Open University of Celestial Hardship (OUCH)
Kill More, Die Less - Printable Version

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Kill More, Die Less - Bren Genzan - 02-01-2012

Surprisingly enough, when I joined OUCH, it wasn't in my plans to become a teacher in a video game. I honestly joined OUCH because I didn't have the time or skills to play Hardcore PvP, and I wanted a stress free environment to take the time to learn.

In those days, OUCH didn't have the formal training program it has now. We were all about getting a "good fight". My W-L record was 25-7 when I joined OUCH. The primary guidance that new members received was to jump in a frigate and get into 50 fights.

Under the premise that nothing beats the knowledge gained through experience, we all jumped in frigates and went looking for trouble. 50 fights, win or lose, should provide a decent foundation for a pilot to build his skills on. This philosophy still is promoted throughout New Eden.

So I fit up ships I could afford to lose, jumped into null on my lonesome and went looking for fights. When my W-L record went negative, I had figured out that soloing in null sec was not going to be easy.

For one thing, the solo pilots who were out there doing the same thing as me, they were just better, stronger, faster. They flew better ships, used bigger guns, and had better skills.

For the second, more often than not, I ended up as a consolation prize for a small gang looking for a good fight with another small gang.

So as a solo pilot in null, I determined that I needed better skills to compete with more experienced solo pilots flying better fit or more advanced ships. But to get to those fights, I was going to have to dodge gangs looking to take my ship just because I was there. In short, in order to find a fight that I could win, I had to develop the survival skills to keep me alive long enough to find that fight.

Then, in order to compete with the gangs, I got it in my head to start forming fleets. I had almost no experience, but I had watched some fleets on TV and it didn't seem so hard. /rolls eyes

A roam here, a bubble camp there. Pretty soon, I'm flying a cruiser, running a small gang roam into Curse, and I get tackled on gate by a stealth bomber as my fleet burns away chasing something shiny. This is not good. Local comes alive, 20-something covert ops ships appear on grid. They lock me up. Scram-web, they hold me in place so everyone can get in on the kill.

"How many ships do you need to take one cruiser?" I ask in Local.

The reply is simple: "All of them." And even though I'm about to lose my ship, I have to laugh.

It definitely put it into perspective for me. Big fish eat little fish and big fleets eat little fleets. And no matter what you say about fair fights or good fights, the fleet is fed by kill mails. Posting them prominently on the kill board is a sign of the fleet’s success.

A PvPer demonstrates their prowess as a Fierce Internet Spaceship Warrior by posting kills on the killboard. A solo player demonstrates their prowess as a warrior by making solo kills; a PvP corp does so by ensuring that the volume or magnitude of kills that they generate outweighs the losses that they take.

This is part of the psychology of PvP in Eve in general, and a key to OUCH's "Kill More, Die Less" philosophy.

PvPers love to blow shit up. Lots of students join OUCH we’re going to give them the magic pill that’s going to let them master how to kill the other guys ship in nine easy steps, and they're not afraid to lose a ship or two to meet that goal.

But first we teach our students survival skills so they can make it to the fight without ending up as a statistic on someone else's kill board. We don't send them out to learn it on their own anymore, rather, we formally give them the tools that they are going to need to keep their ships intact while traveling through null.

See, most of us in OUCH are PvPers who don't believe you have to lose ships, or even kill ships, to have fun playing Eve. From the perspective of a pilot “looking for a good fight”, this makes us bad PvPers. We're okay with that.

OUCH trained pilots are survivalists. We are hard to kill. There's no board registering the narrow escapes. There's no record of missed tackles, avoided bubbles, or failed probe downs. The only motivation is the experience and satisfaction of not ending up on someone else's kill board.

By teaching students techniques that let them Die Less, we in OUCH believe that we are laying the building blocks for a generation of better skilled PvPers, who will take the skills they learn with us and use them as the foundation for successful careers as combat pilots.

Because once you learn how to Die Less, then you're ready to learn how to Kill More.