The Fleet Command System
A fleet is not just a fancy name for a group of faggots in internet spaceships, it's also CCP's name for the in-game organization system for aforementioned group of faggots. Since the Trinity patch in December 2007, the old "flat" gang model doesn't exist anymore; all gangs are fleets. This page is about the organization system itself, not about things you do with fleets (i.e. fleet ops); for that, see Fleet Op Basics.
Warning: large walls of text ahead. This is intended as a comprehensive reference of pretty much all you need to know about the fleet system.
A Gentle Introduction for Complete Newbies
Joining a Fleet
There are a few ways to join a fleet.
1) Use the fleet finder. Click the icon -> Find fleets -> get fleets. You should see a list of active fleets. Select one to join it.
3) Someone can post a fleet invite in a channel. This is done by right clicking on your name when you are in a fleet and selecting "Post Fleet Invite".
A fleet can have between two and 256 members (actually a fleet can have only one member, but that's pointless and doesn't do anything special so we'll ignore it). It is led by a fleet commander (FC), and is organized into wings (between one and five per fleet), each led by a wing commander. Each wing contains between one and five squads containing up to ten people each, one of which is designated as the squad commander. Like so:
- Fleet Commander
- Wing 1 (led by Wing Commander 1)
- Squad A
- Faggot 1 (commander)
- Faggot 2
- Faggot 3 (and so on)
- Squad B
- Squad C (and so on up to E)
- Squad A
- Wing 2
- Squad A (and so on)
- Wing 3 (and so on)
- Wing 1 (led by Wing Commander 1)
Note that the fleet and wing commanders are the only people in the fleet that are not part of a squad. Hence the fleet size limit of 256; five wings of five squads makes 25 squads, each containing 10 people (10 * 5 * 5 = 250), plus the five wing commanders and the fleet commander.
When you first form a fleet, it will only have one wing and one squad; more can be created at will up to the limit of five wings of five squads each. Note that any given command role may be left empty; you don't have to think about the organization if you don't want to. It can however provide certain advantages that we will discuss below.
Since Trinity, any squad member can move himself to any other squad as long as there are positions free and the "enable free-move" flag is set (can be done by the gang boss or the fleet commander). Wings and squads can and should also be named, which should give you an indication on where it's a good idea to move yourself (if you're a tackler, move yourself to the speed wing; if you're in an EW ship, move yourself to the EW wing and so on).
Brief Introduction to Bonuses
Apart from giving you the option of roleplaying a military organization, the fleet system can also provide powerful bonuses to a lot of different attributes. This is a whole science, most of which will be not discussed here (see the Gory Details section below if you are interested). Instead, a brief introduction.
Each level of the fleet has one member designated as the booster for that level (not to be confused with the combat drugs called Combat Boosters). Provided that the people in the command positions have the proper distribution skills, the booster's bonuses will propagate down to everyone below him in the fleet, as well as apply to himself. Normally, the booster is the same person as the commander, but they can also be different.
There are five bonus areas:
- Armored Warfare (basic skill gives bonus to armor amount, warfare links give bonuses to armor tanking)
- Information Warfare (basic skill gives bonus to targeting range, warfare links give bonuses to electronic warfare)
- Mining (basic skill gives bonus to mining yield, warfare links gives various mining bonuses)
- Siege Warfare (basic skill gives bonus to shield amount, warfare links give bonuses to shield tanking)
- Skirmish Warfare (basic skill gives bonus to agility, warfare links give bonuses to speed and tackling)
Each one of these has one basic and one specialization skill, which will be further discussed below. Training these will give out bonuses to people below you in the fleet structure, provided that you have the proper distribution skills (see next paragraph). It's important to know that gang bonuses do NOT stack, ONLY the best bonus for each area is used. For example, if your squad commander is the booster of your squad and has a 4% bonus to shield capacity and a 6% bonus to speed, while the wing booster has a 8% bonus to shield capacity but only a 2% bonus to speed, you will get the wing booster's 8% bonus to shield but the squad booster's 6% bonus to speed. There are also gang mods (also known as warfare links), which are active modules that can be fitted on battlecruisers, command ships, carriers, motherships and titans; these provide much bigger (and different) bonuses than the skills do, but have rather high skill requirements. The same non-stacking rules apply to them. We will not discuss them further here.
Distribution of Bonuses
The next thing you should know about fleet bonuses is how the distribution works. There are three relevant skills here:
- Leadership (rank 1)
- Wing Command (rank 8)
- Fleet Command (rank 12)
The basic Leadership skill lets you distribute bonuses within your squad if you are squad commander. It lets you distribute bonuses to two people per level, up to the maximum of 10 (including yourself) at level V. If there are more people in the squad than your leadership level supports, no bonuses will be distributed at all. Train it to level V or not at all. Wing Command lets your distribute bonuses to one squad per level, up to the maximum of 5 at level V. If there are more squads in the wing than your level of wing command supports, no bonuses from your level or above will be distributed at all (but do note that empty squads, without any people in them, don't count toward this limit). Finally, fleet command lets you distribute bonuses to one wing per level, up to the maximum of 5 at level V. If there are more wings in the fleet than your level of fleet command supports, no bonuses from your level will be distributed (but again, empty wings do not count).
You will only get bonuses from a given booster if you are in space in the same system as the booster, and if the booster isn't your squad commander, you will also need the appropriate command chain to be in space in the same system.
A practical example
Let's assume the following fleet:
- Fleet Commander (fleet command II)
- Wing Commander (wing command IV; wing booster)
- Squad Commander 1 (leadership V)
- Faggot 1
- Faggot 2 (squad booster)
- Faggot 3 (fleet booster)
- Squad Commander 2 (leadership I; squad booster)
- Faggot 4
- Faggot 5
- Squad Commander 1 (leadership V)
- Wing Commander (wing command IV; wing booster)
In this case, there are no problems with bonus distribution on the fleet or wing level; there's only one wing, and fleet command II is good for two. There are only two squads in the wing and wing command IV is good for four. The first squad doesn't have any problems either, since leadership V is good for a full squad of 10. The second squad on the other hand won't get any bonuses since its leader only has leadership I, which is enough for two people, but there are three people in the squad (the commander does count). Everyone else including the fleet and wing commanders will be getting Faggot 3's (the fleet booster) bonuses. However, if the wing commander's bonuses in any area are better than the fleet booster's, everyone under the wing commander (including the wing commander himself) will get that bonus instead. The same goes for the squad booster.
This is what the fleet UI actually looks like:
- This is the bonus indicator. If you're getting bonuses it'll be a green tick like in the screenshot, if you aren't it'll be a red X. You can hover over it and get detailed info about from where the bonuses are distributed.
- This shows your current leadership position. In the screenshot, two chevrons are displayed which means wing commander. Squad commanders gets one chevron and fleet commanders 3. If you aren't in a command position nothing will be shown here.
- If you are a gang boss, a star will be shown here, otherwise nothing.
- Indicates your booster status, shown is the wing booster symbol. A squad booster gets a plus with one gray bar in the background while the fleet booster gets a plus with three gray bars.
- The Eve Voice channel control buttons. The first one joins you to the fleet channel, the second to the wing channel, the third to the squad channel and the last two to custom channels. Noone uses this. See Eve Voice.
- Click these two arrows (or almost anywhere on the wing area) to expand or collapse the wing.
- The wing name, with size (the number of people in it) in parenthesis. Wings and squads can be renamed by right-clicking on their bar and selecting "change name".
- Indicates activity in the wing/fleet voice channel. Again, noone uses this.
You can expand or collapse wings, squads or even the entire fleet as you wish. The symbols mentioned in 2, 3 and 4 also shows up next to the person's name in the fleet hierarchy so you can easily see who's doing what.
I'm confused! (aka. Frequently Asked Questions)
- The fleet commander just told everyone in Wing X to do Y. How do I know what wing and/or squad I'm in?
Just look at the header of the fleet window, it says "Fleet (Z amount of people) / Wing X".
- How do I know if I'm getting bonuses or not, and from who?
See point #1 in the screenshot above.
- I heard you have to be on grid with the booster to get bonuses?
You heard wrong. CCP has been talking about this for ages but it has never been implemented. You do have to be in space (i.e. not docked) and in a ship (i.e. not in a pod) though or you won't get any bonuses. You also get bonuses while cloaked.
- Do I get my own bonuses if I'm squad/wing/fleet commander and booster with noone under me in space in the same system?
No. For bonuses to activate at all, there has to be at least one non-commander squad member for them to propagate down to, meaning that you need a minimum of two people (squad commander and one squad member) in space in the same system to get bonuses to activate at all. Additionally, commanders are not considered to be in space if they're in pods.
You can stop reading here if you're a common fleet member that won't train any leadership skills; everything below this point is details for people who train leadership skills and/or are interested in game mechanics. Warning: more walls of text ahead.
Fleet Roles and You
Ended up in some sort of command position, did you? Well, here's what you can do about (or with) it.
Inviting, kicking and moving
Squad commanders can invite and kick people to and from their own squad. Wing commanders can also do the same within their own wing, and additionally move anyone in their wing to any other position in the wing. They can also create new squads, or delete empty ones. Fleet commanders can move anyone below to any position, create new wings and squads (as well as delete empty ones), move anyone to any position, and invite to any position in the fleet as well as kick anyone. Wing commanders should probably keep an eye on GSDEF and keep up with invites for any folks not in alliance, that will make gang bosses and fleet commanders happy. Everyone can watch the operations channel (i.e. GSDEF) and post fleet invitations for GoonSwarm members. This will reduce the workload on the commanders in large fleets.
Any commander on any level has a number of broadcasts available to him that normal squad members don't have (like Target, Travel To, Warp To, etc). These will show up for everyone below him in the fleet, and to send them you generally just rightclick the stuff you want to broadcast something about and you should have some "Broadcast: XYZ" options available.
Any commander can warp everyone below him together. This only affects people on grid. Anyone within 150km of the warp destination won't warp, they'll just approach the destination instead.
You can also give someone the "scout" role, which only does one thing, namely exempt that person from gangwarps. Useful for covert ops or other cloaked ships.
This makes everyone below the commander that is within approach distance (i.e., within 150km) start approaching the commander.
The gang boss
There is a special role in the fleet called the boss, or gang boss. Any person in the fleet can get this role in addition to whatever other roles he or she has. The boss role doesn't provide any particular tactical options (like gang warping or broadcasting targets) unless you already have those options as part of your squad, wing or fleet command role (the options show up in the menus but you can't use them, oh CCP); instead, it's a sort of administrative position. The boss can move any person in the fleet to any other position (including moving people to and from the fleet commander position), promote or demote people to or from squad commander, kick anyone (including himself) from the fleet, invite people to any wing or squad, etc. In most small gangs the fleet commander will have the boss role himself, but in big fleets he may choose to let someone else take care of the administrative work (such as keeping an eye on GSDef for x'es) while he concentrates on leading the fleet.
Up until Trinity this used to be a horribly stressful yet underappreciated job that noone wanted. It has since been made much less painful by the introduction of the free-move flag which lets people move themselves around in the fleet and even promote themselves to squad commander.
Watch lists provide an interface to keep an eye on the status of multiple fleet members at once. Simply right click on the person's name you want to watch in either the Fleet Chat window, or the Fleet window proper, and select Add to Watch List. You will then be able to see the status of that person's shields, armor, and structure without locking them. This is most useful in Remote Repping gangs as you can quickly lock and repair the person taking the most damage without having to find them in space or have friendlies on the overview.
It's also useful if you expect to be warping to a certain character (maybe a covops or an FC) a lot, since you can right click in the watchlist and go directly to "warp to member," so you don't have to wait for "wwwww" in fleet chat when the order comes.
The Gory Details of Fleet Bonuses
There are five basic bonus skills (rank 2), four of which are combat-focused:
- Skirmish Warfare (Minmatar) - Grants a 2% bonus to gang members' agility per skill level.
- Information Warfare (Gallente) - Grants a 2% bonus to gang members' targeting range per skill level.
- Siege Warfare (Caldari) - Grants a 2% bonus to gang members' shield capacity per skill level.
- Armored Warfare (Amarr) - Grants a 2% bonus to gang members' armor hit points per skill level.
Each of these skills is loosely tied to a race. Each race's fleet command ship gives an additional bonus to the respective gang mods.
And for the jews, there's:
- Mining Foreman - Grants a 2% bonus to gang members' mining yield per level.
Then there's the specialization skills (rank 5, and each having the prerequisite of the basic skill being trained to V), which are only useful if you plan on running gang mods:
- Siege Warfare Specialist
- Armor Warfare Specialist
- Information Warfare Specialist
- Skirmish Warfare Specialist
- Mining Director
Each level in one of these skills improves the effectiveness of its associated link modules by 100%. Which may sound like a lot, but the base bonus is extremely low.
Finally there is Warfare Link Specialist which improves the effectiveness of all gang mods by 10% per level. You need it to V to be able to use the Command Processor module (a midslot thing that lets you use one additional gang mod).
There are three of these per bonus area, requiring Leadership V and the respective specialist skill to I. They can only be fit on battlecruisers, command ships, carriers, motherships and titans. You can usually only activate one at a time (although you can fit as many as you like), except on the fleet command ships (that can keep three active at the same time) and supercapitals (that can use one base plus one for each level of racial titan or carrier for a maximum of 6 active at a time). This number can be extended by fitting Command Processors as mentioned above.
List of gang links by field
- Armored Warfare
- Damage Control: 2% reduction to cap use of all personal/remote armor repairers
- Rapid Repair: 2% reduction to all personal/remote armor repairer cycle times
- Passive Defense: 2% bonus to all armor resists
- Siege Warfare
- Active Shielding: 2% reduction to cap use of all shield boosters and transporters
- Shield Efficiency: 2% reduction to shield booster/transporter cycle times
- Shield Harmonizing: 2% bonus to all shield resists
- Information Warfare
- Electronic Superiority: 2% bonus to effectiveness of all electronic warfare (ECM, RSD's, tracking disruptors, target painters)
- Recon Operation: 2% bonus to optimal range of electronic warfare modules
- Sensor Integrity: 3% bonus to ship sensor strength (harder to jam with ECM)
- Skirmish Warfare
- Evasive Maneuvers: 2% reduction of ship signature radius
- Interdiction Maneuvers: 3% bonus to optimal range of all propulsion jamming modules (webs/scrams)
- Rapid Deployment: 2% bonus to AB/MWD speed
- Mining Foreman
- Laser Optimization: 2% reduction in mining laser cycle time
- Harvester Capacitor Efficiency: 2% reduction to mining laser capacitor requirements
- Mining Laser Field Enhancement: 2% bonus to mining laser optimal range
As you notice, the base bonuses are rather tiny, but remember that the specialist skill increases them by 100% per level.
The mindlinks are specialized implants (all slot 10) that further improves the effects of the gang links by 50%, as well as provide a 50% bonus to the effect of the respective basic skill. They require Cybernetics V and the respective specialization skill to V.
How to Calculate the Bonus Effects (:maths:)
The basic skills are all straightforward, just (bonus) x (level of skill). If you have the mindlink, multiply that by 1.5 to get the final bonus. [Not sure about the mindlink part, CCP's description is ambiguous to say the least] --Ren Hanxue 15:41, 7 December 2007 (CST)
The gang links are a bit more complicated. The basic formula is:
(base bonus of gang link) x (level of specialization skill) x (1 + (level of warfare link specialist / 10))
If you have the associated mindlink, multiply the entire result by 1.5.
If you are also flying the associated fleet command ship, you get to multiply the result further by
1 + (level of command ships * 0.03)
If you are flying a Rorqual in deployed mode and using mining links, multiply the result by
1 + (level of capital industrial ships * 0.05)
Let's say we have a pilot flying a Claymore with Skirmish Warfare Specialist V, Information Warfare Specialist III, Warfare Link Specialist III, Command Ships IV and a skirmish mindlink. He's running one Electronic Superiority and one Rapid Deployment link. What's the total bonuses he gives out?
Well, first off he has Skirmish and Information Warfare to V since he has the spec skills, so right there we have an immediate 15% bonus to speed (10% x 1.5 from the mindlink) and a 10% bonus to targeting range. As for the gang links, first we have the Electronic Superiority one:
2 (base) x 3 (racial spec) x 1.3 (warfare link specialist)
which means a 7.8% bonus to ECM strength. Well how about the Rapid Deployment link then?
3 (base) x 5 (racial spec) x 1.3 (warfare link specialist) x 1.5 (mindlink) x 1.12 (command ships)
A 32.76% bonus to MWD/AB speed. Not bad at all.
As this example makes really obvious, the real difference is made by Racial Warfare Specialist. If you have the mindlink then that's equivalent to Warfare Link Specialist V but only for that bonus area. The racial command ships bonus is almost completely negligible as it only accounts for about a +3.5% increase.