I am continuing to highlight some of the features of Fleet-Up, how they work, and how they can help you. In the previous spotlight article we looked at the fittings view and how it can help you. In this spotlight I would like to progress to the doctrines section.
I have started by confirming some of the common reasons for defining and using fleet doctrines and then continue to explain how Fleet-Up helps you manage this important task.
The idea of fleet doctrines is as old as EVE itself. Older, in fact. Players have been working together under specific roles to increase their effectiveness for as long as multiplayer games have been around. It's no secret that being well prepared and organised increases your tactical advantage, morale, and ultimately your chances of beating your opponent.
EVE takes the importance of doctrines to the next level. There are so many variables and choices affecting how a fleet can perform, what it's strengths and weaknesses are, what it can counter, and what can counter it. Do you want high alpha strike or high dps, armor tanked or shield, how about force-multipliers, what will you use to tackle enemy ships, how about recon? There's a lot to think about and it's important to plan how work most effectively as a fleet.
A fleet doctrine is more than just a list of ships that share a common tanking style. Its a set of requirements, instructions, and priorities. In order for your fleet doctrine to perform at its best, all pilots must understand how the fleet as a whole will work as well as their individual ship's role.
It's important to lay down which ships are the linch pins, the ones that hold things together or perform key roles within the fleet. Equally important is to identify roughly how many of each ship type might be required in a typical fleet. There is no point rolling with ten tacklers and no-one to do any damage. Key information such as this helps pilots to make informed choices about which ships to acquire and/or train for.
Fleet-Up's doctrines manager helps you to manage, keep track of, and advertise fleet doctrines within your group (corporation or alliance). In simple terms, doctrines act as containers for grouping fittings together. This in itself helps pilots to appreciate which fittings work well and should be flown together.
In addition, fields have been provided to allow for the a detailed description of how the doctrine should operate. Details such as engagement ranges, likely counters, strengths and weaknesses can all be listed to help pilots to learn exactly how the doctrine should operate. There is also space to provide an external link should you wish to connect the page to your existing website.
Of course, as we discussed, a list of ships on it's own is not enough. More information is required to really understand how a doctrine fits together. How many ships of each type are required and which are the most important? This is where the 'Importance', 'Ratio', and 'Role' flags come in. When fittings are added to a doctrine these two addition settings can be updated to help pilots understand this information.
The 'Importance' setting allows a level between I and V to be applied, indicating how essential this particular ship is to the doctrine. It can also be used to specify prefered ships within a particular role. For example, if a particular ship is key to the operation of the doctrine then you might set it at the highest priority. You may also priority-order differnt ships that fill the same role in according to their effectiveness. It's like saying "bring a Drake if you have it, if not a Hurricane will do" in a way pilots can easily report on directly from the list of doctrine fittings.
The 'Ratio' setting helps show how many ships of a particular type might be included in a typical fleet. The default ratio is '1' for any ship, however, this can be modified accordingly. The ratio is summed for the entire doctrine and displayed in the list of doctrine fittings to help pilots identify the ideal composition. For example, you might decide that in a typical fleet of 20 pilots you dedicate 10 to Drakes, 5 to Scimitars, 3 to scout/tackle and 2 to Falcons by setting the 'ratio' for each ship to reflect this.
The 'Role' setting [added 11th October] helps highlight how this particular ship will work within a fleet. Clearly defined roles will help pilots understand how their chosen ship should work within the fleet. When you add a fitting to a doctrine the most likely role is automatically assigned, for example a battlecruiser might be 'DPS' whereas a interceptor would be 'Tackle'. If you need to change the role simply click on the name and a list will pop up allowing you to select another.
Ultimately these settings help pilots to show up in the ships you really need to make your fleets work.
The highlighting system that was outlined in the fittings article is also available against the doctrine fittings view. This powerful feature means that pilots can select one of their characters to identify which of the ships they can fly.
The combination of the red-green highlighting and skill information combined with the 'importance' and 'ratio' values makes it really easy for pilots to make informed decisions about which ships to fly.
Users with the correct management level are able to run a 'pilot report' against doctrines. The report highlights how many pilots have the skill to fly each fitting. This report is essential to help understand whether a doctrine is actually feasible to use within your corporation or alliance. If you need 10 logistics pilots and the report shows you can only field 5 then you know you either need to re-think the doctrine or get recruiting.
I hope I've highlighted how the Fleet-Up doctrines view can be a powerful asset in your Corporation or Alliance's information repositories. In future spotlights I will focus on other areas, expanding on the benefits.