I'm coming up on 30 days in Selective Pressure and Rote Kapelle, so I thought I'd share some impressions.
There's a word you hear and read a lot in Rote Kapelle: "optimal". I don't even think Rote members realize how often they use it. ;-) The word is intended as a compliment, of course, and it's used in the sense of the rather strict dictionary definition, i.e. "the best result obtainable under specific conditions." Even more precisely, what the "specific conditions" really mean is to maximize efficiency in obtaining the best result possible. The opposite of "optimal" is "sub-optimal".
For example, a couple of people argued with me about my Cynabal fit from last week, stating in essence that they felt that a 425mm AC-fit Cynabal is just as effective at killing frigate tacklers as a 220mm AC-fit Vagabond. Can a 425mm-fit Cynabal kill tacklers? Absolutely! Is it the optimal solution for doing so? No, probably not. Thanks to reduced tracking, such a solution is sub-optimal. It's a solution that's only a few percent less efficient... a few percent sub-optimal... but as I've said a few times before, in EVE sometimes that few percent is the difference between winning and losing.
Rote Kapelle takes this philosophy to the nth degree.
If I have a flaw in my writing, it's that I sometimes stray too far over the line into stating my opinion as fact. It's something that I've been working on the last couple of years, and still have to remind myself frequently not to do. I read a biography of Benjamin Franklin late last year. He was a fascinating and complex man, in some ways a modern role model... in others, not so much. ;-) But he did have one piece of advice that spoke to me across 250 years. In one of his letters, he told one of his sons that later in life, he was always very careful to preface statements of opinion with "I think" or "I believe" or "it seems to me that". He said that he found that people were much more likely to take what he said to heart if he prefaced those statements with those few words. Interesting advice! And advice I've tried to follow.
It's advice that Rote Kapelle would probably collectively reject. ;-)
A lot of people have gotten ticked and left Rote over the years, because if you lose a ship in Rote, the judgment upon your fitting or your flying -- if it is felt to be sub-optimal -- is instant, brutal, unrelenting, and honest to a fault. Similar arguments happen in the Rote fitting and strategy sections of the forums, or on Teamspeak during an after action discussion. I've just started dipping my toe into these icy waters, and had fittings or strategies or comments that I made torn to shreds up one way and down the other. But I've also received approval on others of my ideas that had merit, and received compliments on my flying.
The criticism is not meant personally. Attacking someone in Rote Kapelle personally for their ideas or tactics is sub-optimal. ;-)
Still, the thin-skinned do not survive long. It's brutally Darwinian, but it's definitely making me a better EVE player. I'm thinking more deeply about the game, and considering tactics and strategies that I wouldn't have otherwise considered(1). Rote fleets are definitely making me a better, more aggressive combat pilot. I can see why people would fold under that much brutal honesty, but I'm not one of them.
So, after almost 30 days in Selective Pressure and Rote Kapelle, I definitely feel I'm in the right place. But I'll also have to watch myself even more closely so as to not write my opinion as fact. Thinking too much of one's own opinion is also sub-optimal. ;-)
(1) For instance, there are three standard Hurricane fittings in Rote... and none of them use 425mm AutoCannon IIs. Just a couple of months ago, I would have regarded that as pure heresy. ;-) But now that I've flown all three, I have to say that Rote has a point to the heresy.