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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Let me start out by saying that I am completely new to MMO (Massive Multi-player Online) games as Star Trek: Online is my first. I believe that gives me a fresh perspective and allows me to see things with unbiased eyes. As most of you, during Open Beta I split my time leveling between the Kahless Expanse and then later leveling at PvP on BoK teams in ground and space. I rarely, if ever, went as a lone PvP during my first foray. As a pre-order customer, I was able to participate in headstart and decided to keep my leveling to PvP and for the most part was successful staying out of Kahless Expanse other than to help others get up to Lieutenant Commander. This allowed me to observe and note what was and was not successful in playing in a PvP role as a PUG and on teams, as well as codes of conduct. These are my thoughts:

1. Anyone who attacks spawning opponents just after they spawn, or attacks characters near their spawn point should be slow roasted over a very hot fire. I have had this happen to me when playing as a PUG (mostly due to the autofire and spawning with a just dead Fed and had them follow up that initial autofire) and I did not appreciate it. Actually, I hated it. To me it is the worst part of PvP and reminded me too much of the spawn camp turkey shoot from the end Open Beta event. If you do not want it to happen to you, then there is no justification to do it to your opponents.

2. To win at PvP, you need teamwork. A single player with the best buffs and uber-weapons and shields will ALWAYS fall to an organized team with common issue weapons. That is a military axiom true as the sun rises in the east. This is why you join a fleet and one that uses some kind of voice communications. The in-game team text chat works but will be only successful with very experienced players. We use Vent as it is mandatory in our Fleet. Even if you do not have a mic, you can still be logged in to Vent to listen using your main speakers. This is critical as the reason teamwork wins battles is communication.

3. Once you have your team picked out and you have grouped up, a team leader needs to be picked. This role is absolutely essential and should be the player most comfortable in a support role and NEVER be one of the primary shooters. A leaderless team is not a team. It does not necessarily need be the same person who formed the team, but that does help. The leader is critical in the teams co-ordination in battle so should be hanging back to gain an overview of the field. As a leader you cannot be doing that to see where the opposition ships are while in the furball doing the pew-pew. As leader, you can best assess when your shooters are going to need buffs and heals, and, most especially, when you and your team need to cloak out to regroup. A leader can take some shots but usually only to deliver a coup de gras and so long as it does not draw you in to the fight. If your damage stats are important to you, become a shooter rather than a leader. With that in mind, shooters arguing with the leader is the quickest way to undermine your team and loose your match. Save it for AFTER the battle but once the leader makes the call, that is what goes.

4. Those that have a military or a law enforcement background will understand this next point. As communication is critical, when targets are in sight, the only person who talks is the leader. Save non-critical information for a re-group. To understand better, quietly drop in to one of the vent channels to listen in on an experienced team. What you will hear initially upon approach to targets are the sighting calls. Then reports from the scouts about the make-up of the opposition teams. After this it will be the team leader calling out the target order and quick, terse acknowledgments from the shooters to the leaders instructions. You will then have the shooters reporting when they are in-range. The leader then calls the alpha strike and all open up on command. During battle there is usually brief, loud comments which is human nature but no inane chatter. The leader is the one that is doing most of the talking in calling out targets and assisting the shooters in their roles (buffs and heals). The shooters job is to concentrate on one target as given them by the leader, nothing else. If the leader calls for a bug out, then you bug even if that guy you were shooting 'only needs three more shots'. There is a reason that the best air forces in the world follow this methodology - it wins and it brings their pilots home.

5. A side point. When a person calls "Break Break", cease talking. This is an established radio etiquette which means 'I have critical information that needs to be conveyed immediately'. A person who calls 'Break Break' has the floor no matter how important you feel your information about the composition of the small boulders in the middle of the Cracked Planet is to tactics.

Hopefully, you and your team have won by using the above suggestions. Even if you did not, everything is a learning experience. There is one hard, fast practice that everyone should do, that is to ALWAYS comment 'good game' and something about what the opposition did especially well in the match in zone before leaving the map. This is common courtesy and good sportsmanship AND will return many fold in fleet reputation. Smack talk is left for the playground and the 13 year-olds. Replying to opposition smack talk other than a "Thank you" cheapens you even more.

Thank you for reading and hopefully I will see you in the teams and PvP.