…is better than cure.
So how do we stop the newbie from coming down with Fast Tackle Disease?
Well, the answer is the Harpy – or something generally similar. T1 destroyers or cruisers, or perhaps even interdictors. Keep the newbie rolling towards a bigger and better doctrine. Assuming we’re talking about a low or nullsec corp with reasonable PVP emphasis, that means before he gets into mining or PI or whatever else, if “being a combat pilot” isn’t his primary want.
That’s not to say that being something else is bad, but getting those support skills and a baseline of skills to be able to competently fly T1 cruisers and down, interceptors, bombers (which pair well with blockade runners for the budding industrialist) and assault frigates for at least one, maybe two races, is not a bad way to get started. After all, it’s good to have an appreciation of what the pilots that prey on him do, and skills relating to navigation and tanking aren’t a bad thing to have in any ship.
Get the newbie up to 5 in frigates and small weapons in the race of his choice. Yes, even missiles; even if he gets past frigates and gets stuck on RLML Caracals.. at least he can fly both of those things.
But why is it bad if a newbie flys these things? What’s the problem, if that’s what he likes?
The problem is that you get things like this.
Look at the update at 0523. “Many of the BRAVE contingent are very young newbies in T1 frigates.”
Now, having flown with BRAVE for a year or so I can tell you for certain that this is true.. but many of those T1 frigates were also flown by older pilots who could have been in something heavier. Some might have not been able to afford a new ship if they lost it in the fight and had to re-ship or otherwise were short on cash. But quite a few had no good reason to be in a T1 frigate besides “it’s cheap”.
I’ll go into some of this as it relates specifically to BRAVE later on, but for now it’s enough to say that when you are trying to hold down someone’s supers for someone else’s supers to get there and kill them, the last thing you need are T1 frigates – since they can’t keep supers tackled. Even the aforementioned RLML caracals are a vastly superior choice, and they really aren’t hard to get into.
I don’t think anything is more frustrating as a line pilot than getting in the mainline doctrine ship, or the logi ship, or another support ship for what the FC called for… and seeing people you know are a year plus old in T1 frigates. For that matter, when the FC is saying “No I don’t need more interceptors” and 5 more people try to join in interceptors it makes you want to reach through the internet and slap them.
Now, a final word. This is not to say flying T1 frigates is bad, or tackle is bad, and certianly doesn’t pertain to flying them when asked to, flying them when no one cares, flying them when you’re behind and just want to catch up, flying dictors, heavy dictors, or heavy tackle ships or anything else. It pertains to flying T1 frigates because they’re cheap and you don’t have to care about losing them when that isn’t what’s needed. No, it doesn’t matter if they die – except that now you’re off the field, when you could still be there sending the enemy packing.