We were shipping up in our home system, getting ready to pay a visit on some miners out a null connection we had to Wicked Creek. A few of our guys were ratting, and the miners had been next door - I'm not sure why they would stick around with hostiles active next door, but maybe our ratters would have lulled them into a sense of "Oh they're just here for PvE, we're safe." I was on my alt, in a Crow, and looking forward to some action - it had been a busy week IRL without a lot of play time.
We were taking our time getting organized, pulling out interceptors and assault frigates, and the ratters were coming back to reship as well when a gang swung through the null system. Since we had already been pulling our guys out, the rest of us moved up and sat on the hole to wait...
The null gang scanned down the wormhole, and one of their ihstars came through. We pounced on it. It bailed, but I followed after it and chased it down, keeping point even though it was moving pretty damned fast. The fleet caught it, and killed it, and we spent a while playing games on the hole with the rest of the null gang - we were pretty even on numbers, although I think they had a slight weight advantage. We were better coordinated, though, so they only poked a few times and didn't fully commit. With an EoL hole in the chain we didn't want to spend all night playing tag, so Kynric called for the inty (yay me!) to go +1 and hit the asteroid belt he saw activity at earlier.
Again, we had just had people ratting in this system. And our little murder gang had just whacked an ishtar and slicer next door. I thought that anyone mining the next system over had to be nuts to still be around, but hell, there might be someone there! I cheerfully warped to the outgate, jumped through, and called a grid clear as I hunted for the ore pocket anom. It took me longer than I was happy with to find it, because dear gods there were a crap ton of anoms in the system, but I found it and warped and landed on grid to find mining cans, but no miners.
There was, however, a vindicator.
A vindicator. :D :D
It was 40km off, so I quickly started closing distance (at an angle, of course) and called point. Kynric reminded me to mind the webs, which was something already at the front of my thoughts - with two 90% webs, I wouldn't be moving at all and the vindi would have large blasters that tracked like small blasters, so I carefully kept myself at the edge of my point range. The damned thing moved fast, breaking point a couple of times, but I kept getting it repointed before the pilot could hit warp. It was also shooting at me with 425mm rails. And Warrior IIs. I nearly died, but our logi caught me in time, and shortly after that we got a couple of webs (we had a Vigilant <3) on it and tore the battleship to pieces.
The gang we had been fighting with followed us, and started poking again; I dived onto their ishtar (the same pilot we already took down once) and pointed him, but he was burning at 2,500 m/s and pulled me out of range of the fleet; his drones popped my Crow and we scooped our loot and called it a night.
It was only after we were back in w-space that I pulled up the vindicator kill. I had heard mention of deadspace mods on coms, and sure enough, the Vindicator had a deadspace tank. It also had 425mm tech 1 railguns - not even meta.
And it had no webs. Now, I have certainly seen worse. It was probably the guy's belt ratter/anom sniper, operating out of web range, even though a Megathron or Megathron Navy would do the job just as well at less than half the cost. Still, if someone I knew was flying a vindicator without even one token web on it and meta 1 rails, I would cry.
This brings me to the current Blog Banter topic: fitting. I normally do not discuss fits, because so many people are so easily offended by a 'bad' or 'suboptimal' fit, and because there will almost always be someone there to tell you that You Are Wrong.
The banter asks, "How do we educate players on fitting? Do veteran players have a responsibility to teach new players on fitting? If they do, is there also a responsibility to teach other important Eve skills?"
In the newbie career missions, players are given a few random modules to fit to their ship. It doesn't really set a great precedent. Basic ship fitting is, in theory, very easy - utilize all of your slots, build to your hull's strengths, fit the right sized modules. Practical ship fitting is certainly a little more complicated, though, since you get into active tank v buffer, optimal ranges, capacitor limitations, how to counter common threats... concepts that are a little harder to convey in a text-based lecture format but are critical to competitive flying. They are also things that might not be immediately obvious to a newbro.
My first reaction is that of course players have no responsibility to reach out. If a new player asks for help they will find all kinds of veterans willing to help - the newbie just needs to realize they need a little advice and to ask for it. I still stand by that, but I do think newbros could use a little nudge in the right direction. In this case, it is in the best interest of their corp and the people they fly with to make sure they can contribute to the fleet - this is where fleet doctrines come in, and corp mates helping eachother out. In my experience the best doctrines are the ones that encourage players to understand the why behind a fit - even if the fleet is "Fly exactly this and only this", new players can still learn important lessons about why certain modules were selected, as long as they take the initiative to ask.