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Sept, 29th 2012 - Spotlight: Fittings
I'd like to highlight some of the features of Fleet-Up, how they work, and how they can help you. The first of these spotlight articles focuses on the fittings view. I show how it helps both new and experienced members save time and avoid some of the pitfalls of fitting for a fleet.
I have started by describing some very common problems, how they are traditionally solved, and then how Fleet-Up takes the solution to the next level.
Leaving things to chance
One of the fitting dilemmas that pilots face during their EVE career is keeping up with how their fellow pilots are fitting and flying their ships. Most players with a few months experience will be able to knock together a reasonably coherent ship fitting but the chances are that if you put fifty players together in the same ship you will have fifty different versions, each with it's own strengths and weaknesses. An FC's nightmare.
You may also be familiar with sitting in a fleet of 10, 50, 100... waiting for the operation to start, listening to the ongoing discussions on comms or in fleet chat about fittings.
"Wait, we're fitting ABs instead of MWD now?"
"It looks like you have long range guns, Dude!"
"Should I fit a web?"
Or worse, pilots don't say anything because they either feel they are experienced enough not to need telling how to fit their ship or are perhaps new and too shy to have their fitting picked over in front of the whole fleet. Instead of checking they choose to search online for a 'liked' fitting or invent their own.
Common Solutions
Of course, these are not new problems. In fact players have been finding ways to resolve these problems for years. Even CCP have chipped in with the addition of the Corporate fittings list, which serves a purpose but is somewhat limited in its current form.
One of the most common methods to help pilots fly collectively good fittings is to create a wiki, forum or other similar information repository. Fittings are pasted up in text format and a description added explaining how to fly the ship. It's a solution that works well and has probably been adopted by most Alliances of a reasonable size. It is, however, a solution not without it's own problems.
Put yourself in the perspective of a player that is searching for a fitting. First they sift and read through the pages of fitings, unsure as to whether they can fit and use all the modules effectively. After choosing a fit they may then go through the annoying task of copy-pasting each module into the game market window or their inventory to actually put the fitting together. Half way through this process they may even find they can't use one of modules yet because they forgot to check.
Click to enlarge All this can add up to a dishearted player who is spending time messing about fitting a ship instead of getting in fleet and being awesome.
Fleet-Up's Powerful Fittings Viewer
The fittings view in Fleet-Up allows members of your Group (Corporation or Alliance) to quickly search, sort and find fittings that they can fly and even identify how effective their skills will be.
When a user selects one of their characters from the available drop down the fittings list will change to display some key information.
The background will shift to green or red depending on whether the selected character has the skills to fly the ship and all the modules in the fitting. Green means they can fly the fitting whereas red means that they lack the skills for one or more of the items.
If a user clicks on a fitting, the modules will also be highlighted in green or red accordingly. This helps the user to quickly identify any skill gaps preventing them from flying a particular fitting.
More detailed information is displayed in-line. The 'effectiveness' indicator gives the user a percentage score showing how close to 'perfect skills' their character is. The indicator quickly shows the user if they will be good or poor at using the fitting. Furthermore the 'hull skill level' will highlight the primary skill for flying the hull - helping disuade pilots from flying a ship a skill level I!
Modular Highlights
Click to enlarge Users can also make use of the green-red highlighting system on a modular level by clicking on the fitting to open it. The ship hull, all the modules, rigs, etc are displayed along with the number required to be fitted. Each line adopts the fimilar green-red background system to highlight to the user which modules to train for in order to use the fitting.
Fitting Quick-Links
A number of quick-links appear against the fitting item view to the right of each module. These help the user to quickly find out more information about the item without having to copy-paste each and every line into something else.
  • Market Link - Click the shopping cart icon to open the item in the in-game market window. A quick and easy way to buy modules.
  • Eve-Central - Click the search/magnifier icon to search for the item on EVE-Central. One-click to perform a price-check.
  • EVE Wiki - Click the small page icon to open the item in the EVE-Online Wiki. Read and learn more about the module.
  • In-Game Item - Click the info icon to open the item in game.
The quick-links present a powerful tool set for new and experienced users alike.
Export Fitting Data
Users can export the fitting, currently in EFT format, by switching to the EFT Export tab. This allows users and managers alike to play around with the fitting in their chosen fitting tool if they wish.
In Summary
I hope I've highlighted how the Fleet-Up fittings view can be a powerful asset in your Corporation or Alliance's information repositories. In the next article I talk about doctrine management.