Voice Communications in PvP
- 1 Communications in PvP
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 IMPORTANT VOICE COMS TIPS
- 1.3 General
- 1.4 Voice Comms vs Text Chat
- 1.5 You, Me and I
- 1.6 Brevity and Precision
- 1.7 Don't Be a "Narrator"
- 1.8 Saying the J word
- 1.9 The J word vs Warp
- 1.10 Chatting
- 1.11 Mistakes
- 1.12 Going through a gate
- 1.13 Electronic Warfare Orders and Reporting
- 1.14 Broadcast - the red-headed step child of Eve Communications
- 1.15 Duties - just the basics
Communications in PvP
This article covers the topic of voice communications in PVP-U fleets. It was originally written by a student, Spinward, who eventually joined Agony, in an effort to make some of the jargon and concepts easier to get to grips with. Don't be too concerned if you don't understand some of what is written here. When the class start on its 0.0 roam it will all fall into place once you experience it firsthand.
There's a lot of information here and it may take a few reads before it sinks in, but you're paying a lot to attend this class (ISK and time) and I think this will help you make the most of your investment. Besides, the more you know when you arrive, the easier it will be to focus on the fun stuff: bringing death and destruction to the enemy!
IMPORTANT VOICE COMS TIPS
When you set up your push-to-talk button, do NOT set it to be one of the control (CNTRL) keys on your keyboard. If you do, every time you CNTRL-click to target a ship, you will key up in voice and drive everyone nuts and piss off the FC.
Avoid using desktop speakers and a microphone (especially a desktop microphone) at the same time. Your microphone will pick up everything coming out of your speakers, which leads to loud and painful feedback. This is true even with fancy noise-cancelling microphones. Headsets are cheap - even a $10 headset is better than playing voice coms over your desktop speakers.
We love music, and we know you love music, too. Playing Eve to your favorite band is epic stuff. Please be aware that loud music (or television) in the background WILL be heard over your microphone. Use some common sense and good judgment in setting your background music volumes.
Don't use voice modulators or voice changers. While sounding like Daffy Duck is amusing, it is also extremely difficult - if not impossible - to understand anything you say. It's also annoying and likely will get you muted, if not kicked out of a fleet.
Voice communications is an invaluable resource for a fleet. It allows you to act and react faster than the enemy. Good disciplined comms allows the Hydra Fleet to maximize its effectiveness because the FC can coordinate damage and EWAR on the enemy's vulnerabilities. The Fleet depends on mobility and surprise; both of these are hard to maintain without voice communications.
Voice Comms vs Text Chat
There tends to be some confusion about when you should use voice comms and when you should use text chat. In general, voice is used for immediate information, intelligence, fleet orders, and other time-critical communications. Text chat can be used for administrative things such as late arrivals (try to avoid this), voice problems (there are always a few), questions, reporting non-time-critical intelligence, and general chit-chat.
During a roam, you have to be selective about when to talk in voice. It is important to listen before you key your microphone so that you don't "step on" someone else's question/reporting/etc. If you hear "recon," "break-break," "clear comms" or "battlecomms", stay quiet until the urgency passes. The word "urgency" is really the key to successful voice communications. Voice comms are used when things are urgent because seconds count and typing is too slow.
Battle comms: When the FC (or for the purposes of a class, anyone) calls battlecomms, all members of the fleet should be quiet and listen for orders. During this time, the FC will be hearing reports, issuing orders or just taking a moment to think.
Break Break: Someone has urgent, emergency-level information on the fleet's tactical situation for the FC. Everyone listen up; hopefully it's about your next victim. In a well-run, well-supported fleet, "Break Break" is used very, very rarely.
Recon: The scouts that are flying ahead or behind the gang will start their report by saying "Recon". "Recon" is the equivalent of "Shut up!" :) The FC needs to hear this info, and so do you, as it is information on our next victim!
You, Me and I
Avoid speaking in the first person in voice. Instead always identify yourself with your character's name. Refer to yourself in the third person (like that Seinfeld episode) "George is getting angry" and "Jimmie needs a new pair of shoes". It definitely feels weird at first, but start doing it every time you talk in voice. Just say "This is George. Why should jammers be on manual?" It makes it easier for the instructors to keep track of who's asking and it also helps everyone get into the right mindset for when they get into 0.0 space. Now in 0.0, it becomes much more important. The FC needs will sometimes need to know who is talking. By not identifying yourself you are wasting valuable seconds of your FC's time by forcing him or her to ask "who said that??".
Here's a couple examples of brevity or the lack thereof:
Wrong: Did you jump? I think I missed the jump. The lag is killing me. Is everyone lagged?
Better: (if you need help): George is still in E-3 at the D-0 gate. Lagged. Request orders.
Best: (you don't need any help): George in E-3, system is friendly.
Brevity and Precision
Be precise when you make a report. Tell the FC who, where, and what, but keep it as short as possible. If you practice PVP quite a bit and often fly with a particular gang in game, those players will come to remember your voice and you can cut your reporting down even more. However, in class, nobody knows your voice and the instructor is trying to keep 50+ students on the move (read herding cats).
Don't Be a "Narrator"
In these examples, Jimmie is the tackler and George is in our fleet; Easy Meat is the target ship.
Jimmie: "point on Easy Meat"
FC: "everyone warp to Jimmie"
George: "ok, I'm warping to the gate..... got him locked and webbed... ok missiles away... he's targeting me now.... he's shooting...I'm tanking pretty well, at 80% shields...into armor now....he's into structure...muhahaha I do crazy dps....he's dead"
All the details are interesting to you, but there's zero reason to be narrating them in voice. Comms should be limited to only those details that are significant to the FC.
A better example might be:
Jimmie: "Point on Easy Meat"
FC: "everyone warp to Jimmie"
George: "web on Easy Meat"...."Easy Meat is aggressed"
FC: "get the pod"
This way, the FC knows that the target has a web on it and, since he has aggressed, cannot go through the gate. You haven't used up much time in voice, so the FC is free to be thinking and listening for intel to plan the next steps.
Saying the J word
Jump is an order to be given by the Fleet Commander only.
There is a good reason for never using the J word. Imagine you are on a gate waiting for your scout to tackle someone on the other side. You are keyed up with the excitement of the upcoming kill (the adrenalin really starts flowing on those first few kills) and someone says "So when do we jump?". What your mouse finger heard was JUMP and you are gone, gone, gone. No calling it back; your brain is still translating the "blah blah blah JUMP" but not fast enough to stop that damn finger.
There are some euphemisms you can use instead of the J word: "We are 7 systems from our destination", "The target went out the gate", "go through the gate", "four gates to go," "I hopped out," etc.
The J word vs Warp
Warping is done within a system, jumping is done between systems. Don't get them mixed up when talking to the FC. It is a completely different tactical situation when you report that the ship you are targeting "warped off" or "jumped through the gate".
If you have a question, ask it; I'll bet at least one or two other people have the same one but are afraid to ask. We are here to answer your questions. It is important to ask questions, but even more important to do so appropriately.
During our class days, the instructors will usually ask that you type a "Q" in fleet chat when you have a question, then will have you ask your question in voice the moment he/she is able to take the question.
During our roams, questions can always be asked freely in fleet chat, during bio breaks, and depending upon the situation, they may also be asked in voice during really slow portions of the roam (if any) - such as when we're traveling through friendly space, or sitting at a safe-spot and nothing else is going on. When in doubt, ask in fleet chat first if you can ask a question in voice.
The instructors expect mistakes to happen. Even the most experienced pilots make mistakes! More important than any mistake is how you handle yourself afterwards. So if you do make a mistake, identify yourself and get to where you are supposed to be. It had to happen to someone and this time it's you. No big deal, next time it'll be someone else. If you need help, you'll get it, but don't talk back or try to launch into a long explanation of what happened and how it isn't your fault. 'Stuff' happens so just say "on my way" and get on with it.
Going through a gate
When you approach a gate, the Fleet Commander will give you your orders. If he's busy and doesn't give orders, the default instruction is to Hold on Gate, meaning you should orbit at 500m/1000m (i.e. well within jump range, which is 2500m). Other orders your FC is likely to use are:
Jump on contact - go through the gate as soon as you land on the gate
Jump and hold cloak - go through the gate immediately but do nothing to break your cloak on the other side. That means don't move or cycle weapons/ewar. The priority is keeping your cloak up so that you don't betray the fleet's composition. Remember: The first to decloak is the first to die!
Align - bring your ship around to point at the next stargate.
Jump and Align - go through the gate and quickly align to the next stargate
Jump and Re-approach - go through, break cloak and use afterburner to get to the gate. Orbit the gate at 500/1000m
Jump, Jump - go through the gate immediately
The default order after going through a gate is to Hold Cloak (i.e. do not do anything - you'll remain cloaked for up to 60 seconds).
Do not shoot anything unless the FC has told you to. If you do, you will end up with a weapons timer ("aggressed") and unable to go through the gate for 60 seconds. This can hold up the class, ruin an ambush, or get you podded, and you'll have to make a long run to catch up. If this happens, say "Friendly out" in voice, stay calm and make a Recon report. You'll be given instructions. If the FC is busy in an attack and you're in immediate danger, warp away to stay safe and then catch up when you can. The instructors will help you as soon as they can. They really do want you to live, learn and kick butt during this class.
If you do end up aggressed and alone on a gate with enemies inbound, the best thing to do is get safe. Warp to a celestial object and make a safe-spot en route, or possibly even re-approach the gate and return to the fleet. What you should do is situational, so use what you have learned in the class and make your best judgement call.
If you end up going through a gate alone and there's nothing but the enemy on the other side and have no idea what to do next, here's your plan. Don't break cloak. Do a scan. Then warp out fast. (If you can warp out to a place that you are already aligned to, you're ahead of the game.) As soon as you arrive, warp to another location in system again to confound pursuit. While you're warping, drop a mid-safe bookmark and read your scan and make a good report to the FC. For example, "Recon, two Ravens, Hurricane, and two Raptors in K-T 100km off 7-U gate".
If you are late going through a gate or joining the gang say "Friendly in" just to avoid a panic or friendly fire accident.
Electronic Warfare Orders and Reporting
The fleet may be broken up into several EWAR groups: Track Groups (ships with tracking disruptors) and Damp Groups (ships with sensor dampeners). When you go into battle, your group will be given targets for weapons and EWAR modules. Here's a quick list of the voice calls that you use when a module is active on your assigned target.
Warp Disruptor - Point
Warp Scrambler - Scram
Sensor Dampener - Damp
Stasis Webifier - Web
Track Disruptor - Track
Target Painter - Paint
Jammer - Jam
You might also hear such things as "Easy Meat is primary" or "get a point on him" or "web him". When you're in Track Group One and you hear "Track Group One on Easy Meat", target Easy Meat's ship and put your TD on it. Once you see the icon on the target, say "Track". One exception is for Jammers. You are not actually jamming until you see the grey countdown bar underneath the locked target. That's when you call "Jam".
You may end up being engaged by more than one target. The procedures are the same but now the FC has to order and hear reports on more than one target. For two targets, the orders might be "Easy Meat is primary. Damp Group Two on Easy Money." Everyone will be engaging Easy Meat except that Damp Group Two will be attacking Easy Meat while locking Remote Damps on Easy Money. This means that EWAR reports need to include the name of the target pilot. For example, you might hear the following reports: "Point on Easy Meat; Web on Easy Meat, Damp on Easy Money" and so on....
Now if you lose track, run out of cap, have to warp away or get podded, you have to inform the Gang that the EWAR module is down. That's when you would say "Minus one point" or "Lost damp". Jammers will call "lost jam" when they lose a jam on a target.
For example, Jimmie has been targeted by the Vagabond your fleet is killing and has to warp off to avoid dying:
Jimmie: "Minus one point"
Remember there are no reports for locking target, firing, losing shield or getting into armor. The FC does not need to know this information.
Broadcast - the red-headed step child of Eve Communications
People don't talk much about broadcasting, and it's not used nearly as much as it should be by many fleets. The broadcast window appears on the bottom of the fleet window. In PvP Basic, it is used primarily to send navigation orders.
The FC will say "destination broadcast." Look at the bottom of your fleet window, right click on the broadcast and select set destination.
Your fleet window has a tab labeled "History" - here you can find a history of all broadcasts made throughout the fleet. This is a good place to look if you missed an order or a broadcast.
Duties - just the basics
There are a few of the fleet roles you may here the FC mention:
XO - Executive Officer. A second in command who deals with administration, squads, damp/track groups, fleet invites, fleet balancing, broadcasting, tracking of stragglers, and tracking non-time-critical intelligence, etc. This frees up the FC to think about tactics. Also known as "cat herder" and "fleet secretary." In Basic, this is often one of the instructors and the XO term may not even be used.
EWO or EWARO - Electronic Warfare Officer. If the Fleet is big enough you might have one of these who coordinates the ewar groups for the FC.
Scout, Skirmisher - these guys all do different things depending on their ships and skills but, for our purposes, they are all eyes in other systems finding us targets.
360 Scan - An agony pilot or alumni or two will be assigned the duty of constantly scanning for threats. Everyone should be doing this on a regular basis but by assigning the duty, the FC is just making sure he's always got someone scanning for targets/threats.
Local duty - An agony pilot or alumni will be watching local to see if the number goes up or down in your system. He or she will also try to find the incoming pilot's information for the FC. Ideally, the local pilot reports one new pilot in system, their name and alliance to the FC at the same time that the 360 scan pilot reports a new Iteron in system.
Probe duty - Normally agony or alumni assigned to scan for probes that may be used to track down your fleet when in a safe. Alternatively, detecting these probes gives us the info that a cloaked covops is in system.
Rear Guard - Normally an agony pilot assigned to follow the gang last through a gate. He's kind of the herder to bug you if you're slow to go through and to tell the FC when everyone is in the next system.