilots) to upgrade to a meta 8 sensor booster if they do not have the skill to fit a T2 sebo. It is a relatively inexpensive faction module - 27 million for a Sentient sebo in Jita right now - and provides a significant boost in lock speed that would likely make up for the training level in the signature analysis skill.


If the cost is too much of a factor, then I would be interested in seeing some sort of program started to offset the cost of that particular module - one of the most common complaints from new pilots is that they feel they are not able to lock things before the rest of the pilots. I would be willing to help with some of the costs of this program, if it were started.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.06 00:17

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

To clarify, by "meta sensor booster" I'm referring to the regular meta 1 sensor booster ... not a faction sensor booster.

Faction modules (apart from the web) has never been a requirement for us, but rather something people look into later on if they decide they like incursions and would like to treat their cash-cow right by upgrading.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.06 00:44

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Logan Zauber wrote:(Example: back to the 'why don't we list the pith b, 2web vindicator fit?' I know, I know, but people keep showing up odd HQ fits for Vanguard duty that cost more than a proper fit and it's getting old.)
As a sidenote ... the solution to this problem isn't to give them yet another cookie-cutter fit among all the other fits people can find on the internet. This just creates more problems rather than less. I know this from experience as that was exactly what we tried, many years ago. The result was that people spent ISK without knowing why and were often forced to get rid of expensive rigs or modules. Our current method have resulted in far less people spending ISK needlessly and without the knowledge of why.

For a more thorough explanation, see this image:

Image

I can't find the old thread about it anymore, but when we had the extra fits we ended up with a lot more people in #2 instead of #1 as well as a lot of people in #3 slipping by, instead of being in #4.

We already encourage people to read fitting principles and ship progression. If they still need help figuring that out, they should continue asking questions instead of trying to throw ISK at the problem.
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Rikki Bigg

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Post 2017.12.06 02:26

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

My only question:

Assuming minimum skilled booster (Command Burst Specialist IV, Command Ships IV),
and two minimum skilled logi (Logi IV, could be Scimi or Basi, but zero [0] remote tracking links),
how many minimum skilled alpha pilots does it take to fly the fleet safely, if they are all in T1 battleships?

If we can get there with those standards, I have no objection at all to your suggestions.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.06 07:37

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Rikki Bigg wrote:My only question:

Assuming minimum skilled booster (Command Burst Specialist IV, Command Ships IV),
and two minimum skilled logi (Logi IV, could be Scimi or Basi, but zero [0] remote tracking links),
how many minimum skilled alpha pilots does it take to fly the fleet safely, if they are all in T1 battleships?
This is no change from our current scenario, where people show up with minimum skills and our minimum fits.

This alpha change wouldn't really change our entry past the potential 10% slower lock time, it's only the upper potential that is significantly impacted.
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Zeerse Solaris

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Post 2017.12.06 09:05

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

I think your initial thoughts are fine Cass, and let's not forget that on grid boosts are better than off-grid were (I believe) so that offsets the alpha fits.

My only question and I don't know the overall fleet mechanics well enough, ignoring efficiency, is there a tipping point of alphas that creates the risk of death. In other words, if all DPS were alphas, would it be enough?

I'm not a fan of a funding programme in any way, even for alphas. We should be encouraging the good corporate citizen behaviour of, while you train the skills you are picketing/scouting to listen in on mumble to learn what you can off grid and ask questions. That way the pilot stacks up isk to buy what they need and doesn't arrive on grid with the "I heard incursions make loads of money, I need to know everything" scenario (which will still happen probably).

The image is wrong by the way, you don't want anyone in the bad fit, no knowledge section.
E-uni Teacher:: Apply to be a teacher
E-uni Mentor: Apply to be a mentor
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Alcius

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Post 2017.12.06 11:19

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Hey all,

I would be happy to participate in a fleet again. Unfortunately this year RL is really limiting my time, so it made no sense for me to sub. But NOW my time has come to maybe make it to a fleet or two.

I guess it would be helpfull to define fitting plans for the "entry" Battleships and the "to look for" faction BS and according to them the appropriate skill plans. This way alphas can plan ahead and get most out of the 5 mil SP, before they need to use the injectors. So they minimize the "entry" costs.
The skill plans should have the training order with priorities: first to be able to use the necessary modules to be "able" to participate and then the "to be better" at it skill levels.

Lastly it might be an idea to have some tips to "how to get the most out of the alpha" for e.g. special modules or implants.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.06 12:48

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Alcius wrote:I guess it would be helpfull to define fitting plans for the "entry" Battleships and the "to look for" faction BS and according to them the appropriate skill plans.
The idea is to use the existing plans that do just that (a short, to the point plan to get ready for the minimum fits we have) and tweak them to work for all capsuleers, alpha clones as well as subscribing/PLEX'ing omega clones. One plan for each ship fit. Just like we already do today.

Alcius wrote:The skill plans should have the training order with priorities: first to be able to use the necessary modules to be "able" to participate and then the "to be better" at it skill levels.
I've streamlined it a bit more for simplicity, because in EVE, merely having the skills to sit in a ship and fire its guns doesn't necessarily result in being able to hit anything (or hit for any kind of damage).

The Preparing for Incursions page has a minimum skills list to not only get into the ship and use its modules, but also reach a level where you can actually contribute and apply your dps. It then goes on to list recommended skills which highlights the kind of skills that has the most impact on improving your efficiency further, past the minimums.

The same exists for fit progression from a tanking perspective to open up for more utility modules. It ties into the overall fitting principles page and especially the subsection for upgrade priorities.

Alcius wrote:Lastly it might be an idea to have some tips to "how to get the most out of the alpha" for e.g. special modules or implants.
I was initially thinking that we make a dedicated page for this, perhaps "Alpha clones in Incursions" that we can link to from the preparations page. On that page we can go into more details on the limitations and workarounds (mostly involving using ISK to get faction or deadspace modules to compensate). We could also add information about the decision you'll need to make at that point, when you have enough ISK to start upgrading your ship. Whether you might want to consider subscribing, if you can routinely make enough ISK to buy the PLEX needed for Omega and improve by actually skilling up instead ... or simply find a cheaper, permanent solution to get an upgraded ship and implants that'll perform really well while allowing you to continue playing for free as an Alpha clone.

If you have any ideas on would be good to put on such a page, I'm all ears.
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Alcius

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Post 2017.12.06 13:49

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

The idea is to use the existing plans that do just that (a short, to the point plan to get ready for the minimum fits we have) and tweak them to work for all capsuleers, alpha clones as well as subscribing/PLEX'ing omega clones. One plan for each ship fit. Just like we already do today.


Yes Cassiel, there need not to be new wiki pages, just checked if the current apply to alphas as they are. If not then there might be added a sub-paragraph or link to a dedicated wiki page with consolidated information for alphas "! Exceptions/remarks for alpha clones", which points out what is different for them and propose an alternative. Something like "Caution: Alphas cannot use TII Sensor Boosters and should replace it with X or Y and consider that it uses Z more CPU or PG."

I've streamlined it a bit more for simplicity, because in EVE, merely having the skills to sit in a ship and fire its guns doesn't necessarily result in being able to hit anything (or hit for any kind of damage).


Of course I didn´t meant that for just equipping the modules. Rather the skills to use them to be able to contribute and not to "handicap" the fleet. So as an example prioritize to max out gun skills before drone skills.


As for the fleet itself, I think it will take alphas quite a while to get the necessary skills trained up, until they can participate (not to mention the ISK to get the basic "equipment"), so I might imagine that short term rather inactive Omegas would participate in the fleets. So these fleets can be tested with maybe experienced members and therefore polished before the "real" alphas come in. But that´s just my thoughts. I would be glad to participate, but must first check the relevant wiki pages and gathering the ship(s) and modules, since I haven´t followed it for months.
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Logan Zauber

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Post 2017.12.07 17:55

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Cassiel Seraphim wrote: Any reason why that would not be the case? Is there an argument that alpha clones are bad for our fleets?
Newton's third law is "You never get what you pay for, and most times you don't even get that" and Alpha clones cost zero. Time will tell.

Cassiel Seraphim wrote: Currently we have concrete plans for the three basic ships we recommend people start with the Maelstrom, Rokh and Hyperion in EVEMon format linked directly from the Preparing for Incursions page. There's also individual plans available in the skill certificate section on Fleet-Up.

Are those the kind of concrete plans you're thinking of? Or something more?

I have never used fleet-up or seen that page before. In-game, there are mastery certificates 1,2,3,4, and 5. When a pilot meet's our "minimums" certificate, I think it would be helpful to have and "intermediate" certificate (improved gunnery, drone range, stuff involved with having more available mid-slots) and "advanced" (T2 guns, getting those level 5's where they count, etc.) For me, it's not about simply getting the payout. I enjoy leaning how to fly better and better, every day.

Cassiel Seraphim wrote: Also, I avoid any notion of "crippled" as that does nothing help our reputation or make people feel welcome. Instead I focus on things like "you'll be able to contribute as long as you meet the minimum requirements" and "you can improve by training this and upgrade to that" ... but honestly that comes naturally once they are running with us. Most of the time the pilots themselves will ask such questions, or complain about not being able to hit as far out or align as fast etc. There's no need to even imply that they are not contributing enough with the minimum skills and fits.


Time and time again, new pilots are saying "I can't shoot anything! By the time I lock it and reach for the trigger, the target is gone!" This is incentive for our new pilots to keep training and invest their bounties in to pirate hulls and better modules. If one is flying as an alpha clone, that T1 battleship is the end game. Done. Unless one first uses bounties to plex their account. And that's about the cost of a pith-b fit vindicator each month.


Cassiel Seraphim wrote: It's not so much that I think dropping the bar of entry in and by itself is always good, but if it can be done with a very small "cost", it's definitely worth considering.

I'm arguing that the main difference between our current minimums and what an Alpha clone can achieve, basically boils down to ~10% slower locking speed. Naturally the upper-end is more limited for Alpha clones due to the lack of tech two weapons, but faction tachyon Nightmares and faction modules in general can easily turn even a limited Alpha account into a high-performing member of the community.


I agree with you that a small reduction in skills might help us get more people on-grid sooner (Alpha or Omega, we are simply lowering our minimums.) and that's a very very good thing.

I don't fly nightmares and so will believe you that one can build an alpha nightmare pilot that can perform at high UnistaCursion levels. It's not so for Vindicator (which is my limited experience) but if it can be done for a nightmare, can it be done for a machariel?

Anyhow, I recently won a Hyperion as a side-effect of killing rogue drones to get cerebral accelerators. Took me about 4 hours. CCP is literally giving them away. I have no idea what to do with it!
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.12.07 21:18

Re: Adjusting to and encouraging Alpha clones to do Incursions.

Logan Zauber wrote:I have never used fleet-up or seen that page before. In-game, there are mastery certificates 1,2,3,4, and 5. When a pilot meet's our "minimums" certificate, I think it would be helpful to have and "intermediate" certificate (improved gunnery, drone range, stuff involved with having more available mid-slots) and "advanced" (T2 guns, getting those level 5's where they count, etc.)
This is exactly what the wiki says right below the minimum skills section, in an appropriately named recommended skills section. Of the two, the wiki and fleet-up, the wiki is more readily available and if people aren't seeing the recommendations on the highly visible wiki pages, I'm not sure adding another certificate to fleet-up (which is used even less) will make much of a difference.

Plus, just because I'm considering opening our doors to Alpha clones as well, doesn't mean we should stop recommending Omega clones to train into these skills. I'm just looking to include a group that was previous unable to join us, now that they could meet our standards with a very minor revision.

Logan Zauber wrote:If one is flying as an alpha clone, that T1 battleship is the end game. Done. Unless one first uses bounties to plex their account. And that's about the cost of a pith-b fit vindicator each month.
Depends what you're expecting from pilots in our community. I'm a bit more realistic, assuming that most people will not have All V and +6% implants ... and then the difference between an Alpha pilot (that's missing T2 guns and can only train most combat oriented skills to IV) and your average Omega pilot will be much smaller.

On top of that, I don't think we'll suddenly see a decline in people going Omega. This change would just open the door for people who'd otherwise not fly with us, we're giving people without an option an option. Over time there might be a few people who decide to stop subscribing and staying Alpha with the limited skill-set, to run Incursions "for free" in their tech one pirate hull. But I think for every one of those people, we're as likely to get a new Alpha coming into our community, that thanks to being able to participate will get enough ISK and incentive to PLEX their account.

Logan Zauber wrote:I don't fly nightmares and so will believe you that one can build an alpha nightmare pilot that can perform at high UnistaCursion levels. It's not so for Vindicator (which is my limited experience) but if it can be done for a nightmare, can it be done for a machariel?
An alpha will be able to use most of the webbing-power of a Vindicator, really only coming up short on range due to lack of tech two guns. But that range isn't critical for our success, it can still tear through anything that's within webbing range. The Nightmare and Machariel doesn't suffer as much from missing out on tech two guns. In the top tiers, sure, but bottom or middle tiers they keep up just fine, so in the end it'll only be a big deal for the truly high-end, ISK/hour-focused communities. For us, Alpha pilots will be able to perform on par with most Omega pilots, with the exception of old veterans.

Remember that while our community strive to and encourage people to improve, our goal isn't to rival the public communities in terms of ISK/hour. Most people who reach the stages you're talking about, when they start having tech two guns, max skills, expensive implants etc, have either moved on from EVE University or decided that they like it here. I don't see that changing with this change.
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